My Blog Has Moved!

With the latest update to my website, I can now blog from there! WordPress has been good to me, but I’m excited to blog from my own platform.

If you want to keep seeing my content you have two options.

  1. You can friend me on Facebook, where I share all my new articles.
  2. You can sign up for my newsletter

Either way, I hope you’ve enjoyed my articles and I hope I haven’t lost you as a reader!

Cheers!

P.S. I have an instagram now! Follow me @mortonfitness

Advertisements

How To Gauge Fat Loss Progress Accurately

First off, we ought to be focusing on the process based goals rather than results based goals.

Why?

  1. It keeps us sane
  2. It keeps us honest
  3. It keeps us moving forward consistently, and consistency trumps everything.

We have zero control over how fast results happen. This means focusing solely on outcomes is inherently problematic and inaccurate.

That said, some folks work really well with periodic result analysis. Furthermore, it’s not an either/or situation. You can focus on the process, while still using measurements to analyze the efficacy your fat loss strategy.

The point of measurements is to find the gaps in your game–to discover the way forward. The goal is to get information, not validation.

We should only take measurements, and I’m more or less quoting Coach Stevo here, “if we can look at them with the same objectivity as if we were counting the white cars in the parking lot”.

There needs to be zero emotional investment in the outcomes of the measurements for them to be an effective tool.

Now in my last post, I discussed the infamous fat loss plateau. I even gave some general tips on how to break through a plateau.

Today is about figuring out what to change specifically to conquer a plateau. Keep in mind, there isn’t one single way to take good measurements. This is just the way that makes sense for me and the awesome people I work with in my Online Fat Loss Groups.

Here we go

Pick 3 types of measurements. Every measurement method has a degree of uncertainty to it. We can lessen this degree of uncertainty by taking multiple measurements.

Here are my recommendations. These are based on the information they can yield but also convenience and accessibility.

Measuring Tape

Why: When my clients ask how to gauge results I often recommend paying attention to how their clothes fit. That’s what we want anyways, right? For our clothes to fit better? To be able to fit into the jeans we wore in college? This method is working on that same principal, except with numbers.

How: Wrap the tape around the belly button, belt-line, upper arm, and mid thigh. Or even just pick one of them. Record your measurements.

The grain of salt: The tricky part here is taking the measurement in the exact same spot. Do your best to measure the same point every time.

The Scale

I’ve talked a lot of shit on the scale in the past. I still do. However, it’s a tool that can be useful. A hammer is great if I don’t drop it on my foot.

Just to be clear, don’t take these measurements if they make you feel crazy.

Why/The grain of salt: The scale tells us whether or not we’re eating for weight gain, weight loss, or maintenance. That’s it.

Regardless of our body composition, consuming more calories than we burn causes weight gain. Note that I didn’t say FAT gain. The scale tells us nothing about body composition–whether the weight is fat or muscle.

The scale tells us if we’re eating too many calories or not enough.

Weight fluctuates for an insane amount of different reasons. Try to be mindful of this. For example, weighing yourself on your period will yield zero useful information for your fat loss goals.

How: First thing in the morning before you have consumed ANYTHING. For more accurate readings, weigh yourself 3 days in a row and take the average.

Calipers/Skin-Fold Measurements:

Why: Here we’re dealing with the muscle to fat ratio. This is what fat loss really boils down to. I’ve had many clients confess they don’t care what the scale says if they looked and felt leaner. So that’s what happens.

How: Make a C with your thumb and index finger. Pinch a piece of skin and pull it out a little. Clamp the calipers onto the fold of skin. Record your measurements.

My recommendations for locations to test are on the stomach (one inch to the right of the belly button), the front of the mid-thigh, and the bicep.

The grain of salt: You’re not going to be pinching the EXACT same spot each time you take these measurements. Just do the best you can.

When to take measurements and what to do with your findings

Take measurements every 3 weeks. 3 weeks is enough time for stuff to happen. It’s enough time to know if what we’re doing is working.

If at least 2 out of 3 tests say we’re getting results, we’re good. Stay the course. If we get 1 out of 3 or less we need to reassess.

Next week, in Part 2, I’ll show you what to do if our measurements tell us we need to reassess our fat loss strategy.

The first time you take measurements serves a unique purpose. The first test only serves as something to compare your other measurements with.

But remember, no emotion. None. Be a robot.

1a 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Either way, you should opt in at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/ and get my free ebook “Insanity Free Loss” 🙂

P.S. For further reading on this topic, check out Josh Hillis and Dan John’s book Fat Loss Happens on Monday. Full disclosure, I don’t get a cent from this. It’s just really good information.

I borrowed, and by “borrowed” I mean shamelessly stole, a lot from this book for this post. Gotta give credit where credit is due.

4 Awkwardly Sexual Exercises You Should Be Doing

The title really says it all. Sometimes the best exercises are the least flattering ones.

Now considering that many gyms are probably the least emotionally comfortable place in the world save a locals-only biker bar in Stockton, CA, I understand that what I’m suggesting isn’t appealing.  

That said, if you decide you give zero fucks about what anyone else in the gym thinks, these exercises can help you get a bigger booty, happier hips, eliminate back pain, and unleash your awesome.

I would add that the exercise of not giving a fuck is healthy.

Hip thrust

You put a bar on your hips and hump the shit out of it.

No matter which way you spin it, that’s what this lift is. It’s also the most important exercise for bigger, stronger, nicer glutes.

Don’t chase big numbers on these. Keep the weight moderate and really try to feel your glutes working. At the top position of the lift, squeeze your butt cheeks together like your life depends on it.

 

Tactical frog

Another humpy exercise. This one might be more awkward. I think a more apt name for this exercise would be, “What my friend’s dog does to his pillows”.

 

Band seated abduction

Here you’re basically getting strong at spreading your legs. Many find it unflattering, but it’s a great tool for building a balanced, round butt.

Do these after hip thrusts to get a crazy burn.  Or do them before to help develop the mind-muscle connection. Make sure you’re focused on feeling your glutes contract HARD throughout the movement.

 

Jefferson deadlift

I call these hipster deadlifts because you’ve probably never heard of them.

This lift entails lifting a loaded barbell into your crotch. HAAWWWT.

The Jefferson Deadlift is one of my favorites. And not just because I get an odd satisfaction of people thinking I’m crazy.

While this lift looks bonkers, it’s one of the safer deadlift variations. The bar is centered directly under us which means we put less shear force on the low back. The asymmetrical nature of the lift also means we strengthen our weak links. Most exercises don’t have us moving in this rotational manner, so this lift can help prevent muscle and strength imbalances.

The best exercises usually aren’t the most sexy.

Sometimes they are, in fact, TOO sexy. This is one of those times.

too sexy

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Weekly Fitness Reads: 4/18/16

RTS Coaching: The Reaching Deadbug

I love me some deadbugs! Here’s a great variation to break up the monotony of standard deadbugs. 

Shut Up About Toxins

You may have heard of 10,000 hour rule. Imagine how many hours your liver has been “practicing”. Hint: Humans first appeared on the seen between 8 and 6 million years ago. i.e. the liver is pretty damn good at it’s job.

Simple Tricks To Make Hard Things Easier

I don’t normally share my own articles on here, but this one has been getting a lot of love lately. Apparently people like it. I hope you do too!

 

Did you like this post? Do you hate my guts and want to tell me personally? Get in touch at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Weekly Fitness Reads: 4/4/16

Social Sabotage: How to Respond to Criticism About Your Food and Exercise

Everyone on a fitness journey has experienced this to some degree. This a fantastic write up on the social hurdles that make fitness even harder than it already is. Unsupportive (often unintentionally so) social situations present the biggest detriment to success. The flip side of this is that the right group, the right community, has the biggest positive impact on success. I’m not saying to ditch your friends if they don’t know how to help you. I’m simply recommending you seek out people who are going through the same journey as you. That’s a different discussion though 🙂

Building Core Control with “The Bear”

I’m mortally terrified of bears. Any physical form of defense, outside of using tools, a bear can do better than a human. Think about it. They’re better evolved for running, swimming, climbing, you name it. And they’re certainly stronger. And they have claws and teeth. When I heard the name of this exercise I did have a moment of dread. Upon further exploration I came to realize this bear was not something to be feared, but to be celebrated.

5 Fat Loss Mistakes That Most People Miss

Most of the problems we have with fat loss are a matter of implementation. And implementation is a balance between strategy and perspective. I know that sounds vague and unexciting. This is because what works for me won’t necessarily work for you. We’re different people, with different lives. That said, there are some strategies and tips that work often and are worth a try. Just remember that this is all an experiment.

 

Learn more about sustainable, non-obsessive, no bullshit fat loss at http://mortontrainingsystems.com/

Weekly Fitness Reads:12/28/15

Ermahgerd! This is the last Weekly Fitness Reads of 2015! I don’t know about you, but I’m excited. My prediction is that 2016 will yield some pretty kick ass content, which I will continue to share with you, the awesome reader. Anyways, hope you enjoy this week’s list!

https://www.stumptuous.com/are-we-destined-to-be-fat

This was a nice overview and summary of the immensely complicated topic of obesity and genetics. It seems there is certainly a connection between the two, but like everything it’s not cut a dry. A discussion about genetics has nuance. Go figure, right? 😛

https://www.t-nation.com/training/operation-barbell-10-money-exercises

I’m pretty much always down for ridiculousness, necesary or otherwise. Ridiculousness worked into an article strength training? I’m in.

https://medium.com/@jillfit/8-ways-to-be-an-anti-perfectionist-in-2015-13a30bd8b48c#.6310e9mes

Perfection is the natural sworn enemy of success, like goats and chupacabras. Perfectionism is also a very tempting and easy trap to fall into. But there is hope. There are ways to tackle our perfectionist tendencies. In fact, there are at least 8 ways to rid ourselves of the stagnation perfectionism brings.

 

Oh hey! Don’t forget to reserve your spot in my online coaching group before January 15! Fill out a short form to get on the list!

Weekly Fitness Reads: 12/14/15

http://erikanapoletano.com/fu-yoga

Showing up is truly the hardest part.

https://www.t-nation.com/training/shut-up-and-get-strong

Strength helps with pretty much everything. From fat loss, to helping your college buddy move his furniture, to beating the water temple without busting a capillary– getting stronger makes life easier. The good news is that for most, building strength isn’t super complicated. It may not be easy, but it ain’t complicated.

http://anymanfitness.com/fitness-traps-to-avoid-stupid-social-norms/

Admittedly, I decided to share this after the first sentence. I would, however, add one more element to this article. Not giving a fuck is great for fitness goals. However, taken to an extreme this can also be a trap. Being enraptured with fitness goals to the point of social isolation, as I was, is not healthy. It’s a very lonely place to be and I don’t recommend it. That said, it’s definitely worth considering which social norms regarding food are important to us.