Weekly Fitness Reads: 5/16/16

https://authoritynutrition.com/13-tips-to-stop-mindless-eating/

We eat most of our extra calories without realizing it. Being mindful might be the most important skill in eating for fat loss. It’s not easy though. Here are 13 science backed ways to limit mindless eating.

http://tonygentilcore.com/2016/05/why-train-the-posterior-chain/?utm_source=tony&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=whytrainposteriorchain050916

The posterior chain consists of the low back, glutes, hamstrings and calves. It’s basically everything you can’t see in the mirror. While a nice backside can be easy on the eyes, there are also some very important reasons other than appearance that we should focus on this area more than the mirror muscles. This piece does a great job of explaining why and how to train the posterior chain.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/05/05/health/afternoon-hunger-munchies/index.html

The picture is often bigger than we perceive. Lots of mindless snacking happens in the afternoon. But why?

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5 Signs Discipline Is Not Your Problem

(Snappy sentence to get the reader’s beak wet.)

(Paragraph explaining why this topic is important.)

(Bad Pun).

1. You wake up with an alarm

Waking up to an alarm might be the most painful part of the day. When my alarm goes off I shriek like I’m being stabbed in the spleen.

Yet somehow we manage to do this day in day out. It requires a metric shit-ton of discipline to do something that uncomfortable day in day out.

2. You have a consistent job

Staying at a job, especially one you hate, requires an additional shit-ton of discipline. In fact, eating better might be so goddamn hard because you exhaust tons of willpower holding your tongue instead of telling your boss what you really think.

3. You have kids

You don’t need to have kids to know that parenting is TOUGH.

While I don’t have kids. I was one once upon a time.

And I was a little asshole. I can’t even imagine how much discipline is needed to parent the most mellow children, let alone a specimen like myself.

4. You graduated

School is grueling.

If you made it through school, even with all the procrastination, you have demonstrated an immense capacity for persistence and discipline.

Writing tons of papers on topics you may or may not care about is no easy task, my friend.

The option of quitting is always present whether we consider it or not.

5. You’ve stuck with anything for an extended period of time

Fitness people don’t have more or less discipline than anyone else. They just have different habits. Furthermore, it’s what they LIKE to do!

Enter Entrepreneur Gary Vaynerchuck :

“Fitness entrepreneurs want to do the minimal work and still expect a huge return. It’s easy for fitness entrepreneurs to do the push ups, to do the squats and deadlifts because that is exactly what got them to where they are now. They started in fitness and now they want to make money just by having those guns or that body. They default into what is easy without recognizing what is hard: running an actual business.

You know what was hard for me? Waking up early. Not eating what I wanted to eat. Powering through workouts. Yet it was easy to build 50M dollar businesses.”

This is why picking an exercise style you enjoy is the most important factor for success. Consistency trumps everything. Consistency requires the discipline to take things slowly.

When people tell me they need more discipline to get fit, I gently tell them I’m not convinced.

Simply getting through this struggle called life takes discipline.

discipline

While I may not have met you, I know you have demonstrated discipline and persistence in more than a few instances throughout your life.  

Justifications

You’re probably like me. Since you’re reading this I’m guessing you’re somewhat hard on yourself.

I can hear the justifications for why none of these “signs” are a big deal and that you do them because you have to.

Here’s the truth.

You don’t.

You could quit your job.

You could be a shitty parent who isn’t invested in their kids’ well-being.

Even if your parents were “making” you go to school, you could have walked away. Yes, your parents would have been pissed. That doesn’t mean it wasn’t an option.

We always have a choice– Even when there are physical repercussions or risks we still have a choice.

“I can’t steal a car because then I’d go to jail”

That doesn’t stop people from doing it. Legality alone isn’t what’s stopping you becoming a car thief. I’m willing to bet you have other reasons.

I can’t make anybody do anything. And I don’t want to.

Being too positive is delusional. However, us pessimists are dishonest with ourselves too. Excessive negativity perpetuates inaccuracy.

Being gentle with ourselves is about having a more precise, realistic view of how we navigate this shit-storm called life.

It’s about being honest for the things we have done well so we can do more things well.

One aspect of my role in  the Tribe of Badassery Online Coaching Group, is to help the tribe actualize the capacity for persistence they already have. We cultivate a culture of judgement-free self-honesty (read accountability and support) and trust. This means the members of the group can transfer their disciplined nature to their fitness struggles so they can carry groceries up the stairs without feeling out of shape and get rid of the anxiety of wearing a tank top.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it:

  1. Sit down with a piece of paper and pen. Write down at least 5 times you demonstrated discipline and persistence.
  2. For each of those times write out 5 reasons you were able to be disciplined and persistent.
  3. Write out at least 5 reasons why your fitness goal is important to. Try to find every single reason, but write down at least 5.
  4. Brainstorm some ways you could exercise persistence with your fitness goal.
  5. Join my free Facebook group and share your reflections with amazing people who are going through the same struggles as you. Sharing your reflection will help someone be a more awesome version of themselves, but there’s no pressure if you don’t feel comfortable with the idea. Either way, we would love to have you.

 

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” 🙂

 

Do I Need To Be Hungry To Lose Weight?

What exactly do we mean by hunger?

Let’s lay down a few terms.

Level 1: Sort of hungry: I could eat a little something, but I’m not ravenous.

Level 2: Hungry: If I don’t eat something in an hour I’m going to be really hungry.

Level 3: Really Hungry: Thanksgiving sounds perfect.

Level 4: Hangry: When did you turn into a hot dog? Also, why do I HATE EVERYONE ALL OF THE SUDDEN!?!

Level 5: Hangry Like the Wolf: My stomach is about to implode in on itself. I’m too famished to be pissy. I’m in physical pain. Carry me up the mountain Sam!

samwise

You don’t need to be Level 3 hungry all the time to lose weight. Maybe if you’re cutting weight for a fight or a photoshoot or something like that, maybe. I just don’t know. That’s not my field of expertise. That’s not who I speak to when I write.

Phew! Glad that’s out of the way!

Who am I speaking to?

People who want a reasonable level of leanness. They want some muscular definition. They want to feel hot when they’re nekkid. They’re not trying to get to -3% body fat or whatever. They just don’t want to feel flabby.

You don’t need to starve yourself and be miserable to make your thighs and stomach feel tighter.

However, it is necessary to deal with hunger in it’s many forms. For instance, we shouldn’t panic when hunger hits. That’s a signal that it’s time to eat.

So in this sense yes, we do need to feel hungry…sometimes. However, we don’t need to be hungry.

Depending on how lean you’re trying to get and how lean you are presently, the relationship with hunger is going to be slightly different.

And in some cases it will be required that we feel Level 1 hunger often. However, being perpetually Level 2 hungry or higher, isn’t necessary or productive in any case. 

Let’s take two scenarios and discuss how hunger relates to fat loss with each.

I feel like I have a lot of weight to lose

If you do your nutrition right you don’t need to feel chronic hunger.

We can balance satiety with a caloric deficit by getting most (80-90%) of our calories from things like lean proteins and colorful plants. If you’re eating like this, even if you go a little overboard on portions, you’ll still probably end up dropping weight.

You can technically lose weight eating hamburgers and french fries all the time, but then we have to worry about portion control and shit. And honestly, that’s just more effort than I’m willing to put in. But if that works for you, if that’s an easier habit to change, awesome 🙂

At this point in the fat loss journey, we have a bit of wiggle room. We can maintain a large caloric deficit without adverse health effects. As you lean out, you won’t be able to cut calories this drastically. This is because you won’t have as many calories to cut out!

The less you weigh, the less calories are required to maintain that weight. The heavier you are, the more calories your body needs to sustain itself.

Cutting 1,000 calories means very different things to a 100 lbs individual vs. a 200 lbs individual.

I’m on the last leg of my fat loss journey. Do I need to be Level 2 hungry all the time?

No.

Level 1? Maybe?

Level 2? Probably not.

People often hit a plateau at this point. The game changes a little bit.

Because you have less calories to spare there’s a greater chance that losing additional weight will require being Level 1 hungry often.

This also depends on how fast you’re trying to lose weight. If you’re willing to be patient, we don’t need to feel hungry as often. This is what I recommend in my Online Fat Loss Groups. However, my clients goals are their own, so I help them with whatever they want help with.

I recommend using portion control as a last resort because it’s hard and often unnecessary. Improving food quality and listening to hunger cues is usually enough.

Only after a client has their food quality dialed in (lean proteins and veggies=90% of diet) will we look at portion sizes.

Smaller portions may result in feeling Level 1 hunger more often, at least until you reach your goal weight.

Sometimes we’re not actually as hungry as we think. It takes time to adjust to smaller portions, physically and mentally.

And we still want to limit feelings of deprivation. This will take some experimentation to find a happy medium between enjoyment, sustainability, and results

We still want fat loss to be as easy as we can make it. That said, pushing through a plateau is challenging. That’s why it’s a plateau.

If you’ve hit this plateau and don’t know what to do, measurements can be helpful. That said, if taking measurements can make you feel crazy and/or upset, it’s not a good idea for the time being.

Measurements are a tool to assess gaps in your strategy. Only take measurements if you can analyze them objectively, with zero emotion. This means don’t look at the scale unless it gives you no feelz whatsoever. Not one single feel.

In any case, feeling really hungry occasionally isn’t the end of the world.

Hanger makes choosing healthy foods more difficult psychologically. However, it’s just an unpleasant feeling, not unlike being exhausted or having to pee really bad (totally stole this comparison from an interview with Georgie Fear btw).

We have to deal with unpleasant feelings from time to time because life.

The big takeaway here is that learning to listen to our hunger cues is important and takes time to master.

Listening to hunger cues entails 3 main tenets

  1. Eating when we’re hungry.
  2. Stopping when we’re satisfied.
  3. Not deliberately making ourselves ravenous in an effort to cut calories.

We want to moderate hanger so that making healthier choices is easier. However, we also want to be OK with the feeling of hunger as that’s our body telling us it’s time to eat.

On that note, I’m getting pretty hungry. Bagel time!

 

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 Fat Loss” 🙂

 

How To Minimize Gym Time And Make Room For The Rest Of Life

Lifting is one of my favorite activities.

That said, I don’t want to spend all my time in the damn gym. As much as I love picking up heavy things and putting them down, I need balance. Gym-ing all the time doesn’t make me feel happy, balanced, or grounded

More isn’t always better. Sometimes it is though.

If someone only does the elliptical, more lifting is a plus. Now, if hypothetically someone hypothetically was training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and Muay Thai twice a day, 6 days a week, in addition lifting 3 times a week, this hypothetical person probably doesn’t need more exercise.

In case you didn’t pick up what I was putting down, I was the “hypothetical” person bt-dubs.

We don’t need to spend all of our life-force on our fat loss pursuits to get that line of definition on the back of our arms that makes wearing a tank top feel more awesome.

Now, creating lasting healthy nutrition habits with minimal mental energy and time is a different discussion. And I would be more than happy to write about it in the near future.

If you’re interested in this topic email me at jeff@mortontrainingsystems.com with the subject line: Write the damn thing already!

Today, for clarity’s sake I want to focus on cutting down gym time. For now, I’ll give you some tactics you can start implementing today to minimize your gym time and still get as sexy as you wanna be.

You don’t need to lift everyday

In fact, I wrote an entire other blog post on why 3 or 4 days of lifting is usually optimal. Check it out here: How Many Times A Week Should I Workout?

Focus on the Big Rocks

Devote the majority of your gym time to practicing bang-for-your-buck exercises. This means you’ll only be doing 5 or 6 exercises per session.

bigrocks

Compound, Multi-joint exercises are where the money’s at. Our gym sessions should revolve around the 5 fundamental movements (Push, Pull, Squat, Hinge, Carry) which all happen to be compound exercises.

We can explain the term Compound (multi-joint) by comparing it to Isolation (Single Joint) movements.

An example of this comparison would be Squats (Compound) vs. Machine Leg Extensions (Isolation). Squats involve movement at the ankles, knees, and hips in addition to a shitload of spinal stability. Leg Extensions involve movement solely at the knee.

More examples of compound lifts include: Bench Press (Push), Bent Over Row (Pull), Lunge (Squat), Sumo Deadlift (Hinge), and Farmer Walk (Carry).

Compound movements win because they’re efficient. You can work more muscle groups in less time. Furthermore, because many muscles are working together in compound lifts, you can hit each muscle involved harder than you could with an isolation move. A boat with many rowers is more powerful than a boat with one rower.

Let’s look at the deadlift. We can break it down into the muscles involved, and we will, but it doesn’t really do the lift justice in describing its benefits.

bobpeoples

The deadlift works the entire back, thighs, butt, deep abs, forearms, shoulders, calves, some arms i.e. everything.

Using every muscle in your body at once means you can lift a lot of weight. Each of those muscles is being loaded with much more weight than it could handle on it’s own. Go team!

It’s an instance of the whole being greater than the sum of the parts. Like you! 🙂

The result is a greater training effect in less time with less exercises. Yeah Buddy!

If you absolutely need to throw in some curls or whatever, set a timer for 15 minutes at the end of your session. This is your cut off time. After that timer goes off, you’re done! Get out of the gym and go have a few laughs with some friends.

Last Point

Stop doing cardio if it makes you associate the gym with masochism. Cardio can be great. Some people love it. It makes them feel as good as hitting the devil’s lettuce. That said, if it ain’t doing anything for you, scrap it.

Use that time and energy for something that’s important to you–something you feel like you never have enough time for.

 

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 🙂

 

Simple Tricks to Make Hard Things Easier

We waste a lot of time.

Like,  A LOT of time.

We accumulate wasted time in tiny little segments throughout our day, throughout our week,  month etc.

time travel

Now we are busy. This isn’t an illusion by any stretch. But often times we’re not as busy as we think.

My theory is that we waste time to cope with the stress of feeling perpetually busy. Or maybe we only have 5 minutes free, which is enough time to go on Facebook, but doesn’t seem like enough time to crack into a novel, or learn a language, or look for good chicken recipes .

Either way those 5 minute space-outs add up.

Most of the time we aren’t even aware we’re doing it. I can safely say I constantly find myself compulsively opening Facebook.

This is just one more example of how our brains put us on autopilot, and the effect this can have.

Time management isn’t the only area where this happens, but it’s an easy example because Math.

There are small easinesses (yes, it’s a word. I looked it up) that make this time wastage so fluid. When Netflix automatically goes to the next episode my decision becomes much easier. There almost is no decision.

Now, if we have to actually click on the episode to watch it, we have a greater likelihood of stopping at some point and maybe actually going outside and taking out the damn garbage.

Convenience is king.

As far as fitness is concerned, I see two ways to make life easier.

One is to remove a barrier to a desired behavior. For example, keeping pre-chopped vegetables in the house, making them more convenient to cook.

The second is to create a barrier to a behavior I’d like to get rid of. For example, not buying the Costco size bag of Twix, and downsizing to a 2 or 3 bar package.

Manufacturing hurdles for ourselves can be a great way to reinforce proper time allocation and healthy habits.

Here are just a few ideas:

-Always sign out of Facebook/Gmail/Instagram etc.

-Don’t keep junk food in the house. Have the ice cream, just don’t keep a pint of glorious -Phish Food in the house at all times.

-Delete time wasting/unnecessary apps from your phone.

-Don’t keep your credit card on file for GrubHub(This one would have saved me a few hundred bucks had I thought of it sooner)

These are just a few inconveniences I’ve found helpful.

What are your ideas? I, and anyone reading this, would love to hear them.  Your idea could help someone, so don’t be shy and leave your idea(s) in the comments 🙂

 

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Deadlifts: The Best Friend in Romantic Comedies

You know the trope: The best friend who always gets pushed aside for some rich douche-canoe with great hair.

In the end though, the leading lady realizes that her best friend is actually everything she ever wanted. The best friend can provide her everything she needs to be the best, happiest version of herself.

“Jeff, have you ever actually seen a Rom-Com?”

Don’t be silly. Of course I haven’t.

The deadlift is your best friend.

The deadlift is right in front of us so we often ignore it. But when we look at what we really want:

-Less gym time

-Joints that don’t ache

-A great ass that makes us feel mega sexy all the time

-A lifelong physical resiliency that allows us to go on any new adventure we want

-Oh yeah, and to feel more comfortable without a shirt

The deadlift gives us these things. Once we realize that, we easily and organically fall in love with it. We realize we were wasting our time with that jerk Chad.

Chad is expensive and takes up a lot of your energy. Chad requires a lot of maintenance and attention. He often makes us feel worse about ourselves when we realize we’re not happy even though we should be. Everyone says he’s perfect after all. He gives us what we think we want. He gives us what society tells us we want. These things are superficial. Chad will never give us what we value.

Chad is cardio.

hamster wheel

Chad is also a hamster, apparently

There’s nothing terrible about Chad. He’s a bit of an asshat, but he’s not a sociopath or anything. He’s simply not “the one”. He doesn’t help us grow, like our best friend can.

That’s not to say you can’t still be friends with Chad if you want to. However, the best friend will give you much more of what you need to feel awesome, confident, and complete in the other areas of your life.

 

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:11/30/15

http://www.precisionnutrition.com/healthy-habits-youre-already-doing

I love this. Saying the we need to change our behaviors to get results can be somewhat misleading. Yes, somethings will need to change but that doesn’t mean we need to change everything. Often times this change just means doing more of the things we are already doing. Most people eat some sort of colorful plant at some point, so that means we don’t need to completely flip around are eating habits, just that we need to increase the frequency of this one behavior that we are already doing.

http://tonygentilcore.com/2015/11/5-mobility-exercises-youve-probably-never-done-but-should/

Dean knows his shit. And he has a new product that I’m pretty damn excited to try out. Mobility has been gaining some traction in the fitness world, and for good reason. However, the purpose and concepts of mobility are often misunderstood and misapplied. This piece not only gives some great drills but also provides information on proper application and usage.

http://seanarmstrongfitness.co.uk/2015/11/26/get-food-diet/

I thought this was a pretty good explanation of how satiety and calories work, as well as how to balance them. It’s an important concept for sure. It’s OK, and I would argue necessary, to be full after most meals.  Leaving a meal satisfied means we don’t end up getting hangry and eating a tub of Phish Food when the new season of House of Cards comes out. Not that there is anything wrong with doing that(that’s probably exactly what I’ll do when the time comes). However, doing that too often can be counterproductive for weight loss goals.