Monthly Archives: December 2011

Create your own training plan

Continuing the why people fail and working out will never be the same again series, today I’m going to talk about creating your own customized training plan. Yes, I get paid to do this stuff. But there’s only so many people I can consult with and with a wait-list right now that I’m sure is never-ending, the best and, possibly, only way I can reach out and help make a difference is by teaching you how to create your own training plan. And that is exactly what I’m doing in this post.

Excuses are BS (yea yea, I know I’ve said this a million times before but if you’re getting a free training program out of me, you better sit through this). No one really puts any thought  before they come up with an excuse. Let me explain. Say you know you’re fat but you’re not doing anything about it. And one day someone asks you why you don’t workout and you instantly say…

Well, I never have the time. Work keeps me busy during the day and at night I need to blah blah.

But tell me this honestly – is this true? I mean, did you truly put any thought into this answer? Did you write down everything you do in a day from the time you wake up to the time you sleep? Did you honestly make an effort to find time to workout? Did you try to move things around a tiny bit to give yourself the time to take care of your body? Heck no! Why? ‘Cos if you did do these things, you would’ve absolutely found or made the time to workout.

Listen. 30-40 min is all you need to get a good workout and that works out to ~ 120 min per week. I refuse to believe that you’re swamped for the entire 10,080 minutes of the week that you can’t dedicate a paltry 1% of it to fitness. Sorry, you’re so full of BS if “no time” is your excuse.

That said, what can you do in 30-40 minutes that qualifies as a good workout?

Plan to create

Before we get to the specifics, here are some you-better-knows.

  1. You don’t have to go to the gym to get a good workout. In fact, you don’t have to go anywhere to get a good workout. You can get a pretty darn awesome workout at home in your living room or bedroom or your garage or the patio.
  2. You don’t need any machines or equipment to train. All you need is resistance and it doesn’t matter where this resistance comes from or how you generate it. If you have a body, you’re good to go.
  3. You don’t need to do cardio. You can get all the cardiovascular benefit and more from resistance and interval training.
  4. You don’t need to train more than 3 days a week to get and/or stay fit.

Now that you know better, here are a couple of things you need to do before actually creating a plan or working out.

1 – Find or make the time to workout! Stop kidding yourself. You can dedicate 40 mins every other day to workout. It doesn’t matter if this is in the morning, afternoon, even or night. Find that tiny window.

2 – Make training a part of your schedule. Not a ‘nice to do’, but a ‘to do’.

Create the plan

You (like most people) don’t do anything about your fitness ‘cos you don’t know what to do! Even the day you decide to workout, you walk into the gym without having the slightest idea of what to do and hence end up doing what everyone else there does or rely on a trainer to tell you what to do. And sadly for you, what everyone else is doing is nothing more than wasting time and money and what the trainer will have you do is not too different from that.

So, like how a new cook needs a good recipe to make a decent tasting dish, you need to create a training plan from a solid template to produce any kind of result. Here is how you do it.

On Monday, choose one each of a lower body move (squat, lunge, squat jump etc.), an upper body push (knee-pushups, pushups, pike presses, dips etc.), an upper body pull (pullups, inverted rows etc.) and a speed move (high knees, jumping jacks, box jumps etc). Do 50 perfect reps of the first 3 moves and 150 quick & clean reps of the last move. Do this is in as many sets as required resting as needed, but never go to completely failure. If this is too high a number, start with a number that you can complete in 30 minutes. From there, keep increasing the reps by 10% each week and try to complete in under 30 minutes each time. Keep progressing.

On Wednesday, either sprint or do wall sprints at max effort for 20 seconds. Rest 30 seconds. Repeat this for a total of 6 rounds. Next week, reduce the rest period to 25 seconds and increase total rounds by one. Keep progressing by reducing rest period and increasing number of rounds.

On Friday, do burpees! Learn to do perfect 6-step burpees and do as many of them as possible (with perfect form) in 10 minutes. It doesn’t matter how many you do. Note down your number and, next week, try to get more burpees in the same 10 minutes. Once you are able to get 100 perfect 6-step burpees in 10 minutes, move on to burpee pullups or double pushup burpees. If you can’t do 6-step burpees ‘cos you don’t have a pushup, start with 4-step burpees and work towards progressing to the 6-step version.

There you have it – a workout program that needs no equipment, no gym, no learning curve, demands less than 60 minutes per week and brutally effective!  If you are a beginner/intermediate and/or the kinds that finds excuses to get a workout in, this is your solution!

Remember – It isn’t about how complicated your program is. It is about how consistent you are at it. If you are sedentary/lazy/full of excuses right now, what harm can come from dedicating a total of 60 minutes per week for fitness? Seriously, what do you have to lose? Open your mind and try something new. Give it a shot!

Peace out.

Working out will never be the same again!

I know I have been MIA for a while now. Apologies for that and promise to post much more regularly starting today. But, if you noticed, lately I’ve been writing articles that are less technical and more motivational/practical. No apologies for that really. ‘Cos there really is a reason I started doing that. Honestly, who do you think reads sciency technical articles on nutrition/fitness? Only folks who are already interested in nutrition and/or fitness! Now when I tell these people do blah blah exercise ‘cos it does blah blah, thats just preaching to the choir, isn’t it? But for most folks who aren’t already into health and/or fitness, the struggle is just to get started! The struggle is to find a reason to actually workout. The struggle is to find motivation. The struggle is to find an activity that is sustainable. The struggle is to get past the excuses!

And whats the best way to get past these struggles?

  • Try something different.
  • Get outside your comfort zone.
  • Find something thats fun.
  • Consider joining a group, so you stay motivated to reach your goal.

Or in other words, change the way you look at fitness!

In the coming weeks, I will be writing a bunch more about unconventional training methods, quick & effective training, creative equipmentless training and basically, ways to make working out interesting and sustainable. But until then, I hope this short video will keep you motivated to stay fit and prove to you that going into a gym to use machines isn’t the only way to train!

Please do share the video and help us spread the good word! Thanks a bunch.

– Peace out.

Do something already!

We read about the why people think they fail in their fat loss goals and then we read about why fat loss is truly simple… and now comes the most important part.

Its not all or nothing!

Say you want to go from point A to point B. Will you ever get to point B if you don’t ever leave point A? More specifically, if you want to go from fatburg to fitshire, irrespective of how long your journey is, will you ever get to fitshire if you won’t ever leave fatburg?

My point is, most people lose the battle cos they refuse to fight it! The most important step towards reaching your goals is to not do the right thing but to…

do something!

If you know you’re in bad shape or want to get in better shape, well, do something about it already! Stop complaining. Stop whining. Stop finding excuses. Stop waiting for the best opportunity. Just freakin DO SOMETHING!

And what is something? Honestly, anything other than nothing is something. Off the top of my head, here are a few ‘somethings’ you can do.

  • Drop junk. Start by reducing the frequency of junk consumption.
  • Eat more protein. If you’re vegetarian read this article.
  • Make a conscious effort to eat more vegetables and less starch.
  • Drop wheat and other potential allergens for the most part. i.e. dont fear wheat, but don’t make it a staple either.
  • Dump vegetable oils at home. Enjoy your ghee and butter and coconut oil and save the vegetable oils for the unavoidable situations.
  • Move some weight. Doesnt matter if these are barbells or bar stools. Move em!
  • Do pushups, squats and chinups if you can do them. If you can’t, feel ashamed and work on getting strong enough to do them.
  • Stay mobile. Don’t sit if you can stand. Don’t stand if you can walk. Make a decision to walk 15 min today. Walk for an extra 2 min every day and in a month you would have found enough time and heart to walk 75 mins a day.
  • Sprint. If you don’t know how to sprint, run as fast as you can for a short distance. Rest for a couple of mins and repeat a few times.
  • Work on developing some common sense. No seriously. Pizza doesn’t make you obese. Sugar doesn’t kill. Stupidity resulting in frequent uncontrolled gluttony is what messes you up.

It is not all or nothing folks… its never all or nothing. You don’t have to do everything I recommend (or anyone else does). Find what works for you at this very moment and start with that. You can make further improvements later.

As a matter of fact, as you read this line right now, make a decision to do something. Small, big… doesn’t matter. Make a decision… quick! Confused? OK here is one I recommend – throw out the junk from the house. All of it. If you want junk, you can walk to the store, buy some and eat it there. We’ll figure out the rest later. Just do this for now.

Don’t refuse to start cos its all too intimidating.

I now eat a diet that is 70% grains (rice or wheat) with some vegetables cooked in vegetable oil, some low fat dairy, fruit juice and snacks. You want me to dump all grains and fruit juice? Ok that’s 80% of my diet gone! And you want me to dump vegetable oils? Ok… thats another 10% gone! And you want me to eat only whole organic dairy? Wow Raj! You’re telling me everything I eat is wrong. Your approach is too intimidating! I’ll get to it when I am in a better place in life.

I get this all the time and I totally understand where you are coming from. But remember, it took you 20+ years to be able to earn and support yourself and a family. Imagine doing this when you were 13? Scary shit right? Same deal! Making a complete dietary change might be too hard and intimidating for you. If that is the case, take it slow. Make one change at a time. Transition into eating real food. It is much easier than you think it is.

There is money on the table!

Too many people fuck around too much and end up doing nothing. This is truly the story of everyone’s life. I understand there is so much information about fat loss and health (all claiming to be legit) out there and it is equally easy to be overwhelmed with all this as it is to stay ignorant. But, seriously, cut the crap.

Listen. I know berries have more fiber and anti-oxidants than bananas. Yes, ghee is better than butter. And yea, sprinting is more beneficial than low intensity cardio. But these are minutiae! If you can reduce your consumption of junk food, industrial seed oils and allergenic grains (wheat, quinoa etc.) to once or twice a week,  eat more organic vegetables, fruits, meat and good fats and stay active in life by moving some, playing a sport and/or training smart 2-3 times a week, you are 90% there! In other words, these are money on the table! Just pick em up! Figure out the rest later.

Truth is, you will always find one excuse or the other to put this away. Why? Because transformations are hard and you, naturally, will find reasons to avoid doing it. Explains the astronomical success of the supplement industry in the recent years doesn’t it?

Stop waiting for the most perfect diet or the one pill that will make you look awesome or everything in life to line up so you can start eating well ‘cos these things won’t ever happen! Be it “I work 12 hours a day” or “I don’t want to shower twice a day” or “My gym is too far” or “I don’t know how to cook real food”, they all mean the same thing – “I don’t have the will to commit to making a change. I’m weak. I’m not efficient enough to make time for my and my family’s health. I’m full of excuses!”

You and only you can make a difference to your health and it is up to you to do so. Or let’s make this 937 word article short and just say…

Suck it up and do something already!

Peace out.

Can’t lose fat? Come on! You’re not that stupid!

Warning: This does start off a little over the top, but it gets better. Stick with me. You’ll be happy you did.

In the last article I presented a bunch of responses that were submitted to the following question…

Sticking to a nutrition and/or training plan for a very short period of, say, 10 weeks. Assuming this will produce visible results and quite literally change your life wrt health & fitness…

Why can’t you do it? Why do you break? Why is consistency a problem?

While the nature of answers were very different, they all had one thing in common. Most people didn’t have an issue with the diet or the workout program or the complexity as much as they had issues with…

“I”

So, today, let’s forget high reps, low reps, low fat, low carb, distance running, resistance training and everything else related to nutrition and training and go to step 0. The step where one needs to realize that he/she is capable of losing fat and/or regaining health!

Are you really that stupid?

I need to get this off my chest and, more importantly, I need to get this into your head. In my opinion, anyone who is obese has to pretty stupid. Of course, this excludes the unfortunate few with genetic hormonal dysregulations/imbalances etc. But my point is that you don’t go to bed all fit n cut and wake up fat n flabby!

Becoming overweight or obese is a result of many many months of crappy eating and/or a sedentary lifestyle. It is impossible for any human to become overweight overnight. And I’ll stop here, ‘cos Calvin and I have discussed this in the past and you’re better off reading that than my ramblings today.

But this is what I don’t get – you have PLENTY of feedback about you getting fat. Your trousers feel like a noose and the buttons on your shirt get shot into thin air not being able to handle your chub! I mean, come on! You HAVE TO know this! And once your clothes don’t fit you, they don’t grow. You physically have to go to a store, choose clothes that are a size bigger, reach inside your wallet/bag and pay money for it. So don’t give me that ‘oh it sneaked up on me’ crap anymore! You knew you were getting fat and you let it happen. Period.

Gaining a few pounds, going up a size, adding a little chub – I understand. Life happens. But letting yourself go to a point of becoming obese or 40+ lbs overweight? Are you kidding me? Are you really that stupid?

Now don’t get all defensive here. I used to be fat too and I had all the excuses you do right now. I know how it feels to get fat, to live fat and to go from fat to fit. So be a sport and take a hit! Its OK to be called stupid when do do something stupid. You know… like when I asked my clients in India to eat a cartload of vegetables without having the slightest idea about the pesticide scare here. Like when I ran 50 miles a week and encouraged everyone I met to do so. Like when I tried to explain to my wife why she was wrong. Like when I write stuff that I shouldn’t on the blog. Like right now.

Actually, you’re not that stupid

But funnily enough, you are, obviously, not that stupid. I mean, your life resume is pretty impressive! Confused? This is what I mean –

  • You learnt to walk
  • You learnt one or more languages
  • You completed school and college (at least)
  • You learnt to use a computer and navigate through the internet
  • You were able to find yourself a job and at least do well enough to not get fired
  • You were able to give birth and/or raise one or more children

See my point? These are all tasks that are harder than fat loss… MUCH harder than fat loss. And guess what? These tasks also take much longer to master/compete than a fat loss program! And, clearly, you have been able to do these things pretty darn well. Any person who has done all this… can’t be stupid now can they? So what is it then?

Consistency! Commitment! Regularity!

You don’t have them! Right? Wrong! Let me explain.

You are committed. Very committed indeed. Just look at those tasks you did complete! Let’s take a couple of examples.

  • School – If you did complete school, that is ~ 2400 to 2800 days of going to a place and doing what was expected out of you. Sure, some excelled and some didnt, but all of you actually did it! You were consistent… you were committed… and even if your attendance % was 70, you were pretty darn regular.
  • Work – If you are able to afford a computer and read this article on the internet, I’ll assume you have a job… a job to which you show up to at least 4-5 times a week. Irrespective of what the job is, you somehow manage to stay consistent and committed and regular!

So you are can be consistent, committed and regular with nutrition and training too. But you just won’t be! Why? Maybe because mommy isn’t there to smack you in the ass every time you stuff your face? Maybe because you don’t run the risk of living on the street if you won’t show up for training?

But it doesn’t matter. And, No. I’m not going to give you the ‘You’re an adult now and you ought to know better!’ speech… ‘cos you are an adult now and you ought to know better!

Realize first and then you shall redeem yourself

Listen, irrespective of what the reason is, realize that you can do this. I’ve said it plenty of times before – fat loss is very simple… not easy… but simple. As a matter of fact, every single client of mine, who has done what he/she has been asked to do, has seen impressive results (Except a handful of women who started gaining weight very rapidly after starting to work with me. But thats because they got super fertile after making the dietary changes and hence got pregnant! So watch out!). And these people are exactly like you – People who live super busy lives with kids and responsibilities and demanding jobs! These are smart people like you who let themselves go since health didn’t feature in their list of priorities. After reading this blog or due to some knock-on-the-head incident in life, they realized that they have let themselves go a little too much and decided to make a change. And what happened?

Realization -> Decision -> Action -> Redemption

My point is…

Step 1 – Realize that you can do this! You completed 14 yrs of schooling… you can complete 6 months of a body/health transformation phase! You fought your way through life and landed yourself in a nice job… you can suck it up for 6 months and find yourself looking and feeling awesome!

Step 2 – Decide that your health needs to be one of your top priorities. Understand that letting go of your health will result in a short life that is filled only with guilty short-lived pleasures that die the moment they pass the lips!

Step 3 – Act! Don’t mess around too much. There are enough theories and diets and training plans around that can make you go in circles for the next 3000 years. Find someone who can help you with this and get started! You’re better off doing something properly than perennially looking for that magic bullet or that perfect diet/training plan. Again… do something about it!

Step 4 – Redeem yourself by staying patient and true to your goals. My best clients are the ones that pester me the most. They question and question until they understand every word of the plan I have designed for them. But once they understand why they are doing what, the questions cease, greed (for results overnight) flies out the window and results show up!

Remember – I and 90% of those making transformations are in no way genetically gifted or superior than today’s normal below average human and if we can do it, so can you. Life is just better when you’re fit! Give it a shot. You’ll be happy you did.

Peace out!

PS: As stated earlier, this is just the start of a large series. Stick around and you’ll be free… free from obsessive dieting, free from compulsive exercising and free from this vicious  cycle of craving, indulging and guilt!

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