I’m a big fan of simplicity. One of the reasons I took up raining as exercise in college was that it was pretty straightforward - put on a pair of shoes and run.
Or, depending on where you live and how you roll - just run.
Over the weekend I had the good fortune to join other fitness professionals for a three-day summit at Perform Better and one of my favorite speakers, hands down, was Rachel Cosgrove. She’s an expert at working with females and getting results and she spoke to a good reminder that I think we all easily forget.
Focus on the big rocks.
This reminder has been a big part of my studies with Precision Nutrition - the idea of mastering the basics before getting too far down the rabbit hole of intermittent fasting, which supplements to take, or eating your protein while riding a goat off into the sunset with a koala bear.
Those are the weeds.
Although if you want to ride a goat with a koala bear, well, call me up because they’re both pretty stinkin’ cute.
Some of the big rocks in training include training with a purpose 3-5 times a week, warming up with a purpose, and working on areas of opportunity, such as performing a push up from the floor or a chin up.
Train with a purpose
Over the weekend, we got t-shirts that said: “stop exercising and start training.” I love the quote and I think this could be a blog post in and of itself. When you sign up with a program and start working with a coach, there is a goal in mind. Drop a pant size, gain lean muscle, perform a push up from the floor - and your programming is designed to get you wear you want to go. Exercising is getting out and moving, which is good, but is there a purpose behind it? Do you know if what you’re doing is going to get you where you’re going?
Warm up with a purpose
No, chasing your dog does not count as a warm up. Warming up with a purpose means warming up the muscles and movements you’re about to use in your workout. We don’t do toy soldiers because we want to know if you’d make the Rockettes, we do that to warm up your hamstrings before working your hips.
Are you getting enough sleep? Most of us know we’re not. According to the Sleep Foundation, adults age 26-64 need 7-9 hours and adults over 65 need 7-8 hours. If you are averaging less than seven hours of sleep per week, we know that you want to work on your batwings (one client’s name for skin on the triceps) and bellyfat, but one of the best places to start is to get more sleep. What that usually means is turning off the phones and iPads 30 minutes before bed (or turn on the Night Shift which reduces the blue lights) and put a priority on getting more, quality sleep.
Recommendations from Precision Nutrition on water are that sedentary individuals drink at least two liters, athletes drink three litters, and athletes in hot weather climates drink at least four liters per day. Many of us would benefit from drinking more water. Especially those of us like myself who drink most of their water with…well…a lot of coffee in it…
Some of the other big rocks in nutrition include eating whole foods (single ingredient), eating slowly and mindfully, and following the formula of a serving of protein, vegetables, and healthy fats with each meal.
Regardless of your goals, we live in a time of information overload. In fact, I saw this great quote from strength coach Ben Bruno the other day.
Be careful of the weeds. Stick to the rocks.