Limitless in all ways

A healthy lifestyle is extremely addictive. Reaching and surpassing our goals, constantly feeling good as opposed to bouts of limited social anxiety during self-intoxication. Being energetic throughout the day, confidence skyrocketing, being up to any task, as our mental and physical capabilities increase. We can take it too far, but it rarely happens. So we stick with the lifestyle that provides us with happiness and well-being.

There is no limit as to how long we can keep taking care of our bodies. It is natural that seniors (or masters as they are often called in competitions) may not perform as well as individuals younger than they are. But constantly moving throughout our lives provides us not only with the benefits listed above, but also battles many so-called diseases of affluence. Osteoporosis is a fine example of those. Stress is being linked to many negative effects it has on our bodies. The immune system responds well to exercise, further strengthening the reasons as to why older people should train too.

It is no shame to start late. I have recently watched this beautiful video of a group of elders up to a hundred years old that were progressing and getting tangible results from CrossFit training. That says a lot about the methodology, but also and perhaps more-so about the fact that’s it’s never too late to start moving. It is truly incredible what our bodies can achieve if we let them.

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Fragile youth

Parents seem reluctant to allow their children to train with weights. Usually they lift this ban by the time their offspring is around the age of sixteen. I compel fathers and mothers worldwide to lift the ban much earlier than that.

Resistance training is not only much safer than other sports (especially team sports – which are usually both parents’ and kids’ favorite – with good reason since they also build up on our social skill and team working, but I digress), if done properly it reduces the chances of injury in different sports.

The belief that weightlifting stunts growth is misplaced. Studies have indicated that no such phenomenon occurs and that both children and adolescents are safe to train with resistances and it is effective as a strength building exercise. And if we look at strength as the ability to exert force against resistance then it is a tool we use everyday throughout our entire lives. Then perhaps it would be wise to work on it to help with said life.

Over-protectiveness can be as damaging to our children as carelessness, when it comes to training they should be supervised but do not diminish their enthusiasm for any sport, that youthful spark in a kid’s eye will remain there if we allow him or her to pursue the goals that are important for him. I believe that almost any activity can be regressed in such a way to suit the goals of children.

Meal frequency

It is widely believed that distributing your food intake across several meals during the day is beneficial and can improve you diet. While this is true, the reasoning behind this philosophy is unknown to most. Eating five, even meals every day does not promote fat loss or muscle gain.

We would lose the exact same amount of fat by eating at the same daily deficit whether we consume one big meal or several smaller ones. Dissecting the calories into different meals helps by improving the way we feel. Not eating for 18 hours can be very tedious. Consuming regular meals ensures that our energy levels remain steady throughout the day (which is further enforced by relying on fats and complex carbohydrates as your energy providers).

The same applies for a caloric surplus. There is no difference between eating one huge meal and eating several reasonable ones. However how it makes us feel is very important for functioning. Stuffing four thousand calories into our bodies in a single sitting will be detrimental to the way we feel through the rest of the day.

The amount of meals optimal to someone’s well-being is not the same for all of us. Usually more distribution leads to feeling better, but it is there is no rule that eating five is perfect. We need to consider our schedules and bodily reactions when creating the perfect meal plan.

Most sites advocate certain times for eating protein – in the morning, before a workout, post-workout, before going to bed et cetera. They rely on information provided by studies done on fasted athletes, paid for by supplement companies. It is no wonder the new INSERT GENERIC WHEY NAME provides an anabolic response in people that haven’t eaten in 16 hours. If we eat like normal human beings then protein timing does not serve any other function than making sure you feel good and not bloated.

Male archetype

It is important for each and every one of us to workout in some way, because preparedness of our bodies may be of utmost importance in the moment we least expect it.

There is no denying that human males are faster, stronger and better conditioned than females. One look at the numbers of Olympic events leads to such a conclusion. I do not claim that we are the stronger sex, simply that our physical bodies are more adept at taking on strenuous, physical tasks. But with great power comes great responsibility.

Taking care of your loved ones is a must for us all. That is why I believe that being ready to defend your family is paramount especially to males, as that role is not only put on us by society, but by the manifestation of our bodies itself. Lifting a car off your toddler, rescuing your daughter from a strong current or fending off street assailants may sound like comic book feats, rarely seen in real life, but those dangers are real. Those adrenaline-filled events may never happen in your proximity, but we should be prepared to act if they do nonetheless.

That is why I try to somehow stress working on our functionality and being a so-called jack of all trades. We oft forget about learning or relearning basic first aid. Many people in good shape do not care about being able to defend themselves and the ones they care about. Pacifist or not, sometimes violence comes for you. Specialties are fine, but lagging behind in some areas can prove fatal (figuratively and literally). Dramatic? Perhaps, but I would like to see a populace ready to answer alarming calls.

Metabolism, recovery

There are measurable differences in basal metabolic rates. However, 96% of the population is within 10-16% of the average and 68% of the population is within 6-8%. Therefore blaming your genetics for either being under- or overweight is ludicrous. The most extreme cases (under 5 percentile) showcase differences of 600kcal and the probability of that occurring between two random people are 0.5%.

We are varying in our basal metabolic rates, however the variances are usually low and attribute to nothing in our athletics and aesthetics. If it seems to you that gaining or losing weight is really hard for you for some reason I recommend calculating your total daily energy expenditure and simply write down everything you eat for a week (a month would be more beneficial) or insert those numbers to a smart phone app. I assure you that the numbers can be quite bewildering to most. If you naturally have a slow or fast metabolism then adding or retracting those 200kcals seems very easy once we truly know our intake.

Those variances do not affect recovery times. Those are attributed to many different factors like age, hours spend sleeping, active recoveries, vitamin and mineral intake, macronutrient distribution and intake, hormonal levels (heavily influenced by testosterone) – therefore also affected by genetics. Frequency of training sessions should be determined by our athletic background, time spend on active recovery and the nature of our training. If a lifting novice performs heavy compound lifts every single session, then it is recommended to provide enough time in-between to rest and recover. Our bodies adapt, albeit slowly, to the resistance and our recovery rates hasten. Professional athletes can train several times a day – although the nature of each session is different and can be categorized to heavy or light workouts – because not only have their bodies adapted form years of exercising but also because they get deep tissue massages, swim, spend time in saunas and cryogenic chambers. Foam rolling and stretching is a staple of many programs nowadays.

When determining your own frequency it is necessary to understand and listen to your body. Stalling and hitting a so-called plateau may mean that you are pushing your body too far and if your numbers are going backwards, then deloading and reassessing your program is paramount. Broader distribution of workouts can help, but if we are conscious about how our body recovers then by amplifying that recovery we can successfully up the frequency of training, steer clear of injury and therefore reach our goals faster.

Uninteresting training

You absolutely should not change your training program just because it bores you. You are not training to have fun, you are doing it to achieve a certain goal. Being disappointed about a certain regimen due to its uneventfulness can be understood, but if you are making good progress because of it, then you should stick with it.

There is a strong case of fuckaroundatis among gym-goers. It spreads like the most viral of diseases. People go into a fitness club to minx, socialize, maybe train a little, but not too hard. And it has to be fun of course, no boring stuff. Then they try ever new exercises, each one stranger then the one before. Yet what works for years for countless other athletes and is working still is somehow being overlooked. Squats are bad for your knees. Deadlifts are bad for you lower back. Overheard and bench press damage your shoulders. Everyone is developing a phobia for snapping shit up – which is a good, but the thing is – those exercises are good for you in every way possible. If done right they not only strengthen your muscles, but also ligaments, joints. Unless we are talking about an injured person then there is nothing to fear. No reason to stray from the true and tested methods of training for size, strength and conditioning.

Information availability skyrocketed. There is such an abundance of it through the internet that by searching right, using sources that proved to be beneficial for many others we can easily find a program that suits our goals. Not everyone can craft it and although we are all different I believe that a private, written specifically for an individual is not necessarily better than the one we can find online. This concerns amateur trainees, rather than the ones that have been at it for quite some time. The longer we exercise, the less true this statement becomes.

Examine supplementation

The truth is that most supplements are a scam. And if they do work they tend to be heavily overpriced. They are advertised as muscle building magic, while in reality they do hardly that. Sponsored athletes make it seem like we can attribute a big part of their success to the supplements they are marketing. I believe that anyone’s fitness related achievements are helped by supplementation by about 1%.

People don’t want to hear that they have to work their asses off. That they need to diet hard and smart. That sleeping, training, eating and discipline in all things is what leads to success. They want to hear that if they take a magic pill it all would be easier.

Yes, there are some supplements that can effectively help you reach your goals, but they are often overblown. So before deciding to purchase anything I implore you to examine if it’s actually worth it. Whey protein can help you hit your daily macros. Caffeine can sometimes give you that extra boost during training. Creatine makes you marginally stronger. Some supplements do work – what you need to do is decide if you actually need them, and if so – then compare prices and qualities. Don’t get scammed.

Do not resent your idols and favourite athletes for advertising products that you know will not work as marketed. It is a part of the job and will not change if the consumers won’t change, which is unlikely. Those athletes still put in tremendous amounts of work to get where they are know and it is something to be admired, just don’t completely trust them regarding products from the company they are sponsored by.