If you’re like me, you probably want nothing more than to feel like a ‘super-stud’ every time you take your shirt off in public. You want to have the confidence to say, ‘Boy, this sweaty shirt is chaffin’ me’, then reach over your shoulder and tear your shirt off like Brad Pitt in Fight Club. When you know that your pecs look like two soup bowls inserted beneath your skin, and your abs are as hard the asphalt you stand on, it’s tough to keep your shirt on!
Today you are gonna learn the top 5 training principles that you MUST implement in order to make your physique and performance goals… a reality. But, before I open the info-floodgates, there is something you’ve got to understand. Men… all men, should recognize that we are athletes and our training programs must reflect this.
Even if you’re a ‘pencil pusher’ or a ‘white collar crook’, the essence of your being is athletic. In order to see any type of fitness results it is essential to recognize that Squats, Power Cleans, 40 Yard Dashes and Vertical Jumps are not only for NFL Combine participants… they are for you!
1. You’re An Athlete By Design
The foundation principle of everything that I teach all begins with one extremely powerful phrase:
“We are primal beings living in a modern world”
Our physical bodies have been unchanged for thousands of years. In fact, today, our bodies are an exact expression of what our ancestors were over 100,000 years ago. It is believed that it takes about 100,000 years for 0.001percent of a genome to change… so yourself and Primal Man are for all intents and purposes… the same.
What has changed is how WE have chosen to live, if you can even call it that. As we have ‘advanced’ in technology we have regressed in physical strength and stature.
We function at a much lower capacity than were inherently capable of. This is analogous to those people who buy off-road vehicles that will never see anything but concrete! You’ve been given the ultimate athletic tool… use it.
2. Short, Hard and Intense Workouts Yield Lean, Hard and Muscular Bodies
When you spend over an hour in the gym sitting on useless ‘fitness machines’ while you’re waiting to do your ‘next set’…your nervous system’s primal response is to release Cortisol and Glucocorticoids – which are stress hormones, (these make you sick, sad, fat and, stupid) in response to your body thinking… “Holy Cow, we’ve been training for over an hour… perhaps we’re being chased by a tiger and need to preserve body fat”, then it begins sacrificing muscle tissue for energy! This is called The Catabolic Effect. Also, workouts exceeding 1 hour have been shown to be associated with a rapid decrease in androgen levels.
This is why marathon runners look so emaciated… id much rather look like one of those Lock, Stock & Ready Sprinters with muscles rippling across their backs and abs.
3. Aerobics and Cardio Training Is Boring & Ineffective
Strength coach Charles Poliquin has coined the phrase “Chunky Aerobic Instructor Syndrome” (CAIS).
You’ve seen them, they do cardio all day long… don’t you think that they would be a bit leaner? Well, there is a scientific reason as to why they are cubby even though they bounce up and down on those colorful blocks all day long. In fact research has shown that aerobic instructors who taught an average of 3 hours a day maintained a body fat of 22-24% – mind you, that Olympic athletes hover around 9%.
Especially with repetitive exercises like aerobics the body adapts quickly to the stimulus and ceases to respond to the stimulus. Also, you begin to become very fuel-efficient… Listen, think of a metabolism that has adapted to long treks of cardio as being a Honda… it burns very little fuel (i.e. fat) but can go miles and miles. Think of a metabolism that is roaring with increased mitochondria activity (as is present in someone who weight trains with circuits) as a Hummer, large fuel combusting metabolism!
Here’s Why this is so important! You want a stronger heart, without the fat saving response of long boring cardio treks. That is why I teach my clients how to do work capacity sets.
We take 4-6 exercises and complete them back to back with no rest and aim to complete them all with in about 2 minutes… if your heart is not ready to pound out of your chest after that, then maybe you should visit your veterinarian!
Here’s a simple circuit that you can do at home – first 20 squats, then 20 lunges, then ‘step ups’ on a bench 10 each leg, finally do 10 squat jumps and get it all done in less than 90 seconds! Kick-ass workout!
We begin every session with Plyometrics and then get right into 3-5 “work capacity” sets for upper and lower body.
4. Get High on Oxygen & Sunshine
Besides the fact that training on treadmills and ‘sit down’ exercise equipment is less effective than getting your feet on the ground and learning how to use your own bodyweight, training indoors can be detrimental to your performance and fitness results.
As ‘primal beings’ we are in need of several vital elements and forms of energy. The suns rays are nourishing to your mind as well as body. It is well documented that those who live in the cooler northern climates that enjoy less sunshine through out the year are several times more likely to suffer from depression.
Also, if you’re like most Americans you work and live indoors (maybe). In fact, the average person spends 90% of their time indoors. Several health experts have propounded that our homes and workplace are the most toxic environments in our lives. Many studies have stated that toxic particles and fumes found in your home and workplace include: air fresheners, spray starch, paints, mothballs and even ‘new car’ smell kills more people every year than automobile accidents!
So, what do you do? Train in the great outdoors! When I train my Strength Camp clients at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg Florida, not only do we benefit from the sweet bay breeze but also the scenery is beautiful enough to give a nun spring fever!
5. It’s Gotta Be Fun!
Drop out rates for exercise programs are almost as high as the drop out rate in my old middle school! The bottom line is, if you don’t enjoy it – you wont do it. The most effective way to ensure that you stick with your training program is to change it often. This doesn’t mean hop from one modality to the next before you get any results. It means stick with your weight-training program for a minimum of 90 day but change the exercises you use for each body part at least every 3 weeks.
This not only keeps you interested but also, your nervous system will be challenged with the new exercises and be forced to adapt. This yields fast and long-lasting results!