The Secrets to the Body You Want

  • By Robert Bawol
  • 25 Apr, 2017

Can You Handle the Truth?


Ahhhh fitness.  The topic that so many people seem to love and hate at the same time.  So many articles, studies, and opinion pieces have been published looking at the ins and outs of how to train effectively and how to get the best results in the shortest amount of time.  Workouts, supplements, nutrition, the dreaded "diets".....all guaranteed to get you results.  So much information, yet there are so many people out there that begin a fitness and nutrition regimen and fail.  They yo-yo back and forth, crash diet after crash diet, workout plan after workout plan and after it's all said and done they want to know: "What's the secret? How do people do it? How can I get the body that I want? How do I get back to the body I had?"

You want the secrets? You want the plan laid out for you?  Well then here we go:

Consistency

In my opinion, this is HANDS DOWN the crux where people derail their progress and ultimately never reach their goals.  Whether it be not working out consistently enough, not meal prepping consistently enough, not getting enough rest consistently ....(I think you get the gist of it), people don't adhere to any program for long enough to see any results.  In today's day and age where instant gratification is pretty much everywhere, the expectation is that if you lift weights for a few days or go do some sort of cardio for a week, you're all of a sudden going to undo the years of damage that you've done to your body up until that point.  Sorry.  Not gonna happen.  The weeks, months, and maybe even years of inactivity, poor nutritional habits, and generally unhealthy living aren't going to just be magically transformed into a 6 pack and bulging biceps or shapely glutes with 3 weeks of exercise.  If you want to be successful, above anything else, you have to be consistent.  If you don't do that, don't expect to the scale to move, the clothes to fit better, and the mirror to tell you that you're the fairest of them all.

Frequency

Enter frequency, consistency's cousin.  In my opinion it's also the 2nd most important training variable that people either take for granted or over-embellish.  And the select few that hit the sweet spot know the sweet taste of success and progress when it comes to their fitness and wellness journey.  We've established that sticking with a program is going to determine if you fail or succeed in your quest to get the body that you want.  But it's also important to realize that consistently doing less than the minimum is going to get you no results either.  Don't get me wrong, some activity is better than no activity.  But after a short period of time, that once a week lift or run isn't going to get you anywhere.  If you want to see the physical results you're envisioning in your mind, you're going to have to be frequently consistent.  

Intensity

So let's say that you're already well on your way on the fitness and wellness journey.  You're exercising 4+ days a week, every week.  Your meal prepping skills could make Gordon Ramsay proud, but you're still not seeing the results that you want.  Now what? The question that I have to ask is, are you phoning your workouts in? Do you check in religiously to your place of training but then go through the motions? Because if you do, sorry to break it to you, after a relatively short time, you're not going to see any more progress.  Now keep in mind that intensity is relative to you as an individual and where you're at during your training life cycle.  That doesn't mean that you have to be lifting like your Instagram idols, or the monstrous body builders you see on the covers of magazines, but you have to be making yourself uncomfortable. That doesn't mean you have to be punishing yourself and end up being in pain.  Please realize that those are two VERY different things. But you have to ride the struggle bus, even if it's for a little while during your workouts.  Your body is amazing at adapting, and if you don't keep pushing it outside its comfort zone, you miss out on seeing how well it can actually perform.

Considerations

"What?! That's it?! I have to stick to a workout and nutrition plan consistently and make sure that I'm pushing myself in my workouts?!" 
Yup.  Pretty dang simple concept, ain't it?  Could we talk about supplementation and the effects that some long forgotten berry that grows on one singular tree somewhere in the tropics and its influence on your metabolism? Sure.  We could.  But that's not really the issue.  And it honestly wouldn't be enough to get you where you want to go.  But can supplementation help you on your journey and help you to get to your goals? Oh yeah! It can and we'll break that down too.

Can we talk about exercise selection, form, and structuring your programs? Yes.  We can and we will later down the road.  But again, the best laid plans don't mean squat if you don't actually squat with enough resistance, enough times a week, enough times a year.  The thing is, ALL exercise plans and nutrition plans work.  The question becomes do they work for you? Can you sustain them? And are you able to stay healthy while pursuing them?

It may be a tough pill to swallow, I realize that.  But with all the BS floating around in the ether with 30-minute calorie burners guaranteed to get you looking like your favorite super hero in 3 weeks, or supplements that'll magically transform you into some statue of a Greek god, it's time for a little truth.  If you don't put in the time and the effort to get to where you want to be, don't expect to get to the destination you have in your mind.  A quote that I often find myself thinking of when I personally hit plateaus and challenges:
If you've been following the main stream and looking for an easy way out, it's time to take a look at what you're doing and break the cycle.
By Robert Bawol 25 Apr, 2017
Ahhhh fitness.  The topic that so many people seem to love and hate at the same time.  So many articles, studies, and opinion pieces have been published looking at the ins and outs of how to train effectively and how to get the best results in the shortest amount of time.  Workouts, supplements, nutrition, the dreaded "diets".....all guaranteed to get you results.  So much information, yet there are so many people out there that begin a fitness and nutrition regimen and fail.  They yo-yo back and forth, crash diet after crash diet, workout plan after workout plan and after it's all said and done they want to know: "What's the secret? How do people do it? How can I get the body that I want? How do I get back to the body I had?"

You want the secrets? You want the plan laid out for you?  Well then here we go:
By Robert Bawol 11 Apr, 2017

With people becoming more conscious of what they’re eating, where their food is coming from and how their food is raised/produced/farmed, there has been a positive shift in consumption of healthy foods. Wooo! More and more people consuming fruits, veggies, and nutritionally dense foods SHOULD be a great thing…..right? For the vast majority of people that are not prone to over consumption or taking things to the extreme, it’s a really good thing.  But every coin has two sides. Let me try to explain.

Most people know that going out in the sun is a good thing right? Little bit of UV rays helps with Vitamin D production, increases mood, and a sun kissed glow because who doesn’t like a nice tan. But what happens when you stay out a little bit too long? For us pale skinned night walkers, an immediate burn. For the slightly more resilient of skin maybe a slight irritation. Stay out longer still and the situation gets worse for both sides of the spectrum. Keep in mind that what I’m referring to is just one session in the sun. Now imagine that you have over exposure to the sun chronically. What happens then? Permanent skin damage that probably looks like a tanned hide of a wildebeest at best case scenario and full blown skin cancer worst case scenario.

But that’s a common situation that most people have heard of before right? Too much sun is no bueno. But what if we look at something a little less innocuous, say staying hydrated. “What could possibly be wrong with drinking water” you ask? Well when you consume an average amount of water, NOTHING. It’s actually really good for you. Adequate water consumption helps with digestion, skin health, muscle function, and on and on. We are mostly water as I’m sure you’re aware. But let’s say we start upping the good ol’ H20 intake. Let’s say that you are just CONSTANTLY drinking water throughout the day. And I’m not talking about 12 oz water bottle. I’m talking about multiple jugs a day (sounds extreme I know but I’m getting to a point I promise). What happens then? The answer: hyponatremia. To put it plainly, hyponatremia is when you have a significant decrease in sodium levels in the body which result in nausea, headaches, dizziness, confusion and over all fatigue. Keep in mind that I’m talking about A LOT of water consumption over time. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t drink water!!!! Drink it! Drink it often! It’s good for you. And realize that it’s hard and unlikely to get yourself to the point of hyponatremia from excessive water consumption.

So let’s go back to the food point that was made in the beginning. I’m sure a lot of my health and wellness compadres out there can attest that they’ve been seeing more and more people are juicing, eating more fruit for breakfast, using it as snacks throughout the day, and adding flavor to the more bland foods that they don’t particularly like. I’m willing to bet that most of these people are having a hard time keeping their weight down and blood sugar levels in check. “But it’s FRUIT!!!! You can’t seriously be telling me fruit is BAD?!” I’m not. I’m saying that eating TOO MUCH fruit is bad. Let’s break it down.

You wake up in the morning and head over to your blender in the kitchen to make your breakfast shake or your breakfast go juice, or whatever you want to call it. Let’s assume that you throw in a scoop of your favorite protein powder for a little more substance.   And then you begin to throw in the fruit: frozen banana, raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and a kiwi for good measure (an actual recipe that I’ve heard numerous times when working with people). The thing that people don’t realize is that ALL of those listed ingredients are LOADED with sugar. A quick search of macro nutrient break down (assuming 1 cup serving size) of each fruit gets us:

 Fruit          Calories        Total Carbs       Sugar       Fat      Protein
 Banana            105          27 g        14 g         .4 g        1.3 g
 1 cup Raspberries     65          15 g           5 g         .8 g        1.5 g
 1 cup Blueberries          85          21 g        15 g         .5 g        1.1 g
 1 cup Blackberries        62          14 g          7 g         .7 g        2.0 g
 1 cup Strawberries       47          11 g          7 g         .4 g         1.0 g
 1 Kiwi             42          10 g          6 g         .4 g      0.8 g
 Total              406            98 g        54 g       3.2 g         7.7 g
 Assume ½ Cup Servings   203            49 g        27 g       1.6 g      3.85 g

Although fruit in moderation is actually good for you (loads of vitamins, minerals and nutrients), too much leads to a sugar overload. Keep the sugar intake high for too long of a time and you end up with insulin insensitivity and ultimately type II diabetes. So can too much of a good thing be a bad thing? For sure. Be smart about what you put in your body, how you train and how you recover. Not sure how to do it all, meet up with a professional and let them show you the way.

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