“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction.”
– Ernst F. Schumacher
So true, and so much more so of the health and fitness world. The average person takes a very typical approach when moving towards a healthier and fitter lifestyle change. They pick something and blindly go all-in with the expectation that they will be a fitness machine in 3 months time.
Going from very little activity to an all-out effort in the space of an instant is fucking silly, however it’s not always the fault of the individual, whose intention is to make a genuine move towards a better life. It is more a product of mass-media.
- Economic activity concerned with the processing of raw materials and manufacture of goods in factories.
To the fitness industry, you are goods in a factory. The fitness industry cares not for your wellbeing. To the fitness industry you are no more than a big fat dollar sign, and by the time the pre-workout has destroyed your pathetic little dick and the fat burners have your vagina looking like a tired hippo, it will be too late. But why should you take my word for it? Well, you don’t have to. By all means, stop reading now and go spend seven or 8 years drifting in and out of bullshit fads like I did. There’s nothing wrong with learning by personal experience but if you can learn from other peoples personal experience, you will save a lot of time.
So, for the people who are still here, I am now going to isolate all the bullshit ideas I’ve wasted my time with so you don’t have to;
My nutritional experience has been through a very typical process. Much like the Roman empire, it rose from nothing, got complicated as fuck and collapsed, leaving nothing but the foundational ruins. Lets talk about this process in detail…
Before I got into a gym I had zero nutritional wisdom. I began to learn when I started working out. Working out triggered an inner dialogue that sounded something like “now I need more protein” and “now I need more energy” etc, which led to research. If my nutritional path could be likened to the historical path of humanity, this would have indicated the moment our first ancestors crawled out of a puddle of mud and took a bite from a HPLC bar.
My evolution then accelerated through many phases that made up the “complicated as fuck” era and they all shared a similar theme, total ignorance.
It’s amazing some of the things I believed… I actually thought that the more protein I consumed the more muscle I could build. I can remember refusing to workout if I ran out protein powder. I faced the same dilemma with pre-workout.
It’s hilarious now but back then I was dead serious. My diet consisted of rice, chicken (and lots), sweet potato, pre-workout and protein powder… wow!
The fundamental flaws of such dietary practices are numerous. For starters, and especially in conjunction with carbs, too much protein is bad. This would vary from person to person but lets just say protein digests at 10g per hour. When your intake exceeds the rate at which it can be taken as protein, the excess converts to glucose, which is not a desirable effect. Then theres the preworkout and protein powder… Now I know there will be some safer exceptions but its highly likely that your preworkout is killing your insides and the protein powder is being flushed down the toilet.
The gut is responsible for managing everything that enters your body orally but its health seems to be grossly overlooked and I think theres a reason for this. If gut health was considered as important as it actually is, most of these supplemental companies would be seriously rethinking their ingredients, if they weren’t already too busy being sued. Fortunately for them, common sense is a rare commodity among the human race. It is imperative that you apply logic, and a logic that is really easy to follow is… if you can’t pronounce it easily, don’t put it in your fucking mouth.
My own diet plan is easy. Actually, its not even something you could call a plan so much as a habit. I wake up, I have an espresso shot with 15mls of coco-oil, I consume a vegetable shake every day that I blend myself from bought vegetables. I don’t eat breakfast as my mornings are spent fasted but lunch will be something like 50% vegetables (carbs come from veggies), 30% fat and 20% meat and I eat red meat once or twice a week.
Halfway between lunch and dinner I’ll have a couple handfuls of almonds and coconut chips or some sweet potato, and dinner is fairly similar to lunch. The last meal of the day is at about 8pm and its kind of a daily treat for me. I have a bowl of Greek yogurt, almonds, coconut chips and some blueberries, it is stupidly delicious!
Eating six meals a day
I’m too lazy to discuss the technicalities of this ridiculous idea but I tried it myself for quite a long time and felt like shit the whole time, which is all the proof I need.
The idea that eating many small meals in quick succession increases metabolism is a proven fallacy. The weight loss benefits of such a method are nestled in other factors relating to eating this way, that you can Google.
Not only do I find eating like this to be a pain in the ass but after a lot of reading on the subject it has gradually become more apparent that not only is over-nutrition in this way bad for me, but the converse is actually true. Being that I have found massive advantages in placing restrictions on my diet rather than surpluses.
I’m a huge advocate of intermittent fasting, however let us refrain from labeling it as such because the reality is, as a dietary practice, it is far closer to the human bodies natural rhythm of feeding than it is to the prior method of constant bombardment. Giving it a name like intermittent fasting places it in the box of sensational supplemental conventions humans have developed over the years, when it is in fact a step backwards, away from the unnatural modus of modern dietary concepts, towards normality. So from now on let us supplant the term ‘fasting’ with the term ‘normal eating’, which is far more appropriate.
The following may be more relevant to people like me rather than niche professionals, to those whose specific fitness goals are not specific at all. In other words, to improve fitness in general…
General fitness is an important aspect of my job, which demands of me to keep a high standard of aerobic and anaerobic fitness coupled with a solid foundation of muscular-skeletal strength, endurance and mobility. So, if your a person whose goal is something very specific like Olympic gold medal in high jump, I would think that your training program would understandably be quite complex and specific. However, if you fall into the category of a comparatively regular person who just likes, or would like being fit, then my experience may be of particular interest.
A recurrent attitude emerges when I think about how people approach the fitness world and it’s the attitude of going into it full-steam ahead with very little theoretical or practical knowledge of the human body, much like the amateur crossfitter attempting kipping muscle ups before he or she can even perform correct chin ups, or before he or she has developed adequate strength and coordination through the transitional phase of the movement via Russian dips or the like. This is just one example of the many ways people ignorantly make their entrance into physical development. It leads to inconsistency, injury and failure.
The industry is much like a highly adaptive tumor. It has figured out human nature and exploits the weaknesses in our character.
One of the common characteristics humans exhibit is their tendency to choose the path of least resistance, to seek immediate satisfaction. 90% of the fitness industry has grown parasitically around this chink in the armour and I don’t even need to state examples of this because you all know it to be true.
Another shitty characteristic of human nature is the tendency to complicate everything. So what does the fitness industry do? Spew out a thousand different ways to lose weight, gain weight and everything in-between. They give you every option under the sun but one, and it’s one that they can’t profit from. They don’t tell you to go out and learn… to simply get on the net and start reading or listening to nutritional scientists like Rhonda Patrick, or Olympic gymnastic coaches like Coach Sommer, qualified specialists who don’t deal in bullshit.
The only way to reach your goal is through learning. Learn and master the basics and do it yourself. However, going from your ineffective crossfit session to your Isogenex shake is a great way to reach a mediocre to shit standard where you can suck at what your doing until you hurt yourself and give up, if that’s what you’re into.
On paper, my average workout week consists of; three gymnastics based sessions that include things like thoracic bridges, hands only rope climbs, front levers, Russian dips and various balance/coordination exercises. 7 squat sessions to initiate every workout, one HIIT running or swimming session, one fartleg running session and one long distance run. This roughly sums my training up however it changes a lot as I like to maintain diversity and adversity. For instance, lately I’ve been throwing some Olympic lifting in here and there, which I currently suck at. Something else I neglected to include is that I train my core almost every day at the end of the workouts.
SO, that all sounds quite overwhelming doesn’t it, but that’s just where I’m at after ten years and people struggle to understand that. I have friends who have very little exposure to the gym who will sometimes ask me things about my training like “fuck bro what do you do to have arms like that!?”. Then they go out and try to start off at that level totally disregarding the ten years that happened beforehand. Two months later they’re frustrated that they don’t have 20 inch arms and are back on the fucking couch playing COD…
You need to start small. There’s no requirement at all to open the flood gates and drown yourself in fitness. Look at your life and pick something tiny to add or tweak. If you haven’t exercised since school, start by committing to 10 push ups every morning as soon as you get out of bed.
When it comes to your personal fitness, you need to find a gateway drug. Something that triggers your competitive nature… If one morning you get out of bed and smash 10 solid pushups, the next morning you will naturally attempt 11. This is how you feed your inner caveman/woman. There’s no need to pay for gimmicks.
Leave the bullshit to the side, develop a passion for your shitty body by educating yourself about the way it works. Then all that’s left to do is take it slow and enjoy the fucking ride.