This is why Jen Sinkler is so awesome:
Archives for November 2013
So there really aren't words for how totally stoked I am about working on my first published, print book. I don't even have any content for this post, I'm just going to gush about how excited I am!
So the book is about a thousand times deeper on nutrition habits than I ever have before, and it has the most refined workout program I've ever put together. I'll give more and more details about the content as it gets closer to release date.
I have pretty much the best co-author in the world. Literally, he's one of the best fitness authors in the world. To say that it's an honor to get to write a book with a legend is an understatement. I actually just don't know how I got to be so lucky.
And I also get to work the best publisher ever. OnTarget Publications does amazing books by heroes of mine, like Movement, by Gray Cook, and Never Let Go, by Dan John. It's really, really, really amazing. And everyone knows Laree Draper is the smartest and nicest person on earth. I couldn't possibly have a more amazing publisher.
I've been locked in a room with my computer working on this book mostly, but also have done some really great hiking around the hills and mountains and beaches and cliffs. Some of the best parts of the book came to me after staring at a screen for ten hours, and some of the best parts came to me on the backside of a mountain with the sun going down. I didn't take nearly as many pictures of staring at the computer as I did of my hikes.
The photoshoot for the exercised demonstrations is coming up in a week. I'm really stoked about that too. It's going to be so much work, and so much fun. I've done the movement descriptions a little differently in this book, and I think it's going to be super amazingly awesome.
Basically, it's the best work I've ever done. And this is totally a dream of mine. I'm really excited to get to share with you guys the best of what I've got. At the least, I hope it makes a difference for you in your fitness journal. At my most bold, I hope it gives a lot of trainers a different way to coach food, and impacts our whole industry. I can't say how many people I'll get to talk to through it, but you can count on me if you read it, that I'll give you the best that I have, and that it's new information, it's a fresh perspective, and it'll make a difference for you.
When this is all finished, I'm going to be moving back to Denver.
Just wanted to give you guys an update and let you know what I'm up to and what I'm working on.
Ok, every year I get innundated with blogs and emails about how to not overeat at Thanksgiving. THUMBS DOWN.
Talk about stupid advice.
All the posts that talk about not over-eating or what workout you should do or how to starve yourself the day after Thanksgiving CAN SUCK IT!
Thanksgiving is an over eating holiday. I'm a big fan of having free days or free meals built in to your weekly plan. It just makes sense in terms of having a plan be able to work in reality.
Obviously, Thanksgiving is a free day.
It's often been said that it's not how much you eat at Thanksgiving that determines your weight, it's how much you eat the other 364 days out of the year. This is true.
Lets talk about what this should actually look like in real life:
Monday, 25th: No free meals
Tuesday, 26th: No free meals
Wednesday, 27th: No free meals
THANKSGIVING: Free day
Friday, 29th: Two free meals (leftovers)
Saturday, 30th: One free meal (leftovers)
Sunday, 1st: One free meal (leftovers)
Monday, 2nd: No free meals
Tuesday, 3rd: No free meals
Wednesday, 4rt: No free meals
Thursday, 5th: No free meals
Friday, 6th: No free meals
Saturday, 7th: Free day
Sunday, 1st: No free meals
If you look at the above plan, you'll notice something really interesting: Sanity.
As in, you can actually follow that plan. And enjoy yourself.
You don't need to do anything crazy before or after Thanksgiving. You can even have leftovers for a few days. The important thing, is that whatever diet or nutrition plan you follow, you go back to it.
This is what it looks like when people follow a plan in real life.
But that assumes you have a plan.
During the holidays, you need to plan. And the meals you need to plan are the meals that aren't free. I'd start planning what you are going to eat on Monday, December 2nd, right now. And then plan your on-plan meals for Saturday the 30th and Sunday the 1st.
Where most people fail during the holidays isn't going off their plan and having a free day. People fail by either having completely unrealistic plans, or by not having a plan.
by Josh Hillis
author of Fat Loss Happens on Monday: Habit Based Diet and Workout Hacks, with Dan John.
being released November 28th
By Craig Ballantyne, CTT
If you have a sore shoulder, bad back, achy knees, or tight
Achilles tendon, then you must AVOID the 5 bodyweight exercises
#1 – Triceps dips with your hands behind you on a bench – These are
terrible for your shoulder joint and rotator cuff muscles.
#2 – Jumping exercises on concrete OR if you are overweight – These
will kill your knees.
#3 – Sit-ups & crunches & V-sits – These will cause you back
problems, as I've written about in my articles in Men's
#4 – Pushups with your elbows flared out wide – This "bodybuilder"
version of pushups will cause you great grief in your shoulder
joint and rotator cuff, just like the classic barbell bench press.
#5 – High repetition box jumps where you jump back off the box with
each rep – Your Achilles will snap one of these days, and that's
easily one of the WORST injuries you can suffer.
So instead of getting hurt with the wrong exercises, you need use
safer, more effective no-equipment workouts that you can find here:
Use the exercises in those videos for more results and less risk.
Of course, if you've been reading my articles for more than a few
months, you already knew not to do those moves. But you might
still be making the following mistakes on 3 otherwise awesome
Please do NOT do…
1) Mountain Climbers with a rounded low-back
This will hurt your back just as quickly as sit-ups or crunches.
You must keep your body in a straight line with your abs braced to
get the best ab workout and fitness boost from this exercise.
You'll also get a much more INTENSE abdominal workout when you SLOW
the reps down, particularly when you do the X-Body Mountain Climber
version. Stay tight and strict and you'll get the most results from
this simple exercise.
2) Prisoner Squats with "lazy" hands
When you do prisoner squats, you need to keep your fingers
interlaced behind your head, your elbows back, and your shoulder
blades squeezed together. That is how you get MORE results from
this move. It allows you to work your upper back without equipment.
Don't be lazy like most people that just touch their finger tips to
the side of their head. That's lame.
3) Ugly Lunges
This is the most over-prescribed exercise in bodyweight history,
and far too many people are doing lunges that have no business
doing this exercise at all. It's no laughing matter when I see
people doing ugly lunges in the gym.
Listen, it's okay if you don't have the proper balance to do
lunges. You can switch to a safer exercise such as Reverse Lunges,
Split Squats, Step-ups, or 1-Leg Lying Hip Extensions.
We want you to train hard, but safe. No wobbling or falling over!
And don't even think about adding resistance to your lunges if you
can't do the basic bodyweight version correctly.
In order to learn how to do every bodyweight exercise with PERFECT
fat burning technique, get 51 follow-along bodyweight workout
Turbulence Training: Home Workout Revolution <= 51% off sale ends Thursday, Nov. 14th
You'll do each workout with me and my Certified Turbulence
Trainers, Brian Kalakay, and Mike Whitfield. Not only will we
motivate you to be MORE consistent, and train harder, but we'll
also make sure you do every exercise perfectly so that you
get more results in LESS time.
That's my promise to you.
And if you aren't satisfied, feel free to take me up on our 100%
money-back guarantee at any time during the next 60 days.
Let's get you the results you DESERVE.
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer
PS – Here's today's kickbutt mindset tip to keep you on track for
"Cherish time, your most valuable resource. You can never make up
the time you lose." – Kekich Credo #2
The best way to SAVE time is by cutting back on your workout time
(and overcoming all of your workout excuses) by using NO-equipment
bodyweight workouts that you can do anytime, anywhere.
You'll never miss a workout again with this perfect fat loss solution.
Which is why I'm not going to tell you to cut gluten for health reasons. If you have a health issue, see your doctor or allergist or registered dietician.
For fat loss, cutting out gluten does a few magical things:
1.) It cuts out all of the cheap, easy, crappy food you eat. Cutting out gluten MASSIVELY REDUCES MOST PEOPLE'S CALORIES. (decreases quantity)
2.) It makes you more mindful of what you are putting in your mouth. (increases quality, decreases quantity)
3.) It makes eating crappy food more expensive and more difficult. (increases quality, decreases quantity)
4.) It pre-disposes you to eat more fruits, vegetables, quinoa, and rice, for carbs. (increases quality)
5.) It pre-disposes you to eat more protein. (increases quality)
Boom. There you go.
No surprise that it works for fat loss. It limits quantity of food, and it increases quality of food.
I'm telling you though, the day that you can get gluten free twinkies at 7-11, gluten free will cease to work as a fat loss tool. That's why "low fat" stopped working for fat loss, it ceased to be a tool to increase quality and limit quantity, the only two variables that actually matter for fat loss.
Remeber, there are only two variables in fat loss:
1.) Increasing the quality of food = leaner at any given bodyweight
2.) Decrease quantity of food = lower body weight
It doesn't really get any more complicated than that, unless you've massively overdone one of the two for long periods of time. For the other 90% of people, that's the whole deal.
You don't need to be scared of any foods.
That being said, if cutting out gluten works as a simple tool to help you increase quality and decrease quantity, by all means do it. Just know why you're doing it, be straight about it, and don't be afraid of it.
by Josh Hillis
Now, I train fat loss clients, not powerlifters, so that's always my filter. So proper alignment beats higher poundages all of the time.
Said another way: No one hires me to take their deadlift from 360 pounds to 450 pounds. That's not me. People hire me for fat loss.
My fat loss clients tend to get stronger than most general fat loss clients out in the world, but that's only because that's part of getting them leaner.
1.) Getting lean is goal #1
2.) Getting stronger is only to support goal #1
There are some concessions I make in programs that I know won't get the client stronger as fast as if they followed straight strength programs. But it will get them leaner faster.
And that's the same way I feel about arching vs. bracing: If I have a client that sits at a desk all day, correcting their posture and getting them moving correctly will actually buy us some fat loss. On the Future of Program Design DVD, Alwyn Cosgrove says that taking someone to symmetrical two's on the FMS is good for 5 pounds of fat loss. For the readers who haven't heard of it, the FMS stands for "Functional Movement Screen", and rates seven movement patterns on a scale from 1-3. Basically if someone has a 1 on a movement pattern, that means that they can't do the movement correctly. If they are assymetrical left to right, they also can't do the movement correctly. It's a cool standard of checking movement. So I use that example because it's just such a clear standard.
So one of the biggest things we want to do with most clients is to lign up their spine and their hips. Most people who work at a desk are tilted back at their pelvis, arched at their low back, rounded at their upper back, and forward at their neck.
We want to train everything we can in that nice neutral s-curve the spine is supposed to have.
We want to get them good at finding neutral, and then load them so they maintain neutral.
So, honestly, I don't know if you're going to sacrifice a couple pounds or your deadlift and squat by being neutral, or if it's going to go up. I've got no idea because I don't care. I'm going to get you in neutral, and then we're going to make you stronger in neutral. And you're going to get leaner.
Here's the article that inspired this, it has a little bit different perspective:
Shockingly, you actually don't need to get your internal dialog to be nice and wonderful all of the time to get the results you want. Or even to feel good about your body.
You've got other options.
Here's how I would summarize what I've learned about personal growth and philosophy, as it applies to fat loss:
1.) You're going to have thoughts and feelings.
2.) Your thoughts and feelings are massively influenced by the past: What people have told you, what you've seen on TV, decisions you've made about how the world works and what's possible for you, based on things that happened to you.
3.) Because your thoughts and feelings were mostly given to you by external forces, you actually don't have a lot of say in your thoughts and feelings.
4.) Your thoughts and feelings (from your past) aren't always going to be supportive of your plans, your goals, your future or your body image.
5.) You should stop expecting your thoughts and feelings to support new goals. They may, or they may not. It's like the weather.
6.) You aren't: You aren't internal dialog. You aren't your thoughts and feelings. Those just sort of happen.
7.) You are: Your plans. Your actions. Your goals. Your promises.
In meditation, they sometimes talk about the "observer" being distinct from the thoughts and feelings he or she is observing. I took one class where we imagined our mind as a blue sky, and thoughts were like clouds that we would just notice going by.
In some Landmark Education courses they say it even more elegantly: "You aren't your internal dialog. You are your promises."
If you think of your thoughts about body image mostly being given to you by television and Pinterest and magazines and what someone told you when you were a kid or what your boyfriend or girlfriend said in high school… it becomes obvious really quickly that your internal dialog isn't necessarily set up to support you.
That's ok. That's just being human. And it's ok to be human.
Same thing with food. Your thoughts about food have mostly been given to you by commercials and TV and what your parents told you growing up or what decisions you made about what to do about food in junior high and high school… Again, it becomes obvious that your internal dialog about food isn't necissarily set up to support you.
That's ok. That's just being human. And it's ok to be human.
So stop trying to manage your thoughts and feelings. And stop thinking that your results would be different if you had different thoughts and feelings. Just notice your thoughts and feelings.
Thoughts and Feelings vs. Plans, Promises, and Actions
You can ACT on your thoughts and feelings, or you can ACT on your plans and promises. Notice that your plans may run counter to your thoughts and feelings. That's normal. That's human. That's how you achieve a new goal.
Really, it's about that simple:
You can take ACTION based on your thoughts and feelings
You can take ACTION based on your promises and plans
Really, I don't care if every thought you have is unsupportive. As a trainer, I just want to go to work on your actions.
Again, just notice:
Your thoughts and feelings mostly come from the past
Your plans and promises (actions) are created by you, for the future
I'm using the word promise here in kind of an usual way. But, lets say, I've eaten seventeen free meals per week for the last ten years. If I get a new food plan, and then I promise to eat only fifteen free meals next week, then that promise is creating a new me. For the rest of the week I can be my past, or I can be my new promise.
You've got a plan: It's actions you are promising to take. You get to choose the actions you take now. You get to choose which actions you promise to take in the future.
Levels of Plans, Promises, and Actions
So you have a plan, hopefully you promise to follow it.
The first level of maturity in following a plan: Stick to the plan no matter what.
This is where people struggle with being "on plan" or "off plan", and having nothing in between. People "fall off the wagon" or "have one bad meal and give up".
The second level of maturity in following a plan: Plan is slightly flexible, but you're accountable for changes.
You can alter the plan: If you have three free meals per week, you're able to move a free meal and "re-promise" and stick to the plan. Or you're able to even able to have an extra free meal and "re-promise", and stick to the plan. Or, you are able to fall off plan, and then make a new promise and get back on plan.
The highest level of maturity in following a plan: You follow the plan most of the time, but are able to be totally flexible and get back on plan, and get results.
At this level, you follow the plan most of the time. If something comes up or something has to change, it has no impact on the fact that you follow the plan most of the time. If you take a week vacation (off plan), not only do you have no trouble getting back on plan when you get back, but you also don't feel a need to "catch up" or do anything weird or drastic, you just get back on plan. Similarly, if you do fall off plan, you are able to just get back on plan, without doing anything drastic or trying to catch up, you just get back on plan.
The trick though, is not to think of these levels like belts you'd get in a martial art. Instead, think of them as a cycle. The normal, and human thing to do, is to rotate through those levels at different stages of your life, and at different stages of your goals.
You don't actually win any prizes for moving up to the next level. Don't think of it as having achieved something, because it isn't static. Think of it as a season.
Now, with practice, you can spend more time at the more mature levels of following a plan. But you aren't a robot.
Don't Try to Be A Robot
A lot of people think that if they were just robot perfect in thoughts and actions, they could get all of the results they want.
The truth is exactly the opposite: Embrace your humanity.
Embrace your imperfections. Embrace your unsupportive thoughts and feelings from the past, they probably aren't going anywhere. Embrace that fat loss is hard. Embrace that you don't want to do stuff that's hard.
Stop fighting all of that stuff, and just notice it. Yep, you're still human.
Notice that if you're human: Your body image is either negative (yep, you're human)… Or, if it's positive, then a lot of times your body is like a tool to get you something, and how you're driven to keep that tool getting you what you want (yep, you're human).
Now, maybe you had perfect parents, and great teachers, and great coaches, and never had your heart broken, and never watched TV, and never made any decisions about what your body means in relationship to other people… and if so, then you probably have a really great and supportive internal dialog 100% of the time.
For the rest of us: It's ok to be human. You should expect to keep being human.
by Josh Hillis
author of the upcoming Fat Loss Happens on Monday for OnTarget Publications. Coming January 2014.
this post was brought to you by, thinking about my online nutrition coaching, and a long hike. Plus, if there's one thing that I've learned from internet memes: Everything sounds like ten times more wise when connected to a picture of nature. Or a picture of Gandalf.
It'll be available starting Monday, November 4rth at Amazon.com
Now, for everyone that's already purchased it – if you would do me the hugest favor IN THE WORLD and review it, it would help me so so so so much.
The 21 Day Kettlebell Swing Challenge has been my best selling e-book for years now, and I think it's cool to be able to offer a short great program that works, for practically free.
So again, if you've done the program and you liked it, then reviewing it is the absolute best way you could ever say thank you. I would really appreciate it: