Just wanted to give you guys a heads up — so much new stuff, coming August 1st!
First new workout programs since Fat Loss Happens on Monday. Huge update, different options based on your workout level , videos for every movement, and I’ll be supporting it completely in the coaching program.
Plus, something totally new — I included 15 pages of research, and my notes on the research, to back up why the programs were designed that way. In the past, it was always “This is what’s worked for my clients”, this time it’s “This is what’s worked for my clients and has a strong evidence basis.”
Which brings us to the coaching program.
In the last email, I talked about some of the big changes in the way Georgie Fear, Roland Fisher, and I, are approaching food habits coaching — including why we’re calling them skills now!
Again, we took all of your feedback, and completely re-designed how food coaching works. Lots more options. So many more options for having a food skills program totally customized to your needs. My food skills. Georgie’s food skills. Totally new food skills.
Basically it all boils down to that we’re going to be able to tailor things to exactly what you need to get the results you want.
Different people have different needs, and we’re going to be able to meet you where-ever you are at, and take you to the next level.
It all starts August 1st.
Get excited =)
Ok, so we know that it takes reducing calories to lose weight. In fact, if your only goal is to have the scale change, there is literally nothing that matters as much as calories consumed.
The problem with counting calories is that counting them makes no difference. If you don’t have the skills to effectively change it, it’s like counting the minutes until the Titanic sinks.
Even if we know we’re eating too much, we still don’t have the habits that make it possible to eat less. Almost universally, I find that clients have habits that make them hungrier. If your habits are making you hungry, then counting calories is like being on the Titanic and counting how fast the ship is sinking. You are highly aware of what’s not working, but you aren’t doing anything that will make a difference.
The Fat Loss Happens on Monday book was preceded by an audio called “The Josh Hillis Fat Loss Coaching Session.” I’ve since updated and upgraded a lot of the habit coaching fat loss material for 2016 for an updated Fat Loss Coaching Session.
I’ve learned a lot from hearing from hundreds of people who’ve done the program. I’ve learned a lot hearing from dozens of trainers using the program with their clients. And I’ve learned a ton from friends who are do similar programs with their clients. Basically, I’ve learned a ton in the past year.
Updated Fat Loss Coaching Session
+ Fat Loss Happens on Monday
= Loss Happens on Monday version 1.5
So if you liked the original coaching session or the Fat Loss Happens on Monday book, you’ll totally want to get the update:
Here is a link to the new audio: http://www.otpbooks.com/product/josh-hillis-updated-fat-loss-nutrition-coaching-session/
Or, if you don’t have the book, and you want to get a bundle of it all:
- Fat Loss Happens on Monday — ebook
- Fat Loss Happens on Monday — audiobook
- Fat Loss Happens on Monday — updated Fat Loss Coaching Session Audio
Here is the link to the bundle: http://www.otpbooks.com/product/fat-loss-happens-on-monday-digital-bundle/
I’ve always been a fan of movement progressions. We teach one move, master it, then move on to the next progression.
In a weird way, the linear nature of how we think about progressions is actually forcing people into moves that don’t work for their body, which can stall progress or even give you repeated little tweaky injuries. Or, people get so focused on “progressing” that they end up missing out on a much more effective workout that they could have gotten a step down.
We’ll start by taking a look at different kinds of progressions in workouts, and then we’ll finish with how you can get your absolute best workout.
Complexity Progression vs. Adding Weight
Movement progressions tend to increase in complexity as you progress. A kettlebell swing/snatch progression might look like this:
- Kettlebell Deadlift
- Kettlebell Swing
- One-arm Kettlebell Swing
- Kettlebell Snatch
And that’s the basic premise of a movement progression: Each stage is increasing in complexity.
On top of that, you can make any stage easier or harder by increasing or decreasing the weight of the kettlebell.
So you have two different ways to progress: Complexity or weight.
For bodyweight exercises, they tend to increase in complexity and make your leverage worse — basically they are increasing complexity and “weight” at the same time. For example: Using two legs in a squat vs. a split-squat vs. one leg in a pistol-squat, you increase both the complexity, and “weight” by moving to one leg.
The split-squat progression above is another combination progression: The primary progression is complexity, but at any stage you could add weight and progress that way instead.
And that’s how I’d always thought of movement progressions in the past. A straight line of progression, where ideally you always want to move up.
Progressions Are Not Martial Arts Belt Promotions
People start to treat the movement progression like it’s a belt-system in martial arts, and they always want to progress.
But there’s a much, much better way.
That sort of linear progression thought process doesn’t leave room for different kinds of workouts, and it doesn’t leave room for how you feel on different days.
The problem with that is that there are so many times where you’ll get a more effective workout going backwards in the progression instead of forwards.
Variations Instead of Progressions
I stole this concept from the genius that is Seth Munsey. If you don’t know Seth, he owns an amazing gym in Monterey called Iron Republic.
If you can start thinking about movements as variations, it opens up a world of possibilities.
I’ve gotten a zillion emails from clients who were super bummed out that on a higher rep phase they had to “go backwards”, but that’s totally missing the point.
If you do a 3-5 rep phase, you might be doing Rear-foot-elevated Split-squats with two kettlebells
If you do a 10-15 rep phase, you might be doing walking lunges
Just because walking lunges show up earlier in the ‘progression’ doesn’t mean you’re going backwards. You’re actually just doing the appropriate move for that workout phase.
I want you to try to stop thinking in terms of “better” or “worse” or “higher” or “lower”.
Instead start thinking in terms of which movement is the “right fit”
Is This Move The Right Fit?
Any workout movement you do has one purpose: To make you better.
To get better, you need to do a movement that works for your body ON THAT DAY.
Some days you may feel great and skip to a harder movement variation. It fits for that day.
Other days maybe you didn’t get enough sleep and are totally stressed out and feel like crap, and move to an easier movement variation. And it fits for that day.
You may find that a certain movement variation hurts your body, even though the one before it felt great. You know what — don’t do that variation.
Here’s what’s crazy — you may find one variation doesn’t feel great for your body, but a so called harder variation actually feels great for your body. I’m giving you permission to ‘skip’ to the one that feels good for your body.
None of this is rocket-science, but it does go totally against the prevailing wisdom in the industry right now. I know there are MANY fitness gurus that deliberately turn their movement progressions into a “belt system” like martial arts.
Look, it’s just a fat loss workout. Make each movement in the workout fit you, don’t try to cram yourself into some “magic movement sequence.” Don’t let anyone tell you different: You can, and should, use whichever movement variation that fits for you.
Each movement in the workout should fit:
- Your body
- The rep range for the workout
- How your body feels today
Goldilocks Knows Best
I don’t care how cool someone told you two-kettlebell military presses are. If you don’t have the shoulder flexibility to do two-kettlebell military presses, do one-kettlebell military presses. And if you don’t have the flexibility to do military presses at all, do a 45° incline dumbbell press instead.
And don’t be surprised if you have the flexibility one day, and then another day you sleep wrong and you don’t. That’s ok. Do the dumbbell incline press that day. Come back to military presses some other day, when you feel great.
We have an industry that’s obsessed with magic movements and magic progressions. And people get hurt trying to do the magic movements, people stall on progress because they’re doing the magic progressions.
Momma Bear, Poppa Bear and Baby Bear all ate their porridge at different temperatures. None of them was the “right” one or the “magic” one, none of them were really even a progression from the others, it was the one that fit best for them.
Goldilocks tried them all, and found the one that fit best for her. And we’d all do better to do the same thing with workout movements.
The Client Who Did Zero Kettlebell Swings
I had a client who felt uncomfortable with kettlebell swings because of some previous injuries (that she had had physical therapy for, and was cleared to workout with now).
Instead of kettlebell swings, we did a million other things that she felt great about and fit her body really well: For strength she rocked all varieties of deadlifts, barbell hip thrusts, cable hip pull throughs, ball-leg-curl-hipbridges. For interval training she rocked sprints, jump rope, and sometimes battling ropes.
She lost about 40 pounds over a year, hit all her goals, and did it with movements that fit her body.
Honestly, it had more to do with getting the food habits right than it did the magic workout movements. We always got in a push, pull, squat and hip hinge, but which hip hinge didn’t matter at all, in the long run.
Sometimes Weight or Reps Beats Complexity
I posted the split-squat progression above because it seems like everyone wants to do pistol-squats.
And if pistol-squats seem cool, then by all means work towards them. Because working towards stuff is fun. The amount of strength and flexibility you’ll have to build to be able to do pistol-squats will absolutely make a difference in your fitness and athleticism.
But for the average person, who’s goal is fat loss, it doesn’t really matter if you ever do a pistol.
For fat loss, you’ll probably get better results by doing split-squats with heavy-ish kettlebells for 3 sets of 12, than you would “finally getting” that one shaky pistol.
In general, try adding weight or reps first. Own the movement. Get a great workout.
How Can You (Or Have You) Better Fit Your Workout to Your Body?
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One thing I've noticed since releasing Fat Loss Happens on Monday is some confusion about the "By The Numbers" Phase.
It's Where To Start, Not Where to Stay
In the book I said to start with By The Numbers, a phase that includes starting to food journal, and adjusting primarily calories and protein based on your results.
The reason I start people there is because it shows us where the break in the system is. Or, said less elegantly: The By the Numbers Strategy is designed to break you.
Most people are going to have the wheels come off the wagon with calories and protein and logging, and see that they need to work on habits or logistics, like planning, shopping, cooking, or eating slower.
90% of the Game is Awareness
Tracking calories is going to create some awareness around food choices and quantity. But where it's really a powerful assessment is in showing what there is to work on.
Could be logistics like planning
Could be "on the court" stuff like eating more slowly
Could be that counting calories drives you crazy, and that you should journal your food on paper or by taking pictures with your phone.
Those are absolutely completely necessary things to learn. And that's the whole point of the By The Numbers Strategy — to create awareness of what you really need to be focusing on.
How do you know if you're super advanced? If you can go straight off of calories and macronutrient information, and make those changes on the fly, you're super advanced.
This is typically someone who's already been planning, shopping, and cooking for quite a while.
If that's you, you can make small adjustments to your food plan, based on your results and the numbers in your journal, and have a straight line to your goal. It's awesome when it's that simple.
It's almost never that simple.
Everyone Else: Three Step Plan
If that isn't you, that's awesome! In fact, that's most people who come to me. Here's a three step plan to getting to the next level:
1.) Look at your food journal for where things didn't go the way you wanted
2.) Figure out what the issue was (Planning? Cooking? Bored? Ate too fast?)
3.) Put together a plan to take one new small step that would be more effective than last week
In my book Fat Loss Happens on Monday, there are four different strategies you could take on based on what you learn from where it comes apart.
So essentially, what you'd learn from the By The Numbers Strategy is which strategy that would make the most difference for you:
- Planning and Preparing Strategy
- Fullness Leads to Fat Loss Strategy
- One Meal at a Time Strategy
- Mindfulness Strategy
There's also a maintenance strategy, which mostly involves cycling off fat loss as a goal, and working on something else fun and fitness related. Cycles of goals and focus makes a lot of sense. Likewise, most people might cycle through one of the above strategies multiple times, or might go through all of them one after another.
That's the point of assessment — it shows you what the one next thing to work on is.
Having the discipline and courage to work on just that one next thing is actually the fastest route to the goal.
To The Next Level, Rockstar
Whenever things come apart in your diet, the only question you should ask yourself if — what could I add in strategically that would make a difference.
If you need more structure, take a look at my book Fat Loss Happens on Monday.
If you need some accountability and support, I have a Fat Loss Happens on Monday coaching group starting soon. Stay tuned.
Here’s an amazing infographic — not only is it the ultimate guide to losing fat, it’s also a Cliff’s Notes version of Fat Loss Happens on Monday:
One of the most important things we can do to instantly and powerfully impact your results (outcome) is totally counterintuitive — to focus entirely on the process.
There's a balancing act that has to go on between process and outcome, and all of our media, most of our coaches, and everything we've ever been told is entirely outcome oriented — the balance is waaaaaaay off. And it doesn't work.
Basketball is a perfect metaphor:
If you're playing basketball, the score is sort of an *indicator* or how well you are playing.
But the score isn't the playing.
The playing is the dribbling and passing and shooting. And when that's all going well, usually you get the ball in the basket.
That's all the playing. The actual *on the court* making stuff happen.
The score usually reflects (at some level) how things are going on the court. But THE SCORE IS NOT THE ACTIONS ON THE COURT.
If you play the game looking at the scoreboard, you fail.
You need to be looking at the person you're going to pass to or the basket you're shooting for.
And that's the way it works in fat loss. The scale *usually/mostly* reflects how you're doing "on the court" with your planning and shopping and cooking and preparing.
But research is pretty clear that people get better results on the scale (scoreboard) by focusing on their planning/shopping/cooking logistical habits (on the court) than they do focusing on the scale.
And those are all processes.
A process goals could be :
• I'm going to go plan my food week on Sunday.
• I'm going to cook one more meal than I did last week
• I'm going to log my food for four days this week
• I'm going to bring healthy snacks to work on Wednesdays, when they always bring in cupcakes
• I'm going to work out 9 times this month
Stuff like that. Those are predominantly the kinds of goals you want to focus on. Winning at those kinds of goals drives the outcome.
You body composition goals always catch up with your habit (process) goals eventually
This post originally appeared in the BACKSTAGE facebook group (for which Tacocat is an unofficial spokesperson).
Join the discussion: https://www.facebook.com/groups/joshhillisbackstage/
Not surprisingly, the number one question I've gotten this week is this — can I combine Lift Weights Faster or Lift Weights Faster 2 workouts with Fat Loss Happens on Monday?
Or, said another way — it could be just as simple as "How Do I Combine my Strength Workouts and Conditioning Workouts?"
I'm so glad you asked.
So you'd do two strength workouts from Fat Loss Happens on Monday, and 1 metabolic workout from Lift Weights Faster.
This is actually how I was originally taught — put the strength workouts first, and then if you have a bonus day, add in a metabolic conditioning workout.
Could look like this:
Sunday: Food Planning/Prep/Cooking
2.) Two Strength + Two Conditioning
This is probably the most popular one, giving you an even mix of the structure and progress from the strength workouts, with the variety of the conditioning workouts.
Sunday: Food Planning/Prep/Cooking
3.) Two Strength Workouts + One Conditioning
I'm a big fan of "less is more", so this is probably the best option of the three for most people. Lets take a look at what it could look like:
Monday: Food Planning/Prep/Cooking
3.5) Three Strength + Conditioning
This is probably the easiest to implement. Drop the intervals from Fat Loss Happens on Monday, and switch in a 10 minute (no longer) conditioning workout.
Monday: Food Planning/Prep/Cooking
Tuesday: Strength + 10 min Conditioning
Thursday: Strength + 1o min Conditioning
Saturday: Strength + 10 min Conditioning
Which Option is Best?
Now stay with me — here's where it gets crazy: Which ever one you like the best.
Holy effin' what? You're allowed to "like" one best?!?!?!?
You've got these 3.5 options for combining them, and they'll all work really well. You've got enough choice here to pick something that will work for you, in your life, and what you like. But there's enough structure in these choices (they all "work") that you've got something you know is effective.
-by Josh Hillis
P.S. The sale ends today. And of course, the only reason I endorse Jen's stuff is because it's awesome. In fact that might have something to do with why we're friends.
P.P.S. If you like the intervals in Fat Loss Happens on Monday (I do) that's totally fine. Keep doing those! LFW2 conditioning workouts are just for people who want some variety.