EATING CLEAN IS SIMPLE STUFF…

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There is a certain charm to simplicity. Simple things are easy to adapt, adopt and abandon. Unfortunately, simplicity dies a sorry death each time, every time. You know why? Simple things don’t come with bragging rights. Simplicity lacks exclusivity, and can be adopted by anyone and everyone.

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People forget, simple things, whether it is automobile designs, architecture, dinner dresses, or diet plans work much better than the overtly complicated embellished substitutes.

Today, I am going to talk about NUTRITION. Yes! Hit the word on google and there are a zillion results, talking about the latest fad diet, nutrient timing, how meat is bad, juicing is in, movie star diets and a zillion other findings that affirms how your current diet will lead you to debilitation and DEATH!

But this post is about SIMPLE STUFF. So for starters lets cut through the internet clutter, chuck counting calories, raiding vegan recipes or paleo diet problems. Here is a quick checklist to eating clean.

MAGNIFY THE MACROS. Yes, the macronutrients. Carbohydrates, Proteins and fats. Ideally your meals should have 40% carbohydrates, 30% proteins and 30% GOOD FATS.

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Eyeball your meals. Ask yourself. What does my breakfast look like? Does it have enough carbohydrates to get me through the day? Adequate proteins for repair and maintenance of my muscles, and fats so that the body can manufacture essential lipids and hormones. Fruit and fibre to provide me with minerals and vitamins and that’s that.

EAT REAL FOOD

Now what the hell does that mean? Eat food that GOD made for you. Here is a clue, protein sources have feathers, fins and fur. They swim, walk on two or four legs. (chicken, turkey, fish lamb, beef, pork)

Plant sources grow above and beneath the ground. (Green leafy vegetables, potatoes, onions etc) Fats come in the form of nuts and seeds (eg almonds, walnuts, flaxseed, coconut).

Real foods have a short shelf life. You put them out and they go stale.

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On the other hand man made foods, they have a much longer shelf life. You know why? Because it’s very little food and primarily preservatives, full of fake flavours and colours that do your body no good.

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Also man made foods are processed, as a result the glycemic index or the propensity of the food to raise your Insulin (blood sugar/glucose) is pretty high. Constant spike in sugar levels courtesy chips, cookies and donuts and processed carbs is the main culprit behind obesity, type 2 diabetes, coronary heart diseases and some horrible cancers. Too much sugar and starch causes your body to hoard fat.

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To cut a long story short, real foods are the ones with shorter shelf life, and are good for you. The longer the shelf life of a food item the more processed and preservative loaded it is, and constant consumption will wreak havoc on your hormones. Bottom line, Get Real! And Eat Clean!

BE YOUR OWN NUTRITIONIST

Yes, don’t just copy paste a diet plan off the web. Design your own diet. And for god sake don’t follow movie star diets. Just because Hugh Jackman consumed 5000 calories a day to get jacked, or Kiera Knightley survived on orange juice to get skinny doesn’t mean it will work for you too.

Get one thing straight, our bodies are different. The way they process and digest food is different too. For eg Jackman could get away with stuffing 5000 calories but aping the same meal plan might leave you tired, gassy and bloated.

So here is what you can do. First things first, try and eliminate the bad foods, overtly processed and preservative loaded no matter how much you love them. Next whip out a pen and paper, note down foods that you love eating, ones you don’t mind once in a while and foods that you won’t eat unless someone held a gun to your head.

Be as broad as possible and cherry pick food items on the basis of quality (good carbs and fats, leafy greens/lean meats), taste, preferences and nutritional value. Mix and match food items for three meals with the ideal macronutrient proportion. Then monitor your meals on three parameters.

1) How do I feel after I eat this meal?

2) How do I perform when I eat clean? Energy levels, moods etc.

3) How do I look when I eat clean?

vegan diet

I am not a big fan of following any particular diet but If you are trying out a diet (paleo,zone,vegan,atkins) give it at least 3 weeks and analyse on the parameters. If you LOOK, FEEL & PERFORM good, then continue or else bin it.

Remember the best diet is the one that WORKS FOR YOU!

ITS COOL TO HAVE CHEAT DAYS

I don’t have any scientific research to back this claim, so use your discretion before you adopt this tip. But think about it, it’s all about balance isn’t it? Being a calorie counting nutritional nazi is no fun.

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Plus some dietary decadence prevents you from derailing from the eating clean track. Once a week whatever your comfort food is, indulge in it. Put aside guilt pangs, or stressing about the weighing scale. Some days I smash my face with beer and countless cinnamon donuts, and feel awfully good about it.

So, that is that…Eating clean isn’t that tough as its made out to be. It doesn’t have to be rocket science.  The simpler your nutrition the longer you will be able to stick to it.

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Are you a good Crossfit ambassador?

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Ask yourself. Are you a good crossfit ambassador? Doesn’t matter how long and hard you have been crossfitting. I mean you could be a crossfit coach or a crossfit games competitor or someone who has just started off. But, ask yourself are you a good crossfit ambassador?

I mean, what is the picture you paint of crossfit when a fat deconditioned, detrained man or woman walks up to you? Do you regale him/her with your phenomenal fitness tales? Crush his/her confidence at your doorstep?

 

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Make him believe that he needs to be at a decent level of fitness to survive a workout? Rattle his core with tales of countless pull-ups, bleeding calluses and pukie visits and rhabdo risks?

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If you suffer from the so called “crossfit elitism” of looking down on the weak and the deconditioned. You need to stop NOW! Because that is not what crossfit and this beautiful community is all about.

Yes we are all badasses in our own right. Our aesthetics are pristine and athletic abilities are phenomenal too, but we don’t need to rub that in. What we need to do is bring in a new perspective, paint a new picture of crossfit especially for people looking tide over from their stale globo gym scene.

We often forget bragging about the biggest boon of crossfit – the community, its universal applicability, and its scalable nature. Here is what I preach to people who ask me about crossfit.

 

For starters, its one size fits all rule. It’s a fitness module that packs in the Olympic athlete and the grandma in a same class, puts them through the same workout. Because it believes that our needs differ by degree not by kind. In short, you don’t need to be a badass or freakishly fit to start crossfit.

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The workouts are scaled to suit your fitness level. So essentially same exercise routines are used for elderly individuals and cage fighters one month from their televised bouts, the only difference the loads and intensity is scaled down, the program stays the same.

old lady

So both the Olympian and the grandma perform squats while the Olympian does it with a couple of hundred pounds, the granny does squats with a broomstick or a pvc pipe. But here is the beauty, both athletes irrespective of age and fitness levels reap the benefits of the exercise module.

A month from now I will be taking my Crossfit L1 Certification. My job is to empower people by painting the right picture of crossfit and help them live a fuller life through fitness irrespective of where they stand today.

I am going to tell them, it doesn’t matter if you are young or old, fat or fit, conditioned or deconditioned crossfit is for YOU!

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You don’t need to be phenomenally fit to start crossfit, you don’t need to be a cage fighter, a marine or a Navy seal you just need to START. Lets not forget, it’s a community not a cult, lets cultivate the community by painting the right picture. Empower the weak and forge elite fitness.

I am a good crossfit ambassador. Are you?

 

PICTURE COURTESY: Fitbomb.com,http://www.chicagofitnessreport.com,http://crossfitbook.files.wordpress.comcrossfit619.comhttp://www.imperfectlife.net

 

 

 

 

APATHY

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The dictionary describes apathy as:

ap·a·thy  (p-th)

1. Lack of interest or concern, especially regarding matters of general importance or appeal; indifference.
2. Lack of emotion or feeling; impassiveness.
 
Personally, I think its a lot dangerous state to be in than the clinical dictionary description. Its a state where your body and mind lose momentum. 
 
Things that you once loved, seem like a chore. Deeds that you once derived pleasure from, feel like dead weight. Energy and enthusiasm bleeds from your being, and you feel sort of empty.
 
That feeling of emptiness makes you question yourself. You question the quality of passion, or drive you possessed for the very things that once made you feel “ALIVE”. Instead of manifesting magnificence through the things you loved, all you do is muddle in mediocrity.
 
Apathy assails your soul. If you have been in such a state. The most mature thing you can do is SLOW DOWN! 
 
Reset…Refresh… Re calibrate.
 
Rinse the rust off your soul my friend.
 
 
  
 
 

 

Perils of Crossfitting ALONE

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Couple of days ago a curious question came my way. Why is my blog called cub crossfitter?

Cub here denotes a beginner. Someone who is finding his feet in this beautiful fitness module called crossfit. Someone who is coming of age as an athlete.

So, here is the deal. I don’t belong to a box (a crossfit gym). I haven’t experienced the camaraderie that this great community brings along. Not because I am some antisocial psychopath, but because I have to drive great distances to get to a box.

For those who don’t know much about crossfit gyms. Here is what happens, no matter how fit or fat you are, at a crossfit box you are an ATHLETE. There is something called a WOD (workout of the day) which all the athletes irrespective of their gender, caste, creed, colour and sexual orientation attempt together. The crux of it they put in the work, suck up the pain, suffer and succeed together.

Usually workouts are time (where you race against the clock) or task based (finish a certain amount of work). The ones, who finish first, motivate the fellow athletes, and it’s true the folks who finish last get the loudest of cheers.

I am sure it would be great killing a WOD in a box. Much like a pride of lions. Hunting together, with their eyes firmly fixed on the prize.  The prize you ask? To push past previous PR’s (personal record) finish faster, grow stronger and emerge fitter day after day.

I crossfit all ALONE.  Most days my body is my barbell and my bedroom is my box. I have realized crossfitting alone has its fair share of glitches. Here are some purely personal problems of crossfitting alone.

1) There are no cheers on the sidelines. Cheers that choke the monkey chatter in your mind and push you to perform at your peak.

2) No words of encouragement, no high fives, no pat on the back when you hit a pretty PR.

3) There is no community to cushion you when your motivation sags or when you post mediocre scores.

4) The days you walk in and you feel like there is nothing left in the tank. You can’t feed off the energy of the box.

5) You tend to ABORT A WOD midway; I have been guilty of doing it twice. I   doubt, if that really happens in a box. Even if you zone out, the fellow athletes bring you back to the task at hand.

6) Complex craft like Olympic lifting needs a Coach. It can’t happen in your   bedroom. Unless you want to wreck yourself with mediocre mechanics and poor form.

7) Sometimes you cherry pick the workout, the programming patterns, play to your strengths and forget about your weakness

8) You miss one too many workouts.

Yes it must be great to strive and sweat with a group whose goals are similar to yours. But just because a box is at an obscene distance from where you stay shouldn’t be an excuse not to train.

So yes, I am going to WOD alone. Till a box comes nearby or till I open my OWN.  Bottom line, this cub is going to kill every WOD that comes his way.

PICTURE COURTESY: crossfitonthehill.com, crossfitrevenge.com

5 Random reasons why I love crossfit

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Totally not confirming to chronology, here are the random reasons.

It’s a mirror. Yes it really is. Mind you, you might be in great physical shape. Your anatomical aesthetics could inspire authors to pen down poetry or sculptors to carve your form flattering beauty into a statue.

But this mirror called crossfit doesn’t value aesthetics much. When you peek in, it might not show the pristine you. It will reflect back things you are not ready to reconcile with. It will make you meet your fears, your shortcomings, and the chinks in your- so- called physical and mental armour.

I am reminded the first WOD “cindy”. After twenty minutes I was curled up on the canvas gasping for air grunting in discomfort. I thought I was fit. But then, I was wrong. My first WOD (workout of the day) was a mirror that said to me you might be in great shape son, but you are far from fit. If the sadist in you wants to read the agony  “Cindy” put me through here it is. https://cubcrossfitter.wordpress.com/2013/07/23/cindy-was-my-first/

It’s measurable. Crossfit is quantifiable; you can measure your progress. It’s not cold, clinical or superficial like a globo gym routine. In crossfit your fitness goes beyond the peak of your bicep, the width of your chest, or half a dozen abs. Here performance is measured against time or a task.

The best bit, you see yourself evolve as an athlete each day, every day. Last month I attempted my first 5K run, It took 39 agonising minutes to finish. Fast forward to yesterday and four 5K’s later, my time has come to 32 minutes. I have shaved off 7 minutes off my 5K. It might not be much, but it’s certainly better than soulless running on the treadmill. I love it because it gives you instant feedback. Keeps your pride in check and puts you in your place.

It makes me face fear. Each time, every time before I attempt I WOD, I feel scared. I don’t know why maybe it’s the fear of failure. Sometimes the voices in the head shout out to surrender. Convince you to throw the towel even before it begins. Every WOD feels like you are taking on something, much bigger than yourself. I feel most scared when I attempt 100 burpees or a 5K run (I SUCK AT RUNNING). My stomach is in a constant flux, until the WOD’s done and I have collapsed in a sweaty heap.  

It’s majorly mental. Most of my PR’s (personal records) are the days when I don’t give in mentally. Sometimes I assign time caps, a limit for the completion of a particular workout. And the days I push past the time caps are the days where I max my mental muscles. The body steps up to the task, if your mind doesn’t call it quits. Every WOD where I PR (personal record), I prove myself wrong, mentally and physically. And that beautiful two letter acronym PR, that little space of finishing faster by a few minutes or seconds is what I call GROWTH.

It’s borderline Masochist. It’s weird but I dig in the discomfort that comes with a nasty WOD. I like it when my legs feel like wet noodles. I love to hear my heart beat out of my chest. I love it when sweat stings my eyes and I am left panting like a greyhound after a goose chase. Not to mention the morning after trip to the “SORE CITY” after an intense wod.  

My Motivation MANTRAS

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CONTENT DISCLAIMER: All motivation mantras mentioned below are based on my personal experience. You don’t need to consult a physical practitioner before trying these on. However, if you get a heart burn or a nosebleed or BOTH, after following these nifty tips. Do not SUE ME! I am a poor man trying to make your life better. Motivating you to train, so that you look great naked and feel like a million bucks.

Read at the angry therapist, motivation is a bit like sex. You can’t force it. http://www.theangrytherapist.com/motivation-is-like-sex/
I agree, forcing sex is not a done deed. And yes, you need to set in the mood to make love. However, waning motivation to move your ass could use some force.

When it comes to training I don’t create a conducive environment for it. I just shut my mind off and do it. I grab my pity self by the scruff of the neck and bark orders to change into sweat pants, swap the remote control with the running shoes. My motivation mantras are not all blood, force and drama type. If your motivation levels to train are sagging on a daily basis try these tips on for size.

GET UP! AND SHOW UP!  Works for me you know. Sometimes you just don’t feel like working out. And the days you don’t feel like, you must get on with your training. The trick is MOMENTUM. When the alarm announces the dawn, temptation to touch the snooze button is massive, choose not to. Switch the alarm off get and sit on the bed.

Don’t think much I bet your mind will coax you to hit the 10 minute snooze. Instead, dart off the bed, yes dart off! Like a bleeding ballistic missile with its tail on fire. A bit dramatic, but trust me, helps shake the slumber off.

Gulp a glass of water, grab a fruit and get to the gym or park or box wherever you train. Trust me getting off the bed is half the battle won. Once you show up you end up getting some work done.

KEEP YOUR KIT READY. Another visual key that helps me, I keep my stuff ready. Hang your training kit and shoes close to your bed. So you are not rummaging through your closet looking for sweat pants and socks. By doing so your mind can’t trick you to miss the workout because you can’t find your favorite shorts, socks, lucky underwear or whatever that is. Keep your kit ready! That’s what i see when i wake up. My italian stallion tee, tracks and running shoes.

GET REAL! Both in your life and the fitness goals you set. If your activity levels are lesser than that of a sloth, gloating over fit specimens in glossy magazines and wanting a magazine cover page body, is a lofty goal. P.S You are setting yourself for failure. Start small, it could be for 15 minutes three times a week stick to it. Graduate to a jog or ramp up to a run the following week.
Make minute meal changes. Swap the pizza for a piece of fruit. Set smart goals that are attainable. Don’t get me wrong I am not saying you can’t be a men’s health cover page model. It’s just that how you go about it will make all the difference. Set small goals daily, weekly monthly goals. Success in small goals makes the end result very achievable.

TRAINING DIARY. Arnold had one. I have one too. Not the fancy app or website version. Good old pen and paper pad sort. Here is a page out of my training diary.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam
The contents on the page, the date, time of the workout, the workout, the reps, rounds and time taken to complete. I also tend to make notes as to how I felt before and after the workout, movements/exercises that need work when I re attempt the WOD.

The best bit about journaling your fitness journey is that you can track your evolution to a fitter, faster, and a stronger YOU. And that is a big motivator. So if you are a no-nonsense technically challenged soul like me, a good pen and paper pad would do the job. Or else a google search would give you torrents of apps for your tabs, androids and fruity phones.

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

The days I feel lazy yet force myself to workout I have an acronym. (YAY) it stands for You against You! It’s a big mental boost. It usually denotes days when I push past my mental limits (too tired, too sleepy, too hungry, too lazy sort of excuses).
When I flip back through my training diary most of the pages are peppered with YAY’S. That itself is a big motivator. Getting your training in on days when you don’t feel like moving a muscle gives you a mental edge.

DON’T FLOG YOURSELF FOR FAILURE. No matter how motivated and committed you are. There will be days where you give up, bunk working out or just lay wide awake and stare the ceiling. Case in point, just a few days back my alarm went off at 6 am I woke up, did nothing but stared the ceiling till about 8 am. I did not sleep, I didn’t train either.

I wasted two hours of my life tackling a tug of war between my mind and body. I drifted through the day, massively mad at myself and the world. But this is counterproductive if you do end up bunking, don’t FLOG yourself.

Enjoy your day off and focus on the next day. Yes the days you don’t workout be mobile. Take stairs, squeeze in a walk get some air, some sun and stay in a sane headspace. The more flexible you are the more committed you will be to your training.

I have just resumed to train regularly (it’s been two weeks to be precise) and making a start is a mean task. One video that really inspires me to workout is this one. P.S Please pay attention to the script. 


If you too are starting out, or have constantly failed in your fitness pursuits tell me about it in the comments. Let’s give our fitness goals a GO! Start over, I motivate you, and you motivate me. Cheers to a fitter, faster and a drop dead sexier world.

“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time.”
~Thomas Edison

PHOTO COURTESY: quickmeme.com, www.memegeneokerlund.com, kailash menon

 

The Art of WOD

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The art of wod is a collection of quotes, cherry picked and customised from one of the greatest book on strategy, The art of war by Sun Tzu.

I just finished reading it and found some quotes how they find relevance to almost everything that we do on a daily basis. The book is a wad of wisdom. The best bit, it finds relevance from the battlefield to the boardroom, and even to your bedroom. However I would write about the bedroom bit later for now, here is what you can absorb from the art of war in your daily workouts and fitness pursuits.

ART OF WAR : “All warfare is based on deception.”

ART OF WOD: All WOD’S are based on deception.

Yes WOD’S (workout of the day) most of them, are MENTAL MIRAGES. How tough or how easy they actually are, and how tough or easy you perceive and project them to your mind, makes all the difference.

So if it’s a long high rep WOD with a whole lot of nastiness. Deceive your mind.Direct it to chip the WOD down further into finer fragments.  Deception has to be done right. If the WOD is a 10 k or a 5k run, arming yourself with the attitude oh god! this is going to suck, will invite failure. But if you deceive your mind to calm down and chomp down the bite size chunks that you have broken the WOD into, things gets easier. So athletes, learn to DECEIVE your mind and DISTRACT your body from the drudgery tough wods bring in.

ART OF WAR: “Victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first and then seek to win”

ART OF WOD: “Victorious athletes win first and then go to WOD, while defeated athletes go to WOD  first and  then seek to win”

Mindset isn’t ladies and gentlemen? Ever seen yourself push past your PR (personal record) even before you attempt a WOD? Victorious athletes VISUALISE.

So even before they attempt a WOD, they have killed it in their brains. Body follows suit. So next WOD, take couple of minutes out and visualise! Run the WOD in your head from start to finish .Visualise how you breathe when the WOD is on. Visualise your form , your tempo , your rhythm, your pace and most importantly affirm success and goal time.  Make every fiber in your body and brain to BELIEVE! That you are going to Kill it!

ART OF WAR: “Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy is the noise before defeat.”

ART OF WOD: “Strategy without tactics means slowest wod times. Tactics without strategy is the noise before surrender.”

Wars are won with strategy. WOD’s are won with strategy too. So whether it’s a main site WOD, or random WOD you scribbled on a piece of paper. STRATEGISE!   Let’s assume you are attempting FRAN. How do you plan to attack it? Will you go unbroken the first set of 21 thrusters, or will you break it into 3 sets of 7? Strategy should always be in sync with your strengths.

So if you can’t string 21 pull ups unbroken, attempting it in one go with half assed reps barely crossing the bar will mean setbacks and slow times. On the contrary, if you break the same 21 pull ups into three sets of 7, your form and times would be much better, your movement standards would be up to scratch, and your breathing and general fatigue levels will be under control too.  Hammering into a WOD with no apparent strategy is wasting time trying to adapt to the agony while the clock is ticking. In a nutshell, STEP BACK, STRATEGISE and then SLAUGHTER the WOD.

IMAGE COURTESY: endofthreefitness.com,westernrifleshooters.wordpress.com,exactsports.com,risetoit.co.za

SUPERFICIAL FITNESS

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Are you one of those? You know, the shallow sorts. Who just goes to the gym to look a certain way. What’s your motivation? Health and fitness, or vain wants and mirror muscles?  Are you one of those women who works out so that her derriere looks dishy in denims? Or are you the bicep curling beefcake?  Not judging you, but fitness should never start or stop at looking a certain way. 

Yes, we live in the world of instant gratification. Add to that, picture perfect physiology, preening and posing in the movies and ads. Billboards have boys who are buff and websites are full of wispy women. It’s a societal pressure to look a certain way, but this sort of approach, chasing the ideal symmetry of an idol you follow is FLAWED.   

So ask yourself, why do you workout? What would you rather chase? Superficial symmetry?  Or good health and baseline fitness that gets you through your daily chores with ease? Trust me if you choose the latter, your body will sculpt itself better than you can imagine.

Let’s start with the ladies

Each of us are built different.  Workouts and diet plans designed for Jessica Biel might not work for you, or your out of shape colleague. And those women’s magazines that pimp the obnoxious orange juice diet for weight loss, Trust me it doesn’t work either.

Refusing your body of vital nutrients that it needs to build repair and ensure proper functioning is not fit or healthy. Plus, your body’s core function is SURVIVAL. The moment you starve, anything you eat post a long spell of fasting is turned into fat. Bottom line the body is happier in a feast (not donuts and soda sort) like situation, famine causes it to save its fuel and convert food to fat.

And then those boys who want to get buff.

So you see a movie star getting ripped to the bone for a movie role and suddenly you want a body like his. Next step you go off dietary fat to get your fat percent under 5 percent. For those who forgo fats, good fats produce testosterone and testosterone builds muscle. So no fat intake equals no muscle.

 A little vanity doesn’t hurt anyone, but focusing all the energies on just looking a certain way will not make you better apart from retaining the same dress size. A little shift in your focus may help you look a certain way and also get fit in the real sense of the word.

1)     Focus on athletics over aesthetics. Yes you maybe a jacked up jock but if you can’t open a jam jar you are a FAILURE!  Much like this beefcake.

If you been just curling barbells and doing crunches ditch those exercises and start doing compound movements. Squats, deadlifts, presses pull ups to name a few. And yes I prescribe this to the ladies as well. Remember your body never works in isolation. Whether you are walking or squatting or running your body uses multiple muscles and joints. So essentially, you are evolutionary wired to use multiple muscles and joints no matter what movement is.  Your training should contain a lot of compound exercises.

The more muscles you work, the more testosterone released hence you pack more muscle. And all you women worried about barbells and bulking up. Fret not since, you don’t produce enough testosterone even if you lift heavy you wouldn’t end up looking like lady hulk. Don’t believe me? Check these ladies, they squat lift and throw down things on a daily basis.

2)      So once you move over to compound exercises. Try lifting heavy. Not the staple sets of 10 or 12 reps.  Throw in one, three and five rep maxes. The heavier the load the more muscles worked, bigger the neuro muscular impact, more testosterone released and hence you pack up muscles faster than the bicep curling. You want true fitness, vary your workouts. Throw in more functional stuff run, sprint, lift, body weight movements mix it all up. Shock your body as often as you can.

3)      Ladies, quit your never ending elliptical or treadmill sessions. Try HIIT. High intensity interval training.  Basically, spurts of intense activity followed by rest intervals. Sessions are short, sweaty and brutal.

The best bit, its not like your clinical long drawn run on the gym treadmill, peering into the petite plasma placed on the wall, Get to a park do a sprint session. Pick a distance, 50 or 100 meters and dash through it full blast. Record your time. Rest and repeat.

4)     Screw the six pack.

Yes you heard me right. Instead carve your core. Crunches are useless they really are, start planking a total body exercise that makes you stronger inside out.

5)     Forget about looking a certain way. Forget spot fat fixes, endless crunches and isolation exercises. Chuck the weighing scale, stop mapping yourself with a measuring tape after each workout. Just focus on eating clean, working out hard (preferably thrice a week) and sleeping eight hours a day. Do all of this and I promise you in 30 days from now you will look much better naked.

IMAGE COURTESY: showupfitness.com,piecesinprogress.tumbler.com,troll.me,knowyourmeme.com,lostnidaho.com,Ritualist.deviantart.com

EAT! When you are eating.

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The title sounds a bit weird right? But do you really eat when you are eating? I don’t care whether you pile up your plate sky high or you eat like a bird, really not judging you on the portions you consume. But honestly, do you really eat when you are eating? Allow me to strangle the suspense. This post is not about counting calories or eating clean because really, I am not a nutritional nazi.

Everyone knows too much processed food, too many carbs will kill you sooner or later. So I am not preaching on eating clean this post is about being aware and present while you are eating.  I have a confession to make, for the last 6 years my girlfriend (now wife) and I have had our supper in front of idiot box. Our dining table was rendered obsolete but not anymore. It’s been a week. I only eat when I am eating.  No TV, no phones, no mails, no papers, pamphlets and no pondering about anything else, but the food we eat. So here is my take on what monks call mindful eating.

1)     Food is fuel yes it is, and it is equally important the manner in which you consume it. So, gobbling up a sandwich at your workstation or munching an apple while driving to work isn’t mindful eating. Make time for food, yes no matter how crushed you are with worldly pressures, roles and responsibilities. Make time for your meal.

2)     CHEW!!! That’s right chew. Let me throw some elementary school science to back my claim. Digestion begins in the mouth when food is mixed with saliva and bitten down into bite size chunks. When you stuffing food down, the first step doesn’t happen fully, so your digestive system has to chip in and do the work that your molars missed.

Extra pressure on the digestive system means your body uses more energy just to breakdown the cafeteria sandwich you stuffed in front of your office computer. So even before you start your corporate slave day, you feel spent and sluggish. Now I don’t subscribe to 32 times rule Horace Fletcher came out with.  Honestly, I guess if you chew that many times then bread would become baby batter in the mouth. Basically don’t bother with the number of times but remember the digestion bit I told you about. It all starts in the mouth.

3) Quit multitasking. Yup, we all want to be loved for the recent display picture we flaunted on facebook. But please don’t fiddle with your phone while you are having your food. Similarly emails can wait in the inbox they don’t explode if they stay a little longer in your inbox. Trust me they really don’t. Finish your food and do whatever you want to.

4) See, Smell, and Savour. Yes, now I am not asking you to plate a platter master chef style. Look at the food on your plate, register the colours, appreciate the aroma and savour the flavours, taste the textures.  

5)     Eat at the dining table, this is the hardest part. If you like me and have been eating in front of the telly, weaning off will take some time and effort. Don’t flog yourself if you slip up, you can’t correct years if indiscipline in a week.

6)     Last but not the least be grateful. Many people in our country can’t afford two square meals a day. Spare a thought for them and thank god for making you privileged enough to enjoy a wholesome meal. 7)     Benefits of observing all above. For starters, you don’t overeat, and just in case you do digestion is not as hard as it used to be. The best bit your relationship with food changes. Don’t believe me try it on for size, seven days of mindful eating. Your energy levels and emotions will see a significant change. IMAGE COURTESY: Washokufood.blogspot.com, fitnesstreats.com,yourecards.com,cheeseburger.com.Luciana Ognbene.blog.nextdoor.com

EVEN THE BIG DOGS STARTED AS PUPS

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Do you often compare yourself to the elite crossfitters? I know I do. There is no harm in looking up to them, and their splendid scores. The trouble starts, when you belittle YOUR EFFORT! YOUR TIME! We all get wrapped up trying to nail in a sub three minute “fran” or finishing a 5k run under 20 minutes.

Relax!!! they too, once were like you and me. They have worked their ass off to finish “fran” under 3 minutes. If you find yourself demeaning your effort READ ON….

Look at the man in the mirror. If you are just starting out, the only person you ought to beat is you, yourself.    If comparisons are causing you to depreciate, mentally and physically, then all you got to do is shift your perspective.

Scale down son. Trust me it’s the “MAN THING” to do.  Beginners and their bodies are just not up to the volume and stress the elite can endure.  By doing the workouts RX’d you are only setting yourself up for failure, injury or BOTH.  Scale down the weight, the reps, use bands, barbells sans weight. The catch is, you get to scale the volume and load, but not the effort or intensity. You scale the work down and give it your ALL.

Appreciate and celebrate your effort no matter how trivial it maybe. For example I have never jumped rope in 29 years of my existence on earth. I tried it two months ago, it was catastrophic. For days I piked, donkey kicked, whipped my toes blue, but couldn’t get the rhythm right. The day I got my first single under I celebrated it, and then when I strung 10 together, I was over the moon. So whatever it is, your first kip, your first push up or something as silly as a single under learn to celebrate.

Here is the good news!  If the Elite can post some pristine times, so can you, but you got to be patient and consistent in your effort. Most importantly not whine, how crap your conditioning or strength is in comparison to theirs. Rich Froning does multiple workouts a day. From what I hear two to five WODS a day. That’s more than most of us do in a week. But aping Fronings training will not lead you to the elite club. Progressions have to be reasonable, unless you want uncle “RHABDO” (rhabdomyolysis) visiting you.

You can’t jump from one wod to five wods the very next day. Ok, maybe you can, if you are genetic freak like Froning. But I know most of us aren’t as gifted as Rich so take BABY STEPS. Remember, as a baby you started to crawl, then you walked with a wobble, before you ran. Apply the same philosophy to your training.

Focus on your form, you can bring in the pace a little later. Once the form is faultless, that’s the time you should think of racing against the clock or conquering the elite crossfitters. Till then, make sure every rep of every wod is as elegant as the elite athlete puts out.    

Some wise man said It’s the journey that matters not the destination. Guess what?  It’s damn right! It’s a journey, keep moving – from a Beginner to an intermediate to advanced and then finally ELITE. Since you are starting out the elite athletes should be your source of inspiration and motivation. Something you yearn to be and once you get as fast and as strong as them you should think of then as your competition. Till then Put up, shut up, GO HARD OR GO HOME…

IMAGE COURTESY: Beastlynews.com, Crossfitstronghold.com,jimbo,bsntumblr,functionalfitmag.com,therxreview.com