Today is my birthday! 39 years of me rocking and rolling on planet earth. I’ve had some great times!
Every year at this time I always get a little contemplative on achievements, friends, family, ambitions and so on.
I took my first fitness qualifications back in 1992 but didn’t really start Personal Training seriously until 2006 when I started GB Personal Training in Hampstead, North London.
So to commemorate today’s special date I thought I would list down 10 lessons I have learnt in the Health & Fitness industry over the years and hopefully we can both learn something for the future.
# 1 – Just be Consistent
It doesn’t matter whether you want to lose weight, put on muscle or be as flexible as a gymnast, consistency is what really makes the difference. You need to stay on track day after day after day.
Being consistent can be difficult at first but it doesn’t take long to build a habit, good or bad. Don’t worry too much about getting it right first time just start and keep going. For example perform just 10 bodyweight squats every morning before you hit the shower. The reason my 5 x 30 mins per week personal training sessions are so successful is because they build consistency.
# 2 – Be Progressive
There is a tendency in the health and fitness industry to keep dazzling you with the latest exercises, movements and equipment. None of this really matters unless you are consistent and progressive. So once you have developed a small habit of exercise start to add a few extra repetitions or a little more time. Progression is about challenging your system and forcing adaptation. Your body will always try to preserve precious energy so you need to keep up the challenge.
# 3 – Move More Often
The more you move the more you pump nutrients around the body. Imagine the difference between a fast flowing river and a stagnant pool of water.
Many of the bad backs I have had to rehabilitate have been from ‘weekend warrior’ type exercisers. In my opinion you are better to exercise little and often then to go nuts every now and again. Better to keep your river flowing than to just disturb the water every now and then.
# 4 – Mobilise in the Evenings
Over the last year I have been having clients mobilise their joints just before bedtime and the results have been fantastic. The spine loses 20% of its disc fluid during the day and has a very minimal blood supply to bring fresh nutrients to assist in healing and recovery.
Simple joint mobility just before bed opens up the joints and pumps fresh nutrients to the stagnant areas. The result is a rejuvenated body overnight and a deep restful nights sleep. Yoga movements together with deep breathing are excellent choices. Depending on your daily activities and skeletal structure will determine which exercises are best for you. For most people focusing on Thoracic, Foot and Neck joints are important.
# 5 – Exercise is NOT for Fat Loss
What you eat affects you at a cellular level. Eat well and you will lose weight regardless of what exercise you do. Exercise helps pump the body, add muscle and increases wellbeing and although it will help with fat loss the impact is far less than most people think.
Eating 21 meals a week compared with 3-5 workouts a week is simply no competition. When you think of fat loss think nutrition before anything else.
# 6 – Supplements are Supplements
Supplements are exactly that, they are designed to supplement a good diet. If your diet is not yet 100% bang on then you shouldn’t be taking supplements. I personally never recommend supplements. I think there is always room for nutritional improvement without the need for something that is produced in a chemical lab.
Too many supplements are backed by self funded research and are run my multinational companies with a huge marketing spend. If you want to take the plunge then good luck but nothing will replace natural food that has been tried and tested for millions of years. Without it we wouldn’t be here.
# 7 – Exercise Early
Not only is your hormonal system more ready for exercise in the morning but it will help you psychologically too. I have had far more success with morning programs than evening ones. Once you leave something until later in the day things always get in the way. You spend the day anticipating the workout. It gives you time to think up excuses. The best thing is to get up and get started. Don’t over think it just get it done for the day and forget it. It won’t take long to build a habit of exercise.
# 8 – Carbs for Fat Loss
Everyone has a different dietary requirement. There is no one diet fits all. One thing that I have found to be true is that Carbs are responsible for the obesity epidemic we have today. If you want to lose fat then reduce your carb intake. Just eliminating Sugar and Gluten from your diet will see you drop weight quicker than anything else.
If you want to Lose 7lbs in 21 days then see my all natural nutrition plan.
# 9 – Do Something you Enjoy
Going to the gym is not for everyone. Neither is weight training or Fitness Classes. Have a think about what you really enjoy. If its walking, then do more of that. If its playing badminton then play more badminton. You will get a lot more joy in your life from doing something you love over the next 12 months then from forcing yourself to do something you dislike. Â Plus you’re more likely to stick to it.
Clean up your diet and do something you love as often as possible and your life will be better physically, mentally and emotionally.
# 10 – Don’t Stress It!
When I started in the fitness industry I focused more on the short game. I now realise that it’s the long game that is far more important. Start building habits for the future. If life gets in the way don’t worry just get it next time.Â Make a plan but don’t be too strict. Stay flexible but focused.
All good things take time so its worth bearing this in mind as you are bombarded by quick fixes and the latest gadgets and gizmo’s.
Over to You
Any pearls of wisdom you think I should add to this list?