Your Debriefing for the War on Our Health and Fitness

Obesity in children

Okay. Here’s the situation.

We are more overfed, and yet, malnourished than ever before. Our food supply sucks and is getting worse. And it’s very difficult and increasingly expensive to eat a healthy, nutritious diet. We’re literally eating ourselves into disease, and ultimately, death.

The average American is chronically sleep deprived, and one in five Americans has a confirmed sleep disorder. We simply aren’t getting the rest and recovery we need on a day-to-day basis, which has a cumulative effect (this isn’t helping things!). And it’s killing us slowly.

The vast majority of Americans live mostly-sedentary lifestyles and nearly 4 out of 5 Americans don’t even get the recommended minimum amount of weekly exercise. Physical activity is more and more regarded as an unpleasant experience and/or inconvenience. And exercise is largely considered a commodity.

As if it wasn’t bad enough already, about half of all adults have at least one chronic health condition (e.g. heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, obesity, and arthritis). HALF! And 1 in 4 adults have 2 or more chronic health conditions. Plus, the TOP THREE causes of death are from preventable lifestyle diseases. Think about that for a moment.

Not to mention that…

1 in 4 adults experiences a diagnosable mental disorder each year.

We’re hopped up on meds like never before, which has all kinds of documented (and undocumented) side effects.

We’ve massively overdosed on stress, which makes everything worse.

And that’s just the beginning! Shall I go on?

Needless to say: things aren’t looking good. The great health experiment has failed. We are in really really bad shape. And get this. There are actually people out there who think that “one weird tip” will do the trick. Obviously, we’ve got our work cut out for us.

So, what do we do about it?

Well, we have an epidemic on our hands – several, actually – and the crisis we’re facing is overwhelming. Today, the status quo is so extreme that it may seem impossible to solve the problem, reverse the trends, and get our nation (and our world) back into good health and fitness. And when you look at the issue from a macro level (e.g. like looking at obesity trends, for instance) – and come up with potential solutions – it is equally mind-boggling and paralyzing. You could even say that it’s a pessimist’s wet dream. And there is no end in sight. At least, not a good end.

But when you look at the issue from a micro level (i.e. like looking at one person’s lifestyle), the solution becomes very clear – even simple – and very difficult, yet doable.

  • The solution is clear because more than ever before, we know exactly what we need (e.g. quality sleep, good food, physical activity, etc.). We’ve got scientific research coming out of our ears! And all of the knowledge we have access to today has confirmed that we’ve known the basics of good health and fitness for millennia. It has become abundantly clear that we don’t have a lack of knowledge. We have a lack of application.
  • The solution is simple because although health, fitness, and nutrition are all extremely complex, sophisticated subjects, the process of improving them really boils down to a few key basics that will have a huge positive impact. So, yes. Biochemistry is like rocket science, but eating more vegetables and getting more sleep isn’t.
  • Of course, the solution is difficult because practically everything in our society today will be working against you (e.g. technology, social norms, expectations, economic and environmental factors, etc.).
  • But here’s the thing: we know it’s doable because people like you and I do it all the time. And it’s awesome.

Despite everything working against them, some people still manage to break through it all and make things happen – oftentimes, overcoming incredible circumstances. And these people aren’t the smartest, wealthiest, most capable, etc. They’re just normal people like you and I. They are the exception, not the norm, simply because they choose another path.

So, while you and I can’t solve these culture-wide problems, we can improve our own lives dramatically. All it takes is making a choice to do things differently, which will have an impact on everyone around us.

And that is the solution, folks. That’s exactly what it would take to reverse the trends, and in time, solve our health and fitness predicament.

Now, I know it’s not popular to think about our duties. These days, people don’t want responsibility. But whether you like it or not, you are responsible for your health – and to a degree – for the health of those around you (and certainly those whom you have some responsibility over). And together, we are responsible for the health of our communities, our nation, and our world. The future generations – our children and grandchildren – are counting on us.

So, will you choose to be part of the problem or part of the solution? Will you choose selfishness or selflessness? Will you choose a life of health, vitality, and exuberance in service of others or will you choose a life of disease and over-dependence on others? Please choose wisely. We’re counting on you.

Here’s a great way to get started:

6 Baby Steps To Quickly and Easily Improve Your Health & Fitness

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6 Baby Steps To Quickly and Easily Improve Your Health & Fitness

Get Off to a Great Start in Your New Fit Lifestyle by Taking These Six Easy Baby Steps That Will Have You Looking, Feeling, and Performing Better Fast

road runner

Baby steps.

That’s all that’s standing between you and your goals. And when it comes to improving your health, fitness, and quality of life, they work better than any other strategy I’ve tried. This short guide will give you six great ones to get started with.

So, if you’re not 100% satisfied with your health and fitness – if you’d like things to be a little different, or if you’d like to get a little more out of your efforts – baby steps are what you need. This is one of many different names for the simple process of making gradual, incremental changes to bring about a certain desired result.

Professionals use them. And newbies who are in the know use them, too. And it’s because they work. The truth is that if you’re not taking baby steps toward your goals, you’re probably not going to succeed.

So, if you’re looking for a way to get started (or restarted), or if you want to take things to the next level, you can begin your journey towards better health, fitness, and a higher quality of life – starting today – with these strategies that are both simple and easy.

Baby steps are the building blocks of both short-term success and long-term mastery. And get this. Each of these baby steps will actually help you look, feel, and perform better. They offer a phenomenal return on your investment, and you’ll be amazed at the impact they can have.

So, don’t underestimate the power of these simple habits because they will make a big difference and will pave the way for future success.

5 Twisting Plank Exercises You’ve Never Tried Before

Learn These 5 Twisting Plank Exercises For Rotational Core Strength, Spinal Stability, And A Rock-Hard Mid-Section

twisting plank exercise for rotational core strength
The one-hand hip twist plank.

Everyone knows that the plank is a great exercise for building core strength, but rarely do you see the plank trained in the transverse plane of motion (i.e. rotation). Plank exercises are mostly confined to the sagittal plane (e.g. standard front plank on elbows) and the frontal plane (e.g. side plank). And that’s great! But we need strength in all three planes. And sometimes, adding some rotational exercises to a strength training program can be sort of a “missing link” to help you get stronger.

Unfortunately, there isn’t too much info out there about strength training in the transverse plane. Certain “rotational” exercises are taught like wood choppers, Russian twists, tornado ball slams, and various medicine ball throws, among others. And some of these are good exercises in certain cases. But they’re not necessarily the best for beginner and even some intermediate trainees. Now, since planks are great exercises for all skill levels, and since I’ve never seen a twisting plank exercise before, I decided to make my own. So, I modified some exercises that I’ve used over the years and came up with a basic twisting plank progression.

In the video below, you’ll learn five different twisting plank exercises for rotational core strength. Each exercise builds off of the former.

Here they are from easiest to hardest:

Level 1: one-hand hip twist plank
Level 2: two-hand hip twist plank
Level 3: one-hand leg thread plank
Level 4: two-hand leg thread plank
Level 5: leg thread elbow plank

Note: there are included in my free plank training program here: 30 Days to a 5 Minute Plank and Rock-Hard Abs.

A word of caution: before you begin training with twisting plank exercises, work up to being able to hold a standard elbow plank for at least two minutes (and ideally, five minutes). You can click here to learn how long to hold a plank.

5 Twisting Plank Exercises You’ve Never Tried Before


Man Holds Plank For 5+ Hours: The Risks and Downsides of Extreme Fitness & Performance

Why Holding a Plank For 5+ Hours Probably Isn’t the Best Idea for Your Health & Fitness: The Tradeoffs and Consequences of Extreme Fitness and Performance

I’m going to do two things in this post.

1) First, I’m going to briefly share the news that the plank world record was just demolished yet again.

2) And secondly, I’m going to share the downsides of being able to hold a plank for over five hours (or the tradeoffs of specializing in almost any physical activity like weightlifting, running, yoga, kettlebell training, the plank, etc.).

Part 1 – Man Holds Plank For 5+ Hours

So, in case you haven’t heard: 57-year old, George Hood, just broke the world record AGAIN – his third time – by holding a plank for over 5 hours.

“Hood spent nine months training for his record attempt…including four to six hours of training per day and 30 hours of plank time each week.” (Source)

Some of that weekly plank training was also done with a weight vest, and all of this was on top of his other training. So, needless to say, George Hood is pretty good at the plank exercise. Some might even say he’s the best in the world (e.g. like the good folks at Guinness World Records, for instance).

Here’s a short clip that highlights George Hood’s record-breaking plank performance.

Note: I covered the first two times that George Hood broke the plank world record four years ago here, and two years ago here.

So, obviously, George Hood is amazing. And personally, I think it’s awesome that he’s been doing this (even if he’s crazy). Let’s move on.

5 Fitness Lessons You Need To Learn By The End Of Your 20s

dumbbell shoulder press

If I could go back to my years as a teenager and teach myself what I’ve learned about fitness throughout adulthood and my career, it would have been a complete game-changer for me. My life would be totally different. Of course, I probably wouldn’t have listened to my “future self” because I’ve always been stubborn. But you wouldn’t make that same mistake, would you? And hopefully, you also realize that it’s never too late to take some positive steps in the right direction – regardless of your age or condition.

Now, something I like to do is get around other men who are older than I am – and perhaps a few steps ahead of me in life – to draw some wisdom from them. That way, I’ve got a little heads-up of what may be coming down the road and what mistakes I should look out for.

In the same way, I’ve read a lot of fitness and training-related articles for middle-aged and older trainees. Things like:

5 workouts mistakes to avoid for the over 40 trainee
3 training lessons for 50+ athletes
10 tips for seasoned fitness veterans

And as I’ve read through these articles, the one thing that I take away each time is that it’s the YOUNG people who need this info and aren’t getting it (or aren’t taking it seriously). And that’s really too bad because you could save yourself a whole lot of (predictable) trouble if you just got some of the basics down in your formative years.

So, here are five fitness lessons I think most people should learn by the end of their 20s. Better late than never, right?

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