Gurus make training complex so everyone has to come to them for answers. Why haven’t people figured this out? – Vern Gambetta, world-renowned strength and conditioning coach
I’ve got good news for you. You don’t need any gurus in your life! And you definitely don’t need me either. The truth is that you already know what you need to do to get healthier, more fit, and achieve your own individual goals. In fact, you know it better than anyone else, better than any so-called guru ever could. Think I’m kidding? Nope. I’m dead serious.
So, let me tell you a few things you already know. If you want to get healthier, more fit, and enjoy a higher quality of life, then…
1) Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. You need to get enough quality sleep on a regular basis. Sure, it’s ok to skimp on this once in awhile, but most nights, you will need between 7-10 hours of quality sleep – quality being the key word. If you’re not getting this much sleep, then you’re short-changing yourself and putting a cap on not just your potential, but practically every single aspect of your life experience.
If that’s you, then I’d suggest making it happen, no matter what. If you simply don’t have the time, then I’d seriously reevaluate your priorities. Ask yourself questions like “is my job more important than my health? Do I want to be around to watch my kids and grand-kids grow up? Are all the things I’m doing habitually every single day really worth more than getting enough sleep?” Ask yourself those questions. They’re hard questions, and require serious introspection.
If you find that really just don’t have the time or can’t make the time because of the other priorities in your life, then don’t worry about it. Just understand the consequences of your decision and do the best you can with what you’ve got – then move on. Nobody says you MUST sleep 7-10 hours a day, but everyone says life will be better if you do.
2) You are what you eat. You need to fuel your body with healthy, nutritious, high-quality foods – real foods that were obtained from natural sources and natural methods. No, that protein bar isn’t nearly as good for you as the advertising execs who designed the packaging would have you believe. Try eating meat, poultry, or fish for your source of protein – preferably organic, wild, and local when you can get it. Yeah, it’s more expensive, but if you’re still counting the cost, you haven’t truly understood the true value. Again, do the best you can.
We have a massive challenge on our hands to actually eat healthfully in our culture, and just like Rome wasn’t built in a day, you won’t successfully improve your diet in a day either (or even in a few months – it takes years of practice and discipline). Grow up and admit to yourself that the long-term benefits of healthy eating are better than the short-term benefits of enjoying junk food or even so-so food. But at the same time, don’t believe for a second that you must deprive yourself and will never enjoy eating healthfully – you just don’t know how yet. It takes time and practice.
3) Move it or lose it. You need to use your body, regularly and vigorously. If you don’t, then you will constantly be in a battle for your health. Not only will you enjoy a much lower quality of life, your life will most likely be shorter. Yes, they’ve connected an active lifestyle with greater longevity, along with improvements in practically every other health marker.
One of my coaches is fond of saying that “it’s either 90 minutes a day of suffering, or 90 years of suffering” – if you’re lucky enough to make it that long, that is. And here’s the thing: I don’t care what you do – just do something. CrossFit, kettlebells, clubbells, MovNat, parkour, CST, TACFIT, P90X, metabolic training, bodyweight training, surfing, hiking, ballroom dancing, whatever. Just pick something you enjoy and will stick with and do it – every day if you can. Anything less is short-changing yourself. We get too caught up in searching for the best thing that we lose sight of the most important factor: actually doing something!
Advice For When You Really Don’t Know What To Do
Now, in some cases, you may actually need help from someone else – a friend, teacher, coach,etc. We aren’t born knowing what kinds of foods are best for us or how to lift something heavy with optimal movement efficiency. There’s a learning process that must take place for all of these things. But the bottom line is that you already know what you need – even if that means you know you need help. The whole point of this post is to encourage you to do what you can with what you’ve got and seek help when necessary.
So, there you have it: three things that the health and fitness gurus don’t want you to know. Please do yourself a favor and stop looking for the next best thing and start putting into practice what you already do know. That’s what it will take for you to become strong, healthy, happy, and ultimately, free. It’s not a popular message, but it’s the truth. And realistically, you know that you know that you need to be prioritizing these things. Everyone knows that, but not everyone does something about it. So, be different, and do something about it. Do the right thing, the best thing, the hard thing for YOU and for all those whose lives you influence. It’s worth it.
“Do not place hope in finding a secret technique,” said Kyuzo Mifune. “Polish the mind through ceaseless training; that is the key to effective techniques.”
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CST Coach, CST-KS
Health-First Fitness Coach