It is not new news that exercise is an important factor of a healthy lifestyle. If you’re in some sort of physical practice, be it CrossFit, yoga, or endurance training, and are looking to upgrade your performance, enhance your longevity, and get in touch with the physical, it could be helpful to ask what type of movement are you doing (or not doing) during the rest of your day. – After all, there are only so many HIIT trainings and Vinyasa classes you can attend. The rest of your day is dedicated to work, family, and all the other things life throws at you.
We are wired for movement, and as humans, we have evolved to move all day long. It is just as much a part of our personal biology as eating well and having healthy relationships.
But slouching has other pernicious effects besides slowing your squat gains. According to Dr. Jason Quieros, a chiropractor at Stamford Sports and Spine in Connecticut, “every inch you hold your head forward [while slouching] you add 10 pounds of pressure on your spine.” If you’re like most chronic desk slouchers, you’re likely leaning your head towards your monitor by 2 or 3 inches. That’s 20 to 30 pounds of extra weight that your back and spinal column have to endure for extended periods of time.
In the short term, this can cause jaw aches and headaches, but in the long term it can result in kyphosis, or a permanently visible Quasimodo-esque hump on your upper back. Kyphosis isn’t just an aesthetic problem, either. It can cause pain due to excess strain on the spine, as well as breathing difficulties due to pressure on the lungs from the caved-in chest that comes with a rounded back.
Skinny-fat guys only get “more skinny-fat” when following a low carb/ high fat diet. Don’t do that. Keep your carbs up and your fat intake moderate. Definitely never more than 30% of your total calories, max.
No intermittent fasting right now. You don’t need any additional stress and you need to get your body temperature up.
Just eat. Wake up and have breakfast. Protein and fruit. Do that again a few hours later whenever you get hungry.
The original Russian term, rabotosposobnost, literally translates into “work ability”. A better translation would be “potential productivity”.
But someone creatively translated it into English as “work capacity”, which instantly changed its meaning. The word “capacity” implies the size of a tank, as in “alactic capacity” or “aerobic capacity”. The Russian term, while including capacity, means a lot more.
Even in the USSR there was vagueness and many conflicting definitions of potential productivity. I will spare you the esoteric discussions and present you with a definition that many Russian experts would agree with—or at least could live with:
The number one benefit of rucking is aerobic conditioning. Engaging your body in activities that keep your heart rate at an elevated but moderate rate for an extended period of time improves your aerobic base through adaptations seen at the cellular level. These improvements can only be accomplished by moving at a low intensity for a sustained duration. Perform a search for “mitochondria health”, “metabolic flexibility”, “aerobic base”, and “long-slow distance exercise”. There is plenty of material conveniently available elsewhere on this subject and it is too lengthy for this article. As opposed to jogging, swimming, biking, or rowing, rucking is easy on the joints, places you in a very strong and correct posture, and doesn’t compel the user to “go glycolytic” (using primarily glucose metabolism by training too intensely), as you are already moving at the top speed of your walking gait. You could of course, load too heavy, find an uphill route, etc., to increase the intensity but you won’t get that feeling of needing to move faster for more conditioning once underway, as the “high” of the exercise-induced endorphins washes over you.
The kettlebell swing is the Russian army knife of exercises. What else do you call an exercise that can increase both a professional powerlifter’s strength and an elite marathoner’s endurance?
The swing zaps fat without the dishonor of aerobics, and it develops explosive power and never-quit conditioning. Since I introduced the kettlebell to the West a decade and a half ago, the swing has become a staple in the training of elite fighters and athletes, and has spurred a number of scientific studies that have documented its benefits.
You decide what you are going to do at the gym when you get there. Classic workout move. This type of random approach at the gym will steer you away from results. You need to have a plan in place and that plan needs to be directed towards your specific goals. Without this you have no business expecting results to magically appear. Highly complex training programs on excel spreadsheets written in size 2 font are not always the best thing either – they can be confusing and overwhelming. A simple hand-sized notebook and a pencil will do. This gives you a platform to track and progress your training from. A basic notebook is also a great place to get your goals on paper and then document how you feel or how you are responding to your training on the way to achieving your goals.
This post is all about programming, but it’d be shortsighted to wrap up without reminding you that I’d rather see a mediocre program executed with outstanding intensity and adherence than an outstanding program executed with mediocre effort. You can’t outprogram “soft,” so be sure you’re working hard in spite of the focus on continued education!
If you’re interested in taking a glimpse into more of my programming philosophies – or get a comprehensive strength and conditioning plan all prepared for you –
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And this is only the start. I’m in talks to franchise I.D.L.E. and I dream big. Soon, I.D.L.E. will be partnering with a gym near you. Mention this post for 25% off the first month and a free churro from the snack bar!
We procrastinate when it comes to exercise, even when we know it’s good for us. Even when we know that we’ll feel better afterward. It sucks because it’s just another difficult chore that we’re adding to our already full days. And even when we have nothing to do, the lure of digital fun is much stronger than the call of the elliptical machine.