Category Archives: General Fitness Knowledge

Albert Einstein defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”

A lot of people seem to dabble in “insane” decision-making on a regular basis, especially when it comes to weight loss & fitness...

They’ll follow the same unsustainable crash diet for the 27th time and expect different results.

They’ll eliminate foods they love short-term without thinking about the long-term consequences.

They’ll continuously rely on the scale to analyze their progress when they know damn well there are other progress markers — like measurements, progress pics, and clothes-fit — that matter more.

Does any of that sound like you?

If so, I’ve got a challenge for you.

Try these 5 Anti-Stressed-Diet Hacks:

  1. Stop restricting yourself from foods you love. Start adding foods that improve your health.

  2. Stop tracking because you’ve been bad. Start tracking because you care.

  3. Stop working out as a form of punishment. Start working out because you love your body.

  4. Stop focusing on how quickly things are changing. Start focusing on your daily habits that’ll lead to change.

  5. Stop dieting. Stop punishing yourself.


There’s a wise saying. Exercise is not a punishment of what you eat but a celebration of you’re your body can do.

Start living a healthier life b/c you love the way it makes you look & feel, and let weight loss be the after-effect of all the awesome changes you’re making.

You’ll still have to plan your meals and workouts each week. You’ll still be watching what you eat.

But your mindset will be totally different, and when it comes to making fitness a lifestyle, mindset is all that matters.
MCO
I have a message for y'all. During this period of MCO, I can see morale breaking down among some of you out there.

Don't let yourselves fall into depressive binge eating. Right now YOU need to take care of yourselves.

Think about this, even if you're not a fitness enthusiast and you don't care about your appearance, letting yourself get overweight will lead to health complications in a matter of time. You will spend precious resources on health care.

When MCO is over, you will also spend precious cash on new clothes, especially pants, to accommodate your increased weight circumference due to increased weight gain.

It is about CICO during this period. Calories in vs calories out. Eat less than is needed compared to what you normally consume. Find a way to increase your activity levels. Be creative. But most of all, eat less because you cannot out-train a bad diet.

Taking care of YOURSELF means being able to live longer to take care of others who depend on you. This is more critical during this juncture. You must remain healthy for others.

Again I say, fall back on the very basic routines which you have always practiced. Fall back on routine borne of discipline, which created consistency and repetition. There is power in this.

It is something you still can CONTROL despite the feelings of helplessness that threaten to overwhelm you.

You like big meals, sure, why not practice intermittent fasting now? Or OMAD? 2 big meals a day WITHIN your caloric requirement. Please note.

COVID is the enemy without. Do not create an enemy within you. This is the last thing you need when you are already fighting a battle.

This is a storm with zero visibility created by yourself doubt and despair. You have a compass. Keep moving in that direction and trust your faith in yourself to see it through.
Morning Training Yoga
With early morning training (and here I’m talking here about resistance training specifically) there are a few issues that need to be taken into account. One of them is food intake and here there is a lot of variances. Blood glucose is usually on the lower side in the morning and not everyone performs at their best under these conditions.

Protein Food

In this situation, getting something (ideally with some carbohydrate and protein) before lifting is a good idea (I’d mention here that the studies which found that pre-workout carbs/protein were more anabolic were looking at morning fasted training so this is one place where getting something into the system is probably ideal from a training adaptation standpoint). This isn’t universal and some people do just fine without eating.

 

Next, a hot shower is one approach although it’s more of a passive warm-up. Mainly realize that you may need to do a bit more extensive warm-up for early morning training than you did while training in the afternoon/evening (when you’d been up all day). That may mean a bit more cardio to get the body fully warmed and you may need more warm-up sets prior to heavy weight training. Of course, stimulants are usually part and parcel of early morning training as well such as coffee.

Finally, realize that there is likely to be an adaptation phase as your body gets used to training first thing in the morning. You may have 2-3 weeks where your workouts just aren’t that great until you adjust. But the body does eventually adjust (and there are plenty of folks who have gotten to their goals despite very early morning training).

The body’s circadian rhythms adjust to training (and there is evidence that you perform best when you habitually train) but it can take a little while. You may have to reduce your volume or intensity a bit initially but within a few weeks, you should be back to your normal workouts without any issues.
Meal Plan
All weight-loss diets work via the same principle.

They put you in a negative energy balance.

Which means a calorie deficit.

Although all fad diets "can" work, they have a problem.

You lose adherence over time. It diminishes in the long term.

You need to understand they all work via the same aforementioned mechanism.

Prioritize adherence, not short-term results. Sprinting towards fat loss never gets you anywhere.

Follow a diet that is appropriate, don't just follow it because some celebrity or influencer recommends it.

Education is important. Have discussions with a dietary or health professional regarding their long term risks and benefits as well as the possibilities of long term success
Strength weight lifting
The simple answer it relates, to put it layman terms as you are putting on more muscle you are able to increase your overall strength endurance, and performance. Strength training is commonly misunderstood as muscle growth. As it mostly builds strength endurance rather than muscle growth.

To example further, strength training repetitions are far too short of a duration that it doesn’t allow muscle fibers to react optimally as it uses multiple areas of the body to go through a single motion.

Muscle Growth on another hand is a response to the amount of tension toward the muscle and the duration of it. For instance, the more tension and stress to put on the muscle, it will have more microfiber damage to allow proteins to recover the damage cells resulting in muscle growth.

To conclude this case, it depends on the individual’s goal on what they want to focus on. Either strength or muscle growth, both have their own benefits that serve slight differences but similar properties.

 
Muscle Training
The term of it is just progressive overloading in training a particular muscle to grow in strength and size it. Each muscle in a human body has its own particular sets of movements to have its own activation, to either concentric, eccentric, or isometric movements. Those are the fundamental basics of having hypertrophy training.

The common misunderstanding is that strength training should be the one having muscle gain however, a new area of research shows that the most optimal muscle growth is to put an immense amount of intensity towards a small set of particular muscles that is been targeted. In other words, hypertrophy training is much better at optimizing muscle growth than strength training.

To train with hypertrophy, one must select a set of muscle groups to train to have the full optimizing effect of the training session. For instance, a push day commonly knows to be either chest and shoulders or chest and triceps as their particular daily session. So one must train with 3 of any kind of chest exercise Example (Upper, Lower, and Fly) is more than enough to help with muscle activation, going with 3 - 5 sets for 10 - 15 reps is the basic level for most beginners. In addition, the tempo of the reps also matters during the sets as recommended to have 35 - 40 seconds between reps to have optimized muscle tension. By doing so will sufficient amount of tissue damage to the muscle, allowing protein components to recover the damaged tissue with stronger tissue and growth.

To simplify the term hypertrophy training, training session as suggested 1 -2 times a week is more than enough for most people who are looking for mainly muscle growth itself without the risk of having bone or joint injury. It's much safer for those who are looking to stay active with healthy muscle growth at the same time.
Goal
Firstly, one must identify what goal are looking for? Body Building, Fitness Model, Strong Man. Powerlifter, Calisthenics, Cross Fit, or just General Health improvement? The most important step is to identify what you actually want to achieve. The high percentage of Malaysians has small or no goal in mind on what they wanted to accomplish, resulting in not being able to follow up with the journey. And that leads to people who fail to fulfil what they have started, which also leads to disappointments or anger. Putting hate and disbelieve on a goal that they didn’t have a clear thought about.

So to achieve identification of your goal is to try any of those fitness fields, try out any of those fields that are most suitable for you. The quicker you identify it the easier your journey will be, for instance, you will search everything about that respected field, on how to gain benefit from it physically, mentally, or even financially. Positively the person who out what their fitness goals are psychologically set in mind that they will do whatever it takes to reach that particular goal. And seeing future improvement needed for either self-development or knowledge for the future generations.

 
Body Building Posing
In the general public eye is more like a vanity gesture, however, it brings more benefit to understand the muscle functionality and large improvements. For instance, a common term use in the fitness industry is the mind-muscle connection, as one person training using the mental mindset to focus on the activation of the muscle to feel the pump satiation during the workout. Posing on another hand is flexing with a proper visual aid to view the muscle the overall balance and symmetrical muscle growth. With consistent posing, an athlete and their coach are able to identify the muscle imbalances, weak points, and strong points. In addition, the benefit of posing is that the athlete is able to keep the focus on the engagement of the muscle to have a full contraction on the pump satiation.
Mindset
One of my most significant experiences as a coach and why mindset is more important than motivation.

Let me tell you a story. A story of a young man who approached me some time ago for online coaching.

Where when I was halfway interviewing him to see if he was eligible for coaching, he had tears in his eyes, and I asked him what was wrong and he said he felt useless, worthless. Helpless with his current weight issues. My coaching slots were full. But it was there and then I saw the desperation in his eyes and a glimpse of the inner strength he had to change. That the fact he teared up in front of a stranger and poured his heart out, I knew I had to accept him.

It was no easy task. You cannot undo decades of bad habits with just a few weeks or months. His mind had to be conditioned and strengthened against temptation lest he falls back into his old habits. And he did fall off the bandwagon. But only once. And he continued the journey. I taught him flexibility, forgiving himself if he encountered setbacks. And most of all believing in himself. He has a full-time job, works shifts at night. Close to exhaustion by the time it was due for the gym. He still hustled. As an online client we rarely meet up as he stayed in another state, but when he visited, even I was impressed by his progress in the flesh. My current clients asked what was his secret.

What was the greatest lesson your coach imparted to you?

His response. "Coach said to get rid of your motivation. You hit the weights whether you feel like it or not because you just have to do. Not wait for motivation to come to you". I don't believe in rapid transformations. The risk of rebound is too great. We have seen it time and time again. I wanted the fat off, and I wanted it to STAY OFF. The mind is your greatest weapon. Faith in your own capabilities is your shield and armor. Strengthen your mind, and it will impart the same strength to your body.

Today Amin eats almost what he wants within reasonable limits. And still is losing weight. Why? He doesn't overeat. He still counts calories or at least guesstimates. It doesn't matter if people call you a killjoy. They don't know your past, your history of eating disorders, and the temptation you face every waking moment.

Well. I'm satisfied. For the moment. He still has work to do.
Dumbbell
Deloads. How do you know you need one? I covered this in a post quite long ago but it's fine to recap.

Physical: Decrease in performance, eg. Grip strength, explosive power, eg. Vertical jump

Decreased rate of force production, decreased endurance.

The recovery rate gets more and more compromised between workouts.

Niggling joint pains become more severe and aggravating in most cases.

Mental: Feels like you're dragging your ass to the gym even though you've slept sufficiently and optimized your nutrition.

Since I was bitching in my stories about overreaching, a follower asked if there was a difference between overreaching and overtraining.

Overreaching is a temporary state.

Overtraining is a chronic state.

Overreaching: A state which occurs in response to heavy or intense loads. Keyword, TEMPORARY.

Overtraining: Extreme fatigue state. Caused by repeated prolonged high intensity, high volume training sessions. Keyword, CHRONIC.

That being said, TOO MANY of you like to use the word overtraining too much. You're most likely UNDER RECOVERING because you're probably eating way too little because you want to get/stay shredded or not getting sufficient rest/sleep.