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The Best Weight Loss Advice I Ever Got - Tucson Personal Training Group Fitness Blog

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The Best Weight Loss Advice I Ever Got - Tucson Personal Training Group Fitness Blog

Editor’s Note: It’s the holidays and we know you’re busy. If you wish to skip the bulk of this article and go straight to the best weight loss advice, go to the last paragraph. It’s all explained there.

Greetings and Happy Holidays!

A number of years ago I worked at a gym that had this quote on the wall. I see tons of inspirational quotes, but this one seemed to stick with me. It also reminds me of an incident that took place that reinforced the universal truth of this quote and its meaning. Although this story happened a while back, with this being ‘resolution-season’, I thought I might share it with you.

If you’ve been reading this blog over the years (thank you!), you know that it is our intention to provide what we refer to as ‘better answers’. As we’ve discovered, the fitness world contains teeny tiny little pockets of truth floating in a giant steamy sea of crap. Much of the evolution of our coaching program has been to continue to search for these pockets of truth and organize them into a methodology easily understood by those ready to take the journey. As we get into the holidays, many fitness organizations know the masses will be making their annual fitness resolutions, and they will be aggressively marketing the latest-and-greatest gadgets and nutritional concoctions “guaranteed” to give you the body of your dreams. The intention of this post is to help you separate fact from fiction.

With that said, here is the story about the incident that made me think of the aforementioned quote. It begins with an accidental run-in I had with two morbidly obese “weight loss experts”.

Marie and I had a booth set up at a local community event and two booths down from us were a man and woman, perhaps husband and wife. They each had on t-shirts that read: “Body By <multi-level-marketing supplement company>” and “Weight Loss Coach. Ask me how to lose weight” respectively. I refuse to say the name of the supplement company because I believe this organization produces products that fall outside of the “better answers” category (more in line with the “steamy crap” category), and this blog is too big now-a-days for me to provide that level of free advertisement. I also want to be very clear that I DON’T want to make this about the folks themselves. I’m sure they’re nice enough people with great intentions. And who knows? Maybe they used to be much bigger and this is just part of their journey… I just happen to catch them in the middle of it. I am, however, telling you about these people because I did have others approaching me about my neighbors two booths away and asking questions along the lines of, “Are they freaking for real!?!?!” and “Do they own a mirror?!?! Or a scale?!?!”

In my 12 years in this business I’ve been approached by more people peddling multi-level-marketing supplements than I can possibly count. Since opening my own place I’ve received many solicitations for various fitness contraptions and diet programs to offer at my facility. So far I have refused them all. Why? The main reason is that most of that stuff is just inconsistent with our message. It’s not to say that I’ll never do it, but as Oscar Wilde put it, “Everything popular is wrong.”

Because to me, all of these things look like the morbidly obese weight loss expert… no matter how clever the package or the marketing.

So let’s say this is the year you’re ready to get serious. You are bound and determined to stand for something so you don’t fall for anything. What should you stand for? In other words, what fitness/nutrition principles should you adapt that have withstood the test of time and have a proven track record of success? Pavel Tsatsouline said, “Tactics are many, but principles are few.” I’d like to share with you a few principles to ponder as you make your decision. We’ll break them down between fitness and nutrition separately:

Fitness: Move Better and Get Stronger

Do you ever watch young gymnasts, yoga practitioners, and other athletes move with grace and precision and think to yourself, “Wouldn’t that be nice…” Well actually it is very nice, and you should strive to be able to mimic this kind of movement yourself. Gray Cook tells us, “We live in a fitness world that, through modern gym equipment, has allowed us to stack fitness on top of dysfunction.” If your body doesn’t move well, going to a gym and sitting on a machine is not going to fix that.

At our gym we utilize, and are certified to perform, the Functional Movement Screen. It’s a simple test of your body’s ability to move through normal ranges of human movement. If you’re not interested in joining to a gym, but see the value of this crucial first step, I highly recommend getting this screening. Also, picking up Original Strength by Tim Anderson and Geoff Neupert will take you a long way as well. If you’ve spent the last number of years relatively sedentary, this should be job one: move better.

Once you’ve got yourself moving well, it’s time to get strong! Some argue this approach and will come up with other ideas they claim are more important. Here is my response:

In my career I’ve had many people come in and tell me they think they are too skinny, and I’ve had many people come in and tell me they are too fat, but I’ve never had anyone come in and tell me they are too strong. Never. No one has ever come in saying, “Yea I was training over at such-and-such place down the street and I had to quit because they got me WAY too strong. Do you guys have like some kind of dancing aerobics class or something that will soften me up a little?”

Think lifting weights makes will make you big? Wrong. Cupcakes will make you big. And when I say lifting weights, I mean relatively heavy to your body’s capacity. If you can lift it more than ten times, it’s not heavy. If you’re jumping around in a fitness class with two pound dumbbells, I hope it’s at least fun because it’s not effective. Lifting something heavy a few times makes you strong, lifting something light a whole bunch of times makes you tired. When you set foot inside a gym, you get to decide which you would rather be.

Third on the agenda is to work on improving your conditioning levels. There are a number of simple programs to follow. We won’t list examples as we believe they must be tailored to one’s current physical ability, but we do recommend building work capacity through full body movements… but not until you start moving better and getting stronger.

Nutrition: Don’t Buy The Lie

If you look inside some cars where the airbags are located, you’ll the see the letters S.R.S. It stands for “supplemental restraining system”. Ever thought about the meaning of that? If an airbag is “supplemental”, what is it “supplemental” to? The answer is the seat belt. In the event of a serious accident, if you don’t have your seat belt on, it doesn’t matter how many bags of air pop out around you… you’re still toast. The nutritional supplement industry should be looked at the same way. There is no pill or powder good enough to compensate for poor nutrition/lifestyle choices. You can’t ‘cleanse’ away your crappy diet no matter what they tell you.

Wanna hear the best diet advice ever? Here it is: Do a Google search for, “What is the best diet?” You’ll get a few hundred million search results, but take a moment to read about some of the best ones. However, instead of studying what makes them different, take note of the things that make them all the same. You should be able to come up with a list of about 8 to 10 things (maybe more, but this is good for now). Make a list of these things from easiest to hardest with the easiest being first and the hardest last. Start with the first thing and treat it like learning a new skill. Practice it until it starts to become second nature and you really don’t need to think about it anymore (should take around three weeks). Once that happens, move on to the second thing, third thing, and so on. If one of the items turns out to be harder than you thought, skip it and go to the next one. This approach is not as sexy as ‘get ripped in 90 days’, but the chances of adherence are exponentially higher. The hardest thing about this is how to go about answering the question, “You look like you’ve lost some weight, what diet are you on?”

Our facility doesn’t participate in the New Year’s rush, so if you’re looking for a ‘special deal’, sorry but we don’t have one. At our place, January is just another month of training. We have a big certification coming and Nationals will be here before we know it, so I can’t afford to flood my gym with the New Year’s crowd… it’s too distracting to those who are serious all year around. If you’re interested in learning how to become one of ‘those’, we’d love to talk to you.

Until next time,

Jerry Trubman is a coach, clinician, author, blogger, and powerlifting state champion. With over two decades of of lifting experience, he has devoted himself to seeking out better answers, and distilling them into practical programs that produce great results. Jerry has coached "Team Protocol" to 4 National Powerlifting Championships in the 100% Raw federation. He writes the internationally-read blog, “The Healthy Addiction” and lives in Tucson, Arizona with his wife Marie and dog Sadie. To subscribe to his blog, click here.

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