Sandbag Training – How to Save Money And Burn Fat

Sandbag training was the last thing I considered for my home gym equipment when it should have been the first.

As I looked around my garage, I had collected a sweet assortment of workout equipment: a pull-up bar, a squat rack, a climbing rope, kettlebells, barbells and bumper plates, medicine balls, etc. I’d spent a few thousand dollars at this point.

If I had it to do all over again, I could have saved hundreds of dollars had I discovered one of the easiest workout programs – sandbag training.

Sandbag training to burn fat

At first glance, sandbag training might sound brutish, barbarian and dull. And to that, I would say yes on the first two items, but not boring!

If you’d like to save hundreds of dollars in equipment purchases by building your sandbag and workout routine that provides plenty of variety, keep reading. In today’s article, I’m going to show you step-by-step how you can build your sandbag, increase or decrease the weights in a snap, get a tremendous fat-burning workout, and save money.

Let’s get started.

If you already know you’ll enjoy sandbag training and want to do some bodyweight exercises along with your sandbag, here’s a bundle we put together that includes 100+ exercises, video demonstrations, etc.

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Step #1: Build Your Sandbag for Training In Less than 30 Minutes

The initial steps to building a sandbag are pretty easy. Here’s all you need:

  • Tube of sand from the local hardware store – 50 lbs. for $3-$4
  • Contractor bags or industrial strength trash bags – the prices will vary, but I opted for cheaper bags because of the next item listed
  • Duct tape – you can spend more money on the bag thickness or buy more duct tape and spend less overall. A roll of 20-30 yards of duct tape will run $6-$10
  • Additional purchases will be listed below, but this is a good basic start for less than $20

Once you’ve gathered your items, grab a bathroom scale and pour your sand from the tube into your trash bags in 5 or 10-pound increments. Or you may wish to go higher – or use the entire tube. That’s the beauty of sandbag training – it’s cheap and provides a ton of variety.

For less mess, assemble your bags in your yard or driveway. You can also use a scoop to divvy out the right amount of sand into your bag while on the scale. Once you’ve hit the right amount, fold the bag over and over on itself to strengthen the thickness of the bag and then wrap the bag in duct tape as shown below.sandbag training building

The number of sandbags you create is purely based on how much you can lift or want to use in your workouts. You can construct bags of various sizes and label them using a Sharpie. Or if you want to get super fancy, you can do this and add a little flair to your larger sized bags.

Fancy sandbag training

Who said sandbag training isn’t lady friendly?

Step #2: Appreciate the Flexibility of Sandbag Training

In less than five minutes, you’ll quickly discover the variety of sandbag training workouts you can do simply by how you decide to package up your sandbags. Doing 5-10 pound increments provides for easy dumbbell replacement. Going heavier is as easy as filling up a duffel bag or backpack, provided it can handle the weight of the sandbags.

Most of the time, going heavier, harder and building intensity is easier with sandbags for a few simple reasons. Anytime the weight becomes too much, JUST DROP IT. This isn’t Planet Fitness, so drop your sandbag anytime you want to!

sandbag training lets you drop your bags

Occasionally check your sandbag when you’re training just to make sure there are no rips. If there are just use some duct tape on the seams and you’re ready to go. In Step #4 we’ll discuss some other methods that eliminate sand spills guaranteed!

You can use your sandbag and start training in your back yard:

sandbag training in back yard

Or your garage:

sandbag training in garage

Or even at the beach or park:

sandbag training at beach

The flexibility of training with your sandbag is endless because it goes where you go. As long as your weight amount fits into a bag, you’re ready to go. (Although I wouldn’t suggest taking them on a plane. Those high loads can get a little pricey!

sandbag training is not recommended at the airport

Step #3: Explore the Variety of Sandbag Training Workouts

Now that you’ve saved loads of money building a mechanism you can use for weight training, it’s time to recognize and select from the immense variety of sandbag training workouts you now have access to. And there are tons!

With your variable sized sandbags, you can do these exercises and more that will not only give you plenty of choices, but it will burn fat, build muscle and leave you coming back for more (there’s something intangibly fun about throwing a sandbag around – tell me if I’m wrong):

  • Squats
  • Cleans
  • Lifts
  • Presses
  • Sandbag carries
  • Sandbag runs
  • Lunges
  • Drags
  • Throws
  • Deadlifts

A good place to start is with Breaking Muscle. They have a 5-week sandbag training program you can refer to for additional ideas. Trust me when I tell you for the variety, flexibility and cost – training with a sandbag is hard to beat.

Step #4: Additional Considerations for Sandbag Training

Just when you thought we were done discussing all the nuances with sandbag training, I’m happy to share there is much more.

Are you like me and a little edgy about training with actual sandbags for fear the sand is going to get all over? I can assure you that is always a possibility. After training for a year using my sandbags and building them exactly how I described above, I have had no ruptures or tears, knock on wood.

Still, should working with sand make you nervous, we have options! Pretty much anything used for yard work could be in place of the sand we’ve talked about thus far:

  • Pea gravel
  • Mulch
  • Rubber mulch/safetysandbag training filler material

Keep in mind the lighter the material, the larger the bag you’ll need.

Whether down the road or at the inception, a backpack, duffel bag or “sandbag” is another way you can lug your sandbags around for training. A standard bookbag or backpack is limited by 30-40 pounds, so a duffel bag is an excellent choice and more durable. Ideally, you’ll want one that has handles in many places to provide flexibility in carrying.

Army surplus stores have duffel bags that can carry 70 pounds or more, cost around $20 and have a few handles on the sides.duffel bag for sandbag training

I went through each of the stages described, first using duct tape and duct tape handles for my sandbags, then I graduated to a backpack to the Army duffel bag and then I got serious, so I bought my last bag from Rogue. With the ability to put an entire tube of sand in it and a bag to protect against spills, this is my sandbag training recommendation.

sandbag training at CrossFit Rogue

If these bags can stand up to the rigors of the Reebok CrossFit Games and survive, then they’ll work out just perfect for me. After a year, I can say they’ve stood the test of time thus far. These bags from Rogue come in four different sizes. I chose the medium size which runs about $75 and holds up to 80 lbs.

Conclusion Time

OK, let’s bring this bad boy of a post to a close.

I hope that if you’ve read this far, I have convinced you that sandbag training provides fantastic value for the money and can help you burn fat while building muscle. I mean seriously – for less than $20 you can get started. By separating one sand tube, you get 10-12 bags weighing 5 pounds each OR 5-6 bags weighing 10 pounds each.

Regardless of the weight, you can combine them just as you would add plates onto a barbell, allowing your efforts to progress.

As for portability, it stands to reason you can take these bags anywhere you want to go and workout. Just the transportation of them is their own little workout! The variety of exercises is left to your imagination.

And when it comes time to upgrade your equipment, a well-built sandbag to hold all of your sandbags is at hand for about what it would cost for a 50 lb. kettlebell. (Don’t forget – you can drop these, drag them, etc. – they are nearly indestructible!)

Need Some Additional Help?

If all of this talk has you excited about exercise, you don’t even need sandbags but just your bodyweight. I’ve put together a bodyweight exercise bundle of more than 100 exercises you can do or add them in with your upcoming sandbag training routine. That link is above in the red box. OR, if you need some basic info to get your health back into control, we have a free 10-lesson course. Get your first lesson sent to you tomorrow by entering your information below.

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Morning Workout Hacks to Unlock Your Best Day

Morning workout routines are the last thing on your mind as you wake up.

I used to think like that too until I came across an article by the Huffington Post.  A morning workout can help with cravings (needed help with that one!), frees your day since the workout is taken care of early on, increases your energy levels and jolts your brain with less caffeine.

morning workout routine

If doing a workout in the morning can free up your social life for activities in the evening, provide you more energy and improve your overall day, what’s to lose? I put together a list of 100+ bodyweight exercises, so you don’t even have to go to the gym, saving you time as well.

Click Here to Download All 100 Home Exercise For Women Movements.

In this article, I’m going to provide step-by-step instructions how you can add a few life hacks to your morning workout routine to get started. Let’s go!

Step #1 Prepare Your Morning Workout Routine the Night Before

The first thing you need to do is get any obstacles out of the way. A morning workout can be done in less time if you just prepare for it. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Go to sleep in your workout clothes – for many this concept is a game changer!
  • Have your exercise plan at the ready in your workout space (here’s an example):morning workout plan
  • Get to bed early enough to provide 8 hours of sleep
  • Pull out any equipment you’ll use before bedtime. Make the path to success as easy as possible for the next morning.
  • Set two alarms and put one next to your foam roller (see below).

Step #2 Make Stretching Part of Your Morning Workout

Getting a good stretch in before your morning workout not only gets the yawns out of the way but helps get your breathing and blood flowing. A few more suggestions:

Step #3 Reward Yourself to Celebrate the Small Wins and Develop New Morning Workout Habits

Developing habits takes anywhere from 21 days or more. One strategy to make this a daily pattern is to reward yourself as a small win for each workout completed. Start with a simple workout like the one pictured above. Make it attainable for easier compliance long-term.

  • For every 15-20 minutes of workout time, add a dollar to a jar.
  • Add five dollars extra for each week you complete five days in a row.
  • In ten weeks time (or less), you’ll have $100 you can use to buy a reward, like a new piece of workout equipment or clothing.morning workout routine money jar

Conclusion:

A morning workout routine doesn’t have to be hard to find the time for. Create the time by going to bed a little earlier to wake up a little earlier. Remember these easy steps to make the new morning workout habit stick:

  1. Get everything put out the night before and wear what you’ll be working out in as your sleep clothing.
  2. Use the first five minutes to get the cobwebs out of your head and body by stretching.
  3. Reward yourself with consistent efforts. Results don’t come overnight but through repeated actions. Plant your tree today so that it may bear fruit in the near future.

Home Exercise for Women: 100+ Exercises to Shape Your Body

Home exercise for women is a practical solution.

It is entirely possible for anyone to lose 25, 50 and more than 100 pounds by working out at home.

This article shows you how to make it happen.

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I had a friend who was almost 50 pounds overweight and was determined to get back her girly figure. She lacked the equipment she felt she needed, so she went to the gym to get into shape.

Big mistake.

Not only was the gym staff rude that day, the trainer they set her up with showed more interested in flirting with the other clients than helping her with the gym’s equipment. She tweaked her back, came home and cried her eyes out. For the next week, she was depressed, physically hurt and emotionally injured.

She vowed never to set foot in a gym ever again. Regardless, she lost the 50 pounds on her terms, and you might have already guessed where she did it. Yep, she lost 50 pounds working out at home.

Amanda Wicker shows home exercise for women is doable.

Amanda Wicker, shown above, is one of many who lost more than 100 pounds using a home exercise for women program. Using a food journal, DVD’s and starting up a support group, she pushed the envelope and recreated herself.

Today, I’m going to show you step by step how to make it happen, providing you more than 20 of the most effective home exercise movements for women (men, too) that can be done with next to no equipment at all. You’ll increase your flexibility, your mobility and restore your health at the same time.

I’ve compiled a list of 100 home exercises in a video and easy to reference training guide you can download when you are ready to take it to the next level. In our Free Exercise Bundle is a Tracking Log, List of 100+ Exercises, Video and a PDF Download File of this post! Just click below.

Home exercise for women
Download All 100 Home Exercise For Women Movements (Includes the 100+ Exercise Video, List of Exercises, Tracking Log and PDF Download of This Post).

The Six Step
Home Exercise for Women
Weight Loss System

I’m going to walk you through the six key steps you need to follow to set up a successful home exercise for women program.

Step #1: Know your “Before” and your “Why”

Set your ground rules. Write down your purpose for weight loss. Make it personal. Make it deep-rooted. Don’t make your goal “I want to lose 20 pounds.” Instead, something like, “Without my health regained, my blood pressure/waistline/, etc. will increase, and I won’t be able to do the things I want to do.” List those things you want to do. Write them assertively. “I am a hiker. I love my body.” Make the statements visually appealing in your mind. Rehearse seeing yourself doing those things every day. Make those goals so tangible you can taste them.

Be this dog. Want it that bad.Home exercise for women is successful when you know why you want to succeed.

Take your before pictures as proof one day of what you are leaving behind. You don’t want to be that person.

Step #1a: Know your Before measurements

It’s important to gain medical clearance before you engage in any physical or weight loss regimen, so use the numbers as a baseline for where you are headed. At the minimum, find out your blood pressure, cholesterol, waist size, weight, and body fat percentage. By the way, don’t choose the scale that gives you a lower number. Use a home scale that you have access to frequently and go by whatever number it shows. To find out your body fat percentage, you can schedule an appointment with a gym trainer who is skilled at using Skinfold calipers for the best measure of body fat, unless there is a BodPod in your town. At worse case, use the YMCA online calculator that requires your waist and your weight. It’s not as accurate, but it gets you started.

Step #2: Get Your Nutrition Dialed In

Unbeknownst to many, your food intake or diet (hate that word!) is 80% of the battle. Be sure to get your food macronutrients dialed in (fats, protein and carbohydrates). Knowing what your body fat percentage is, take your lean body mass and multiply that by .7 which will tell you how many grams of protein are ideal for ladies. (For men, it’s 1 X lean body mass). So if you weight 200 pounds, and your body fat percentage is 35%, your lean body mass percentage is estimated at 1-35% or 65%. 65% X 200= 130, so plan to ingest 130 grams of protein per day.

For carbohydrates, the goal is to bring them down to a manageable 50 grams or less, replacing those carbohydrate calories with healthy fats like grass-fed butter, grass-fed meat, avocados, etc. Our bodies do not require carbohydrates for energy – enough saturated fats provide efficient sources of energy. This article tells you more about that.

Log what you eat in a journal like the one shown for added accountability and tracking. Assuming your nutrition is ready to go, let’s get our Home Exercise for Women going!Home exercise for women is successful when you track your activities and food.

Step #3: Choose your location, time of day and SCHEDULE IT!

Workouts are important and must be scheduled. Your health is a priority! A home exercise for women program requires consistency, adherence, and accountability. Schedule the best time of the day that works for you. Select a place that has some space to provide the ability to do various exercises. This might be your living room, bedroom, backyard or even your garage. With a few horse stall mats, you can easily convert your garage into a gym. (That’s what I do).

Step #4: Although optional, working out with a partner has secret powers

Working out with a partner holds several advantages for you over going it solo. Pick someone who shares your goals of health, someone who is dependable and will push you as much as you will push them. Shared experiences like this make working out fun – and that’s what it’s all about!

Step #5: It’s time to Work Out!

Workout exercises are a-plenty. The routines you can make with them are just as many. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but a good workout routine should provide for the following:

  • Increase heart rate into a training zone between 50-75% of your maximum heart rate (no more)
  • Bodyweight routines should be an average of 30-60 minutes in length. In the beginning, 30 minutes might be rough, so focus on your form, technique, and intensity as you build up.
  • Schedule 3 days a week to start
  • Variety is the spice that keeps you coming back.

21 Exercises Video:

Here are the 21 bodyweight exercises to get you started in your Home Exercise For Women workouts:

  1. Plank – lying on your chest, extend your arms shoulder width, raising your body into the top part of a push-up. Hold for 10 second or more increments, focusing on keeping your abs and butt tight and in a straight line. Don’t sag in the middle!
  2. Side plank – From the plank position, shift your weight onto one arm lifting the other to the side and above you. Keep your abs and shoulder tight, avoiding too much twist at the hip.
  3. Hollow rocks – lying on your back, lift your hands above your head and your feet off the ground, as though your body is forming the bottom part of a circle or hollow rock. Hold for 10 second or more increments.Home Exercise for Women
  4. Crunches – lying on your back, lift your head toward your knees. Once your hip has formed a crease, slowly return to the ground and repeat. Hands should not be behind the neck nor should too much momentum be used to lift the trunk.
  5. V-ups – lying on the ground, much like the hollow rocks, keep your arms straight and bring your chest towards your legs as you lift the legs. From the side angle, you’ll make a “V.” When you’ve touched your toes or gone as far as your mobility allows, slowly descend your arms and legs back to the ground and repeat.V-ups are a viable choice for a home exercisefor women workout.
  6. Shrugs – using dumbbells, kettlebells, jugs of detergent or whatever is handy, put as equal weight as possible in each hand. Keeping your arms straight, shrug your shoulder as high as you can. Hold for 3 seconds, descend the shoulders and repeat.
  7. Handstand Hold – every exercise list needs those challenging movements. This is one of them! With your arms extended overhead, drop them to the ground as you kick up against a wall for support. Use a mat, pillow or blanket under your head for safety. Keeping your shoulders active while looking straight ahead (not down at the ground), hold for 10-second increments or more. When done, kick off the wall in a controlled fashion. (Kick off your shoes if doing this indoors, so you don’t scuff your walls!)
  8. Wall Walks – While your shoes are off, try this additional wall exercise. Placing your feet at the base of the wall as you lie face down, walk your hands slowly toward the wall as you walk your feet up the wall. Keep your torso straight and your shoulders active.Home exercise for women can be loads of fun!
  9. Deadlifts – using that laundry detergent or with water jugs in both hands, lift with your legs keeping your back at a 45-degree angle until your legs are extended. Repeat in reverse order lowering the jugs.
  10. Air Squats – Stand with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart, your toes turned out slightly, and your arms are resting at your sides. Engage your abdominal muscles and broaden across your chest by gently pulling your shoulder blades in towards each other. Bend your knees slowly, pushing your butt and hips out and down behind you as if you are sitting down into a chair. Keep your head and shoulders aligned over your knees and your knees aligned over your ankles. Keep your weight balanced evenly between the front and back of your feet. Lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground. Keep your knees externally rotating, or tracking over your toes; don’t let them fall inward. As you lower down, raise your arms up and in front of you no higher than parallel to the ground. Maintain broadness across the chest and lift the torso up off the thighs. Straighten your legs to come up, and lower your arms back to your side.Home Exercise for Women
  11. Pushups – Get on the floor on all fours, positioning your hands slightly wider than your shoulders.Extend your legs back so that you are balanced on your hands and toes. Keep your body in a straight line from head to toe without sagging in the middle or arching your back. You can position you feet to be close together or a bit wider depending upon what is most comfortable for you. Before you begin any movement, contract your abs and tighten your core by pulling your belly button toward your spine. Keep a tight core throughout the entire push up. Inhale as you slowly bend your elbows and lower yourself until your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. Exhale as you begin contracting your chest muscles and pushing back up through your hands to the start position. Don’t lock out the elbows; keep them slightly bent.
  12. Sprinting – Determine which leg you will start with by standing straight and jumping forward. The leg that moves forward is your starting leg. Get into the starting stance by placing your lead foot at the starting line and bend the knee at a 45-degree angle. Place your hands on the ground, next to the lead leg, and lower your head into a comfortable position between your arms. Relax your body to limit tension. At the start, pull your rear pushing leg forward in a jumping motion when you hear “Go.” Pull your body into an upright running position as you begin to sprint forward. Keep your arms bent at the elbow and pump them up and down in a smooth motion. Relax while you sprint to maintain speed. Avoid tensing your body or turning your head. Run on your toes and bring your knees up to a 90-degree angle to increase your pushing force as the foot hits the ground. Continue to sprint forward until after your foot crosses the finish line.
  13. Walking Lunges – Stand upright, feet together, and take a controlled step forward with your right leg, lowering your hips toward the floor by bending both knees to 90-degree angles. The back knee should point toward but not touch the ground, and your front knee should be directly over the ankle. Press your right heel into the ground, and push off with your left foot to bring your left leg forward, stepping with control into a lunge on the other side.home exercise for women includes lunges
  1. Reverse Lunges – To begin, stand tall with you hands at your hips or overhead, which is the most challenging of the two positions. Take a large and controlled step backward with your left foot. Lower your hips so that your right thigh (front leg) becomes parallel to the floor with your right knee positioned directly over your ankle. Your left knee should be bent at a 90-degree angle and pointing toward the floor with your left heel lifted. Returning to standing by pressing your right heel into the floor and bringing your left leg forward to complete one rep.
  2. Inchworms – Stand with your feet at hip width. Hinge forward at the waist and touch the floor with your palms. Bend your knees, if necessary. Walk your hands forward until you are supporting all your weight on your hands and toes. Your body should make a straight line, and your hands should line up with your shoulders. Hold this position for 10 seconds. Walk your feet forward to meet your hands. Keep your palms on the floor and bend your knees, if necessary. Repeat the inchworm five times or until you get to a wall. Turn around and inchworm back in the opposite direction.
  3. Mountain Climbers – Assume a push-up position, so your hands are directly under your chest at shoulder width apart with straight arms. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Lift your right foot off the floor and slowly raise your knee as close to your chest as you can. Return to the starting position and repeat with your left leg. Continue alternating for the desired number of reps or time.Home Exercise for Women
  4. Bear Crawl – Start in a push-up position with the hands shoulder-width apart and the legs straight out directly behind the body about hip-width apart, keeping the knees bent. Push the toes of the left foot into the floor while squeezing the right thigh and glute. Move the left hand and the right leg forward to start crawling. Alternate the arm and leg movements while keeping the back straight and the hips and shoulders at the same height. Crawl for the desired distance.Home exercise for women is as easy as watching a baby crawl.
  5. Burpees – Bend over or squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you, just outside of your feet. Jump both feet back so that you’re now in plank position. Drop to a push-up—your chest should touch the floor. You can also drop to your knees here, which makes the impending push-up easier. Push up to return to plank position (this can be a strict push-up, a push-up from the knees, or not a push-up at all (i.e., just push yourself up from the ground as you would if you weren’t working out)—your choice). Jump the feet back in toward the hands. Explosively jump into the air, reaching your arms straight overhead.
  6. Wall Sit – Start by standing about 2 feet away from a wall with your back against the wall. Slide your back down the wall until your hips and knees bend at a 90 degrees angle. Keep the shoulders, upper back and the back of the head against the wall. Both feet should be flat on the ground with the weight evenly distributed. Hold for the required amount of time.Home Exercise for Women
  7. Pike to Plank to Pushup – ) Get in high plank position, with your hands under your shoulders and your body straight from head to heels. Lift your hips and shift your body back into a pike shape by pressing your hands into the floor. Return to the starting position and execute a pushup.
  8. Butt kickers – Stand with the knees close together, arms either down by the side of behind on top of the bottom. Flex your left knee and the left leg behind you, so it touches the glute, return that leg to the floor and repeat with the right leg. The quicker you can perform this the better.

Our video demonstrating each exercise is above. When you’re ready for more exercises and demonstrations, the full list of 100+ bodyweight exercises and a demonstration video is available here.

Step 6: Select a Combination of Exercises and Change Them Up for Variety and Confusion

Home exercise for women doesn’t have to be hard. Start by choosing two exercises that you may not be familiar with and practice them. Take your time and pay attention to form to minimize injury. After 15-20 minutes of practice, choose 3-5 of the other exercises and create a circuit.

Here’s an example:

  1. Practice Wall Sits for 5 minutes
  2. Rest
  3. Practice Inchworms for 5 minutes
  4. Rest
  5. Workout Routine for the Day: (4 sets of 15 reps of each)
    1. Buttkickers
    2. Plank holds
    3. Burpees
    4. Deadlifts

Change up the exercises often, play with different reps and sets and make it a challenge so that your heart rate is within  50-75% of your maximum heart rate.

Conclusions For a
Home Exercise for Women
Program

Home-based workouts are incredibly effective.

Follow these specific steps for the best chances of success:

Step 1: Write down your baseline information so you can track your progress. Know the reason why you are working out so that it pushes you as internal motivation to keep going.

Step 2: Get your food plan put together and in place to set you up for success while training.

Step 3: Schedule your workout so that it becomes a priority in your day and you know where you’ll be doing the workouts.

Step 4: Find a workout partner if possible.

Step 5: Workout using the bodyweight exercises given

Step 6: Create a combination of exercises that will keep you busy for 30-60 minutes, at least three times each week.

I’ve created a package of additional exercises and a template of workout plans to help you set up your first home exercise for women program. That package gives you:

Access the bonuses here:

Home exercise for women
Click Here to Download All 100 Home Exercise For Women Movements.

Are You As Healthy As You Think You Are?

If you’re as healthy as you think you are, you’re going to love this article.

Why?

Assessments confirm knowledge and action. We’re offering exactly that. A test that shows if you are as healthy as you think you are.

Two things are going to happen.

You’re going to find out your health is exactly where it should be.

Or some of you will learn a startling truth – your efforts have gone off-track. If not changed soon, you’ll be a part of those alarming health stats that appear in the news or in infographics.

Should that be the case, stick around. There’s help close by.

Why You Shouldn’t Believe Everything You Read

It’s painful to say, but in the U.S. of A., we have a problem. Even though our food labels are overseen by the Food and Drug Administration, the truth is not there.

I’m a huge proponent of choosing as many whole foods as possible. Items like meat, vegetables, nuts, seeds, butter – elements that don’t need a label. The processed foods in the grocery store – those foods require a label and for good reason.

They’re poison.

Cereals and most breakfast products are bad for us. These and other foods are disguised as “healthy” with titles like whole grain, fortified with (fill in the blank), and high fiber.

Does that make you feel better knowing you’re eating foods with these descriptions?

Check the labels in your pantry and describe to me what is really in your food.

Can you?

Man-made, synthetic and artificial ingredients abound. When consumers believe these food labels at face value, easier choices can be made and the large food companies profit.

To demonstrate this error in our ways, let’s pick on the Fiber One Protein Bar.

Sounds “healthy,” right?

After an Instagrammer had posted their photo of the bar, claiming it was their ketogenic meal replacement for the day, I did some research and pulled away disgusted and frustrated.

A label that calls itself a protein bar assumes the contents are mostly protein.

Makes sense, right? With a 32GB iPhone, I’d expect it to have close to 32 gigabytes of storage. In a Fiber One Protein Bar, guess how much is listed as protein?

Out of 140 calories total, the Fiber One Protein Bar has 6 grams of protein, which is 24 calories, or 17% of the calorie content.

Sugar is the second listed ingredient, but I guess calling it the Fiber One Sugar Bar didn’t test well in the focus groups. (Insert sarcastic sneer here)

Fiber_One®_Chewy_Bars_Protein_Peanut_Butter

Is it any wonder with this fraudulent labeling you aren’t as healthy as you think you are?

Breaking down the listed ingredients, here’s a quick run-down of more problems:

  • Ingredients are listed in order of quantity – Sugar in the #2 spot (and it’s hiding under other names as we’ll discover).
  • Rice flour – sounds healthy, but has a Glycemic Index at 95 which ties it with French Fries. Aren’t healthy foods supposed to push you away from foods that contribute to obesity and diabetes?
  • Products containing soy are known to increase estrogen levels, decreasing testosterone which is needed to build muscle. Soy products are cheaper for food manufacturers to push off as healthy.
  • Corn syrup – just another form of sugar with a Glycemix Index score of 115.
  • Soybean oil – highly oxidative, but it’s OK – it’s cheap, right?
  • Processed garbage abounds within the ingredients (vegetable glycerin, maltodextrin, artificial flavor, caramel color that causes cancer)
  • Fructose, also known as fruit sugar, appears in its third reincarnation of sugar, justifying the Fiber One Protein Bar to be renamed the Fiber One Sugar Bar.

After dissecting this one “healthy” item, imagine the dangers that exist in the frozen foods, cookies, cereals, and pasta?

If your pantry and shopping list omit processed foods and disguised “healthy” foods, then give yourself one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

Why “Healthy” Is No Longer a Label, Just a Cliche

When you hear the word “healthy,” what comes to mind?

“Well, she looks healthy.”

“Our bagels are very healthy.

“Would you like a TV dinner from Stouffers, dear, or would you prefer a Healthy Choice dinner?”

One popular notion as featured in the U.S. News is that a “healthy” breakfast is a large breakfast consisting of 700 calories. Well, since a Cinnabon is 880 calories, I guess 3/4 of one would be OK, right? I mean it won’t totally destroy my pancreas, will it?

In time, it will do exactly that.

We use the term “healthy” to denote health, but let’s be real. We use it to justify our bad habits.

Thou shalt not use the word “healthy” in vain. But we do. We can’t define healthy because everyone has their definition to fit their world.

In that sense, “healthy” is one of the most overused hashtags of all time. (On Instagram, there are over 70 million posts using #healthy.)

If everything is so “healthy” for us to eat, why are 34%  of U.S. adults obese? Not just overweight, but obese.

The next time someone tells you their food or activity are “healthy,” do this: ask them why or how. The back-pedaling will start immediately.

“Uh, it’s healthy because… it says so right here.” And they point to the label. So you ask them why it says that on the label.

“Well, it’s healthy because…” And then at this point, the stream of misguided lies come out quoting whole grains, all-natural, low-fat and the second most compromised phrase next to “healthy.”

“And it’s good for you.”

Subway, long considered a healthy fast food alternative, is not so good. Check out these ingredients and additives.

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Subway’s slogan was/is “Eat Fresh.” What’s fresh about adding chemicals, sugars and soy to an all-natural piece of chicken breast just to fill it, sweeten it and increase estrogen levels with soy?

Gluten is an entirely different topic, but certainly not as healthy as you think it is. Gluten causes multiple autoimmune issues in our stomach. Over 25% of the population suffers from celiac disease or is pre-disposed to have it. Healthy? Hardly.

The following bullets should be mandatory definers of “healthy.”

  • If it contains healthy saturated fat – check.
  • If it contains anti-inflammatory whole food ingredients, like more omega- 3 fatty acids vs. omega-6 – check.
  • If there are no processed foods used to make it – check.
  • If it omits mention of low-fat or low-calorie anywhere – check.
  • If it is free of gluten – check.
  • If it contains no artificial sweeteners, flavors or colors – check.
  • If it is preservative-free – check.
  • If it contains low-glycemic-index ingredients, so insulin doesn’t spike – check.
  • If it omits mention of being high in fiber – check.

This is by no means a comprehensive test of what’s “healthy,” but it is a good start. Here’s one last point you may have picked up by now – if it uses the word “healthy” anywhere on its packaging – place it back on the shelf.

If the foods you eat most fit the bullet pointed definition provided, then you get one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

This Well-Known Event Is Not As Healthy As You Think It Is…

Aside from “healthy,” there is another word that needs reining in – cardio.

Cardio is the poor man’s excuse for exercise. It signifies some measure of challenging work. It’s a badge of honor.

By its very nature, cardio is defined as exercise that increases your cardiovascular capacity. There are two types of exercise – anaerobic and aerobic. Aerobic requires oxygen in its performance effort while anaerobic does not. Seems simple enough.

Not so fast. Cardio is not as healthy as you think it is.

Lacing up the shoes and jumping on the treadmill appear to be a splendid idea. But the net result of long periods of cardio works against you.

Many well-intended individuals take up cardio as a method to lose or maintain weight loss. It becomes their primary go-to form of exercise. That’s when the wheels fall off.

To lose weight should not be the point, but to lose body fat. When you exert your body over long distances, pushing your heart rate beyond 75% of your max for long periods, your body runs out of glycogen (fuel in your body), and when it’s used to consuming carbs for fuel, it induces gluconeogenesis.

Big word, huh?

Gluconeogenesis is the body’s way of breaking down muscle to produce glucose. A lifetime of ingesting high carbohydrate foods has habituated your body into a systemic dependency that is not…healthy.

Two things will make you a healthier individual. Stop relying on carbohydrates for your energy source and use good sources of fat. Also, halt the cardio.

Need more proof cardio is no bueno?

WHAT-MAKES-YOU-A-SPRINTER-OR-DISTANCE-RUNNER

Which would you rather be? The muscular sprinter on the left or the gaunt marathoner on the right?

Instead of engaging in cardio activity exclusively, your body requires your help to produce muscle. If you enjoy running, change it up. Speed it up.

Sprint.

Sprinting short distances at various intervals is a powerful muscle building activity that is evidenced in the athlete on the left. Sprinters require strong legs and upper body. Which means they engage in additional activities.

Like weight lifting.

Weight lifting is a bonafide method to build muscle, dependent on a proper diet of protein and fats. You simply start at a weight that you can achieve with good form, master it, max out and repeat the process.

Need more reasoning why cardio is secondary to your health? How about evidence to show cardio decreases your health?

Chronic activities like cardio break down your muscle, increase your stress and justify your appetite’s desires to splurge. There’s a reason why so many “cardio fans” stay the same weight. Their bodies depend on carbs, so when they are done exercising, they hit the carbs, their insulin spikes, the carbs convert to fat, and all of their well-intentioned efforts work against the goal.

They delude themselves into believing that the chocolate cake slice they’re eyeing is entirely ok because they ran three miles that morning.

Stop doing that to yourself.

My summarized advice to get as healthy as you think you should be – for real activity that benefits your weight loss/fat loss goals is to replace the cardio with sprinting (10 reps of 100 meters with 2-3 minutes rest in between) and weight lifting. Feed the body what it needs versus what you want.

Assuming you exercise, if your regimen does not include elongated chronic cardio sessions, you get one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

You Can’t Manage What You Don’t Measure – So Measure Appropriately

Did you know there’s a crime committed most mornings in your bathroom?

It’s the use of your scale.

The worst crime is not replacing the empty toilet paper roll, but I digress…

Tucked behind the toilet, the scale is your best friend one day and your worst nightmare the next.

The scale gets a bad rap, but it’s not the scale’s fault.

A scale is an object. It has no emotion, it just measures. It just is.

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For proper usage:

  • Weigh yourself nude first thing in the morning.
  • Use one scale. Models differ in their measurement.
  • Meals high in sodium or carbohydrates from the day before will cause water retention and fluctuation.
  • The female reproductive cycle will also demonstrate fluctuations in weight.
  • Certain medications will influence your readings.

REMINDER – the scale measures ONE THING – your weight. Your health is not wholly orbiting around what you weigh.

Other health markers you should include for a full perspective of your health and progress should include the following:

  • Blood Pressure – can be measured at the nearest pharmacy or you can purchase a home cuff monitor for a reasonable amount. Ideal blood pressure is 120/80. Higher readings indicate a propensity for heart disease, stroke, and other complications.
  • Triglycerides – a type of fat found in the blood that increases with elevated insulin levels in your veins. Triglycerides store unused calories in your fat cells. Normal levels are less than 150 mg/dL.
  • HDL levels – these are the right components of cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins). You want more HDL than LDL. These “heroes” come from the consumption of saturated fats and protect against heart disease by cleansing the bloodstream of small, dense LDL’s. Aim for levels above 60 mg/dL.
  • LDL levels (and particle size) – these are the bad guys. These low-density lipoproteins have a few cousins regarding their particle size. VLDL’s (very-low-density-lipoproteins) deliver triglycerides and cholesterol to target fat or muscle cells then change into a light, fluffy LDL’s or small dense LDL’s. The large, fluffy LDL’s are relatively harmless. The small, dense LDL’s – not so good. They lodge in the endothelial cell layer, sustain oxidative damage, trigger an autoimmune response and initiate heart attacks. All in all, you want LDL’s to hit as low a level as possible, and you want the least amount of small dense LDL particles.
  •  A1C – this test can diagnose diabetes by providing your average blood sugar level for the past few months. The higher the score, the higher your risk. You want a score of 5 percent or lower. At 6.5 percent or greater, this is an indicator you have diabetes.
  • Heart Rate (Pulse) – the harder your heart has to work to transport blood throughout the body indicates your overall conditioning. A good resting heart rate should be around 50-90. As you track it, if you see changes that are increasing, investigate the reasons why. If your heart rate goes down, keep doing what you’re doing!
  • Body Fat Percentage – this is a key marker in my book assuming you are in good health. An increase in weight could be an increase in muscle. The only pure way to tell is by measuring your body fat. This can be measured by an experienced fitness trainer using body-fat calipers or using a water-displacement method, using an egg-shaped device called a Bod Pod.
  • Urine Microalbumin Level – for those with unhealthy kidneys, this test indicates how much protein is in the urine. It’s cheap and worth the test.
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) – CRP is a protein that clears out dead and dying cells and bacteria. If levels are high in CRP, this indicates inflammation whether it be systemic, inflamed, infected, etc. Normal levels should be less than 10 mg/dL.

If you are using more than just your scale as a measurement of your health, then you have earned one point for being as healthy as you think you are.

Why Sleep Should Be “Ahhhhhhh” Versus “Zzzzzz”

As healthy as you think you might be, getting at least eight hours of sleep is critical to your health.

The world is fast-paced and demanding. You influence the demands the world places on you by how you respond.

Sleep is a mini-vacation from life that our bodies require. And just like on a real vacation when we are out and about, there are lots of things going on “back at home.”

As you sleep, this is the best time for the body’s digestive system to get a break so it can call on other body parts to repair and remove bodily wastes.

Muscle is torn in the gym, fed in the kitchen and made in bed. As you sleep, your muscle recovers and grows.

On the stress front, sleep is induced by the circadian rhythms of life. Wrapped around a 24-hour cycle, your body senses when it’s time to sleep and is further influenced by the release of melatonin levels as light is decreased.

If you are on your phone, in front of the TV or using any form of electrical stimulation, your melatonin levels will be reduced, and  your sleep patterns will be erratic. Turn off these devices at least one hour before you go to bed.

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When you sleep, your cortisol levels decrease.

The best way to sleep well and decrease cortisol is to avoid stress. If your job or surroundings are so stressful it interrupts your sleep, then those worries or job are quite literally killing you.

As healthy as you think you are, you still need to analyze your job, your friends, and your situation. If they are the root causes of your stress, make the necessary adjustments. Change jobs, change friends, consider therapy or find other resources to help you deal with your emotions and stress.

When your sleep and stress levels are off-kilter, you obviously know you aren’t as healthy as you think you are.

Give yourself one point if you get at least eight hours sleep and maintain a low-stress level during the day. (No half points – it is all or none.)

How Your Lifestyle Reveals All

Sooner or later it’s going to happen.

Death.

What you did yesterday, do today and act out tomorrow all impact how long before Death comes knocking on your door.

Oddly enough, people take actions as if this were a myth.

How many times has your health spiraled out of control? How many diets or approaches have you tried? Five, ten or fifteen? Be honest, how many times have you started a health initiative because you inherently knew something wasn’t right with your body?

And once you rounded the corner, you fell back into the same traps that brought you to your knees earlier, and you cycle through this “uh-oh, fix-it-fast, uh-oh” routine again and again.

This rollercoaster approach is fun at the amusement park, but our bodies deserve better. Pushing them to their brink on both ends of the spectrum is not how we were designed to live.

Why do people fail at weight loss? Because they don’t see it as a lifestyle.  It has to be a relationship between you and your health. If you think it’s OK to cheat on your body, it will react. And that’s about the time the doctors get involved. That’s a for sure that you’re not as healthy as you think you are.

And that’s about the time the doctors get involved.

It’s time to tally up your points. Out of a possible 5 points…

  • If you scored a 5, that is great! You are clearly on the right path towards a comprehensive outlook on your health.
  • If you scored a 4, not too shabby.
  • If you scored a 3 or lower, there is definite room to re-analyze what healthy is all about. Our free course is just the ticket!

As I’ve told the story before, my Grandfather died in 2000 from diabetes and heart disease. It is my mission and purpose to spread the message of good health, nutrition, and exercise to any who wants it.

I’m offering a free course to get you started down the path. There are no strings attached to this offer. Just some foundational information and the opportunity to regain your health.

Start today. We make it easy. Just click on the button below and join over 200 students who have taken advantage of this opportunity.

Click Here to Enroll in Our Free Course

 

 

 

How Excuses Just Get In The Way of Your Goals

no excusesWhether you are reading this article as part of my Starting Over series or for the first time, it’s time to talk about that taboo topic – excuses.

Uh oh, I went there, didn’t I? Fair warning – this is a tough love topic, but let’s be honest – we need that once in a while.

I didn’t plan to write on excuses today. Instead, it was going to be on the power of visualization as a follow-up to yesterday’s post on making your epic movie trailer. But as my early morning’s event unfolded, I was inspired to discuss excuses with you.

Why? Because I started making a few myself today. More on that below and how it unfolded. I’ll bet you’ve made a few excuses yourself, am I right?

Excuses come in many forms, but in most cases it’s a rationalization, often a lie we tell ourselves and to those around us.

Here’s one definition of excuses: an attempt to lessen the blame attaching to (a fault or offense); seek to defend or justify.

Do any of these sound familiar?:

  • “No, officer – I had no idea I was going that fast.”
  • “Yes, I realized I didn’t meet the deadline – I wasn’t feeling well…”
  • “I’m sorry kids I didn’t make your band concert; I got held up at work.”
  • “It’s too risky.”
  • “I’ll just do it tomorrow.”

Excuses are lies wrapped up in reasons.           – Howard Wright

Excuses In Action

Since this post is being composed the first part of 2016, I’m going to provide a real world example that is pretty evergreen regardless. The excuse area I’ll push out is in regards to my exercise regimen this morning.

Whether insanity or just wanting to be pushed, I joined the local CrossFit gym or box as we call it, a few years ago. I’ve had some amazing highs and some disgruntled lows, but that’s how workouts go. If they were all easy, everyone would be in the gym. For me, doing CrossFit workouts is like sitting back in a chair until you’re on two legs. You’re never sure if you’re going to tip over, but the thrill of not knowing excites me to keep doing it.

This morning’s workout was composed of two workouts. For twelve minutes, we were assigned to do three clean and jerks on minutes 1, 3, 5, 7, 9 and 11. On the even minutes of 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10 we were assigned three pull-ups and three dips. Challenging, but doable, my partner and I pushed through it using a weight that we could manage.

The second half of the workout was two movements – kettlebell swings and goblet squats using a 55 lb. kettlebell. The rep scheme for this workout was 21-18-15-12-9, which means we had to perform 21 movements of each exercise, then 18 and work it down ending with 9 of each movement, for a total of 75 reps. The time cap for the workout was 10 minutes.

excuse

Excuses began to flood my brain about why I couldn’t complete the workout right after I completed 18 of each movement. My lower back doesn’t care for a lot of kettlebell swings, namely because my form needs more improvement. I pulled back, took more than a few deep breaths, chalked up my hands and went back at it, breaking up my reps.

Still, the excuses came, calling to me.

“If you don’t finish,” my thoughts reasoned with me, “no one will care. They’ll all understand. No one will judge you. Everyone who is in this class knows how challenging this is. You can stop anytime.”

I did my best to push the thoughts away, but they persisted after a few more reps.

“It’s OK, Jeff – you’re one of the oldest, if not the oldest, in this class. You’ll get it next time. Just ease up.”

It was at this point something clicked. I was exhausted, and my heart was racing. I wasn’t in any physical pain, mind you. But my thoughts were betraying me as best they could.

When I got home, I googled the term “when excuses are OK.” After reviewing the first two pages of results, I quickly was reminded – there are no good reasons for when excuses are OK.

When Do Excuses Get In The Way of Your Goals?

When we create excuses, it’s important to note one critical distinction. While excuses may slide by a few people, in the end, you’re only empowering yourself that you can’t. When you dig deep within, you can push aside excuses and empower yourself that you can.

Once you overcome one excuse, lock that into your memory vault and pull it out when the next excuse creeps in your head. Stack up the excuses you overcome, form them into a club and beat the crap out of any other excuses that come up. In time, your excuses will go away, and your achievements will come more readily.


Excuse empowerment.001

Back to my workout – we were all supposed to complete the workout in ten minutes. Most of my class did. But at the 10:00 minute mark, when our coach told us time was up, I wasn’t done. At that point, I could stop. But it wasn’t my day for excuses.

“Bring it on,” I told myself. “I love pain; pain sets me free.”

As God as my witness, the faceless subscribers of this blog pulled me through along with my mantra. See, I’m not just the author of these topics, I’m a practitioner myself. I’m not perfect. But if I don’t try to practice what I preach, I am nothing. I couldn’t do that to myself, nor to you.

As I watched the clock continue to count, I picked up the kettlebell and pushed forward. I could hear the yells of encouragement from those around me, aware that I wanted to finish regardless. They could see the determination. I wasn’t kidding anyone at that point. I had nothing to win by finishing.

Correction – I had everything to win by just finishing. I didn’t care what anyone else thought. What mattered to me was completing the workout. What mattered was overcoming my excuses.

As the clock struck 10:55, I put the kettlebell down and plopped on the mats exhausted. I closed my eyes and got my breath back. When I opened them, my kettlebell was gone; a fellow CrossFitter had picked it up and placed it back on its shelf as a sign of assistance and respect. Respect because I didn’t quit.starting over series

Starting Over Challenge of The Day

For today’s challenge, look at the single hardest obstacle you have to accomplish this week. Then do it.

Don’t let the voices in your head tell you it can’t be done. Even if you’re exhausted – mentally or physically, seek out a way to finish it without creating an excuse. Then, tell the world how your day of excuses ended by writing it in the comment section below.

What I Want You To Know About Exercise

Leo Garrett is the reason why I exercise. Love you, Grandpa.Exercise is important, folks. In fact, when you consider all of the factors that can have a possible impact on your longevity and peace of mind, sleep and exercise are key. So why aren’t more people putting some effort into their health and exercising? This gentleman to the left was the launching point of my motivation many years ago and why I’m writing to you today about exercise.

For the last few presidential terms in the U.S., few things spark more debate than health care costs. In this country, costs continue to skyrocket. Oh wait, and then there’s that whole obesity thing, which isn’t such a thing at all, but a startling reality and reflection of our society.

What Happens When You Don’t Exercise

Obesity leads to diabetes and here’s a fact that might shock you: if you are diagnosed with diabetes around the age of 40, your lifetime health care costs could climb as high as $200,000. In addition to those costs, there are the added disadvantages that go with poor health including a declined quality of life, weakened mobility, stress, heart disease, potential loss of limb (that one alone would get me off the couch), blindness and more.

Even without diabetes, health care costs are still climbing, up 4% from a few years ago. According to Forbes, a family of four can pay as much as $25,000 or more a year in health care. Isn’t that reason enough to consider being proactive before costs stack up anymore?

Be proactive and exercise before it's too late.

This article is not meant to scare you, although it may be an effective tactic. The CDC’s anti-smoking campaign from 2012 saw a 132% increase in their quitline and its website added 500,000 visitors more than usual. What I do hope to convey is that nudge on your shoulders for those who are not exercising regularly. The advantages are there and if you don’t know them already, allow me to demonstrate my personal experiences.

The decision to get off the couch is not easy. I get that. Been there. In the midst of my career, going to the gym is one more decision added to the heap of other responsibilities along with marriage, kids, etc. When you watch shows like Biggest Loser and see how hard some of the trainers can be on people, it is motivating to some, but turns others off.

I’m a huge proponent of the Paleo community.It’s what prompted me to write my first book (see at the bottom for a sample). That is, for the most part, I eat nuts, seeds, butter, meats and some fruits and vegetables. I eat high fat (the healthy Omega-3 type fats), low carb (yeah, I cheat about once a week) and a relative amount of protein. It works for me and has demonstrated an incredible ability to do so for others.  Our bodies respond differently to various foods, so find something that works for you.

Exercise and a food plan (I hate the word diet) are essential components of wellness. It takes a little trial and error, but you need to find something that is not only doable but that it challenges you. More on that in a second.

Exercise Brain

The Real Life Benefits of Exercise Waiting For You

Here are just a few benefits I’ve experienced that you should know about exercise without quoting any studies or mumbo jumbo. Just me talking to you, OK? Sometimes our brains need a little convincing, so here goes.

  1. Exercise should be challenging, and when you find that right program, it transfers to other areas of your life. In Gladiator, Maximum rallies his troops by telling them, [bctt tweet=”What we do in life, echoes in eternity.” – Maximus] Well said, Max. What you do in your workouts, echoes as you walk down the street, through the office, and in your personal life. Sustained and consistent exercising will change you from a naysayer to a yaysayer. Not sure if that’s even a word, yaysayer, but it is now.
  2. Exercise feels great. It may not feel that way when you first start up because your joints and muscles are going to need some time to acclimate to new stresses. But once you get going, even on days you don’t think you’re up to it, you’re good to go. The endorphins, those hormones that make you feel like you can take on the world, they kick in. And although you get tired, I’m not going to lie, the feeling of accomplishment is with you the rest of the day.
  3. Exercise is great when you work out with other people. I used to walk into the traditional gym, plan in hand, and I’d get at it. I obtained great results, but even better when I joined in with a group. Add one person with exercise endorphins raging to another with those same endorphins raging, coupled with a desire to be better – and that’s one powerful combination. Find a group class and things can skyrocket as you dialogue with others in shared experiences, comparing recipes and weekend challenges. Bonus advantage of group exercise – you make new friends.
  4. Let’s talk the “A” word, accountability. Whether we like it or not, accountability is powerful and needed. Especially at the onset, when willpower needs some help, finding a partner or group who can hold you accountable is that extra kick in the pants when you want to hit the snooze bar one time too many. Holding others accountable is fun as well – that’s how you help each other.
  5. Exercise changes you. Allow me to step on a soapbox for a second here. People go to the doctor because they don’t like the way they feel. They want the doctor to do all the work and even prescribe medication to aid them. Please, for the love of God, be your doctor and unless your bones are broken, do some activity that elevates your heart rate and builds muscle. Speaking from personal experience, I got off the couch and cut my body fat in HALF. I ran a marathon. I competed in several races. I keep up with people half my age and beat a few from time to time. If you want to change, start working out.
  6. Exercise adds years back into your life. We’ve all heard the stats on cigarette smoking and how it cuts your time on Earth. Stopping that habit helps, but working out builds your heart and your ability to fight off disease coupled with a healthy food plan. That’s quality of life stuff, folks! You have the power!
  7. Exercise makes you mental. Mentally active that is. When you challenge yourself, monitor your progress and reflect – you will see how much more capable you are than you thought before. Mind over matter comes into play, and that’s when your weaknesses fade and the power that was always in you is announced.[bctt tweet=”Losing whatever weight and body fat you need to drop, guess what else falls? Your pants.”]
  8. Exercise builds your self-confidence. Think about it – once you start losing whatever weight and body fat you need to drop, guess what else falls? Your pants. All of your clothes in fact because you’ll have to go out and buy more. Between your physical change and your mental change, people WILL NOTICE. You will change and in all the right ways. Some of your friends may be a barrier to your decision to exercise – because they are afraid you’ll look better and want to stop being with them. Or they’ll feel guilty because they don’t have your willpower. If that happens too much, FIRE THEM. This is about becoming a better you.
  9. Exercise gives you control. Whether it is your job, your marriage, your divorce, your kids, or (fill in the blank), your exercise program is something within your control. You can decide how hard to go after it. You can choose what to eat or what to lift. It is up to you. With that sense of control you gain, you will feel empowered in ways you never dreamt imaginable. At least, that was how I felt as I dropped the weight.
  10. Exercise gives you bragging rights. And you deserve it. I’ve made some sweet progress in my workouts as of late. One popular CrossFit workout is called Murph, in honor and memory of Navy Lieutenant Michael Murphy who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. The workout is as follows: Run one mile, then do 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, 300 air squats and then finish it off with another 1-mile run. Some elite athletes wear weighted vests; I chose not to since it was my first attempt. My goal was to complete this amount of work in 45:00. As you’ll see in my time-lapse video, I achieved my goal… in 44:59. Therefore, I get to brag – and so should you.

 

This is not the last you’ve heard from me about the benefits of exercise. At any stage in your life, you need only look at the outcome of those who don’t workout, the added costs they stack up in health care, increased insurance premiums, medications and the loss in quality of life. Don’t be that person. Start over today being the person YOU WANT TO BE – and make it happen.

Why am I so passionate about this particular topic? That older gentleman up above is Leo Garrett, the only  grandfather I knew. He was taken from my life on August 8, 2000. He died of heart disease and diabetes. Sometimes in life, we need something drastic to occur to make us wake up and make changes. I’m hopeful my pleas and story will encourage you to make whatever changes are necessary. Today.

Jeffrey Pickett Starting Over

Starting Over Challenge of the Day

Yep, it’s time. If you are not already actively engaged in a workout program – you need to be. I challenge you to do something, even if it’s a mash-up of body weight exercises at home. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Start up, gain some momentum and see where it takes you. I’ve helped many lose up to 40 lbs. And more.

I worked out and ate a great meal plan and never lost a pound – said no one ever.

Need Some Help Shedding a Few Pounds?

caveman resurrection bookMy first book, a non-fiction self-help book based around the Primal/Paleo diet is a great plan to shave off pounds and bodyfat. Click on the book or the box below to receive the first few chapters at no charge.

Send Me the Free Sample