I argue, yes. Why else cheat? But this isn’t going to be a post about those gamers that lack the skill to beat a computer program. I’m talking about cheating in the fitness arena.
Talk to just about anyone about getting into shape and one of the first things they say is “Cut out beer! It’s nothing but empty calories, and all those carbs!” There are even jokes about doing “12 ounce curls” or having a “beer gut”. Well, imagine being a home brewer and owner of a craft beer pub while also being a personal trainer and fitness coach! What if I were to tell you that you can continue to enjoy great craft beer and still get in shape? *twists waxed mustachios*
What’s this? You want me to crawl out of bed before my alarm goes off for the third time? THEN you want me to skip my morning pot of coffee so I can MOVE AROUND? Yep! That’s the ticket! Over the years I’ve talked to a LOT of people that are both successful in their health and in their business. What is one common denominator? They all take advantage of the morning. Talk to just about anyone that’s seriously lost weight and kept it off, or has started a successful business, and they’ll tell you they usually get their work done before most people are even out of bed. While I would love to go into every aspect of carpe diem before 9am, let’s just focus on the fitness part. For years I worked jobs that required me to be up and moving before 5am. Here are a few things I’ve learned.
First things first, you need your sleep. You need to have the energy to get up and get going, so don’t plan to workout at 4am and go to be at 11pm. Next, you need that energy boost. Some people use coffee. I love using a pre-workout. My favorite is the Energy and Endurance from Beachbody. It’s pretty inexpensive, tastes great, and won’t make you want to claw your face off. It also doesn’t contain any untested or weird ingredients like most of the other popular brands.
You also need to have your workout clothes ready to go. It wouldn’t kill to sleep in them. I mean, who are you trying to impress at 4am working out in your living room? If you don’t feel like sleeping in your workout clothes, lay them out in some place you can’t avoid. I used to lay mine out on the floor next to the bed so I had to either walk on them or move them out of the way.
Know your workout schedule. Every night before bed I would check my calendar to see what was up next. It helped me get my mind in the game before I went to bed. You can also load your workout into the DVD player the night before and have it ready to go.
Wake up at the same time every day. It’s so tempting to sleep in if you have a shorter workout. But, you throw yourself out of rhythm and that’s no good. So set your alarm and stick to it. Speaking of alarms…
Put your alarm on the other side of the room. Next to the bed it’s too easy to hit snooze. Make yourself have to get up.
Last, but not least, recruit your family. Many people think they’ll disturb their family if they workout early. So why not get them going? Make a thing of it. I hope these tips help. I know they were tailored to home workouts, but you can really apply these principles to gym workouts, DVD’s, running, etc.
I’ve been a Beachbody Coach (and damn proud of it) for almost 5 years. I’ve been a fitness professional (ACE, AFAA, ISSA, Powder Blue) for 4 years. In my time I’ve seen a lot of people ask for help getting in shape via social media. And in every single instance someone’s offered poor, wrong, or just harmful advice. So how does someone with no experience or knowledge, but a lot of desire, weed thru this storm of “Drink this! Eat that!” advice? Well there’s one very important thing to remember, everyone is different.
1) Listen to your gut. If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. If you get the feeling that a tip is just wrong, it probably is. “My neighbor ate nothing but cloves and drank the blood from raw beef every day for a week and lost 20 pounds!” Really? No, just no.
2) Seek professional help. And no, I’m not talking about your medical doctor as, unfortunately, most of them don’t know more than the average Joe about weight loss and fitness. Find someone that has actual training in health and wellness. Look for someone with a certification from an accredited agency. NASM.org and ideafit.com are great resources for finding trainers in your area.
Along those lines, try to avoid Google for your one-stop fitness source. I know, you probably found my blog on Google, right? Well, even as a fitness professional what I say may not work for you. Now you can always message me, but fact is most fitness blogs and sites are just opinions of folks that have been working to get in shape themselves. Someone may have lost 100 pounds running 10 miles and drinking kale smoothies, but someone else could have done the exact same thing and blown out their knees. Who knows!
3) So once you find a professional, how do you approach them? Well, know that you may need to shell out some cash and get some skin in the game. After all, these folks are doing this to make a living. You wouldn’t take your car to a mechanic and expect to swap your engine for free, right? But here’s a secret, if you’re genuine and nice MOST professionals will help ya out. Now, I’m not saying if you shoot me a message and want a full body profile made up with a nutrition plan and workout regimen I won’t ask for some compensation (ass, grass, or cash right?), but if you just want to throw an idea by me to get started I’m happy to help.
4) Once you’ve found a professional willing to help, do what they say. I can tell you from experience there is nothing more annoying than to spend time working up a plan only to have the person completely ignore it, then tell you it’s because they are doing something different. This is especially annoying if I’ve done the work pro bono and will definitely result in a “Fuck you I don’t care about YOUR fitness” attitude. Burn the bridge once and that’s it. But feelings aside, when working with a pro chances are they are tailoring a plan just for you, that will work. And if it doesn’t they’ll adjust it until it does. Something your Brother’s friend won’t do.
I know this whole post has pretty much been “don’t trust your friends, find help” but it’s absolutely true. Your body is a complex machine, and let’s face it, you can’t just go buy a new one. So when you’re ready to get fit and in shape sit down and ask yourself a very serious question. Are you willing to trust the only body you have to the random guy on Facebook you met that one time?