Let’s be honest; no two people do or should eat, lift, and live the same way.
Bio-individuality is a fundamental law of life that all of us must accept. We are all unique, so specific supplements and training programs must be prescribed to accommodate our individual needs. Nutritional guidance is also crucial to maintaining optimal health.
People of all ages, soccer moms and stallions can uphold ten core values. These values include being physically active, eating a balanced diet, and getting enough rest. Keep these principles in mind for the long haul, as they have served many well.
A list of rules that will always be at your side in the iron game is a refreshing change from the constantly changing social media landscape. This list can be helpful for now and may even apply years later.
1. Create space
Recovery is critical for both training and work life. Taking time off between workouts allows you to properly recover and build muscle, which will enable you to perform better in the next activity.
Many people neglect the importance of rest in their everyday lives. When we try and pull 60, 70, or 80-hour work weeks for years on end without taking any time off, we often see it as a badge of honor. Most people reach a point where more work stimulation decreases their productivity, quality of work, health, and relationships.
Lifters take pride in their programs and periodization during training. However, we should do the same with our work life. There should be seasons of over-reaching to allow for super-compensation, but it must be followed by a season of recovery so that we can continue progressing.
Work-life can follow a micro, meso, and macro-cycle (daily, weekly, and yearly) with built-in recovery periods. Waving your workload to optimize work performance is key. Creating space in your work schedule to recover from stress is essential.
2. Understand rep ranges
New coaching will always come out, claiming which rep range is best for gaining muscles. Just because something is “new” does not mean it is better. The number of reps you should be doing for a muscle group depends on your desired training outcome.
If your goal is to get strong, you’ll want most of your training in the 1-5 rep range. If your goal is to pack on muscle, you’ll want a lot of your activity to be in the 6-12 rep range. For muscle endurance, you’ll be doing 15+ reps per set.
However, that does not mean you should not train in all rep ranges. You gain the most strength and muscle size during the last three reps to failure.
With the daily hustle and grind of our daily lives, getting five or so hours of sleep might seem like a win. However, getting 8 hours, according to science, is a sure-fire way to help make more gains.
You might know that you need more sleep, but your situation does not allow it. You are working long work, family time, school, and life generally start to take the hours during the day.
If you can get at least six hours of sleep each night, that’s the best way to maintain your health. Not getting enough sleep can lead to a laundry list of problems, including weight gain around the waist, impaired cognitive function, and an imbalance in hormones that throws off your appetite.
Many people think they need to train 5-6 days a week. Moving to 3-4 days a week to allow for more sleep can help give you more gains.
4. Progressive overload
Progressive overload is a necessary component of any strength training program. This is based on the principle that your muscles will grow in response as you increase the intensity or workload of a particular exercise.
Functional fitness has become increasingly popular in recent years, and for a good reason: It’s a more efficient way to train than doing nothing. However, functional fitness has one significant weakness—it does not promote progressive overload, which is the key to long-term performance gains.
Progressive overload is an essential part of any exercise routine. Without it, you are simply exercising without a goal or purpose. A crucial part of successful weightlifting, but it’s not the only way to achieve results. Several other methods can be used to increase the intensity and improve fitness.
- Doing more sets with the same load and reps
- Lifting loads with more speed
- Using extended sets like drop sets, forced reps, partials, rest-pause, mechanical drop sets
- Utilizing accommodating resistance with bands and chains
- Lifting loads with better form helps increase the range of motion
- Changing the tempo of the lift
5. Don't be a jerk
To be successful in any field, you must work hard. Be polite at all times and stay humble.
Always keep your head down and focus on your goals. Keep lifting weights and help others whenever possible – this will reflect positively on you and make you a better person in the long run. Finally, maintain a positive attitude even when things get tough; falling in love (or having a loving relationship) is one of life’s greatest blessings!
6. Supplement when needed
Despite best intentions, following a perfect diet is difficult. In some cases, impossible. Getting all of your nutrient needs from whole foods can put more stress on you than it does any good. That’s why supplements are so important – they fill in the gaps in your nutrition and ensure you’re getting everything you need to live a healthy life.
The statistics are clear – we struggle to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables each day:
- Less than 1% of men and 4% of women ages 18 to 24 eat five daily servings of fruits and veggies.
- Less than 14% of men and 16% of women ages 35 to 49 eat five daily servings of veggies daily.
The answer for many lies in a greens supplement. Of course, eat whole foods, but when it’s nearly impossible to do so, the next best option is getting your greens in powder form.
These green powders are fruits and vegetables that have been compressed and distilled into a powdered form. They typically include a broad range of ingredients, such as spinach, broccoli, kale, and grasses.
7. Life supports your training, not the other way around
Lifting can be a very time-consuming activity, and it’s easy to get wrapped up in it.
You shut down all your electronic devices and focus on perfecting your deadlift for the next six months. During this time, your job performance declines, your relationship begins to suffer, and you feel very isolated. That is no way to live.
When you have a healthy work-life, healthy relationship, and fulfilling friendships, it’s easy to maintain a high fitness level.
Training is essential for success in your career, but it cannot be the only thing you focus on. Your life must also be balanced and structured to support your training.
8. Don't ignore everybody but don't listen to everyone
The opinion of others is not always worth listening to. You are the one who will have to live with the consequences of your decision.
Nowadays, it can be tough to get people to agree on anything. The internet has given everyone a megaphone, so opinions can often be expressed without thinking about the consequences. This can lead us in the wrong direction.
Getting wrapped up in the opinions of others can be a risky business.
The dream has been given to you (and nobody else) for a specific reason: to be respected. Don’t get bogged down by others’ opinions, as this will only disrupt your progress. Learn to discern between what is truly important and what is merely opinionated.
9. Have a deadline
The time constraints are lighting a fire under your tail to get things done.
Without deadlines, you may tend to procrastinate and waste time. This will lead to a less satisfactory product, damaging your reputation. People often do 30-day fat loss challenges for various reasons, including providing a goal to strive for and giving themselves a deadline. They can be helpful for both personal and professional purposes. For example, you may want to reach a certain number of sales in a month or write x amount of words in a given time frame.
Deadlines are essential to keeping you on track and moving forward. They force you to take action, which is what helps avoid laziness.
10. Learn how to wait
There will always be a delay between planting and harvesting. This may be where you realize that things haven’t gone as planned.
Maybe you’re just as patient as a kid and cannot wait.
When you’re waiting for something in life, it’s not a time to be passive. You’ve got to develop habits and learn skills that you’ll use later.
Waiting can be a valuable skill to develop. It can help you better prepare for when your time arrives, and you’ll be more likely to be successful if you can wait patiently.