Coaches and Athletes spend countless time and energy figuring out the perfect workout. Both electronic and print media provide a conveyor belt of experts with advice ranging the entire fitness continuum. Lift Heavy, don’t lift heavy. Do squats, don’t do squats.* The dissenting opinions could go on and on. All of that time is wasted, if the rest of the day is an afterthought.
Imagine in a perfect world without any distraction or surprises, you can make it into the gym for one hour every day. You would certainly be considered an avid exerciser. Unfortunately that still leaves 96% of the week to unravel all of the hard work; you have done to improve your fitness. Which means, even with the perfect program, your gains will be minimal, if they happen at all. So what can you do to improve the other 23 hours?
Sleep – Try to get seven to eight hours of sleep. This is even more important for athletes. During sleep, our bodies repair themselves and prepare for another hard training session or competition. Interested in hitting new PRs in the gym or losing some body fat? For 2 weeks get at least eight hours of sleep per day without changing your nutrition or exercise habits.
Nutrition – The perspective that “I worked out really hard today, so I can eat this piece of chocolate cake” is fundamentally flawed. We do believe that life is about balance, but we don’t encourage a 1:1 ratio of binging on exercise then binging on junk food. Food is the fuel for our training. Focus on quality food. Meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, nuts, olive oils, avocado, if you eat these food then you can eat with abandon and let the calorie counting back in the last century where it should have died.
Substance Abuse – How many times do we ignore sleep and/or our nutrition then rely on abusing substances to make it through the day. Caffeine addiction – coffee, [diet] sodas, and Red bulls – can wreak havoc on our adrenal glands and stunt recovery. Sugar – sodas, candy bars, coffee, muffins, cookies – provide quick bursts of energy but quickly kill our insulin/glucagon equilibrium, suppress our growth hormone, and create a positive feedback cycle of sugar, energy, crash, more sugar, energy, crash. (Like all health fields, positive isn’t always a good thing).
Activity – Working out is no excuse to be lazy. Be active. Walk, run, ride your bike, play, practice your sport. A 30 minute bout on the treadmill is not an excuse to lay on your couch all day.
Recover – Muscle soreness? 1. Ice. 5 minutes of direct ice massage will go a long way towards tomorrow. If you are sore and don’t ice, you aren’t allowed to complain. 2. Foam roll. Roll out any tender spots or your notoriously tight muscles. Not sure where to start. Try this – Hamstrings, glutes, low back, rhomboids, and thoracic spine. 2 minutes per group would be 10 minutes per day. Do it while you are watching TV at the end of the day. So if you foam roll then ice, you have spent a grand total of an easy 15 minutes to improve your fitness and gives you the right to complain to us.

Train. Eat good food. Sleep. Avoid caffeine overuse and sugar use. Be active. Recover.


BTW – Lift heavy, do squats.