BEING STRONG VS BEING FIT/LEAN
Personally, I want my cake and eat it too. But let’s take a look what science says about my aspiration.
1️⃣The first thing you should know is
being strong doesn’t make you fit and vice versa ; being fit doesn’t make you strong.
2️⃣It is harder and takes more time to gain strength and muscle mass than to loose weight and get leaner.
3️⃣To get stronger you focus on increasing muscle density and size. If you want to get leaner your main focus is to reduce excess body fat and increase your metabolism.
4️⃣ The lean program includes functional movements, HIIT(high intensity interval training), bodyweight exercises.
The strong program comprises weights/machines, and bodyweight exercises.
5️⃣To get stronger means you need a sufficient amount of calories that come from protein, carbs, and fat.
If you’re trying to get lean, you’ve got to reduce calorie consumption.
6️⃣Taking in consideration the 5️⃣ you’re going to put on some body fat for your strength goal.
As far as your fit/lean goal in a caloric deficit your body breaks down muscle tissue for the nutrients as a result your muscle mass and strength go down.
7️⃣You can’t work on goals that are diametrically opposed to each other at the same time.
20 pounds “ago” ( which I actually gained) I deadlifted and squatted much more than now but my jeans and dresses were not excited to hang out with the darkness in my closet.
It is impossible to simultaneously work on being big, strong, and lean. But that doesn’t mean it’s not possible to be strong and lean. You just have to work on these goals at different times. ❗️Get big and strong first, lean out later
Do not forget to consider your body type.
Let me be casual with my body type descriptions:
And something in between
If you’re really skinny, you’re going to need to eat a ton of high-quality food. Eat more than you think you’d need.
As far as the exercise program you have to do exercises like squats, deadlifts, bench presses, and overhead presses. They challenge most of your body’s muscles and give you maximum return.
For this body type it takes from 6 months to a few years (depends on how committed you are) to get bigger and stronger.
It is much harder than losing weight.
✅Overweight ( <25% of body fat)
You have to reduce your calories and especially cut on carbs. High quality protein, healthy fat, vegetables are going to be your friends.
At the end of each workout, do 10-15 minutes of HIIT cardio. Sprints and kettlebell circuits are great exercises for HIIT.
Get ready you’re not going to notice dramatic changes in your body.
But…measure your waist. If that keeps going down, you’re on the right track.
✅Not skinny but not overweight (15-18 % of body fat)
Get ready too…to get fatter.
But no worries stripping body fat is a matter of diet.
Letting yourself get fatter in the short-term will allow you to look more ripped in the long-term.
After a few months of gains you will adjust your diet, transition to HIIT cardio and your body will be perfectly jacked. But of course, you remember that you will still loose a bit of your muscle strength.
In conclusion, when you increase muscle mass and strength, losing body fat becomes easier later on. You’ll be able to work harder during those HIIT workout when you’re trying to cut, thanks to that increased strength. Moreover, increased muscle mass leads to hormonal changes that help speed up fat loss.
You can have your cake and eat it too just not at the same time…
IT IS ALL ABOUT RELATIONSHIPS
Have you ever been in a toxic relationship? A relationship where you are unhappy, you have no energy, and you don’t grow as a person (as a man, or a woman)? A relationship where you are constantly blame yourself; you beat yourself up because you live in torment but don’t change a thing?
But If you are being really, truly honest with yourself aren’t you just cherishing relishing in the fact that being the victim takes all the responsibility off of your hands?
You keep perpetuating a narrative where you are some “holy crusader” in this relationship, instead of spreading your wings and flying away to a better situation for yourself.
Well! Now imagine you are in a toxic relationship with food and your lifestyle. It is the exact same thing.
Everything is in YOUR power.
Yes, you have to go out of your comfort zone!
Yes, you have to sacrifice something to get what you want!
Yes, it is not going to be easy!
Yes, you are going to fail from time to time!
So what? It is a rewarding journey where you are the captain of your ship. You set the destination and adjust your course according to the circumstances.
1. Know what you want💡! But be realistic🏹! 2. Set a time frame for your goal🕰 ( be realistic🎣)!
3. Have a plan📃! ❗️
4. Have IF-THEN plan📑.
5. Start simple and small🚰.
6. APPRECIATE every sign of progress👏.
7. Adjust your strategy if something isn’t working👨🏻🔧.
8. Learn more about your goal and how to achieve it. Do your research!🕵🏻♀️
9. Have a support from your family, friends, community, dietician, or personal trainer👫👯♀️💪
10. Focus on your goal🚀!
11. See the big picture🌏. Don’t live in the moment🍻.
12. Enjoy the challenge👻!
13. Be patient🌳! (This is where most people fail)
14. Reprogram your mind and your body🤖.
15. Achieve the result!🌟 16. Be the change!💥
17. Inspire others!✨
See! It is a journey full of challenges!
It is never about taking the easy way out. You GO, you LEARN, you GROW! It is about having the ability to pursue what you WANT, to fall and stand up, having the power to say “yes” when you have to say “YES” the will power to say “no” when you need to say “NO”.
GET YOUR SHIP READY FOR QUITE THE JOURNEY 😉!
Everything is fantaaaastic when motivation is on your side whispering and encouraging your lazy butt to do what “ya gotta do”. But… what if your motivation decided to take a vacation along with Will Power and Inspiration, Motivation’s best friends? And…these magic friends of yours left you with your impulses or lethargy while your health goals waited to get off the ground.
If self-control is not part of your health program you are almost destined to fall off the wagon. Of course, a little misstep every now and again isn’t the end of the world, but you can’t do this too often…
Lethargy will glue you to your sofa, unmoving, while your workout is sitting on your schedule waiting to be done.
How do you pull yourself out from this Inactivity mode?
I find this one life changing technique from Mel Robbins to be super helpful.
I bought her book “The 5 Second Rule” after watching her YouTube videos, but basically the whole book boiled down to one idea: “THE MOMENT YOU HAVE AN INSTINCT TO ACT ON YOUR GOAL YOU MUST “count down”
AND PHYSICALLY MOVE OR YOUR
BRAIN WILL STOP YOU.” I am telling you, this technique is magic. The moment you have the instinct to act on your goal, don’t overthink it, don’t question it, just count down 5-4-3-2-1 and MOVE!!! This technique even helps me when my mind and my body are getting ready to disappear in the Bermuda Triangle of social media, I just start counting 5-4-3-2-1…..
EMOTIONS and FEELINGS
What is the difference between EMOTIONS and FEELINGS? “Emotions play out in the theatre of the body. Feelings play out in the theatre of the mind”, Dr. Sarah McKay, neuroscientist, gave such an artistic answer to this question.
1️⃣Emotions come from a nervous system response (sympathetic and parasympathetic)(…🤪😞😃😐)
Feelings originate from our interpretation of events and sensations. (…Beauty is in the eye of the beholder..))
2️⃣Emotions are characterized by being quite immediate.(…Tell me about it.)
Feelings develop little by little. They represent the remnants of emotions. ( …Time is not the main thing, it is the only thing- Miles Davis)
3️⃣Emotions always push us to either do something or stop doing something. (…The story of my life.)
Feelings are much more varied and slow. They lead us to reflect on what we can do to stop feeling uncomfortable or unpleasant. (…Slowly but surely.) Emotions are very powerful while feelings aren’t as intense.(…🧐)
4️⃣Emotions require disconnection.(…Something like,”Out of sight, out of mind”?)))
HAVE YOU EVER HIT A PLATEAU?
As with everything, every now and again it is good to take a little break. This includes your workouts.
No matter how hard you work, you feel like you are stuck in the same place. You don’t gain any strength, despite of all your tremendous efforts your body no longer “transforms”, and most of all you just feel exhausted.
It is time to take a little break for a week.
3 types of “Deloading”:
1️⃣You keep the volume of your workout but you reduce the load. Use about half of the weight you would normally use during your workout.
This one may be hard for your ego, but it is quite beneficial for your body;)
2️⃣ Keep the weight you would usually use for your exercises but reduce the volume by cutting out half the sets. (This is best fit for competitive athletes)
3️⃣(My favorite) You completely change up the form of exercises you do for your workout.
There are a couple options of how frequently you should Deload. 🛬3 weeks on/1 week off
🛩A week off every 6-8 weeks 🎯
CHOOSE YOUR TYPE OF ‘DELOADING’ AND GET STRONGER AGAIN!
HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF STRESS SURFING?
If you not, I am not surprised. If you have, you must be Russian. Because this type of surfing was invented by a Russian physiotherapist, Ivan Kirillov. But the funny thing is that there is no real surfing in Russia. There are a couple cities where you can surf on baby waves, but that is about it.
But Kirillov still wanted to surf and he wanted to surf BIG.
Well…between you and me we Russians 🇷🇺 are good at making drama, enjoy suffering, and winning wars. Stress is second nature to all of us.
That is why Russian novels which based on the stress of life are considered some of the best novels in the world.
Let’s surf with Kirillov.
First of all, stress is an inevitable part of life. It comes with the territory.
Too much stress is physically and mentally exhausting. It allows the medical industry and the food industry to make a lot of money at the expense of a stressful you.
Interestingly, research has found that too little stress can also make you bored and lazy.
Just the right amount of stress kicks you in the butt to start acting on your full potential, and even forces you to be creative.
Kirillov, the genius that he is, offers that we should enjoy stress ( sooo Russian). Stress is like a wave🌊; the more important the event the bigger the wave is.
First, recognize🔬 the wave (stress) and see its conditions and values.
Second, catch🎣 the wave. Come up with a solution to handle the stress, be creative and brave.
Third, Surf🏄🏼♀️ on it. Act on your plan and enjoy the challenge!
When dealing with stress you have the choice: a classic fight or flight response or you can grab your surfboard and catch the wave in the Stress Ocean and kvell!
WHAT IS YOUR STORY?
We are all natural-born storytellers🗯!
Our favorite stories are those in which we tell ourselves WHY WE ARE NOT fit, physically active, or eating properly and WHY WE ARE lazy and unmotivated.
When it comes to our excuse story, right away we become such talented novelists🖌, who create all stories with the most intricate of details.
Then we take a brush from Vincent Van Gogh and paint🎨 those stories with bold colors and dramatic strokes.
Moreover, we protect our stories like that Faberge Egg from the comedy “Ocean’s 12” ( Do you remember that laser scene 😃?)
And we cherish our story like Gollum, the unforgettable character from “The Lord Of the Ring, who was obsessed with his “PRECIOUS “. Now imagine, just imagine someone took your story away. Someone whipped away your (Gollum’s whispering) “PRECIOUS” story.
And now you are story-less.
How do you feel? Hmmm?
Do you feel like waking up your self-discipline, the answer to most failures?
Some problems require us to even be creative and some call on our self-worth. What do you think?
Is it too complicated? Is there too much rewarding inner and outer work to be done? Am I asking too many questions?
Is it easier to tell a story to yourself, isn’t it?
LET’S GET INTERPERSONAL WITH INTERMITTENT FASTING
Every time I hear the collocation “intermittent fasting” my eyes light up, my heart starts beating a bit faster, and I want to shout out “Yesss!”😍 I can talk and write about Intermittent Fasting endlessly.
Oh Gosh, where should I start?
I will start with my personal story.
To make a long story short.
In the last year I lost 20 pounds and I was able to maintain it without any sacrifices😃. Let me pull back the curtains and show you what is behind this sensational process called Intermittent Fasting
Ladies and gentlemen, please help me welcome AUTOPHAGY!!! “Auto” means self and “phagy” means eat. And this, seemingly unappealing, phenomenon plays a crucial role in cleansing, rejuvenating, and renovating our cells.
The cell’s “self-devouring” process is induced by the stress we put our body under via intermittent fasting, keto diet (read about Keto in my post below) and exercising.
When we fast from 12 to 36 hours( prolonged fasting❗️) our cells, in order to provide nutrients for the body, become cannibals, so that new and healthy versions can be built.
Isn’t that amazing🦄? As far as my experience with Intermittent Fasting; every day I fast 12 hours minimum and some days I can extend it to 13, 14, 16, etc. it depends on my schedule and hunger.
The most popular fasting is 8/16 (where 8 is a feeding window and 16 is a fasting time) but you can start from 12 and extend it little by little.
By the way, the Autophagy phenomenon is not built into our body to fight excessive weight. The main benefit of Autophagy is increasing our lifespan via the Anti-aging principle👵🏻👨🏽🦳.
Moreover some studies show that Autophagy may lower the risk of cancer. Since all cancers start from some sort of defective cells, autophagy can help recognize and remove those cells.
And using fasting as a cure for illnesses dates back to Hippocrates:) P.S. Keep in mind that the existence of a feeding window doesn’t give you permission to eat anything you want and still expect to lose weight:)