I can't believe it's already March! How is your New Year’s Resolutions going? According to the Internet, 92% have giving up on his/her New Years Resolution by now. I am unaware of how the Internet’s gathers its information, people in one city or a survey via the Internet but I roughly gather my research by those I speak with in and out of the valley. Training to be Balanced (T2BB) has created a system to help combat unsuccessful New Year’s Resolutions.
Our strategies are coined N.E.R.M. Nutrition [habitual changes], Exercise [resistance (strength) & interval training], Recovery [from exercise and quality sleep hygiene], and Mindset [reduction of stress]
The “N” in N.E.R.M. refers to nutrition. Habitual nutrition change means changing habits first before figuring out which type of food to chose. If we have raw steamed vegetables on one plate and French fries on the next, we all know which one we need and should eat. Choice of food is the simple compared to changing a habit for the majority of people. For example, do you eat breakfast? If you don’t, how do you start? If this is a habit that does not exist then it needs to be created. For breakfast, instead of worrying about the type of food to eat, begin a habit with a small bit of something. Get into the habit of putting something in your mouth in the morning you enjoy, then selection of various types of food comes later. Many of us try to change the world in one day…. this is a setting yourself up for failure.
The “E” in N.E.R.M. refers to exercise. In the fitness industry today how we exercise is ever more important, especially to be more active longer in life. T2BB capitalizes on resistance & interval training as to the keys to fat loss and muscle gain.
One of the biggest problems with steady state aerobic training is that you get better at it. In resistance training, as you get better, you add more weight or more reps and there is literally no finish line. In steady state aerobic training, the work required to run 5 miles will become less and less as you get fitter. So to continue to improve you either go further (do more work for the same amount of calories) or you run it faster. Going further kind of defeats the purpose. Is there much joy in running 40 minutes to burn the calories you once burned in 30 minutes? And going faster involves the same problem. Eventually, the new speed becomes too easy for you and you have to go more intense to get the same benefits.
There is no end point with weight training. However there is an end point with steady state aerobic training. You will reach an intensity eventually that will be the end of the aerobic zone. Quite simple going any harder will send your body into the anaerobic zone. So at some point you’re not doing aerobics any more. So, if you have to stop doing it as some point to get the benefits you seek why not do anaerobic work to begin?
The “R” in N.E.R.M. refers to recovery. Recovery of exercise and quality of sleep are the most underestimated components to fitness. Many people think for exercise “more is better”. If your exercise exceeds your recovery time you increase your chances for injury and create a reverse affect on muscle growth and fat loss. What I mean by too much exercise is; Saturday & Sunday skiing hard for five to sevens hours in powder, Monday, high intensity TRX suspension class and interval sprinting on the treadmill for 30 minutes, Tuesday, intense hot yoga, Wednesday and Thursday taking a kettle bell class and another TRX suspension class, Friday, Pilates with equipment and a tour at Cache Creek. This example provides no recovery for the body to burn fat, for the muscle to grow, and is not that unusual for many Jacksonites. It also slowly decreases overall performance.
Remember, one constant – no matter how strong the mind is in pushing the body’s limits of performance, in the end the body wins, 100 percent of the time, guaranteed, the body will break. Thus, listen to your body! With excess exercise/sport activities, no recovery time, the body undergoes internal stress. At that point, the body holds onto fat and slows muscle growth.
The “M” in N.E.R.M. refers to mindset. The single most important factor to fat loss is reduction of stress. Notice I wrote reduction and not elimination. It is difficult to eliminate stress unless you are a monk who meditates 13 hours a day. Just because you can handle lots of stress does not mean you should. The body holds onto fat during periods of mental stress. When stressed internally or mentally, the body goes into protection mode and protects that which important to live…the fat that surrounds the organs. The body can live without limbs but cannot survive without a liver, heart, or even a pancreas.
What are some possibilities to reduce stress, most of you have a clue. First think how you make time to cart your children around the valley, time eat, time to ski, hike, walk, run or even go a visit with a friend at the bar. Then you can make time for yoga, meditation, Tai Chi, reading, books on tape, sitting for 30 seconds and thinking nothing. Whatever it is, find that release and spend time on YOU. A mentor told me “if you don’t make time for yourself, you will have plenty time in the hospital or when your sick…when you are forced to rest (take a break) it creates more frustration because it was not your choice.”
Incorporate, N.E.R.M. [nutrition, exercise, recovery, mindset] at 25% each, 100% of the time. If all are only working at 20% each, that is only 80% of your potential. When you have all four components working jointly at 100%, looking, feeling and performing better becomes longevity success.