4 Pillars to Fitness Success
There are a lot of factors that you could tie to your fitness success. However, I am all about making things simple!
In my mind there are 4 pillars to ensuring that you have the most success with fat loss and fitness.
These 4 Pillars, in order of importance for me are:
You might be asking yourself “What the heck!? He put training as the 4th pillar?”
You are absolutely correct. You may be able to put it right above recovery since you don’t need to focus on recovery if you aren’t training, however most people are doing some type of exercise if they want to lose some weight or improve their fat loss.
Let’s dive into each of the 4 Pillars of Fitness Success!
This should be your focus from the start. Training is great and it is a huge part of getting the results you want, but without good nutrition you will be stuck with minimal results and I promise you won’t be happy with how you look.
Good nutrition means eating whole foods, organic when possible and staying away from things like sugar, grains and processed junk.
Let’s keep it really simple- eat protein like meats and eggs, get in LOTS of veggies, and have a bit of fruit here and there. Snack on nuts and seeds as needed. Don’t be afraid of healthy fats like avocado, nuts, fats in meats, coconut oils/butter, and olive oil.
Most people can stick with eating 3 meals a day and get great results. Keep your portions under control and eat until you are satisfied but not overly full.
Remember- there is no such things as trying to eat right! You have to make a conscious decision to put food in your mouth, chew it and swallow. Make sure that you make the healthy, good decisions most of the time.
Now you might be asking why this is at the top of the list. Well, as a society we just don’t get enough sleep. You should shoot for 7-8 hours of good sleep each night.
Set up a routine before you go to bed. Turn off all electronics at least 1 hour, preferably two before going to bed. Don’t watch TV, play on your phone or tablet, or have electronics in bed. Make the room as dark as possible. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day.
These simple routines will help you get better quality sleep and you will feel much better for it. When you are deprived of sleep your hormones get out of wack and it makes it difficult to lose fat. You also tend to eat more if you are sleep deprived.
So, make sure you are getting in 7-8 hours every night. No excuses.
Training is good, recovery is better. Training puts a stress on our body and if you don’t pay close attention to your recovery you can open yourself up to injury and a lack of results. Your body needs time between training sessions to repair itself. More isn’t always better.
Make sure you are taking a few days off per week and only doing active recovery for your training. 3-4 days of strength training is all most anyone needs to get great results. Especially if you live a bit of a stressful life and have a hectic work schedule and a family to consider. On the other 3-4 days per week you can go for a walk, take the dog to the park, or play with your kids for activity.
Foam rolling, mediation, and walking outside are great ways to improve your recovery.
Finally! The last piece. Personally, I love training so it is tough to take days off. But, as I get a bit older my recovery is starting to slow down a bit and I have to monitor my training a bit more. Now I can get great results from 4 days a week, where before I was training 6-7 days per week. I feel great and my numbers in the gym are improving more than they have in years. I also am really happy with how I look and feel.
Make sure that your training is quality not just quantity. No more than 60 minutes of actual work in your sessions, that doesn’t include warm up. I prefer to keep it closer to 30-45 of intense work. Longer workouts increase cortisol and reduce your growth hormone and testosterone production. That may not seem like a big deal to females out there, but trust me – IT IS!
Hit the big movements, go hard and then go home to recover. Training should be a part of your healthy lifestyle, not the entire thing.
Hopefully this little post gave you some tips on how you can improve your results by focusing on the 4 Pillars.