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Build Fitness While Exercising Less with Optimal Nutrition

Do you know the frustration of putting in the hard grind at the gym three times a week, every week, only to see no improvement?

Maybe it helped to relieve a little stress, but it didn’t seem to be shedding the weight you wanted it to. Many of my patients have tried Cross-Fit or P90X or some other intense workout regime, with disappointing results.

Don’t worry. As I tell my patients, you’re not broken, your advice was.

We can get you the results you want.

Trick The Body With Exercise

Exercise is a lie.

Its purpose is to deceive our bodies into thinking our environment is more demanding than it truly is.

Imagine you’re in the gym with a personal trainer. You saddle into a machine, and lift the weight until you start to sweat. Your trainer yells encouraging clichés in your ear, and you keep going until you can’t lift it anymore. You’re not done yet.  With muscles shaking, you reach into the reserves of your soul to lift it one more time while your trainer’s voice box cracks from straining and the vein on your forehead threaten to pop.

Your subconscious mind cannot imagine why you would do that to yourself.

Living in the wild, our ancestors would never have pushed themselves to such extreme exertion unless they were fighting for their life, either against a wild animal or an even wilder human rival. The message you’re receiving is loud and clear:

“We’re not strong enough. Do something about it!”

The complex web of mechanisms within your body will then undergo an invisible shift. Quietly, and obediently, they will start to move resources towards developing your muscles.

This is a critical understanding that so many miss – Exercise does not make you fitter per se. It is only the trigger, a signal sent into your body. It is the body that develops itself, from the inside out.

And if it doesn’t have the adequate resources to build itself, problems occur.

Exercise Might Be Making You Weak

Don’t worry.

If you apply what you learn here, your exercise will only make you stronger.

But if you follow the conventional wisdom of exercise and nutrition, your attempts are likely to increase inflammation and decrease muscle mass.

Firstly, know that exercise is a stress on the body. It’s catabolic, meaning tissue is broken down in the process, and adequate rest and nutrition is essential for the opposite process, the anabolic restoration of muscle tissue.

Secondly, exerting yourself requires glucose, (unless you’re ketone-adapted).

If you’re as smart as I know you are, you’ll get that glucose from a highly nutritious source, like sweet potato or yams.

Too often, I see exercise used as an excuse to justify getting a fix of addictive refined carbohydrate as a glucose source. The host of toxins that come with processed foods are not eliminated by exercise, whether or not you burn off the calories.

Equally bad is eating too little, while ramping up the exercise, in an admirable but misguided attempt at shedding weight. The conventional theory that you get slim by eating less and exercising more has lead innumerable people to damage their bodies while they trying to build them.

You see, if you have fewer calories in your system than you need to keep going, your body will resort to burning your own muscle tissue for glucose.

Crazy, I know. Why doesn’t it tap your fat stores for the calories it wants?

If you eat a high-carb diet, you won’t have the ability to access glucose from your body fat. If you’ve only eaten a piece of toast and a salad all day, you’ll quickly use up your on-site muscular glucose stores, and with no more glucose coming in through the digestive tract, and no recently ingested protein, you body needs to turn on itself and use the protein that’s already embedded in your muscle tissue, converting it into glucose to keep you going.

You’ll wake up the next day with slightly less muscle than the day before, and be more likely to convert your next meal into body fat.

If you eat properly, however, any exercise you do will be returned to you ten-fold.

Exercise, coupled with a great diet, is an investment that will continue to pay dividends in the future. Muscle is the most metabolically active tissue in the body. It can give you energy, vitality, improved mood and sleep patterns, and of course, it’s slimming. It helps with every corner of health, and once your body makes it, it does it’s best not to lose it.

It’s an investment in biological capital that will keep paying you back over and over again.

How To Develop Muscle Mass

80% of your body composition is determined by your diet alone, and 20% is determined by exercise.

Start your journey of fitness by dialling in your diet until it gives you maximum benefit, and from there, specific highly-targeted exercise protocols can be used to further improve your body. All the best exercise protocols focus on one thing – building muscle.

Exercise is for muscle-gain first, and fat-loss second. [Tweet This!]

Some of the women I speak to are somewhat concerned that weight lifting will turn them into Miss Olympia. Don’t worry. Your genes make it difficult to pack on muscular girth, and will instead focus on improving your feminine physique.

For the gentlemen, bulking up is easier, but not necessarily the goal of weight training. You don’t have to be a young Arnold Schwarzenegger to feel the tremendous energetic benefit of muscle development.

My recommendations:

Lift weights regularly, no matter your age or gender. The most convenient weight is yourself, so familiarise yourself with body-workouts.

2 or 3 times a week at 30 minutes a session is all that’s necessary, so long as it’s high intensity. Remember your ancestors fighting off wild animals. You have to trick your body into thinking something similar is happening to you.

Get some glucose before each workout with a meal that includes some servings of healthy tubers and other vegetables with some protein. Vegetable carbs are slow-release, so don’t feel you have to exercise on a full stomach. Start your reps when the meal has settled.

The rest of the time, make sure you’re obtaining plenty of calories via healthy fats and proteins.

Nutrient-dense diets (high in whole-foods, low in processed), typically provide more than enough nutrition to construct new muscle out of ingested protein quickly and efficiently, and here’s a list of the most important micronutrients:

  • B Vitamins (particularly B6)

  • Vitamin C

  • Vitamin D

  • Vitamin E

  • Calcium

  • Omega-3 fatty acids

Read up on nature’s multi-vitamins, the most nutrient dense foods, to make sure you’re getting these critical micronutrients. A nourishing diet that address the Four Pillars of Health will give your body everything it needs.

Use Low-Intensity Exercise To Reduce Stress

Forget running endlessly on a single strip of spinning black rubber.

Remember running for fun.

A bit of cardio improves blood flow and sends endorphins circulating around the brain. It makes you feel good, and that feeling is magnified if you’re doing something fun or competitive with good friends.

Humans were meant to be constantly moving. That doesn’t mean spending hours on the elliptical machine. It means lots of low-intensity exercise mingled with the rest of life, and the more of it that’s inherently fun, the better.

Muscular development is not something low-intensity exercise can offer us. We’ve all heard that it ‘tones’ the muscles, but this is not true. Muscle tone is achieved by being lean while maintaining muscle mass, and this is done best with a protocol of high-intensity weight training and nourishing diet. 

Remember: 

Lifting weights will build fitness.

Cardio is more for having fun in the sun.

Eat a diet based on whole protein, healthy fats, vegetables, and low-glycemic fruit.

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