4 Tips To Get Fit Faster

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve been asked to tell someone the key to getting fit I’d be living on some island being fed grapes (organic of course) by any number of very attentive and exceptionally formed females. This however is not my reality. Therefore, I will do my best to answer the question for you.

Given the question, “what is the key to getting fit,” there are a few things we must take into consideration.

– Regardless of science, everyone defines physical fitness differently based on their own preferences.
– There are many ways to achieve any component of physical fitness I am just discussing a couple.
– You should know what the 5 primary components of physical fitness are as determined by science.
– All “keys” to physical fitness require ongoing effort on the part of the person getting in shape.

Once we have determined these things we can get on with discussing just a few ways I know you can improve your fitness level in a hurry. To be exact, I’m going to discuss four (4) bits of advice I would give just about anyone wanting to get fit in the shortest possible time.

So without further delay here goes!

1. Sprint often – whether you are running, riding a bike, jump roping or scaling a very tall tree, do it with maximal intensity. Of course this cuts down on the time you put into the activity, but the overall physiology of the activity will benefit you more as well. Having said this, I should probably explain that last statement. If you are wanting to run a marathon or swim to Tahiti, my previous statement is an outright lie. However if you desire to be strong, powerful, energetic, lean and muscular then my statement is right on the money (give me my nickel – another grape please). People who sprint as a fundamental part of their training are muscular, lean and powerful. If you don’t believe me, just type “track sprinter” into Google images and see what kinds of physiques you find. On the other hand, people who do long distance, lower intensity exercise (long distance running, biking etc.) tend to be thin, less muscular and have an overall less well-rounded physique. You can type “endurance athlete” into Google images if you like. While I tend to appreciate both types of fitness activity and both types of physique I admit, that sprinter’s physiques look more like what my idea of a fit body image is. So if you desire a body that is functional, strong, powerful, lean and vibrant, get to sprinting!

2. Reduce Grains and Dairy – luckily this tip is starting to take root and become more accepted in the fitness world. Bottom line; our bodies were not designed to ingest grain products nor dairy from non-human animals. Cow’s milk, goat’s milk, any milk other than human milk was designed for the babies of that species, not for you and I. While human milk was designed for us to drink, even it was only meant to be ingested during infancy. Once we can eat, chew and handle our own food we are meant to eat the phenomenally nourishing things the earth provides us naturally. Grains exist in great amounts because our starving ancestors way back in the day figured out that growing some wheat, rye or oats and carrying it around in a sack was a lot easier than chasing down a rabbit or rooting around for walnuts during a snow storm. Luckily we aren’t so hard-up for nourishment these days. If you are a starving mess, then by all means, load up on the milk and bread. Heck, if you’re truly starving, eat anything you can find! But if fitness is your goal and not simply surviving, then cut back on the grains and dairy. They are hard on the body, they are not easily digested, many are addictive, they tend to create inflammation and our body reacts to them by becoming bloated, sluggish and fatty. There is even evidence to show that grains (primarily wheat) may lead to verifiable brain damage and contribute to disorders like ADD, ADHD and depression. Try to stick with lean meats, fibrous vegetables, nuts, berries and melons. Things like this are what our bodies were designed to feed on, so give it a try.

3. Work with a Fitness Coach – I know, I know, you’re thinking, “Jared, this isn’t a very original tip,” but it’s one of the best tips I can give you. In my experience, less than 1% of most gym members work with a personal trainer while in excess of 60% stop coming and eventually drop their membership. You see it every January! Herds of people join the gym and shuffle toward the treadmills as if led by some primal force. After a few weeks you see fewer and fewer of the new faces and by March, it’s the same group of regulars that have always been coming. But, we know that those who work with, and continue to work with a personal trainer or fitness coach, stick to their programs, they keep coming to the gym, and eventually they develop habits that lead them toward a more fit lifestyle. Working with a fitness coach or trainer is absolutely one of the best recommendations I can make to anyone wanting to get fit. My only caution is that you choose your coach wisely. I personally hire a professional coach to oversee my entire fitness program. That’s how strongly I believe in this factor.

4. Thou Shalt Have 60 Days of Selfishness – many people fail to get fit, in part because it requires you to focus on yourself. Not just while you workout, but while you cook, while you eat and while you interact with your family and friends. If your tendency is to make everyone around you happy before taking time for yourself, I promise you your chances of achieving the fitness lifestyle are slim at best. You must learn to focus on yourself, your goals, your dreams, what you need and what will help you get fit. This means helping your spouse and kids deal with the fact that they are going to eat more broccoli this week and skip the chicken nuggets. Sometimes they are going to have to empty the dryer and fold some clothes because you are going to the gym. Your girlfriend/boyfriend is going to have to deal with the fact that on Saturday mornings you are going to go for a bike ride, so she/he can either come along or sleep late, but you are getting fit. In the end, personal fitness requires personal attention and care. If you can find ways to make yourself a priority for 60 days without letting anything or anyone else keep you from moving forward with your fitness plans, you will have a firm foundation on which to build a lifestyle you can be proud of.

So there are four (4) tips to getting fit in a hurry. Sure there are the usual tips you get from trainers not quite as cool as I, but in case you missed them, here’s a few of the generic (but true) tips to getting fit:

– reduce sugary beverages (everyone knows this by now)
– increase water intake (YAWN!)
– taper-off or reduce your carbohydrate intake as the day progresses
– get plenty of sleep and rest
– reduce processed carbohydrate sources (if you omit grains you don’t have to worry about this one)

Ok, you’ve had enough and so have I. But on a serious note, taking the four (4) tips I gave above and combining them with the things you already know and do will benefit you greatly and will take your chances of getting fit and staying fit and compound them almost instantly.

Stay Motivated!

Jared Meacham, MS.Ed., CSCS.

Jared is a fitness entrepreneur, writer and recognized weight-loss expert. He is owner of Precision Body Designs, LLC and is creator of the Body Fat Meltdown women’s weight-loss program. He is also cr

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Discover The Everchanging Face Of Fitness

It’s very rare that I will write, comment or otherwise vent online but after thinking the idea over I’ve decided to share a few of my thoughts with you about what fitness is, what it’s really about and who should be considered fit. Of course this is only my opinion at this point in history, but it deserves being mentioned nevertheless. I’m writing this, admittedly, out of disappointment. I read fit people’s articles, newsletters and blogs constantly in order to learn and improve myself in this industry we call fitness but lately I’ve come across a number of very fit people drawing lines in the sand (regarding what fitness is), that, in my opinion, don’t really need to be there.

Now you’ve heard me say it a million times! Fitness (technically) is usually defined in a way that has something to do with having optimal levels of:

cardiovascular endurance,
muscular endurance,
muscular strength,
flexibility,
body composition (fat vs. lean body mass)
While this is true and I certainly agree, I think what we are talking about is a quantitative way to look at a qualitative issue. Yea sports are quantitative. How much, how many, how low, how high, how strong, how far, how big, how long – these are things we associate quite often with sport. In America we tend to be a quantitative society. We want to know how much money a person has, who has the most friends, who spends the most on clothes, who has the lowest body fat percentage, who can bench press the most weight and who can run the longest distance in the least amount of time. We are obsessed with numbers, quantities and keeping score.

So I raise the question: Is physical fitness really a quantitative thing? Or could it be that physical fitness is a qualitative thing? Maybe a combination of both? What do you think?

The only thing I can say about this is that (to me) physical fitness is more than how many times you can lift a weight, how far you can run or if you are flexible enough to put your feet behind your head or not. To me physical fitness is about things that cannot always be measured with numbers, it’s about more than a number, a weight, a distance, a score.

I tell my clients that we all have strengths and weaknesses at various points in our lives. At 24 years of age I had 9% body fat year-round, I could squat 700 pounds and bench press 405 pounds for reps. I can’t do that anymore. But I can do 35 pull-ups, stand on a stability ball for just about as long as I want and touch my face to my knee when stretching, all things I could not do as a beast-boy 24-year-old. So was I more fit then or now?

Take a look at the people around you. What’s their story? What are their experiences? Are they fat? Are they too skinny? Maybe they’re really weak and can’t lift much weight. Maybe they have a low-level of endurance and can’t run very far before getting winded. Think about it for a moment then ask yourself: if perhaps their current level is better than it was previously, does the fact that they don’t live up to your idea of what fitness should be really matter? If you think about any of these things they all depend on one thing: your perception of that person. I take the stance that fitness evolves as a person passes through life. What you thought about fitness early in your life may not be the same idea you have about fitness later on. I encourage you to embrace fitness throughout your life no matter what face it currently has.

Improve! Get better in some way. You may not always be able to do what you did as a young person but there are ways where you can become even better than you were. And I’ve seen people who were very sedentary as young people who have steadily improved their physical fitness level as they’ve aged. One client of mine, Lisa, told me she’s (in her 60s) in the best shape of her adult life. Isn’t that what fitness is about? If you really think about fitness, isn’t it about getting better, improving and doing what you need to do to feel better about yourself and your physical body? Aren’t those things mostly about quality and not quantity?

I think so. I think fitness has an infinite number of faces and takes on an unlimited number of characteristics. I encourage you to try not to see fitness in such a narrow scope that you forget that fitness, above all, is about people. It’s about people getting better, not being the best. Fitness is not a sport, it’s not a race and no one is keeping score. Fitness is about you as an individual. You may be a phenomenally successful athlete like Lance Armstrong or Drew Brees (both fit people) or you may be like my client Lisa (also a fit person) who in her 60s decided she wanted to walk with more energy, feel more stable and be able to play with her grandchildren.

Now I encourage you to consider this: Lisa can honestly say that she is in the best shape of her adult life, can Lance Armstrong currently say the same thing? So which person’s fitness level serves them best? I’ll let you decide.

Try to think of fitness as something that is inclusive, not exclusive. Sports are wonderful and in order to have a winner we have to keep score and compare one against the other. I encourage you to leave the score keeping to the athletes on the field-of-play, and only on the field-of-play, and not in the day-to-day activities that people lead in their pursuit of fitness.

Pursue Fitness for Life!

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