Yes, I am going to recommend horrible programs for you to follow. Horrible, according to your doctor and the mainstream that is.
I remember when I really grew my coaching wings. I was sick and tired of following the dogmatic approach of body part training and conventional dieting. I was bored mentally and I wasn’t getting the results that I wanted. I knew there was a better way, but I didn’t know how.
That was when I entered college back in 1999. I had some semblance of where I was heading but didn’t have an exact route. It was a process of trial and error for sure.
I would head to the university fitness center and follow my full body program from the first book on training that I ever read, Big Beyond Belief by Leo Costa and the legendary Tom Platz. I had actually ordered that out of a bodybuilding magazine, I doubt many millennials even know what mail order means, lol!
That program alone got me strong, very strong. And it started to make a lot of my fellow co-eds ask questions as to why I was training squat and bench on the same day and why my workouts were so short compared to other people and on and on.
I tried to explain with my novice knowledge that training was more about the nervous system and stress response than it was about focusing on the external variables. Most people either under trained or spent way too long in the gym and not enough time sleeping and recovering. I remember distinctly from that book the A.R.E principle. It stated that the alarm response was first initiated in the nervous system.
That is what happens when we train. This is then followed by the resistance phase in which the body adapts to the meet the demands of the new stress you are placing upon it. This is where it will get stronger, grow bigger muscles and lose body fat if you allow it to.
But, if you aren’t managing yourself properly, you will enter the exhaustion phase. I’ll admit that very few people push themselves this hard in their training to even sniff this zone. This is called overtraining. However, most people put themselves there by having out of control stress levels and not enough rest and fun in their lives. I don’t want to go too far down that rabbit hole here but do know that it is all a matter of the nervous system.
My training philosophy was born, which I will get back to in a second.
Nutrition on the other hand? Well, let’s just say that I wanted to get big and muscular and fast! I ate damn near 4-5K calories per day and it wasn’t long before I was big and fat! I even remember riding down the street on my bike (I used to ride everywhere around campus) and someone yelled out a car window, ‘Lose some weight!’. Hmmm…I thought, that’s weird and a bit obnoxious.
I wasn’t sure how they knew from a drive by that I was overweight, after all I wasn’t morbidly obese (260 pounds). And then I looked down in shame and noticed that my back tire, although not flat, was very much compressed and looking flat underneath my weight.
That was my first clue that there was much more to the old calorie in vs. calorie expended debate that had become common knowledge. I started reading and then reading some more. I even remember that by the time I was a senior I had developed my own philosophy on re-feeding and cheat meals. I compiled all my findings and personal experience and set up an appointment with my nutrition professor.
Man, you would have thought that I had two heads the way this dude looked at my. I quickly realized that he didn’t know jack sh** and that I was going to have to discover and implement this stuff myself. To say I was ahead of the curve by the time I was a senior at UD would be an understatement.
And then, I graduated and began my internship with Rutgers Football strength and conditioning. I had still had my full body philosophy of training but I did mix some bodybuilding methods in there when I wanted to really pack on muscle. I learned a great deal that summer from JB (my first mentor). The pace those players trained at and the weights they were lifting were insane. I would eat meals with the team and dudes that were shredded would be throwing a half a stick of butter in their oatmeal along with 6 whole eggs. I couldn’t believe it.
Back to the drawing board. That was when it sank in that food was a drug and diet was more a function of what was going on in the internal, biochemical and hormonal environment into which the food entered had a much bigger impact than counting calories. Yup, food’s effects on the human body were more about the nervous system than anything else. As a later mentor, Dax Moy, told me: it’s not what you eat but rather whom you are when you eat it.
I continued to develop a blend of philosophies to come up with my own training and nutrition principles. And they have continued to evolve to this very day and yes, they are horrible according to most doctors. Yet, I would put my blood work ‘returns’ (much like you should ask for a tax return of a financial advisor before hiring them) against any doctor and I know I would come out on top.
‘Yes, Kyle, but what are these things you speak of?!’ Don’t worry my good friend, I was about to get to that.
For nutrition, here are my principles with a brief, very brief explanation for space’s sake:
- You should practice eating less often along with practicing intermittent fasting. This means I eat twice per day and I don’t eat before 16 hours past my last meal, usually somewhere between noon and 2 pm. This allows for much greater insulin sensitivity (better fat loss, and better able to bullet proof yourself against diseaseà insulin is responsible for a lot of inflammation in our bodies). Forget all that B.S that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that you have to eat 6 small meals per day. I call the B.S that they are rooted in.
- Second, eat predominantly organic, grass fed sources of protein and fat. Yes, fat! Cholesterol is the precursor to all sex-hormone production. Too many men are walking around with bitch-tits and testosterone levels equal with that of a eunuch. Now, if you are eating fat sources not from things like organic fed foods, then that is a different story and for a different time. In addition, get your good poly-unsaturated fats from things like organic olive oil and avocados. Fat is great for hormone production; protein is great for muscle repair and they are both very filling. I eat what I want, when I want if they fit into these categories and as long as my fasting period is over. Yes, you can have carbs, and even cheat days but again, let’s stick t the basics here and now.
- Cardio as you’ve been told to do it is garbage and a BIG waste of time! Most doctors don’t have a clue about training, so let me educate you and them for a brief minute. The muscular system drives the cardiovascular system, not the other way around. So the more muscle you activate, the more cardiovascular output and stress you get, which makes the heart stronger. How do you do this? You train for peripheral heart action which means head to toe things like a pushup into a squat pattern. Take your grandmother’s idea of yesteryear that stated you had to train a body part such as chest, rest two minutes, chat a little bit and then after that waste of an hour is done, you had to spend 30 minutes on a hamster wheel and throw that shit out the window into a trash dumpster and set it on fire!
- You HAVE to lift weights! I am adamant about this. Yes, you can run and ride your bike but those things will not make you a stronger body. They will not grow much muscle if any and the slow long distance types of exercise actually raise cortisol levels (one of our main stress hormones). And those forms of exercise do nothing to stimulate bone strength. Yes, I’ll admit, I do those things here and there and they are excellent for brain health but not for being a strong S.O.B. I don’t care if you are man or woman, you need to get the body stronger and gain some muscle, they are your fountain of youth. Strength is the foundation for all of your other physical qualities. Train with weights, train for the aim of getting out of breath and train full body. No, you will not hurt yourself if you go about this in a smart way and if you aren’t sure what a smart way is, then hire a coach to teach you.
Yes, they sound horrible and I am sure snowflakes all over the world would run for cover if they were told this by their college professors. Good thing I’m not their college professors. As always, if you do the opposite of what the ‘herd’ does in life, you will usually be much better off. It’s no different when it comes to your health and fitness. Get after it!