These Top Fitness Tips Will Help You Discover the Key Ingredients to Unlock Your Success!

Are you ready to elevate your game and seize the day? Dion’s top fitness tips for achieving success isn’t just about setting lofty goals—it’s about taking action and embracing a lifestyle that sets you up for triumph every single day. Here’s the secret sauce:

Start Strong with a Protein-Packed Breakfast: Kickstart your mornings with a high-protein breakfast that fuels your body and primes you for success. Picture this: mouthwatering scrambled eggs or a fluffy omelette paired with creamy avocado and crunchy nuts. And if you’re pressed for time? No worries! Dive into a delightful blend of chia and yogurt for a quick, nutritious fix that keeps you energized throughout the day. See more here

Power Up with Weight Training: Want to sculpt your dream physique and unleash your inner warrior? Train with weights consistently, aiming for 1-4 sessions per week without fail. Whether you’re pumping iron at the gym or crushing it with home workouts, prioritize strength training to build muscle, boost metabolism, and skyrocket your confidence. Period.

Embrace Daily Movement Practices: Elevate your fitness game with a daily movement ritual that gets your body in sync and your spirits soaring. From dynamic Spiderman routines to deep squats that ignite your core, find ways to move that ignite your passion and invigorate your soul. Just do it—your body will thank you later!

My Top Fitness Tip is This- Keep Moving Forward:

In the pursuit of greatness, every step counts.  Don’t let the small stuff get in your way! Do Not spend 80% of your time on the 20% of the things that don;t really matter. Flip it in reverse and spend 80% of your time on the 20 % that matters! For instance, fueling your body with nourishing foods 80% of the time while indulging in the 20% that delivers maximum results. Prioritise protein-rich meals, aim for 10,000 steps a day, and hit those weights multiple times a week. Consistency is key—week in, week out, make it happen! Don’t let the small stuff get in your way! Do Not spend 80% of your time on the 20% of the things

Focus on Action, Not Outcome: Shift your mindset from chasing outcomes to embracing actions that pave the way for success. Remember, it’s the daily habits and routines that create the life of your dreams. So, roll up your sleeves, do the work, and revel in the journey. The results will follow—trust the process and savor the ride! See this blog here. 

With Dion’s winning formula, you’re not just setting goals; you’re crafting a lifestyle that propels you towards greatness. So, lace up your sneakers, grab your spatula, and dive headfirst into a world of endless possibilities. Success awaits—let’s make it happen!

We will support your goals, guide your fitness and make it fun. Most importantly, we will know who you are and care that you’re here!

Try us today!

Coach D

Consulting Room in Adelaide for rent. Suits Masseuce, Chiro, allied health, etc

Viva Fitness has a Consulting room for lease but is suitable for a variety of allied health professionals.

This purpose built room for massage, physio or other allied health practitioners is located inside Viva Fitness, Kidman park.

This has been leased for 5 years and we are looking for someone to either grow and expand in massage, beauty or another alled health service to suit the gym environment.

This is the perfect place in western suburbs to grow your business or re- locate and start fresh with a vibrant team and awesome people to work with.

The space is newly fitted with facilities for eftpos, landline, hicaps, air con and waiting area.
There is a waiting area outside, toilets, front entrance and welcome area and all outgoings are covered.

The total site is 1800square metres so is a huge area and practitioners can use floor space and have access to the gym with clients if need be. Also you are welcome to use the facilities yourself and get corporate benefits to friends and clients to use the club. This will also incur a commission to yourself.

There is a lot of cross promotion in our club as we are service orientated and want the best results for our clients.

If you feel you can add to the team and grow in your profession we would love to meet with you. I want to point out we view this as a partnership and will support in launch strategies, marketing and growth as we view partners as key stakeholders in our business.

Please check out my family at www.vivafitness.com.au to see if you think your a fit.

I’m excited to meet with you.

Dion
Club Champion
83535533

If you are ‘New To Fitness’ Let’s Unlock Your Potential: Embrace the Power of Consistency!

Picture this: You’ve got the best diet plan, top-notch exercise programs, and expert trainers cheering you on. But here’s the kicker—without consistency, reaching your health and fitness goals becomes an uphill battle. That’s right, consistency is the magic ingredient that turns dreams into reality and aspirations into achievements.

Repeat after me: “Any workout is better than no workout.” When your new to fitness it doesn’t matter whether you’re hitting the gym for a full-blown session, or squeezing in a quick sweat sesh at home. Understand that every bit of effort counts towards your success. More importantly it strengthens your resolve, your will and the athlete in you. Likewise every decision to not come to the gym, not move is strengthening your unhealthy version! You can do it.

But wait, there’s more! Let’s dive into the timeline of transformation:

21 Days: That’s all it takes to form a habit. Commit to showing up for yourself, day in and day out, and watch as your dedication transforms into second nature.

4 Weeks: Picture this—you’re starting to notice changes in your body. The hard work is paying off, and you’re feeling stronger, leaner, and more confident with each passing day.

8 Weeks: Your family and friends are taking notice. They’re showering you with compliments, marveling at your progress, and asking for your secret sauce to success.

12 Weeks: It’s official—the world can’t stop talking about your transformation. From coworkers to acquaintances, everyone’s buzzing about your remarkable journey and newfound vitality.

12 Months: Congratulations, you’ve made it! What started as a commitment to regular training has blossomed into a lasting lifestyle change. You’re living proof that consistency is the cornerstone of success, and the sky’s the limit for what you can achieve.

So, what are you waiting for? Embrace the power of consistency, and let’s embark on a journey of transformation together. With dedication, determination, and a sprinkle of sweat, there’s no limit to what you can accomplish. Your health and fitness goals are within reach—let’s make them a reality, one consistent step at a time!

Viva fitness. Changing Lives and Making it happen!

Coach Leisa

Habits shape your identity. So Change Your Habits to Hit Your Goals!

If you want to hit your goals we need to create new identities and start new habits. According to author James Clear of ‘Atomic Habits’.

Look at it this way in order to hit your goals, ‘If you keep casting the same votes you’ve always casted, you’ll keep getting the same results you have always received’. As the saying goes, ‘If nothing changes, nothing is going to change’!

So how do we hit your goals ?

Changing your identity is a two-step process.

1 – Decide the type of person you want to be.

2 – Prove it to yourself.

In the area of health and fitness, this could be to wear a dress size 2 smaller.

Knowing the outcome, you wish to possess is all you need to form your action plan. Let us start from there and work backwards.

Ask yourself.

In order to have this goal what would I be doing?

Who is the type of person who is leaner, stronger and fitter wearing size…?

What actions are they performing daily?

How could I perform something similar that works for me?

You could ask yourself ‘What would a healthy person do’? This is a great mantra to hit goals in any area of your life.  Do you remember those wristbands that used to have the words, ‘What would Jesus do’? They were around in the late 90’s and they worked! They worked by constantly reminding yourself, throughout the day of your current mantra, to reinforce the person you want to become.  You simply would look at your arm and ask yourself ‘what would a size X do’ or ‘what are healthy persons eating for lunch’? Any mantra would work here.

You don’t have to win all the time to hit your goals

In an election you don’t have to win all of the votes, you just have to win majority. It’s unlikely that you’re going to win every action that’s going to help you toward your goal. You may slip from time to time, it doesn’t matter! Are healthy people perfect with exercise, nutrition and lifestyle choices?? Of course not! But they believe they are healthy and that’s a key difference. Here is why.

Your beliefs shape your decisions and therefore your habits!

It’s not that you are wanting to get fit. It’s that want to become healthy. Those words formulate a belief telling you that you believe you are healthy person. You’ve made a choice. You are now acting as a healthy person.

Unfortunately most of us are stuck in the past with those same beliefs, trying to create new habits. Another example is:

A person who says ‘no’ to a cigarette because ‘they’re trying to quit’, still believes they are a smoker who is trying to quit.

But a person who declines a cigarette because they ‘have quit’, believes they are a non-smoker and are acting in such fashion.

Your habits shake your identity.

And

Your identity shapes your habits.

Your focus should always be on becoming the type of person you want to be, rather than achieving one specific outcome.

By stacking small wins together toward your desired outcome we can reinvent ourselves.

Remember you don’t need to win at every practice, just the majority.

So what ‘Mantra’ will you take on board towards the person you want to be??? Me… ‘I am strong fit and functional’!

Make it happen.

Plan Your Cheat Meals

Firstly, an ‘off meal’ known as a ‘cheat meal,’ is something we all do from time to time. It is perfectly ok and permitted in any diet or nutrition regime. We believe that if your focus is on managing your shape, then a question to ask yourself is “have I ‘earned’ this”?

The following is a guide to ‘mitigate damage’ with ‘off meals’.  Just allowing yourself a treat because ‘I have worked hard’ unfortunately is not enough to keep the kilos off for most of us. Think of it this way, if you were to buy an expensive dress and you have not saved over the previous weeks, you are likely to be out of pocket. You now have to restructure finances to get through your next week or arrange to pay off the debt in some way. With food it is no different. If you have overspent (as in the dress example above) you now need to make a plan to pay off the debt. What I want to encourage is that you have ‘saved’ in the first place. This allows you to spend a few extra calories guilt free whilst managing your budget.

Here is the next step:

We want to implement conscious decisions with our nutrition and below I have created a checklist in order to create this healthy mindset around your cheat meal. By weighing up the pros and cons for the action to be taken, you become aware if your personal inner dialogue supports your goals or is sabotaging your progress.

Cheat Meal Checklist

There are two parts here.

1 Weight management- Ensuring it fits in our macros is priority to whether it is a healthy option. For more on this look into iifym diet.

To start tracking yourself see our quick refernce calorie counter here.

2 Health Conscious-Some of us may feel we are losing weight but adding in too many treats. Here are some questions you could ask yourself.

Cheat Meal

Weight Management

Clean Eating

Have I earned it?

·         Have I kept in my calorie budget for the week?

·         Did I exercise today- Higher Cals are better on exercise days for weight loss.

Some ways to do this are:

·         Removing a meal that day

·         Low Cal days for a higher calorie day

·         Try removing a food group like carbohydrates from meals if your splurge had carbs. I.e., alcohol

Have I earned it?

When on a calorie deficit you have a limited budget of food, making it hard to get in all the micronutrients and fibre needed for health and wellbeing. So, earn it by adding in power packed foods earlier in the day. This means foods like lean meat and fish, healthy fats, fibre, and veggies. I.e., Try for three types of protein and eat the rainbow in veggies daily. Always use fish oil, magnesium, and zinc to support your immune system and nervous system.

Can I keep this around exercise?

Try to keep excess eating post training within 3 hours.

Your body will use the excess calories better. Majority of your carbohydrates should be ingested post training as the excess calories will be used more rapidly, rather than stored. Splurging on non- training days is a great way to add some size to your frame.

 

Can I substitute this for a healthier option?

I.e., popcorn for chips, hot choc for choc. Diet soda options for the real thing.

 

Healthy sweet recipes. Homemade fudge, cookies, yoghurt sweets, date energy balls, banana bread, homemade muesli, frozen yoghurt, homemade ice cream, smoothies, protein shakes

Is it a treat or a habit?

let us say ice cream or chips (which has little to no nutritional value) limit these foods. If it occurs weekly or more then this is not a treat but a habit.

See across as you may have healthier options in which can be substituted and built in your plan more frequently.

 

Do not justify it but earn it!

Food is fuel- creating this belief is powerful!

When you think this way, your decisions are influenced by this belief, and you will become more conscious of how foods make you feel and your performance afterwards

I.e., how would you feel during the day when starting with a bowl of ice cream? You will probably crash soon after due to unstable blood sugars. Compare this to some high fibre veggies and low gi eggs, which have both protein and healthy fats. Your mood will be far more stable, and focus/ performance will be better.

To Summarise on Your Cheat Meal

Is this food doing what I need it to? Go through the above and then use these final questions as a checklist to support your health and body shape goals! If it is a no- go back and look above for your options 😊

  1. If I have this, will I feel good about it? Will I be able to move on with no guilt and stay on track? Am I handling my stress, and will this make me feel good about my choice?
  2. Do I have control over it? Can I opt in or out? Am I constantly justifying these foods or having them sparingly? That is what an ‘off meal’ is after all.
  3. Is it budgeted for (calories and micronutrients)?
  4. Am I ok with any possible fat gain and health repercussions? I.e. 2 off plan days in a row. You are likely to gain bodyfat
  5. Can I get back on track and leave this here?
  6. Am I ok with how I perform after this food?

Stick me up on the fridge and challenge yourself over this next month to build some healthy habits.

Make it happen

Dion Mychalyn

The Perfect  Training Plan- “Suitable without deviations”

The perfect training plan is arguable but lets take a moment to discuss perefection.  Perfection and art are almost inseparable concepts forged together through the aisles of history and its many cultures. The ancient Greeks considered art as the ultimate pursuit of perfection. The Pythagoreans considered perfection as a harmonious balance between forces. While Plato said… It must be “suitable, accurate and just, without deviations” – in other words, perfect.

Today, we are striving for our own representation of perfection, through the art of programming. We will reconcile the thoughts of our ancestors with the concerns of today, in developing the “perfect” program. This program must be harmonious, balanced, accurate and just… Without deviations. It needs to be able to balance training with recovery. It must take a holistic approach to personal development. It must use all the tools at our disposal. It must consider the needs of our brain, our psyche, as well as our body.

I must state this will not be the perfect program for fat loss, or muscle gain, or strength development or any of those things. For a program like that would not fit with the classical view of perfection. This program is going to be one that considers all elements of the being, and looks to improve them simultaneously. Beware, this is just the blue print, as the specifics will change from person to person, but by in large this outline is designed to be “perfect”.

A few key elements.

In any perfect program we need to consider the elements that it is aiming to improve. As mentioned, this is looking to develop the person as a ‘whole’ rather, than just one element of them. As such, there are three main categories I am going to consider in this program: Physical, Aesthetic and Mental Benefits.

Physical benefits

Obvious isn’t it? …The one people call “fitness”. For the sake of this program we are considering physical benefits anything that will improve the physical health of the body. This might be improving cardiorespiratory health but also includes things such as reinforcing the bones and muscles through strength development.

Aesthetics

This is the one most people put at the fore front when pursuing exercise. Aesthetics basically comes down to two elements, fat loss and muscle gain. For those after fat loss, exercise must be intended to “burn” energy. Those after muscle gain must be more concerned with muscle breakdown – I understand the paradox in what I just said, but muscle break down (aka hypertrophy for natural exercisers) during a session causes overcompensation in recovery and ultimately leads to a larger muscle.

Mental clarity and energy

I would call this the money maker. In my opinion this is where the greatest benefits from exercise truly come from. Exercise is great for the brain and should be considered essential for anyone who wants their brain working at top levels – ie. Everyone. There are two trains of thought here, cardio and power training. Cardio is largely beneficial for its release of brain derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) which stimulates the growth of new brain cells. While power training is largely responsible for the myelination of our nervous system through the release of glial derived neurotropic factor (GDNF). Nervous system myelination is what increases the speed at which our neurons can communicate with each other, thus increasing myelination increases our nervous system as a whole.

Program Outline

perfect training plan

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFridaySaturdaySunday
PowerStrengthRecoveryPowerStrengthRecoveryRest

 

 

Justification of the Perfect Training Plan

Monday and Thursday

We are starting the week of our perfect training plan with power training. Power training has many benefits and in the sense of this program it is specifically intended to improve your mental performance, energy levels and muscle strength while also improving your fitness. We do it Monday and Thursday as it is when you have just had a recovery and/or rest day, therefore you will be most fresh and ready to perform on these days.

Tuesday and Friday

Tuesdays and Fridays are going to be strength training. Strength training has many benefits including muscle development, cardiovascular development, bone strengthening and is even good for fat burning. This day you can modify depending on your goals, if it is fat loss you are after, make your strength training program on this day a circuit where you have very little rest. If you are more interested in muscle gain and pure strength, keep the rests longer and lift heavy weights. This fits in here as you can perform it after a day of power without any significance hindrance from the previous session.

Wednesday and Saturday

Wednesdays and Saturdays are for recovery, but not rest. Ideally this would be something like swimming as it is low impact on the joints, keeps the blood flowing, stimulants neurotropic factors within the brain and burns through some energy and basically comes with zero downside. But, as swimming pools are closed at the moment bike riding is just as good an option; further alternatives include rowing, using an elliptical, a moderate paced walk or even yoga.

Sunday

Sunday is when you can rest completely. This would not be a bad time to try get outside of the house, it might look very similar to your Wednesday and Saturday but it does not need to be a specific session. Getting down to Morialta, or a local park to just get outside and spend some time recuperating should have you ready to go again come Monday.

There you have it: balance, harmony, beauty… perfection in the form of programming. A perfect mix of cardio, power and strength training. The ideal balance between improving the mind and improving the body. Whenever you are in need of a guide to structuring your workouts, use this guide, for it is suitable, just and accurate, without deviations.

-Jay Salvaterra

Fat loss isn’t meant to be fast if it’s meant to last!

You know the fact is that an astounding number of those of you who lose weight, or have lost a large amount of weight, will eventually put it back on and often, more.

Yes, it’s unfortunate and it also doesn’t need to be this way.

As coaches, we aspire to be the catalyst for change.

We choose to help people live their best lives. But sadly, we fail.

But did you know that for the majority of us, if you do go backwards, it really does make a difference to us. It actually does affect us. We actually feel like we have failed, and we do question our techniques and tactics. This is the honest truth. And if wasn’t the case then you probably would see through us. But you haven’t and we are here, in the now.

So let me encourage you a little further, if I may.

Your Fat Loss Journey

Your fat loss journey has just started (for many of you) and like anything meaningful in your life, there are times of growth and there are times of maintenance. But maintaining the habits you learn in the first place are crucial to your future success. For example, most of you know that to create wealth you need to make a little money, save a little money, spend less than you earn and keep practising this. It takes time. But when you do put a little away do you then go splurge day upon day, week upon week, month upon month. No! Because you would go broke.

The same goes for fat loss, your health and more importantly your well-being. We all have a metabolic rate to maintain, in order to do the things we love, as well as perform the way we want. So, we also have a budget of calories in which we get to spend, in order to nourish our body and fuel our minds. If we spend this by splurging day upon day, we will soon physically break in one way or another.

I encourage you to think about the important things in your life like this. Systematically. Like brushing your teeth and showering twice a day as a system to maintain your hygiene. It’s just a part of what you do!

This system allows you to achieve the things you want. It gives you freedom to do, act and be more. Systems allow us to produce results…Day in/ day out.

With finances most of us have a budget and this in turn helps us to be accountable. For if we overspend, we pay the consequence through credit applications or through having to go without in some way.

With nutrition we also need to account to our budget in order to be the people we want to be. To be gluttonous and over- eat regularly (and not move our bodies in a way to balance this out) is not how humans are meant to be. It’s not a system we can healthily accommodate without consequence.

But if we apply a system we do understand, then perhaps we can look at it through different lenses and simplify our approach.

Because for anything to last, it needs to be simple, meaningful and understood. It needs to be another system for you to upload and achieve a desired result.

And once you’re living the desired result, let me ask you a question… Would you move such a system to your trash folder? Would you wipe it from your hard drive?

No, I think not.

Make it happen

Coach D

 

Festive Season Nutrition Planning Doesn’t Need to be That hard!

These festive season nutrition tips will give you flexibility, while giving you good guidelines to use over this coming festive season.

Planning!

1. Moderation is the key with your festive season nutrition plan! Being too rigid in your thinking might swing you towards ‘all or nothing’ mentality. Instead swing towards most of the time I do and occasionally I may fall back here and there, but this will become less and less as you realise you don’t feel deprived when you follow your new program but actually feel rewarded by feeling fully energised every day! Fully capable of living your best life! That is a great place to be!

2. Plan what you have ahead of you and consider obstacles that may present over the holiday?

A)     A break in routine disrupts what you usually do… prime time to lose focus and track?

B)      Being away from home means you need to think ahead and do some shopping so you have access to some good food choices that are convenient when others may resort to junk options some of the time. You can opt to stay on track while being subtle and not disrupting your social activities.

Avoid making it a huge task but more a quiet consideration that will be there for you when you have opportunity. E.g. Raw almonds and fresh fruit, natural yoghurt in the fridge. These are great to fall back on instead of skipping a meal and then filling up on high fat and less than good nutritional choices, that are always everywhere at this time of the year.

3. Eat 3 meals during the festive season or replace a meal with two small snacks spaced apart, have a bit of what you feel like then fill up on veg and protein. Then ‘fast’ till your next meal. This will keep you on track a whole lot better and stop the kilos of fat piling on over the holiday. You can avoid the dread and feel great the whole season though.

Sugary Foods?

4.      Be aware that if you do start eating more sugary and fatty foods than you have been your blood sugar and hunger hormones after a period of restriction will be wanting to push the accelerator. You need to avert this by drinking lots of pure water first and try eating pure protein before you eat anything of that nature. This will help minimise this effect. But also know it is ok to ignore impulse and distract yourself with other activities. Exercise balances out those sugar levels and cravings well. Once you increase your sugar intake again cutting back again is something that usually takes a day or so of cutting back to set it right again. So keep these points in mind when considering your approach and choices. The key is to be aware of your choices along the way. Avoid old routines!!

What about alcohol?

5.    Alcohol usually features more at this time of the year and disrupts the festive season nutrition and fitness routine!  If you are going to have some alcohol then avoid any snack foods, sugary foods and carbs. When you do have alcohol fill up on protein, salads and nutritious foods and you will find you will do just fine if you find a balance. This is a way of restricting the amount of calories you will take in, so desert/carbs/snacks included in a meal with lots of low calorie sparkling mineral water or a few glasses of wine with a lean roast and lots of healthy veg and salad choices. Tomorrow is another day and you can change it up.

6.     Keep Moving! Your fitness has increased. You will find you want to move more so encourage the social aspect of being active (back yard cricket, walk along the beach, ride the bikes, swimming and activities that get everyone moving around at least 1-2hrs after a good meal. If you eat a lower amount of sugary and carb based foods you will also feel less lethargic than usual after eating not only too much but lots of sugar, fat and concentrated foods together

7.      Separate high fat and high carb foods. E.g. Hommus dip or homemade avocado dip with veggie based option (carrot sticks, celery, cucumber sticks etc.). To dip… Rather than chips and dip or oily crackers choose low fat but quality and still nice crackers. Try choosing whole meal and seeded options that are less processed.

8.     Shopping selections: Dips – bought dips are often nearly all processed fats!! Read ingredients and choose those that are vegetable/tomato/chickpea based and have the least oil on the list of ingredients. Dip is so easy to make and so much nicer than the bought stuff. It also costs a fraction of the price! You can make the stuff in the kitchen while all the action and social activities go on. It is impressive to make and present some great tasting dips that are also nutritious for people to try! Add veggie sticks and Rye bread and Dukkah with some balsamic and a dash of quality extra virgin olive oil. Explore the options.

9.     Think about quality over quantity – select a bit of what you’re really feel like, take some time to consider, there is no rush in the holidays so take time to enjoy and savour the things you do enjoy. Encourage others to join you and take some time.

10.        Include some intermittent fasting! I love this idea around festive season nutrition and think it could be employed 1-2 times per week annually.

Here’s a great article that supports this plan here by Dr John Rusin Use this as an option on a day where you have had a big meal/ eaten more calories the day before/ or will not be exercising.

Use the following morning to complete an intermittent fast and drink 1-2L pure filtered water. You can simply sip on a B.C.A.A drink or eat some pure scrambled egg whites which are pure protein without any carbs.

By having some protein this will supply the muscles with amino’s but encourage your body to burn energy stored in glycogen from the day before when you ate more calories. This will help prevent you from storing up body fat but do make sure you then eat a healthy meal when you break your fast so that your body does have access to good protein and some complex carbs as well as some good essential fats. E.g. Lean chicken salad with avocado, spinach and boiled cooled chopped sweet potato rolled in a drop of olive oil and balsamic dressed with cracked pepper and rock salt.

11.      Don’t set out to party on an empty stomach. Always eat either a meal or snack of protein, veggies and some essential fats before heading out. This will help stabilise your blood sugar and prevent you from overeating and giving in when you know it’s not the best for your goals long term.

12.       If you feel you have ‘fallen off the wagon’ at any point don’t delay, avoid or let guilt delay getting back on track. Accept it and just go back to what you know makes you feel better. Sometimes it’s just about starting, just do it! Procrastination is seldomly anyone’s friend.

My last tip for your festive season nutrition plan is to try juicing. Similiar to intermittent fasting or to work in conjunction with this. try juicing for breakfast and eating only between 12-8. This is a simple and very effective method for weight management.

Check out  this article to support your healthy eating habits I wrote last month with your own shopping list.

I hope this helps your festive season nutrition plan and as always if you need some help just ask dion@vivafitness.com.au

Make it happen

Dion

10 Lifelong Tips For Healthy Lean Bodies

1. Eat every 2-3 hours.
Are you doing this – no matter what? Now, you don’t need to eat a full meal every 2-3 hours but you do need to eat 6-8 meals and snacks that conform to the other rules below.

2. Eat complete, lean protein each time you eat.
Are you eating something that was an animal or comes from an animal – every time you feed yourself? If not, make the change. Note: If you’re a vegetarian, this rule still applies – you need complete protein and need to find non-animal
sources.

3. Eat vegetables every time you eat.
That’s right, in addition to a complete, lean protein source, you need to eat some vegetables every time you eat (every 2-3 hours, right?). You can toss in a piece of fruit here and there as well. But don’t skip the veggies.

4. Eat carbs only when you deserve to.

Well, not ALL carbs – eat fruits and veggies whenever you want. And if want to eat a carbohydrate that’s not a fruit or a vegetable (this includes things like simple sugars, rice, pasta, potatoes, bread, etc), you can – but you’ll need to save it until after you’ve exercised. Yes, these often heavily processed grains are dietary staples in North America, but heart disease, diabetes and cancer are medical staples – and there’s a relationship between the two! To stop heading
down the heart disease highway, reward yourself for a good workout with a good carbohydrate meal right after (your body best tolerates these carbohydrates after exercise). For the rest of the day, eat your lean protein and a delicious selection of fruits and veggies.

5. Learn to love healthy fats.
There are 3 types of fat – saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated. Forget about that old “eating fat makes you fat” maxim. Eating all three kinds of fat in a healthy balance (about equal parts of each) can dramatically improve your health, and even help you lose fat. Your saturated fat should come from
your animal products and you can even toss in some butter or coconut oil for cooking. Your monounsaturated fat should come from mixed nuts, olives, and olive oil. And your polyunsaturated fat should from flaxseed oil, fish oil, and mixed nuts.

6. Ditch the calorie containing drinks (including fruit juice).
In fact, all of your drinks should come from non-calorie containing beverages.
Fruit juice, alcoholic drinks, and sodas – these are all to be removed from your
daily fare. Your best choices are water and green tea.

7. Focus on whole foods.
Most of your dietary intake should come from whole foods. There are a few times where supplement drinks and shakes are useful. But most of the time, you’ll do best with whole, largely unprocessed foods.

8. Have 10% foods.
I know you cringed at a few of the rules above. But here’s the thing: 100% nutritional discipline is never required for optimal progress. The difference, in results, between 90% adherence to your nutrition program and 100% adherence is negligible. So you can allow yourself “10% foods” – foods that break rules, but
which you’ll allow yourself to eat (or drink, if it’s a beverage) 10% of the time.
Just make sure you do the math and determine what 10% of the time really means. For example, if you’re eating 6 meals per day for 7 days of the week –that’s 42 meals. 10% of 42 is about 4. Therefore you’re allowed to “break the rules” on about 4 meals each week.

9. Develop food preparation strategies.
The hardest part about eating well is making sure you can follow the 8 rules above consistently. And this is where preparation comes in. You might know what to eat, but if isn’t available, you’ll blow it when it’s time for a meal.

10. Balance daily food choices with healthy variety.
Let’s face it, when you’re busy during the week, you’re not going to be spending a ton of time whipping up gourmet meals. During these times you’re going to need a set of tasty, easy to make foods that you can eat day in and day out.
However, once every day or a few times a week, you need to eat something different, something unique and tasty to stave off boredom and stagnation.

What about everything else?

So what about caloric intake, or macronutrient ratios, or all the other technical and theoretical issues that are often debated? According to DR John Berardi from Precision Nutrition he believes that “those other things only become relevant once you’re practicing the above-mentioned habits, and by practicing them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time (i.e., no more than 4 meals out of an average 42 meals per week violate any of those rules).
Moreover, most people can achieve the health and the body composition they desire just by following those ten rules alone. No kidding! In fact, with some clients I’ve spent months just supervising their adherence to those rules. That’s an effective but costly way to learn them.” Says Dr John.

So You Want to Improve Posture, Right? Lets’ deepdive on ‘Strengthen and Lengthen’

Jordan Peterson, professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, made the first rule in his book 12 Rules For Life: “stand up straight with your shoulders back”. In this chapter he touches on more than the fact that good posture is aesthetically pleasing; he discusses how, when we adopt good posture, we are perceived by ourselves and others as more confident, dominant and worthy of respect. Did you know that when you improve posture you will even change your physiology, increasing the release of serotonin, which literally makes us more confident and more likely to feel positive emotion – rather than just looking it? This is why adopting a powerful pose has been shown to increase test performances in a variety of different situations.

Unlike many other things in your life that you may have no control over, your posture is completely decided by the way you spend your time – and genetics. Therefore, if you’re looking to improve an element of your life, start by improving your posture. Unfortunately, the age we live in has caused many of us to develop routines that draw our body into unfavourable positions; our heads and shoulders get pulled forward, our shoulders round inwards and our spines are excessively arched. Fortunately, there is something you can do about this, which is where I come in. This article is going to teach you the foundations for what drives our poor posture, as well as the corrections to develop a better posture.

To start improving our posture we need to do two key things:

1. Lengthen the muscles that are drawing you into a bad posture
2. Strengthen the muscles that hold you in a good posture.
Study the image on the following page (refer to figure 1); I have highlighted the muscles that you will need to lengthen in blue, and the muscles you will need to strengthen in green.

Notice the interesting dichotomy, if you are familiar with the Joint-by-Joint theory you may have picked up on the trend. The need to lengthen vs strengthen alternates predictably from one joint to the next. For example, from the back view of our body we see that the neck needs lengthening, the shoulders need strengthening, the torso needs lengthening, and so on and so forth.

Also, the muscles on the front side of the body at one joint, require the opposite action to the muscles on the back side of the body at that same joint. For example, at the hip joint we need to lengthen our hip flexors on the front side of the body, and strengthen our major hip extensor (glutes) on the back side of our body.

After studying the image, continue down the pages to see an example movement you can do to strengthen and lengthen each joint to improve your posture. The exercises provided are only one of many that could be done, feel free to choose your own if you have other preferred movements but, be careful not to change the muscle groups being worked. For example, at the shoulders I suggested the Y-W-T-A as the movement of choice as this targets the back extensors, shoulder retractors and external rotators of this joint. An exercise that seems like a reasonable alternative would be a Lat Pull Down, as this targets a very similar area. But notice, a Lat Pull Down will predominantly target the lats and biceps, both of which have been highlighted as muscles that need to be released, not strengthened thus you must be careful in your choices of modification.

Disclaimer: technically the hamstrings are a hip extensor, however their origin serves as an unfavourable mechanism of action due to the torque forces they can put on the lower back, thus we would be better suited to target the glutes for strengthening and the hamstrings for lengthening.

improve posture

Figure 1 Postural Muscles (Edited image sourced from Britannica: https://www.britannica.com/science/human-body)

The body

 Blue = Lengthen                        Green = Strengthen

NeckMost people have tightness in the back of their neck, which raises their chin and gives them that forward head posture. We must then, stretch the back of our neck and work on movements that will pull our chin down and back. Note: excessive neck strengthening is often less valuable than neck lengthening, prioritise the chin tuck stretch here.

Lengthen by: Chin tuck stretch                             Strengthen by: Chin tucks

 

 

Figure 2 Chin Tuck (Image Courtesy of Life of PT: https://www.lifeofpt.com/chin-tuck-exercise-when-and-how-to-perform-it/)
Figure 3 Neck Stretch (Image Courtesy of Information PVT: https://www.informationpvt.com/2019/02/neck-stretching-tips.html)

Shoulders
Most people have tight pecks and weak backs which draws their shoulders forward, to correct this we must lengthen our pecks and activate our upper back and external rotators of the shoulder girdle. Check the link under “Y-W-T-A” to learn this movement in greater detail.

Lengthen by: Peck Stretch                               Strengthen by: Y-W-T-A

 

Figure 4 Y-W-T-A (Own picture)

http://ultimatebodyblitz.com.au/work/y-w-t-a/

Figure 5 Peck Stretch (Image Courtesy of Pinterest:https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/364087951118101245/?autologin=true )

Trunk
Excessive curvature of the lower back and tightness through our lats cause what is known as the duck posture, as well as inwardly rotated shoulders that make us look like gorillas. Stretching the lats will help bring the arms back to a better position while turning on the core will align the spine in a more neutral posture. Check the link under “Posterior tilt/Marching” to see how to correctly train your core for posture.

Lengthen by: Lat Stretch                Strengthen by: Posterior tilt/Marching

http://ultimatebodyblitz.com.au/work/marching/

Figure 6 Lat Stretch (Image Courtesy of BodBot: http://www.bodbot.com/Exercises/772/One_arm-Lat-Stretch)
Figure 7 Hip Flexor Stretch (Image Courtesy of Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/235453886742407564/)

Hips
The following are probably the highest yielding movements out of this whole article. Most people have tight hip flexors that need lengthening and underactive glutes that need activating. Check the link under “Glute Bridge” to learn extra tips for performing the exercise.

Lengthen by: Hip Flexor Stretch                        Strengthen by: Glute Bridge

http://ultimatebodyblitz.com.au/work/bbridge/

 

Figure 8 Glute Bridge (Image Courtesy of Pinteresthttps://www.pinterest.com.au/pin/243335186103197918/)
Figure 9 Hip Flexor Stretch (Image Courtesy of Row Perfect https://www.rowperfect.co.uk/stretching-hip-flexors-for-rowing/)

Thighs

The thighs are of lower importance when it comes to posture, these movements therefore are certainly lower yielding compared to the others mentioned in this article, but those looking for an extra couple percentage points of improvement, these are for you.

Figure 10 Hamstring Stretch (Image Courtesy of Pop Sugar https://media1.popsugar-assets.com/files/thumbor/V79mWjf6Xjup28tDXPGzoWBUVcU/fit-in/1024×1024/filters:format_auto-!!-:strip_icc-!!-/2013/03/12/2/192/1922729/2a8d7475eae1d6a3_propped-up-hamstring-stretch/i/Advanced-Standing-Hamstring-Stretch.jpg)
Figure 11 Standing Knee Extension (Image Courtesy of Power School Learninghttps://misshalls.learning.powerschool.com/cmcanespie/athletictraining1/cms_page/view/34357009)

Lengthen by: Hamstring Stretch                                    Strengthen by: Knee Extension

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Conclusion

There it is, the way to improve your posture; the way to make yourself look better, be perceived better and ultimately feel better. Try out the suggested movements, incorporate them into your daily or weekly schedules and see your posture, and thus the rest of your life, improve.

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