Category Archives: Training
Summer breeze, flowing like the wind
Boy you need to know that you got a friend
And I’ll always be here — DJ Quick
That’s true. I’ll always be here. But I can’t frickin’ coach you man (girl, man-girl, or girly man). My client list is too full and my patience is getting too thin, hahaha.
Nonetheless, I do want to help you. For the time to hit the beach and Free Little Willy, or Unleash Thelma & Louise, shall soon be upon us. And I want you to be well prepared. I’d feel bad if I knowingly let my friends keep spinning their wheels within the fitness industry bullshit, get nowhere with their physique goals, and did nothing about it.
That’s why we put The Beach Physique Guide together. Its everything I would give you if you were working with me as a private client — from the fat loss nutrition plan to the physique-focused training programs to the research and educational resources I recommend. Seriously. I’ve asked 3 people this week why they would want to pay me to tell them what I already wrote in a book, or covered in the multimedia e-course. I’m cool, but I ain’t that cool. And unfortunately, I have a conscience.
In that spirit, instead of some flashy marketing, I figured I’d just post up an excerpt from Da Guide so you can decide whether it sounds like something you are into or not. The first section ended up basically being a summary of the 7 most common mistakes, or reasons I’ve seen people fail with their fat loss and physique goals. I know them well, because I’ve made many of them myself at one point in my career (except following the mystical holistical guy — I could never really get down with that higher-than-thou style). Read the rest of this entry
Holy shit man, summer is right around the corner!!!
And any honest fitness dude or diva will tell you that if you want to make a dramatic visual difference in your physique before the summer days start drifting away, you need to start on a targeted training and nutrition plan RIGHT FREAKING NOW.
Because Summer Loving happens so fast…
You know by now that your People’s Nutrition Educator can’t stand da bullshit that plagues our beloved fitness industry. So I’m here to tell you the truth – losing fat, building some lean muscle, and transforming your physique takes time.
Forget about waiting until the last minute and thinking following some crash diet, extreme training protocol, or miracle detox/cleanse program is gonna get the job done. How many times has that actually worked for you or anyone you know? Most just end up losing a bunch of muscle and looking softer and flabbier. They certainly don’t end up with a Goldmember or Austin Powers-style “tight body”.
The scale may say you are winning with that crap, but the mirror will show you that you are losing. Because remember, muscle is what provides your body with its shape, tightness, tone, and definition (yes, you too ladies).
And then of course there is the equally fast weight rebound that happens afterwards, which of course no one talks about. It’s a pointless roller coaster ride without the cool hands in the air, blood rushing to your red face, screaming photo at the end of it. But I digress…
The main point I’m trying to get across is that if you want to be ready for some summer loving, and maybe even some bedroom fireworks on da 4th of July, you need to get on a better, more efficient plan. And you need to start putting in the work on that plan now. That’s why we put together our Free Beach Physique Guide.
Some of you sneaky bastards have already seen it and downloaded it. Hope you dig it. But for the rest of you, today is the official launch of it.
What is this glorious Beach Physique Guide all about?
It’s basically everything I think you need to know to lose fat, build some lean muscle mass, transform your physique, and look awesome in a bikini, board shorts, or walking around naked. It consists of 3-parts.
1. THE BEACH PHYSIQUE FREE PDF GUIDE
For the go-getters, we dropped everything down into a PDF file that you can download immediately. You can read it in one sitting and get started with your plan today.
2. THE BEACH PHYSIQUE E-COURSE
But sometimes with anything new or challenging, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. And when that happens, you end up doing nothing. We ain’t down with that. Although we’re about having a little fun along the way here, we’re also about getting shit done.
So what we did is break the guide up into smaller, more digestible, more manageable chunks. We cover the most important strategies one topic at a time, and send them over email lessons. We then give you a few practical action steps to take, and some time to go out and apply them before we dive into the next lesson.
And in case you hate reading emails, the majority of the lessons also come with the option of watching it as a video tutorial.
Think of it as an ongoing, multimedia, Beach Physique E-course. Some people learn, absorb, and apply better this way. If that’s you, great! I’m down for whatever gets you to where you want to go.
3. THE ONGOING BEACH PHYSIQUE NEWSLETTER
Fitness and physique is our passion. We practice what we preach, we do what we teach, and we want to provide you with the ongoing support and advice you’re going to need to perfect your beach physique.
Here’s the deal. I still train private clients offline (and am forced to find new ways of overcoming roadblocks and plateaus), speak at conferences and corporate wellness programs, do interviews and podcasts, write articles for most of the major fitness magazines, and update this blog regularly.
I also consider myself a lifelong student and am learning and growing every day as an athlete and educator. I’m constantly reading new resources, attending conferences and seminars, and absorbing techniques and strategies from trusted colleagues.
When I’ve learned something new, and think it can help you, I want to share that with you. This newsletter is how I can do that.
IF YOU’RE DIGGING IT, DOWNLOAD IT
If all of that sounds good to you, I invite you to sign up for the guide, e-course, and ongoing newsletter today. Here’s where you can do that. If you scroll down a little, there’s a video of me explaining a little bit more about what the guide is about, and why it was created:
Hey guys and gals, Kalai and I are in the process of putting together our free “Beach Physique Guide”.
Free meaning to “trick” you into signing up for our blog — don’t worry, we provide awesome information meant to actually help you, not bullshit.
“Beach Physique Guide” meaning training and nutrition programs geared specifically towards slashing fat, building a beach-ready body, and looking awesome with your shirt off, pants off, or walking around naked (not getting better at doing a bunch of exercises and drills in the gym, but getting nowhere with your physique goals).
This thing is gonna be cool man — an ebook plus an ongoing e-course/newsletter with emails and videos, etc. This may be my final fitness coaching swan song, because I’m kind of getting bored with it all. I may just go back to competing myself, and doing something else.
But first, I need to leave you with a comprehensive resource so you can learn everything you need to know to slash fat, transform your physique, and look awesome. By the end, you’ll know more than 90% of the trainers out there — at least when it comes to body composition transformation — and you’ll be able to be your own physique coach. You won’t need me or any other guru around to get the job done.
This guide is gonna be just that. So get your bikini or dong thong ready.
Anyways, that’s right around the corner. For now, I was editing and uploading some of the videos, and thought these two in particular might help give you a good idea of our overall approach to body composition transformation, physique enhancement, etc.
Once you understand Da Big Picture, we can dive into Da Details. Here’s the vi-vi-videos:
THE BEACH PHYSIQUE — BIG PICTURE OVERVIEW
THE BEACH PHYSIQUE — DIET FOR 80% FAT LOSS
Nate, babe, why don’t you recommend running for weight loss? Because for physique-based goals like losing fat and looking awesome, it pales in comparison to the good diet + strength training combo.
Do I need to jump around like a cheerleader on an energy drink bender 6-days a week, for 90 days, to transform my body? Do I need to train twice a day, two hours at a time, like the gym ratz and bunnies do to look good naked? Well you can, but I don’t believe its necessary. And I know you have a busy life and career outside of the gym, so let me throw a question back your way. Don’t you want a more time-efficient route to a rocking bod?
Nate, young sir, why don’t you wear testicle-revealing short-shorts, yell and scream in my ear, and make me do a bunch of those cool-looking boot camp drills that are so trendy in the gyms, and look so cutting edge in infomercials? (1) I have tiny nuts, so you probably wouldn’t see those pistachios hanging no matter how short da shorts. So I might as well wear something a little more comfortable (2) For physique, traditional strength training is not only more effective, but I find it to be more enjoyable for most. I don’t know, people seem to like “feeling pumped up” more than “feeling like puking”. Cardiovascular and neural overload is different than muscular overload, building a nice ass is a lot different process than having your ass kicked, etc.
So then what do you do to stay lean year-round? I eat a rock solid diet 6.5 days a week (which takes no extra time than eating a shitty diet. And with good choices it can be done at home, out at a restaurant, or on the road), have a cheat night on Saturdays when I’m hanging with my family and friends — a time when no sane person should be worrying about a fitness diet, strength train 3-4 days a week for 30-45 minutes, and walk the Earth like a Vagabond when I have extra time (ie for an errand). That’s it. It probably won’t win the World’s Most Innovative, Complex, or Cutting Edge Fitness Plan award (half the time I think trainers just make shit up because they are bored), but it is one hell of an effective plan in my humble opinion.
So I filmed a little video for you to explain more of the what, why, and how of my overall fitness approach:
THE BEACH BODY TRANSFORMATION SUMMARY
1. Use Diet For 80% of Your Fat Loss. Don’t Try to Out-Train a Poor Diet.
2. Increase Your Non-Formal Activity Levels For the Final 20%. Example: Walk More as Part of Your Day.
3. Do Some Mobility Drills, Stretching, Yoga, etc. to Offset the Seated Computer Posture and Improve Alignment/Posture.
4. Strength Train to Build Lean Muscle Mass and Shape, Tighten, and Tone the Body.
You know him as Will Smith, but I’ll always remember him as The Fresh Prince. And he wisely once said, “Summer, summer, summer-time. Lets just sit back and unwind.”
I wish that were the case man, but I’ve been busy touring around the Fitness Scene talking about poolside peaking and intermittent feasting. Turns out having a 6-pack to make up for inadequacies in other areas actually works, at least during the summer. Here’s Men’s Fitness giving a little bit of love to intermittent fasting protocols in general, and me and the Intermittent Feast approach in specific.
CLICK HERE to watch the video below
I’m still working on my strategy for the winter. Maybe I’ll work on building some cannonball shoulders.
OCS: THE RISE OF THE OVER-COMPLICATION SYNDROME
But seriously, a lot of questions have been pouring into my extremely neglected inbox. I’m hoping this post answers a lot of them at once. Its clear to me in the Internet Era, some very bad habits are starting to form, especially amongst more intermediate and advanced athletes. People seem to think the more complex their program is — the more details and ornaments they can jam into it — the more effective it is. Or they’ll read 5 different books and 50 different articles, and try to follow them all at the same time. Any of this sound familiar:
“I do daily intermittent fasting, then I do a 24 hour fast twice a week, then once a month I fast for a week, then once a year I fast for a month, and once a decade I shall not eat for the entire year. What do you think about fasting for a decade every century?”
“3 days a week I do strength work in the morning, then I go back in the evening and do some metabolic conditioning or HIIT, then 4 days a week I cross-train at lunch, I also do some strongman in the mid-mornings on my days off, I hit P90x right before I go to bed. Oh yeah, 3 times a week I wake up in the middle of the night to do some isolated ball-ass connector work (or equivalent female pelvic floor work). Why am I not ripped?”
Sounds like I’m being a dick and trying to gain pleasure off of other people’s ADD and Type-A insanity, but I’m not. The thing is, I get it. When you are passionate about something, you want to know you are doing everything possible to excel. But there comes a point of diminishing returns.
Extreme “live in a van down by the gym” competition, or Zombie-style “life extensionism” diets aside, I think we’re all over-complicating a relatively simple process. Or, as Robb Wolf said in our recent podcast conversation, if you want to merge “health, performance, and longevity”, there’s not much too it. The extreme approaches and overly technical stuff falls off like clothes at an Austin Powers’ party.
What you are left with are a few, simple, actionable strategies, from which you can formulate a sustainable lifestyle plan to improve both body composition and overall health.
The thing is beginners and entitled people alike don’t want to put work into the basics (its simple, not easy), or they want to rush a process that unfortunately takes some consistent effort and time. So they look for short cuts and magic pills. And magic pills always look better with convincing “scientific” explanations and complicated mysticism.
Advanced athletes want to think they are so much more sophisticated, cutting edge, hardcore, and cooler than beginners. So they feel the need to integrate the pythagorean theorem into their programs, and just make up a bunch of cool-sounding shit along the way.
As a result, we end up with the ludicrousness that has become fitness, or more accurately, just a pure cluster f*ck.
THE 10-STEP SIMPLE INTERMITTENT FEAST SUMMARY
Its ironic, but the more I’ve exchanged ideas with other successful and experienced coaches, the more interviews and talks I’ve been lucky enough to do about my nutritional philosophy, the more I’ve been able to naturally hack away the unessential, streamline the advice, and narrow it down to a few simple strategies. I could impress the nerds with a more formal dissertation, but it probably wouldn’t actually help most of you reach your goals (unless they are to sound smart in a forum debate).
If true genius seeks simplicity, than Serge Nubret may be the smartest guy to have ever walked Planet Fitness. When talking about his nutrition plan to build one of the greatest physiques of all-time, he basically told it like it was. He lifted weights in the hypertrophy zone and ate meat and rice for lunch and dinner. That’s it. No magic foods, no miracle supplements, no cyclical plans. He said if you wanted something more complicated and scientific, go read magazine ads. Love it.
In his honor, here’s the long and short of my summer World Fitness Tour Extravaganza (meaning a few Skype calls and emails). I will continue to try and refine and simplify, but here’s what I got right now.
1. Eat less refined crap. Eat more natural stuff. Giddy-up.
2. Make animal proteins and non-starchy vegetables the foundation of your diet plan.
3. Eat a decent amount of protein with each meal for essential nutrients and effects on satiety and blood sugar control.
4. For diseased populations, including sedentary-itis, a lower carb approach is probably the best starting point. I like a Pale0-style template of animal proteins, non-starchy vegetables, 1-2 pieces of whole fruit, and some whole food fats (coconut, nuts, avocado) as the primary energy nutrient. But you can’t go too crazy with the fats because despite optimal food choices, you still need to be in a calorie deficit to lose weight.
5. As someone becomes more active, which they should, I recommend re-introducing a select few starch foods. For this I recommend more of a traditional Japanese Village-style template: animal proteins, non-starchy vegetables, 1-2 pieces of whole fruit, and some gluten free, “anti-nutrient” free, “safe starches” as the primary energy nutrient = root vegetables (sweet potatoes, regular potatoes, yams, pumpkin, squash) and white rice. If you’ve never heard the terms in quotes, that means you’re not an ancestral/evolutionary nutrition geek like me and a few other losers. There may still be hope for you. Just remember rice and roots as your main starch foods.
6. For higher-level physique goals, you need to know and consistently hit your numbers yo. A good starting point. 1g pro/lb, 20-25% calories from fat, and the remaining calories from carbohydrates which can be adjusted up or down based on feedback and progress.
7. When you control for the numbers and the food choices, meal frequency and food distribution is irrelevant for the most part when it comes to body composition change. This means you should break up your food intake in any way that best helps YOU most consistently stick to your plan. From one to six, stick with what clicks. Damn, that last rhyme just came to me right now. I am awesome (which actually means I’m a total nerd for thinking that is even remotely cool). I know some cool people if that helps.
8. I believe in the Intermittent Feast structure — skip breakfast, eat a Paleo/caveman style lunch (meat, veggies, and maybe some whole food fats), and a Japanese Village-style dinner (meat, veggies, and a starch source). Depending on when you workout, have some whole fruit pre and/or post-workout for anti-catabolic effects. Can’t get any simpler than that. Do I believe there are some additional physiological, metabolic, and hormonal advantages to this structure? Yes. But to be quite honest, I think where it really shines through is in terms of its practicality and sustainability. Instead of Tupperwares and clock watching, all you have to do is worry about a solid lunch, and you get to eat a big, satiating, satisfying dinner. Ah yes, a reasonable fat loss plan, even for a busy professional.
9. If you have purely cosmetic/physique-based goals (lose fat, build muscle, LOOK awesome), than I believe all you need is 3-4 BASIC strength training sessions a week, with maybe some additional, non-formal, low intensity activity = walking more. I also might do some targeted stretching to offset the seated computer posture, and perhaps prepare for more adventurous bedroom sessions. You can get in awesome shape AND have some kind of a career and social life. Yay!
10. If you have performance goals, that is a completely different story. Each program will need to be tailored to the specific sport. This may entail more cardio/running, cross-training, flipping around, things that look good on a Nike commercial, and whatnot. I’ve trained for both, I just think a lot of people confuse training for performance vs. training for appearance. Its easier to look good than most people think (you just need an efficient approach), and its a lot harder to become an elite performance athlete than most people think. Don’t run or cross-train to get ripped. Improve your diet to get ripped. Train to build muscle or improve performance.
Beyond that, everything is just icing on the cake that may make a 5% difference. For those who want to obsess over it, may I first suggest that you spend more time in the bedroom getting laid and less time on the laptop over-analyzing. And then, just remember:
- Statistical significance is much different than real world significance.
- Yes scientific research has come a long way. But that doesn’t mean more complicated is better. Most of the time it really just means we can better explain the details of why the simple actually works.
- Hard work should be put into actually doing a program, not just designing it.
In my best Van Wilder impression, let me just now say, “You might want to write that down”. For tomorrow, information overload will attack like The Immortals in 300.
THE ROBB WOLF PODCAST APPEARANCE
And now, what I really wanted to write this post for before I got completely sidetracked with my rambling. It was a huge honor to get to be a guest on the Robb Wolf Podcast. Robb is someone I’ve looked up to in our industry for a while, and he has had a huge influence on my educational journey.
He’s a biochemist, and a much smarter dude than I am, so maybe you’ll listen to him when he says its not as complicated as people make it. He’s also a laid back guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously, so it was a fun show. We got to kick back and talk about the dietary topics I mentioned above, particularly the adjustment of carbohydrate intake to metabolic condition, athletic activity, performance/physique goals, and individual progress.
We also talked about angry internet people, strip club sponsorships, the importance of fitness/sports psychology, and boobs — a well-rounded show indeed.
To Listen to the Podcast CLICK HERE