How To Habit Stack To Transform Your Fitness and Your Body

I have many, many articles and posts about how to get lean, get healthy, get fit and so on.

It’s not hard to have enough information about what to do.  In fact, you probably have plenty of information right now.

But, the hard part is actually putting it into place.

Anyone can write down great SMART goals, promise to start Monday, tell someone about it and then wait for the magic.

What?!?!  There’s no magic?

Sadly no 😬

It is easy to think that some people are just good at this and others, perhaps you, are not.

The problem is, that creating new habits can be very, very hard.  And I get that.  Making lasting changes to what you probably do every day is not easy for most people.

What usually happens when someone decides to lose some excess body fat or improve their health is that they decide to do the following (or similar);

  • exercise every day
  • get to bed earlier
  • get up earlier
  • pack your lunch
  • stop drinking crap
  • cook at home more
  • give up alcohol (yes the other drinking crap)
  • track your steps
  • get some sunlight
  • don’t snack
  • stop eating junk food
  • start eating 10 cups of vegetables per day
  • count calories
  • do some more exercise
  • sign up for some expensive program, supplements or meal replacements
  • decide you need to be hungry
  • etc

Depending on where you are exactly, some of the above may come easy to you, at least at first.

But for most, the list above is just totally overwhelming and even with best intentions and a buddy to do it with you, more often than not, it lasts 1-5 days at most and you give up again.

Changing your behaviours is not easy because lets face it.  Most of what you do every day is on auto pilot.

You aren’t even making conscious decisions about what you’re doing most of the time.  That’s why they’re called HABITS.  Because you just do them by habit.

If I haven’t said this at least 1000 times – the key to long term change is to change those habits.

You need to change what you’re doing on a regular basis, because what you’re currently doing is NOT WORKING FOR YOU

As humans, we love to stay still. We are programmed to keep doing what we are doing – its safety mechanism at its best.

 

If you try to change all of this at once, there is a very, very, very high chance of failure.  Even if you do manage to hang in there for a short time, most people who completely overhaul at once do not sustain it.  They simply fall back into their behaviours either one at a time or even all at once.  (commonly known as falling off the wagon)

What then is the solution?

Using the example above, you need to pick just one or two of those things to work on at once.  I’d suggest exercise because it has many other benefits as well.  And once you start to see changes from doing just that, it will motivate you to make more changes.

So no matter what, you’d commit to doing something active every day.

Why every day?  Because doing something at least daily is key to making it a new habit.  If you try to just do it 3 times per week, it won’t be ingrained as a habit.

 

You don’t need to do a mad crazy workout every day.  No, you’d decide on your frequency of workouts – say 3-5 times per week and on the other days you’ll walk, or play your sport, or do something really active with your kids.

Just commit to being active every single day.

Using another example such as pack your lunch.

This is not going to become a habit if you just decide to do it 2-3 days per week.  To really become a new behaviour (or habit) you need to do it daily.

Once you have that habit in place – which can take 1-4 weeks or more of DAILY practice, then you add another related habit.

It might be getting to bed earlier, drinking more water or not drinking your calories.

With just one thing to focus on, it  will be so much easier to make this a new thing you do.

To help make each habit a success, I like to practice what I call PUTTING SUCCESS IN MY WAY

This means that I think about what is going to perhaps prevent me from keeping my promise to myself to complete this habit every day.

I actually list them in my diary when I set new habit goals.

Example; something comes up with the kids, alarm doesn’t go off, appointments change, coaches cancel, bad weather (if its something I was doing outside) and so on.

Then next to each one, I write down how I can ensure this doesn’t happen, or what I’m going to do if it does.

Example: have a home workout ready that I can do anywhere, set 2 alarms or get someone else to wake me, home workouts, immediately book another session to replace the one I missed, go walking/running instead while I wait for kids ………

It’s a 3-5 step process:

  1. Set your main goal or goals and write down what steps or habits you need to put into place to make them happen. (that’s like the list above)
  2. Pick just 1 or 2 of those habits to work on.  Just them.  All you do is focus on them.  PUT SUCCESS IN YOUR WAY with just these 1-2 habits.
  3. Once that new habit is in place, add another.   This is called Habit Stacking

You will most likely find that if you follow this plan, you will achieve success.  It may not be really rapid, although you will be surprised how quickly you can achieve results when you keep moving forward like this instead of going 2 steps forward and 1 step backward all the time.

If however you are find this process isn’t enough, there are a further 2 steps you can follow.  I’ve written a separate article for these additional 2 steps because this article is getting rather long.

You can find the rest of the article here

 

 


Do You Know Enough To Get Results?

A super short post today;

I’m guessing you know at least a bit about healthy eating.  Sure, you may be confused at times – after all it seems in this industry, we contradict ourselves all the time.

Drink coffee – coffee is bad

Exercise hard – gentle exercise is better

Fat is bad – eat more fat

No wonder you’re confused.

My aim is not just to educate you be cutting thought the crap and keeping it simple, but to help you to put all of this into action.

THE COST OF INACTION

You’ve visited my blog for a reason.

Maybe you want to feel better, have more energy?

Maybe you want to get rid of some excess body fat?

Maybe you want to be fitter – just for your everyday, busy life. Or for some special goal you have in mind such as a fun run or obstacle course?

Maybe you have gut issues and are sick of feeling like crap?

The reason you landed here is because what you’re doing is not working!

Whatever your reasons, you’re not totally happy with what you’ve got going on.  You have. a vision for something better.

To get the most out of any health and fitness advice or program (not just mine) you have to take action.  You have to put into place what you learn.

How many programs have your followed?  Maybe purchased or joined?

How many of them have you taken action on?

I mentioned above that this would be a super short post. And it is.  I’m going to redirect you to some previous posts that already give you tips, tricks and strategies about what to do to improve your results.

What you need to do is read them and take action.

7 Steps To Great Results

Stuck for Results? 3 things you can do about it

3 Things you have to do today to get results

There you go.  You’re busy and so am I.  So saving time on repeating myself today, Click the links above and more importantly,………

MAKE SOME CHANGES

IF YOU’D LIKE TO SEE EXACTLY WHAT WE DO AT FITTERFASTER, COMPLETE YOUR DETAILS BELOW AND THEN CHECK YOUR INBOX FOR FURTHER INFORMATION


Are You Making These Workout Mistakes?

They say that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.  We’ve all most likely heard this before and even agree. Yet, so many of us keep doing the same thing even though it isn’t working for us.

One area we are very likely to do this is when exercising.  Here are the 4 mistakes I see most people making over and over.

USING MAINLY MACHINES WHEN TRAINING

Do you mostly use those big weight based or resistance machines that you find in big commercial gyms?

While they are great for certain populations – mainly those with mobility issues that need the guidance and safety factors that machines can (but not always) provide.

The problem is pretty much what makes them good for some people, but probably not you.  Because they limit the range of motion and the balance and control part of the exercise, you get less out of doing the exercise itself.

One of the main benefits of using resistance is the way your body has to control, adapt, balance and manoeuvre the resistance, whether that resistance is a dumbbell, kettlebell, barbell or your own bodyweight.  When you use machines, a lot of that is taken away resulting in less muscle being used and therefore, lower returns for the time you’re spending exercising.

You can usually lift more weight when using machines, which is indicative of how machines make it easier.  And when its easier, it is not providing the same benefits.

DOING TOO MUCH ‘CARDIO’

If I had a dollar for every time a client has told me they’re going to add running into their plan to help lose weight, I’d be rich.  Well not quite, but honestly, it seems to be the go-to for someone who is not getting the results they are hoping for.

9.8 times out of 10, lack of cardio is NOT the issue.  In fact, adding in too much ‘cardio’ type training such as running, cycling, swimming, jogging etc, will backfire causing a decrease in recovery and not allowing you to train with enough intensity at your other sessions.

Over time our bodies adapt to repetitive aerobic exercise, using oxygen and energy more efficiently, thereby hindering fat loss. Endurance cardio has also been linked to an increase in the body’s production of the “stress” hormone cortisol. Which if over time remains raised,  can cause serotonin, thyroid function, growth hormone, testosterone and oestrogen levels to be  disrupted.

Cardio or aerobic exercise can be added, but it needs to work in with what else you’re doing including other workouts, sleep quality and quantity, stress from other factors such as work, relationships, financial, workout recovery etc.

Simply adding more and more cardio will NOT work for most people

DOING TOO MANY ISOLATION EXERCISES

Does your gym program include lots of bicep curls, tricep exercises, leg extensions or curls and lateral raises?  Thought so!   Rest assured, the girl in the picture did NOT get that body by doing those curls!

In order to boost your metabolism, you need to spend the majority of your time doing exercises that use more muscle such as squats, lunges, rows, presses and burpees.

The fitter you are, the more easily you’ll lose excess body fat and keep it off.  Isolation exercises may shape the muscles in those areas, but will do nothin to burn fat or increase fitness.

NOT GETTING FIT ENOUGH

The goal of a successful fitness program should be to increase fitness.  

While your overall goals might be to lose body fat, tone your body or be able to run or cycle faster or lasts longer in your sport of choice, by increasing your overall fitness, all of these are achieved more easily.

A fitter body can do more (but not too much) effective exercise to produce fat loss and toning results.

A fitter body has more energy every single day. Whether that’s to keep up with your kids, be attentive and active at work or to play high level sport without excess fatigue on the weekends.

A fitter body finds it easier to maintain healthy body fat levels with a less restrictive diet.  While healthy eating is still required, you have more leeway than someone who is less fit or not fit at all.

Often, if you’re training on your own most of the time, or you do the same routine or class over and over, your fitness is NOT increasing.

If your workout doesn’t get harder over time, you end up pretty much wasting your time as your body doesn’t need to adapt or get better – meaning NO RESULTS.

HOW TO FIX IT

Firstly, you need to concentrate  mainly on exercises that use more muscle most of the time.  A mix between higher repetition with lighter weights (note I said lighter, not light) or body weight with days or weeks of lower repetition work with heavier weights or more challenging body weight drills.

As an example, a beginner may do push ups on her knees and over time progress to doing them on her toes till eventually she can do them with her feet raised on a bench.  This would be way more effective for muscle toning, fitness improvement and increases in metabolism that laying on a bench and using the pec-dec machine.

Likewise, you’ll get way better results by squatting with some resistance (or perhaps bodyweight for beginners) than sitting on a bench and ‘curling’ the weight or pressing it and using just your quadriceps.   A squat will develop and tone all your leg and butt muscles as well as help with your balance and mobility.

Fitness improvements don’t even compare between a leg curl or press and actual squatting.

To improve overall fitness, you also need to do what I refer to as cardio training – no running required.

Using drills like burpees, mountain climbers, and combo’s of resistance drills (like squats, lunges, presses etc) will raise your heart rate quickly resulting in improved fitness if done regularly.  Its much less time consuming than going for a run or jog and the results will be much better.   Not only will you improve fitness, but you’ll also be improving the shape of you muscles, toning and getting stronger at the same time.

Remember, the fitter you are, the better your results.

IMPROVING CLIENT FITNESS and therefore results is my specialty.

I especially love to work with busy people that may think they don’t have time to get super fit.  They’re busy with maybe more than one job, or they’re studying or raising a family (or all of the above)

I love to share how YOU can actually fit fitness into your life to feel better, look better and BE better

Email me right now to find out how jo@fitterfaster.net.au

Or complete your details below and I will send you some no obligation information about how I can do that.

 

Alternatively, if you’d like to receive my newsletter where I share lots of free workouts that actually work as well as other strategies like how the heck to fit all this into your life, pop your details in below instead.  (or do both for even better results)

 

 


Offer Accepted – The Real Estate Phrase that will help with your fitness

This morning was a bit chilly – actually, it was freezing and I sat in bed for ages reading before finally convincing myself that I’d regret not getting up to exercise.

I know you all assume that I’m raring to go everyday. That making the choice to train is an easy one for me.  But no, you’d be wrong.

In fact, I go through periods of skipping workouts, eating crap and just generally telling myself ‘tomorrow’ just like you do which leads me back to this morning and what that real estate sign has to do with anything fitness related.

So I made my coffee today and sat up in bed to read.  I was actually being quite productive as I also wrote a couple of emails for a fitness challenge starting soon, but my thoughts kept coming back to remind me that last night, I’d promised I’d get up for a run even if it was raining.

So eventually I got out of bed by telling myself that a short walk would be okay.  Yep, a quick walk would be fine and I could rug up against the freezing temperature outside so no need to get cold in the process.  So I got up, put on my massive thick coat and headed out the door.

I should have known better, because 500m into it and I felt like running.  Just a nice easy run, no record breaking here, but a run nonetheless.  To cut a long story short, I ended up getting so hot in my coat that unzipping it and letting it fall off my shoulders wasn’t enough.  I ended up taking it off and carrying it, which if you run, or even walk, you know is a total pain to deal with.

I ended up being out for about 45 mins with my walk/run (I stopped a few times to admire the beautiful sunrise and walked a bit too) and when I was nearly home, I passed a house that has had a For Sale sign out the front for some time.

Pasted across the sign, there was now an ‘OFFER ACCEPTED’ sticker.  Not a ‘SOLD’ one, but a sticker that was one of the best real estate marketing tactics I think I’ve seen.  Or at least noticed anyway.

That sticker suggested that the buyer didn’t pay full price.

That you could make an offer that was below what the seller had asked for and still get the property.  Ingenious!!

Now buyers everywhere, in their subconscious minds, could start looking at those properties again that were out of their price range.  And once the offer was made, whether accepted or not, the agent then has your details, knows you’re in the market and can follow up with that.

This is exactly what I did this morning and I suggest that clients do all the time.

‘Make an offer’ to yourself.

Instead of just making up an excuse or convincing yourself that you don’t need to exercise today, make an offer and agree to at least do something.

It could be like me, set out to walk for at least 10 minutes and if that’s all you do, that’s a win.  Most likely you’ll end up going for a bit longer, or if you are a ‘runner’ (and I use that term loosely for myself) you may end up running like I did even.

If you had an organised session at a gym or fitness facility planned *such as PeakFit or FitForce at FitterFaster)  yep, you may have missed your alarm and therefore the start of the training session, but you could still get up and do a quick circuit for just 10 minutes.  Heck, you don’t even need to get dressed for that.

This also applies if you’ve decided to go it alone and do a workout video or the free workouts in Get Fit Maryborough or other home workouts.  Just ‘offer’ to do just 10 minutes and if you want to stop then, that’s fine. It’s still a win on the board.

Unless you’re honestly out of time, I reckon you’ll end up doing more.  And if you don’t, getting up and staying in routine, even for a super quick session, is fantastic on its own.  You’re still building habits.

All of this still applies if your planned workout routine includes doing something during the day while your kids sleep or after work in the evening.

Making an offer to yourself is a fantastic way to get something done and build or maintain the habit of training.

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A Customised Plan For Perfect Results

A customised training and nutrition program is the holy grail to get results.

This statement is similar to many I read on the internet lately.  And it’s true, sort of.

For most people that are starting out or are fairly new (less than a couple of years) into their training and/or nutrition program, a fully customised program is really not needed.

Yep, you heard correctly.  And this especially applies to fat loss and improved general fitness and body shaping or toning as you may refer to it.

What is most important are what I refer to as THE BIG ROCKS.

The big rocks are:

  • Follow your training program regularly and consistently
  • Eat a healthy diet that is in line with your goals – whether that’s fat loss, improved performance, better health or muscle gain
  • Prioritise your sleep and recovery while keeping stress levels to a minimum
And that’s it.  Yep, there’s your customised program right there.  That’s as customised as you need to get

The things that have the least impact are the things I refer to as THE SMALL ROCKS and the list for these could be endless, but include:

  • Special supplements
  • Counting calories or grams of protein, carbs and/or fats
  • Special meal timing
  • A complicated, periodised, rotating training program

There is absolutely no need for any of the above until you have the BIG ROCKS in place and you’ve been consistently following them for at least 6-12 months or even longer.

“But I’m not making progress” is something I hear all the time especially from those that contact me initially for information.

And I can pretty much tell you that is because you’re not being consistent.

Yes, you may be training regularly, but are you still bingeing or partying on weekends?

Yes, you may be carefully measuring your food (not necessary for most by the way) but when was the last time you trained 4-5 times per week for more than one-two weeks in a row?

Yes, you may be hitting the pavement or gym consistently, but how’s your sleep quality?

Yes, you may have given up alcohol and rarely eat treats, but are you recovering properly?  Are your hormones out of whack?

A real fat loss plateau occurs when you are choosing the right foods in pretty much the correct quantities consistently over time – like for 6 weeks or even months, not just days.

When was the last time you went an entire fortnight without eating or drinking anything that you weren’t supposed to while you supposedly followed your program perfectly?

A real training plateau occurs when despite following your training program without skipping workouts for 6 weeks or even months, you find you’re not getting stronger, faster or are feeling and looking fitter

When was the last time you went 6 weeks without skipping a training session?

When did you last string together 6-12 weeks of consistent 3 plus times per week training?

Somewhere along the line you’re getting stuck.

Whether it’s due to your schedule mucking up your training consistency

Your lack of planning and preparation means making last minute meal choices

Maybe you don’t enjoy your training so you just don’t do it often enough

Maybe your meal plan is too complicated and its hard to follow while in the throws of a hectic schedule

Maybe you’ve committed to too much and you just can’t maintain it so then you give up

Maybe you just haven’t figured out the real reason you want to change, so any temptation that comes along (such as a night out with friends) finds you derailing in a bigger way than you planned

CONSISTENCY IS THE ABSOLUTE NUMBER ONE INDICATOR OF SUCCESS BAR NONE.

Without consistency you will not achieve great results.  Sure, if you have lots of weight to lose, just changing a few things here and there may produce some results, but for consistent results, you need to be consistent.

At FitterFaster, we use realistic training and nutrition programs that produce results with minimal time outlay.

Without having to commit to massive amounts of training time (although you do have to train regularly) you can attend our training sessions and use home workouts to fill the gaps meaning less time out from your family, less travel time to the gym and better results in less time.

My nutrition programs use real food. Yep, no expensive supplements, no special shakes, pills or bars.  You still get to eat with your family and meal prep is kept to a minimum meaning less time in the kitchen and less last minute poor food decisions.   Treats are factored in so you can still enjoy those pleasures but in a way that still keeps you on track for results.

Complete your details below to find out more about our trial package, JumpStart To A New You.

Results are guaranteed in less than 4 weeks with no long term commitments or crazy workout schedules and expensive food replacements.

 

 


Willpower. Needed or Not?

Wow, poor old Mr Willpower has a bad reputation

He’s renowned for not hanging around long, if at all and most people  claim not to know him very well at all

In fact, his cousin, Mr Habit gets all the fame and fortune these days.

And I agree.  You cannot rely on Willpower to be consistent with your body composition goals over the long haul.  Developing new habits is key to long term success.

However, willpower definitely plays a huge part, especially in the beginning.

When you first decide you’re going to make changes, whether that’s starting a totally new fitness regime or or overhauling something you’re already doing, you will need to rely on your willpower till your new habits start to develop.

But, there are steps you can take to help that willpower have more ‘power’ and to ensure that habits do start to take hold before Mr Willpower leaves the room.  Which happens to everyone no matter how ‘motivated’ other people may seem to you

MAKE A PLAN

This involves more than just a casual thought about what you might do.  Actually get out your calendar or diary and schedule your new workouts into the next couple of weeks.   Treat those workouts like any other appointment.  Make sure you’ve allowed ample time for travel, showering, picking up the kids or whatever else you’ll need to allow for to actually get that workout in.

An extra tip from me is to get your workout in early in the day.

First thing is the best even if you’re not a morning person.

And there is no excuse if you’re a single parent or your partner is not home to look after the kids. There are plenty of things you can do right in your own home without leaving anyone unattended. This is another excuse I hear all the time.

JUST TAKE ACTION

What the heck does that mean?  It means, just get up or just get changed and just start.

  •  If you’ve set your alarm, DO NOT HIT SNOOZE.  Just get up, put the clothes straight on that you got out ready the night before and head out the door.
  • If you’re training after school drop off, be in your clothes ready.  Do not go home first (unless that’s where you’re working out).
  • If you are going to workout after work or school, take the change of clothes with you and head straight to your workout venue.  Going home highly increases the chances of you finding a reason to not attend your scheduled training session.
  • Organise to meet a friend or even pick them up on the way.  Its ever so easy to make up excuses to yourself, but if you have to tell a friend as well, it lessens the likelihood of that excuse sounding so important.   Even better, if you’re attending a fitness facility like FitterFaster, make sure you’ve booked your session in.  Then you’ll have to tell me why you can’t make it as well.
If you can just use your willpower and determination for the first week or two, it really does get easier.

But only if you’re consistent and are self disciplined.

I know you can do this.  You can make changes and see the real you emerge.

The reality is that no one is motivated all the time.  Successful people know the secret is in creating habit and taking action.

You too can become one of those successful people that makes it look easy.

In as little as 2 weeks of effort, YOU can start to create habits that will allow you to get the body of your dreams.

Starting on April 16th, I’m running the 14 Day Fat Furnace program that includes all the step you need to be successful.  You only have to take action for 2 weeks to start seeing results.  And it gets easier and easier after that.

Check out all the details about Fat Furnace here