77 Step One: A Guide To Building A Lean Ripped & Healthy Body, Optimizing Your Sleep, Gut and Mind For More Muscle and Less Fat
The first Step to a Hall of Fame Body..optimizing the inside then dominating the outside.
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Before you look good on the outside you need to work good on the inside. Or else it will be short lived and probably not very enjoyable.
This realization comes from personal experience and unless your a bodybuilder I believe the average guy has no reason to push himself to extreme states of leanness to look amazing, feel extremely confident in his own skin, get the woman of his dreams and a body that can perform, feel and look awesome!
The goal of this step is simple. Get your body working more efficiently and effectively so that things like fat loss and building lean muscle are easy-er and faster. Its hard trying to win the Daytona 500 with a car thats not build to handle that kind of speed and intensity. If your vehicle (your body) is injured, damaged or just not functioning optimally then getting it as close as you can to 100% is the first goal and a continuous one if your want to look and feel amazing in long run.
This long article is going to cover in depth the first section of the Lean, Ripped and Healthy System, optimizing your body from the inside out.
Here’s how each of the three sections of the lean ripped and healthy system will be covered.
1 – I’ll lay out the “why” behind my suggestions with some research
2 – I’ll introduce you to your coaches from the Lean Ripped and Healthy Radio Podcast and share some of the best podcasts I’ve done with these experts that touch on key topics within each section.
3 – I lay out your step by step game plan for taking action and making changes with a short list of action steps to do today and this week.
4 – I’ll share some products and resources that I have found helpful in my journey.
Section One Body Optimization
- Mindset (habits, motivation, grit)
- Recovery (gut health, sleep, nutrition, stress)
- Mobility and movement (mobility, exercise execution and posture/movement)
Each of these topics could be a text book, but neither of us have the time for that. The goal is to give you the why, some expert advice from my podcast guests, and most importantly the action steps and tools necessary that will make the biggest impact.
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Here We Go.
The goal is 1% every day. Getting a little better day in and day out. In this first stage of optimizing health for your hall of fame body we focus the mindset shifts and building habits that will ensure (yup all the non sexy but massively impactful stuff that the pros do but don’t really talk about).
Remember the goal is to fine tune the machine, your body! Were not concerned about weight loss, muscle gain or getting stronger at this part of the journey. Yes all three will happen to some extent BUT right now these are all side effects of the new habits and changes. We’re here to build the foundation and framework for rapid results and long term success.
The mindset for transformation…the growth mindset
This probably is not your first time trying to make a serious change in your body and life.
How many times have you tried to change only to go back to old ways and habits after a few weeks?
How many times have you said “Thats it! I’m done with this I’m going to start changing my diet/routine on Monday!”
How many times have you committed to a new way of living/eating/exercising only to give up or quit after a few weeks.
Whats holding you back from making the changes towards becoming the person you envision yourself becoming this week? Today? Right now?
These past shortcomings happen with everyone, we all know what we need to do, the changes we need to make, the things we need to stop doing, the things we need to start doing, however we still fail to execute. Why?
A lot of times that failure to make a change, discourages further attempts at change since we would rather not be confronted with failure yet again, the mind simply would rather make an excuse and avoid failure. It’s easier to just not try after a while.
How do we make a successful change and be able to keep it long term? Even after previous failures?
How do we stop shooting ourselves in the foot and doing things (or not doing the things) that keep us from getting to the end result we want?
Here’s What The Research Says…
Its pretty clear that your beliefs about a certain subject dictate your actions and your actions dictate your results. Period.
If the beliefs you have around a certain area in your life are what leading researcher on success and achievement Carol Dweck are fixed (i.e. health and transforming your body) and your not in a growth mindset (more on this in a sec) then you’re dead in the water and making change will be damn near impossible.
Theres been very interesting research about the power of shifting your mindset and how this contributes to results. The growth mindset is the force multiplier that will allow you to achieve the body and life you envision. Doesn’t mean its easy or fast but this mindset will allow you to stay the course when others give up. Time to grow.
Do you ever find yourself saying these things….?
- I can’t lose weight”
- I’ve tried everything and I still look the same”
- I”ll never lose this last X pounds
- I’ll never build muscle”
- I’ve tried everything and I just can’t seem to lose body fat.
- I can’t stick to my diet.
Changing your beliefs and your identity creates MASSIVE change in what you are able to accomplish.
- If you believe you’re a runner, running is in the morning when its the crack of dawn is not an issue.
- If you believe you’re a lifter, getting up early and going to the gym or going after work. Is simple, it’s what you do.
- IF you’re a writer, putting pen to paper is automatic. Even if you don’t want to or don’t feel a burst of motivation pulsing through your hand.
Is always effortless and easy? No.
Does it happen after reading one article on positivity. Hell no.
Does it take practice and will you find it frustrating? Yes
But its who you are, its your identity so you do it regardless.
Carol Dweck’s . work explains that a growth mindset is necessary for being successful in any endeavor in life and having a fixed mindset will not bring about rapid results.
The Growth Mindset Vs The Fixed Mindset
- See’s obstacles as an opportunity
- Embraces challenges
- Has Grit, does not surrender easily.
- Take critical feedback and learns from it.
- Values the process of pursuing the goal.
- Finds inspiration from others and the success of others.
- Dislikes obstacles
- Does not embrace negative feedback as an opportunity to get better
- Throws in the towel easily
- Hates the process, just wants the results
- Feels threaten, and envious of others success.
Example of a fixed mindset belief..
“I hate exercise”
“I hate the gym”
“ I’ll never be happy with how I look”
“Going to the gym sucks”
A fixed mindset belief like this makes any kind of progress and improvement in that area very difficult and limited, at best, if not impossible.
With a fixed mindset you likely will avoid situations where there’s a high chance of failure. Instead of seeing the failure as an opportunity for growth and a step in the right direction, instead it is seen as a bad thing.
If your afraid to fail at achieving your version of your hall of fame body then you likely won’t take the actions necessary to get there.
No Actions = no results.
But if you can move to a growth mindset then by changing your thoughts long term, can impact your beliefs and ultimately your identity then you have what it takes for massive sustainable long term change.
How To Change Your Mindset.
How can we change our mindset for massive success, easier changes in our bodies and better/faster results towards our goal?
Change your focus.
One of your coaches Scott Abel calls this anchoring. (more on that later)
Carol Dweck’s research explains that when your focus on the process (i.e. the actions need to get the result) and reward the process not the goal.
The ability to keep going past failures and ultimately keep showing up, doing the work and making progress is what gets results. This is Grit which has a huge place in fitness that I feel in overlooked the research of Angela Duckworth.
Example of being results focused: (non controllable goals)
Feeling like a failure when scale says you only lost two pounds these past two weeks. Comparing your results to the results of others, letting the outcome of an uncontrollable event (i.e. the weather, a gym partner canceling last minute) ruin the mood of your entire day.
Possibly giving up on the new plan because your results didn’t measure up to often over ambitious expectations.
Example of being process focused: (controllable goals)
Measuring your success by assessing whether or not you hit your goals for how many times you trained the past two weeks and how many steps you got in each day the past two weeks. Even though the scale says your only two pounds you’re concerned with what you did and whether or not you did hit your controllable factors (the amount of training sessions completed, water, sleep, yoga sessions etc).
Looking at the journey to your hall of fame body from this angle could be a huge win. Results will come because you stuck with it instead hoping from fad diet to fad diet and trying new flashy supplements.
Shifting your focus to controllable factors: How to make progress without stress or giving a Fu*K
- Did you do eat your breakfast every morning?
- Did you spend 7 hours in bed each night?
- Did you walk 10000 steps on at least 5 days last week?
Checking the boxes of these controllable process goals every week ensures your long term success. The ultimate goal whether that’s building muscle, getting stronger or getting ripped and lean will come, you’ll notice changes in your body and start getting compliments from friends, coworkers, and family.
Loving the process allows for progress, the more progress you get the more you enjoy the process the more you execute on the process the more progress you get.
The Cold Hard Research on beliefs:
For the longest time I had a shitty attitude, I was extremely pessimistic and skeptical, so much that my 7th grade math teacher blew up in front of the class about my negativity.
It wasn’t until I had full conviction was I then able to take the necessary actions. Heres some research behind how beliefs shape your reality….
- In one study, middle-aged adults who held more positive beliefs about aging lived an average of 7.6 years longer than those who held more negative beliefs, even when controlling for current health and other risk factors.
- Optimistic people were found to be less likely to develop heart disease, again controlling for other risk factors.
- The journal Child Development released a paper titled “Implicit Theories of Intelligence Predict Achievement Across Adolescent Transition: A Longitudinal Study and an Intervention.” The research shows how at one New York City junior high school students’ fixed and growth theories about intelligence affected their math grades. Over two years, she said, students with a fixed mindset experienced a downward academic trend while the others moved ahead.
Your Mental Game and Mindset Coaches:
My interview with my friend Ross Grant was a great one. Ross completely changed his life when he left his dead end job to pursue his passion as an actor. Today he helps thousands of other do that same with the Act On This Community (https://www.actonthis.tv/) The largest TV Actors Network in world.
He is also a high performance mindset coach and helps people figure out the mental roadblocks stopping them from achieving massive success. From our conversation it can tell you it mainly comes from two things.
# Self Limiting Beliefs
During ot interview Ross went though a powerful exercise called the success cycle, a concept he learned from Tony Robbins.
“Everyone of us has the same potential. We can achieve anything if we really want to and take the required action. The problem is that most people do not take the action required to achieve success. No action leads to no result and subsequently the lack of belief in our potential. It becomes a vicious cycle.”
The premise is simple but very powerful. It starts in the top left corner with potential. What you THINK your potential is will more often than not dictate the amount of action you will take. So realizing this, we know that the level of success we get with out body is determined by our beliefs about our potential.
So how much potential success do you think you can achieve? Realize that this set the barometer for your level of necessary action you will be willing to take. Nobody takes huge amounts of action towards a goal the have not faith in…
Its those actions that will dictate your results. Your results will be the confirmation you need to cultivate a strong belief in your abilities and therefore increase your belief that potential success you can have is much higher than you first thought.
This cycle is the success cycle Ross explained on the show.
But what hinders the process? Roes identified that fear of failure was the number thing that stops people from taking the necessary actions.
What happens if I workout a bunch and don’t get a six pack? What is I eat healthy and I still feel horrible?
This stops people from fully committing to a goal, that lack of intense commitment leads to poor results. Poor results confirm the idea that you can’t achieve what you set out to do. However, that’s simple not the case. Often times its just the level of action or the type of action that need adjusting.
By upgrading your levels of action you can change the results you get, which in turn will change your beliefs about your abilities and potential. See the cycle yet?
Show notes from the interview here.
My first encounter with Mark took place in multi million dollar mansion that sat in the Hollywood Hills, that was Friday morning. The Monday prior I didn’t even know Mark existed, little did I know how talented and intelligent he was. Waking up after a late flight in from Florida the night before I was half awake when I shook his hand. (Side note, Mark has a very piercing stare almost like he’s staring into your soul, this was the first time I experienced anything like this.
The reason for me traveling to the Hollywood was to attend Marks first in person retreat hosted at the infamous “Marijuana Mansion” named so because the owner the Marijuana Don made his fortune with his company Advanced Nutrients a company that sells fertilizer for marijuana plants.
- Mark earned his Masters Degree in Positive Psychology, under the famous, ‘Flow’ Professor, Dr. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
- certified Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) Practitioner
- Men’s Fitness’ model
- coach to A-List celebrities like the pop star Rita Ora and Game Of Thrones star Nathalie Emmanuel.
Anyways, back to our interview and the key take aways to learn:
#1 Your actions reflect your mental health:
If you’re messing up your diet, staying up extremely late and not taking care of yourself its your mindset that is usually the root of the problem. Mark illustrated this with his personal story of drug dealing, taking drugs, and wrecking his body throughout his younger years to achieve a certain look and a certain high.
#2 A strong meditation practice = 10x more productivity:
Yea, I hated meditation and sometimes it’s still not my favorite part of the day. But I’ve felt the benefits
#3 Daily Conditioning, do it everyday.
To be good at something you have to do it often. Daily to be exact. You have to “show up” everyday according to Mark.
Everyday doing the little things.
#4 Change your physiology will transform your emotions in the morning:
Biggest Take Away:
Former men’sfitness model and high performance health and fitness coaching for entrepreneurs Mark has helped many top performers optimized not only their training and diet but more importantly their mindset.
When he was on the podcast we talked about one thing I know I he has helped me optimize and really get a grip on and that is meditation.
The Habit Spectrum – Dr. Mike Forest
Episode in iTunes here.
Humans are creature of habit. From our thinking patterns, to how we have sex, your brain forms patters, rituals and habits with everything. Making a habit of forming new ways of thinking (the growth mindset) is a game changer that can give you the power to train harder , eat better, accomplish extremely challenging goals you never thought you could do, approach your future wife, get the hall of fame body you want and much more.
If training consistently and eating right was as automatic as brushing your teeth, what do you think you would look and feel like everyday? How do we create habits around the major scary and uncomfortable tasks in life?
Thats what I wanted to learn from Dr.Forest.
In this interview Dr. Forest and I cover the nuts and bolts of these topics, also how to make your kitchen and living environment a better place to support your hall of fame body.
We also cover:
- What the hell is a habit cascade?
- What is a Habit Spectrum?
- How to dive into your new uncomfortable activities head first.
Some of my favorite takeaways golden nuggets from this interview:
- The habit cascade and his vitamin D, sun light expose example with training, thinking and structuring your day right to win.
- His advice for bulletproofing your own success by planning in detail. And how to use others and pre commit to make the action more do able.
- That little voice inside your head that justifies why you need to eat that piece of chocolate, why you shouldn’t go to the gym etc. and cultivating the habit of telling this little voice to piss off.
- Having back up meals and just having contingency plans in place for things like training and nutrition.
Optimizing Recovery For Faster Progress
When it comes to recovery I can’t think of a more overlooked subject in fitness (besides mindset). If you don’t recover from your workouts you won’t make progress. How long do you need to recover from a workout? Thats the million dollar question.
We can sit here and talk generalities but at the end of the day it comes down how much and how hard your working and what other stressors are present in your life. So really, it depends on well, your life.
My talk with a few experts in this area really helped me learn some new thing to use, try and experiment with to get better recovery from workouts, de-stress and deliver what to my body what it needs to go and tear it up at the gym
- How Allen manipulates his diet on training and off days to increase his metabolic flexibility and produce results with his body.
- The benefits of AMPK ( and how to activate it.) This article here is one that I used when researching specific training methods for the 8% Body Fat Blueprint
- The core principles missing from most training programs and whythey do not produce results.
- Why just adding weight to the bar is not the answer…and what to do instead.
- The truth about supplements and a good company to check out
Movement and Exercise