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Training For Life

What are you training for??

Why are you training??

Who are you training for??

People often show up to training in spurts and go from 0-100-0 quite quickly.
Why?? Because they don’t know why they’re training. They know what’s trendy. And in fitness the trends change like the seasons.

Few and far between survive the ages, but one thing’s for sure. HARD WORK done with consistency and a balanced regime of cardio, resistance and maintenance work leads to linear results through a level of adaptation that is truly sustainable.

At the end of the day you can train as hard as you like but if you’re injured 6-10 weeks of the year that’s not great. If you’re only going 3 days a week because you’re not actually loving it then you’re unlikely to get a result.

The same goes if you’re going hard as F@+* for 5, 6 or 7 days a week with high impact, HIIT or double sessions without purpose or nutritional and recovery guidance. YOU WILL burn out and break down, you’re almost assured of that.

Why? Simple, just like a car you can’t thrash it every day and expect it not to break down. Your body needs regular maintenance. If you don’t put enough fuel in – you won’t reach your destination. You put the wrong fuel in or too much and well we all know what happens there.

Often, this is greatly under estimated and “diets” are so extreme they starve you and make you more likely to binge or burn out from accumulative fatigue. Are most people training to lose body fat? YES, so we don’t want to over fuel and get spillage leading to more body fat. This is often targeted by tracking calories and macros. The only issue there, while being a good guide for the short term to gauge portions, is everyday can be dramatically different so your fuel and food should be too.


Macro and Micro Nutrients Image: GETTY

This is where our original plan comes into play. Nature foods are the key here. Quality nutrients and macros to keep your body firing and healthy. The other 2 things to consider are: What do you want from training and how many times do you want to train?

These decisions influence your whole training plan because its the difference in how much pressure goes on your body and how much recovery etc. you’re going to get or need.

A perfect example of this is the greatest swimmer ever to live, PHELPS, from the US who did approximately three times the work load of swimmers before him. He had to smash 10000 calories per day! For most humans this would mean morbid obesity and certain chronic and metabolic disease, but for him it meant more medals than a war hero. This is applicable to you regardless if you have a sedentary job vs an active job. Your calories are obviously going to be different so we make that adjustment and listen to your body.

NOW, what do you want from your training??

If you’re looking to build muscle, doing 5 days of HIIT isn’t a good idea.
If you’re looking to get fit then don’t just walk on a stair master for 30 mins at Goodlife.
Make the smart choice. Not the trendy choice, not your friends choice. UNSURE?? Seek advice from a knowledgeable and unbiased source. This is a must.

I’ve seen people wanting to get fit doing Pilates 5 days a week… NO. Pilates is a maintenance type regime which requires great nutrition to stay lean so if you love a burger and a drink Friday night it’s not the right plan for you.

FIND your WHY!!!

That’s a big one. YOUR WHY. It doesn’t matter if it’s “shallow” or you want to look good naked. If you want to complete a marathon or a spartan race go for it! Do NOT listen to or accept judgement from others, they’re not going to help you achieve your goals.

These choices are the same as your other life choices. You can work for the money, career evolution, or for yourself (like myself). It’s your life to live and you have to do what makes you happy.

The HOW is harder!!

The HOW is sub goals and plans, something closer and more achievable than a goal that may be 1, 2, 3 or 4 years away. You need to enjoy the process. Imagine making $1million a year and hating everyday you arrived at work. That’s getting a result but hating every workout. That’s not sustainable. It’s not fun. And many good years will be wasted.

Turning up @sip.lift.love

NOT every day will be fun fun. You’ll be tired… you’ll be sore… you may have outside stress… but if you attack a workout you’ll always feel better once its done and done. That I can guarantee!

Results are cumulative. They aren’t weekly or fortnightly, we are always looking at the runs over the long term!!! Which means if you’re trying to counteract years of neglect in mere weeks, it’ll be bad.

Sometimes wanting to do “challenges” all the time can actually make it harder on yourself. There’s one challenge in life and that’s to be better and to move towards your goals consistently even when life kicks you in the face. You check them and move on to the next goal.

There are enough ebbs and flows in life without adding more just to line someone else’s pocket. I run member challenges, don’t get me wrong, but it’s a habit challenge.

The challenge is how much can you improve your day to day life over 3 months. Sugar intake, sleep, hydration, training (intensity and consistency), more vegetables, less alcohol and the list goes on. Now that’s a challenge that doesn’t set you up for failure.

Most challenges run similar to Bodybuilding competition preps (obviously on a much lesser scale). LOW calories often cutting carbs, caffeine and sugar, over-training to get the leanest body in a short space of time. You may very well get the desired result, lean and mean, but I’ve been there coaching those same systems and now I’m not. They’re not sustainable. To me it’s like busting your balls to get a pay rise, you get a small bonus instead and stay on your normal salary.

It’s counter intuitive and sets you up for mental and emotional stress as nobody wants to go backwards in life. Why not take your time to nail down a lifestyle that you can sustain and enjoy. WHILE moving towards your goals in a way where the process also stays enjoyable.

DO NOT train with someone who says you can achieve your goals in a short amount of time… you wouldn’t do it with your money, right? “Hey give me your money and I’ll make you rich quick” hahaha. You’d be like “Hey Mr scam man, no thank you!”

FIND who you are and what YOU want to be.

Come up with a rough plan. For example if you’ve been unfit and overweight for 30 years don’t expect to have abs in 6 months. Set smart achievable goals with help if needed. Most importantly show up and do the work.

STOP choosing short term pleasures over the shit you actually want out of life.

STOP making pitiful excuses.

DO THE SHIT YOU’RE BAD AT.

That way you can enjoy the stuff you’re good at. 

DON’T give up on your goals even if it takes longer than expected.

BE THE BEST YOU.

The crew feeling awesome after training their best @sip.lift.love
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Owning your weaknesses

Plank with weight
Own your weakness, make it your strength.

What are your weaknesses?

In this scenario I don’t mean just physically. I mean the things that prevent you from reaching your potential in any aspect of life.

Are you lazy?? Are you dramatic?? Do you avoid uncomfortable situations you know you should face head on?? Are you just going through the motions??

Or, are you the person attacking everything you do??

NOBODY is even close to perfect nor do they live the perfect life – despite how much they filter it on the #gram. Everyone has weaknesses and strengths. Some weaknesses need serious effort, while others need never be worked on.

For instance, I strongly dislike doing finances. It means time spent away from clients, not developing programs for the business and not training. Therefore, my partner does them and we talk about the steak produced not the butchering process. This allows me to focus on the day to day aspects that I thoroughly enjoy.

I work 7 days a week and I know I have two major weaknesses – time management and I spend money like its bio-degradable and going to vanish on me. So, 6 months in and finally settling into this crazy new business, I’ve decided to nail these two large flaws down. As I wrote out my daily schedule, it seemed to get crazier. On my best day I get 4 hours of “down time” before I have to sleep… even then I’m looking at the best part of 6 hours so I incorporate a nap during the day to keep me focused and my training at an intensity I’m satisfied with.

WHY??

Because I want to make a difference to peoples lives. I want my own life to be better. This is the reality.  Do we take steps to make our lives better or do we wander without focus and discipline? Do we want nice things without saving? Do we want a better life without working hard? Do we want better bodies without putting in the hard yards?

If so, why?? Why do we go against our wants? A small word – comfort. We are creatures of comfort.  We’ve gotten really good at making excuses. We justify these and make it socially acceptable to be lazy and socially acceptable to be unhealthy. Yet, we despise the bi-products of the life it leads to through our own choices.

Illness, both chronic and metabolic, are the biggest consequences here.  Diabetes and cancer being the most prevalent. Despite how much we hate exposing ourselves and our loved ones to these, we don’t take the most basic steps to prevent or at least try to prevent them.  This has a direct flow on. We want more yet we don’t want to work more for it. We choose sleep over our goals, social lives over everything.  We spend $$thousands on holidays or nights out, yet hesitate when we look at the price of fresh fish or new runners.

How often is this your list?

We live in the laziest most comfortable generation that has ever existed. The generations before us explored, created technological leaps, created things that will last the ages and had physiques and physical accomplishments that will be spoken of long after they turn to dust. Will our children and their children think of us as heroes or lessons of what not to become?

People love looking for short cuts. Looking to friends and social media to find out what the best diet is, the best health craze, the next band wagon. It’s not that choice that matters, what matters is the choice you make to commit and be consistent at being better. Identify the weaknesses you struggle with daily, write them down and form a plan to change. Accept it, own it and live it.

I’m not saying be PERFECT…I’m saying attack each day and be better. You’ll slip up and learn lessons like we all do, but that’s much better than being reactive to life. The proactive ones are the names we remember, the people we admire.

If you’re fortunate to get to go to work.. do it to the BEST of your ability.

If you’re fortunate enough that you get to train.. do it to the BEST of your ability.

I believe as a species we’re flawed, but as a person you can be great.

BE GREAT. If not all day, at least everyday.

These legends choose to be better everyday @Sip.Lift.Love

7 Most Important Factors to getting Fit.

smooth movement patterns

Remember guys, YOUR BODY IS MADE TO MOVE!!

A lot of people say they exercise, or say they want to exercise to get fit. There’s much more to it than just going to the gym twice a week and eating healthy. Check out below where I break down the 7 most important factors to getting fit.

1. REST DAYS

Your body needs them. This means you ease the loading but still move and stay active. It’s the adaption of your body’s systems and structure that are rewarded. What varies is the intensity, loading and volume in the way we approach exercise on rest days. They’re not ‘couch only’ days as this will only slow down your recovery. Proteins and carbs, that help fuel new muscle growth and recovery, travel in your blood stream. Therefore, they need blood flow to be transported around the body to be effective. Instead of a gym session you might go for a brisk walk, do yoga or go for a swim.

Sleeping Puppies
@sip.lift.love Gym dogs need sleep too

2. SLEEP

More people are frequently neglecting sleep yet it is a key path to health, weight loss, and sustainability.  Lack of sleep not only stops you releasing growth hormone (recovery hormone) but in conjunction with this; Cortisol (the stress hormone) is secreted in larger amounts which causes muscle tissue breakdown and many other detrimental health side-affects. Cortisol also stops the production of Leptin (appetite suppressing hormone) but increases Ghrelin (the hormone that stimulates hunger or your simple carb cravings).

If you’re not putting this as a super high priority you CANNOT expect progress in performance or fat loss to go in leaps and bounds as it is a massive player in the game of life.

3. RECOVERY

HYDRATION, STRETCHING, SLEEP, SOLID NUTRITION, LOW IMPACT/INTENSITY activity. We have covered them all up until now and they’re all equally important. Again, it’s a domino effect if one falls down usually they all do.

4. INTENSITY

This doesn’t mean come in and smash your body to pieces, sweating bullets, and completing 600 burpees.  More important is the mindset in which you approach every rep, set, or stroke and constantly trying to improve yourself. Whether its bracing your core, getting a smooth movement pattern, or becoming more efficient at cycling. Rather than just doing things to get them done, consciously feel each targeted muscle. At one stage or another we’ve all done it. Especially because often it’s easier. But easy is not how you get results.

For most, staying in their comfort zone is more of a driving force than growth. It’s safe and cosy. The catch is you never get better. This again is universal in your career, training, and relationships. Get comfortable being uncomfortable and watch your world change. It’s not PAIN you’re feeling, it’s DISCOMFORT and our amazing bodies are ready to adapt to it.

functional body building
@sip.lift.love Moving Weights Purposefully.

5. STRETCHING

Stretching isn’t 20 seconds of posing that you saw someone else do. It’s very uncomfortable initially and each movement should hold for 60-90 seconds depending on how tight the muscles are and the frequency of stretching. Why? A flexible muscle is a strong muscle. Why so long? In the first 15-20 seconds the muscle actually contracts as a natural inhibition to protect the joints they insert into, so once they relax only then with conscious relaxation and controlled breathing do we get an efficient stretch. Stretching and warm-ups must be relevant to what you’re training. You need to focus on activating the muscle groups that you’ll be using. This actually boosts your performance and you’ll see better results from your sessions. Stretching post work-out is equally important, don’t be in a rush to disappear.

6. CONSISTENCY

Two to three times per week is not exercising enough. I’m not a preacher of craziness and marathons, power-lifting events or Tough Mudders.  BUT – health, functionality, longevity and movement are the corner stones to a happy life. In the age of convenience and over indulgence these corner stones can be either neglected for “lifestyle choices” or completely over done with protein powder and vanity coming before real health and well-being. You can work a regular job AND have time for health and fitness.

Why not have both? Why not set your week up to balance both?

If you write down and log just ONE week.
The full 168 hours.
24 hours a day.
1440 minutes a day.

Work, travel, family time, sleep, eating.
How much time do you spend doing sweet nothing?
How much time do you waste?

I’m not saying NO down time.  We need that.  Otherwise we’d all have a break-down. However, I very much doubt there isn’t 5-6 hours in your week to move your body; to sweat, run, jump, lift, swim, with low intensity or high intensity. Variation of modalities leads to a variety of body adaptations which is the key to great balance.  You’re never too time poor that you have to try and get the closest car-park at every destination you go to. You CAN park further away and get that incidental exercise in. You CAN walk to the park with your dog instead of driving. You CAN go to bed earlier so you fit 30 minutes of exercise in the morning after waking up.

7. DISCIPLINE

Doing shit because you know it will benefit you even though you may not want to. This is like any muscle that will sometimes fail. It may waiver, but when worked on it will grow and in time lead you down the path YOU choose. DON’T mistake discipline for habit. Because habits can be bad and unhelpful. Discipline is used only to benefit your life and goals. You’ll find it easier to use smartly after you figure out what YOU want from YOUR life. This doesn’t mean you rock up to the gym and you’re a disciplined unit. It’s not cheating your reps to make life easier and just get it done. It’s doing the stretching when you’d rather not. It’s consciously activating and using the required muscle groups while maintaining correct form. It’s punching every work out like your GOALS rely on it… Wait.. they do!

These 7 important factors all rely on each other. Your actions every day to incorporate these into your weekly exercise plan will ensure you attain your goals.

LAST WORDS…

Go into your phone. Go to settings. Check your screen time.
How much of that time was wasted? Could you have stood up and moved instead? Now, add up your workout time for a month and compare it to a week of proper training then ask yourself, ‘Are you really working towards your goals?’ Add up the time you spend making food compared to both of these. Can you tell me you couldn’t find time to meal prep?

When you’re tired do you still go to social events? Most often, yes, so your friends or work mates will still like you.
When you’re just not feeling it, do you still go to work? Also yes? So you can get paid of course.
Why is it okay for you to skip the gym or exercise? Change your mindset. You can’t complain about a lack of progression when you’ve put your health and fitness as a lower priority. Treat every session as an appointment that must be kept. There are no do-overs. You’ve gotta put yourself first!

Eat well. Move well. And train with purpose. TGIM!

Matty.

Feeling lost with foods?

image source: Pexels.com

Are YOU completely lost with foods? Not sure where to begin? You’re not alone, it’s the most common challenge my clients face.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, complete nourishment is what we are aiming for. Not just eating for eating’s sake. This has a direct affect on every aspect of your life. Your skin, hair, body composition, performance, concentration levels and productivity (for those workaholics), immune system (80% is through the stomach!), moods and the list goes on. So, please don’t tell me you don’t have time to prioritise this, when it’s such a big part of your life.  Based on the nature foods I described in an earlier post, the easiest way to start is by going into the grocery store or going to the market and gathering a whole bunch of vegetables, fruits, nuts & seeds, and meats too if applicable. As long as it’s fresh and uncooked.

When working with my clients I use 5 stages of progression in nutrition. Why?? Because not everyone wants the same things from life and not everyone starts on the same level.

Stage 1:

  • Increase Hydration
  • Reduce processed foods and sugar (especially sugar hiding in your liquids)
  • Change mentality from “I must eat” to “I get to nourish”

Stage 2: 

  • Look at meal balance (protein, fats, carbs)
  • Increase and maintain solid vegetable intake
  • Decrease excess calorie intake from liquids

Stage 3:

  • Look at macro/micro nutrient intake to suit your needs
  • Solidify caloric intake to suit needs
  • Plan, prep & package meals and ingredients 

Stage 4:

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  • Supplementation (protein, greens etc)
  • Weigh and measure foods

Stage 5:

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  • Blood tests
  • Advanced supplementation
  • Fortnightly tweaks

NOTE: Not everyone will nor want to get through all of these stages. This is very dependent on the end goal and also what you’re willing to commit to.

Now, let’s start with your basic calories:

Average for FEMALE is 1600-1800

Average for MALE is 1900-2100

This we adjust fortnightly or monthly to see how your body responds in conjunction with your energy output as this will vary with your weeks’ worth of activity, your body type and goals etc.

If you want to go next level, we can do a body scan and work out YOUR BMR (basal metabolic rate) which is the basic calories you need to sustain your current muscle mass. Therefore, allowing us to know whether we are in surplus or deficit.  You can find some quick math below:

Male BMR = 66 + (13.75 x weight in kg) + (5 x height in cm) – (6.8 x age in yrs)

Female BMR = 655 + (9.6 x weight in kg) + (1.8 x height in cm) – (4.7 x age in Yrs)

To determine your total daily calorie needs, multiply your BMR by the appropriate activity factor, as follows:

  1. If you are sedentary (little or no exercise) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.1
  2. If you are lightly active (light exercise/sports 1-3 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.275
  3. If you are moderately active (moderate exercise/sports 3-5 days/week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.35
  4. If you are very active (hard exercise/sports 6-7 days a week) : Calorie-Calculation = BMR x 1.525
image source: Pexels.com

Next, we break down your macros and calories:

Tracking them initially, especially if the goal is to drop Body Fat %, is a short term thing where we gauge portion sizes and determine the correct calorie intake for you (usually takes 12-16 weeks) this again is only stage 3.

The digital age is great for getting healthy, there are so many useful apps and links. I like using the free MYFITNESSPAL app to set your macros.

FOR NEUTRAL or PERFORMANCE BASED NUTRITION set to:

40% PROTEIN

40% CARBOHYDRATES (complex)

20% FAT

FOR WEIGHTLOSS set to:

40% PROTEIN

30% FAT

30% CARBOHYDRATES (complex)

In both cases you NEED to make sure that the carb sources are nature based and full of fibre ie. whole grains, vegetables, fruit, beans. Otherwise you can blow out not only your caloric intake, but can still remain unhealthy due to hormonal imbalances, insulin spikes, and toxicity from sugar (BAD SKIN is a common symptom).

REMEMBER health and looking good naked go hand in hand to create good MENTAL, PHYSICAL and EMOTIONAL health. We often find if one of these breaks down it has a chain reaction and all of them fall apart. This is a circle that needs constant work.

For most, a week of eating and drinking isn’t going to be perfect. What we are looking for is sustainability and longevity.  If you follow this 80-95% of the time then you’re going to achieve your goals! You’re going to be healthy and you’re going to be happy, If you’ve got children then you’re going to pass down great habits too. This will set them up so they never have to feel unhealthy, too fat or uncomfortable in their own skin. Not to mention drastically reducing their chances of metabolic and chronic disease because we don’t want to see our loved ones suffer due to something as simple as laziness or lack of education.

TIME POOR??

Simplify. But also, be patient if you don’t have the time to measure, weigh and cook your foods and count your macros YOU WILL HAVE to be more patient than someone who can. It’s like going to Uni part time rather than full time and taking on extra units. 

Meal prep here is a massive key to stay on top of this.

Pick a day or two, go to a market to load up on your meats, vegetables and some starches. Choose a variety of cooking and storage methods that you can utilise and implement.

Market shopping will lower your costings and assure more freshness therefore leading to a quality macro and micro nutrient value to nourish your body.  Unless you DON’T want results, or you want to spend $60 a day at the supermarket then this is a must. Your prep days could include using a slow cooker for your meat dish whether it’s a stew or curry.  While that’s on have some sweet potatoes roasting in the oven, maybe put some chicken in a fry pan, boil the quinoa or rice and steam some vegetables. You can consolidate the cooking time and get it done in 60-90 mins so NO EXCUSES.

Another option, which I’ve personally utilised, are meal delivery companies to help kick you along. Either the frozen kind or the cook from fresh, just make sure you’re researching and selecting the healthy options.  They can help create better habits and at the end of the day if you’re time poor then habitual changes are the most realistic approach over the 12-16 weeks until you have changed without knowing.  Remember your nutrition and goals have to be realistic with the time you’re willing to put in.

One final important point.  Just because a food item is popular and touted as healthy, doesn’t mean it is.  You still have to recognise the caloric value and how it fits in with your needs.  Quick examples of how to go wrong quickly…

Açai bowl: average 500-700 calories per serve with topping and ingredients.

Skinny latte: 120 calories per average size

Smoothie:  Anywhere up to 800+ calories depending on ingredients and as it’s liquid the digestion rate is faster and you can go into excess meaning it can be a very calorie-heavy side dish. Calories usually burned in the chewing process and digestion of fibre is reduced and all adds to a chance of increased body fat.

For those joining me in the gym, this info is reinforcing what we’ve talked about during your 9-week starter challenge. For those playing a long at home, as much as you can read about this stuff over and over on the internet, it takes real action to change. That’s where becoming a part of a challenge or program can help you. Although it may be overwhelming to begin with, once you start the process you’ll learn to enjoy it and really care about the fuel you’re feeding your body. You’ll develop new skills and pick up so much knowledge that it’ll all become second nature in your life.

Eat well.  Train well. Shoot me an email if you’ve got any questions.

Your torturer, Matty.

How do I change my nutrition?

This is the how long is a piece of string question.
You could try 20 diets or ways to eat and 1 could work.
On the other hand you could try 20 and 19 could work for you.

There are some broad principles that don’t change and these are:

ENERGY in VS ENERGY out
This is the most basic method to control weight whether it’s for AESTHETICS, PERFORMANCE, STRENGTH or WEIGHT LOSS. It’s the same pretense as a car; the harder you go, the more fuel you burn therefore the more you need vs if you’re cruising or stationary you burn less.

NATURE foods AKA non-processed are best
If it grows or occurs in nature and you can chop/pull/pick/pluck/kill it and eat it DO SO. If it requires processing or refining eg. sugars, grains, dairy, deli meats etc don’t eat it. We really only started processing bulk foods and using bulk preservatives a century or so ago so it’s no surprise that diseases plague people even though modern medicine is so advanced.

MACRO balance
This is the tracking of CARBS, FATS, & PROTEIN. In life, everyone requires different amounts of each macro nutrient in order to achieve their desired goals.
By tracking this and listening to your body’s response usually done on a monthly basis, you can set yourself up for optimal performance by making adjustments to suit YOUR needs.  For example, if you’re not recovering from your lifting then increasing your PROTEINS may help balance you out.  Whereas if you’re a skinnier human sometimes 10% more carbs can be the solution. A lot of people may tell you there is a set recipe that works. I’d love to know what this is. #MYTHBUSTERS

SOME NEW SCHOOL ideas are:

TRACK YOUR MACROS. (IIFYM)
This has become the Chinese whispers of the fitness world and has turned into “here’s your macros, fit whatever you want into them and your clock resets everyday”.
Don’t get me wrong you may or may not become more aesthetic due to this approach but without looking at the micro nutrients in conjunction with macros it could still lead to metabolic or chronic disease in the long run. Also, because it’s so calculated it’s just not a sustainable way to approach your nutrition.

KETOGENIC
A high protein, high fat, complex-carb diet comprising mostly of animal proteins, animal fats, plant fats and cruciferous vegetables (green leaf). The idea being your reduction in carbs forces Ketone bodies to form from Fatty Acids to supply energy for the brain, therefore burning more FAT and staying leaner. Main issues you see with this are constipation and sub-par performance unless you’re really dialing in your volume. The other issue is the bacteria that breaks down grainy carbs can be reduced in the stomach due to inactivity leading to digestive issues when reintroduced into diet. Again, this is a restrictive diet that is only effective if you follow it fully.

PALEO
Probably one of the more bastardised ideas because it’s actually supposed to be “NATURE FOODS” but somewhere along the line people started making “paleo treats” and “paleo drinks” to a point of ridiculousness where you just slap paleo on anything that may have started in nature. It has become very hard to grab the right info and products. So, take it as “nature foods ONLY”.

INTERMITTENT FASTING
The idea behind this is your body is more relaxed due to your digestive system only under load 8-10 hours a day and you’re less likely to overeat due to a smaller window of opportunity. Again, a level of ketosis is struck due to long periods of non-eating releasing ketone bodies to burn fat. This requires specific tracking as too high of a calorie deficit can happen.

PESCATARIAN
Fish (seafood) as the only animal protein source which is simple and easy to digest, this is pretty healthy as the bulk of the diet is still vegetable and it’s generally easier to adapt your lifestyle to . There are some concerns with mercury levels, experts advise eating smaller naturally fatty fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines.

VEGAN
DON’T EAT ANIMALS or animal products. Pretty straight forward, particular attention must be paid to ensure you’re consuming enough essential nutrients with intake of vitamins and minerals.

There’s a thousand ways to pluck a chicken or eat food apparently.
This situation comes down to moral choices and testing what works with your lifestyle and goals. The most important thing is that you have a good relationship with food. Having bad food vs. good food or feeling guilty about eating leads to negative feelings and anxiety which is unhealthy and a sure way to get off track.

If you were to say “OK, BUT MATTY WHAT WOULD YOU RECOMMEND??

Here’s that answer…

Track your calories by eating 90-95% “NATURE foods”.
Why? You won’t always have to necessarily track your macros, eventually you will understand portion sizes and what works for you. The biggest push back on this is – “It’s boring” or “what about having a life?” Oddly enough this balance of 90-95% will let you live the best quality of life you can expect to. It also allows you to grow in the kitchen as an amateur chef due to the nature of the food and having to play with flavours. Herbs and Spices are a key to keeping healthy and putting good tasting foods on your plate.

I don’t write meal plans, I encourage people to instead research and create their own. No two will ever be the same.  My experience has taught me that when given the answer, people don’t learn they just copy. And copying means no creativity and that leads to boredom and lack of variety in your foods and it spirals downward from there.  I will help you, I will educate you and show you how to be successful in incorporating healthy changes to your nutrition that will be long-lasting.

We all know someone who’s been struck with a metabolic or chronic disease and we all hate it. We band-aid it, we cure it (sometimes), we raise money for treatments and yet we don’t take the simple preventative measures. Being healthy can be difficult if you’re around people for whom it’s not a priority, you don’t want to be “the flog who eats healthy”, “the weirdo who doesn’t enjoy life”, or “the only one not drinking alcohol”.

Honestly, I’ve never seen someone with flawless skin and great muscle tone, be all that unhappy. I’m not saying live and breathe gym. (Secretly I love that though.) Enjoy life. Just learn to do it in a healthy way.

Clarification time…
Minimise the added preservatives, sugars, sodium and other crap that causes health complications. If you like to drink alcohol then you will. If you like coffee (as you should) drink it, just try to reduce or be rid of dairy but we’ll talk more about calcium and milk later.  We all have vices and foods we love and they should be incorporated into your healthy lifestyle just moderated.
Yes, fresh food can be more time consuming but you can chop n lock to be ahead of time. Meal prepping becomes easier the more often you do it.
Believe it or not you can market shop to get fresher produce and a cheaper shop, while also enjoying being out.

Hydration is the final factor in diets and it plays a massive part, we sum this up in the easiest way. Bodyweight (x10) + 1L + 1L per hour exercise
So if you weigh 65Kg your minimum daily intake would be 1.65L and on top of that you train so you’ll require 2.65L.
This will keep your body, skin and performance high as well as stopping over-eating and a variety of other negative affects from under hydrating.

Cheers for the chat. Stay tuned for more from your torturer.

Body Fat. There’s healthy and unhealthy.

Nearly 2 in 3 adults and 1 in 4 children are overweight or obese (AIWH 2016c). Source: AIHW

I hear a lot of people and see a lot of people say odd things…

I think there’s a trend in society right now that has people constantly demonizing hard work, excusing laziness and being generally complacent. It’s not a good attitude.

It starts with the notion that too many people are “FAT”. You may like to call it overweight or obese it’s the same result just too much Body Fat, this is largely caused by excess caloric consumption and sedentary lifestyles.

The tide changed, and it became socially unacceptable to “body shame”. Body shaming to the extent of bullying is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about genuine concern for a person’s well-being.  I mean it’s kind of messed up when it comes to body image and health if you can’t identify someone as being fat as being unhealthy. If you ask ANYONE if they’re okay with chronic or metabolic disease (cancer, diabetes, heart disease etc) I think you’ll find a unanimous answer.  There is a direct correlation with being overweight and these diseases.  Being healthy and happy in your body is so important, and hiding behind political correctness to excuse poor health or obesity is not okay.

People wish to put an end to these diseases and yet they’re on the rise. Why? Because despite what we WANT in life, its impossible to avoid these diseases without changing to living healthy. FAT cells that hold FAT enzymes and toxic matter are not healthy.  ALCOHOL is not healthy.  Yet I hear, “I want to be healthy but still want a life.” What a contradictory thought process that is. I’ve never seen someone who can’t walk because of bad knees or back say “WOW! I’m living my best life.” I’ve never heard someone say “Don’t worry about that cancer” or “I’m happy injecting insulin and checking my bloods all the time.”

I’m not preaching chicken and broccoli. But the excuse of “I still want to have a life” is not one at all.  Sometimes it’s hard for people to realise why they’re unhealthy, overweight or obese. Are they using food, alcohol or other substances to distract from a career they don’t like, a bad relationship, or lack of relationship?  It could be a host of reasons and it’s important once you’ve decided to make a change that you listen to the people who you’ve sought help from.

Supply and demand dictates the systems of life. If more people moved away from fast foods, (NO I’m not saying don’t eat out and have fun and socialize) it would be a good thing.  The deliciousness of foods comes from nature, not the artificial crap that is thrust into our systems on the regular due to corporate greed and profiteering.

For instance, PRESERVATIVES. What are they for??? PRESERVING. As in the food doesn’t break down. So, when digesting, what do we think happens to the food in your stomach? It’s something overlooked by too many, if not 99% of people. Yet the stress on our bodies from this processing and the toxicity released leads to diseases. It’s a harsh reality but i think especially for those who want to try and be healthy for their lifetime need to be educated so they can live disease, soreness and illness free.

Source: istock

We are so withdrawn from that reality as we “ADAPT” to the new age. We live in a time where we use man made products to try and solve man made issues.  We seek a treatment rather than returning to what nature provides as a preventative.
Same with the physical issues that arise from sedentary lifestyles and the conveniences of life that “make life more fluent” actually make life harder on average.

This happens over time as you make lifestyle changes, for example:
People often say, “Well December is a busy month so it’s a right off.”
That in itself is craziness. WHY?
There are 12 months a year, you scrap 1 month plus a few weeks here and there due to illness etc and you’ve lost 2 months!
16% of the year is gone.
That’s a fair amount but its not until it compounds over a decade that we realise that those 2 months turns into ALMOST 2 YEARS of no exercise. Can you imagine? Combine this with almost 2 years of calorie surplus with no physical activity and now, “I put on 15 kegs over the last decade” becomes a very real scenario for so many people and then you have the hard asf task of turning the now self-conscious you into a formidable human again having to diet and sacrifice more than usual to get back to taking your shirt off at the beach or feeling good about yourself.

You could have just been steady and balanced, both in your diet and your exercise.  You would have not only avoided such extremes but also dodged the health complications that arise. Even little things like the massive amount of toxicity released with rapid weight loss. This is about your attitude, your future, and how to manage your health.

The answer is consistency. Even when you’re not feeling it, show up and TRY. You don’t skip work just ‘because’ so why would you neglect your health for that reason…

Matty OUT

What holds you back?

I like to write like you’re standing right in front of me. So please take the time to read and reflect. Answer the questions honestly. This is how you develop and change your mindset so you can achieve the healthy balanced life you’re seeking.

Honesty time…..
What has held you back from achieving your goal???

Is this just your justification??

We often make excuses and legitimise them through self-reinforcement.
Let’s break it down.
168 hrs in a week.
How many do you work?
How much do you sleep?
Time spent eating?
Family/pet time?
Social hours?
Time spent doing sweet F all??

How could you manage this time better or use available time to train?
Yes, you may be busier but wouldn’t you also be happier? What do you value?
You clearly have these goals why not at least pursue them. You only get one chance at life, don’t you want to use it to be happy and healthy within your own skin?

The thing that holds us back is forgetting why we started and letting the voices that surround us influence us. Are you playing your game? Or is someone else in control?

If you’re true to yourself:
What are you GOALS??
MENTAL..
PHYSICAL…
EMOTIONAL..
CAREER/LIFE…
WHAT ARE YOUR VALUES??
Despite what people may think these all have a direct correlation and are very hard to balance. We often find we lean our energy extremely into one facet of life; for example workaholics.

When you find your value system it will point you in the direction that will make you feel the most centred.  Often what we are taught or pushed towards in society is the comparison between us and what others are doing. I’ve never met two people with identical values so don’t compare your life pathways to others nor measure yourself against the perception that they’re “ahead” of you in any way.

Someone may appear ahead of you in their career but are their relationships suffering?
And sometimes a relationship looks golden but there may not be any career advancement because their focus is to race home at 530 every day and never work weekends.

It’s all relative and it’s the same with your training and nutrition.
If you train 10 hours a week but binge drink and eat on the weekends can you expect abs? Probably not.  If you eat really well but only do cardio can you expect a mad booty and toned arms? Probably not.

A realistic approach to this and real honesty that you reap what you sow will allow you to enjoy the journey.
The biggest one is STOP comparing. Aspirations can be healthy, maybe to look like someone on #INSTA but understand nobody reveals their own life in full. Never forget to research how long it took them to get where they are, often it’s been a long journey for them too so patience is the paramount.
There are NO quick fixes!! They are like cheating on an exam. You may get the job done but you have no idea what you’re doing still. You can only fake it for so long.

Despite this being controversial, people saying “I need a holiday” is my pet hate. Change your damn life rather than running on a hamster wheel hoping it gets better.   Make your life so good that a holiday is a bonus because you want to see something special or do something that you can’t in your city. Not because you dread every morning and want to escape! Otherwise you’ll be just another flog with “wishing I was still here” #instagram posts on return.
You have the potential you just need to be brave.
You may fail. You try again.
You’ll take the road less travelled. All truly great people do.
Eventually, if you persist and try your hardest you’ll reap the rewards.
Establish and recognise your values and they will guide you to your goals.

PERSPECTIVE

Perspective is everything in life.

Excuses are a defense mechanism that needs to be muted. They seem rational and logical but they’re really just avoiding the true explanation.

My life is too stressful…you know there’s a single mum out there balancing 2 or 3 jobs and managing 2-3 kids living day to day.
I have too much on my plate… your job is a privilege, your family is a privilege, your social life is a privilege.
I’m tired… are you tired because you’re hustling trying to make a better life for yourself? Or, are you making bad choices that are not advantageous at all to your health or life?

I don’t have enough time in my week.. 168 hours – 56 for sleep leaves 112 hours to get things done… planning is key.
I don’t have time to make healthy meals….bullshit! I don’t train any Fortune 500 CEOs so get it together and think about your foods and make your meals.
THIS WORKOUT’S TOO HARD… SLAP yourself.  You are privileged enough to not only afford a gym membership but also a personal trainer which is more than a lot of people so make the most out of it.

YOU CANNOT REDO that 45 minutes you just half-assed.  That month you took off from the gym. That year you fluffed around.  TIME never stops moving forward. You either move with it or watch it go by and remain stagnant waiting for a miracle. Today you take action.

NOBODY goes through life without slip ups or adversity.  How we handle these determines our true character.
LOVE your family/partner. Every day with them is a blessing
LOVE what you do. If you don’t, change it.
LOVE what you have… because complacency can ruin everything.
LIVE everyday… because you’re fortunate enough to be able to.
If all the materialistic things were taken away tomorrow, would you have health and happiness? Or, have you been looking at life from the wrong perspective?

#TGIM TEAM. BE A BETTER PERSON THIS WEEK THEN YOU WERE LAST WEEK


Regards, your Torturer Matty.

The Journey Begins.

The START..

You’ve started whether you’ve signed up or you’re just reading this. You’ve taken the first step which is wanting change.  This, oddly enough, is the step that a lot of people don’t get to or past due to the fear of what comes next.  YOU will be sore. YOU will sweat. YOU will breathe hard. YOU will be uncomfortable. YOU will be better for it.

One of the biggest obstacles when starting out is the discomfort that comes from DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) which comes with your muscle tissue getting micro tears in it. Initially, this can be oddly uncomfortable, and unless you’re used to it it can feel a lot like injury. This is where people say, “I’m only going to come train once or twice at the start to ease into it”.

WRONG. Your body’s adaptive capabilities are amazing and it will always reward you for moving which is why the chemical reaction happens of endorphin release after we move with any sort of purpose. It’s an old school natural instinct to tell your body it did well when you hunted or gathered or fled from danger and it is still a part of us as we evolve.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve seen people injured from smash and grab sessions that were too hard too early. SIP LIFT LOVE’s initial 9-week challenge is formatted in a linear progressive state to let your body adapt and work at intensity while keeping good quality movement standards and working on techniques that will serve you in all aspects of physical activity.

We train for life, sports become easier, as should your other activities such as pilates or yoga due to an increase in strength and stability. Your weekend 1000 steps adventure will be easier due to increased power and stability in the legs and hips therefore using a smaller percentage of output per step. 

Aesthetic value is also a big focus in combination with performance because at the end of the day EVERYONE wants to LOOK BETTER NAKED yes??

So, by keeping full ROM (range of motion) combined with aerobic and lactic capacity increases, this means you will not only put on quality shaped lean muscle mass but at the same time (if combined with good sources of nutrition which we talk about soon) lose Body Fat % allowing all that hard work to shine.

SUSTAINABILITY is a major key in getting a solid result as well. 8-week and 12-week challenges are good, but only if they change your habits and have a transitional value in all aspects of your life. They have to carry over when the meal plans stop and life returns to normal. What is harder than weight fluctuations mentally when it comes to training?? Not much! So, we try to avoid these at ALL costs to maintain a POSITIVE mindset and not be disheartened by unsustainable results no matter how good they may be initially. PRIZES are cool too but so is being happy and healthy EMOTIONALLY, MENTALLY and PHYSICALLY all year round, year after year.

NOT everyone wants the same things from life and we understand this. Therefore no 2 people’s goals will be identical, neither should their HABITS which is why we work around YOUR lifestyle to help you achieve YOUR chosen goals.  We do this by writing down the things you currently EAT and DRINK and how much you SLEEP.  We alter it according to your goals as well as through constant education on foods, hydration, and recovery methods. Again, it’s not a one size fits all situation and what may work for 90% of the gym may not work for you.

Like everything in life, what you’re willing to put in is what you will get out. So, if your goal is shredded abs you better be willing to work for that because its will most likely mean 98% of the time you’re on!! If you want to be healthier and happier while making slower aesthetic advances and still maintaining your social outings then that’s cool too.

At the end of the day it’s about improving YOUR quality of life both now and into the future. Also educating yourself to give your kids and their kids the skills and know-how to lead the same lifestyle. Thereby reducing their chances of metabolic and chronic disease as well as major weaknesses that lead to physical inability such as sore lower back, bad knees, and postural issues.

Your Homework:

 Where do you want to be??

3 months from now??

6 months from now??

12 months from now???

5 years from now??

Work ethic is directly transferable from one aspect to another in your life. Your goals determine where your energy goes but with goals come necessities in life. 

FIRSTLY.  What drives you and makes your fire burn??

For some this is the superficial- money/wealth/tangible objects.

For others it’s simplistic- Being happy and healthy.

It takes all kinds to make the world go around and that’s where life gets hard and you have to decipher from what YOU want from your life and what your social circles and society pushes you towards. As people, we are often heavily influenced by pressures of society and the “IDEAL” lifestyles we see portrayed. In the age of the internet and social media this has become a major issue as we compare our lives to peoples highlight reel.

YOU don’t know their DEBT/STRESS/HAPPINESS/ANXIETY/SIDE DEALS/PARENT’S WEALTH nor the hours they work or what the type of person they are to acquire such a lifestyle.

We also can’t measure the sustainability of these lifestyles as the way they acquire said life may not be a sustainable balance or have any longevity.

NEVER give up what you want most for what you want now. INSTANT gratification is the cause of stress and much unhappiness as we all wish for the luxe lifestyle in an instant.

Personally, I have seen too many people fall victim to when the going is good they ride the high, take advantage and their social media lights up with how perfect and happy they are then BOOM. Deathly silence on all fronts usually comes at the first sign of adversity or hardship and they forget how to cope.

It’s stress leave, run to see a shrink, fall to pieces. Just like DOMS, life can get uncomfortable, we all succumb to stress but it’s how we bounce back and our actions that determine our character.

SADNESS is not depression, stress is not always anxiety and human emotion didn’t always come with an immediate diagnosis and neither should it.  Only when prolonged sense of these feelings and after you’ve tried to remedy the situations which stirred these feelings should you seek help.

Dealing with things in life is how we grow and learn, not running to our parents or doctors. Try and try again then seek advice otherwise how do you raise a family and teach your children? How do you work through the hardships that you will surely encounter over the years of marriage or partnership? At the first hurdle do you run to the next new thing?? Get divorced?? Leave the mother or father of your children because you can’t deal with your shit?? Changing your mindset is difficult, but this makes the rest easier.

Life and yourself will never be perfect. DON’T chase perfection, chase excellence.

One of the greatest things I’ve ever been told, and I still fall victim to failing at this, “If you were your own child would you be proud of the person you see or disappointed?? Do you live the life you’d want for them??”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT.