How Do I Get A Six Pack, FAST?

So the “dad bod” is all the rage right now.  But I have a sneaking suspicion that most men(and women) would rather have a 6-pack.  But where do we start? Well there is no magic pill, and just like major accomplishments that you work for in life, it will require dedication, and consistency. However, If you really set your mind to it, a 6-Pack could appear faster than you think.

Here is the no “BS” way to get a six pack:

Exercise 3-5 times per week – This includes, resistance training, and cardiovascular training.  Maintaining muscle mass allows your body to burn more calories naturally throughout the day to aid in the decrease of body fat.  Abs are muscles, and just like any other muscle if you work them they will grow and become more defined, but your body works as a unit so full body functional movements (squat, deadlift, pull-ups, presses, and rows) will have the greatest effect on your body composition.

Sleep 7-8 hours per night– Recovery may be one of the most important factors to decreasing weight, especially around the mid section.  When you’re sleep deprived your body is under a high stress state.  This leads to increased levels of cortisol which is a known to be a major contributor to belly fat. Aim for 7-8 hours per day consistently to maximize the benefits.

Eat real food and not too much– High Protein, low sugar diet with plenty of leafy greens to aid in digestion.  Supplement with healthy fats. These are the easiest guidelines to live by from a nutrition standpoint.  Over eating, binge eating, mindless eating, and eating processed food all play a role in belly fat – but if you have weight to lose in order gain a 6-pack, eating less calories than you burn is a requirement.  Aim to eat 500 less calories per day than what you burn naturally and through exercise.

Drink 3-4 L of water per day–  Your body is mostly water, and the water you consume flushes away toxins and helps to improve the digestive system so that fats are removed from your body more efficiently. Drinking water can also act as an appetite depressant.  *Next time you’re hungry, drink a large glass of water first to see if you can curb your appetite.

Maintain low stress levels – As mentioned in “sleep”, stress causes your adrenal glands to secrete cortisol which can slow down your metabolism.  But on top of that, high levels of stress can lead to less exercise, emotional eating, sugar cravings, and can also impair your sleep. Stress can be caused by many things. Be deliberate in combating stress through things like mediation, gratitude, yoga, and journaling.

All of the above are important, and each can be effective on their own. But in reality, it is the combination of all of these things that will lead to positive change in your body composition.

Building these habits will be a unique challenge for everyone.  Whether your goal is a 6-pack, to run a marathon, or to just keep up with your kids, start by creating a plan and identifying the road blocks.

We can help.  Book a time to chat with me today. dave@crossfitmontco.com

-Dave

It’s The Little Things

I am really hard on myself.  I always have been.  I hold myself to a really high standard in everything that I do.

While this has helped in many aspects of my life, including starting a business, it is also to my detriment.  Putting that much pressure on oneself can lead to anxiety, high levels of stress, and physical exhaustion.  All of which I have battled at different points in my life. What I am starting to learn(although very slowly), is that reflection and celebration of accomplishments no matter how small, is critical to keep a positive mindset.

In our monthly coaches meetings at CrossFit MontCo, we often talk about creating small wins or “Bright Spots” for members at every stage of their fitness journey.  In a world of high stress jobs, where positive re-enforcement can be very limited, we as coaches want to provide some positivity in each class or training session that you attend.a

A win doesn’t only have to come from PR’s.  Some days even just doing a workout can be a win or resisting the urge from the food or beverage you “shouldn’t have”, spending a little less time on your phone and making an effort to grow a relationship.  You do amazing things every day that can be celebrated.

If you can keep your goals in sight, take action on them daily and celebrate even the smallest accomplishments, you cannot fail.

Week after week, celebrating these small wins will roll into a snowball of accomplishments that will result in high levels of motivation and a positive mindset.

At its core this process can be very simple. Start each day/week with a win ie. “What are 2 or 3 things that went well today or this week”? Then set your goals for the day, and take action.

Do it now.  Think about one thing that went well yesterday (no matter how small).  Write it down in a notebook, or your phone…or even send it to me in an email.

We all have goals, but the final destination shouldn’t be your only celebration.  It’s the little things along the way that will provide real fulfillment.

– Kristin

One Things Leads To The Next

Every action has an equal and opposite reaction, this is Newtons third law.

Each decision you take leads to more decisions and its typical that positive decisions lead to making more positive decisions and the same is true for negative decisions.

To get to that magical day where you are exercising regularly, eating healthy meals, meditating reading, enjoying your hobbies and in a happy place at the beach, it only takes 1 step followed by another

Master one thing a time, when you start to fill half your plate with vegetables, and you get to a point where it’s just part of what you do, it spills over into another part of your life.  Before you know it, you are eating healthy meals all the time.   This leads you to better sleeps, and more energy.  When you have more energy, it makes it easier to get motivated to go and do what you love.  Sports and exercise become easier leading you to take on more physical challenges.  When we are challenged, we discover more about ourselves.

We sometimes get scared to try new things, new food, a new gym, a new routine.  When we start making positive decisions based around our health, it causes a trickle affect.  With consistency and coaching the small decisions that we take lead us to living the life we’ve always dreamed of living.

Keep making small steps in the direction you want to go, before long you’ll realize you’re on the road you want to be on.

CrossFit MontCo can help get you were you want to be.

Is your workout the toughest thing you’ll face today?

Working out IS NOT the hardest thing you’ll face today.

Giving 100% attention to your kids and/or spouse

Dealing with depression

Managing anxiety

Having tough conversations with a troubled friend

These things are much harder.  Working out is easy compared to these things when we actually look at it.

But exercise would be the first place to start when it comes to preparing yourself to deal with those “hard things” or facing the real challenges in your life.

A study at Harvard University showed that running 15 min per day or walking for an hour reduced the risks of major depression by 26%, and consistent exercise can prevent relapses.

Working out releases endorphins that act as a stress reliever, boosting physical and mental energy.  The by-product of this acts as a natural treatment for anxiety.

People who love working out do so because of these benefits (whether they realize it or not).  A healthy body is a healthy mind.  Changing your body composition does not have to be your only motivation to workout.  Movement is medicine, and it should be a lifelong prescription.

What do you struggle with?  What’s holding you back?

-Kristin

WHAT IF I’M NOT READY TO COME BACK TO THE GYM?

 

 

We’re not far off from re-opening, or we’re still really far….. No-one really knows at this point as the interpretation of the guidelines are more confusing than calculus.  As restrictions are lifted there is still a high level of caution from some and that is totally understandable.  Just like respecting the social distancing guidelines, we now need to respect the decisions of those who aren’t quite ready to resume normal life.

Whether you’re ready to come back to the gym or not, fitness and your well-being should still remain a top priority.  The components to improving and maintaining your fitness and health have not changed and we are even better equipped now to do it while at home.

What are you working towards?

This doesn’t have to be a grandiose goal.  But a specific goal will go a long way in motivating you to complete your workouts, eat better, sleep more, and stress less.  This can include improving your golf game, losing 5lbs-10lbs, running 10km, or getting stronger.  Maybe you thought COVID-19 would blow over and have put off prioritizing your health and fitness.  Whatever it is, your goals do not have to wait for the gym to re-open, or for you to be ready to come back.

Building your plan

“Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the mouth” – Mike Tyson.

COVID-19 was that punch, and it felt like an uppercut.  But it wasn’t a knock-out blow. Yes we’ve been forced to workout at home, but results will tell you that doesn’t matter. Some of the success that we’ve seen from our CrossFit MontCo Online clients have been incredible.  Some clients needed just a weekly check-in while they follow our workouts and attend our zoom classes, some excelled with daily accountability from their coach, others started nutrition coaching, and some have been doing private sessions with personalized programming. You’re a unique snowflake and your health and fitness program should recognize that.  If you work long hours, and always struggled to get to the gym, daily 30-40 min at-home workouts with daily or weekly accountability would be a great option to fit your needs.

Doing the work

Very few people are motivated 100% of the time, especially with their fitness.  Netflix, cookies, and wine are easily accessible, and can feel like a safe option most days.  The key to motivation is accountability.  Taking action becomes simple when you’re held accountable to doing it.  Accountability can look like many things: it could be staying on top of a leaderboard, a public declaration of your intentions, a workout buddy, or a coach.  No matter how you choose to stay accountable, this should be the first step taken before you begin your plan.

Adapting Through Progress Tracking

Setting a goal, creating a plan, and staying accountable is the road map to success.  But sometimes the gas tank needs to be re-filled, or the tires need to be rotated before you reach your destination.  Tracking your progress and making tweaks to the program or your lifestyle along the way eliminates stagnation, and increases motivation.  It is also a chance to celebrate wins and accomplishments along the way.  To do this properly, honest feedback and assessment with yourself or a coach will ensure the appropriate changes can be made before continuing the journey.

Our survey about member intentions with regards to returning to the gym showed there are a number of clients who aren’t quite ready. That’s okay! Reach out to us so that we can continue to plan for your success.  Not yet a member at CrossFit MontCo? We are accepting new members into our personalized coaching program and would be happy to discuss how we can set you up for success right from home. Email info@crossfitmontco to get started.

Should I Give Up?

Let’s face it.  Fitness for most, comes in waves.  Some months we crush it, we workout every day, we eat well, we stretch and recover, and we party less.  Other months, we let the smallest excuse stop us from taking an hour to sweat.

Working out is challenging, motivation and time are hard to come by, and life can get busy quickly.  Being stuck at home in quarantine probably doesn’t help either.

If you’ve let yourself fall off more than you wanted to since you’ve been stuck at home, ask yourself why? What was the reason or excuse that you kept telling yourself over the last 2.5 months?

“I don’t have any equipment”

“I don’t know what to do”

“This will pass soon and when it does, I’ll start then”

“It’s just a couple beers a night, nothing crazy”

———–

Here’s a quick exercise (not physical), answer the following questions:

By September 1, 2020 I want to: (Eg. Run a half marathon, lose 10 lbs, get a six pack, get off medication….)

Why is this goal important to you?

How will your life improve by accomplishing this goal?

Who, other than you, would be positively affected when you accomplish this goal?

What, if anything, would hold you back from achieving this?

————

If you’re anything like me, the simple declaration can start the motivation process.  Self starters will take this, develop their plan and go.  Most, however,  need guidance, accountability, and support.

Find a professional.  Develop a plan.  Get back on track.

So try this:  Make an appointment to chat with me.   Tell me about your goals, and why you have a hard time getting moving.  Let’s map out a plan that works for you.  Maybe you need personal training instead of group training, maybe you need a program you can complete at home 3 days a week, maybe you need some nutrition advice, or maybe you just need some accountability.

Email me personally.  Kristin@crossfitmontco.com

– Kristin (Owner and Coach)