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Hey Bodygainers! In this weeks FAQ show I’m taking the weekly wrap format for a spin again. As I mentioned in show #381 it’s sort of a Best Of v Struggle Street and if you like it I’ll keep it – if you don’t I’ll ditch it!
I’ll chat a little food, a little exercise and a little mindset. I’ll share what’s been rockin this past week and what’s been a tad more struggle street. First and foremost, my intention is to make this wrap applicable to YOU and your body gain goal.
Let’s get going… starting with FOOD:
I had a WIN with food this week. As you may know I’m trialing Vegan’ish. The no meat bit is easy, I’ve been meat free for 20+ years. Free range organic eggs, are a little tougher however I’ve reduced them by 80% them as I’ve covered in previous shows.
My win that I’d love to share with you is a delicious Dairy Free Pesto recipe.
Have you ever bought Dairy Free Pesto?
I’ve tried 3. One I loved however it no longer seems to be stocked anywhere and I haven’t been able to stalk it down online. One was $10 a jar and super average. One was fairly average and it had sugar (who puts sugar in pesto?) which I could really, seriously taste.
So here’s my yumbo alternative:
- 1/2 a bunch of kale.
- 1/2 a bunch of basil.
- 1/2 a cup of raw cashews.
- 1 tablespoon of macadamia oil (I’m sure avocado oil would rock too – I use quite a minimal amount you might want to double it but 1 tablespoon works for me)
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast (this is in place of the parmesan for cheesiness – you’ll find it in a health food store. It’s also a source of protein).
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
- 1/2 teaspoon of sea salt.
The only prep is to wash and then lightly steam the kale. I’m too lazy to soak the cashews so I just throw boiling water over them for a few minutes and drain them. From there throw everything in a food processor and you’re good to go.
Pesto is my ketchup. You know how some people LOVE ketchup? How everything is better with ketchup??
Well, in my humble opinion ketchup is the best way to ruin a good chip – or anything for that matter – however pesto… a good pesto makes everything better…
Each to our own I guess and there is a point to my ketchup tangent! In fact it’s a good segue into EXERCISE:
An online coach and author I really respect: John Romaniello, has a pretty cool analogy about cardio and ketchup.
Roman (as he’s known) states: “Cardio is like ketchup. It pretty much makes everything better.”
So to be clear, Cardio like ketchup is NOT the main event. Weights is the main event.
However and again I’ll quote Roman: “If you’re eating a meal that’s only passably good, chances are you’ll reach for the ketchup. It tends to make things more palatable. Just about every meal in the world can benefit from some ketchup.
Cardio is like that. If your program is mediocre, doing cardio can help make up for whatever it’s missing in terms of caloric expenditure and fat loss. If your program is fantastic doing a little extra cardio isn’t going to screw things up—ever—and will still help a bit.”
Nice one. Cheers Roman!
So let’s make this point a little more actionable. This part of the show is applicable to YOU if like me you’ve been cruising into the year with perhaps not quite the intensity you might normally have in your exercise! Or perhaps if you started the year off with a hiss and a roar and a few weeks in you’re feeling fitter, stronger and ready to up the exercise-intensity-anti.
3 Keys To Increase Your Exercise Intensity:
One: Follow your weights session with short, high intensity cardio intervals.
Now you could start with the intervals however weights is the main event and I’d prefer you gave them the very best of your energy and focus. Occasionally I’ll start with some intervals on the rower before a pushing type session (like shoulders and triceps) because in theory that shouldn’t affect my pushing exercises however I find that it still does!
The option I more regularly go with in 5 minutes of rowing or sprinting after weights.
I cover High Intensity Interval Training (and share a few of my favs) in show 079.
Two: Incorporate finishers into your weights sessions.
I can almost hear the groan of my clients at “finisher”! I love to include these things throughout their and my programs. The finisher is an opportunity to get your heart rate up and create a cardio effect within your weights session.
Sure, finisher might imply something to do at the end however I’m a fan of each circuit if there’s just one circuit that we’re repeating 2-3 times. Or on the final round of each tri-set if the program comprises 2-3 tri-sets. (a tri-set is just 3 exercises performed back to back like it’s own little circuit).
Perhaps not the easiest to share in audio format however I’ll give it a whirl. Say you have a 5 exercise full body circuit. At the end of circuit #1 you might do a 2 exercise finisher. Perhaps a squat press and then a renegade row. You do each for 12 reps, then each for 10 reps, then each for 8 reps. Now you start back at the beginning of the original 5 exercise circuit.
At the end of circuit #2 you might do a different 2 exercise finisher. Let’s say a walking lunge and then a sumo in out jump squat. This time each for 16 reps, then each for 14 reps, then each for 12 reps.
The awesome thing about finishers is that each round you do is easier than the last rep wise… so you’re not going to give up!
Three: Introduce density training to get more done in less time.
This may be as simple as getting 4 rounds of your 5 exercise circuit done in 30 minutes instead of 3.
Or perhaps it’s throwing in some timed exercises and looking to set the baseline in your first round and them beat it in your next rounds.
One of my fav ways to train my clients is to alternative between an exercise for reps and an exercise for time.
So for example perhaps the first set of a work out looks like this:
A)1. DB split squat for 8 reps
A)2. Tricep bench dip for 30 seconds
A)3. Wide grip assisted chin for 8 reps
Whatever you get for your dips in round one you want to beat in round 2. To make it harder you can increase the weight / difficulty as well as the reps you’re aiming for. So a bench dip is a body weight exercise… however you can always make it harder! By making your legs straighter in round 2 or adding weight or my preference balancing your heels on a medicine ball for instability.
Let’s move on to my Fav Podcast Of The Week:
I really enjoyed The School of Greatness with Lewis Howes episode #278 where Lewis interviews Lisa Nichols on: The Key To Abundance and Success.
So much value in this episode. I highly recommend it.
One big takeaway for me was the power of Cognitive Dissonance. Lisa describes Cognitive Dissonance as “when you see something in your mind and you see yourself in a way that your behaviors are not currently leading towards. So your mind becomes disrupted… and that’s not comfortable.”
Your mind wants to be congruent (so far as) What It Thinks is What You’re Doing – What It Thinks is What You’re Doing.
So you’re constantly thinking “Ok what else” (to get there) while and this is vital: Being grateful for your NOW.
Next up let’s chat Habits:
Nothing ground-breaking here because I imagine if each of us did an audit of all the habits we’ve created and then ditched over the years and reimplemented just 20% of those we considered to be most impact full … well then each of us would probably be doing pretty well!
I’m a huge fan of habits however I’m also getting better at less is more. So by that I mean being ultra committed to less great habits.
Falling into my top 20% is: A long walk along the beaches each Sunday.
It takes around 90 minutes and the first half is spent chatting on the phone to my mum. The second half is unplugged just appreciating the stunning scenery.
I find making time to get out into nature once a week hugely calming. I really notice UN-calm-crazy-Kate starts to rear her impatient head if I haven’t prioritized the walk.
Do YOU have a habit that helps to keep you calm?
Perhaps a massage? A bubble bath? Something that may not seem essential however actually when you consider the impact it has on your state of mind it is hugely worthwhile. Even, worthy of non-negotiable status.
The final part of today’s show is all about my Biggest Struggle:
It’s continuing on from last weeks Vegan’ish theme. I’m questioning: Is Dairy or Fish worse?
From a body composition point of view it’s an easy answer. Fish is fab, clean, one ingredient fuel. Dairy isn’t.
However for 20 years I ate no meat no fish and plenty of dairy. I told myself nothing dies for dairy. However that’s not strictly true. Not by a long shot. For now I’m avoiding both however I’m imagining I’ll eat fish from time to time when I’m out.
The reason I bring up todays struggle is sometimes we make something so black or white that the result is inaction.
“If I can’t give it ALL up what’s the point in giving up any of it?”
Now, I could be talking about animal products or gluten or sugar.
Insert whatever it is for you.
As I covered in show #380: Everything Counts. It’s actually a great spot for our time of the actionable too. Is there something you’re being a little too black or white about?
=> Perhaps you love your couple of square of dark chocolate a night – and want to keep them – there’s still HUGE value in ditching the sugar from your coffee.
=> Maybe your fav weekend indulgence is delicious yoghurt from the farmers market – I used to be obsessed with that stuff – and it’s cool if you still are, however swapping to almond milk in your smoothies and coffees still counts.
=> Possibly you’d like to cut back on meat a little – however you don’t want to be vego – how about giving it a go for one meal a day? In show #336 I share: 5 Ways To Eat Less Meat Without Sacrificing Protein.
That it for todays show and also for this week in Healthification.
As I mentioned at the top, I’d love to know your thoughts re the weekly wrap format? Please let me know. I’d love to hear from you via the show notes or via a super-highly-appreciated iTunes review.
If you liked this you’ll also like: What To Do When You Fall Out Of Love With Exercise.
If you’re yet to share the Healthification love – just click here to zip over to iTunes and leave an honest rating and review. It’d help me out big time. With gratitude, Kate.