If you create an environment within your body where everything is functioning optimally, then your body can produce the fastest results possible.
What’s more, you can sustain those results while feeling great and functioning at your best.
A mistake people make is to focus on one action (such as increasing their activity level), and measuring only that ACTION, rather than the EFFECT it has on the whole system.
For example, someone might increase the amount he runs to 45 minutes every day…and then hope that this has a net positive impact on his system.
Another person might determine that given everything she is currently doing, she just needs a net reduction of 270 calories per day to her system in order to get the results she wants.
She might find that either increasing her activity levels or lowering her calorie intake could achieve this result. So, she might have the option of running 45 minutes per day to burn an additional 270 calories or of eating 54 fewer calories per meal/snack, since she is eating five times a day.
Before she makes her decision, she might look at any other effects each of her options will have on the system.
She might find that both eating 270 calories more than she needs, and increased sustained exertion every day are increasing levels of free radicals in her body, and speeding up her aging process, according to many experts.
She might also find that lowering her calorie intake can prolong her life, according to experts. And she might further consider that the repetitive impacts of running could take a toll on her weak lower back and the knee problem she sometimes suffers from.
Looking at the bigger picture of effects of these two options on the system, she might determine that eating 54 fewer calories at each meal/snack will have the whole system working more efficiently and faster to be getting the results she wants.
She also has the practical consideration that, for her, eating 54 fewer calories per meal sounds more sustainable, long-term, than 45 minutes per day of running.
She has a busy life, and only 3 hours of fully discretionary time to herself per day. A 45 minute run could take her 90 minutes to complete by the time she changes and showers and changes back. This would be fully one half of all the discretionary time in her life. So she might decide to go with eating a little bit less.
Now, her only issue is how to follow-through on her decision and make it happen.
She knows that she has a lot going on in her life and she has limited willpower.
She knows she needs to adjust her habits to make it inevitable that she eat this way, as she won’t be able to keep up a conscious effort every day, over weeks and months.
Fortunately, she has access to the Myogenics Fitness Client Resources pages, which have tips and resources on how she can accomplish this.
She is also working with a knowledgeable trainer at Myogenics Fitness who can help to further customize the information to her life, as well as help keep her accountable.
Together, they come up with a simple plan of how to make her ideal calorie intake inevitable, and her trainer helps keep her accountable to accomplishing the plan.
Your body acts like this machine…
Imagine a large machine with a hole at the top for input.
Into the top, you can put any amount or combination of things like “running,” “food,” “weight training,” “naps,” “stress,” “starving,” “supplements,” “protein bars,” “swimming,” etc.
Then, out the front of the machine emerges a result.
Results continuously emerge, whether you are aware of what you are putting in the top or not.
So the question is, how can you adjust what you put in the top of the machine to get the results you want to come out of the bottom?
This machine is like your body. We know what some of the outcomes generally are to some of the inputs. We know this through research: putting the machines in as controlled of an environment as possible and doing repeated testing with inputs to see what results emerge.
The secret to rapid results is to look at how the whole system of your body functions, and then use the combination of factors that will affect the whole system the most.
Many people focus on just one input, such as aerobic activity.
These people don’t look at the whole body as a system, observe all of their inputs, and monitor the outcome.
They do not try approaches based on research and evidence until they find what creates the best outcome possible for them.
Instead, they adjust one input that they feel is important. Based on no research and an incomplete understanding of biochemistry.
Many people focus on their input of aerobic activity, which some research suggests may have the least impact on the system of the options available.
Here is a real-life example
My friend and colleague Adam Zickerman got to work with competing identical twins: one did hours of aerobic activity, and one did only intense weight training, one time per week.
You can read the story, as seen on 48 Hours, here:
Here is another real-life example
Our client Jerry, whose before-and-after pictures are on the front page of our website, had been working out 3-5 days a week and eating well for years. He was in decent shape for a guy in his late 40s (that’s his before picture).
He came to us, and we had him do higher intensity exercise for 20 minutes, once every five days. We had him stop doing all other activity that he’d been doing.
He had already been eating well, but we helped him adjust the timing of his meals and the balance of nutrients to keep his body in a more optimal state.
And we had him add a little bit of sleep each night.
He experienced a dramatic improvement in physical strength and appearance.
See his before and after pictures at the top of this page.
We say that those results happened in less than 60 days. The actual time between those two photographs is 28 days. That’s right…28 days.
And those results came not from working out any more, but making the tweaks to his inputs that I explained above.
I hope those two examples are enough to suggest that mindlessly doing “more” may be less effective than working smarter with the system of your body.
How can you pick the highest quality inputs to get the results you want?
5 factors you control that affect the environment within your body:
There is a 6th factor, genetics, that can overshadow all of the above–but this is out of your control.
Genetics is why some people will always experience faster or slower results than other people.
When you hear about other people’s results, what is relevant to you is not their absolute outcome, but their results compared to the same person doing all other options.
If their results weren’t part of a controlled study, don’t assume that what they did is more effective for them, or for you, than any other option.
What actions can YOU take right now?
To determine what you can do next to have the most impact, start at the top of the above list and work down. These are listed in order of greatest impact to least impact, in general, for most people. Work on improving your nutrition, resistance training, and sleep first.
These first three interact with each other, and it pays to improve a little of each. All three also improve your ability to deal with stress, so if you are doing these, you’re already working on number four.
To learn what specific, simple actions you can take in each area, click on the link for that area.
I suggest picking one simple, high-impact action to take on both resistance training and nutrition.
Once you feel that you are above 60% of optimal in both of those areas, then consider acting to optimize your sleep and stress levels. The exception to this is if you have a serious problem with sleep and/or stress…then it may pay to work on that first.
I suggest not concerning yourself with “other activity” until you are above 80-90% optimal in the other 4 areas. From my 11 years working in this field, and from the actual data and research studies that I’ve seen, your return on investment of time and effort will likely be far greater if you continue to focus on the first 4 areas until you reach that point.
The exception is if you are doing far too much activity currently.
I’ll share that I’ve seen dramatic improvements in several of my client’s results when they suddenly ceased all other activity while focusing on optimizing the other 4 areas. See the example of Jerry above, for one of them.
Now, if you don’t want to go through the effort of researching and deciding what do to yourself, just ask your trainer at the next workout.
Say, “I was reading the client resource pages, and I’d like to know what you think would be the highest impact things for me to work on in the areas of my workouts and my nutrition.”