Answering emails, drinking green tea (3 cups a day helps repair muscle tissue). I love what I do.
Over the past year I have learned a lot from many different people, different situations, tribulations, and… books. It’s been a year that I’ll never forget because it was a year of constantly moving forward, but also a year spent in the presence of people that I love and admire.
What I learned in 2010:
1. A week off does the body good. If I’m adding lean muscle mass I’ll train for 3-4 weeks, then take a week off. The mental and physical recovery actually improves gains, limits plateaus and overtraining. We need more recovery time than we realise
2. Change is a good thing. Strategic change in reps, sets, exercises and tempos results in consistent gains that don’t slow down and workouts that don’t get boring.
3. Talking is the enemy. Probably the #1 thing holding people back from building their ideal body is a lack of intensity in the gym. With more time spent talking than training.
4. A good night’s sleep means improved fat loss, improved muscle recovery and a healthier, better-looking body. When I slept well I trained well.
5. Training has never been about just building muscle or losing fat for me. And I really got back into the performance aspect of training over this past year. The result: improved strength, power, speed, I upped my vertical jump and improved my muscular endurance. The funny thing is this performance-focused training actually lead to more lean mass gains, as well.
I went back to my basics and it paid off in a big way.
6. They take work. Relationships aren’t just something that happen, you really need to work at them to make them the best they can possibly be.
7. Success, defeat, sorrow, happiness, and sadness are all better when they’re shared with someone you admire and care about more than anything.
8. We all have different “love languages”. I didn’t really believe in all that stuff, thought it was over-thinking things, but it’s true. We often feel supported and loved in different ways. I feel supported in a different way than my girlfriend does. It’s important to know each person’s language so you can both appreciate when something is done for one another, and understand what they need in a certain moment.
9. Communication is HUGE.
10. The best gifts take time and thought, not necessarily money.
11. Fat isn’t the enemy. Consuming a healthy amount of fat boosts testosterone level – which we all need. Monounsaturated fats also promote fat loss and improve brain function (fish oils).
12. Sugars are the enemy. “Fast carbs” like starches found in breads, sugars, and so forth, are often not burned for their main purpose: energy. If they aren’t used to produce energy, they’re stored as fat. We have way too much “fast carbohydrates” in our diets.
13. Meal timing. The two most important meals of the day are the one before and immediately after a workout, when your body is craving nutrients. This is when you have to get a solid meal in with enough protein to repair muscle, but also one that’s packed with the nutrients that your body is craving.
14. Supplements have their place. Some of my best gains occurred when I was taking the right supplements. But my improvements didn’t depend on them: big difference. Check out Bluestar Nutraceuticals – my favorite supplements for sure.
15. If you really want to build muscle, drink a gallon of milk a day (start with a litre).
16. If you’re not moving forward, you’re standing still.
17. Hard work pays off. Especially if it’s combined with passion and excitement in whatever you’re doing.
18. Our definitions of what’s most important changes over time. Relationships gain in importance, while money and ‘things’ begin to take a backseat.
19. There’s nothing like being excited about something. I love it. Whether it’s being excited about my work everyday, about seeing my girlfriend, or even playing golf or getting a great workout in. As we get older we can lose that innocence and excitement about the simple things, but it’s important to maintain it.
My Grandfather visited this past year, and you can tell that both him, my Grandmother, and my Nonna still have that excitement. It’s a great thing to see.
20. If there’s something you can’t go a day without thinking about, go after it with all you have. It can be a career, or even a girl – but do everything you can to make it happen
What did you learn in 2010?