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Quick and Easy Ways to Feel and Move Better: Installment 39

Posted Apr 10 2013 11:13am
Here are this week's nutrition and strength and conditioning tips from Greg Robins .  Hopefully, they make your week a little more awesome!

1. Try these tips for a better late night smoothie.

If you’re after increased strength, performance, and muscle mass, you need to conquer two variables. One is eating nutrient dense foods (and plenty of them), and the other is getting quality sleep. Many people turn to a smoothie later in the evening as an easy way to add additional calories to their day. If you’re in this boat, consider using some ingredients that will help you tackle both of the previously mentioned variables. Check out this smoothie, and give it a try!

12-16oz Almond Milk (almonds are high in magnesium, which can help you relax!)
½ -1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt (yogurt is rich in calcium – which can reduce stress – and contains tryptophan – which can aid in sleeping!)
½-1 Banana (These guys are also high in magnesium, as well as potassium, which will aid in relaxation and stress reduction!)
1 Cup Dark Cherries (cherries are rich in melatonin!)
¼- ½ Cup Raw Oats (oats are also rich in magnesium, potassium, and calcium!)

For additional protein needs, you can throw in a scoop of whey as well!

2. Consider this video for your sumo deadlift technique.

3. Prioritize adherence for nutritional success.

Nutrition is an area that frustrates me. It goes beyond the fact that deep down, I wish ice cream, cereal, and anything engulfed by bread was the pinnacle of healthy eating. My frustration has to do with how we approach nutrition. What I am about to tell you is not revolutionary, nor does it apply solely to nutrition.

If you want to be successful, prioritize adherence.

If I asked a handful of people what the priorities would be in helping someone improve nutrition, they would likely spit out a few things. Eat real food, drop the carbs, and so on. All these ideas are worth considering, but all leaps and bounds away from the top of the priority list.

Nutrition is often limited by the person, not by the information. The information is there; it’s everywhere, although some information is better than others. The reason changes aren’t being made has more to do with the person (or with YOU).

If I were to choose one thing to prioritize in a nutrition plan, it would be adherence. Adherence is your ability to stay the course, or stick to the plan. When you ask yourself “What do I need to know about this person?,” and “What can I do to make sure this person can be successful adhering?,” you will see what needs to be prioritized. The same goes for you. Make changes slowly, and choose things to which you know you can adhere.

4. Try this front squat technique cue.

5. If it’s important, just do it.

Recently, I had a conversation about whether implementing a certain training strategy had value in my programs. Interestingly, the debate wasn’t about whether or not using a certain exercise was worth it; instead, it was about “how” worth it. The exercises in question were ones that have a lot of reward. The problem was whether or not people would take them seriously enough not only to do them correctly, but also to learn from them and keep their lessons in mind throughout the rest of the training day – not to mention the rest of the day in general.

As an example, let’s use breathing drills. We know that breathing drills are important. Challenging someone to change their breathing, and to be aware of it more often, can have incredible transfer in improving a number of different qualities. However, the average person tends to miss the value of their application. While we can debate the quality of coaching, and explanation they are receiving, in relation to its continued practice; the truth is no amount of information is enough to make someone do something they are not willing to practice. If the majority of people aren’t going to do it, is it worthwhile to include it at all?

YES, I think so. With our example, let’s say that adding breathing drills takes two minutes of additional time. Now let’s imagine only 20% of the people who do them actually take the concept to heart. 120 people will come through our facility on a given day. That means 24 people will have picked up a concept that has incredible value. In fact, those 24 people have completely revamped their thought process, and are benefiting from it ten-fold. That may seem like a futile effort, but in the end, the others didn’t receive anything negatively from their inclusion, and the 24 who bought in have received a mighty return.

The take home message is that if something is worth doing, then you need to include it. If people choose not to do it enough, or not do it properly, it’s their loss. If you don’t include something based purely on whether or nor not you think it’s going to hit home with your athletes, it’s like counting them out from the start. Give them a chance to succeed using the best of what you know. Furthermore, as the ones who benefit begin to show improvement, the likelihood that others will follow suit is very high.

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