|"Positive health requires a knowledge of MAN'S primary constitution and of the powers of various foods, both those natural and those resulting from human skill. But eating alone is not enough for health. There must be exercise of which the effects must likewise be known. If there is any deficiency in food or exercise, the body will fall sick".
Hippocrates - 5th century BC
How is your health? Is it good or bad? Is it dynamic, optimum, positive... or less than ideal? Health is a state of mind and body, a continuum between two opposite poles. Good health is something most people take for granted until it's gone. In a world where entertainment reigns supreme above all, apparently even beyond the importance of good health, good health is slowly slipping away from the masses.
In North America we are eating ourselves to death. It's called addictive modern malnutrition overload syndrome. Perhaps you're familiar with "frozen shoulder". Well here's a new one. It's called "frozen body". It's a prejudice, self-perpetuating condition that tolerates no physical movement.
Today we are definitely "living" shorter, but because of our modern medical safety net, we are "dying" longer. In the wild the weak, the old and the defenseless are consumed. But in the mighty fortress of the gym, men and women of every age are defying the oxidative fire of time. With optimum nutrition and intense routine physical exercise, we can oppose the decline of form and function typically observed in the aging sector. We can resist sarcopenia, compress morbidity and extend our health span.
Five Steps to Health
1. 5 Workouts per Week
Drug-free training frees the mind but forces smart fitness athletes to pay close attention to optimum nutrition and excellent training technique. Or at least it should. On this program each major muscle group is trained thoroughly and completely once per week, short and sweet. The objective is to train with intensity, "class" and a progressive mind.
The plan is based on a five-day workout schedule. By the end of the week no stone is left unturned. Each five-phase workout takes 1-2 hours. A maximum of 4 exercises are performed per bodypart, and with some exception, a maximum of 2 sets per exercise. Reps vary from 6-12. Both fast and slow twitch muscle fibers are recruited to maximize size, strength and complete muscular development. Full range of motion is mandatory. Partial movements in general are reserved for those who seek only partial development.
2. 5 Phases to each Workout
Each daily workout consists of five workout phases. The goal is to remain injury free and develop total physical fitness as determined by a complete fitness assessment. Phase One involves a short warm-up that elevates body temperature to minimize injury. The warm-up includes light calisthenics, circular joint movements, minor core activity, pole twisting and light aerobic activity. The warm-up always precedes the weight training segment, which is Phase Two. Phase Two is where your will of iron is revealed by lifting the same. Like whole food barbells and dumbbells are the staple. Like vitamins cables, pulleys and machines are supplements.
After working a single major bodypart, such as the arms or legs, the next phase targets the Core. This means hitting the abs and lower back, obliques, serratus and intercostals with at least 2 of 10 different core movements. Phase Three hits the core from all angles over the course of a week. Phase Four demands aerobic conditioning, preferably a variety including the treadmill, StairMaster, elliptical machine, rowing or skipping. Cardio comes after the weights, not before. Length of time and intensity is variable depending on body composition, goals and bodytype. Cardiovascular health cannot be overlooked or viewed as nonessential. The capacity to utilize oxygen from every breath decreases dramatically as we age in the absence of aerobic conditioning.
Phase Five includes a full body stretch on the floor on a mat. Although seldom practiced in the gym, stretching helps prevents injury, improves anabolic response to resistance training and optimizes joint mobility. Maybe you’re as strong as a horse but poor flexibility will be your downfall. The stretch is the come-down. It is meditative and an opportunity to relax and alkalize the blood.
3. 5 Meals per Day
Missing meals is like missing pay day. Few people forget to collect their cash! Without energy you can't sustain a strong workout drive or a functional immune system. Energy is "cash" and is transferred from food to cell. That's why we eat. Eat for pleasure and taste alone and you'll go down soft before your time. Use the left side of your brain to select what you eat instead of your palate. Determine your daily protein intake in grams. Divide this figure by five. That's how much protein you need to eat at each meal.
Feed yourself like a new born baby. Plenty of feedings are ideal for growth and recovery, each one supplying your body's unique biological demand. Throw out the concept of breakfast, lunch and dinner. It doesn't work. Think like a lean, muscular warrior ready for battle. Consume fresh, whole organic food. As a general rule consume food that doesn't come out of a factory. Choose a variety of natural colors, the more the better. Colorful food is loaded with flavonoids and carotenoids. Eat nothing white except cauliflower, fish and chicken breast.
4. 5 Supplements to Take
1. Essential Vitamins & Minerals
Start with what we know the body absolutely requires, namely the essential micronutrients. These include vitamins A, B, C, D, E and the minerals including zinc, selenium, chromium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, vanadium, silicon, copper, manganese, vanadium and molybdenum. Don't neglect minerals or you'll slowly fall apart. No diet anywhere can give us everything we need for optimum health, especially as we age. That concept is a pipe dream and a scam.
Let the people who believe they get everything they need from food do their thing. Good health recognizes freedom of choice. Meanwhile, move forward and take advantage of the science. Why should you suffer needlessly? Do you like what technology is doing for you personally? Do you like your dishwasher, cell phone or MP3 player? Do you enjoy surfing the net, emailing friends and airline trips to Hawaii? Let the essential vitamins and minerals do the same.
2. Whey Protein Isolate (WPI)
WPI is till number one above all other proteins and getting better. WPI provides the highest biological value. WPI is a great source of branched-chain amino acids. Whey peptides crank up the immune system every time you chug them back, which ideally should be before and after each workout in a shake. Protein shakes are a brilliant delivery system. Absorption is reliable and utilization is extremely high.
3. Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs)
Add 1-2 tablespoons of a liquid sport oil to each shake. Be liberal. Ensure your live, fresh oil is dominated by omega-3 fatty acids including linolenic acid, EPA and DHA. EFAs are anti-inflammatory. EFAs nourish endocrine glands and affect every hormone that influences growth and response to exercise, including testosterone, growth hormone, insulin and thyroxine. EFAs are critical for joint health and tissue elasticity.
4. Vitamin C
This vitamin is the strangest secret in the world. Strange because it isn't a secret but its power is greatly underestimated and unknown to so many, especially the conventional at heart. Think collagen, connective tissue and cartilage. Saturate your blood, adrenals, eyes and pituitary with ascorbate. Use calcium ascorbate powder and consume 50-100mg per kilogram of your bodyweight. Add to shakes and take in 3-4 equal increments to maintain tissue saturation.
5. Vitamin E
Use a natural mixed tocopherol. Vitamin E is actually a family of lipid soluble factors that can protect membranes and joints from damage. Vitamin E retards cellular injury caused by uncontrolled free radical pathology. Do you have a heart? How about your sex organs? How important are they? Don't let Nature oxidize your brain and nervous system. Protect the delicate membranes that surround every cell, organ and muscle fiber.
5. 5 Principles to Live By
The power of nutrition for health and healing is greatly underestimated. In school we are taught that food is nothing more than fuel for the fire. Don't be fooled by convention. Drugs and surgery destroy more lives than they save except on the battlefield. If you want to live disease free you have to give up what the masses have been conditioned to believe is "food". The best food on the planet is fresh, whole, organic, mostly raw and derived from both plants and animals.
More than a trend but still perceived as one by millions. In truth it is a powerful medicine. The incentive to exercise emanates from the conceptualization of its necessity. Exercise by definition is not natural. Animals don't do it and neither do most people. It is completely artificial but incredibly beneficial. What science lifts up for all to see cannot be denied. Exercise is not an option. It must be performed consistently with pride and determination. Exercise is the anchor that gives stability. When exercise is complete your body is like a ship resting safely in the harbor of life.
3. Dietary Supplements (NHPs)
Natural health products don't do squat if you don't take them. But just like barbell squats they have spectacular effects when utilized correctly. Take supplements no matter how good you think you eat. Make the best diet even better. Don't take them if you live stress free or you're aging backwards. Have some fun with your health! Unlike religion, the benefits of nutritional therapy are not a function of belief. They are as real as taxes, death and pain. When the vitamin bashers cry, "Where is the science?" say, "Right in front of your face." But the science won't be hand delivered to anyone's door. You have to go to it. You have to do your homework. A man will not find what he is not looking for.
In contrast to mainstream thinking, an educated mind has little to do with certification, degrees, academic status or the acquisition of pure knowledge. Countless numbers of people with high IQs and advanced knowledge of health and fitness science fail to apply what they know. Their struggle is way beyond logic. Education is what the enlightened mind seeks. Education is the ability to do what needs to be done when it needs to be done. Knowledge in and of itself cannot remedy the human condition of low self-esteem. Education is the revelation and acceptance of truth.
Motivation is a function of incentive born out of necessity and desire. It is fueled by enthusiasm, driven by passion, governed by positive emotion, compelled by logic and sustained by clarity of vision. Optimum health provides us with the insight necessary to define our goals and the motivation required to achieve them. When we are truly well, we are able to adapt to change and stress without significant damage. Prolonged inactivity destroys the immune system, robs the body of vital capacity and greatly reduces human motivation. But when you fight the urge to do nothing and physically move your body, something wonderful happens. Motivation is a river of joy that runs through the human soul.