If you were to strip away everything you have been led to believe by magazines, society, and other people and instead developed a set of rules based on what you personally experienced, what would they be?
My personal philosophy is that nothing is real until I experience it. Based on my experience, which no one has to agree with, here are a couple of things I have noticed.
1. Nutrition – any diet or food regimen works. I have met Paleo people who improved their health eating that way and I have met vegans who improved their health eating that way also. What I have noticed for me is that I prefer having a healthy source of protein, fats, and carbohydrates in every meal. Further, I do best when I have a liquid breakfast of raw fruits and veggies with protein powder, a lunch where I eat a 2:1 protein to carb ration and a dinner where I have a 2:1 carb to protein ratio. These are just my personal observations and not dogma for you to adopt, unless they work for you as well as they work for me.
2. Supplements – most supplements that work only work well for 3-6 months, then you want to rotate them because your body gets used to it. I am purposely refraining from addressing the bullshit supplements out there and am focusing on things that actually do work from reputable companies. For example I take 10-15 grams of maca for a three month period and they I completely change gears and will either take ginseng based booster for the next three months without touching maca. Then I might take a Stinging Nettle based booster after that and then I might take nothing but Pine Pollen and Shilajit for the next three months. I also go completely off supplements for a couple of weeks or months to reset my body.
3. Pre-workout supplements – I once saw a post by Shawn Phillips on facebook commenting that with all the supplements people are consuming for raising testosterone and increasing energy maybe they should just get testosterone shots and amphetamines prescribed to them and it would be cheaper and more effective. Perhaps there is some unconventional wisdom in his statement. Regarding pre-workout supplements the best of them work when they turn on your greatest asset – your MIND! Back in the day there was no need for this type of supplements because Ripped Fuel with ephedra existed and all you had to was take 2 tablets before training. Then Dan Duchaine came out with Ultimate Orange. I feel that you can take away all the creatine, beta alanine, and all the other alleged performance enhancing components and just leave caffeine and whatever they are putting in it to stimulate your mind like 1,3 Dymethylamylamine and it will be just as effective. When the original Jack3d came out the biggest boost I felt was in my MENTAL determination to finish the workout no matter how tough it got. I corroborated this with some of my other Naval Officer friends and they said the same thing. Yes those are STIMULANTS, I have made my peace with that.
4. Workouts – any workout program works if you do. I have been doing nothing but Spiderman Crawls for the past month, in fact this Tuesday I had the first variation when I added a High Intensity Training workout of Skip 60 feet, Sprint 60 feet, and Spiderman Crawl Sprint 60 feet, followed by a 2 minute Systema Walking recovery cycle. I repeated that 10 times. I am doing this as part of a Vestibular Reset on my whole brain and body. I am feeling awesome and can feel new levels of coordination and strength being developed. If I can derive all this benefit from ONE exercise when practiced consistently then ANY exercise program practiced consistently is bound to bring results. Now the most appropriate program for you might be determined by your goals and personality, as running a marathon requires a much different type of training and personality than someone who want to lift heavy things explosively. If you can filter through the marketing BS you can probably find something that is right for you.
5. Movement beats workouts for health – at a recent seminar with Steve Maxwell he mentioned about having a daily movement goal, for example 10,000 steps, because daily movement is the key to health. Working out really hard once a week and sitting down for 18-20 hours a day was not going to cut it. I got myself a Fit Bit Force and started playing with this as it tracks your daily steps and displays it at the touch of a button. If I do nothing in one day except stay at home I take about 3,000 steps. Now with a daily movement goal of 10,000 steps I get up from my desk periodically and I walk, eagerly looking to hit my goal/quota. If I get home and only have 8,000 steps on my tracker I will get up and walk the extra 2,000 steps after dinner with my wife. This focus on daily movement will improve my health over the long term more than “working out.” Workouts improve my strength and conditioning which is super cool.
6. Training barefoot on the ground has a meditative effect on the body – when you knock out your workout barefoot on grass, sand, or any other natural environment you get more than just a workout, you also get your body retuned. When I finish my workouts where I have had a lot of contact with Mother Earth and breathing natural air I feel like I meditated as well as worked out.
7. Any meditation system will work as long as you do – the important thing is not which system or style of meditation/Qigong you do but that you do some form of mental training every day. I have learned some awesome meditations and Qigong practices from awesome teachers, some from books and courses, and some I developed myself (or were “revealed” to me by my subconscious). Do I do ALL of them every single day? No. Do I do some form of mental training every day? Yes, and the benefits keep piling on each other regardless of the meditation or Qigong I use. Regardless of what marketing materials will tell you, its actually how DEEP you go into the simple things that will bring you progress, as opposed to thinking that some complicated Rambling Immortal 10th Degree Multiple Dragons Ascended Buddha Super Secret Qigong is the way to go. Lately I have been doing Cold Water Dousing and it can substitute a meditation. Try it!
That is all for now as I want to keep it fitness focused, as there are more observations I have noticed regarding the mental and spiritual worlds, but those are better kept to myself.