It’s amazing the amount time available to us these days due to modern conveniences created by technology. These days most of our nuanced task of living come be automated. Whether it’s dish washing, laundry, cleaning, etc. Everyday there are more and more meal prep services popping up so even affordable healthy dinners are no longer out of reach. Just a smartphone alone replaces over 75lbs of equipment to create a time of efficiency once thought to be impossible.
While I’m happy to be living in this time my message in saying these things isn’t one of gratitude. The message I want to express is one of choice. Despite all these things the thing I hear most from people is “I just don’t have the time.” Now I’m willing to concede that for some people it may be true but I’m also willing to bet that for most it’s not. For most people it’s just not a priority or they lack proper planning. Knowing what to do is of very little value if you don’t know how to do it. So, here’s how to start:
The first thing you want to do is figure out how you’re going to track your schedule. Personally, smart phone calendars (apple, google, etc.) work great for me but others they really like the feeling of a dry erase board or a paper calendar. Go with whatever works for you as long as you can maintain both consistency as well as simplicity. Adding any further complexity to this is just going to give you a mental hurdle and reason to give into the urges to seek comfort.
Once you’ve decided how you’re going to track your week the next thing you’re going to do is plan your meals, workouts, and your sleep. Afterwards add your work hours. Keep in mind below is just a sample it’s not the be all or end all. It’s just a guide.
At this point people get most hung up on the nutrition portion. Notice how I put the note of what to eat under the breakfast? That’s how you can start. Once you go on and get used to this type of planning you can make your adjustments on the fly but for the most remove yourself from the equation as much as possible. Listen to the instructions that are already laid out. You’ve got enough thinking to do the rest of the day so don’t do it now.
It’s important for me to make the point that I’m not a nutritionist by any means but at 33 years old I work out about 20x per week formally and usually do some type of physical activity on my leisure time. I follow a simple rule for nutrition that gives me the energy to maintain this lifestyle.
“If I can get it from the ground, a tree, or if it had a face I eat it.”
Eating REAL food isn’t hard these days. Markets like Wegmans have salad bars where you can quickly get a healthy meal at a good price as well the various meal prep services you can hire to deliver fresh cooked food on or around the time you get home from work. With a family of 5 for me however those options can get costly quick. My wife and I take Sunday to meal prep for the week using portioned food containers for our lunch and something large the family. Services like eMeals are great resources here because it provides the shopping list, recipes, as well as the average national cost. Again, simplicity is your friend here (as well as couponing).
The next most common fitness question I get is about what type of programming people should follow. The first thing you should understand is that I’ve never seen anyone go too hard on nutrition it’s always on the fitness portion people tend to overcompensate for various reasons. Ask yourself what your goal is and seek a professional. Most likely you’re not a broke college kid so there isn’t really a good reason why you can’t spend twenty or so dollars on a program written by a professional coach that athletes or organizations will pay several hundred dollars per hour for the same exact knowledge he/she is going to give you. Yeah, it’s the same. It’s at a different intensity level sure but the fundamental basis of the programming is identical. I can’t recommend programs I’ve never personally tried just because it’s unethical in my opinion. The ones I have tried is CrossFit**, Training For Warriors, and various programs from Mountain Tactical Institute (My favorite).
**a note on CrossFit; say what you will about CrossFit and at some level you’re probably right but that sh*t will get you in shape**
Here’s the caveat when it comes to investing in a program; be realistic about where you are physically. I can’t tell you how much it vexes me seeing people throwing on a weight vest when I’m sure they are carrying an excess of 20% body fat. Bro… you’re already wearing a vest. Get strong for your body weight then go for the more intense stuff. You WILL get there if you maintain consistency and you will be shocked at how fast your body will adapt. Rushing physiology is how you get hurt or stay hurt. That is not to say that injuries won’t happen because they do but every set back is a chance for a comeback if you’re training with maturity. Play the long game with this.
If you haven’t read my articles on where to start Combatives I highly recommend doing so to dispel all the common martial arts nonsense being spewed. Honestly it can be exhausting trying to even think about getting into the style vs style with all the keyboard ninjas so I generally don’t even bother. Here’s what’s up with bad guys; they are generally unskilled/untrained but highly committed opponents. There just about isn’t a modern martial arts school in America I wouldn’t recommend but there are a couple of things to keep in mind when shopping around as new consumer in that market.
1. We know what works already. If said fighting style is not a large portion of what is being used in Mixed Martial Arts competition just walk away.
2. Start with the closest place to your house. This way it’s easy to get to the gym and train.
3. The training has to be fun for YOU. Some people like a gym that is grind, others like the social atmosphere. Find the gym that has the vibe you’re looking for.
4. Don’t sign up at your first stop. I know I’m going to get a lot of heat for this because most martial artists aren’t exactly altruist (rightfully so people forget we have to make a living too), but most gyms have a 1-week free trial; use that sh*t. You have a lot to evaluate because this is a very serious commitment that most likely isn’t cheap (for good reason). You have to evaluate your drive (traffic, tolls, etc.), the various instruction styles and if they work for/reach you as well as how much the gym has to offer you in the long run. You also research if the credibility/experience of the instructor(s) hold up to scrutiny. Have a strong following or strong resume doesn’t make strong instruction. It’s only part of the package not the whole.
I purposefully made the last part of the prelude for the simple reason that most guys put entirely too much into this portion. It is my opinion that an individual should some level of confidence and competence in empty-handed skills before diving into the gun world. Not because somehow those skills are better or anything like but the skills in empty-handed fighting develop things killing paper can never develop. We are seeing a weaker society with every generation because we have a vast excess of one touch solutions. You just can’t build warriors on gun ranges. You build warriors by subjecting people to physical adversity in events that require physical courage.
TAKE A F@%^ING CLASS!!!
I don’t care that you’re a veteran or a cop or your uncle that was “Nam” taught you how the Marines do it. Find a professional and take a fundamentals class. Contrary to what most people think when choosing who should be trained to the highest standard between military, law enforcement, or civilians it is actually the citizen who should be most highly trained. You don’t have a resupply, back up, legal immunity, duty belt, etc. Things can get real ugly for you real fast in a defensive gun use as a civilian and chances are you don’t have a boss that will send you home on paid vacation while he handles it for you. Which reminds me get CCW insurance as well unless you have 600k just lying around.
With firearms there isn’t anything that far off from what we’ve already previously discussed. These are all physical skills that require the same learning process of endless repetition in a quest to create subconscious competency in these skills. Amateurs can perform the fundamentals, but professionals can do the same fundamentals at a high level because they just have far more repetitions. Dry fire has to be done at least every 75 minutes per week. How you decide you want to break it up is on you but if you’re not dry firing you’re just throwing away money on an extremely perishable skill.
This is a lot to digest I know. The next part of this series will not be released for about 30 days. Take this prelude and book mark it in your favorites. Revisit again and again because this is going to be the foundation for the other parts to make sense. I am not a motivator or someone who wants to inspire you per say. My goal here is to put you on the path to live a lifestyle that is a culture or training. I don’t want to just see you get tired I want to see you get better!
Train with C4 Combatives!
Culpeper VA June 2nd -> http://ow.ly/h8Fx30jYrBH
Springfield VA June 23-24 -> http://ow.ly/h8Fx30jYrBH