Strength Train, Walk Daily, and Eat Real Food

This is the hill I will die on: If you strength train 3 days per week, walk daily, and eat real food you will have superpowers and you will live practically forever!

Your body has vital needs for movement and nutrition that will never go away.  If you don’t make time for your health, you will be forced to make time for your illness.  It really is that simple.

“Simple” doesn’t mean “easy”, and that’s where we come in!

Why Strength Train 3 days per week?

  1. Muscle health is vital to metabolic health.  Our obesity epidemic is not a problem of too much fat.  The excess fat is a symptom of metabolic dysfunction.  When we are talking about metabolism, we aren’t just talking about how the body burns calories.  We are talking about how the body absorbs, stores, and/or secretes proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and hormones.  You simply can’t optimize your hormones, lose fat, or have a healthy metabolism without healthy muscle.

  2. Muscle strength is vital to living a long time.  As we age, we start to lose muscle.  Sarcopenia, which is just fancy talk for age related muscle loss, begins in our early 30’s and speeds up with each year that passes.  People don’t die of old age in America.  We die from lack of healthy muscle.  We die of diseases tied to metabolic dysfunction caused in part by poor muscle health.  We die because we take falls that are directly the cause of a lack of functional strength due to excess loss of muscle.

  3. Muscles make us look and feel amazing.  If you want to tone, you need to build muscle.  If you want to like the way your clothes fit, you need muscle.  Besides how you look, muscle is how you have the physical capacity to enjoy the things in your life that are important to you.  Keep up with kids, grandkids, hike, ski, play your sport – ALL things that require functional strength.

  4. Strength training full body 3 days per week works best for most people, for most goals, in most phases of their lives.  We can do 4 day strength routines when that is someone’s preference.  Usually preference is the only reason to do it.  I’d rather you lift hard (at your level) 3 days per week and get plenty of walking and recovery done between training days than lift at a medium effort across more days.  If you’re pressed for time, you can really appreciate this approach.  There is no point to adding days you can’t recover from.  This spring I experimented with our 4 day upper/lower split routine.  It was great but my daily energy and results are consistently better with 3 days full body.  That is also what we have seen for the vast majority of our clients.  2 days a week isn’t quite enough, although better than zero.  And 4 days is a bit much to be able to fully recover from, even with the upper/lower split so you aren’t doing a full body every day.

Why Walk Daily?

  1. Zone 2 cardio is vital for cardiovascular health and longevity.  Zone 2 is low heart rate, conversational paced cardio.  Getting a lot of it helps our cells have healthy mitochondria and develops our aerobic capacity.  It also keeps your heart and lungs healthy long term.

  2. Burn calories without overtraining.  Running has an 87% injury rate.  Walking does not.  We need to do something to move our body every day.  While you can certainly do other things you enjoy, walking is accessible and is a low enough intensity that it won’t undermine your strength training days or leave you too worn out.

  3. Give your eyes a reset.  We spend most of our days looking at screens that are close to us.  Getting outside and looking at things in the distance gives your eyes a rest.

  4. Stress relief.  Getting outside in nature has been shown to improve mental health.  It’s important to get out into the real world and just be human.

  5. Flexible and scalable.  You can walk an hour all at once, or you can sneak in little mini walks when opportunity presents itself.  Walks are also scalable in how challenging they can be.  If walking seems a little too boring and too easy, grab a pack, put some weight in it, and off you go!  This is known as rucking.

Why Eat Real Food?

  1. Most common sense.  There are a lot of different ways to skin the nutrition cat.  (HERE is my uncensored opinion on many of them).  To me, the Standard American Diet (SAD) doesn’t make much sense.  People are eating cardboard garbage from a box that was made in a factory using synthetic compounds our body cannot process.  It’s killing us.  Every country that has imported our SAD diet has seen the same massive rise in poor health.  Don’t eat something from a factory.  Eat real food!

  2. Whole foods are more nutritious.  Fruits, vegetables, and lean meats have what the body needs to function properly.  Part of what makes junk food so addictive is that they lack actual vital nutrients so we mindlessly gorge on more of it in an unconscious attempt at getting more nutrients.

  3. Whole foods are hard to overconsume.  With plenty of high protein meat, lots of vegetables, and some starchy potatoes, you are going to feel satisfied with that meal.  As long as you aren’t dousing that meal in condiments that were also made in a factory and have tons of sugar and empty calories, you are hard pressed to overeat real food.

  4. No need to count calories, carbs, fat, etc.  You don’t need to be restrictive once you have limited yourself to real food.  If you aren’t inclined to count calories and weigh all your food, just stick to real food and your life will be a lot simpler.

Put crash diets, fads, and yo-yo weight loss behind you.  Strength train 3 days per week, walk daily, and eat real food!

It’s all easier said than done.  When you are ready to put this simple formula into practice and have lasting benefits, fill out the form at the top or bottom of this page and I will be in touch : )

Serving Portsmouth, Kittery, and the broader Seacoast community, we help people finally get in shape, feel confident, and have all day energy, even if getting everything done is a constant struggle.


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