Best Exercises for Fat-Loss, One Food You Should Be Eating, and Two Mistakes Beginners Make Lifting Weights
Date: November 17th, 2023
Read time: 5 minutes
Today’s issue is brought to you by Vegan Fitness Redefined. We help plant-based high achievers get lean, strong, and build healthy bodies.
Are you a high performer who wants to drop body fat, build lean muscle, and tone up while feeling confident in your health?
Click below to apply for a free 1:1 consultation and see if our Accelerator Program is a good match to help you get in the best shape possible while leading by example.
|Click Here for Free Gameplan Session|
I love reading.
At the beginning of this year, I set a goal for myself to read 50 books.
Yet, due to extensive travels, moving 2x, and stepping up my work hours inside of VFR, I've come short and am currently at 26 books.
I reflected on why this happened and how I can improve going into next year.
- Create an environment for reading
Due to travels this year, my typical reading environment could have been more stable.
I also needed to create the right reading environment to tap into each evening and morning.
One of the first pivots I made when moving into our new place was to add a wall bookshelf and organize ALL of our books that had been in boxes for years.
According to Beradi's Law - your environment has a crucial influence on you, but you also influence your environment.
It's a two-way street.
The second thing?
- Create triggers to start reading and track your progress
One of the second things I did when setting up our living room was
to leave my current reading list of books out intentionally.
Since I'm knee-deep inside of 2 books, this creates an open loop in my mind.
The mind does NOT like open loops (it wants to close the loop, which is why TV shows and movies can be addictive when there are open loops).
I also have been tracking my reading progress for the past 3 years.
Each time I finish a book, I note my progress on my reading app and watch myself inch closer to my goal.
If it's not scheduled or tracked - it's just a nice fantasy.
My current aim - to finish the year strong?
Hit 40 books completed.
A goal isn't always meant to be hit, but it does give us something to aim for.
Lesson: Your environment influences a host of thoughts, actions, and habits. Choose to design your environment for success consciously - or not.
Here is your 5 Minute Friday:
Best Exercises for Fat-Loss
The best exercises for fat loss are:
- Bench Press
Each of these exercises has several things in common:
- They all use large muscle groups
- They focus on engaging the most amount of motor neurons, which means you may burn extra calories
- They require the most focus and energy, which means your body gets more bang for each rep
- They all have multiple benefits and work multiple muscle groups, which means you're able to work more muscles at once
For more context:
- Squats strengthen your core and lower body muscles (along with your skeletal and connective tissue systems).
- Deadlifts boost metabolism and upgrade your mobility.
- Bench press helps with body composition and increases upper body lean muscle mass.
- Rows strengthen the back and engage our biggest back muscles.
While there's more benefits, and many of these benefits belong to each exercise above (not uniquely to just one), using these exercises consistently every week is proven to be more effective for fat loss than trying to do 20 exercises inconsistently.
Here's a sample training plan you could use to organize your lifts:
1a. Dumbbell Squats: 4 sets x 8-12 reps x 80% intensity
1b. Dumbell Deadlifts: 4 sets x 8-12 reps x 80% intensity
2a. Dumbbell Bench Press: 4 sets x 8-12 reps x 80% intensity
2b. Dumbell Single Arm Row: 4 sets x 8-12 reps x 80% intensity
*Bonus finisher (for extra fat burning)
3a. Kettlebell Swings: 2 sets x 15-18 reps x 60% intensity
**1a - 1b means that each exercise would be supersetted or done immediately after one another and then a short 60-90 second rest
(e.g. 1 round of squats followed by deadlifts immediately, then rest for 90 seconds).
As a final reminder - fat loss is created primarily from using a properly designed caloric deficit. You won't drop body fat if you aren't in a negative energy balance.
It doesn't matter how much you work out.
Keep this in mind.
One Food You Should Be Eating
One of the most powerful foods we can eat daily is wild blueberries.
Wild blueberries have a range of benefits for us.
One of the world's leading experts on berries, Mary Ann Lila, Ph.D. and Director of the NC State Plants for Human Health, shares:
In other words - if you eat wild blueberries consistently, you can receive all the resilience and fortitude each berry brings.
Another fun fact about wild blueberries?
When faced with harsh winters or terrible fires, not only do these berries survive... but they thrive.
When you freeze or eat frozen wild blueberries, their resilience and benefits are amplified even more.
Wild blueberries also contain a large amount of antioxidants , which have been proven to slow down the aging process by combating free radicals in our bodies.
Paired with the positive cognitive health effects and brain-boosting benefits, wild blueberries have been a mainstay in my diet for years now.
I buy my frozen pack of Wegman's wild blueberries each week (usually 2-3 bags weekly), and my wife makes a delicious morning smoothie every morning for us.
Wild blueberries aren't a 'superfood' (which was a coin termed to encourage buying more foods that don't have any actual health benefit for us).
They're more than that.
They're foods designed for us to maximize our health and a gift from this planet to us.
Two Mistakes Beginners Make Lifting Weights
Most novice lifters make these two mistakes when they start working out:
- Try to do too many exercises at once
- Confusing soreness for progress
You are more likely to be inconsistent when you try to do too many exercises at once.
While it's exciting to go to the gym 6 days a week and work out 2-3 hours each day, it's not sustainable for most of us.
And this happens to most people in the West who have been conditioned to go 0 to 100.
'Once Jan 1st, 2024 begins, I'm going to go ALL IN on my fitness and health!' thinks the novice beginner...
Rather than burning out and trying to do too much at once, focus on your minimum STANDARDS.
Your standard is your bare minimum.
What you're not willing to tolerate to go beneath.
So instead of setting a goal to work out 5x a week...
Create a standard to NOT go beneath 3 strength workouts every week.
No matter what - you get 3 workouts in.
That's your floor and the base you live from. If you get 4 or 5 workouts, that's great.
But until you raise your standard - 3 is must be.
Secondly - don't confuse soreness with progress.
DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, is a commonly thrown around word in the fitness industry.
In fact, there's some unscrupulous trainers and coaches who have been known to intentionally teach clients that being sore IS a sign of progress.
(and we wonder why trainers get a bad 'rep').
What's happening is your body is adapting to the new exercises.
Soreness can be a good sign, but for a different reason.
It's a sign that there are adaptations and potential room for improvement.
But constant soreness for months on end doesn't mean progress.
It may mean you're constantly switching exercises.
It might mean your trainer changes variables too quickly (6-8 weeks of constant variables is a good rule of thumb).
And it could mean a few other things.
But judging your progress by how sore you are?
It's not the best KPI to use to see sustainable and permanent transformation.
Rather than soreness - use strength.
See how strong you're getting each week.
Track your reps, sets, and weights that you're lifting.
Check your heart rate and V02max.
Test your 1 rep maximum.
This (and more) will give you more insight into your actual workout progression.
And one other thing?
Enjoy the process and have fun.
Working out is incredible.
Have some fun and smile the next time you walk into a gym.
You have arms, legs, and a body built to move.
Celebrate this and your life.
If you're a busy plant-based leader, founder, or creator who wants to get lean, strong, and build a high-performance body, click here to apply for a free gameplan session.
One Quote To Finish Your Week Strong
Progress is measured by what you DO each day - not what you are thinking about doing.
Whenever you're ready, here's one way I can help:
Every week until the end of the year, you'll see our End of Year VFR Special.
If you apply for a coaching spot and qualify this week, we'll coach you for FREE until the end of this year.
(e.g., if you apply and are accepted this week, that would equal 7 weeks of free coaching with your start date for your 4-month Accelerator Program starting on Jan 1st, 2024.
We'll deduct a week from this special every week until the end of this year.
So this week is the maximum bonus week you could qualify for (7 extra WEEKS) each week after deducting one week less.
You’ll also be able to lock in our 2023 tuition before tuition rises in 2024 (due to all the incredible upgrades we’ve made over the past 12 months inside of VFR).
Spots fill up fast due to a 2-week waiting list, so your application is not guaranteed to be viewed so I’d recommend applying now even if you’re unsure when to start.
Happy holidays! :)
(feel free to DM me anytime - I love connecting with new friends worldwide).