When Jordan Peterson released 12 RULES FOR LIFE several better known personalities starting writing and releasing their RULES.
This post originally started out as a list of RULES. I do have them. You should have rules or at least guardrails. These are more suggestions than rules that could improve your days.
Make good with your local butcher. I start every grocery shopping experience at the meat counter. There are two or three I frequent. I have become friends with several butchers. When you make good with the butchers they will go out of their way to give you the exact meaty cuts you are seeking even if they are not shown with the current offerings.
Spend as much money as necessary on sleep hacks. If you aren't sleeping 7-9 hours you are aging faster and slowing your productivity and training results. It is important to know that just because you are in bed for 8 hours doesn't mean you are sleeping 8. Most people do have wakeful phases in their sleep. I can seriously justify almost any expenditure to enhance your sleep. You should only introduce one practice at a time to accurately determine the effectiveness.
Easy training days should equal hard training days. If you follow along here you have hopefully received the message. Dr. David Costill of Ball State placed this in my head decades ago. Going greater than 80% in your WOD day in and day out for weeks increases your chance for injury or illness. I hope you are an outlier and I am wrong but I doubt it.
Buy Girl Scout Cookies from the neighborhood kids. - Every year a least one kiddo in the neighborhood comes to the door selling Girl Scout cookies. Since Girl Scout cookies aren't 100% worth it I typically give them away but that is not the point. Additionally, NEVER drive past a lemonade stand and if it is after 5:00 pm ask for a margarita. You never know.
Every Pressing rep should equal two pulling reps. I have a long list of friends and former training partners that pressed their way into shoulder replacement. Double up on horizontal and vertical pulling and for goodness sake quit kipping every pull up.
Set a Reading Goal. I was shocked to learn that only 30% of college graduates read following their graduation. It was not until I started setting aside time to read each day that I was able to click off a number of books. If you just read ten pages per day you will knock off more books than you thought possible. I use GOODREADS to track my progress and to get other recommendations. You are doing your brain a big favor and you will be more interesting in general.
Fast for 13 hours. IMAO, The most compelling work in the nutrition field is based on circadian rhythms. Eat when the sun is up and stop when the sunsets. Mice that had their food removed for 13 hours lost weight and improved other biomarkers regardless of the quality of their chow. This is the easiest means of employing Intermittent Fasting (IF). Stop eating at 6:00 pm and don't eat again until 7:00am. That simple.
Get uncomfortable once per week. You probably do a good job of pushing yourself in workouts, but can you do it without coffee first thing in the morning? Can you drink your coffee without a stick of butter and collagen protein? Are you willing to get out of bed and take a cold shower? Not finish with cold but turn it on cold and stand in it for five minutes. How about walking instead of driving to the market? Get the idea. Good. Your grit will improve as well as your self control.
Take advantage of compounding practices. This concept comes from reading THE SLIGHT EDGE. Good habits no matter how small they may seem compound over time just like money in the bank. At the end of the year you will be ahead. Do yourself a favor and read THE SLIGHT EDGE.
Less is More. Most programming I see is too complicated. You should be able to look at your training for the day one time and know exactly what is going on with that workout. A laundry list of movements is simply too much and dilutes the training stimulus. Some of the strongest folks I know do one to five movements per session. They are consistent but their approach is simple and progress is undeniable.
Use Pen & Paper Training Logs I am a strong believer in getting a pen and paper (notebook) for your record keeping. I went digital for a year and ended up messing up my plan. Even if you are getting an assignment from a coach in a digital format put it in a planner. I use MOLESKIN notebooks and RHODIA grid paper. Get a good pen and take care of it. My favorite shop is www.penplace.com Amazing service and the ownership you can speak with on the phone.
Show up on time. When you plan to show up on time you send a positive message to yourself regarding commitment and show others that you value their time. I like to run on LOMBARDI time. If you are ten minutes early you are on time, when you are on time you are late. Set you clock ahead ten minutes. You will start a positive habit.
Use lower rep schemes to get stronger. While the majority of data reported points to cardiovascular boosting programming more and more evidence supports strength as anti aging. Strength is improved with lower reps typically 5 or less . Strength improves stamina but not the other way around. Those 95 pound thrusters for 30 reps do not improve strength significantly. You do not have to bench press a COKE machine but you need to pick up heavy stuff. You will be harder to kill, more useful and still have the stamina for higher rep challenges.
Take your fitness outside the gym. All this gym going has defeated the real purpose of conditioning. Shovel your own snow and cut your own grass. Take the savings and place it in vacation fund. Then each year plan some physical challenge that is on the edge of scary. Every summer for the past four years I have joined a group of like minded individuals and scaled a 14'er in Colorado. These are challenging but attainable. You don't need to climb 14'er but find a target event. It will give the training process meaning and you will be lightyears ahead of your contemporaries.
Some of the time skip that warm-up. When I was heading up the strength and conditioning program at University we did overhead squats and a series of hurdle drills. Maybe took 5-10 minutes. Now warm-ups drone on and on. I ask one question. If someone pulls a fire alarm are you are going to stop to stretch your hamstrings? Will you break out your vibrating roller to hit your adductors one more time? Hell no ! You are going to bust ass out of the building pronto. Perform some of your workouts without a warm up. I sometimes open up the door and go right to deadlifting in my khaki pants and t shirt. Try it I dare you.
Make your bed. Even before William McRaven delivered his famous speech at the University of Texas I was making my bed. Sure it would be easier to leave it, but then you come back to a mess. If you make it you overcome the resistance. You check the box. You are making deposits on your behalf. Even if your days goes less than stellar, you will find a tidy bed waiting for you. How you do one thing is how you do everything.
Include Unilateral Training Every week. I watch people move and it is rare that I find someone without a flaw in their bilateral patterns. While we might not be able to become perfectly symmetrical we must work in that direction. IF you continue to practice with imbalances you will only amplify the situation. Work one side at a time- weekly.
Go barefoot. Balance begins with the big toe. I learned first hand how this can work against us. My right toe was injured many years ago dropping a concrete patio square on my foot. I healed but slowly I lost ROM in my toe due to the injury. My solution was to use shoes that provided more support and cushioning. Bad idea. This lead to more issues on the right side of my body. Maybe even resulting in a complicated right knee injury. I am working in the right direction but with shoes allowing more toe splay. I initially thought all the zero drop heal in shoes was hippie propaganda. No longer. Your foot and foot strike is the first phase of a complex movement like walking and running If there is compensation it starts to travel up stream. Take it from me. Go barefoot more and work on your feet.
Meditate. After several years of failed attempts, I am making inroads with practicing meditation. I was doing very short practice sessions. When I pushed it out to ten minutes I notices some things. I use the HEADSPACE app and like it. I am not perfect but I am gaining. It is good medicine.
RUCK. I started RUCKING accidentally while preparing to hike 50 miles of the Grand Canyon. The experience and preparation changed my thoughts on walking and walking with weight on my back in many ways. It wasn't like FRAN hurt or 20 rep squat hurt but close to marathon training hurt. It was humbling and it will be regular part of my practice moving forward. You will be amazed at what you learn about yourself from walking with weight on your back.
Pick Up The Tab. - Next time you are standing inline at the coffee shop or deli consider purchasing for the party behind you. This paying it forward practice will have a profound impact on you and will feed your soul.