Okay okay! Here we are, back for Part II of “My 10 Biggest Lessons From My Years of Coaching.”
Quick recap for those of you who missed last week’s piece, last week I talked about how in celebration of my upcoming ten year anniversary as a full time strength coach, nutritionist, and personal trainer I wanted to share ten of the biggest lessons I had learned from my ten years of coaching.
However, as per usual, things got a bit long, so last week I decided to share just my first five lessons, and share my second five today.
So, as one final recap before we get into the lessons for today, here are my first five lessons that I outlined last week.
1. Make Staying Safe and Avoiding Injury Your #1 Priority.
2. To Build a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body, Regardless of Age, You Need to Resistance Train at Least Twice a Week.
3. To Progress you Must Consistently Increase the Difficulty of your Workouts.
4. Building a Lean, Strong, Healthy Body Takes a Long Time… And Is Hard.
5. You Have to Maintain What You’ve Built
Great, recap over! Now, without any further delay, here is my second set of lessons I’ve learned from my ten years of coaching experience.
Lesson 6: Eat An Absolute Ton Of Vegetables
If I were forced to choose one piece of dietary advice to give anyone trying to lose weight and / or improve their health it would be this: eat a ton of vegetables… and I mean a ton of vegetables.Every lunch and dinner, make a real effort to fill up half your plate with a wide variety of vegetables. Emphasize dark leafy greens like kale and spinach and throw in as many different colored veggies as you can. For instance red peppers, purple beets, yellow squash, and orange carrots (just to name a few.)
Calorie for calorie vegetables have more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients than any other type of food and vegetables, especially non-starchy vegetables, are calorically the lightest type of food you can eat. Therefore, when you eat a vegetable, you get the golden mix of nutrient density and caloric lightness. (Simply put, if you are trying to lose weight and improve your health, eating (lots of) vegetables is one of the single most impactful actions you can take.)
Lesson 7: Weight Is Lost In the Kitchen And The Table, Not In The Gym
Everyone, please listen to me when I say this: weight is not lost in the gym. It is lost in the kitchen and at the table.Yes you burn off calories when you workout, but not nearly as many as you may think. And yes the presence of muscle does boost your metabolism, but not nearly as much as many trainers, gyms, and exercise companies want you to believe.
The reality is that when it comes to losing weight, the impact of exercise pales in comparison to the impact of cleaning up your diet. So if your goal is to lose weight, invest the majority of your focus into your diet.
Definitely include exercise as a part of your overall plan. Exercise imparts countless physical, mental, and emotional benefits that play both direct and indirect roles in losing weight. Just remember that if your goal is to lose weight your focus needs to be on your diet first and foremost.
Lesson 8: No “All or Nothing Attitude”
Ugh, the dreaded “All or Nothing Attitude.” I can’t tell you how many times my team and I have trained clients who are either “all in” or “all out.” Listen, we hear you and we get it (sort of,) but this approach to health and fitness is a killerof long term progress.Life is way too busy to maintain 100% effort for any sustained period of time. It is not possible. This means if you are the type of person who is either all in or all out… you’re going to be spending the vast majority of your time all out. And that ain’t gonna cut it!
To build and maintain a lean, strong, healthy body, you have to get comfortable with the 85/15 rule.
The 85/15 rule means you eat healthy and get in intense, focused workouts 85% of the time and you mess up, over indulge when eating, and mail in (or completely miss) workouts 15% of the time. And you don’t beat yourself up over it! (Because, as a side note, this is how people who are in great shape actually live!)
Hear me now and hear me later! Nobody is perfect! Nobody eats perfectly and nobody nails every one of their workouts. Not me, not anyone on my team, and not anyone I’ve ever known or will know. It’s just not possible.
To build a lean, strong, healthy body you have to get comfortable with life, eating, and exercise getting messy. When things are going well, awesome, hit it hard. But when life gets busy, your schedule gets crunched, and your diet and workouts suffer, remember it’s okay. Just dial things back and do what you can. Minimize the damage. All those “doing the best I can” workouts and meals will save your butt when things get rough.
(And trust me on this because this attitude has been my saving grace this past year as my wife and I welcomed our first child into the world. Between zero sleep, super tight budgets, and no time, my entire last year has been one long “doing the best I can” phase. And you know what, even though my workouts and diet were far from ideal, I managed “acceptable” and still have a great body and health to show for it.)
Welp, this is getting long again… You know, one of these days I’m going to learn how to get to keep things short and to the point… but today isn’t that day!
So I’ll catch you all back here in two weeks when I present my last two big lessons and an extra bonus lesson.
Have a great week everyone!
Founder & Director of Zach Moore Training
Your Exercise & Dietary Management Team.