By Jim Goetz
I work with people daily in order to help them achieve their goals and improve their way of life. What good is life if it’s a life that’s not worth living? Everyone deserves a happy and healthy life but many lack any clue on how to achieve this.
Goals are an essential part of health and happiness. Without setting objective goals, having a plan and being accountable to this plan, success will not happen.
My journey is not unlike any other. However the plan I use to achieve my goals is highly researched. As goals may be and should be in different aspects of life, this article focuses on health and fitness goals.
I began working out in the fourth grade. My grammar school teacher was not the best and as a result I became very unhappy. I found enjoyment through running, push ups, and sit ups. There was a burning sensation in either my legs, chest and arms or abs that was perplexing. The more I did, the more it burned. As an eight year old, this confusing sensation led to greater experimentation, which essentially meant to do more exercises. I would do these exercises daily, timing myself to see how long I could do them until the burn began and then how long I could push through the burn until I literally could not move that body part any longer. I was utilizing the most unscientific manner to increase lactic threshold and muscular endurance and function but for an eight year old, it made sense.
My life was always filled with sports. Grammar school through high school it was cross country, basketball and baseball. In college it was baseball. Like most, I only did what the coach had me do. Like most I did not realize the coach had no clue himself in how to make better athletes.
It was in undergrad when I changed majors to exercise science that I began to learn new techniques in how to improve athletic ability. Some ideas worked for me, some did not. For instance, increasing carbohydrate intake before and after working out caused a dissipation of the visual appearance of muscle. In other words, carbs for energy and replenishment caused me to gain body fat. I also noticed that by consuming high carb meals the nigh before an event, I would wake up in the morning lethargic and with stomach pangs. I would also find that during a distance event, I would eventually feel depleted of all energy and not flow through the event as planned.
Training for my first Tough Mudder was also an experiment. Though I ran long distances all my life, I loathed running at this point in my life. Instead of running, I did a spin class each morning and then later on would complete two circuits of six exercises with extremely heavy weight, being able to complete no more than 1-3 reps. I would move through this as fast yet efficient as possible. In the three months leading up to the Tough Mudder, I inadvertently lost 16 lbs and gained an incredible amount of strength. For example, before I began training I could do six pull ups. By the time three months passed, I was doing twenty pull ups at a time with ease.
Through these two experiences and examples, I had self discovered methods that indeed were topics of research yet had no idea about it at the time. My journey to biohacking was well on the way before I had even heard of the idea of biohacking.
I went through an arduous two year period without access to a gym. I became weak to the point of no longer being able to do a pull up or a full range of motion dip. I lost forty pounds and was emaciated.
Refusing to be beat, I adapted and learned I needed to make some changes and utilize every ounce of exercise science, physiology and neurology that I knew. I found rocks, concrete, steel pipes and built some awkward equipment that I could use and train in a functional manner. Each day I would apply the lessons I knew from the text books and research journals to my personal physical development.
Some say nutrition is 80% of the solution when it comes to lean muscle gain and body fat loss. I personally believe it is closer to 90% of the solution. During the two year period without access to a gym, my access to nutritious food of any sort, even food in any quantity was limited at best. I was able to find access to large amounts of peanut butter, to which I hoarded and lived off of.
In January of 2017, I weighed 160 lbs. I began to hone eating a ketogenic diet that I plan on keeping a lifestyle for the rest of my life. The science appears to be there for my Genotype that my physiology thrives on this manner of eating.
I combined daily undulating periodization with cross fit workout of the days, power lifting for the lower extremity, Pilates, Olympic lifting and moderate distance running. On certain days, I utilize KAATSU and ensure I train all muscles every day in some manner yet ensure I do not go past no return so that I may properly recover.
There is no one size fits all formula for success. Each individual has goals. Each individuals goals are unique and important to that person. Yet 95% of people will fail in their workout routine. This is due to a lack of setting a proper goal, lack of a plan towards that goal, and most importantly accountability to execute this plan on a daily basis. The book BioHacking Your Brain for Success: Becoming a True Champion in All Aspects of Life written by myself and Chantea Goetz discusses this in great detail. There's a reason some people are successful in all they do. Others make excuses for their failure, which really is a result of never actually putting in any effort.
The most important aspect of success is passion!!! People tell me all the time they want to lose weight. I often tell them that there's no chance they will lose the weight and keep it off. They should save their money and do something enjoyable with it. Yes, these individuals are shocked at what I say but it is true. When one gets out of bed in the morning, they need to have a true passion and meaning in why they put their feet on the ground. If there's no passion for getting up, then the odds of success at an idea are futile at best. Does anyone really have a true passion for losing 20 lbs? They have the best intentions in the world but will assuredly fail.
Take that same person who is 20 lbs overweight and sign them up for a competition and they may find that passion in training. The 20 lb weight loss will occur as a result. As Yogi Berra once said, "half of the game is ninety percent mental". I can write the greatest program in the universe for someone to succeed. If there's no passion behind it then success is not happening. One has to show up to the field to play the game.
Exercise is a lot more than simply opening up a magazine and doing chest and tri's on Monday, back and bi's on Tuesday, shoulders on Wednesday, skipping legs on Thursday because let's face it, doing legs suck and with all good intention of doing something Friday, it just does not happen. Most do "abs" every day, without ever being able to see a true six pack. So many aspects of this model are flawed from the get go. First and foremost, muscles only stay anabolic for around 48 hours. This means that after a tough "chest" day, by Wednesday this muscle ceases growth. Unfortunately, the overzealous weight lifter has damaged their muscle fibers too great to be able to work it again and is left with a muscle that is catabolic. Bodybuilders can get away with this because they are taking anabolic steroids. This keeps them anabolic all day and every day. For those of us not on performance enhancing drugs, we need to stay a few steps ahead of the game and can use science (BioHack) our way to our goals.
Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. So why do the majority of individuals do this single or double body part split day week after week, month after month, and think they are making progress? If someone goes to the gym with no plan, how can they see if they are progressing and progressing in the right manner? That would be like a strength and conditioning coach having a professional football team "just go lift" as opposed to having a highly specialized and detailed season long program. Perhaps progress can be optimized if they followed the rules of human physiology. Yet people do this day after day, week after week, month after month until they realize they "will never" reach their goals and eventually give up.
Daily undulated periodization (DUP) has a key, which is getting in maximum workout volume, without impacting recovery, which is why the undulating and periodization aspects are critical. One trains the entire body multiple times per week and utilizes different repetition ranges, thus focusing in on more specific muscle fiber types. Training in this manner has been shown to be more effective than linear exercise programming in terms of muscular hypertrophy, strength and endurance.
Combine DUP with KAATSU (vascular occlusion moderation training) and you get extreme muscle strength and growth in a far shorter time frame than would be believed. It is believed that the restricted blood flow recruits a greater number of fast twitch muscle fibers and even converts fibers to fast twitch. This combined with the increase in chemical mediators to repair tissues has been shown to have phenomenal results.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) has it's place for fat burning and strength training. Some utilize it to save time in a day. Others can utilize it to have amazing physical performance results.
Pilates is utilized for dexterity, flexibility, and fine tuning a strong core. This can be done literally by anyone.
Never let a fat person on statins tell you how to eat. Never let a skinny person tell you how to lift. And never get accurate information from the media. Open up recent text books. Read peer reviewed journals and do critical appraisals on each article you consider utilizing. In the end, set your goals to mirror your passions. Set a realistic plan to achieve them and stay accountable each day towards it. Do this and welcome into your life the success you very much deserve.
My goal...qualify for the Reebok Cross Fit Games. What's yours? Let's get to BioHacking our way there!!!!
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