Beautiful Badass Pillars – The Sane & Simple Way to Build a Better Body Part 1
The Beautiful Badass Revolution is gaining momentum, and I’m dang proud to be the leader. I’ve discussed and revealed How to be a Beautiful Badass in Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 before, but the Pillars are a little different, and kick things up a notch.
I like to keep things simple in the world of training and nutrition; that should come as no surprise if you’ve followed my website for any appreciable span of time. If not, then, surprise!
I also like lists because they allow me to get straight to the point and highlight important bits and pieces. With that in mind, I present to you Part 1 of the Beautiful Badass Pillars – The Simple, No Nonsense Guide for Being a Beautiful Badass.
Let the Beautiful Badass Revolution continue!
1. Keep It Simple
Yes, I may sound like a broken record, but this needs to be repeated. To achieve your body composition, performance, and health goals, you need to simplify your strength training and nutrition strategies.
Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be. Don’t stress yourself out with rigid rules and extravagant training programs when you can get the same, or better, results with something far less complex and stressful.
If your training and nutrition program have you constantly stressed out, you need to simplify. Find a way to strip things down to the bare essentials. I’m willing to be you get better results. The following information will help you out.
2. Eat Real, Natural Food
This is my primary concern when it comes to nutrition – eat high quality, real food. Some people may ask, “What makes it real”? My explanation – if you can find it in nature, then it’s real. This includes grass-fed, free range meat and eggs, wild caught fish, fruits and veggies, and nuts and seeds.
Other than that, I don’t care if you choose to use intermittent fasting, go Paleo, implement carb cycling, or follow any other nutrition method. Just focus on eating real food, first and foremost. The rest, as far as I’m concerned, is just minor details.
I’m not telling you to never eat another warm, fresh baked chocolate chip cookie or indulge in creamy gelato ever again. I’m suggesting you eat real, natural food the majority of the time. Some people like to put a number on it, so I would say about 90% of your meals should consist of natural food sources.
Yeah, yeah. There are exceptions to every rule. I think it’s perfectly fine to enjoy some of your favorite foods on occasion that don’t necessarily fit the “real, natural food” criteria. (Although, I do encourage you to completely abstain from trans-fats).
Furthermore, if you can find a healthier alternative, then give that a try. For example, do you love chocolate? Yes, I know that’s probably a stupid question. Instead of eating a plain ole chocolate bar you can purchase at the checkout line, get a high quality bar that contains at least 80% cocoa. This way you get more antioxidants, healthy fat, and far less sugar.
Beyond that, enjoy some of your favorite treats on occasion, and do so with absolutely zero guilt.
3. Focus on Compound Exercises
Keep it simple and get more bang for your training buck.
Whether your goal is to lose fat or get stronger, you should be using compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, push-ups, presses, rows, chin-ups, or other appropriate alternatives. You can also use kettlebells or strongman equipment as they fit this category as well.
I’m going to shamelessly quote myself. This is something I stated a couple of years ago, but I stand by it to this day:
Question: why are many people obsessed with getting “ground breaking” exercises and training programs? Maybe I missed it, but when did squats, deadlifts, chin-ups, dips, push-ups, rows and presses (or appropriate alternatives) STOP working for fat loss, getting stronger, or building muscle?
Contrary to popular belief, endless sets of crunches, triceps kickbacks, and fervent use of the inner and outer thigh machines is not a good way to “tone up”. Use exercises that recruit a lot of muscle.
Again, there are exceptions to every rule. I encourage you to focus most of your time and effort on compound exercises. However, if you want to perform some additional work for “beach muscles”, feel free to include a few sets of curls, calf raises, extensions, lateral raises, or other isolation exercises of choice at the end of your workout. I know a lot of trainees want additional work on these muscles, and it’s a reason I include optional “beach work” in the (S)hero Training Program.
Just make sure you earn those isolation exercises. For instance, don’t waste your time on biceps curls unless you’re attacking chin-ups and rows, and don’t perform endless sets of triceps extensions unless you’re busting out push-ups and presses.
This ties into the next point:
4. Use a Challenging Load
Mindlessly lifting a light load for high reps is a no-no if you want to lose fat, get stronger, or improve your performance.
It’s not enough to perform squats, deadlifts, and other compound movements. If all you ever do is squat with a 35 pound bar, you’re not going to get anywhere.
All types of high intensity interval training (HIIT), metabolic conditioning, hill sprints, and other methods of intensive cardio are all the rage right now, and have been for a few years.
However, there seems to be this perception that high intensity cardio is mandatory for everyone, no matter the training goal.
If you enjoy metabolic conditioning type workouts, then by all means, keep doing them. But, if you’re focusing on fat loss or getting stronger in the basic exercises, then high intensity interval training (or whatever you choose to call it) is not mandatory.
In fact, some of the best strength gains and fat loss results I’ve achieved didn’t include any high intensity conditioning. All I did was eat smart, focus on some compound exercises, and go for a walk each morning.
Do what you enjoy, but don’t feel obligated to do intense cardio work. Admittedly it’s not my favorite thing, and so my training at this time consists entirely of heavy lifting and walking outside with my dog every morning.
6. Don’t Do This. EVER.
WARNING – do not drink anything while watching this video. Doing so may induce choking. (Do yourself a favor, and watch the entire two minutes. You won’t be disappointed).
Doing anything remotely similar to that video will result in immediate, and permanent, termination of your Beautiful Badass status. I’m not joking.
7. Set Positive Goals
Setting the goal of “I don’t want to be fat anymore” is not appropriate. For one, you can’t really measure “not being fat anymore” because it’s so vague. Second, I don’t think it’s very positive or motivating.
My method of choice for setting positive goals is focusing on performance. Come up with some performance goals you want to achieve – performing your first chin-up or parallel bar dip, squatting your bodyweight, deadlifting 1.5x your bodyweight, or anything else that gets you excited.
Focus on achieving those goals, set up your training program accordingly, eat smart, and you’ll also lose fat and build a better looking body in the process.
Be sure to check out Part 2 of The Beautiful Badass Pillars.
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