Updated: Apr 30, 2019
By now you’ve probably seen all the shirtless transformation contest photos of all the people we have worked with and if you haven’t, look no further than two inches above your eyes. If you’re like me you probably are saying “wow, how did he do that” and it may seem scary and undoable until you really start to break it all down into simple, doable, actionable steps. Trust me, I’ve been there, I’ve fallen off the path and was scared and unconfident to get back on the path, but once I did everything just started to happen in life. Hopefully this article can help break down the steps and what you can do today to make a big time change in your life!
Mental Side of Things:
I really believe almost every article, speech, podcast and video I do will always come back to a mental side of things. I’m a huge believer that the body is the soldier of the mind and without our general being in the right state, our solider is going to go off the path very quickly. The mental shift is by far the hardest, but also by far the most rewarding. In life you battle every stressor possible, your job, your family, financial struggles. You also have self-doubts that creep in, the “I’m not good enough” and “I deserved that (insert bad thing here)” thoughts. Finally, you also deal with justifications in your head “Of course I’m out of shape look at my genetics” and “No wonder I suck, look at my situation I was put into”. I’m not blaming you for these things and I’m not trying to put you down. These are common thoughts, it’s the way our brain naturally works to make things easier on us. But is our highest level of achievement the easy way? Is the best version of ourselves bowing down to these thought processes? I think not. So that’s where changing your mindset comes in. A couple things I want to touch on here are two things you can take into action today. 1) Jocko Willink’s thought process of “Extreme Ownership” and 2) Jordan Peterson’s thoughts on “Treat yourself as if you were someone you were taking care of”
Let’s start with the extreme ownership thought process, which means everything that happens in your life is a direct result of the actions leading up until that point. Sure, you can blame genetics, genetics do in fact play a large role in how we look. But what control does this give you over your current situation? Taking ownership of the fact that yes you may have tough genetics means that you know that and that means you just must work harder. Yes, it’s tough, but it allows you to have control over your life! It allows us to look at maybe the reason we are overweight is because we eat too much and exercise too little (we will break this down later). Maybe the reason we aren’t as energetic as we would like with our kids or at our jobs is because we are eating a bunch of junk food. Again, this realization doesn’t feel good, but it is so much better than the alternative of just accepting it and having no control. Control your thoughts to control your life. That’s the first step of this transformation.
Secondly let’s go to the thought process of “Treat yourself as if you were someone you were taking care of” Jordan Peterson is a man much smarter than me and he has spent his entire life studying humans. What he has noted is that we are very good at taking care of others and telling them to eat healthy, to exercise, to drink their water and get their sleep. But we are bad at doing this for ourselves. Trust me, as a coach I live this struggle every day. Being able to take that step back and realize if you aren’t taking care of yourself you are incapable of taking care of others was a big step in my transformation process. Even if to start, you don’t think you need to get your life in order because you don’t feel worthy off it, focus on how many more people you could positively effect if you were taking care of yourself.
Both points are starting points in our transformation contest, because without them we don’t physically or mentally have the control over our lives to make this change. Without these things, when tough days hit (which they will), we will break and eat that doughnut or not make our meals for the day. In and of themselves these actions are small. Yes, maybe you want to enjoy that doughnut one day, but if you are doing it because you had a tough day and wasn’t able to handle the stress, that’s when these things go down hill quickly and bring you off the path.
The last point I want to mention on the fact of mentality is the action of setting goals. The way I break this up is to set 3-4 Larger but obtainable goals that I want to accomplish within the next 3-4 months. Then I break it down to what markers I’m going to need to accomplish by each month and then I break it down into 3 daily goals that will allow me to make constant progress towards these bigger goals. These allow you to take action steps every single day. The way to cross a dessert is one step at a time and this allows you to do that, if you try sprinting across it with no plan you’re quickly going to get discouraged. Set goals, smash them, gain confidence, repeat!
Physical Side of things: How do we Actually do this!
Calories in Vs Calories Out
Now that we have our mindset figured out the rest of it is pretty much straight forward! If you want to break weight lose down into a couple words “Calories in Vs Calories out” It sounds simple and in the overall grand scheme of life it is, but everyone knows this battle can be challenging so I want to break it down in a way that worked for me and many of my clients!
“So, Coach Jochum pretty much what you’re saying is don’t eat anything and we will lose a bunch of weight”
Yes, you will! But you’ll also feel like butt and be a worse human, which is not our goal!
So how do you do it then? Well my answer might surprise you but the first thing I tell all my clients that are making this big change in their life is to NOT COUNT CALORIES.
“But wait, you just said the best way to lose weight is to count calories now you’re saying not to?”
Correct, that’s because for most people we have bigger worries with our diet than counting calories and many times the counting of the calories drives people away. I want people to learn how to fish, not have a fish caught for them.
So, what is our focus then? EAT REAL FOOD! Did it have a face? Was it grown in the ground? Then eat it. For the most part if its boxed, frozen, instant, microwaveable its not getting you closer to the best version of yourself. Real food that you prepared is more micronutrient dense, more filling and usually not as calorically dense. What does that mean for you? You’ll feel better (which will lead to you being more active), you’ll naturally be eating less calories, you’ll be able to make delicious food and your relationship with your food will be so much better, your cravings will start to dwindle and your confidence in cooking will grow. With these meals, eat until you’re satisfied not full and enjoy them. I prefer to split my meals throughout the day into 6 smaller meals, but I know many successful people that do the opposite and fast for most of the day and eat larger meals during the night. Again, our goal is to have something that works for your life, something that is sustainable. But our main thought process doesn’t change. EAT REAL FOOD.
Now I’m not saying this is the end all be all for elite type level athletes. I think this is a great base for almost anyone, because most people don’t do it. But the more elite you get and the finer the goal you’re reaching for is, the finer your diet will have to be. This is where I really believe tracking all your calories and macros and even micros will come into play greatly. An elite level diet guide will probably have to be a whole post by itself, but general suggestions are more protein to keep on muscle. If you want to gain weight and muscle you need to be in a caloric surplus, but do it gradually, an extra 300-500 calories a day for a couple weeks and when your body adapts do that again until you reach your desired weight. If you want to lose weight do it in the same way but opposite. Protein content is more important for these athletes because they want to keep on muscle while losing weight which is tough.
Now this is the other end of the equation! Now that we have our diet figured out and feel like a million dollars with enough energy to bounce from wall to wall, what do we do with it to get shredded, to lose those extra couple pounds, to be a functional human.
1) Have a program. Like almost everything in life, without something planned, without something progressing you forward and keeping you going, progress is going to stall. So, get a program. Something that will help you accomplish your goals. Do you want to add muscle? Do you want to lose fat? Do you just want to be as strong as possible? All these programs will differ, and you must make sure you are on a program that will lead you to your path. Couple main keys for your programming. 1) focus on big compound movements 2) Focus on some sort of human movement every day (running, throwing, jumping) 3) Focus on some sort of cardio at some point in the week 4) Make sure it’s something you enjoy doing or you wont stick to it.
2) Move as much as possible throughout the day! This is key for a lot of my clients and myself included. All this movement adds up and all of it helps us. Go for a couple 10-minute walks throughout the day. Take the stairs, park farther away, do a light band or body weight workout first thing when you wake up. All these things add up and will make you feel so much better, while progressing you towards your goals!
I hope this helped make sense of everything and how I view working with clients. If you ever have any questions just reach out to me at Jochumstrength@gmail.com. If you are interested in a program, fill out the information on the program page! Let me know your thoughts! Keep Chopping Wood. You Guys Rock.