The Health REBELs Rebellion Program: Week 5

Week 5 Focus: More Mindset, Nutrition, and Activity

This week we’ll be going even further and explaining more of the essential lessons you’ll need to know with Mindset, Nutrition, and Activity to maintain healthy routines for the rest of your life. This week there are 8 lessons totaling 37 minutes designed to give you a deeper understanding of these three spokes of the holistic wheel.

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Lesson 1: Reframe Rehash (Length – 3:00)

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As we approach week 5, we need to address a VERY important lesson from earlier on. It’s more timely than even before.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 1

This is week five in the health REBEL Rebellion Program, five weeks down and… Let’s be honest, at this part, it’s completely normal, it’s totally human, for your excitement to be coming down. For you to be less motivated. For you to be less excited. For you to start to get tired of some of these things, right?

This is a normal part around this point five to six weeks in where things start to become a little bit of a chore. So today what I want to do in the very first lesson in this week is to rehash what we talked about it in mindset about reframing our language. We want to go from disempowering, disencouraging language to empowering, encouraging, exciting language.

Look, we got to be honest, at five weeks excitement is down. And when we talked about the REBEL oath, we shared that the number one secret to success with healthy habits is being excited about your potential. We might need to be a little bit more diligent from this point forward though. Moving on, we have to be gatekeepers. Remember, we had that lesson about the gatekeeper of the mind and being aware of your thoughts so that we can control that mindset model. If we can control the conscious mind, we can control the subconscious mind which controls the body and the body does the actions that get us the outcome.

So we want to play gatekeeper and we want to reframe unexciting and disempowering thoughts, particularly things that are like saying, “I have to do this again.” Saying “I have to…” is very disempowering, very unexciting. Switching “I have to…” to “I want to…” stokes those flames of excitement again. It gets you back up on the horse and gets you going again. So when you catch yourself saying “I have to…” switch it to “I want to…”

Or, at this point, you might come up to stuff and you’re like, “ugh, not again!” At this point, it’s good to remember and to reframe this so that it reminds us of our goal — of our destination postcard. So if you go “ugh, not another meal plan.” when you go to make that weekly meal plan remember! We’re doing this for 2.0 version. For that destination postcard. Remember what your goal is. Remember what that vision is, and reframe your situation to build more excitement.

We’re in week five. I know I know, natural human tendency is to run out of motivation, run out of excitement. But we’re going to use the gatekeeper to be aware of those unexciting thoughts and we’re going to use reframing to re-empower us and keep us going through the program and beyond.

Lesson 2: Meal Timing and (when) Does it matter? (Length – 4:48)

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Meal Timing gets confusing on the internet these days. Should you have 6 meals a day? 3? What about fasting? When do I eat? How often? Well, in this lesson I’ll share with you the reality of meal timing, what my top recommendation is, and why some people shouldn’t.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 2

Last week, you got a brand new nutrition tracking system. Something that you’ve probably never used before.

The way the system is set up is to award points based on healthy habits related to eating. One of those habits was meal timing. Meal timing is the placing of meals or the window in between meals and snacks. Meal timing is how much time do you have between meals. And on that sheet you got a point if your meals were between two and a half and four and a half hours in between.

That means if you have lunch at noon, we didn’t want to have a snack right away at 1230 or one o’clock. That’s too short of a window.

And we also don’t want to have lunch at noon and then dinner at seven. That seven hour gap is too long of a feeding window.

Now obviously, the gap between dinner and breakfast with sleeping is going to exceed that. Other than that, we generally want to have this two and a half to four and a half hour window.



Let’s talk about meal timing a little bit more in depth. There is a lot of research around meal timing, and you’ll see a big debate on the internet community about whether two meals a day is better or whether six small meals but more frequently throughout the day is better. The reality is, looking exclusively at weight loss, the research shows that both methods are just as effective. If you can control the amount of food intake in a day, the timing of it really isn’t that important.

But in my practice, in my observations, what we often run into is when feeding windows get too wide, people tend to get really hungry and then they start to make impaired decisions. Meal timing is a tool that we use to not only ensure that we’re eating healthy foods, but it’s a way to control our hunger signals so that we don’t overcompensate at meal times. It’s a way to control the portions with which we eat.

Meal timing also can help raise the quality of life. By getting meals in and by eating at regularly scheduled intervals, you’re getting a constant source of energy into the body so that you’re not lethargic during the day, so that you’re not rundown during the day, so that you’re not distracted from hunger signals during the day. Meal timing for Health REBELs is really a behavioral and energy control mechanism. It’s really a tool that we use to control behaviors and to increase energy throughout the day.

But I’ll be honest with you, if your goal is weight loss, meal timing’s not the most important…

We still have that recommendation because for most people, it does improve the quality of your life. It does improve the adherence to the program, and it does improve the way you feel. That’s very important. But remember; radical individualization. If for some reason with your schedule, we cannot make that meal timing work then it’s okay to miss that point on your on your nutrition tracking system. We need to know when things apply and when they don’t.

Meal timing is a great powerful tool you can use to manage your behaviors and manage your energy levels throughout the day. But it’s not something to kill yourself for. It’s not something to get overly worked up about. Absolutely 9 times out of 10, I do want you to have good meal timing. I want you to follow the protocols in the meal tracking system. But if you need adjustments, you have permission to make adjustments. So that is what meal timing is and that’s if it matters, and when it matters.

Lesson 3: The #1 Culprit for broken meal plans (Length – 5:34)

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There is one almost invisible habit that devastates healthy eating. If you’re not looking for it, you may even miss that you do it.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 3

Every year, thousands of people will go on a diet.

And they fall off because of one culprit. There is one giant culprit that breaks diets and breaks meal plans all the time. And if we’re not aware of it, if we’re not on the guard for it, if we’re not looking out for it, it’s gonna sneak up and push you into unhealthy habits.

The number one culprit of broken meal plans is unplanned food.

They’re food that we often have, often innocent and innocuous, that derail us. They add additional resources that we don’t need, or they often trigger us into a backslide of avoiding the resources that we do need when we eat food. And if you look back at the meal tracking system that you got last week, there are two terms that you’ll be looking for there: BLT’s and Loose Meals.

Now BLTs… I’m not concerned if you’re having a BLT, a Bacon Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich. I love sandwiches. I will never talk bad about a sandwich. But when we talk about BLTs what we’re referring to are bites, licks, and tastes. These are the innocent innocuous little grabs of food that we don’t even think about. When you go to the bank and they have tootsie rolls on the counter. When you go to the office and there’s cookies on the counter and you grab one cookie, or when people offer you a snack or a little bit of candy or something throughout the day, or while you’re cooking dinner and you just start to snag off everyone’s plate or as a parent, oftentimes cleaning your child’s plate at the end of the meal.

They’re all these little additional food sources that we didn’t plan on. These bites, licks, and tastes, although by themselves are completely innocuous and easy. Cumulatively, they can add up to a completely additional day throughout the week. Instead of eating seven days of food, people tend to eat eight days worth of food on complete accident without noticing it. So on the meal tracking system and on your habit tracker, we do have a spot for tracking BLTs; those little bites licks and tastes.

And there’s an allotment. I don’t want you to go through life telling everybody “No.” I don’t want you tell everybody no every time. No is gonna make you lose your mind! Quick aside: just to talk about reframing and recap on that. When you do tell somebody “No,” don’t ever tell them just no. Use the phrase that “I choose not to” or “no thank you,” right? Because in that moment, what we’re doing is we’re making a choice for our healthy habits over that momentary immediacy, right?

And it’s okay, you’re gonna learn when we talk about the Triple D defense later this week, that it’s okay to have those BLTs. It’s okay to have those decisions. You will see on the tracking sheet, there is an allotment for weekly BLTs. You are allowed to have a BLT, but we don’t want that innocuous feeding, that innocuous treat and snack, to turn into an insidious habit. We want to be aware of it. We want to monitor it.

The second thing that you’ll notice on the sheet is loose meals. Loose meals are just meals that don’t fit into the guidelines that award you a point in the meal tracking system.There’s a couple of reasons why a meal would count as loose meal.

It may be a meal where we just don’t try to get vegetables in, or maybe we don’t try to get a good portion of protein or whatever it is that will make us a “healthy meal.” Or maybe, especially around the winter and in the fall time around Thanksgiving time, maybe we have a little bit too much. Maybe we go to a birthday party or a pizza party and we have a couple extra slices of pizza or a couple extra slices of cake. These rare occasions, these not every day events, where we decide we don’t want to follow the rules, where we decided that we want to just relax and enjoy the company, you’re free to do that!

I give you permission to do that.

There is an allotment on the cap. There’s an allotment in the point system to allow you to do that without punishment. To do that without shame, without guilt. To do that without repercussions. But there’s an allotment to also prevent you from over-indulging in that. To prevent you from over-consuming. To prevent that innocuous celebration from turning into an insidious habit.

We want to kind of control the extras.

The extras, the number one culprit to broken healthy eating habits. So now that we’re aware of this, now that we’re tracking this, we can defend ourselves against the number one cause of broken meal plans every year for the vast majority of people by tracking and allowing and accommodating these extra feedings– these extra snacks. These BLTs and loose meals have to be permitted, but managed.

We get to break free from the common standards of completely denying them and then completely over indulging. We get to fall in the middle and live in a happy middle ground where we can maintain healthy habits for the rest of our lives and make healthy eating easier than ever before.

Lesson 4: Triple D Defense against Cravings and Temptations (Length – 4:59)

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Hey, you now have an allotment on BLTs and Loose Meals, but temptations and cravings still happen. So how do we beat them? Let me give you the Triple D Defense, the most powerful tool for craving management.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 4

In the last lesson, we talked about allotments of extra snacks and extra foods and the number one culprit behind broken meal plans. And we talked about BLTs and loose meals. But what causes BLTs and loose meals? Oftentimes, it’s temptations and cravings. So what should we do if we get extra temptations and extra cravings?

Well, my number one recommendation for this is what I call the Triple D defense.

The Triple D defense is a three prong attack you can use to overcome temptations and cravings. Let’s break this down.

First, the first D, we want to delay. What we want to do is, say it’s 2:50 right now where I’m at. If I get a craving for some candy, and there’s some candy nearby, well, I’m going to wait until three o’clock to make that decision. I’m going to wait until three o’clock to have that candy. Usually you want to give yourself a 10 to 15 minute window for this.

The reason why is because temptations and cravings tend to be signaled by both our thoughts and by our hormones. Both of these come in waves. There is a definite peak where the temptation and the craving is the strongest. And then over time, that decreases. And in that valley, that urge isn’t as strong and it’s not pushing us as hard.

If we’re trying to make a decision when we’re at the peak of the craving, where our brain is on fire going, “I want I want I want I want I want I want it”, you will have a really difficult job to rationalize in that setting. But if we’re trying to make a decision in the valley, the lowest temptation point, where it’s not quite as noisy in our head, we can oftentimes make better decisions– more rational decisions and think things through.

Now the second part of the Triple D defense is distract.

During that 10 minute window, you want to go and do something else. If you’re standing in the kitchen; if you’re staring at the bag of chips for 10 minutes in the kitchen saying to yourself, “oh man. All right. 10 minutes, I’m gonna wait. And then I’m gonna decide chips. Yeah, I’m gonna wait for you chips. I’m waiting for you chips. Yeah, let’s do this!” then you’re not not gonna get to the other side of that peak. You’re just gonna create a larger peak.

You’re gonna get more fixated. You’re gonna have more hormonal release, you’re gonna have more thoughts about those chips. We want to go distract, allow that wave to come back down. So distract yourself with something that is unrelated to that craving or that urge. Maybe it’s reading, maybe it’s knitting, maybe it’s chores, maybe it’s something, whatever it is, we want to get away. And we don’t want to stare at the clock. We don’t want to stare at the food thing. We don’t want to stare at the craving or the temptation and we don’t want to fixate on it. We want to distract.

Then finally, after 10 minutes delay, after distraction, then we get to decide. The final D: Decide.

Look, most of the time in that valley, we’re going to be able to say “hey, look, I already had a BLT. I don’t want this right now.” Or we’ll be able to say, “You know what, I’m not really hungry right now. And I’ve got dinner in 25 minutes, I can wait.” Or we might say, “Hey, I’ve got my nephew’s birthday party this weekend. And I’m gonna have some extra cake and ice cream there. I don’t need candy right now. I don’t need potato chips right now. I can wait till Saturday where it means more.” Right?

You’ll have that decision, and you’ll be able to make that decision. Let’s be completely honest. Sometimes, you’re gonna decide to have that thing. Even though you delayed, even though you distracted. Sometimes you’re going to really just look at that food and go, “You know what? I really do want a bowl of chips. I’m gonna sit down on the couch, I’m gonna watch my favorite TV show, and I love the flavor in my mouth. I’m gonna have these chips.”

And that’s okay.

Even if you decide to have that BLT or have that loose meal after the delay and the distraction, chances are high you’re probably going to make a better decision with it, too. You’ll notice that when I said I decided to have it, I said that I’m gonna get a bowl of chips and sit down, not scarfing the whole bag down. You’re able to make better decisions.

I’m not saying that you need to decide to say no, but give yourself a chance to make the right decision in the situation.

So when you find yourself backed up against cravings, backed up against temptations, remember the Triple D defense.

Delay. Distract. Then Decide

Lesson 5: The 5 (?) Questions to ask yourself for Flexible Eating Anywhere (Length – 5:28)

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Life pulls you in a million directions, doesn’t it? Sometimes you won’t be in a perfectly controlled scenario, but you may still want to make the best choices for yourself. These 5 questions (and a special bonus) will guide you to make healthy choices anytime.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 5

What I love the most about the simple meal guide is the flexibility, the adaptability, the ability to be on plan, even when you’re out of plan. It gives you so many options to make adjustments and always eat healthy.

Sometimes you’re not necessarily in control of your food.

What I want to do in this lesson is to give you five questions you can ask yourself to always create the healthiest meal available. These five questions, if you ask them while you’re building a meal and while you’re eating, can ensure that you’re always making a healthy decision for yourself.

The first question I always ask myself is, “where’s the protein?” A lot of times people under consume protein. That’s not ideal that you’re not getting enough resources for the body’s needs. So the first question I always ask is, “where’s the protein?” Identifying that helps you eat a healthier meal no matter where you’re at.

The second question I like to ask is, “where are the plants?” I’m looking for the fruits and vegetables. Where are the things that are gonna give me all my micronutrients, all my vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals, adaptogens, all of the good antioxidants and things that keep me healthy and vital from the inside out? You want to ask “where are my plants?”

The third thing you should ask is, “Where are my carbohydrates?” Is it the grains? Is it the bread? Is it the legumes? Is it starches and potatoes? Figure out what on the plate has your source of carbohydrates?

The fourth question you want to ask, especially if you’re eating out, especially if you’re eating somewhere else, is “where’s my fat?” Now on the meal tracking system, I don’t have the category for fat. For most omnivore diets, fat’s taken care of. But when you’re out of control, when you’re out and about and you’re looking for flexible nutrition, we do want to be aware of where fat is, so we can control the amount that we bring in.

Which leads us to the fifth question. “How much am I eating?” On the simple meal guide, you saw that everything was structured by the size of your hand, right? All of the protein servings were recommended based on the size of your palm. The carbohydrates were recommended based on the size of your fist. Plants and vegetables were recommended by cupped handfuls, right?

So how much are you eating? Once you’ve identified all the categories on the plate, we get to manipulate the portion size based on your hand size, and based on the healthy meal tracking system.

The five questions to ensure that you have healthy eating no matter where you are: Where is my protein? Where are my plants? Where are my carbs? Where’s my fat? And how much am I eating?


I’ve got a special bonus sixth question that you can ask. And I think this one might be the most important question. “Do I care?”

Now there’s a couple of ways we can go about this. We can interpret this question in a couple of different ways. One, you can ask, Do I care? Meaning do I care about myself in the moment? Do I care about my goals? Do I care about my health? Do I care about my values? And figuring out sometimes we’re more important than our temptations. We are more important than our cravings, right? We we have to value ourselves. Remember, the REBEL oath says to love yourself and act accordingly. Asking yourself if you care is asking yourself if you’re willing to love yourself.

But there’s a second way to take that question.

Do I care? This can be situational and in some situations it’s okay to not care. The reality is every summer I go over to my nephew’s house. I travel a couple hundred miles to visit him. And it’s fantastic! His mom, my sister in law, goes all out! Designs a beautiful cake, makes cupcakes, and treats everywhere! And in that moment I asked myself, “do I care about healthy eating?”

And I don’t!!

I don’t! I allow myself freedom to have a loose meal in that situation. Sometimes the situation is special and it overcomes how much we want to care about healthy eating in that moment. And that’s okay. That’s okay, but remember the tracking point system. There is an allotment for how many loose meals we want in a week and sometimes we don’t care about healthy eating. Sometimes we care about the situation and we want that have that loose meal. That’s okay.

So the six questions you can ask yourself. Where’s my protein? Where are my plants? Where are my carbs? Where’s my fat? How much am I eating? And do I even care? These six questions will allow you to have flexible nutrition no matter what situation you find yourself in.

Lesson 6: Why We DON’T Count Calories (Length – 4:45)

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It’s so incredibly common to hear people counting calories. It’s one of the most common bits of advice. But we never will. Why? Well, in this lesson we’ll explain why we have left the calorie conversation behind.

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 6

We’ve talked a lot about nutrition already. And you might be wondering, “Steven, what about calories?”

Why haven’t we talked about calories yet? Like how many calories should you be eating? Are you eating too many calories? Are you eating too few calories? How do you know if you’re eating the right amount of calories?

And the reality is…I don’t give a rip.

I don’t count calories. I don’t believe in calories, and I know that makes me a little bit of a heretic in the health and fitness world. I genuinely don’t think calories are a relevant discussion to having healthy habits. They’re not a relevant discussion to human biology. They don’t describe metabolism, and they’re not worth bothering with.

Let’s be completely honest, the purpose of this program is to establish healthy habits you can maintain for a lifetime. People have been counting calories ever since 1918 when Lulu Hunt Peters published the book “The key to calories.” She published that book and introduced the concept of calories to the American lexicon. Ever since then people have been counting calories… and falling off the wagon and undoing their progress.

We don’t want to do that.

The REBEL oath says that we break free from common standards. We also need to be excited about our potential. When we count calories, there’s so much trauma and history there. There’s no excitement talking about calories, there’s just misery and shame and remorse. We also want to be energized by our healthy habits and counting calories encourages people to choose the low calorie, low energy options so that they’re rundown the day, so that they’re deprived and restricted and lacking resources for their health.

If that’s not energizing we don’t want to touch that concept at all.

Now, let me explain a little bit more. It may come as a surprise, but calories don’t exist. They straight do not physically exist. A calorie is a unit of measurement for potential energy in a fuel source. The way that we measure calories is scientists take a food substance, we put it into a tool called a “bomb calorimeter” (which is the most disappointing tool I’ve ever used in a lab. There is no bombs, there’s no explosions. It’s lame, disappointing, underwhelming). A bomb calorimeter is an isolated tank where you combust the food item. The heat that comes off the fire heats up water. You then measure how much the temperature of water increases which tells you how many calories, how much heat energy, is in the food.

The problem is our human biology, our bodies, don’t light food on fire. We’re not combustion tanks. We’re not heating up water. We’re not raising the temperature of water. So the measurements of calories in food doesn’t describe human biology. What is in food, the protein, the carbohydrates, the fats, the micronutrients, the vitamins, the minerals, all of that, all of those resources do affect our body. They do affect our metabolism, they do describe our biology.

All of those things — the proteins, the carbs, the vitamins and minerals –they give benefits to the body. They allow us to have vitality from the inside out.

So we don’t focus on calories; we focus on resources. We focus on providing for the body, We focus on healthy habits. We focus on something that’s sustainable, that can last us for the rest of your life. So instead of thinking about counting calories, a practice that has failed people for decades, over and over again and leave people broken on the wayside, we’re gonna do something new. We’re gonna break free from common standards. And we’re just gonna focus on healthy habits, healthy habits you can maintain for a lifetime.

Calories are not relevant to your body. They’re not relevant to your digestion, they’re not relevant to metabolism. They’re not relevant to the discussion.

What is relevant are the habits are what you do is the consistency of your behavior. Those are what we want to monitor. Those are going to make us healthy, those are going to lead to the results that we want.

Lesson 7: How often should you be active? (Length – 4:03)

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This is a great question. One that everyone always asks. Is there a right answer? And what is it?

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 7

A question that always comes up is, “How often should I exercise? How many days a week should I work out? How long should my workouts be?”

There’s a lot of recommendations. In the American Heart Association, there’s a recommendation for a weekly allotment of exercise, a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise a week. But I’m going to make things a lot simpler for you. I’m going to break things into two different categories.

You know that activity breaks down into two camps: non-exercise activity, and exercise activity.

So let’s talk about non exercise activity first. You should be active every day. What I always tell people is “if you have a heartbeat, move your meat.” That is just a standard for healthy living. You should be active every day.

We’re going to track your steps. We want to have a baseline physical activity for every day, we want to have that threshold that we hit. We want to send those positive signals for healthy adaptations on a daily basis. We want to be active every day.

Now, what about the other camp? What about exercise activity? Well, what I’ve found in my time coaching is that clients that get the best results, they tend to exercise five or six days a week. They tend to exercise five or six days a week. But remember, the top priority in this program is to create healthy habits you can maintain for a lifetime. So I want you to be active every day. And then if you can, I want you to shoot for five days of exercise.

But remember, I want you to maintain healthy habits. If five days of exercise is grueling on your schedule and a burden that pushes you away from healthy habits then aim for four days. If you can’t do four, can you do three? Because let’s be honest, three days of exercise is better on the body than two days of exercise. Two days of exercise is better for the body than one, and one is infinitely better than none.

So what I want you to do is: I want you to be active every single day for your health. And then for the best results, I want you to aim for five days of exercise. But really just get as close to that as you can.

Now the length of your workout. I don’t really care about that too much either ?.

The reality is 20 minutes a day, five days a week is a lot better than most people get when they shoot for one hour, once a week. Right? 20 minute workouts don’t sound very exciting, but they get the job done. And that’s what we’re looking for. Just consistent repeatability.

Now, typically, I do want people to aim for about 30 to 60 minute workouts. But same thing, as always do what you can with what you can when you can.

So my ultimate recommendations is activity every single day, get off the couch and go for a walk, whatever you can do to just have some threshold activity every single day. And then in addition to that, we’re looking for about five days of exercise… If you can. If not, what is the most that you can do? What is the most that you’re willing to do? What is the most that you’re enabled and empowered to do?

Aim for five days, get as close as you can be consistent and be moving forward. That’s what we’re looking for. Habits that you can sustain for a lifetime. So focus on that first, get that threshold and then if you want to go a level higher, aim for optimum, aim for ideal, and shoot for five days a week of exercise and seven days a week of activity.

Lesson 8: How intense should workouts be? (Length – 4:47)

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People always want to CRUSH THEMSELVES in workouts. Push further, push harder. No pain, no gain!! But really, how intense should workouts actually be?

CLICK HERE for a transcript of Lesson 8

This is a really fun conversation.

What I want to talk about in this lesson is how “hard should you push yourself in an exercise.”

Now there is going to be some nuance to this conversation. Some of this is going to be determined based on the magnitude of your personal goal. If your goal is very far away from where you are, or on a restricted timeline, the amount you push yourself might be a little bit higher, and it might be a little bit more frequent than general health goals.

But for the vast majority of people, what we’re looking for is to establish healthy habits that send positive signals to the body.

Remember, the purpose of activity is to send healthy signals to the body.

Oftentimes, fitness has gotten into this realm where we overemphasize intensity. In Fitness™, we tell people they need to push harder. For the population that’s been sharing that information, that’s been relevant advice for them. Their bodies are conditioned, their minds are conditioned, their personalities are conditioned for high intensity. Conditioned for that “no pain, no gain” philosophy. In an ironic twist of fate, those populations don’t actually push themselves to levels of pain.

I can prove this!!

If you watch athletes workout, they are grueling workouts. They look super intense. They’re incredibly hard. They’re sweating buckets. And they’re… smiling about it? They’re telling jokes to their friends, they’re telling jokes to their workout partners. There’s a glimmer in their eye. It excites them and makes them happy. It’s not as painful as people have implied.

For athletes, it is personally exhilarating. For the rest of us? It’s not as exhilarating. It is not as beneficial. It doesn’t send those positives adaptation signals. For the most part, I think we need to work less hard than people have been suggesting over the last couple of decades.

I do have to make a stance real quick…
We do want to bear in mind the most important principle with long term success and fitness is the principle of progressive overload. You do want to somehow make your workouts more challenging whether that’s increasing your reps, increasing your sets, increasing the weight, increasing the resistance, increasing the tempo, the range of motion… We’ve talked about ways to change and progress exercises.

We do want to progress exercises. But a progression on the exercise does not mean that you have to go overly intense.

If you were to rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, I believe the majority of your workouts should fall into a six to seven area of difficulty or intensity. Now with resistance training, with some of the strength training that you’re going to do the exercises –the individual sets — may feel like they’re more in the nine to 10 range. And that’s okay, that’s fine. With the way resistance training is structured with the rest periods and with the amount of exercises you’re doing, having a couple moments of nine to 10 can still allow the overall workout to fall into a six to seven.

I think the majority of your workouts on a scale of 1 to 10 should be about a six to seven. And then I think about 10 to 20% of your workouts should bump up to the seven and nine range. Once in a while once a week or once every other week, there should be a workout that should be pretty challenging.

For the vast majority of what you’re doing, you’re just sending positive signals – positive, healthy signals. Putting too much intensity into too many workouts sends stressful signals, sends overwhelming signals, sends signals to cut down and hide away. We don’t want that.

Remember the purpose of activity is to build the body up. And if we’re cutting it down with too much intensity too often, we’re working against our best interests.

So, general rule of thumb 80% of your workouts should be about six to seven on a scale of 1 to 10 and then 10 to 20% of your workouts should be an 8 to 10.

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