It’s going to be a GREAT week!
Last week (if you haven’t read that yet, go read it), we started the conversation about men’s bodies and how it seems like there’s increasing pressure for men to have the ripped bodies like Wolverine, Thor and Captain America. This week, we’re going to continue that conversation on the tail of Women and Strength training, Parts 1 and Part 2. Read those if you haven’t yet.
Superhero Bodies, Part 2
Last week we talked a little bit about men’s bodies and the ripped super hero look.
To sum up that blog:
- There is pressure starting to build about societal perceptions of men’s bodies, just as women have felt for the past 50-60 years or so.
- About 40% of men admitted that they aren’t happy with their bodies. Personally, I’m curious to see what the next generation of boys will think about their bodies with the new superhero images coming up.
- You can have that ripped body, if you want it, and we’ll talk a bit more about it today!
Today we’re going to talk about body fat percentages on both men and women, and then we’ll talk a little bit about “The Cost of Getting Lean”.
One way to test your bodyfat is to find a place that has an InBody (or something similar) bioelectrical impedance-testing machine. The Nutrishop San Jose location on Bernel and Santa Teresa has one that does testing for $10. It’s free if you purchase something over $50 though. It will give you a great print out of your weight, body fat and lean mass breakdown, even down to the limb (I believe), so you can see if you have imbalances anywhere.
These numbers are just data points. They have nothing to do with success or failure or any weight on your value as a person. They are just numbers. Just like we record our numbers, reps and weights in the gym, we can use these number to gauge our progress.
So what can we do to move toward that superhero body?
There’s a few things really!
- We can start focusing on what we eat. This is a great place to start thinking about that. Eating less processed foods, eating slower, and smaller portions.
- We can start moving a bit more. Go for walks after dinner, or hike on the weekends.
- We can start practicing stress management. Look into yoga, meditation, whatever helps you relax and let yourself go.
- Sleep more.
- Eat your veggies, protein and good fats.
- Avoid alcohol.
- Weight train a couple times a week.
There are many more things that you can do to jump-start the fat burning process. Precision Nutrition does a great job of outlining things in their article, “The Cost of Getting Lean”. Give this a read all the way through and you’ll see how HARD people have to work to look like Superman, Batman or Thor. Their training and discipline to adhering to their diets is extremely intense. So the question is always, “What are you willing to do to look like that?” Because if you’re not all the way in, you’re out.
That’s really the truth of it. What are you willing to sacrifice to have that six pack? Give up all alcohol? Give up going out to restaurants? Give up desserts except for once ever two-three months? Be willing to weigh and measure all foods in their specific, predetermined portions? Sleep for 9 hours every single night? Workout 2-3 times a day for at least 45 minutes each 6-7 days a week? Or are you willing to not have that rock hard six-pack so you can live a little?
Personally, I know what I’d like. A magic pill! Just kidding. Something that is absolutely necessary in this fitness journey is to decide what you want and make it VERY clear to yourself and accept what you have to do to get there. I’ve accepted the fact that I’m not willing to do everything involved to be as ripped as Superman. But, that doesn’t mean that I can’t get to the point where I’m not ashamed to take my shirt off in public. The steps that are required to get to that point of lean, I’m totally ok with doing. Not drinking alcohol during the week. Making sure that I get 7-8 hours of sleep a night. Eating my veggies, like my mom told me to. Avoiding foods that come in bags or boxes. Telling my sweet tooth to chill out. Upping my physical activity 1-2 times a week. When that becomes easy, going up to 2-3 times a week.
There are a lot of things that one can do to improve their body fat percentage. It just comes down to habits and consistency like we cover in ProCoach. Another class will be starting in a few months, so go read up on the program and fill out the form at the bottom to get on the list today!
4×12 Piston Press
15 Push Ups
20 Air Squats
30 Sit Ups