By Jason Ferruggia
I was interviewed for a big name fitness magazine recently and they asked for my top five training tips. Here’s what I told them…
Train like an athlete - You should be training for enhanced performance and your strength work and conditioning/ cardio should be hard, heavy and fast. None of the light weight, slow tempo nonsense, and no medium intensity, steady state cardio that drowns your fast twich fibers in lactic acid, turning them slow.
Use big, compound exercises and add in some throws, jumps or strongman training whenever appropriate. Always strive to increase your performance from one workout to the next by lifting more weight, doing more reps, jumping higher, running faster or getting done in less time.
Use exercises that allow you to move your body through space – When you move your own bodyweight (or bodyweight plus resistance) like you do in a chin up, pushup, squat, parallel bar dip, etc. you activate more muscle fibers, thus you will get bigger, stronger and leaner a whole lot faster. As far as conditioning and cardio goes, you have to realize that the human body wasn’t designed for repetitive steady state activity but rather short bursts with a wide variety of different movements. This is exactly what you do when you play most sports. When you pump away on a machine for 30 minutes you are fighting evolution.
So focus on bodyweight and free weight exercises like chins, dips and sprints, play as many sports as possible, and avoid all strength or cardio machines like the plague.
Less is more - When training for size, strength and speed, quality is always more important than quantity. If you undertrain you will make some progress, albeit slowly. If you overtrain you will make zero progress. When in doubt, do less. Limit your workouts to 45 minutes (excluding warm up) and 12-16 total work sets.
Eat only organic whole foods – If a caveman couldn’t eat it you probably shouldn’t eat it. Almost nothing that comes in a box or plastic wrapper or that contains any artificial ingredients whatsoever can be considered healthy. Focus on getting the majority of your calories from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and lean, grass fed beef, free range chicken and eggs, and limited amounts of wild caught fish like salmon. If you can’t chew all of your protein add in a top quality protein powder likeSun Warrior.
Be sure to drink nothing but pure water and the occasional cup of green tea or glass of red wine. Also, remember to avoid conventional, pasteurized dairy, corn, wheat and sugar as these cause inflammation throughout the body leading to pain and disease.
Sleep - Getting 8-10 hours per day of high quality sleep is simply the best thing you can do for recovery, building lean muscle, burning bodyfat, improving insulin sensitivity, enhancing immune system function, repairing damaged tissues/injuries, improving brain function, etc, etc, etc. If you are not sleeping you have a major problem and it needs to be addressed with high priority.