It wasn’t that long ago that humans were busy hunting for their next meal, building their own houses and basically living the self sufficient lifestyles that we talk about today. Thanks to the industrial revolution, humans have gotten a little lazy. We get our food at the store, we drive to work instead of walk and we have a remote for the TV so we don’t even have to get up to change the channel. In a nutshell, humans have gotten fat and happy. If that wasn’t worse enough, we now live in a world where we are completely and utterly tied to technology and what it provides us. Beyond that, we live in a world that at any moment can go haywire. There are a ton of different scenarios to prepare for – terror attacks, natural disasters, government failure, the list goes on.
In less than 100 years, we have gone from self sufficient to nearly complete dependency on the system. We may talk about living off the grid or disconnecting and maybe we go out and buy a gun or get some gear for that rainy day. But beyond that, what the hell is going on? I have news for you, all the gear in the entire world is completely worthless if you get winded by walking up a flight of stairs. That cool $1,200 AR you have in the closet will make somebody a nice toy when they take out of your dead hands because you couldn’t run fast enough to find cover. I think you get the picture, you have to prepare your body for survival, there is no way around it!
Now of course I would be a hypocrite to sit here and write this post without admitting that I do eat crappy sometimes. Yes it true, this weekend, I had a burger and onion rings from Hardees. Sometimes I skip the gym because I’m feeling lazy. Nobody is perfect and I’m not saying that in order to be ready for SHTF, you have to be some lean mean fighting machine ready to take on all comers.
But what you do need a foundation. A foundation of diet and exercise that when molded properly will enable you to take on any challenges you may face in the future. When I first started working out back in 2010, I had no idea, had never stepped foot in a gym and was pretty much lost. Over the years I’ve learned and honed my training strategy so now I am in a position to share with you and hopefully you can use it as a baseline to get in shape and be ready so let’s get down to it!
The Meal Plan
First off you need a plan, something basic, easy to remember but not so intensive or demanding that you’ll follow it for a few weeks and then quit. Does it sound like I’m talking from experience? Of course, when I first started working out, I wanted results and I wanted them FAST! But since I had no background or foundation, I burned out pretty quick after a few weeks. So let’s not go crazy here, let’s be logical and methodical about the approach.
The first step is to get your eating regime in check. That is number #1 and without it, your attempts to get in shape will go to waste very fast. I’m not going to go into big details on diet there is a TON of resources out there on Google that can help you. Let’s just be real about diet as a verb and say that there is no such thing as a diet. Get that word out of your head completely. Diet implies that there will be an end. Then after your diet is over and you’ve dropped that fat, you can go back to eating like you did before. That is the first downfall and the reason why people can’t stay consistent with good eating habits.
So let’s keep things simple and talk about the bad stuff first. It’s not rocket science to figure out that drinking soda, eating fast food and microwave meals is bad for you. So get rid of it. Why eat a bunch of salt, fat and empty carbs that leave you sluggish and hungry a short time later? Get rid of the garbage and start treating your body with respect.
Now that we know what to cut out, let’s get to the next big step, making your own meals. This can be hard to get started with but easy once you get into the groove. Pick out some basic recipes that are easy and quick to make. Pick a day of the week to make your food, Sunday’s work well for me, I spend a few hours making the food and preping my meals for the week. When I’m done, I have my meals all packed in the fridge, ready for each day of the week. I don’t have to worry about getting hungry at work and eating fast food, I just head to the fridge and grab a meal. If you want to make your cooking extremely easy, go out and buy a slow cooker. You can cook pretty much anything in a slow cooker from chicken & rice to beef and pasta and beyond that, check out this great list of recipes:
100+ Slow-Cooker Favorites
Pressure Cooker Vs Slow Cooker
Of course I cannot advise you on the amount of food you need to eat during the day since everyone is different. Different body types, different weights, etc. But this article lays down a great baseline for meals throughout the day.
Perfect Meals: Build Mass & Torch Bodyfat With This Full Day’s Worth Of Perfect Food Choices
The Workout Plan
Now that we got some of the basics nailed down for good eating, let’s talk exercise. These days there is virtually no excuse not to go to the gym. Being at the gym puts you in the training mode and being around other people training helps with the motivation. Pretty much every gym these days has month to month rates, no contracts and low monthly fees. So invest a little bit in your health, it can’t hurt.
But maybe a gym just doesn’t fit in your routine for whatever reason, maybe there are no gyms in your area, maybe the gym isn’t open when you’re ready to train, etc. But hey that’s no big deal, there are tons of exercises you can do at home.
*Superset: A superset means you do all three exercises back to back, then rest 90 seconds and then repeat.
Cardio: One mile run/walk/crawl
Exercises: 3 super sets of 15 pushups, situps and jumping jacks.
Cardio: 5 minute jog warmup, 3 sets of 20 second sprints with 30 second break, 5 minute cooldown
Exercises: 3 supersets of 15 squats, jump ups and squat kicks
Cardio: One mile run/walk/crawl
Exercises: 3 supersets of 15 leg lifts, sitting pullups & pushups
Here’s a big chart of tons of body weight exercises, mix & match to fit your routine. You can do legs & abs one day, triceps and chest the next day, back and biceps the next day and so on. You get the idea.
After those workouts get easy, make it harder, run longer, run harder, add more exercises, but whatever you do, make sure to push yourself. Remember that no matter how hard it seems, you can always get another rep, run for another 5 minutes, your mind is really the only thing slowing you down!
The main point to remember is that slow and steady wins the race. You’re not going to be a PT stud overnight, it will take time and dedication.
Next time we’ll discuss getting started on a basic weight training regime and how to pick out a good gym, until then be sure to comment, like, share and most importantly, get out and TRAIN!