Why does every “fitness guru” and “fitness influencer” try so hard to complicate fitness?
Fitness doesn’t have to suck.
I say it over and over and over and over…and yet I still get asked the same questions that are essentially trying to dig deeper and deeper to unveil some kind of magical secret that leads to Cap’s Super Soldier Serum.
The answer is that you’re too busy focusing on what doesn’t lead to the results to realize that if you focused on THE MAIN COMPONENTS you would have already transformed your life and physique ten times over.
Now, I’m not saying that all four of these things are easy, BUT, what I am saying is that if you nail down these four components you will be able to achieve ANY variation of The Superhero Physique that you’re trying to accomplish.
Regardless of whether your goal is to lose weight and tone, bulk up and tack on mass or even unleash some incredible physique like we see from celebrities; it’s all achievable by focusing in on these four key components.
Actually, all our core programs revolve around all of these….because our focus has always been sustainability, effectiveness and efficiency.
Before I jump into the four components (which you actually likely know already; especially if you’ve been an SHJ member for a while), I want to tell you a little story about how I came to realize fitness doesn’t have to suck….
Fitness Doesn’t Have To Suck…
I think I could honestly write a whole book on the topic of how fitness does not need to suck…
My book Superhuman Secrets is built around that topic, but is mainly set around the research of our celebrities and tons of case studies.
That being said, I won’t sit here and pretend I wasn’t doing EXACTLY what you’re [likely] doing.
If you’re someone who asks (or thinks of) questions like:
- “How much time is optimal to rest between each set of different styled lifts!?”
- “How long after my workout should I be eating or having my protein shake?”
- “What is the EXACT macronutrient ratio I should be sticking to?”
- “Should I do fasted cardio and then also workout, but keep them separate!?”
- “Insert 1 million other unnecessary questions…”
Well then I have news for you: You are trying too hard and listening to the wrong advice….
We have the same people making excuses when they see celebrities transform:
- “Well yeah, but they have a nutritionist and all the time in the world to workout!”
Well, one, they definitely don’t have all the time in the world (have you guys seen how many companies Dwayne Johnson has started in like the last two years and just how much he does….it’s insane….), BUT I promise you this is the wrong mindset.
Somehow our culture has turned into “WOOOO, 24/7 GRIND!!! ALWAYS WORKING!!!”….
And that has led into fitness and nutrition becoming overly complicated to almost prove some type of tremendous feat.
Guess what: you can transform your physique, unleash your inner superhuman, and accomplish everything you want within your fitness goals….without the extra suck that the industry wants you to think is necessary.
My Own Journey Through The Suckage
If you’ve read my story already, that’s fine, you can move on into the four key components, BUT I promise it’s a good one (and every time I tell it..it gets slightly better..)!
The key thing to realize is that I’m no different than you are.
When I was in High School I wrestled, played baseball and I was pretty active throughout, even outside of school sports.
That being said, I quit most school sports by 16-17 and my passion turned into fitness….and World of Warcraft and League of Legends….
If you take a look at the pictures behind the NO symbol above: I was training for hours and hours (running, lifting, EVERYTHING you could think of), trying a million different diets (I really am like a human guinea pig), and inevitably YOYOing out of control (peaks of weight loss leading to weight gain and then rinse and repeat).
So what changed?
I started changing my mindset towards fitness.
I began researching the world’s top performers (hence why we now have over 300 celebrities and top performers researched here at SHJ), and learning that the fitness industry is just putting all of the WRONG material in front of me.
Sure, these celebrities and athletes train A LOT, but they’re also human.
They’re not using some kind of Super Soldier Serum (okay, some ARE, but most aren’t…let’s not get sidetracked); and they’re still incorporating cheat meals/indulgences and functioning on an 80/20 method of living.
Actually, we even took a look at The Top Diets Used Among Celebrities and I bet you’d be surprised by the list…
Years Of Guinea Pig Testing
I’m not going to lie and say I flipped a switch and overnight I knew exactly how to make fitness not suck…
This has taken me YEARS of research and learning and reading through all of the BS out there in the industry (and testing most of it myself as well) to realize that we’re focusing so much on what doesn’t actually make the most change….
If you look back up to the picture, but this time the side with the big check mark, you’ll notice I actually even look better and more shredded at the end result (and no YOYOing).
That’s where we’re really going to zoom in.
Would you believe me if I said I wasn’t using any fad diets, I was still eating donuts and indulging, and I was training the way that best suits ME and my lifestyle (which happens to be quite minimalistic)?
Well it’s true.
Actually, I put all of our programs to the test for a full year and continue to live by them.
All of our Core Programs and systems that we utilize are built around the four key components you’re going to learn about below, we just take them and expand on them to make the entire process easier, more efficient and sustainable for you.
Here…take a look at the year long progress that is THE OPPOSITE of YOYOing…
We’ve now had tons of members (both free and paid) lose over 100 lbs. AND KEEP IT OFF.
This is a lifestyle.
Fitness does not have to suck.
YOU can do this.
Let’s cut through the BS out there and really focus in on what matters….
1. Focus on Progressive Overload and Continuously Improving
Component one is quite simple: you should always be improving in life, and fitness (and your body is no different).
Think of Goku for a second: how SCREWED would our DBZ fighters be if they didn’t consistently strive for improvement over time and constantly level up?
Krillin would have died SO MANY more times…
Here’s a definition of progressive overload from Bodybuilding.com:
This principle involves continually increasing the demands on the musculoskeletal system to continually make gains in muscle size, strength, and endurance. Simply put, in order to get bigger and stronger, you must continually make your muscles work harder than they’re used to.
This quote specifically relates to muscle and getting stronger (although I know they make a quick mention to endurance), but at SHJ we’re going to take it a step further and relate it to all of our training styles.
Regardless of which type of training method you prefer (one of the most popular among women celebrities is a mix of classes like Pilates, yoga, spin, etc.), you should always be looking to improve yourself.
It’s essential to not only muscle growth, toning, and getting stronger, but also to your goals and transformation.
This might seem simple to some people, but hard to grasp immediately for others: there are more ways to strive for improvement than just increasing the weight of your lifts each week/month.
So let’s take a look at a couple examples of how you could look to improve in different variations of training:
- Increase the weight of your lifts each week/month
- Increase the volume of your calisthenics or training (reps/total amount)
- Go back to circuits like our Benchmark Hero Workouts in The Superhuman System / Behemoth Program and re-score to track improvement
- Track your cardio times and watch as you make improvements while shooting to get faster (run/row/swim/bike/etc.)
- Cut back on scaling that you would normally utilize as you improve (Knee Push Ups -> Regular Push Ups)
And there are TONS of other examples of this.
But the point is you need to focus in on making slow and steady improvements.
This is absolutely essential not just because that’s how you make progress and how your body is going to level up in return, but it’s also an extremely motivating way to hold yourself accountable.
2. Dial in on Tracking your Overall Calories
Component two is focusing in on your OVERALL calories.
I’m really putting emphasis on overall calories here because this component is one of the top two reasons people struggle in fitness.
There are so many things that can put a halt in your tracking!
Here’s a handful of things that make tracking hard (I promise there’s light at the end of this tunnel):
- Nutrition Labels can be wrong up to a certain percentage
- Companies are trying their best to get better at this, but there’s just no possible way they can be 100% right.
- We can’t get an absolute 100% correct reading on your personal BMR
- Regardless if we hooked you up to machines and surrounded you with doctors we’d still have a chance at being up to 30% off.
- Activity Trackers can be up to 93% WRONG!
- Stanford did a study and found: “Even the most accurate device was off by an average of 27 percent. And the least accurate was off by 93 percent.”
- Tracking takes a while to get used to…
- Tracking can just be hard in general. I’ve had members insert the wrong item for something like chicken breast (quick click without thinking about it) and end up making their cut a bulk because of how off the numbers were!
Tack on the fact that we all want to be able to go out and live our life without needing to worry about asking the restaurant to specifically weigh out everything they put on our plate, and you have a slew of potential variables here….
BUT, there’s good news…after one more hiccup…
What happens when people don’t lose weight due to miss-tracking and variables?
Here’s the big issue with tracking: it’s hard.
Not only is it just a pain in the butt to get started, but look at all those variables/issues I just listed!!!
So, naturally, people think it doesn’t work.
If I had a dollar for every time someone told me they ate XYZ calories (where XYZ is SUPER LOW) but still didn’t lose weight I would be giving Elon Musk a run for his money…
Then they want to move onto the next fad diet, that will also potentially work to start but lead to YOYOing being that it’s not sustainable.
Well guess what…if you’re one of those people who think you ate under your BMR and still didn’t lose weight over time…you were probably a victim to one of the variables I listed above.
The Good News….FINALLY!
Ready for the good news?
You don’t have to worry about all the other crap out there, you just have to re-focus and figure out what was going wrong when your tracking/calorie counting failed.
Regardless of whether that’s using free resources in our Nutrition Pillars, reading more about calorie counting, or even signing up for our SHJ Nutrition System or Academy to step up your game, this is the answer.
Or for my Mando fans: This is the way.
In our programs we make little changes to really nail down on the exact issues and do a better job finally landing on the best BMR to utilize to really make a difference.
For example, we don’t track daily activity using other resources (like Smartwatches) and instead program it right into our own calculators so we remove that step immediately from the equation.
We also base our calculators and finding your BMR (outside of the tested calculations/equations we use) around the specific programming you’ll be utilizing within our program to get us that much closer.
Tack that onto the fact that we provide “Go-To” daily meals, recipes, and even the best fast food options…and you’re immediately hitting the ground running.
BUT, the key takeaway here is: forget the BS everyone is trying to get you to believe.
Eat under or over your calories (specific increase or decrease is generally perfect around 500, and no more than 1,000 or you begin to lose muscle/gain fat depending on your goal) and you will see results.
3. Always Hit Your Protein Goals
**Full Disclosure: Tons of ramen like Naruto is not a great source of protein, although the eggs and beef/meat in his bowl are :).**
Component three is taking it a step further and will help you tack on muscle, tone, and get stronger.
BUT, it will also help you focus in on ONE specific macronutrient rather than messing with precise ratios and fad diets.
Protein is the building block for muscle, and your body needs it to get stronger, faster, and improve overall.
Remember back to when we talked about constantly shooting to improve? This will help.
Hitting your protein goals isn’t always fun, but it is something that you’re going to want to focus on if you want to achieve The Superhero Physique.
Oh, and I don’t even have bad news for you in this section outside of telling you that you need to hit your protein goal…I only have good news….
I know, I know, you don’t have to thank me…
The Good News….
The good news about only needing to really focus in on your daily protein goal to optimize your results is that this actually allows us to have built in DAILY cheat meals and indulgences.
Yes, you read that right.
One of the pillars of our 4-Tier-Nutrition-System in our Core Programs is daily cheat meals and indulgences that we take advantage of with what we call “free calories”.
These calories are our “leftover” calories after we hit our protein goal but still have room in our diet while staying within our overall calorie goal.
That’s exactly how Ryan (super-picky-eater-younger-brother) was able to eat a donut every single day for an entire month (and I have eaten Chipotle every day for a month numerous times now) while still losing 20 lbs. using The Superhuman System.
That’s also how our members are able to lose weight, then keep losing weight, and then SUSTAIN their weight loss.
I know, dramatic, but it is unfortunately warranted.
Even More Good News!
Oh yeah, it’s only going up from here baby!
Being that protein is always on display as the number one aspect of our diet (in our article about protein we actually use numbers that are quite high based on research from other sources), we put typical industry daily protein goals to the test with myself, coaches and some awesome members.
We found that we can be a large percentage under the typical 1g of protein per pound of bodyweight per day and make it MUCH easier to retain/gain muscle while losing weight and/or bulking up being that we have a much more realistic goal to shoot for.
Actually, we utilize a 3-Tier-Protein-Goal chart within our Core Programs that allow members to choose between different ranges like:
- The Minimum
- The Sweet Spot
- The SuperHuman
Each range gives an option to step it up a notch and focus a bit harder on muscle/strength gain/retention or opt for sustainable progress.
And we’ve had tremendous success with all of them!
Regardless of whether you’re someone who has to supplement your protein or not (I do almost every day at least a small amount), you should always be working on hitting your daily protein goal, and then relax with your other macronutrients and let them fall into place based on cravings or other health/lifestyle goals.
4. Stay Accountable and On Track
Component number four has a handful of layers to it, but the first is finding the best way to stay on track and accountable to your own goals.
Obviously there are MANY ways to do this (I can list a few ways I do this myself below), but instead of focusing in on those to get started, what I really want to focus on is specifically why this matters so much.
When I spoke about the protein goals and paired it with the overall calories goals I mentioned being able to “cheat” or indulge on a daily basis.
Another reason why this is so critical is because it makes your transformation sustainable in the sense that it keeps you from needing to ACTUALLY cheat or binge eat.
If you’re going out drinking on the weekends or taking off for “Football Sunday” every weekend to drink and eat with the bros, you’re likely cutting into your overall tracking and goals more than you actually realize.
For example, I think many of us know how easy it is to eat 4000-5000 calories without realizing due to different types of foods being so damn yummy, but so damn NOT satiating.
So take this weekly chart for example, assuming 2,000 calories would allow us to lose 1 lb. per week of targeted fat:
- Monday: 2,000
- Tuesday: 2,000
- Wednesday: 2,000
- Thursday: 2,000
- Friday (Night out drinking): 3,500
- Saturday (Family Dinner): 3,500
- Sunday (Football Sunday, bro): 5,000
Where does that leave us?
Well, we WOULD have been 3,500 total calories under (which is equivalent to 1 lb. of weight loss), but we were OVER 1,500 calories Friday, 1,500 Saturday and then 3,000 on Sunday.
That means our weekend of an extra 6,000 calories actually not only voided out our weight loss, but it actually turned our cut into a bulk by putting us 2,500 calories OVER our BMR and nearly tacking on 1 lb. of fat instead of the loss we were shooting for.
You don’t have to tell me how crazy that is. I know it already!
And this is just ONE example of how being off can completely ruin your transformation.
Another would be a chart about calculating your BMR based on a routine that trains 4-5 days per week but…then being a couch potato with little to no activity instead…and therefore eating WAYYYY too much food that you’re not actually utilizing as energy and therefore storing as fat!
Okay, okay, enough scary crazy talk.
I think you get the point.
Staying accountable is absolutely essential and making sure we have the systems in place that allow for our daily fitness/activity and nutrition to be sustainable and efficient is vital to our transformation.
Accountability and Motivation Methods I Use
But I won’t leave you with all those scary potential failures…instead I’ll end with some ways I personally hold myself accountable.
Here’s a few things I use on a daily basis:
- Daily Quests/Check Ins
- All our Core Programs have access to check-ins within our app access that both me and my team can see every single day from all our members checking in with THE THINGS THAT ACTUALLY MATTER! (And yes, I use them myself)
- The SHJ Community
- Our Core Programs also come with our private SHJ community of members all looking to achieve similar goals with the same mindset about fitness: this doesn’t have to suck, we can sustain this, and we want to unleash our inner superhuman. I am in there every single day being motivated by hundreds of members.
- Knowledge and Mindset
- Knowing exactly how this works and being able to avoid the BS that is thrown all over the fitness industry really also helps me stay on track because I know how hard I work to sustain this on a daily basis (regardless of enjoying it and it not sucking) so I don’t want to jeopardize that by binging on the weekends or slacking off with the fitness that is going to keep my body functional and strong.
- Tracking My Own Progress
- I do this in multiple different ways. I do this with progress pictures; I do this with progressive overload tracking using our member area tracking charts inside our Core Programs and app; and I also do this with challenges we run within our community.
Now, let’s be honest here for a second: it really looks like every single one of those was a way to plug our Core Programs….
BUT, it really wasn’t.
Those are all things I utilize on a daily basis because I didn’t build this article around our Core Programs, I built our Core Programs around the point of this article….
Fitness doesn’t have to suck.
Regardless of what you decide to do and what path you choose to take for your transformation: I wish you luck, and I hope you now know that SHJ is on your side!
SHJ’s Nick Fury
Join The Superhero Academy and start unleashing your inner SuperHuman.