59 Tips To Improve Your Health and Physique (Part 2)

swoleIf you missed the first installment of this article check it out here.

31. If you have nagging injuries (like I do), always try to dress warm when you train. Call me crazy but I usually wear a winter skull cap and sweat pants, even in the summer. I feel like this practice helps me warm up quicker and keeps blow flowing efficiently during my workout.

32. Never use heated oils to cook your food (this goes for olive oil as well). Cooking with heated oils can lower the nutritional value and make the food almost impossible to digest — there is also evidence that it may even lead to heart disease. Pro tip: if you do use oils plus heat when you cook, use coconut or macadamia nut oil on medium heat. For more info, the book Fats That Heal Fats That Kill by Udo Erasmus is a great resource.

33. Drink 64-100 ounces of water per day. I shouldn’t even have to explain this one to you if you’re over the age of 13.

34. Avoid quick fixes and magic potions. You don’t want to have one of those “If you or a loved one have taken _________ and gotten  _________ disease you may be entitled to compensation” commercials hit too close to home.

35. If you have less than two years of serious training under your belt (aka you’re an inexperienced lifter/beginner), compound movements such as squats, deadlifts, pushups, dips, pullups, chinups, standing presses, and rows should be the primary exercises you train with.

36. Quit messing around in the gym. If you’re training properly, you should be spending at least 60-80 percent of your workout time in the power rack. (this time should not be spent doing curls though, curls in the power rack is a ‘you should be slapped’ type of gym offense)

37. I don’t know what training “balls to the wall” is but you should never do it, for any reason. There is nothing hardcore about putting your balls up against the wall.

38. Memo to the Bros: Don’t kill yourself bro by “going big” and lifting too heavy too often bro. Bro, you’ll probably destroy your joints and zap your central nervous system if you try to train “balls to the wall” all the time. I’m serious bro. Bro, for reals bro.

39. Get some R&R. Take a full week off from training every 10-12 weeks to recharge the battery and recover. The harder you train, the more rest you will need. Always respect the relationship between training frequency and intensity/volume regardless of how advanced you are.

40. Muscle worship is lame. If you’re a serious ‘athlete’ your most important focus when training should be the health of your joints, ligaments, and tendons. You can always lose and rebuild muscle…but joints never grow back. Your goal should be to create the maximum amount of muscle stimulus from weight training that you can while putting the least amount of stress on your joints as possible.

41. Ice your joints post-workout if you’re injured or in pain. Millions of adults have various forms of joint issues…from osteoarthritis…to bursitis…to arthritis…the symptoms are generally the same, they just range in severity. I have had a variety of joint issues during my athletic career (they still plague me today) so I know how devestating joint pain can be. I also know that many of us try to tough it out and try to train through pain…but small injuries combined with ‘wear and tear’ can disrupt joint biomechanics and alter the molecules that make up your cartilage. This process can then lead to inflammation, pain, and cause a release of chemicals that are highly destructive to cartilage…and sadly…you cannot bring back cartilage once you lose it. It’s gone forever. Here’s how ice can help: When you exercise, a lubricant called synovial fluid is drawn to your joints — if that fluid sticks around too long after your workout is over, it can cause cracking and pain. By icing your achy knees, elbows, etc, you can draw this fluid out of the joint and into the lymphatic system where it can be properly disposed of. Ice can also reduce inflammation, which should help ease the pain as well.

42. If you constantly feel tired, lethargic, and/or even “weak” in the gym, you may be suffering from the effects of underactive adrenal glands. Try supplementing with Vitamin C and Pantothenic acid.

43. Supplement with probiotics. Probiotics are the friendly bacteria that reside within the gastrointestinal tract. These little guys make the conditions inside the bowel extremely inhospitable for bad bacteria, inhibits their growth, and makes it easier for good bacteria to grow. Tip: when using Lactobacillus acidophilus, make sure the supplement contains at least 200 million organisms per cubic centimeter.

44. Chew your food thoroughly. This is the first stage of digestion as your mouth prepares your food to be properly digested and absorbed. I know many of us have hectic schedules, but have patience when you eat…don’t wolf down your food…and be sure to chew each bite at least 50 times before swallowing.

45. Take digestive enzymes, especially before large meals. The various digestive enzymes all perform specific tasks at different stages of the digestive process –- supplementing with digestive enzymes (especially if you have pre-existing gastrointestinal issues) will help aid the digestive process. My brand of choice is Digest Gold.

46. 20 minutes before meals, squeeze a fresh lemon into a 4-6 ounce glass of hot water. This ‘tea’ has been shown to naturally boost your hydrochloric acid (HCL) levels which will also aid the digestive process.

47. Have sex at least 3 or 4 times per week. We all know it feels good…but studies have shown that sex puts you in a better mood, increases energy levels, and even burns calories. Sex is good for your health, just be sure to be safe out there folks.

48. Don’t be a Diet Nazi. There is really no point to being overly hardcore about any particular diet plan…and giving yourself unrealistic nutritional restrictions (unless you have an illness or allergy which requires you to do so). All ‘Nutrition Nazi-ism’ usually does is make you an unhappy asshole with vitamin & mineral deficiencies. Plus we will all hate you.

49. Eat more salt. Salt gets a bad rap but sodium is an essential electrolyte for sustaining life — so I try to sprinkle organic sea salt on many of my meals. Tip: don’t start pounding any type of salt if you have blood pressure issues.

50. Get your daily fix of sunlight. Unless you’re a vampire, you should be getting 15-20 minutes of sunblock free time in the sun daily to boost your vitamin D levels. If it’s winter time and you live somewhere with constant shitty weather (like Canada) try to take 4000-5000 IU of a high quality vitamin D supplement each day.

51. Chill the F out. Stress is the worst imaginary disease in the world. You can’t touch or taste stress. It doesn’t actually exist –- unless your thoughts create it by engaging in ‘stressful thinking’. Stress also increases cortisol, which can make you fat – I hope this news didn’t just stress you out…

52. Stop the mindless cardio. Science has shown us that doing excessive amounts of aerobic exercise can reduce your testosterone levels and spike cortisol levels. What more do I need to say?

53. For a better cardio workout: ditch the boring elliptical and treadmill…and opt do high intensity conditioning like running stairs, hill sprints, jumping rope, or pushing sleds instead. I prefer to do this type of conditioning on days I don’t lift. If I’m feeling ballsy that day though…I’ll do it for about 20-30 minutes after lifting.

54. Add bodyweight, strongman, and other weird lift exercises into your training routine to build the type of strength you can use in real life situations. Real life situations like: if someone is attacking you or a loved one…or if you have to fight a bear in the woods…or if you have to fight a vegan ninja for a parking spot at Whole Foods. Tip: These types of exercises work different muscle fibers and help build functional strength.

55. Always Train To Get Stronger. I remember when men still trained like men and when people moved big iron to gain size and strength. I remember when they used to walk or run on off days to maintain their conditioning and bodyfat levels. Nobody did four weekly 30 minute circuits of swings, burpees and snatches. You know why? Because that shit makes you small and weak, pumps you full of cortisol, destroys your joints, and negatively affects your strength training. Regardless of what you heard on Twitter or saw on TV…It ain’t strength training unless you’re gettin’ strong. Don’t fall for marketing hype, get back to the basics son.

56. Never ever use steroids or performance enhancing drugs for any reason. Exception: you’re a world class athlete with millions of dollars at stake — dollars you plan to donate to noble & righteous causes after your premature death from liver or brain cancer. Hint. Hint.

57. Follow a healthy diet plan that allows your body to naturally harness the effects of Testosterone, Growth Hormone, Insulin-Like Growth Factor (IGF), and Insulin which will help you build a badass physique without putting your health at risk. I highly recommend this one.

58. Supplement with garlic. Garlic has been one of the best natural supplements in the world for over 2000 years. It’s a shame more people don’t use it as often as they should. As a potent immune system booster and natural antibiotic, garlic can also reduce your risk of a variety of common illnesses as studies have shown that the allicin in garlic (the antibacterial & antifungal property) has an effect equal to 1% of penicillin. I highly recommend using fresh cloves or check out Kyolic by Wakunaga.

59. Have fun out there. Let’s face it, training and dieting properly is difficult…and sometimes it even just flat out sucks. Once something begins to suck, people will bail on it. That’s just human nature. So before you start that new program (diet or exercise), try to convince a friend to join the action with you — a friend who will challenge you AND keep things fun and exciting. Competition, teamwork, and camaraderie go a long way.

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Jamin Thompson
Jamin Thompson has been called "the most handsome fitness model in the world" and "a brilliant actor & writer", both by his mom. He's a former Clemson & UMiami athlete and World Ranked tennis player who writes to help others dominate in the gym, on the field, and in life using his real world, in the trenches experience. His book, The 6 Pack Secret, has been sold in over 50 countries and has helped thousands of folks from all walks of life get cut and jacked the healthy way.
Jamin Thompson

@jaminthompson

Athlete. Fitness model. Author. Econ/MBA. Lover of life. Baltimore born. Wolf raised. Impossible is nothing. For business inquiries: info@JaminThompson.com
The #Ravens schedule looks very playoffs-ish IMO. Weeks 1 & 2 will be huge tho. - 11 mins ago
Jamin Thompson
Jamin Thompson
Come see my world. Follow me on Instagram at @JaminThompson

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