When we think of getting healthy, losing weight or increasing fitness & strength, we know there’s plenty of things we can be doing to help with these goals:
– Cutting out junk food, alcohol and processed carbs (in fact ANY processed foods)
– Regular metabolic resistance training and interval training,
– Eating good quality lean protein and a ton of veggies
– Stretching / mobility work
– Etc, etc, etc
BUT it’s also worth thinking about some of the overlooked factors that can make all the difference in the world; I like to refer to this as ‘releasing the brakes’
Just imagine you have a brand new sports car, with a turbo engine. This thing has all the makings of a high performance vehicle and everything it needs to drive super fast.
You’ve got the hand brake stuck on! So much potential, but this one little thing can stop the car from moving completely.
The point of the story is that no matter what you’ve got going for you, and no matter how much effort you put in to training or your diet, sometimes you have to find how to ‘release your brakes’ to really get the most out of yourself and realize your potential.
Example 1 : I see many people, who decide they need to eat a really low calorie diet to lose weight, sure this may work for a while but if you’ve already done this one or two times before and your metabolism is stuffed up as a result then your low calorie diet isn’t going to work. As a result of your previous weight loss attempts you’ve lost a lot of muscle tissue, metabolism has slowed, hormones are out of whack, and you’ve got vitamins deficiencies. You’ve got the brakes on and no matter how hard you press down on the accelerator nothing is going to happen. To release the breaks you’ll need to go through a process of ‘re-feeding’ and re-nourishing your body by eating more good quality caolories for a while and getting that metabolism fired up again (you can drop your food intake again after this).
Example 2: You train hard, always putting in your best effort, coming to the gym regularly and jogging on your off days. Top points for effort! However through previous years of inactivity and poor posture, maybe even some past injuries, you’ve got certain muscles that are tight, inactive glutes, mobility issues and muscle imbalances which are preventing you from moving correctly, getting stronger, training harder, progressing, and making the most out of your training efforts. You can release the brakes by spending 6 weeks intensively stretching and foam rolling your ‘problem areas’ and doing some a couple of minutes of corrective exercises every day to fix up those muscle imbalances, then you’ll get a lot more out of all your effort in the long term.
Example 3: You exercising hard 5 times per week, eat really well, but feel your results don’t come as quick as they should. After getting a blood test you realise your thyroid is out of whack, your low in zinc and magnesium, and your deficient in vitamin D. This is stopping your body from losing body fat and working as it should. After spending a little bit of time fixing up these issues and ‘releasing the brakes’, your body starts changing much quicker.
Ther’s plenty of other example I could give, from the people you surround yourself with who might be a negative influence on you in some way, to your attitude & mindset relating to what you think you can or can’t achieve.
But as you can see it’s not ALWAYS about pressing down on the accelerator as hard as we can, sometimes we need to step back and see if we have the brakes on, just to make sure we are getting the most out of all the effort we put in .
Now don’t read this and automatically think you’ve got some problem, 90% of the time your solution is a combination of these things: eat better, train harder, train more often (which requres alot of discipline)
But it’s worth thinking about…
– Do you have postural, flexibility, muscular issues that you know are hindering you?
– When was the last time you had a blood test to see if you had any hormonal issues or vitamin deficiencies?
– Have you previously lost a lot of weight through a really low calorie diet and your body isn’t responding to your good eating like it should?
If you feel like you’ve got the brakes on somewhere and need some help identifying or addressing the situation, feel free to email me and ill help where I can or try to point you in the right direction. (it might take a couple of days for me to reply!)