Ice Cream is Good; So is Exercise. Let's Talk About It...

March 5, 2018

Welcome back to Down With the Fitness!

How is your habit of doing 10 squats and drinking a glass of water every morning when you wake up going??

As you know if you’ve read this blog before, in addition to being the Overnight Sensation and producing Thee Podcast here at KISW, I’m also a personal trainer during the day.

Being a personal trainer is awesome... I get to use fitness as a vehicle to help people love themselves, their bodies, and their lives more!

One thing that happens a lot as a trainer, is people open up to you. You find out how people really feel about their bodies, and as a result, themselves. Not just clients, but people from every pocket of life: friends, family, listeners, musicians, randos on the street.

It’s very interesting to hear their stories. It’s very humbling to hear their insecurities. I never take it for granted.

At some point in all the exchanges, I always get a variation of the vague question, “What should I do?

Seeing as how everyone has different bodies, goals, and backgrounds, it can be a tricky question to answer. Because of this, I’ve had to narrow down a wealth of research and information into the “Big 3”:

  1. Move more.
  2. Eat more nutritious things.
  3. Drink more water.

Yes. It’s that f***ing simple.

Notice I didn’t say:

  1. Play less video games.
  2. Eat less ice cream.
  3. Drink less booze.

This is because I approach fitness and nutrition from an “addition, not subtraction” approach. Lots of people smarter than I have done lots of research in this area. A very common finding is that it’s easier to add a new habit, than to remove an existing one.

Also, what kinda monster would tell you to eat less ice cream?? (Now obviously, eating less ice cream will help you lose weight faster, if that’s your goal. I just don’t know if approaching it from the subtraction mindset is the best way to go about it.)

If you deprive yourself of something you enjoy, you’re going to crave that very thing. Not sure if you’re you’re familiar with the story of Adam and Eve (not THAT Adam and Eve!), but this fact is literally as old as biblical time.

If you love ice cream like I do, cutting out ice cream will make you WANT ice cream! Focusing on eating more nutritious things like vegetables and protein (don't forget your water!) throughout the day, will leave you feeling full and satisfied when those ice cream cravings would usually come around.

As you can tell from this picture of my girlfriend and me at the Museum of Ice Cream in San Francisco, I speak from experience here...

The trick to maintaining momentum with all this, is finding ways to ENJOY those 3 “mores”.

The way to do that is experimenting, and making gradual progress (no matter how slow!) It’s 100% your experiment to run.

I started this blog to help people get started with their movement experiment. Also, it gives me somewhere to send everyone who asks “What should I do?” when I’m out and about ;)

In the gym, I essentially guide people through movement experiments all day, and every single one is unique. There truly is no “one-size-fits-all” approach. As I mentioned, everyone has different bodies, goals, and backgrounds. Honestly it makes writing this blog challenging sometimes, and is why I keep things super vague. This way you can take what I say and run your own expeirment. If you're consistent, you'll get where you want to go. Guaranteed.

That said, there are some general principles that are good to apply in these experiments. The principle that applies for this blog post is to move (more) in different directions, as life happens in 360 degrees. Again, pretty simple, right?

A big-bang-for-your-buck bodyweight exercise for this, is the side lunge. All it really involves is taking a step to the side and shifting some weight to the leg you just stepped out with.

3 Focus Points

  • If it hurts, particularly in the knee, STOP! There are other effective lower body exercises to experiment with and find one that doesn’t bother you! If you can't find one, talk to a doctor or physical therapist!
  • Keep your movement smooth, controlled, and pain free.
  • Keep your back straight, by keeping your core engaged and eyes forward.

Pace: 2 seconds on the way down, 1 second back up

Programming Suggestions: Use these as a lower body exercise and go for 3 rounds of 8-12 (or roughly 45 seconds to a minute if you wanna go by timer) per side.

To Make Them Easier: Grab a stable object for a little support, and/or don’t go very far down (See Focus Point 1).

To Make Them Harder: Pause at the bottom and lift your hands over your head, then bring them down and stand back up.

Recommended Listening: In technical trainer circles, this exercise is referred to as the lateral lunge. Naturally, that got me thinking I should play something from Lateralus by the almighty Tool. I could pick the song Lateralus, which is dope. But Parabol(a) is my favorite.

When Parabol launches into Parabola (3:00 mark) is one of my favorite moments in all of recorded music.

Also the lyrics are super fitting for exercising in a positive headspace. The often-grim Maynard is just going OFF talking about what magical creatures we are and how cool life is. To that end, I found this super cool lyric video. Enjoy!

New here? Check out this introductory post to help you put the pieces together and get started with a daily fitness routine!

If you've got any questions/comments/success stories/struggles, feel free to come join the Down With The Fitness Facebook Group

Have Fun, Try Your Best, and Take Great Care!

-Matt Koch