Happy 5-Flex Friday!

We are coming into the holiday period so this week I’m going to share some tactics for damage control over the Xmas holidays.

First, here’s what’s new in my world this week. Please click to find out more:

1: How to get motivated again – Blog
2: Using injuries to grow as a human – Graham Tuttle – Blog
3: Fitness principles for life – Ryan Hurst – podcast

2 Fitness Concepts

Build the foundation first:

This year I focused on dancing more than training. I look at my training now more like how I view food and sleep. It’s something I do for recovery, body maintenance and mental health.

Dancing has opened up a whole new world to me. Balance and rhythm are two areas I didn’t expect to get so much benefit from.

Being in rhythm with music makes it much easier to get into a flow state.

Balance was surprising as I felt I was an “athletic” guy. But then I’d fall over at a dance lesson 😛

What’s come across very clearly with dance is that it’s all about having a foundation. If the foundation is there, you can explore everything. If there’s no foundation, you are stuck just regurgitating “moves”.

This is the exact same with fitness. Once you have an exceptional base, you have the freedom to play with anything. If there was one thing I’d recommend you focus more heavily on in 2024, it’s building an exceptional foundation. It will give you decades of freedom.

2. Is your body supporting your life?

At 25 I was broken. I was always in pain and worried a lot about what I’d be like in my 30s and beyond. Now at 35, I feel great. Being in a body that allows you to do all the dope stuff you want in life is the greatest gift we’ve been given.

I have had 100s of conversations with guys all over the world in the last few years who are prisoners in their own body. This is hell.

You can get out of this prison with an intelligent mobility program. Reach out, ask for help and get your body back online. Don’t wait for it to get worse.

2 Mindset Nuggets

Holiday survival tips:

This sketch is from Dr. Peter Attia and it’s what I use with clients so they can get amazing body composition results despite their food preferences. You don’t have to follow a dumb dogmatic diet fad to get results but you do need to pull one of these levers year round.

Over the next 2 weeks, most people gain 5-10 lbs that they never lose again. This results in a steady 5-10 lbs of weight gain a year which is scary.

A simple way of applying this system to your events over the next few weeks is as follows:

Pick one or more of the levers to pull!

  1. Time restriction: On days you know you’ll be eating a lot, eat less the day before, the morning of and the morning after. Use strategic fasting to reduce overall calorie consumption over the week.
  2. Calorie restriction: Avoid the starter or desert, go for a low calorie alcohol option or avoid alcohol on certain days/meals.
  3. Dietary restriction: avoid dairy or sugar/wheat/liquid calories.

Begin again:

Even if everything goes out the window in the next 1-2 weeks, it’s not the end of the world. This time of the year is stressful for a lot of people.

The last thing to do to add to this is berate yourself for making poor decisions with food. Focus on restarting at the next meal and the next opportunity to make a decision around your health and fitness.

1 Quote to Consider

“If your compassion does not include yourself, it is incomplete.”

― Jack Kornfield, Buddha’s Little Instruction Book

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I’m writing this at the airport in Budapest on the way home to Ireland for Christmas. 

I hope you have a great holiday with loved ones too!