12 April 2016

Kill the BMI fairy

For as long as I can remember, I've heard countless people claim they want to shed the kilos so they can reach their ideal weight as prescribed by the body mass index. This calculation is garbage, offers zero benefit and in certain situations can be dangerous to your health.

Before I get into the specifics I want to highlight some examples. Most of you know Connor McGregor and would agree he is quite shredded with minimal fat. At 1.75m, 77kg and 27 years old his BMI is 25 which according to this scale is overweight.

Arnold Schwarzenegger has maintained a fairly constant weight throughout most of his career, somewhere between 107kg and 120kg. At 1.88m he has a BMI of 32, making him obese under this

Chris Pratt AKA StarLord (1.88m, 101kg, 36 years) has a BMI of 28 which is considered overweight and quite close to obese. The list can go on all day but just from the above you can see how BMI is pointless for figuring out your "ideal weight".

5 April 2016

Identify and utilise your weaknesses

Everyone has the desire to become more. Some people dream of fortune or fame, others want a sporting career, a healthy body, love, happiness and every other ideal state in existence. Where they usually fail is in the mental conditioning required to achieve their dreams.

The majority of people are lazy, myself included. If I can find an easier way to do something I will. I have procrastinated with the best and talked my way out of doing something I didn't want to. I'm sure you have done similar in your life. That doesn't mean you won't achieve anything.

What will prevent you from your goals, desires and dreams is failing to train your mental capabilities. One of the first and arguably most important skills to tackle this is the ability to discern your weakness and turn it into something positive.

Many of you would have heard something like this before. I've heard it many times and it always annoyed me for the simple fact that those spouting it couldn't explain how, or used it as a line to sell you something. I refuse to be clumped into either set, and thus will share my weaknesses and how I use them for my goals or as motivation.

1 April 2016

Improving your Sleep - Part Three - Evaluation

We are at the end of the sleep information but the beginning of your journey to improve it. Go back over part one and part two of this topic regularly to remind you of the process.

This article will cover what to record in your tracking journal so you can evaluate where you are and how you're improving. I'll break this into sections to make it easier to understand. Remember your goal in all of this is to improve your sleep quality and sleep less. The first part to tackle is getting quality sleep. If we simply reduce our time sleeping without improving the quality, we will be drowsy and may cause car accidents, increase the likelihood of getting sick and have no energy for our favourite activities such as BJJ.

Improving your Sleep - Part Two - Optimisation

Welcome back. In part one, I went over the biological mechanics of sleep and the systems that we need to optimise. For part two I'll explore how we can achieve that and fight the pressures of modern life that strain to destroy a deep and recuperating sleep.

We are missing something here however. Starting this process without a clear goal will make things much harder. Taking advice from my goal setting article, I'll specify my Big Picture Goal now and work in the short term and action goals later in this article.

In this case I have three parts to my big picture goal:
  1. Increase my daily energy levels
  2. Ensure the amount of time I sleep is optimal
  3. Improve my sleep quality

Improving your Sleep - Part One - Understanding the mechanics

Like most people in this age I have struggled with getting a good night sleep. As a kid I always wanted to stay up later, thinking I was missing out on something cool by going to bed early. I would lay awake in bed for hours trying to sleep.

As a teenager I'd sleep in until 1pm on the weekends, usually with a headache, backache and with a bad case of the grumps. Half my weekend was lost to poor slumber and I was never rested.

As an adult I continued with poor sleep, still took hours to fall asleep due in part to my racing mind thinking about everything, and the habit formed over decades.

That was until I decided I'd had enough and began researching the science of sleep and how to improve its quality. This is what I discovered from experts in the field and my own trial and error.