Fitness and Health Outline
These are my rules when it comes to health and fitness. I will be updating this page with new information as I learn more. Please feel free to message me with any questions.
My 3 main pillars for overall health are sleep, diet and exercise.
- I highly recommend watching Less Sleep Less Human on why sleeping is so important.
Here are some general rules that help me get to sleep and wake up refreshed.
There is no “best” diet. When it comes to dieting, the best diet is the one that you can stick too for the long run.
The Vertical Diet
I personally follow a modified version of the The Vertical Diet by Stan Efferding. My modifications are mostly just swapping the red meat for chicken, I explain the reason for this change in my red meat and diverticulitis section.
The Vertical Diet is a high protein meal prep diet that restricts FODMAP foods for easy digestion. Learn about FODMAP foods here. I recommend watching his seminar even if you don't care for The Vertical Diet. Its over 2 hours long so here are my notes.
- Use something like MacroFactor to track your macros. I use an Apple Watch to track information during my workout. I use a Withings scale. MacroFactor, the Withings scale and Apple Health all talk to each other.
- My Macros are: Protein 40%, Fat 25%, Carbs 35%
Maintaining muscle mass, 0.8 of protein per pound of body weight. Gaining muscle mass, 1-1.5g of protein per pound of body weight. These numbers aren't meant to be used if you are obese.
If your an advanced lifter, check out Jeff Nippard's video about high protein diets.
If you are vegan or vegetarian, you will need to eat a lot more protein to get the adequate amount of amino acids for protein synthesis. What I've Learned has a great video on this.
You should get no more than 25% to 30% of your daily calories from fats.
Trans fats may be even more dangerous because they raise LDL, or “bad” cholesterol levels and lower HDL, the “good cholesterol” at the same time.
- Iodine salt and sodium is recommended. Iodine is strongly stimulative of the thyroid which directly impacts metabolism. I highly recommend this salt. Warning: If you are salt sensitive, you might want to watch your salt intake more closely. Pre-packaged foods have very high sodium. Only take this if you are cooking your meals.
Red Meat & Diverticulitis
I have family history of diverticulitis. A high red meat diet has been linked to increasing the development of diverticulitis by 58%.
There isn't a solid understanding on why this happens but one popular theory is the heme iron changing the bowel flora.
The reasons above are why chicken is my main protein source.
Red meat doesn't have to be completely avoided, it has a lot of great nutritional value.
I switched to egg whites in order to lower my cholesterol. My daily cholesterol intake was 1300mg when eating 5 whole eggs a day, where 300mg and lower is consider healthy.
Throwing out the yolk, your missing out on Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, Vitamin K, DHA and Carotenoids. I make up this with my multivitamin and other foods in my diet.
- I have family history of diverticulitis so it is recommended that I have a high-fiber diet. High-fiber diets are contested by Stan Efferding. I personally need to do more research into this.
Do not drink coffee as soon as you get up. Caffeine consumed as soon as you get up is largely wasted because this is when you’re producing peak cortisol.
It is recommended to drink coffee between 0900 to 1130. In the afternoon, between 1300 to 1400.
This study tells us that consuming caffeine within 6 hours of bedtime is likely to disrupt your sleep.
Sugar and Alcohol
- Sugar and Alcohol are insanely bad for your body. Cut both out of your diet if possible.
Vitamins and Supplements
Here I will mention all the vitamins and supplements I take. Supplements that I take around my workout are below in my pre, intra and post workout sections.
- Multivitamin. Zinc and magnesium are very important. I also look for a multivitamin with no vitamin A because I get a lot of vitamin A in my diet from the amount of carrots and sweet potatoes I eat.
- Vitamin D3 6,000IU. If you get a good amount of sunlight, you might not need this. I live somewhere that doesn't get a lot of sunlight. I aim for 8,000IU but 3,000-6,000IU is what I would recommend.
- Fish Oil for Omega-3 Intake. I recommend 650mg EPA and 450 DHA. When it comes to fish oil, more is not better. Triglyceride molecular form is the superior form of fish oil.
- Probiotic. This is for overall gut health. This is optional, just trying it out.
- Osteo Bi-Flex. I only take this because I blew out my ankle in the Army. I recommend if you have joint pain.
- Creatine Monohydrate 5g/day. Creatine is one of the most studied and proven supplements. It is safe for long term use. This is a must unless the increase of DHT effects your hair thickness.
- Protein Powder. I will have a 40g protein shake 2 hours before I go to sleep. I personally use casein protein because it has been shown to be better for a pre-sleep protein. Rule of thumb when choosing a whey protein, if it says “Protein Blend”, stay away.. You want Protein Isolate.
When it comes to exercise, you will want to train depending on what your goals are.
For muscle growth and some fat loss, weightlifting.
For pure fat loss while retaining muscle, a mix of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and weightlifting.
Cardio is only recommended for improving cardio endurance. Steady state cardio is not recommend when trying to keep muscle. You may lose muscle doing only steady state cardio.
Keep track of your weights and progress. I use an encrypted note taking app called Standard Notes but any note taking app will work.
I recommend watching Brain Power & Movement Link. The video goes into detail on what happens to your brain when you stick to a workout routine.
How hard should you train? I recommend this video. Be honest and push yourself but don’t sacrifice form.
My current goals are to gain muscle and slowly lower my body fat percentage. This is why I mainly use weightlifting programs.
The weightlifting program I follow is called Push Pull Legs (PPL).
Push Pull Legs (PPL) separates your muscle groups and exercises into push, pull, and leg days.
When it comes to rep ranges, the “hypertrophy range” of roughly 6-15 reps per set may produce slightly better results per unit of time invested than low rep and high rep work. There are a lot of studies on this and when you combined them, it looks like this.
What is more important is picking the rep range that allows you to get the most high quality sets during each session.
- Heavy squats and deadlifts: Sets of 3-5.
- Squat and deadlift accessory: Sets of 5-10.
- Unilateral lower body: Sets of 8-15.
- Rows: Sets of 8-10.
- Barbell pressing: Sets of 5-10.
- Dumbbell pressing: Sets of 8-10.
- Isolation lift or machine work: 8-15.
Experiment to see what lets you get in the most high quality work. Some people simply do better with higher or lower reps.
Here are the pre-workouts I recommend.
- For most lifters, low stim: PureForm from Real Science Athletics. Low cost but has the proper amounts of what you need. The only stim it has is some caffeine.
- For a non-stim alternative: Gorilla Mode Nitric. Its a non-stim pre-workout made by Derek from More Plates More Dates. He has a hour long video on what he choose and why.
- For intermediate lifters/high stim: Gorilla Mode. Warning: If you take 2 scoops of Gorilla Mode, you shouldn't have anymore caffeine throughout the day.
I personally use PureForm for upper body days and Gorilla Mode for leg day.
Intra-Workout & EAA's
I personally take Gorilla Mode EAA's during my workout.
If you workout during a fasted state, you want to supplement during the workout.
For a post workout, I recommend an electrolyte supplement drink like Liquid IV. This might change soon because this will be my next researched topic.
Along with my Liquid IV, this is where I throw in my creatine. Creatine can be dosed at anytime of the day.
This section will host information about specific movements.
Overhead Press, this should be a movement in your routine. It's a main driver in shoulder flexibility and stability. Here is a great video on why it's so important.
Trap Bar Deadlift, I prefer trap bar deadlifts over straight bar or sumo. What made me check out trap bar over conventional deadlift was this article from Stronger by Science. The article looked at hinge pattern of all deadlifts and found that trap bar is closer to a conventional deadlift than sumo. Mix a pure hinge deadlift like Romanian deadlifts if you are doing trap bar or sumo in order to maximize hamstring hypertrophy. From their research they concluded these benefits...
- It’s easier to learn than the barbell deadlift.
- No hyperextension at lockout.
- No need for a mixed grip.
- High handles for people with insufficient hip ROM.
- Less chance of getting pulled forward/spinal flexion.
- It can still be just as hip-dominant as a barbell deadlift.
- (Likely) higher transfer to other sports.
Sources of Fitness Information
Be careful of social media influencers. A lot of them don't even try the products they tell you about. Some even own the company without telling you.
Fitness & Health YouTubers I recommend. This is where I get a lot of my info from.
Avoid these fitness YouTubers.