Sabertooth Fitness / Trainer At Your Door...I Make Housecalls...Enthusiastically Serving the West Side of Los Angeles...1 on 1, Couples, Small Group Instruction, and Boot Camps

Fats--Sabertooth Diet Part Four

Omega-3 and Omega-6 Fatty Acids in Your Diet

There has been much discussion on the value of taking in enough Omega-3 and 6 fatty acids. Please note that these essential (you can’t make them yourself, and you need them to stay alive) fatty acids are not interchangeable. They perform different functions and provide different benefits.

Omega-3 Fatty Acids (ALA, EPA and DHA)  

Heart Health
  • Reduce triglyceride levels, which leads to reduced risk of heart disease.
  • Reduce blood pressure.
  • Raise HDL (good cholesterol).
Anti-inflammatory
  • In rheumatoid arthritis, Omega-3 has been shown to reduce joint pain.
  • Boosts the effectiveness of other anti-inflammatory drugs.
Mental Health
  • Diets high in Omega-3s lead to lower levels of depression and anxiety.
  • Boost the efficacy of anti-depressants.
  • Omega-3s reduce ADHD symptoms in children.
  • Provide protection against aging-linked Alzheimers, dementia, and gradual memory loss.
Cancer Risk--Reduced Risk of Certain Cancers
  • Colon cancer
  • Prostate cancer
  • Breast cancer

Omega-6 Fatty Acids (GLA, AA, LA, and EPO)

Promotes and Regulates
  • Brain function
  • Metabolic rate
  • Bone health
  • Skin and hair growth
You need both Omega-3 and Omega-6 to survive and thrive, BUT the typical American diet contains about 20 times more Omega-6 fatty acids than Omega-3 fatty acids. Too much of a good thing (Omega-6) can be a bad thing. Some Omega-6 fatty acids are inflammatory...they serve to counteract the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. You just aren't built to take in too high a ratio of Omega-6 to Omega-3.

The current thinking, based on observations of various cultures and reconstruction of primitive diets, is that the correct ratio of the two is 1:1 

Foods high in in Omega-3s:
  • Oily Fish (Mackerel, Sardines, Anchovies, Herring, Tuna, and Salmon)
  • Walnuts
  • Chia Seeds
  • Flax Seeds
  • Egg Yolks
Foods high in in Omega-6s:
Honestly, you do not need to worry about taking in Omega-6. It’s hard to avoid. It’s everywhere.
  • Chicken
  • Eggs
  • Nuts
  • Avocados
  • Grains
  • Vegetable Oils
Foods to avoid that contain Omega-6s:
  • Grains
  • Heated Vegetable Oils
  • Take it easy on the nuts, but enjoy them raw and in moderation.
Omega-6 fatty acid-rich foods are generally great for you, so seek them out and make them part of your nutritional routine.

Proteins and Carbohydrates--Sabertooth Diet Part Three

What to Eat


It's All About Nutritional Density


The Sabertooth Diet is all about getting the most bang for your caloric buck. Only recommended are those foods that deliver a wallop of nutrition with a minimal caloric impact. These foods are loosely defined as superfoods, and you already know that should be eating them. These nutritionally dense foods will become the staples of your healthy diet.. Broccoli, berries, black beans, oats, chicken, tomatoes, fish, and eggs. You should be almost exclusively be passing on nutritionally "fluffy" things. Candy, pastries, chips, and the rest of the things that you already know that you should not be putting in your mouth.



Proteins
We spent a lot of our time hunting for protein in the time of the sabertooth. We also spent a fair amount of time avoiding becoming a source of protein for large predators. Our bodies have not changed much since then, and neither has the role of protein. Protein is where it all starts. Most of your lean body weight is muscle and organs, and that is protein. Our bodies flourish when we regularly consume high-quality, lean sources of protein.

Daily Protein Intake Target:
Men--1 gram/pound of lean mass.
Women--.7 grams/pound of lean mass.

Adequate protein intake is an absolute must. When you take in enough protein, your body will not scavenge it from your muscles for fuel or to repair and maintain other systems. Also, when you give your body a little more protein than it needs, you send the signal to your muscles that it is safe to grow and become stronger. Muscle is metabolically active tissue, and it burns calories while you sleep. Having more muscle means that you will burn more calories. This will make it easier to achieve and maintain the goals you have set for yourself.

Ladies, not to worry. You will not become bulky with muscle if you exercise and take in enough protein. You simply do not produce testosterone in sufficient quantities to grow that type of muscle.

Food sources of high-quality, lean proteins.
  • Egg whites have long been considered the gold standard of protein. Egg yolks have their place in your diet, too. Egg yolks contain biotin (B7), which is essential for healthy hair and skin. Egg yolks also contain some good fats and a little cholesterol, which is essential in the synthesis of certain hormones. Do not consume raw eggs. Aside from the very real and obvious risk of food poisoning, raw egg whites contain a substance called Avidin. Avidin blocks the absorption of biotin (B7). Avidin is broken down during the cooking process, so cooked eggs present no risk in this regard.
  • Chicken breast is another excellent source of lean protein. It is relatively inexpensive and easy to find. Chicken breast should be steamed, poached, or sauteed in a light oil. Chicken breast is low in calories, but it packs a nutritional punch
  • Turkey breast is a terrific alternative to chicken breast, and it is especially affordable and plentiful during the holidays.
  • Fish is a tremendous source of protein and Omega 3s. Sardines are the best choice in terms of nutrition, price, and safety. Sardines are not only an excellent source of protein, but they are also rich in both calcium and vitamin D. Sardines are plentiful and inexpensive. A large tin of sardines provides two servings, and the cost is about $1/serving. Finally, sardines feed on phytoplankton rather than other fish. As a result, sardines contain almost no mercury. Other fish, like tuna, should be consumed no more than once a week to minimize your exposure to mercury. Tilapia...pass...this fish contains almost no oil, and the way it is farmed tends to maximize toxins.
  • Beans/legumes are a good source of protein. Black beans are an especially good choice, because they provide the triple benefit of lean protein, dietary fiber, and antioxidants.
  • Nuts, in limited quantities, are great for you. Almonds, walnuts, and even peanuts provide both protein, trace minerals, and healthy fats.
  • Beef, on occasion, can serve as a welcome contribution to a healthy diet. Beef does tend to pack a wallop in terms of environmental impact, and lean cuts like Filet Mignon tend to be expensive. It is best to limit your intake to 2-3 servings per week.

Carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are where most of us make our mistakes. Eating too much of the wrong types of carbohydrates is generally what makes us fat and unhealthy. That said, starches have had a place in our diet since the beginning. We evolved eating complex carbohydrates. We can still eat them if we remain mindful of the type and timing. Obviously, we were not snacking on chips, donuts, candies, pasta, etc. We were eating clean, complex carbohydrates in the form of beans, tubers, fruits, and vegetables. Bagels, croissants, and high fructose corn syrup were not on the menu. With The Sabertooth Diet, you will be eating the same types of carbohydrates that you evolved to utilize best. You will feel better, and you will become better for it. Removing the processed and refined carbohydrates and sugars from your diet is critical to fueling your body properly. You wouldn't pour dirty fryer oil into a race car, we all know better. Corn syrup and refined sugars have similar effects on your fuel and energy systems, but you already knew that, too. 

What follows are the carbohydrate sources that will fuel you the best. Not only are the following foods sources of clean carbohydrates, but they all provide a host of other nutritional benefits:
  • Berries: Berries are practically a free pass. With berries, you get clean, complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber, and a nice mix of antioxidants including Vitamin C. All this with minimal calories. Conveniently, berries are one the few fruits that do not lose nutritional potency when frozen.
  • Mango: Vitamins A, B6, and C.
  • Kiwi: Vitamins B6, C, and K. Try blending them with the peel on to maximize the nutritional impact.
  • Cantaloupe Melon: Vitamins A and C.
  • Papaya: Vitamins A, B9, and C.
  • Tomato: Vitamins A and C.
  • Sweet Potato: Fiber and Vitamins A, B1, B5, and B6
  • Carrot: Fiber, Vitamins A, B3, B5, and B6
  • Broccoli: Vitamins B2, B5, B6, B9, C, and K
  • Cauliflower:  Vitamins B5, B6, B9, C, and K
  • Kale: Vitamins A, C, and K. Manganese. Omega 3 and 6 oils
  • Jicama: Fiber and Vitamin C
  • Black Beans: Fiber, Vitamins B5 and B9, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Potassium, and Zinc
  • Chia Seeds: Calcium, Phosphorus, and Manganese. Omega 3 and 6 oils. Protein.
     
  • Oats: Fiber, Vitamins B5 an B9, Iron, and Magnesium
  • Sesame Seeds: Fiber, Healthy fats, Protein, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium.

Next installment....Fats and Supplementation

Eat Small, Frequent Meals--Sabertooth Diet Part Two

Small, Frequent Meals

You are defined by your habits.  Change your habits...change your life.”

The purpose of frequent small meals is functional. Look, you don’t go swimming on a full stomach. Why, because you might die. We evolved to eat small meals, because it was difficult to find large amounts of nutrition all at once. Perhaps, and even more importantly, the odds of successfully outrunning a hungry saber tooth tiger were a lot slimmer on a bloated stomach. It seems fair to assume that those who were predisposed to eat the big meals were far more likely to become food for predators than those of us that ate frequent, small meals. Conversely, chasing down a meal was far harder on a full belly than on a ¼ tank.

Eating less increased your/our ancestors’ likelihood of catching dinner and not being caught for dinner. As Riki-Tiki-Tavi’s mother so wisely instructed, “A full mongoose is a slow mongoose.” Fast-forward to this century...frequent, small meals will not help you, directly, to lose more weight. You will lose the same amount of weight if you eat 1,500 calories/day in two meals or in six. You will just feel better and reap many other benefits from eating less and more often.

1. Small meals, about 200-300 calories, taken every few hours will not stretch out your stomach, and you will feel full with less food. A small stomach will help you to limit your consumption in those moments where you succumb to temptation.

2. Your body will rapidly  become accustomed to eating frequent, small meals, and your metabolism will happily burn calories rather than storing them as fat. Your metabolism will be secure in the knowledge that more nutrition is on its way, and that it does not need to hold anything in reserve.

3. You will reap the full benefit of every meal. Your body, when not faced with an overload of food, will efficiently wring every last bit of nutrition from what you have fed it. When your incredibly efficient body is given too much food to work with at once, it defaults to fat storage. 

4. You will have more energy. Your body will not be required to divert significant energy to digest a small meal. Large meals make us sleepy, because our bodies are busy with digestion.

5. You will always be fueled up and ready to perform. 

6. You will not be hungry. You will be eating every few hours. Hunger, the dieter’s enemy, will not have a say in your routine. Hunger will not affect your decision-making process.

Eat With Intent--Sabertooth Diet Part One

The Sabertooth Diet will teach you a new set of eating habits and philosophies. I wrote this to help you wrap your mind around the role that food should have in your life. The Sabertooth Diet, will take your body back in time...a leaner, fitter, faster time when we relied on speed, agility, and quick wits to survive as a species.

Your body is an amazing thing. It fully replaces itself on a regular basis. Aside from its regenerative abilities, the body is the only engine that gets better the harder that you work it...amazing. The food that you eat contains the building blocks of every single part of your body. The adage  "You are what you eat" could not be more factual. You are composed exclusively from things that you eat. You owe it to yourself to eat the right things so that you can build the best, strongest, leanest, healthiest body possible. Working out is not enough. At least 50% of fitness occurs in the kitchen. You can't out-train a bad diet, and you can't outrun a fork.

It's really not fair when you consider that nearly everything that you use comes with a set of instructions. The human body is the one thing that we use every single second of every single day. It's nearly absurd that we are not provided with a manual regarding its care and feeding.  What makes the journey more treacherous is that most of the food in the supermarket is not designed to help you achieve your goals. Think of Sabertooth Fitness as that instruction manual for the care and feeding of the human body so that you can unlock and realize your full potential. I have spent years of reading, researching, independent discovery, and trial and error. At the insistence of my friends, I was compelled to distill what I have learned and practice every single day  into a simple plan for easily and inexpensively providing the human body with all of the nutrients and fuel that it needs to perform at its absolute best at any age. It is never too late to start. Remember, your body is continuously replacing itself. It's always a good time to quit smoking, and it's always a good time to eat properly.

What Happened To Us?

We evolved to utilize a wide range of nutrient sources in very efficient ways. The efficiency is why we store excess calories as fat rather than simply not using them at all. Unfortunately, for modern humans, our wiring predisposed us to seek out and indulge in luxury foods...foods high in sugar and/or fat. Once in very short supply, these calorie-dense foods can presently be found as easily and cost-effectively as the nutritious, vitamin-packed foods, which should be the staple of your healthy, human diet. No one told our highly-efficient bodies that the world had changed, however. That is why we are fat. Over 66% of us (in the U.S.) are overweight, obese, or worse.  It is through understanding the place and purpose of food, and by changing our eating habits, that we can begin the process of properly fueling these amazing machines that are our bodies

When I was a child, I saw a sign in a health food store, which read, "Diet cures what diet causes." Here is how to use food as a means to propel yourself forward rather than as a means to inadvertently hold yourself back. The Sabertooth Diet is not just a weight loss plan, it is a nutritional system designed to give your body all of the things that it needs to reach its full potential. It is designed not only to show you what and how to eat, but to educate you so that you can modify the diet to make healthy choices of your own. This was not written to preach or criticize. It was written to provide you with the blueprint for healthy eating based upon what human bodies have previously thrived upon when everything was on the line for our species. Some examples of what to expect from your body once you provide it with proper nutrition are the following:   

  • More energy
  • No periodic sugar crashes
  • Improved endurance
  • Improved concentration
  • More strength
  • Better mood
  • Sounder and more refreshing sleep
  • A heightened sense of well-being
  • Healthy and sustainable fat loss
  • Healthy and sustainable muscle gain
  • Decreased bloating

How To Eat

Eat With Intent

Food is fuel.  Food is a tool.  
Food has a purpose.
Food is nutrition.
Food is not the goal. It is merely the means to achieve a healthy goal.

Know what is going into your mouth....it will be with you for a very long time. Know your nutrients....know your food. If you don’t know why you are eating it and how it will benefit you, then don’t eat it.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Would the healthy, lean version of me eat this?
  • Will eating this make me better, stronger, leaner, or faster?  
  • Do I have a basic understanding of the nutrients in this?
  • Could I outrun a sabertooth tiger with this in my belly?

If you can’t answer “Yes” to at least 3 of these questions, then put it down, and make a better and more intentional food choice. Yes, it’s always a choice, and your food choices are yours and yours alone to make. Decide to make good choices, and good choices will become your habit.

Have you ever seen an obese snake? Of course not. You have to imagine that rats must taste pretty awful, but you have never seen a snake complain about that. It is time to eat functionally rather than just for flavor. The old saying is that nothing tastes as good as being fit feels. It’s an old saying for a reason. It is one of the truest things ever said.

The enjoyment of the flavors from sugar and fat are part of your primitive programming to indulge in scarce foods when they were available. Those foods are no longer scarce, and your programming is holding you back from being your best.

Next installment.....Small, Frequent Meals

How often should you train.....


I get this question a lot..."how often should I train?"

The short answer is OFTEN. You probably shouldn't plow into 10 sessions/week during your first week, but you are built (we are all built) for volume and frequency.


To paraphrase the philosopher, Thomas Hobbes, "Life is short, nasty, and brutish." While this is not a pleasant or uplifting thing to consider, Hobbes pretty much nailed what happens in nature every day. If you take a moment to think about it, everything that is alive is frantically trying to stay that way while competing for a finite pool of resources. If a creature is not at the top of the food chain, then it is probably spending a fair amount of time fleeing. If a creature is at the top, then it's doing a lot of chasing...oh, and defending its spot in its social group. Teeth, claws, hooves, spines, armor, horns, detachable tails, spurs, venom, poisons, electrical shocks, sonar pulses, active camouflage, passive camouflage, mimicry, vomiting out internal organs, squirting blood from the eyes, blinding speed in the water, air, and on land...even swords and spears for noses come into play in this daily battle to eat or be eaten. All that, and not a word yet about parasitism...still, I think you take my point.

This snake was taking a day off
It was that crucible of limited resources, fearsome weaponry, and intense competition that also gave rise to modern humans about 200,000 years ago. That's not long in terms of evolution, especially when one considers how long it takes us to reach reproductive age to try the luck of our progeny in the lottery of recombinant DNA and natural selection. We did pretty well considering that we are made of meat... squishy on the outside...and crunchy on the inside. The genes that you are carting around, courtesy of your parents, were passed way down the line from some really, really tough, adaptive, and probably pretty scary people. Our fore-bearers arrived in a world (the late Pleistocene) where the apex predators were saber-toothed cats, American lions, and dire wolves. What did your ancestors hunt? Giant freaking elephants....mammoths and mastodons. These people were not tougher than you because of their biology, they were tougher because of their environment and how hard they had to work to survive to pass their genes far enough forward in time to end up in you. Volume and intensity.


Creatures in the wild do not train on a schedule. Your ancestors did not chase prey or flee predators according to a schedule. In the wild, you run when there is an opportunity to catch food, or because you would prefer to not be digested by something swift and toothy. If that happens 6 days in a row or 3 times in one day, then so it goes. Nature built you, and everything else, to perform with high frequency and at high volume. Getting tuckered out or being slow is a death sentence. Since, your genes got this far, it's pretty safe to assume that you were not built to be slow or to tire easily.

This frog needed to catch its breath
This does not mean that you should do a ton of super heavy squats every day. But, super heavy squats aren't what you were built to do anyway. What you can do is a lot of light resistance and body weight movements. You can do 200 push ups every day. You can run everyday. You can do HIIT/SMIT every day. You can do Burpees every day. Any SABERtooth Fitness routine can be safely repeated on a daily basis once you build up to it.

If you ramp up your training volume/frequency to about 45 minutes of activity 4-5 times/week with 1-2 30-minute sessions of aerobic activity, you will reap the following benefits:
  • You will maintain a higher metabolic rate--burn more fat.
  • Your body will toughen up and be generally more resilient--get hurt less.
  • Improved endurance--go farther faster.
  • Shorter recovery times--more volume
  • Achieve your ideal body more quickly--look like what you are built to look like...an athlete. 
I perform 7-10 SABERtooth sessions/week with 2 aerobic sessions. This has been my standard for over two years...no over-training effects noted...no injuries...just steady improvement in stamina and strength. You may not have that sort of time on your hands, but if you can get to 5 sessions of supramaximal intensity and some light cardio, you will see faster and more pronounced results.

Sweat and discomfort are the currency of fitness....and you have an unlimited budget. You were built to perform...get out there and get it done!



There Are No Bad Goals

(well almost none)

I can post article after article on the benefits of SABER. I can post endless workout videos. I can host workouts until the end of time. But if you don't have a goal to reach, then you are not going to make the effort, endure the discomfort, and stay the course...heck, without a goal, it is unlikely that you will even set foot on the course. And rightly so! In the previous article, I pointed out that the value of the goal and the perceived likelihood of achieving that goal were components of the motivation equation....no goals...no motivation.

It may seem a little Machiavellian, but whatever non-community standards violating goal you have for yourself is good. Honestly, whatever it takes! If it's good enough to get you started, then it is good enough.

Vanity--Works for me. If your goal is to look good/better, welcome to the club. Lots of very fit people are motivated by appearance. They are no less fit because of it. The guys on the set of 300 trained to look good. They ended up in amazing condition. It turns out that we find fit bodies attractive. Embrace your goal--chase your goal--look great naked. Remember...train to look good....don't starve yourself to look good. Hey, it's cheaper and safer than surgery.

Self-Confidence/Ego--Got a Napoleon thing going on? So did Napoleon, and he conquered most of Europe. Got a chip on your shoulder....work it out. Got something to prove...prove it. Whatever it takes is good enough. Fit people are more self-confident. You may find that you need a new reason once you achieve your goal, but by the time you get there, you'll have developed a healthy set of habits and a fresh perspective.

Mid-Life Crisis--Heck yea! There's no time like the present, and if you decide that mid-life is the time to get into, or back into, peak condition....good on ya. Let's get you there. People in their 40s, 50s, and beyond benefit greatly from training and gain all sorts of health benefits. It's cheaper than a sports car.

Attract A Mate--Just ended a relationship, and now it's time to get back down to "date weight"?  Let's get you there. Fit is generally attractive...it's how our brains are wired..it's how we evolved. It may not be politically correct, but that's just the way it is. Fit is healthy. Creatures like us equate fitness/health with improved likelihood of healthy offspring.

Decreased Snoring--Losing weight is a great way to reduce snoring, sleep apnea, and getting elbowed in the ribs by a frustrated partner. It beats the heck out of wearing a breathing mask at night.

Oh, there are a bunch of other reasons to train like your life depends upon it:
  • Improved Blood Pressure
  • Cardiovascular Health
  • Increased Endurance
  • Longevity
  • Bone Density
  • Injury Prevention
And so many more.

The long and the short of it is...whatever goal motivates you to get started and to stay with it for a while is good enough. Getting started and staying with it is how you get to be the best and healthiest version of yourself. The goal that you have in the beginning may not sustain you for a lifetime, but few goals do. If you can stay with it long enough to turn fitness into a habit, then you win! Moving forward...let there be no shame in your game. Your reasons are yours and yours alone...let them propel you to becoming a better version of you.

Solving The Motivation Puzzle


SABER (Supramaximal Athlete Building Exercise Regimen) is difficult...it's difficult the first time, and it's difficult every time thereafter. If it's easy, then you are doing it wrong. The good news is that even discomfort can become a habit. You are going to need to find a good reason to do it. In other words, you are going to require strong motivation to get there. It's completely worth it. There is no substitute for feeling amazing.

Fortunately, there is enough research on motivation that we have formulas to describe it and we can name its components and how they affect one another. There's an entire section at the end of this article devoted to the relevant theories. We are going to hit the high notes of Valuable Outcomes and Expectancy of Success...and the primary limiting factor, which is how long it takes to achieve the outcome. If you see the outcome as having a high value, perceive that you are likely to succeed, and understand that it can be accomplished in a relatively manageable amount of time, then you are going to have high motivation.
 
What Outcomes Should You Expect?

We are all motivated by a high value outcome. SABER delivers a litany of great outcomes:
  • Increased Stamina
  • Reduced Body Fat
  • Increased Strength
  • Increased Metabolism
  • Increased Lifespan
  • Decreased Cancer Risks and Increase Cancer Survival Rates
  • Increased Bone Density and Resistance to Osteoporosis
  • Increased Insulin Sensitivity
  • Improved Mitochondrial Biogenesis
  • Increased HRV (Heart Rate Variability)
  • and the list gets longer each week as the research continues to roll in.  
SABER will deliver these benefits...all of them and at the the same time. There are 100s of studies to support the various claims. Many of those studies have been cited in previous articles on this site, and I'll keep banging the drum.

SABER has produced more six packs than a brewery and more hot butts than an ashtray. 

videoI am 51 years old, and I have been training with SABER for about 4 years. Here is a video of my first attempt at climbing 25-foot, parallel, vertical pipes. As you can see, the functional benefits translated to a pretty clean execution of the new movement.

How To Achieve The Outcomes
If you follow the program, you will achieve the results. The program has been tested, refined, tested, and refined. This is what your ancestors did, and they got past saber-tooth cats, dire wolves, and cave bears....during an ice age. This is why nearly every new fitness DVD and infomercial features High Intensity Interval Training and Supramaximal Interval Training. It just works....and it works FAST.

How Quickly Will I See Results?
The first one is the worst one, but if you can get past the initial discomfort and get a second workout in, your body will quickly adapt to the protocol/training modality. Half an hour every other day of SABER and 30 minutes of steady state cardio on two or three of the off days, and you will see noticeable results in stamina and performance in a few weeks. Within 4 weeks, if you are eating properly, you will have lost at least 10 pounds and inches where it matters. If you keep with the program, you will reap the additional benefits and end up with an injury-proofed, enormously functional physique. One of our triathletes shaved 10% off of his personal best on an event that he competes in every year. He did not train in the pool, the track, or on the bike...he used the SABER program, and the functional gains translated into real performance. 

What About Today?

OK, you have a handle on the outcomes. You understand that you will achieve those outcomes if you stick to the program. And you can see that the period to achieve results is relatively brief.  This should see you through the macro motivation--the week over week commitment to the  goal. Now, you need to find a way to push yourself during your sets to motivate you through the discomfort. 

Positive Self  Talk

I love this one. It's a collection of phrases, mantras, and slogans that get us past the pain.
  • Getting better feels bad.
  • It burns because it's working.
  • You're already sweaty--you might as well finish this.
  • Pain is weakness leaving the body.
  • This is conversation between your mind and your body...dominate the conversation.
  • It's only ## more seconds...I can do ANYTHING for ## seconds...I could be on fire for ## seconds.
  • It's mind over matter. I don't mind, so this doesn't matter.
  • This is how "amazing" trains.
  • The currency of improvement is discomfort.
  • You get what you give...you are worth 100%. 
  • Train insane or remain the same.
  • Eat clean--train dirty.
  • No one has ever looked back on a hard workout and thought, "Man, I wish I hadn't done that."


Partner Up

The military uses boot camps to take regular humans and turns them into soldiers. The dynamic of the group allows individuals to push themselves hard than they would on their own. Mirror neurons play a large role in this phenomenon. These neurons cause you to work to fit in with your peers...if your peers are moving fast, so will you.

Working with a partner, a small group, or working along with an instructional video will trigger your mirror neurons to boost your performance. There's a lot of value in commiserating/competing with someone during the workout and congratulating them at the end.

Social Commitment

Announce to your social network what your measurable goals are and when you intend to achieve them. Share weekly/bi-weekly updates in your feeds. You will receive an outpouring of praise and support. The added benefit is that you may inspire a couple of your friends/family to get better along the way.

Pump Up The Bass

Create a playlist of music just for your workouts. AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" has motivated me to dig a little deeper on so many occasions that I owe them a thank you card and a home-cooked meal.

Watch A Sport

Watch other athletes perform....if they can do it, you can, too. The difference is mostly practice and refined technique. Watch the finals of anything. I love the Olympics, but that only happens once every four years. American Ninja Warrior is a pretty fantastic, and it shows regular people that have pursued a passion and used that to undergo physical transformations. I like weight loss shows and fitness infomercials, too. Anything to inspire me.

Milestones

One big goal is daunting. But you eat an elephant one bite at a time...focus on the bites. I like to set little goals for myself. For my 50th birthday, I announced the goal of getting down to 5% body fat. That worked for me.
  • Fitting into a smaller pair of jeans.
  • Hitting a number on the scale.
  • Running a 5-10K.
  • Doing a Tough Mudder.
  • Keeping up with a training partner.
  • Doing 50 Push Ups in a row.
  • Holding a 4-minute Plank. 
Make a small goal...announce it...chase it...achieve it...announce it...repeat.
Mini milestones within the workout are good, too. Count your movements and try to beat your personal best. Focus on the number of intervals, and promise to get through all of them. If you're working along with a SABER video, do more reps than me or do them better. Plan on taking a quick break after a predetermined number of sets. Give yourself little things to accomplish and to look forward to. 

Know The Signs

Your body is basically a cranky toddler that wants a snack and a nap. Your body is going to send you a lot of "quit signals." Sudden thirst, "maybe I'll do a little less today and do more tomorrow", and just the overwhelming desire to stop and walk. These are all quit signals...they are your body's way of conserving resources. Understand that you have made a lot of deals with your body, and your body is going to get pissed off when you start shredding those contracts. Your body will adapt, and it will adapt quickly. The body's role is to serve the mind. Stay strong, and you will be strong.

Get Primitive

While you are in the middle of your workout, imagine the primitive version of you going all out just to survive. Imagine yourself being chased by a tiger of a pack of wolves. Train like your life depends on it...it really, really does.

Feed Your Ego

Flex a little. Make the world a better place, and bare that flat stomach. Not there yet...go ahead and look forward to looking amazing. Remind yourself that other people are not working as hard as you are. Showing off a little isn't the worst thing you could do...you might inspire someone! 

The Recipe For Success
Pick a goal or goals that you feel you can achieve within 60 days. Make sure that those goals are of high value to you....the more meaningful the better. Announce this goal and timeframe to you friends/social network. Follow the program!


What's Next?
Over time (60 days or so), performing at this level and pushing yourself to make continued improvements will become your new normal. Your motivation will come from within as you untap your potential and grow more and more amazing each day. For now, find motivation where you can. Find us on Facebook and click on Events to sign up for our next workout. If you prefer, find us on Meetup and sign up for a workout. Or, subscribe to the SABERtooth Fitness Channel on YouTube for new routines every week. There are playlists to get you started and to keep you going.

Everything below this line discusses the science of motivation. I think it's interesting, but you can skip it if you don't want to geek out over it.

The Components Of Motivation

Current motivational theories state that high value outcomes with high probabilities of success coupled with a short time period to accomplish those outcomes result in the highest levels of motivation.


Expectancy Theory 

This was first proposed by Victor H. Vroom in 1964... STOP!  The guy's name is Vroom, so you know that he has to be an expert. Expectancy Theory explains the behavior process in which an individual chooses one behavior option over another, and why/how this decision is made in relation to their goal.

Here's the equation for the theory: 
M=E*I*V or 
Motivation = Expectancy*Instrumentality*Valence
  • Motivation is the amount an individual will be motivated by the condition or environment they placed themselves in. 
  • Expectancy is the person's perception that the effort will result in better performance. 
  • Instrumentality is the person's perception that performance will be rewarded or punished. 
  • Valence is the perceived amount of the reward or punishment that will result from the performance.
It's difficult to assign absolute values to E, I, and/or V, so quantifying Motivation is not super-realistic, but you can see that any increases in the perception of  E, I, and or V will result in a directly proportional increase in Motivation.

Temporal Motivation Theory

A more refined approach to Vroom's theory is Temporal Motivation Theory. This was introduced in a 2006 Academy of Management Review article, it synthesizes into a single formulation the primary aspects of several other major motivational theories, including Incentive Theory, Drive Theory, Need Theory, Self-Efficacy and Goal Setting.

Here it is:


M=(E*V)/(1+I*D)
Motivation=(Expectancy*Value)/(1+Impulsiveness*Delay)
  • Motivation is the desire for a particular outcome.
  • Expectancy is the perceived probability of success.
  • Value is the predicted reward attached to the outcome.
  • Impulsiveness is the sensitivity to delay.
  • Delay is the period of time it will require to achieve the outcome.

If you think of Value from Temporal Motivation Theory as (Instrumentality*Valence) from Expectancy Theory, then you really just divide Vroom's Motivation by the product of the temporal factors (Impulsiveness and Delay). Or, Motivation decreases proportionally to both Impulsiveness and Delay. 

Conclusion

SABER has you covered in terms of high values for Expectancy and Value. The Delay is low, and Impulsiveness will tend to decrease as you find yourself hitting little goals along the way. SABER is a recipe for high motivation and a high level of success. Let's get this done, shall we?