Welcome to the third edition of ASK THE WIZARD. I am here to answer all your questions about life, business, and the pursuit of awesomeness. Let’s dive into two fantastic questions you guys submitted. Don’t forget to submit YOUR question here. The Wizard knows all, so don’t be shy!
“Abs! What’s the MFF approach? I know it’s all about diet, sleep, and exercise… For the exercise what’s your most proven techniques? Especially for the magical V. (And I don’t mean vagina.)”
– Abs Wannabe
Who doesn’t want abs?! Great question! Having a flat, toned tummy is on everyone’s wish list this holiday season and very few people know how to get one. Here are three tips to keep in mind on your path to a six pack…
- Nutrition, nutrition, nutrition! Your diet has the biggest impact on your elusive quest for tummy tightness. You have to be eating right for your goals because seeing definition of your abdominal muscles is primarily driven by shedding body fat to reveal the muscles hiding below. Exercise is important to have strong, well-defined abdominal muscles, but if those fierce muscles are hiding under a few pints of Ben & Jerry’s then you won’t get the sexy v-shaped torso pics you’re dying to put on Grindr (or Tinder, or Scruff, or…).
- Forget about ab exercises! That’s right, just working your abs, won’t get you abs! I know, this one is counterintuitive — but if you want abs you have to shed body fat. The best possible exercise strategy is one that strengthens your core while burning a shit-ton of calories. At MFF we do what fitness freaks would call metabolic resistance training… WTF is THAT Mr. Wizard?! The keys to this style of training are short but intense periods of effort, a combination of body-weight and resistance exercises, and super short rest periods. What’s so magical about this level of intense training is that you’ll be able to continue burning calories for up to 48 hours after your workout! #Abs
- Track your body fat percentage. While these numbers vary wildly from person to person, on the whole men will start to see their abs appear once they dip below 10% body fat and women once they get below 15%. Depending on where your body stores fat, that number will vary dramatically — but body fat percentage is the best measure you have to track your road to glory.
On the path to Six Pack Land slow and steady wins the race. For many people, particularly woman, achieving and maintaining a lower body fat percentage is tough (It’s hard out there for a pimp)! But with consistent exercise and the proper nutrition you too can one day be the proud owner of a chiseled abdomen. Maybe 2015 is the year?!
“I notice that my fellow Ninjas leave class soaked through with sweat, while I am barely damp. I feel like I’m giving 100%, but maybe I’m not. I’m drinking my 96 oz of water, so I know I’ve got hydration in me that wants out. Is there something wrong with me? Am I not working out hard enough?”
– Sweat-less in Hell’s Kitchen
Hey Sweat-less! I have a very simple and unsatisfying answer for you… we’re all f*cking snowflakes. An individuals’s level of perspiration is just one of those bodily processes that varies dramatically from person to person — we’re all unique. For most people, judging your workouts but how much you sweat will be super ineffective. The same thing can be said about soreness… or tiredness… or puke-i-ness (how much you wanna barf). In a vacuum these are all terrible metrics for how affective your workout is.
Aside from fancy gadgets like heart rate monitors, there is one consistently reliable measure of a good workout regimen… RESULTS. (TWEET THAT SHIT!)
If you are applying the right fitness and nutrition strategies to your goals than you should be seeing measurable results every two weeks. At MFF we use a portfolio of measurements to track and analyze physique results including: weight, waist and hip circumference, body fat percentage, and progress pictures. All of this data combined gives you a really clear picture of whether your workouts are doing the trick. It’s simple. Check all your measurements every two weeks and if you see your portfolio of measurements moving (even slowly) in the right direction, just keep on going — you’re nailing it! If your measurements aren’t budging it might be time to change course. The MFF Team is always available to help you explore new nutrition and exercise strategies — just ask!
The one caveat to this reply is if you NEVER, EVER SWEAT. The primary reason your body sweats is to regulate your temperature. So, if you NEVER sweat due to exercise or nervousness or summertime heat waves you might want to be safe and check with a doctor. If the doctors gives you the green light, then relax and just enjoy the fact that you get to finish class looking a sexy as when you start. No doubt, a lot of sweaty Ninjas are jealous!
Got a question for the Wizard?
Don’t be shy!
[Disclaimer: The advice offered in this column is intended for informational purposes only. Use of this column not intended to replace or substitute for any professional, financial, medical, legal, or other professional advice. If you have specific concerns or a situation in which you require professional, psychological or medical help, you should consult with an appropriately trained and qualified specialist. The opinions or views expressed in this column are not intended to treat or diagnose; nor are they meant to replace the treatment and care that you may be receiving from a licensed professional, physician or mental health professional. This column, its author, and publisher are not responsible for the outcome or results of following any advice in any given situation. You, and only you, are completely responsible for your actions.]