“Rules are for children. This is war, and in war the only crime is to lose.” — Joe Abercrombie
Are you up for some hell raising today?
It’s a new year and it’s time to throw out the old rules. I sure as hell love to stir the pot and cause some trouble. Life would be boring without guys like me. Nothing happens until the bad guy arrives.
Before we raise some hell, I must warn ya…
Not everyone is going to like this. Not everyone is a fan of breaking rules. Some folks love the systems that are in place and do everything to keep them alive.
“If you’re remarkable, then it’s likely that some people won’t like you. That’s part of the definition of remarkable. Nobody gets unanimous praise — ever. The best the timid can hope for is to be unnoticed. Criticism comes to those who stand out.” — Seth Godin
What are fitness rules that need to be broken right now?
Rule #1: Caffeine is bad for you.
“You’ve got to stop drinking coffee.”
That’s what clueless friends always tell me.
I live for coffee. I love coffee. I couldn’t imagine a day without a cup of coffee. Why would I want to do this to myself?
I recently found this interesting study about caffeine and training.
“Caffeine consumption can enhance resistance training performance and yet decrease soreness following resistance training despite doing more work.”
You had me at enhance! To add to this.
“Caffeine is a mild, legal and harmless stimulant that has been shown in dozens of scientific studies to improve sports performance. This is not only because a dose of caffeine gives athletes extra energy, which makes their training easier, but also because caffeine makes muscle contraction easier.”
How can you break this fitness rule?
Ignore those that tell you to stop drinking coffee.
Drink at your own discretion. You’re grown up enough to know that the fifth cup won’t help you when you’re feeling jittery. You also know that sleep is better than chugging coffee. Try to get more sleep when you can. When you can’t, you can always drink a cup of coffee.
Rule #2: You need to have breakfast.
Break — what?
I can’t remember the last time I had breakfast. I wake up, drink some coffee, do some writing, and then hit the gym. After all of that I eat.
I won’t even pretend to be the expert here because I’m far from it. I’m just a loyal follower and the Lean Gains guide to fasting.
Isn’t breakfast the most important meal? This is what studies show me!
Martin Berkhan answered this best with:
“That is, people who don’t eat breakfast are more likely to show dysregulated eating patters; average joe skipping breakfast sure as shit isn’t thinking “I’m doing IF now”. He’s the type to grab a donut on the way to work, eat junk food for lunch and finish the day off with a big dinner and snack in front of the TV.
Now, I’m not against children and teens eating breakfast, or anyone else for that matter, but given what I just demonstrated above, it might give you a hint on what the claim that breakfast = good for studying/tests is based on.”
Doing the 30 grams of protein within 30 minutes of waking up or eating a healthy breakfast is cool. It’s not mandatory if you’re serious about your training though.
You can skip breakfast. It’s not the most important meal of the day. Don’t feel guilty if you start your day off with a cup of coffee and jump right into things.
How can you beak this rule?
Read our primer on intermittent fasting. Give it a try and see how you feel.
Rule #3: You need to try this new workout.
Shutup with your fancy workouts. I don’t give a shit.
This rule needs to be broken right now. You don’t need a fancy workout. You don’t even need fancy equipment. Hell, you don’t even need fancy shoes or any of that crap! You don’t need an uber tight shirt to get a pump in.
Andy Morgan writes about the big 3 routine here:
“The core of building a strong body is the Squat, Deadlift and Bench. Anyone that tells you otherwise is simply ill-informed.”
That’s all you need.
You already know that the world is your gym. Busting out 20 pushups today beats not doing any pushups.
Rule #4: You should train abs X amount of times.
Whatever. Who the hell wants to waste time on training abs?
I used to train abs every single day in high school. Then finally I figured out that it was pointless.
I’m not saying that you should never focus on your core or to forget about it, but if you have a huge beer belly or have lots of fat to lose, you could do crunches all day and night, and still see no results.
If you’re out of shape, you need to lose that damn gut first! You need to do the following to break this fitness rule:
- Eat better.
- Perform the main lifts (deadlifts, bench, squat).
- Get into a sport or something.
- Sleep more.
1,000 crunches won’t do much if you’re 40lbs overweight. Do the four above things and your whole body will drastically change.
Mark Rippetoe says it best here on building your core:
“The problem with the concept of training specifically for “core” stabilization is that it doesn’t make any sense. Leaving aside the arguments for using it to prevent back pain in sedentary populations (everybody that doesn’t have a “stable core” has back pain?), it proceeds from several ridiculous assumptions, and it is completely inapplicable to an athlete who is training properly on a basic barbell program.”
There you go. You don’t have to listen to me, but Rippetoe is a damn expert.
Those are four fitness rules that I want to see you slap across the face. Stop being such a mindless drone! Question everything out there. Try everything out until you find what works for you.
What old fitness rules are you going to break?
“You are remembered for the rules you break.” — Douglas MacArthur