The Sliver Strategy – Success in Strength Training, Fat-Loss and Beyond

The Sliver Strategy – Success in Strength Training, Fat-Loss and Beyond

A Sliver?

The definition of ‘Sliver’ I am using here is: a small and narrow portion.  The idea came from the smallest weight plate I have in my gym – 0.5kg (1.1lb).

Bodhi Kenyon 0.5kg plate

What is The Sliver Strategy?

The Sliver Strategy is a simple plan that:

  1. takes you from where you are now to where you want to be – towards a worthy goal
  2. is set up in progressive increments that are mere slivers (very small and seemingly insignificant up close)
  3. is wise and sustainable over time

Rushing is Not Recommended

In my younger years, when I had a goal, I would rush to get to a destination as fast as possible.  This approach often wasn’t effective.  Sometimes I would end up quitting on route to the goal.  In athletic endeavors, sometimes I would even end up injured due to lack of patience with the process.

Being Patience with the Process

I find that many people approach training, muscle gain and fat loss in an impatient way.  They want to attain a goal as quickly as possible.  I understand this feeling.  I also know that a solid plan with a growth mindset, consistent work and heaps of patience is the best strategy.

An Intelligent Approach to Training

I will share an approach that was inspired by my client Amol Verma, who embodies patience, a growth mindset and consistent work at a very deep level.  This is a man who is focused and patient.  You can learn more about his approach here in this previous post.

Making Progress on a Key Exercise

I love facing the Barbell Deadlift on ‘Deadlift Day’ once per week.  It tests my full-body strength and makes me harder to kill:-)  I do 5 reps at about 87% of my 1 rep maximum.  That means it’s damn hard in terms of intensity. I take a 2-minute rest between sets and do 5 sets total.  So the entire workout on “Deadlift Day” consists of a warm-up, 5 sets of 5 reps with 2-minutes rest between sets.    The total reps I aim to complete on ‘Deadlift Day’ is 25.   Today that weight was 102.5kg (225lbs).  I completed all 25 reps, which is a total of 2,565kg (5,637lbs), in about 25 minutes.  Since I completed all 25 reps, I ‘earn the right’ to increase the weight next week when I face the Barbell Deadlift again on ‘Deadlift Day’.

The numbers below the bubbles (5,4,2,3) were what I completed the week prior when I attempted and failed to complete 5 reps per set.

Progressing One Sliver at a Time

Normally I progress my clients at 2.5kg (5lbs) per session when they ‘earn the right’ to progress on a compound movement like the deadlift.  For myself, I have decided to progress myself 1kg (2.2lbs) at a time.  Here is what 1.25kg (2.5lb) plates look like in comparison to 0.5kg (1lb) plates.

lfbx gym 0.5kg plates

One sliver of progress looks pretty insignificant, right?   Well, this small sliver of a plate, increased each week over time, adds up to nearly 50kg (110lbs) in a year’s time.  I may not progress every week, but if I do, that is a very significant improvement in my strength in 365 days.

102.5kg (225lbs) completed this week earns me the right to face 103.5kg (228lbs) next week

How Can You Work The Sliver Strategy in Your Life?

I have used an example of a training goal that literally uses slivers, in the form of 0.5kg plates, as an incremental progress measure.  I challenge you to think through and use ‘The Sliver Strategy’ in your own life with a goal that you want to progress.  You can achieve your fat loss goal one sliver at a time.  Here is a previous post that may help. Improving your health in slivers of healthy habits is completely in your hands.  Here is a previous post on walking that may help.  You can read a book and applying the knowledge therein as a sliver of wisdom.

It will take a growth mindset, setting up consistent work through “The Sliver Strategy’ based on consistent work and patience to get you to your goal.  Good things usually take time and consistent effort.  You can do it.  Plan it and get to work.

If you get stuck, give me a shout.  I may have some good ideas for you.   

Be Extraordinary!

Bodhi

The First Step to Fat-Loss: Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)

The First Step to Fat-Loss: Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)

Fat Loss – One Step at a Time

Let’s get rid of that extra body fat, step by step, one phase at a time.  Time-Restricted Eating is an approach that I believe will work for everyone that commits to it.  It takes things one step at a time and you don’t take the next step until you have OWNED the ONE you are on.  You need to ETR (Earn The Right) before moving on to each subsequent step.  This is how you will achieve Extraordinary Results over time.

Our First Step: Time-Restricted Eating (TRE)

Time-Restricted Eating (TRE) is sometimes also referred to as Time-Restricted Feeding (TRF). TRE is eating within a window of 12-hours or less. Most people eat on a 15-hour window, so they are only in a fasted state for 9 hours.  For example, they might have a cup of coffee with milk at 7:00 am, and then have their last bite of food at 10:00 pm.  Our goal in this first step is to master a 12-hour eating window first for at least 7 days.  Eventually, some of you may choose to eat within a 10-hour, 8-hour, 4-hour or even 1-hour window on TRE. Eating within a one hour window is known as OMAD (One Meal A Day).  I recommend decreasing the eating window to deepen the benefits of TRE, but only after you master the first step, which is at least 7 days of perfect adherence to a 12-hour window. 

Why 12-hours?

When you eat a normal meal it generally takes 3-5 hours for your body to digest and absorb the food you ate. Insulin rises significantly, shutting off fat-burning completely and also triggering excess calories to be stored as fat.

After this digesting and absorbing process, your body goes into the post-absorptive state where the components of your last meal are still in circulation.  This post-absorptive state can last for 8-12 hours after your last meal.  So it takes approximately 12 hours after the last bit of your last meal to enter the fasted state.  The fasted state is the period when your body can burn stored body fat that hasn’t been accessible during the fed state.

Until you are in the fasted state, your body is burning sugar as fuel in the form of glucose.  From this 12 hour period, your body can start burning body fat as fuel.  That is what we are aiming for here – annihilating excess body fat.

Time Restricted Eating clock

A simple example of fasting and eating on a 12-hour eating window

What if I Can’t Fast for 12-Hours?

If you are thinking this way, just stop.  You can do it.  I believe most people can fast for 12-hours if they decide to.  The decision is yours.

Who Discovered the Benefits of TRE?

Professor Satchidananda Panda, a prominent researcher from Salk Institute in La Jolla, California.  If you want to dig deep into the science of this, please read this PubMed article by Professor Panda.   Professor Panda’s book – The Circadian Code covers this subject in depth.

How Did Professor Panda Discover It?

While researching how the liver’s daily cycle works, he found that mice that eat within a set amount of time (8-12 hours) resulted in slimmer & healthier mice than those who ate the same number of calories in a larger window of time.

How Could This Discovery Help Us Live a Healthier Life?

This discovery shows that the timing of eating may be as important as what is eaten.  If TRE works for humans as it does for mice, we will be slimmer and healthier.   This approach might stave off high cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.

How Do I Apply Time-Restricted Eating For Fat-Loss?

  1. Decide when you are going to eat your last meal of the day
  2. Eat it and log the time that you finish your last bite or drink if it is a caloric drink
  3. Make sure that you don’t consume any calories in the form of food or drink for at least 12-hours.
  4. Log the time you have your first calorie in the morning in the form of food or a caloric drink.
  5. Do this every day for 7 days
  6. If you are an LFBX Gym Client, let us know when you start TRE for Fat-Loss and then submit your results to us on the 7th day via email.

Notes: Water, herbal tea, black tea or coffee are non-caloric drinks and permissible during the 12-hours that you are not consuming food or drinks as long as there is no dairy (milk or cream), sweeter (honey, maple syrup, sugar) or soy or nut milks in them.

Stevia, Erythritol, Xylitol is ok, but I suggest that you don’t have anything sweet during these 12 hours.  You can eat sweet things during your eating window.

Also, refrain from artificial sweeteners like sucralose, saccharine, aspartame and the like as well as Coke Zero or other zero-calorie sodas or gelatins – they are poisonous and harm your health.

Salt, added to your water to balance electrolytes, is acceptable.   I recommend this Okinawan sea salt for people in Japan.  For people in the States, I recommend Redmond Real Salt.

You can brush your teeth – but don’t eat the toothpaste.

If you have any questions, drop all hesitation and ask us immediately.

Be Extraordinary!

Bodhi

 

Waist-to-Height Ratio: The Quickest Health Check Around

Waist-to-Height Ratio: The Quickest Health Check Around

Waist-to-Height Ratio is a Powerful Indicator of Health

 

Waist-to-Height Ratio is a quick, inexpensive and easy way to predict your level of health.  Recent research has determined that waist-to-height ratio is a more accurate predictor of cardiovascular health risk, hypertension, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes than BMI. 

 

Waist-to-Height Ratio is More Accurate than BMI?

 

For clarity, BMI (Basal Metabolic Index) is a way of relating your height and weight to know if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese.

 

BMI= weight (kg) / height (m) x height (m).

 

BMI can be a very inaccurate way to measure body fat, as it only takes into consideration height and weight.  Here is an example of a mass of fat vs a mass of muscle, both weighing 2.3kg (5lbs).

 

 

Here’s what it can look like on a beautiful woman.  If she had just lost fat, and not gained some muscle, she would have lost weight.  Since she gained muscle while losing fat, her weight remained the same.

 

 

Madalin Giorggetta is a perfect example of how much more compact muscle is on the body than fat.  She also proves in this photo that BMI is inaccurate, as her body fat percentage is much higher in the photo on the left although her weight and her height are the same.

 

Waist-to-Height Ratio – Why It’s Superior to BMI

 

Abdominal obesity sometimes referred to as central obesity results from excessive abdominal fat (belly fat), which is a combination of visceral fat (fat around the internal organs) and subcutaneous fat (fat underneath the skin) that has built up to a level that puts one at risk for cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease and type 2 diabetes.  Since the measurement of waist-to-height ratio is made at the waist, abdominal fat is measured directly.

 

 

 

 

How to Measure Your Waist

 

 

If the instructions above are confusing, just measure around your navel in a straight line around your back.  If you don’t have a measuring tape, you can purchase one like this

 

How to Calculate Your Waist-to-Height Ratio

 

Once you have your measurements, write them down and plug them into this calculator.

 

Waist to Height Ratio Calculator

 

 

If you want to do the calculation yourself, here is the formula: Waist/Height

 

I will use my beautiful wife as a model. Her waist is 65.5cm (26 inches) and her height is 157cm (5 feet) so we divide her height by her waist 66/157 and get 0.417 and round that up to 0.42. 

What’s the First Goal to Aim for?

The first goal to aim for is 0.5 or less.  You want your waist to be 1/2 or less of your height to be considered healthy.  Healthy is what we are aiming for first at LFBX.

If you want to knock people’s socks off in a swimsuit, you’ll probably need to aim for around 0.43.  The Slender and Healthy Category in the chart above is what I consider extraordinary.

Please give it a shot and comment if you have any questions or you want to share.

Be Extraordinary!

Bodhi

A Brad Pitt Lesson on Attacking Your Target

A Brad Pitt Lesson on Attacking Your Target

Attacking Your Target

We all have targets in our lives.  We call them goals, dreams, and aspirations.  Some of us know exactly what we want in fine detail.  Some of us kind of know what we want, but haven’t clarified exactly what it is.

I suggest that you spend some time with a pen and paper or on a word document and figure out your target.  Have fun with it. Choose a target that would transform your life the most.  Everyone will have a different target, so trust that the specific target that you choose is accurate.

Your target can change over time, but for now, choose one that moves you the most.  Commit to a worthy target that stretches you and makes you feel uncomfortable.  Attacking your target is by no means easy, but will make you a better human being for it.

My target is to take daily action on at least one task that is very hard, yet will move my life and business forward most powerfully.  Right now, that is migrating my website from wordpress.com to wordpress.org.  It’s the most uncomfortable thing for me to do today, but long-term, this action will make my life, my client’s lives and my business significantly better.

Target-blocking Obstacles

I believe that most of us want to attain our targets, but so-called obstacles get in the way.  These obstacles are usually fear-based. There could be a fear that the target is unattainable.  Maybe there is a fear that the work may just be too hard and desired results may take too long to achieve.  For some, there may be a fear of putting their reputation on the line, where they might experience failure, which could hurt their ego.

Another obstacle is the desire of clinging to comfort.  Challenging targets require us to grow beyond where we are now, so they are naturally hard and uncomfortable.  It would be like going from a warm, comfy bed with big fluffy pillows to sleeping on the hard floor, pillowless, in a constricting sleeping bag or going from taking hot showers to only cold ones.   We, humans, tend to like it comfortable.

The Ordinary Approach to Attaining a Target

Because of our desire to cling to comfort and run from fear, we usually approach our goals, dreams, and aspirations very slowly.  We talk about them.  Our flights of fancy come and go, imagining what life would be like actually realizing our dream.

There are some of us that actually do something to hit our target.  Of course, we are all different in our approaches, but the majority of us take more time than necessary to attain our goals.  Projects, that if focused on intently could be done in one day, may take an entire week to complete.  Or something, like losing 5kg (10lbs) of fat, that could easily be accomplished in two months, may take us a year or more to achieve.

The Brad Pitt Approach to Attacking a Target

Now we get to the Extraordinary Way to Attaining Targets!  And our spokesman for this way is none other than Brad Pitt, who plays the role of the Hero Achilles in the movie Troy.

This is a scene from the movie Troy which beautifully and succinctly expresses how to fearlessly and immediately attack a target without an ounce of hesitation when we commit to it.

I love this scene because it demonstrates how we can run, full speed ahead toward our fears, minimizing the time and toil between what we are aiming for and the actual achievement of that aim.   Being a hero is hard.  It’s uncomfortable and there is a chance of losing, so it requires ample courage and self-belief.

Tatoo Achilles’ Hero Mindset to Your Brain and Tackle Your Target!

Achilles Attacking Your Target

Once you have clarified your target, call forth your inner Achilles, go straight to the battlefield and attack!!

Share your journey and comment below.

Be Extraordinary!

Bodhi