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Man Bicep Principles

This post was inspired by Fit and Feminist. Caitlin wrote a post about 15 things she did to improve her health. When I started writing my list, I realized that everything on the list stemmed from 5 main principles. And these principles in my opinion are the foundation of developing a healthy lifestyle.

1. Question everything. Don’t blindly follow what others do. Study any diet or exercise program before you follow it. If you know the arguments for and against a program, you can really make an informed decision about whether or not you want to follow it. Questioning conventional wisdom about diet and exercise is what led me to Primal and heavy lifting/Crossfit – it led me to find a diet and exercise program that I think is IDEAL for me.

2. Experiment on yourself. Everyone is different. Just because it works for your friend, doesn’t mean it will work for you. You can’t know if something will work for you unless you give it a shot. The best way to create the perfect healthy lifestyle for yourself is by experimenting to find out what works! For example, the variation of Primal and heavy lifting that I do isn’t exactly the same thing that works for Ryan or Candy or Brian!

3. Lift heavy weights. I’m sorry. Cardio just doesn’t cut it ladies and gents. You need to lift heavy weights – you need muscle and strength to really be healthy (PLUS there are tons of benefits besides looking sexy that you get from lifting heavy weights…like increased bone density!)

4. Always challenge yourself. I don’t mean that you have to push yourself every workout, but don’t ever become complacent. Always set new goals to strive for. Don’t ever just get stuck doing the same thing over and over again. Always seek out new ways to challenge yourself. Try a new workout routine or a new sport. Try lifting heavier weights or a new form of cardio!

5. Focus on the big picture. This one has been the hardest thing for me to do. You can get so caught up in your day-to-day diet or even your weekly diet that you don’t realize all the progress that you’ve made over the past year. I know I’m guilty of occasionally getting stuck on daily fluctuations in weight or even weekly fluctuations in how much I can lift. Remember, the day-to-day stuff doesn’t matter that much as long as you remain committed to your health a majority of the time. One cheat day isn’t going to ruin your year even if it makes you gain weight the next day. One bad workout won’t set you back. Remember the 80/20 rule. If you work hard and commit to your diet and workout program 80% of the time, you WILL see results over time. Don’t stress over the few times you cheats or have a bad workout because they won’t matter. Just enjoy the adventure!

So those are the 5 main things I always keep in mind – those are the five main things I think everyone needs to live by if they want to lead a healthy happy life!

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