Tuesday, August 19, 2008

How Michael Phelps Won 8 Gold Medals

While I don’t know Michael’s exact training strategy and haven’t met him personally, I am pretty confident I know some things that helped him win 8 gold medals, and they are the same strategies you can use to get Red Carpet Ready.

1. He decided. That’s right. He made a very clear decision that he would win 8 gold medals at the Olympics in Beijing. I feel confident saying, he probably wrote this down somewhere. Then he held that vision very clearly in his minds eye and did not waver from his goal.

Here’s what you can do:

Decide right now to get fit or more fit. Take some immediate action so you can get some energy behind your decision. This could be something simple like a kitchen purge and restock or buying new workout shoes or a pair of Valslides.

2. He told everyone about it. Accountability is a powerful thing and telling everyone about your plan is like giving them your word. Michael told his plan to the world; it was announced through every form of media. Once he did this, I don’t think he ever considered missing a workout.

Here’s what you can do:

Tell your friends and family you are starting a new program and you would like their support. You could also start a blog (I have seen this be very effective for people) or you can join an online community. To find out about the Red Carpet Ready club go to www.redcarpetready.com/blog

3. He put forth the effort. It is hard for me to imagine that this young guy blew off workouts because he wasn’t in the mood, he was tired, busy or hung over. You might want to argue that swimming is Michael’s job. He’s an athlete and his job is to be fit. Newsflash: “Swimming and being fit is his job because he put the effort in.” His amazing god given talent would have meant nothing had he chose to miss practice and play video games.

Here’s what you can do:

Make your workouts non-negotiable. Schedule them in your calendar like any other important appointment. Ideally first thing in the morning. Implement the 10-minute rule. No matter how bad you feel or how busy you are, you will do at least 10 minutes. Chances are you will complete the workout. Crank up the intensity. You will not achieve a Red Carpet Ready body if your whole workout consists of walking or doing a workout that does not challenge you.

4. Recognize that recovery is important. Michael Phelps has someone measuring, testing and analyzing anything that can be analyzed. 3 minutes after Phelps’ race, someone will prick his ear with a needle and that blood will be measured to see how much lactic acid is in his system and he will swim slowly until it has dropped to an acceptable level. The coaches know how much to push him, how much sleep he needs and when he should start tapering his swims before a meet.

Here’s what you can do:

While you may not have a team of people looking after you, you can take one full day off each week. Build in some kind of soft tissue work. This could be massage or foam rolling. Get at least 7 hours of sleep each night. Don’t eat junk food. Fuel your body with lean protein and veggies. Don’t’ forget to hydrate.

It is true that Michael Phelps was incredibly blessed. His body was built for speed. He has come of age during a time of advancement in training and equipment technology and he has the ability to turn off the outside world when necessary. Talent and blessing, however, are never enough. It is effort that brings forth the rewards. The way to your best body lies in your decision to have it and the effort you are willing to put into it. You have it in you. Dig a little deeper. The rewards are on the other side of effort and it’s not just the great body you will have. The latest magic potion or exercise pill will NOT give you the same as what you’ll get when you work for your goal. You might have to trust me on this in the beginning but you will thank me later!

Friday, August 8, 2008

The Sumo Wrestler Diet

I frequently receive calls and emails from frustrated women trying to lose weight. My years in the trenches has helped me to easily spot dietary mistakes and given me an arsenal of tricks to get someone Red Carpet Ready.
One of the most common mistakes I see, men and women alike, is skipping meals. The excuses may vary:

“I’m not hungry in the morning.”
“I forgot to eat.” (I personally have never understood this one)
“There was no food in the house.”
“I don’t have time.”

Most of these are just the result of poor planning or lack of strategy. I address all of these in my book Red Carpet Ready.

Sometimes though, a person is trying to use this as a method of weight loss and is frustrated that it’s not working. Regardless of the reason, skipping breakfast and/or lunch usually results in over eating or making poor choices at dinner. After all, you’re now starving!

This strategy of skipping breakfast and lunch and then eating a healthy (but big) dinner is the same strategy used by Sumo Wrestlers. These powerful athletes have staggering proportions. Their weight is their asset and they often weigh over 500 lbs! Like most professional athletes they take their diet and training very seriously.

Sumo Wrestlers purposely starve themselves all day and then have an evening meal that includes protein, vegetables and rice, immediately followed by sleep. This is their secret weight gaining technique and it has been used successfully for hundreds of years. By first starving the body, they send it into fat-storing mode. This is your bodys weapon to protect it from famine.

By starving the body of fuel, it holds onto every calorie available as fat to be used as energy for the next starving period. Sleeping directly following the evening meal allows the body to hold on even tighter to these calories.

Are you on the Sumo Wrestler diet? Was this your intention? Do you want to look like a Sumo Wrestler? or do you want to look Red Carpet Ready?

To lose stubborn body fat, you must do five things consistently:

  1. EAT- Preferably 5-6x per day.

  2. AVOID- Refined carbs and overly processed food.

  3. Drink 64-100 oz of water everyday.

  4. Do 3 full body circuit style strength training sessions as described in Red Carpet Ready

  5. Get 7-8 hours of sleep- Adequate sleep is often the missing equation in a fat loss plan. This really is that important.

Do these 5 things consistently and you will be on your way to feeling Red Carpet Ready!