Survival Based Fitness
We’ve all heard it before, we need to be in better shape physically to tackle the rigors of survival in the real world be it a sudden crisis or disaster or a trip that goes awry. But how do you really make heads or tails from the plethora of training plans, diets, supplements, etc. that are out there? I hope this post will get you started on the right foot.
The 80/20 Rule
80% of your training should focus on your diet and only 20% on exercise. Your body mass (fat / skinny, etc) is determined primarily by what you choose to fuel your body with (eat) not taking into account certain genetic predispositions. If you fuel your body daily with fast food, soda and a lot of simple snacks from things such as chips, cookies and the like, you can expect to reap the reward of fueling your body that way which will result in you being overweight, lethargic and at a greater risk of complications due to heart disease and diabetes. You cannot lose fat by just exercising more; you simply can't get ahead of the calories and sugar contained in these type of foods. To lose weight, you simply need to burn more calories than you take in. This is best done through making better food choices and augmenting it with regular exercise.
Watch your Macros: Protein, Carbs, Fats
You should ideally shoot for about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight you wish to maintain. So for example, if you weigh 240 now, but want to weigh 220, consume 220 grams of protein daily. If you want to gain weight (muscle), consume 1.5 - 2 grams per pound. Great protein sources can be found in chicken, fish, turkey, bison, lean beef and of course protein powders that have low or no carbs and low or no sugar.
Carbohydrates should come from complex carb providers such as oats, sweet potatoes, brown rice, quinoa and green vegetables with fruits. To lose weight, consume no more than 75 grams of carbohydrates on days you exercise with weights and no more than 50 grams on days you do not. You can cut that number in half if you wish to enter a state of ketosis if doing a ketogenic diet. To gain muscle weight, you would consume an average of 1-3 grams per pound of body weight you wish to achieve.
Fats are actually your friend when they come from natural sources. Coconut oil, black walnut oil, MCT Oil, and avocados all provide wonderful sources of beneficial fats. Fats should comprise about 20% - 25% of your daily diet. So at a 2000 calorie diet, roughly 400 calories should come from fats.
So, track what you eat every day for a week, then make adjustments to those choices to better reflect your ideal body composition.
You don't have to join a cross-fit gym or become a body builder to get fit. Start with what you have, where you are. If you just start walking for at least 20 minutes a day at at least 70% of your maximum heart rate, you'll start to lose weight. 220 minus your age equals your maximum heart rate during exercise. Consider making a workout of your yard chores, choose to do things a bit harder than usual or at a different pace. As you grow more comfortable with basic exercise add in more stretching and functional exercises such as lifting bags of feed, dirt or flour. Start carrying a 10 or 20lb bag of sugar in a backpack as you go on your walks (this is called rucking). Perhaps over time you grow comfortable enough to begin weight training or start moving heavy things at home in the yard. Whatever the case, try to keep things in perspective from a survival point of view.
Hop, crawl, skip over, jump, lift, push, pull, curl and drag EVERYTHING! This will enable you to better prepare your body for the rigors of a crisis event where an unnatural demand may be placed on your body to perform immediately. All exercise is good, the program you choose is largely irrelevant so long as you get something from it and it's fulfilling to your overall well being.
There's no quick fix. Studies have repeatedly proven that regular dietary supplementation at maximum and in the best of athletes only produces a 3-5% advantage; and that's while on a strict diet and exercise regimen. For the average consumer flocking to the latest fad wonder pill, that's only a 1-2% potential of it actually helping you reach your goals. Thus, it's best to avoid the majority of supplements with only a few exceptions.
1) Proteins- Protein powders and drinks are an effective way to reach your daily protein intakes. Choose them wisely.
2) Caffeine- Caffeine in doses of 200-300mg pre-workout has repeatedly proven to positively effect thermo-genesis (fat loss), increase mental acuity and of course give a burst of energy.
3) BCAA's- Branched Chain Amino Acids have also proven effective in intra and post workout recovery while also aiding in better sleep.
We offer a Home Based Ruck Program to help people get started in improving their level of physical activity. Once you become a member, you'll gain access to our online community of trainers that will be able to help you in planning diet and exercise plans to best suit your needs.