Stay Youthful Inside and Out: 5 Easy Steps

1. SLEEP

Sleeping the proper amount of time per night can have a number of benefits which can be seen and felt. During sleep your body will release HGH, man's other best bud. Contrary to popular belief, HGH will not make you a behemoth. The Human-Growth Hormone refers to cell regeneration. Every night you release less and less HGH, so it is easy to understand why poor sleeping patterns, and thus poor HGH release patterns will decrease your body's ability to regenerate cells. Getting 8-10 hours of deep sleep will allow ample time for your body to recover from hard workouts and have you feeling and looking brand new in the morning. 

2. MOISTURE + SPF

Keep the skin tight and supple with a lineup of your favorite moisturizing products. Starting out I suggest a toning spray to tighten the pores, then a moisturizer with SPF and an eye cream. There are tons of male beauty products so a good way to try out which work best for you instead of breaking the bank on a bunch of products that may irritate or cause inflammation is to ask for samples at your local Sephora or Ulta. You can also try a subscription service like BirchBox to get new sample size products every month.

TIP: Don't forget the back of your hands when applying SPF

3. LSD CARDIO

LSD refers to Long Slow Distance. These easy bouts of cardio are great for stimulating Internal Ventricular Hypertrophy, which is basically a fancy way of saying the heart grows, allowing it to pump more blood per beat. Other benefits include an increase in blood vessels and bronchioles. These changes make blood circulation and oxygen delivery throughout the body much more efficient. Blood delivery to different organs of the body means nourishment to allow proper function and/or healing to all areas of the body. 

4. CLEANSE

Similar to sleep giving the whole body a rest, a cleanse will allow your digestive system a break. A cleanse will allow the cells of your to relax and reset. The chemistry of the Gastrointestinal system will be allowed reach a state of peak performance. You will be metabolizing food quickly and efficiently while restoring your livers glycogen stores to its optimal state.

5. RESISTANCE TRAINING

You don't need to join a CrossFit box or even start lifting 5 days a week. Just 3 days of full body resistance workouts per week will keep your testosterone up and your connective tissues strong. I mix up my resistance training from dynamic movements like kettlebell and rotational workouts, to heavy days like deadlifts and squats, and a dumbbell workout that stresses balance, core stability, and bilateral coordination. Be sure to include the entire body if you are only doing 3 days/week. The more muscles you recruit the better.  

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Why training for performance works

Most people develop fitness goals that revolve around image, measurements, or to "feel good." Specifically, after people are past their glory days of athletic competition, the desire to train tends to go by the wayside and is replaced with social eating, drinking, or binge-watching the newest Netflix show. Don't get me wrong, I have watched The Office in its entirety too many times, and everyone knows how much I enjoy a good Sunday brunch with friends. I won't try to pretend that exercise is my life and nothing matters more than how much I can deadlift . I do love fitness, but I to go through ruts where I simply can't convince myself that doing a workout to maintain a healthy weight or that avoiding IPAs to fight off a beer belly, are actually worth the effort. 

Goals dependent on a scale, mirror, or an arbitrary feeling of "goodness" lack something that fuels most people, a deadline. Deadlines help keep people focused. Whether you are in college and you have a research paper due or you work in sales and meeting a required quota based on a specific timeline with the possibility of reward or punishment will help to motivate individuals. When weight-loss is a goal we tend to see people struggle to maintain motivation because of the constant swings in weight from day to day, the length of time it takes to reach said goal, and the ability to so easily to return to the initial weight after achieving that target weight. 

Goals based on image can be very dangerous because many develop or already have issues seeing their positive traits. These people can slip into a state of body dysmorphia where they never think they "look good" or can never be thin enough. What you look like shouldn't be a goal, but a positive bi-product of your healthy habits. Eating healthy, fresh foods that aren't only following your proper caloric intake but are full of vitamins and minerals will yield a healthier-looking you. Not only will your body composition improve but your skin, hair, and overall aura will resemble your efforts. All these changes come with time and you will come as a result of consistency over time.

Having performance based goals doesn't mean you have to train for some crazy event like the CrossFit Games or an ultra-marathon. What performance training relates to is training with the intent to improve. For some, improvement might be to set a PR in their 1600m.  For others it means they want to do be able to do their first pull up before the end of summer. Targeting a performance-based goal has value in the mind and heart of the trainee. The great thing about these goals is they can increase in value. The longer you train for a specific performance-goal the more invested you become and the more likely you are are to make decisions revolving around achieving your goal. Unlike weight related goals, performance goals aren't complete until the day of competition or you have achieved what it is you set out to do. When we start feeling better about the way we look or we get near our goal-weight it is common to see a relapse and a false sense of achievement. 

Having a goal with a deadline like a competition or a specific date with a reward at the end will help maintain focus until the end. There is less chance of rewarding yourself prematurely. It would make me feel really dumb if I decided to have my post-race beer the night before a race then didn't finish my race the next morning. Performance training not only keeps me accountable, it also drives me to get up early on Sundays, fueling my competitive spirit. 

Performance is all about competition. Whether it is intrinsic, climbing your first 5.11 rock wall, or  social, scoring the winning goal for your vavi league, competition will drive you much more, and more sustainably than other motivators. Performance goals tend to have a reward that we are proud of beyond others. Achieving a feat breeds confidence in one's self. People tend to brag to friends and family as well as social media when they accomplish something new. It is an amazing feeling to say to yourself your hard work paid off, and even better to tell others.

Stay focused. Work hard. Train efficiently. Eat for Performance.

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