Spiritually and Physically Fit!

NateCCA“I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.” – 1 Corinthians 9:27

Many Christians are spiritually fit but physically weak and sick. Fitness, nutrition, and health is our RESPONSIBILITY as stewards of the body God gave us. It is our duty to remain spiritually and physically fit for Christ.

“Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price. Therefore, glorify God in your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

The verse above applies to all areas including fitness, nutrition, health, and all forms of abuse against the body (sexual, physical, alcohol, drugs, etc.).

It’s not about looking good or having six-pack abs. Although, form follows function and you will look better which will in turn make you feel better about yourself. Having a better self image and confidence are things you need as a Christian to give you the BOLDNESS, POWER and STRENGTH God has given us through the Holy Spirit. And good health means we can do what God has called us to do.

“For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of POWER and love and DISCIPLINE.” – 2 Timothy 1:7

Discipline your body through proper exercise and nutrition. Let it fuel you and provide the POWER and STRENGTH you need to be BOLD in Christ and to honor and glorify Him while fulfilling the purpose He has for you! God should be your inspiration and motivation to get fit and healthy.

I have spent a large part of my life immersed in fitness and nutrition as an intense hobby and passion and never had a clue why until God revealed the reasons for it in 2009 when I lost my  job and started Underground Fitness Revolution. I can help you because it is God’s purpose for me. It’s the reason He created me. He gave me gifts, talents, and abilities to fulfill this purpose in my life yo!

My current goal is to become as spiritually fit as I am physically fit. And although I have many more years of physical fitness under my belt than I do as a Christian, God continues to grow me spiritually each and every day the more I follow in His footsteps, listen to what He is saying, and follow what it is He wants me to do.

NateMissionAndPurposeMy spiritual fitness will quickly catch up and surpass my physical fitness in a lot less time than it took me to figure out the fitness, fat loss, nutrition, and health side of things. I’m eager to see what God is able to do through me once my spiritual fitness catches up to my physical fitness while loving and helping others and fulfilling my purpose in life.

“Discipline yourself for the purpose of godliness; for bodily discipline is only of little profit, but godliness is profitable for all things, since it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come.” – 1 Timothy 4:7-8

In addition to being the owner and Fitness Coach for Underground Fitness Revolution, I provide online coaching, accountability, support, motivation, inspiration, passion, and all the nutrition and training experience you need to succeed.  #DoWhatNateSays

I’m asking you to commit 15-30 minutes a day to get fit, lose fat, and improve your health. If you cannot do that, nothing else will work for you. No gimmicks, pills, potions, or any other fad or easy fix! Just consistency and hard work.

It will take discipline, commitment, action, better habits, and a lifestyle change but it’s all to honor and glorify God in the end and do what we are responsible for doing as Christians and stewards of our bodies yo!

“Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God.” – 1 Corinthians 10:31

How I Train – Part 2

Nate and Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler at the Beachbody Success Club Conference in Disney.

Nate and Beachbody CEO Carl Daikeler at the Beachbody Success Club Conference in Disney.

“Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.” – Genesis 2:7

In my last article, “How I Train – Part 1,” I summarized my four-week nutrition and training plan from January 21 – February 16, 2013 that helped me lose 8lbs of fat and get lean in time for my birthday and the Rugged Maniac. Immediately after completing the Rugged Maniac, I set my goals for the next three weeks which are covered here in How I Train – Part 2.

Having fun at the Beachbody Success Club Conference Dinner and Reception at Disney yo!

Having fun at the Beachbody Success Club Conference Dinner and Reception at Disney yo!

For these next three weeks (Feb 18 – March 18), I had a goal of getting a little leaner while continuing to get stronger and in better condition for upcoming mud runs in April in May.

However, my main goal was to get shredded in time for the Beachbody Success Club Conference in Disney. I qualified for this conference as a Beachbody Coach and was looking forward to a fun time with friends and other Beachbody Coaches.

Since I was going to be in Disney for two days for the conference, I decided to make a mini-vacation out of it and also took advantage of the Florida Resident’s special that Disney advertised (3 parks for $119 or 4 for $129). My plan was to hit up Hollywood Studios the day before the conference began, spend the next two days at the conference, and the last day at Magic Kingdom with friends and fellow Coaches.

My nutrition for this next four-week phase transitioned from “Protein, Produce, Healthy Fats and Water” to the Whole30.

Transitioning to the Whole30 after doing “Protein, Produce, Healthy Fats and Water” with the modifications I listed in “How I Train – Part 1” was easy as I already was very close to their recommendations already.

For a full description of the Whole30 guidelines, go HERE.

In addition, I highly recommend the book, “It Starts with Food,” as it gives the rationale behind the Whole30 and goes into much more depth with the research, reasoning and understanding. In addition, the book has many delicious recipes that are easy to make.

10-Minute Chili from the book "It Starts with Food." Quick, easy, healthy and delicious yo!

10-Minute Chili from the book “It Starts with Food.” Quick, easy, healthy and delicious yo!

I liked the Whole30 so much I began recommending it to my coaching clients. Many of them followed it for 30 days and lost 10-20lbs and felt amazing. The 30-day detox makes a huge difference in your energy levels, improved sleep and so much more. In fact, I started a Whole30 Facebook group for those wanting additional support, accountability and motivation while doing the program.

Since I was on the Whole30, I did make some changes with my use of Shakeology. For the previous four weeks, I had used Shakeology to replace one meal each day or as a snack. While on the Whole30, I strictly used Shakeology as my post-workout drink after my high-intensity total-body metabolic training sessions three times each week. I mixed it with water only and used Vegan Chocolate for this purpose.

Shakeology makes a fantastic post-workout recovery drink and I highly recommend it for that purpose since it has a good amount of high-quality protein and is not high in carbs or sugar like most post-workout drinks.

My training program also changed for this three-week phase. I still followed Les Mills Combat each day (Mon – Sat) performing the cardio and HIIT workouts in the morning prior to breakfast (fasted). My high-intensity total-body metabolic workouts were different than the previous month and were performed on Mon, Wed and Fri.

Normally, I perform short 20-30 minute total-body metabolic workouts, but for this phase of training, I performed 41-47 minute metabolic workouts to help boost my overall conditioning as well as fat loss and hypertrophy. Although I train my coaching clients with shorter workouts, I’ve found that slightly longer workouts can be used for short periods of time with fantastic success in overall conditioning and fat loss.

Research shows that short, intense workouts are more productive and offer more benefits. I touched on this in my article “10 Minutes to Jumpstart Your Metabolism.”

In addition to that article, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) reported that anabolic muscle-building hormones like testosterone are maximized in about a 30-minute high-intensity workout window. It’s right around the 45-minute mark that anabolic hormones begin to fall as their catabolic counterparts, mainly cortisol, simultaneously begin to rise. This proves yet again what I already knew: short, intense workouts are best!

Although I normally keep my workout (excluding the warm-up) to 20-30 minutes, there are times to train up to 45 minutes for overall fat loss, calorie burn, conditioning and hypertrophy.

This three-week training phase was a tribute to Spartacus as I had been watching all the episodes on DVD the previous two weeks and wanted to get gladiator fit (Gods of the Arena, Blood and Sand, Spartacus: Vengeance).

Monday’s workout was based on the original Spartacus workout from Men’s Health.

I made two small changes to the original workout. I performed dumbbell split squats instead of lunge jumps (I’m doing enough of them with Les Mills Combat) and I performed dumbbell overhead presses instead of push presses (more muscle hypertrophy). I used heavier weights and/or increased reps with every exercise each week.

Diana and I cranked a workout with Shaun T at Epcot during the Beachbody Success Club Conference in Disney yo!

Diana and I cranked a workout with Shaun T at Epcot during the Beachbody Success Club Conference in Disney yo!

Monday’s “Spartacus” Workout:

1.) Foam Rolling – 5 Minutes

2.) Dynamic Warm-up & Core – 10 Minutes

3.) Spartacus Workout 10-Exercise Circuit – 41 Minutes

1- Kettlebell Goblet Squat
2- Mountain Climbers
3- 1-Arm Kettlebell Swing (L, R)
4- Dumbbell T-Pushups
5- Dumbbell Split Squat (L, R)
6- Dumbbell Bent-over Rows
7- Dumbbell Side Lunge & Touch (L, R)
8- Dumbbell Renegade Rows
9- Dumbbell Forward Lunge & Rotate (alternating legs each rep)
10- Dumbbell Overhead Presses

Directions: Perform 60 seconds of work for each exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest moving from one exercise to the next until all 10 have been completed. Rest 2 minutes and repeat two more rounds for 3 rounds total in 41 minutes.

For one-arm/one-leg exercises (L, R), perform all one side for the first 30 seconds and then switch sides and complete the other half for the other 30 seconds.

For these workouts, I used the following tempo: 3-second lowering, 1-second pause and then explode (3-1-X or 3-1-1). That means I was getting 12-15 reps in 60 seconds for most of the exercises (goblet squats, t-pushups, split squats, bent-over rows, renegade rows, overhead presses). On the 1-arm/1-leg exercises, I usually got 8-9 reps in 30 seconds on one side and then the other.

This way, you’re not necessarily doing as many reps as possible as fast as possible in the time period (60 seconds) and then not making it through the set or not being able to get the reps in the second and third rounds.

In addition, the slower tempo forces you to use good form and put more tension in the muscles and more tension equals more hypertrophy. I did this with great success in hypertrophy and conditioning. Slow and controlled on the way down, pause and explode up yo!

Wednesday’s workout was based on the Men’s Health Spartacus 2.0 workout with my own exercise choices as seen below.

Wednesday’s “Spartacus 2.0” Workout:

BAM! Bringing sexy back at Epcot after the workout with Shaun T yo!

BAM! Bringing sexy back at Epcot after the workout with Shaun T yo!

1.) Foam Rolling – 5 Minutes

2.) Dynamic Warm-up & Core – 10 Minutes

3.) Spartacus Workout 5-Exercise Circuit (2 Steps) – 47 Minutes

Step 1:
1- Stability Ball Leg Curls
2- Stability Ball Feet-Elevated Pushups
3- Offset Kettlebell Reverse Lunge
4- Chin-ups / TRX Rows (alternate each round)
5- Dumbbell Squat to Press (Thrusters)

Step 2:
1- Overhead Squats
2- Chin-ups / TRX Rows (alternating each round)
3- Dumbbell Step-ups
4- Hands-Suspended Pushups (TRX or Blast Straps)
5- Sandbag Romanian Deadlift with Row

How To Do the Workout: You’ll find that there are two “steps” or circuits. Follow the directions for Step 1, and then move on to Step 2.

For each circuit, perform 1 set of each of the five exercises (or “stations”) in succession. Each station lasts 60 seconds. Do as many reps as you can (with perfect form) for a duration of 40 seconds, and then rest for 20 seconds. As soon as your rest time is up, start the next exercise.

Once you’ve completed one circuit of all five exercises, immediately repeat the entire circuit (without resting). Then, after you’ve completed Circuit 1 two times, rest for 2 minutes, and repeat two more times, for a total of 4 circuits. Once done, rest 2 minutes and move on to Step 2.

For Step 2, repeat the entire procedure, until you’ve completed another 4 circuits.

Note that some of the exercises are performed with one arm or leg at a time. Work one side the first time through the circuit, then work the other side the second time through the circuit. The best approach is to work your weaker side (usually you’re left side, if you’re a righty) first. (Also, if you can’t go for the entire 40 seconds, rest a few seconds and then resume until your time at that station is up.)

Friday’s workout was also based on the original Spartacus workout like I performed on Monday but I used different exercises this time.

Going BEAST MODE after the workout at Epcot yo!

Going BEAST MODE after the workout at Epcot yo!

Friday’s “Spartacus” Workout:

1.) Foam Rolling – 5 Minutes

2.) Dynamic Warm-up & Core – 10 Minutes

3.) Spartacus Workout 10-Exercise Circuit – 41 Minutes

1- Double Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift
2- TRX Atomic Pushups
3- 1-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (L, R)
4- Dumbbell Curls
5- Dumbbell Reverse Lunge with Overhead Press (L, R)
6- Goblet Squat
7- TRX Rows
8- Get-ups (1 left, 1 right – go heavy!)
9- Lying Dumbbell Triceps Extensions
10- 1-Leg, 1-Arm Underhand Grip Row*
*(see Spartacus Workout 2.0 link for description from Wed workout)

Directions: Perform 60 seconds of work for each exercise followed by 15 seconds of rest moving from one exercise to the next until all 10 have been completed. Rest 2 minutes and repeat two more rounds for 3 rounds total in 41 minutes.

For one-arm/one-leg exercises (L, R), perform all one side for the first 30 seconds and then switch sides and complete the other half for the other 30 seconds.

With my exercise choices, I was able to lift heavier weights and get a tremendous strength, hypertrophy, fat loss and conditioning workout. The stronger you are and the heavier you lift, the more intense the workout will be.

This three-week nutrition and training program worked fantastic! Not only did I get leaner, stronger, more muscular and increase my overall conditioning, but I felt better than ever! I had unlimited energy, I slept great every night and I eliminated foods that were causing issues that I had no idea thanks to the Whole30.

Although I didn’t lose as much weight during these three weeks, I was noticeably leaner and my overall performance improved tremendously. Best of all, I had a great time at Disney and the Beachbody Success Club Conference with my friends and fellow Beachbody Coaches. We had an opportunity to crank an early morning workout with Shaun T of Insanity in Epcot and it was a blast.

In “How I Train – Part 3,” I’ll go over the three-week nutrition and training plan I used after the Beachbody Success Club Conference to prepare me for another trip back to Disney in April purely for fun to use my remaining theme park tickets and get out of town for the week. Stay tuned yo!

God Bless,

Nate