If Your goal is to get in the best shape of your life and make your health and fitness a lifestyle choice and not something you’re looking to do just for the summer or an upcoming wedding, then the most important thing is that you become an action taker with daily consistency.
Without taking action regularly, your vision and strategy of the new you doesn’t matter.
That being said, once you’ve found your “Why” for getting in shape and building out the very best version of yourself, then the tools and resources below will certainly help you get there!
In the world of health, fitness and achieving your potential there is no one size fits all, without sounding too cheeky you’ve got the Weekend Warrior, Gym Rat, Bodybuilder, Crossfitter, The Powerlifter and the Yogi/Yogini to name but a few!
Everyone’s goals and dreams are unique, and I don’t want to pigeonhole anyone here!
All of the individuals above have one thing in common though if they were to work on improving the five areas of their lives below, each regardless of their background, generally speaking, could not help but get better!
I have broken the section below down into five parts where you will improve your energy levels, appearance, health, and vitality even if you only work on one of those areas.
But if you improve in all five you will experience over the long term you will experience what Warren Buffet’s business partner Charlie Munger calls the Lollapalooza Effect in your health and fitness!
These five areas are Exercise, Sleep, Nutrition, Mindset, and Hydration.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below are affiliate links so if you do make a purchase through them I may receive a commission for the purchase, that being said, I only recommend the tools and resources below that are great, and I have used and benefitted from myself, so I know they will help you too!
But more importantly
Make sure you need these tools below to achieve your goals, do not spend any of your hard-earned money on something you don’t feel you truly need to get from where you are now to where you want to be!
For a lot of the tools and resources below just pick one at a time and work it to death, mastering every little skill and nuance before moving on to the next! Eg. would be buying the recommended skipping program and parallettes as well!
I made this mistake, buy one product or service, get truly great at it, make it a part of you instead of going all-out, getting everything and then not taking action on any of it!
Let’s dive right in!
If you want to begin your health and fitness journey by becoming the very best physical version of yourself I would recommend starting out using your bodyweight alone, getting in outstanding condition, then take it up a level with parallettes.
From there you can move on to using free weights, machine weights etc. as you continue to take your physical training to the next level using these great resources below.
I’m a big fan of getting started with bodyweight exercises.
Physically, if you’re starting and your confidence and belief in what you’re capable of doing aren’t right up there just yet then begin with Combat Conditioning by Matt Furey.
I purchased this book back in 2005 and did nothing but bodyweight exercises for a few months. It’s a beauty, begin with the Royal Court of Hindu Squats, Hindu Push-ups, and the Back bridge before going on to the other exercises.
You can get Combat Conditioning here.
Here’s a picture of my own Parallettes to the left! They’re the business and once you’ve nailed all of the bodyweight exercises above, you can then take it to the next level with a pair of Parallettes.
They take a lot of discipline and patience to master but it well worth the effort for what you get from them.
I’m a big fan of Mark Rippetoe and how he coaches beginners in the beginner barbell lifts.
When you’re ready, he teaches how to properly, Squat, Bench Press, Deadlift, Press, and Power Clean. my confidence in these lift for myself and coaching others went up a tonne after practising what’s in this manual.
I did not use MI40 by Ben Pakulski but when MI40X came out. I went ahead and purchased and was very happy with what I got.
Whereas Starting Strength will get you super strong and confident in all of the big lifts, MI40X is catered towards bodybuilding, building muscle and getting shredded.
Ben knows his stuff inside out and I learned a lot from this program. He’s a great guy too and this comes across big time in the training videos.
You can check out my full MI40X review here.
Sleep Your Way To Success
Your rest and recovery are essential for body transformation.
When you lift weights you’re breaking down muscle, the time when the progress occurs with your body is when you rest and recover at night.
This means getting a proper sleeping pattern in order is non-negotiable.
For me, the most important to help you get a good nights rest at night is actually just getting out of bed the second you wake up in the morning.
When you get up straight away and get started working through what you want to get done that day, thinking about your goals rather than lying in bed wasting time, you will then fall asleep faster and when you hit the bed at the end of the day.
That being said, here’s a few resources below that will aid you in falling asleep faster and having a better sleep.
Magnesium deficiency is common amongst most adults. Magnesium is an essential mineral our bodies need and one of its many benefits is promoting healthy sleep.
Try out Magnesium here for a month and feel the difference in your sleep quality and in your health in general.
Having a Grateful Log that you can go to every night where you write out all of the good that happened to you that day is critical.
What happens, happens to us all. It’s how we respond to it so take the time to focus on the good in your life.
This helps you to relax and sleep better at night by focusing on all the big wins you get every day!
Nutrition for most of the world’s population should be kept as simple as possible. Cut out sugar and processed food for the most part, like 80/20 or 90/10 healthy food/junk food.
The hardest part of healthy nutrition is sticking with it for the first 10 days.
When you change your eating habits if you’re used to eating certain things that aren’t good for you when it’s time to cut them out you will get withdrawal headaches etc. Your taste buds have to adapt to the healthy new way of eating and so on!
I have always been a big fan of the Paleo Diet and I’ve seen an only positive change in people when they adopt this way of eating in their lives. I have never been a vegetarian or a vegan but I am not against it at all.
I do believe we don’t need as much meat as we take in, and without going too far down that road, I can understand why people don’t want to eat beef, poultry etc because of the way animals can be treated!
With food, like everything in life what works for one person may not work for someone else so the most important thing is to see what works for you.
I will experiment with going without meat for 30+ days in the future and see how my body reacts but I have not done that yet so I will only refer below what has worked for me and many others!
This is the book that got me started down the Paleo Diet road.
Loren Cordain never claims to have invented the Paleo Diet, as you can tell by the name alone it’s been around a lot longer than he has lol!
But he’s certainly brought a lot of awareness to the Paleo Diet and the many great benefits of adopting this way of eating.
You can get a copy of his book and how to get started here.
Another excellent resource if you want to get started on the Paleo path.
Loren Cordain was Robb Wolf’s mentor in this area when he began the Paleo diet and like Loren Cordain, he’s brought great awareness to this way of living and the positive impact it has on people when they commit to doing it for 30 days and then see the results.
You can get started with the 30-day challenge here.
Phil Richards book Science of Fat Loss is extraordinary!
I was lucky to a free copy when I did his Science Of Fat Loss Internship back in 2014. It’s a 685-page beast that’s broken down into 10 habits that include mindset, detoxification, nutrition, training, hormones and so much more!
It’s a technical book and will open your eyes to a lot of factors you didn’t think about regarding your health but it truly is a game-changer, no stone has been left unturned!
Get your copy here and be ready to get blown away!
I bought a Nutribullet nack in 2014 and never looked back!
You can make all kinds of smoothies and shakes with it but for me working in the gym and at times working sporadic hours, the Nutribullet has been a lifesaver!
It means I get my vegetables every day, no excuses. It gives me peace of mind because I’m covered in that area and saves me a lot of time!
I still use the same I bought years ago. You can get one here, I couldn’t recommend them enough!
Another important piece in my toolbox is the George Foreman Grill.
This piece of equipment has saved me lots of time in the morning, if I want steak or chicken for breakfast I just slap it on the grill and 6 minutes later it’s ready!
Again it’s a huge time saver especially if I’m in a hurry!
Mindset: Where it all begins
Everything starts in your head! You need a clear vision of where you want to go.
Have that image burned into your mind whether it’s putting on 20lbs of lean muscle, getting trim and losing body fat for an event coming up, or anything else fitness or otherwise where you have a goal that you absolutely had to achieve where the aim is to turn that vision into a reality!
The recommendation below is not self-help books but they’re about real people that had to overcome some major obstacles in their lives, their backs were against the wall big time (Especially Viktor Frankl) but in the end, through willpower, vision, persistence, the right attitude, and belief they all came out on top.
You too can take these inspiring stories as fuel for your goals and dreams. We are all human at the end of the day, and we’ve all been given free will to make the most of what we’ve got.
These individuals make the most of what they have and so can you!
I first heard of David Goggins through Tom Bilyeu’s show Impact Theory and then later on, as it usually happens, he’s been on Joe Rogan a few times.
Reading his autobiography, to say he had it tough is an understatement. Coming from a rough background, he could have easily made excuses for himself but there was none of that.
The book gets 5 stars on Amazon, although some people don’t like it because of the foul language. The thing is that’s a part of his background and his story.
I loved the book and learned a lot, check it out here.
Arnold Schwarzenegger is an icon. The one and only!
As he talks about his journey, growing up in Austria to where he is today you can’t but be blown away by his confidence and belief in himself. His incredible work ethic, energy and how he makes everything second of every day count!
A phenomenal book that, as you can tell, I highly recommend!
Grab your copy here.
Another phenomenal read, Tim Grover was Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant’s strength and conditioning coach 24/7 before they retired from the game.
There are many more athletes that he trains too. He got to a point where he broke them down into three categories; Coolers, Cleaners, and Closers.
His father brought him and his brother to America from India when they were children. It’s an inspiring story but as Tim says in Relentless himself, it’s about taking the Cleaner Mindset and applying it your own life! I read it often! Check it out here.
This is a fairly dark book about how Viktor Frankl survived the concentration camps, upsetting stuff and thankfully we’ve progressed a lot from this behaviour in most of the world!
I couldn’t imagine what it was like being in one of those camps even though he wrote about it so well in this book.
Similar to Arnold and Goggins, but under far worse circumstances he holds an image in his mind of the outcome he wanted and got it.
Viktor Frankl lived to talk about it. It’s a short book of around 150 pages. I remember reading it when I was in the hospital years ago thinking to myself, “I can never complain about anything in my life ever again!” You can get it here.
Water of an average adult is around 50-65% of your bodyweight and with athletic types being as much as 5% more. Your body depends on water to survive.
With that being the reality of the situation, I cannot stress enough the importance of proper hydration.
After reading Tom Bradey’s TB12 Method book, the chapter on drinking water it got me thinking that I’m not drinking enough!
According to the Mayo Clinic, the daily fluid intake for men should be around 3.7 litres and 2.7 litres for women, so take note and drink as much water as you can daily.
I usually have a pint of water first thing in the morning when I get out of bed usually with a chopped lemon or lime and it gets me going for the day.
It’s great for your brain and it wakes you up. Because we don’t sleep for up to eight hours while we’re asleep we get dehydrated so have a pint of water after you get out of bed every morning first thing.
We’re not done yet…
As we try out different tools here at the fitness jungle we will keep the ones that are useful and discard the ones that have no benefit so make sure to come back here often!
And neither are you!
Now that you have all the tools and resources you need to get started in these five areas of health and fitness it’s time to get moving!
As we mentioned at the beginning, take it slow, master one thing at a time like bodyweight callisthenics before doing a bodybuilding program such as Ben Pakulski’s one above!
Ok get out there, get stuck in and have fun!