The Tools You Need to Succeed
Welcome to a curated list of the tools I strongly recommend for a Fit Apprentice to improve your health & fitness, even after 50. Which I once thought to be an impossible dream.
The resources listed here are those that I used to go from 250 pounds to 175lbs. As well as improve mood, lower cholesterol, high blood pressure and risk for type-2 diabetes without medications.
Before digging into the awesome tools, an important disclosure: Some of the links below and on other pages of Hashimashi.com are affiliate links. Purchasing these tools or any other item through these links, helps to maintain this blog. At no additional cost to you. I recommend them because they are helpful to me and other readers of this blog, so I believe they can be useful to you as well, to achieve your health & fitness goals.
Get a Body Composition Scale to use Daily
Knowing your scale weight, BMI, body fat percentage and water percent helps you to establish a baseline. You might think that you are not doing too bad. However, if you find out that your BMI is over 25, you will then know that you are indeed overweight.
When I found out that my BMI was over 30 and I was officially obese, I was shocked. People called me big or husky, but I had never thought of myself as obese. You can estimate your own BMI here.
But, just knowing your scale weight is not enough. We are not only interested in weight loss, we are interested in health and fitness.
As a result, it is important be aware of your hydration, body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. Therefore, a body composition scale is an excellent tool to provide these metrics:
- Scale weight
- BMI (body mass index)
- Body fat percentage
- Water percentage
The first one listed below is the Conair scale which I got in 2010 and which I still use today. This is the scale that first informed me that my BMI was over 30 and that I was officially obese.
The fact that an estimated 160 million Americans are either obese or overweight1)http://www.healthdata.org/news-release/vast-majority-american-adults-are-overweight-or-obese-and-weight-growing-problem-among, was no consolation.
I did not want to be part of that group and I am sure neither do you. Health risks such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, osteoarthritis, and chronic kidney disease increase when a person’s BMI exceeds 232)ibid.
If you want to know my rationale why you should weigh yourself daily, read this article.
Body Composition Scales
Click on the images or text links to view in more detail.
The Conair scale which has 116 3 star reviews measures body fat, hydration, BMI, and bone mass.
The Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Connected Body Fat Scale which has over 2,550 4+ reviews measures BMI, body fat, lean mass, hydration, and bone mass.
A nice feature is that you can sync your data with: FitBit, Google Fit, Apple Health, and other popular fitness apps. Another nice feature is that this scale will keep track of your original weigh in and display each of your subsequent weigh ins with the amount gained or lost since your original weight.
Equipment to Get Moving
You need shoes for walking, running, elliptical, treadmill and lifting. I have worn Nike the last 5 years for long walks before I was ready to lift weights. And once I did start to lift weights, these Nikes are just fine for squats and deadlifts as well.
Nike Men’s Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Running Shoe 205 customer reviews
Powerlifting Shoes for Heavy Weightlifting
Quite a few verified purchase reviews give the Otomix high marks for weightlifting, such as this one: “These shoes were a replacement for my old Otomix shoes. I am and have been fully satisfied with this product. I use the shoes exclusively for my weightlifting activities and they are both functional and comfortable. I will purchase another pair when this pair need to replaced.”
- Lightweight yet extremely durable
- Made of leather and synthetic
- Extra ankle support
- Thin sole the grips great
- Perfect for wrestling, mma, martial arts, weightlifting, and bodybuilding
Men’s Squat Shoe – MEGIN by Nordic Lifting 28 customer reviews
These shoes have a smooth and rigid anti-slip sole that allows the user to remain stable during all stages of the exercise. They are a snug fit, restricting your feet from unnecessary movement.
MEGIN Squat shoes feature a raised heel that ensure you stand more upright. In turn this allows the user to more accurately direct their lifting force and by doing so, they enable you to lift more weight.
These powerlifting shoes have a sturdy Velcro strap, excellent stitching and lacing. This means that the product will remain intact even when under immense stress from the user for extended periods of time.
Hex Bar Deadlifts
CAP Custom Olympic 2-Inch Combo Hex Bar 546 customer reviews
Quick Release Pair of Locking 2″ Olympic Size Barbell Clamp Collar Great for Pro Training by Clout Fitness 924 customer reviews
- This barbell clamp fits for 2 inches Olympic standard size.
- Quick release, not easy to slide.
- Perfect for workouts, Olympic lifts, overhead press, deadlifts, bench press, or any other workout using 2 inches Olympic Barbell
- Material: reinforced plastic. ABS
- Package Includes: 2 Barbell Clamps, nylon case, and holding box case.
Training in the Zone
One of the most important concepts that I learned over the years is the overload principle and S.A.I.D. Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand. These laws of nature say that according to your demands on your body, so will be your body.
If your main demand is to sit on the couch, then, your body will respond to make you fit for couch sitting. Or, as some say, a couch potato. Your body does not have to change or get more fit, but rather, the opposite.
On the other hand, if you start walking every day for 30 minutes. Then, your body will say, wow, I have to walk now, I better start building some muscle and fitness for these walks.
And of course, the same holds true for running, or weight lifting. As soon as you up the intensity, your body must respond to meet the new demands that you are making.
In order to up the intensity, you must know your target heart rate for cardiorespiratory training. Now you know the answer as to why, despite walking on the treadmill every day, your body does not change. You are not training with sufficient intensity.
Training in the Zone Technique will guide you to gradually improve your cardio intensity. This technique can make a real difference in your ability to shred fat and transform your physique.
Read this article to get a fuller understanding of how to do the Training in the Zone Technique. If you mainly use a treadmill, elliptical or bike in the gym, most of these machines have a heart rate monitor.
But, if you do outdoor training, you need a way to get your heart rate. This fitbit is an excellent way to ensure that you are hitting your target heart rate.
- PurePulse continuous, automatic wrist-based heart rate tracking to better measure calorie burn all day
- Maximize your workouts using simplified heart rate zones
- See call, text & calendar notifications on the OLED display; Automatically track how long and how well you sleep and wake with a silent vibrating alarm
- Get a better understanding of your fitness level and see how you can improve over time with a personalized Cardio Fitness Score; Use Connected GPS during run mode to see real-time stats like pace and distance on your wrist
- Track all-day activity like steps, distance, calories burned, floors climbed and active minutes;Find moments of calm throughout your day with personalized guided breathing sessions based on your heart rate
- US Version
Read Great Books
Start with the best seller basic barbell training book, Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe with over 1.200 5 star reviews:
— Why barbells are the most effective tools for strength training.
— The mechanical basis of barbell training, concisely and logically explained.
— All new photographs and improved illustrations of all the lifts, and the biomechanics behind them.
— Complete, easy-to-follow instructions for performing the basic barbell exercises: the squat, press, deadlift, bench press, power clean, and the power snatch.
— Revised instruction methods for all six lifts, proven effective in four years of seminar, military, and group instruction.
— How the human body adapts to stress through recovery, and why this is the foundation of the development of strength and lifetime health.
— How to program the basic exercises into the most effective program for long-term progress.
— Completely indexed.
— The most productive method in existence for anyone beginning a strength training program.
–Starting Strength is the most important method available to learn the most effective way to train with barbells — the most important way to improve your strength, your health, and your life.
I got Starting Strength several years ago and keep rereading it even in kindle format. This book has given me the cues on how to squat safely and effectively.
I keep going back to get clarity for not only the squat, but the deadlift, overhead press and bench press as well.
Burn The Fat, Feed The Muscle
Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle: Transform Your Body Forever Using the Secrets of the Leanest People in the World by Tom Venuto has over 700 reviews, 4.7 average out of 5 stars
Whether you want to shed 10 pounds or 100, whether you want to build muscle or just look more toned, Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle is the original “bible of fitness” that shows you how to get permanent results the safe, healthy, and natural way.
The 4 Hour Body
The 4 Hour Body: An Uncommon Guide to Rapid Fat Loss, Incredible Sex and Becoming Superhuman by Timothy Ferriss with 3,170 4+ reviews.
Underground Secrets to Faster Running
High school phenomenon Allyson Felix used this strength training system to run the fastest 200 meters in the world in 2003.
Based upon physiology and physics, it incorporates the most recent studies in running mechanics.
This training program will dramatically increase running speed, jumping height and muscle power for all athletes.
If you are not familiar with Allyson Felix or her deadlifting prowess and how it helped her become an Olympic athlete, read this article.
Tools of Titans
What do these people do in the first sixty minutes of each morning? What do their workout routines look like, and why? What books have they gifted most to other people? What are the biggest wastes of time for novices in their field? What supplements do they take on a daily basis?
“Everything within these pages has been vetted, explored, and applied to my own life in some fashion. I’ve used dozens of the tactics and philosophies in high-stakes negotiations, high-risk environments, or large business dealings. The lessons have made me millions of dollars and saved me years of wasted effort and frustration.
“I created this book, my ultimate notebook of high-leverage tools, for myself. It’s changed my life, and I hope the same for you.” – Tim Ferris
Watch Awesome Free Videos
Another great resource is Alan Thrall, a powerlifter and strongman competitor and title holder from California, check out his youtube videos and channel: YouTube.com/c/AlanThrall .
The first video on how to squat has been viewed over 1.2 million times.
In this first video, Alan speaks highly of going low in the squat, ATG squats, or as he puts it, “a** to grass” squats. In this next video, he speaks about how he himself is working on correcting his ATG squat, sometimes too low is not the best squat depth.
Alan himself says: “Squatting too low is a problem that I am currently trying to fix. Learn why ass to grass low bar squats are not ideal and how to cut your squat depth.”
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