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The ultimate morning routine

The ultimate morning routine

Are you the kind of person that hates waking up in the morning, feeling sluggish and slow as you struggle to get out of bed? Well, try the ultimate morning routine and feel the difference from day one!

It’s important to set a morning routine for yourself and be disciplined enough to stick with it. By doing so you can really give yourself an edge, increasing your morning productivity, efficiency and overall well-being. The ultimate morning routine outlined here can do just that!

First thing’s first, your morning routine needs to be really fine-tuned in order to get your life on track. One of the best things about having a routine is being able to leap out of bed in the morning and while on autopilot, blast through all of your morning activities, and even be early to work!

The strategies listed below will help you feel refreshed, energized and powerful before you take one step out the door. There will have been times where you’ve walked out of your house in the morning feeling amazing and because of this you’ve had such a successful day! However this might be quite a rare occurrence, with the ultimate morning routine shown below, you can feel like this every day!

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Wake up early!

This is the most vital step to feeling great in the morning. Ever get woken up by your alarm, only to press snooze, again and again and again… Then before you know it, you’ve overslept! You have 15 minutes to get ready for work! It’s a daunting challenge and rushing your morning like this can really put you in a bad mood! The snooze button is not your friend here. Get into the habit of leaping out of bed as soon as you hear the alarm.

Don’t forget that, being able to effectively wake up early in the morning, means having a good night’s sleep! Getting to bed at an appropriate hour is recommended. If your having trouble sleeping, make sure you stop watching television or using your laptop/smartphone in bed. The Bright light can stimulate you too much and can really be a detriment to a good night sleep.

There’s a huge trend with successful people waking up early in the morning! It boosts your productivity and mood, so if you want to get that promotion at work, start waking up early and get to work!

Lemon juice detoxing

You have a great opportunity every morning to boost your health and take it to the next level. Lemon juice detoxing is amazing for your body. As soon as you wake up, you want to start boiling the kettle.

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Grab yourself a lemon, cut it in half, and squeeze it all into a cup. Next get some very warm water and mix it with the lemon juice. There you have it, your lemon juice detox drink! Lemon juice is extremely alkalizing for the body, and will keep it healthy. Drinking this as part of your morning routine is perfect, because you gain more benefits by downing it on an empty stomach. The drink will help regulate your bowels, boost your energy and cleanse your system. It also gives you an abundance of vitamins so easily! Don’t forget that the warm water is also great for digestion and helps to keep things moving in the digestive tract!

By enjoying the lemon juice detox, drink daily or even 3 to 4 times a week, your body will start to feel revitalized before long and bursting with energy! Why not add a few other health boosting ingredients into the lemon juice drink such as: cinnamon, turmeric (don’t forget to add black pepper as well to boost your body’s absorption of turmeric) Oregano and ginger!

Morning workouts

Some people dread it, others love it! Morning workouts are so invigorating, and with enough time you will love it too! Morning workouts are so efficient – the gym is empty and you’re not waiting around to use gym equipment! -There are very little distractions as you can put your headphones on and blast some uplifting music to help you get the job done.

The morning workout is great for your metabolism! So if your trying to shed a few more pounds, make sure this is in your ultimate morning routine. Not to mention testosterone levels are high in the morning, which mean you can gain greater results and performance at the gym.

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Once you’ve finished your morning workout, you’re going to be feeling pumped up! A great feeling in the morning to help you feel powerful and strong! And now you’ve also finished your workout quota for the day, which means you don’t need to worry about getting back home late, or socializing after work. Go ahead, you deserve it!

Cold shower therapy

OK, so once you’ve finished your workout, it’s finally time to get ready for work! Get ready to have a shower, but in the ultimate morning routine, its not just any old shower, we’re going to do some cold shower therapy!

Cold shower therapy is amazing for your body! You can definitely feel the adrenaline rush and revitalizing energy flowing through your body once you’re done. It can be a daunting task for people who have never done this before, but once you get used to it there’s no going back!

Start off with some very warm water and relax yourself. Finish cleaning (body wash and shampoo etc.) before its time to get started. Now slowly turn the temperature down to a very cold setting.

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You may end up gasping for air due to the shock as it first hits your body. But don’t worry, cold water cant’ hurt you here, stay at this temperature for around 30 seconds and slowly turn the temperature back up. Let it get warmer and warmer and then finally to the hottest temperature you can handle without burning yourself. Stay at this temperature for around 30 seconds once more. Then to finish off… you’ve guessed it! Turn the temperature back onto to cold! Stay at this temperature for 30 seconds as usual before getting out of the shower. ‘Phew!’ And that’s the hardest part done, no one said the ultimate morning routine was easy!

The expanding and contracting of the body in these extreme and opposite temperatures gets the blood flow circulating. Plus it really wakes you up in the morning, instantly energizing you! Its great for your skin and promotes healing within the body. But I think the most important of all benefits is that it increases your mental fortitude! Disciplining yourself to take cold showers in the morning challenges yourself early in the day, so it’s like you’ve already jumped over a difficult hurdle, setting your mind in the right state for other challenges throughout the day!

Finishing off

OK, now you’ve had the lemon juice detox, morning workout and cold shower therapy! It’s time to refuel your body. Because of your morning workout, you’ve definitely worked up an appetite in the morning. This is great because eating larger meals in the morning and lighter meals at night is better for digestion and sleep quality! Make sure you eat enough protein and carbs. Why not wash it down with some coconut water to give that added health boost. Remember to drink plenty of water on your way to work as well!

And there you have it! The ultimate morning routine. Feel energized and invigorated every day. At first this may be really difficult or unusual to implement. But if you discipline yourself to stick with it long enough, you will definitely start seeing the results, such as increased health, productivity and mood!

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Published on September 21, 2018

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

How Long Does it Take to Build Muscle and Increase Fat Loss?

“Can I look like you in 3 months?”

The teenager stared at me, waiting eagerly for a response. It’s a normal day as a certified fitness coach and yet again, I had to grab some flying feet and put them down on the ground of reality again.

“If I would be able to reach this body in 3 months, you think it would’ve taken me 5 years?” I responded smilingly.

In the same moment I tapped the teenager on the shoulder and we both went to the training floor together. Fast forward to today, he eventually reached his dream body. But it took him a little bit longer than 3 months.

In this article, I want to give you a broad overview and answer to the commonly asked question: how long does it take to build muscle and increase fat loss?

Your biggest enemy for building muscle and fat loss

I remember when I joined my first gym years back. After two weeks of continuous training, I saw absolutely no difference in the mirror.

I googled “2 weeks body transformation” and was frustrated by seeing all these pictures by savvy marketers.

We human beings have evolved to seek instant gratification. We can’t wait for things to happen tomorrow. We want them today or even better, yesterday.

It doesn’t matter if we talk about business or our fitness results. If we truly want to make a long-lasting change, we have to delay our innate need to crave gratification instantly and focus on the big picture.

In the book called Grit by Angela Duckworth, a predictor for future success in children was the so called ‘Marshmallow Test’.

The Marshmallow Test works this way. Children are basically given two options:

  1. Eat the marshmallow in front of them right now.
  2. Wait 10 minutes without eating the first marshmallow and get a second marshmallow to eat on top.

This is an insane test of willpower and the ability to delay gratification for an even bigger payoff, as a 10-year old school child. If the child already mastered that crucial skill at such a young age, it was a strong predictor for future success.

We all have to learn how to delay gratification better. Most people overestimate what they can do in one month, but totally underestimate what they can do in 10 years.

What you really need to build muscle fast

Your ground zero

It all matters on which point we start off. Because the reality is:

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Everyone has to start somewhere.

A former Olympic athlete will have an easier time building muscles and losing fat than an avid couch potato. There are mainly two reasons for this:

  • The pre-selected genetic blueprint of the athlete.
  • Work ethic of a professional.

While countless of variables play a role in influencing your success in the gym, it all can be traced back to those crucial points. And the saying still holds merit:

Hard work beats talent, when talent doesn’t work hard. — Tim Notke

A mentor of mine told me years ago that you can succeed in life if you just don’t give up.

You can have average skills, average genetics and average work ethic. As long as you keep improving on your craft, you will succeed.

Not immediately – but definitely and finally.

Setting the right expectations

I’m great at setting unrealistic goals and having the wrong expectations. I wanted to have 100,000 subscribers on my Youtube Channel and at the end of my first year when I started, back in 2015, I ended up with 30.

This is an embarrassing story, but I hope it gets one point across:

Your goals need to be realistic if you can’t deal with the setbacks of not reaching them.

Ending up with 30 subscribers even after pulling frequent all-nighters to get this endeavor rolling was soul-crushing. I contemplated throwing in the towel.

With the right support from my network and discipline, I managed to keep going. The channel has now grown 100-fold in those 3 years.

To find out what is realistic, consider the next timeline.

The muscle growth timeline

Here’s what results you can expect if your main goal is building lean tissue mass. Warning: Genuine muscle growth without performance enhancing drugs takes a long time.

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Of course these time periods can vary individually depending on your genetic blueprint and work-ethic. You might see results sooner, or maybe even later.

The time frame is set to training 2-3 times per week (continuously!).

Pro tip: Ask a friend or hire a coach to boost your progress tremendously.

This is what happens when you decide to join a gym, out of my experience training hundreds of clients:

Month 1-3

Eat – Sleep – Gym – Repeat.

Your motivation is at your peak at this point. You will tell your friends and family about your new workout regime. You will notice slight differences in your appearance, which are mainly nonexistent.

You will experience immense strength gains on your training because your body finally realizes how to use its muscles properly.

Month 3-6

This is the time period where most people break. You will be going to the gym consistently, yet the results won’t come just now. It’s the big dip in the whole process.

Your goal in this phase is to build a habit around your gym visits. You will most likely discontinue to have the all-in mentality as in the first 3 months. You will seek sustainability. Breaking news: It will still be hard.

But in the end it’s all worth it. Trust me.

Month 6-12

“I’ve seen a new vein in my arm!”

The guy came up to me excited. This is the time where the normal person starts to see considerable results in his training.

An old friend will talk to him and see a difference in his body shape. Suddenly, his old t-shirt gets too thin. The frequent gym-goer feels amazing.

Month 12- 24

Fitness is a trojan horse. While you might think frequent training will only change your body shape, your character will be impacted too.

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Your friends and family will notice. You’re more confident, assertive and more happy with your self-image. You feel confident and sure in your abilities because you have achieved what you set out to do.

Breaking news:

You will still not be satisfied. And that’s a good thing. But don’t forget to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

They haven’t come easy.

Month 24+

“That’s what works for me!”

If you’ve been going frequently and consistently (twice every week for 2 years), you can pat yourself on the shoulders.

If you’ve done most things correctly and with a certified coach, you will reach the goal shape at this point. But this is also the point where it can get frustrating.

Further results will come painstakingly slow at this stage. You increasingly have to work on your weaknesses and constantly alter your training to see further results. Be it applying different repetitions, intensity, workout duration, speed or machines.

A lot of people will not see results after this stage because the benefits are not worth the work for them. We have to realize that what got us here, will not get us to the next level.

The fat loss timeline

If you’re trying to lose fat, I have 2 pieces of news for you:

  1. It will come faster. Fat loss has a shorter timeline.
  2. It will be exactly as hard as building muscles, if not harder.

Here’s what you can expect if you’re starting to lose weight. Here again: Proper guidance can speed up the process.

Month 1

“I’ve lost 10kg in the first week!”

Your results will come fast. Too fast.

You will feel exhausted. Most of your weight that you lose will be water. This is the big dip in the whole weight loss process.

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The shocking news: Most people stop their diet in the first month.

Month 2-3

You will reconsider your dieting strategy and opt for more sustainability. You will reintroduce “bad foods” in your diet that you’ve most likely blocked out in the first two weeks or month.

Because balance (and not quitting your diet) is more important to you at this stage than seeing rapid weight loss. Your life quality will increase at this stage.

Month 6-12

At this time frame, you have probably lost more than 10kg. The majority of the people looking to lose weight will be satisfied with their results and shocked by how much of a difference it makes in their appearance.

You will feel more confident, more energized and more self-assured. You would’ve never guessed that you could make it, that you could finally lose your weight – yet you did!

And everyone will notice. “What happened to you?!” – your friends will ask you jealously. Old crushes of you will suddenly initiate contact again just to know what you’re “up to this weekend”.

The fat loss after this stage will come slowly if you haven’t been obese to start with. The goal at this stage is to have created a rock-solid habit out of your gym and eating patterns.

Then you don’t have to worry about the Yo-Yo effect.

Conclusion

“You changed my life!”

The same teenager took me aside at a Monday evening. He had his first date the weekend prior. Apparently it went well.

In the whole time frame we worked together, he built up more than 10 kilograms of muscles. It took him more than 2 years. Yet I’m sure if you’d ask him today, he would tell you that it was all worth it.

Focus on the things that you can control. Losing fat or building muscles might be an overwhelming task to start out with. We have to delay our innate need for instant gratification and focus on the things that we can control.

Changing our genetic blueprint or the responses our muscles have to the training stimulus is not in our hands. But training at least 2 times per week, eating the right foods and setting the right goals and expectations is.

Featured photo credit: Arthur Edelman via unsplash.com

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