T Nation

Eliminating Counterproductive Habits

I hope I don’t get in trouble for posting this. It seems the well established forums are less threatened by an outsider posting knowledge than the smaller more private communities (which i will now not mention, because the way they approached me about it was very rude).

I’m sure some of you know which forum I speak of (hint: it’s the one that bans anyone who disagrees with the moderators) Anyways MODS pm me if its an issue, and I won’t do it anymore, or I will remove the link to my site. I add those simply to avoid being plagiarized, as I am not only a knowledgable fitness professional, but I am also a talented writer; so I am at risk. I’m trying to make a name for myself, not steal anyone’s business, nor do I think my small personal operation could possibly hinder a huge website such as this.

Anyways, this article touches on something I have noticed a lot of people do, in their dieting, and it is extremely frustrating, to watch people run backwards up the escalator.

2 steps forward one step back (eliminate counterproductive habits)

Posted on December 12, 2012
by Brendan Evans

This kind of relates to â??not being able to out-train a bad diet.â??

Ask anyone with experience, when someone is going 2 steps forward, 1 step backwardâ?¦.It is ALWAYS easier to eliminate counterproductivity , than it is to just move faster. The person taking 2 steps forward can maintain that speed of improvement for longer than the same person taking 3 steps forward and 1 step backward (despite the speed of improvement being identical). The second person burns out fast, because they are exerting more, fighting to undo the side effects of their own counterproductive lifestyle habits. It is like having two people race; one on stairs, and one on an escalator going the wrong way.

At the very least learn to exercise damage control when doing something counterproductive. Damage Control is a term you will hear me use a lot. Everything in life comes in shades of gray, everything is relative, and everything is a spectrum. No 2 junk foods are equally bad, just like no 2 health foods are equally good.

When â??having a lifeâ?? gets in the way of fitness, you can still drink and eat your sunday football food, but practice damage control.

An example of damage control is one guy, who normally has sunday off from working out, will take the day off from the gym, drink beer, and eat pizza (and obviously watch football). The experienced fitness professional will slam a shot of esspresso for energy in the am(to counteract the hangover) get a quick BS exercise session in at 10 am to increase insulin sensitivity for the day (not too overly strenuous), opt for burgers and fries over pizza (at least its not ALL carbs, it has a macro split where it can build muscle, and not just fat) and go for whiskey on the rocks over beer (less kcal, less carbs, less gluten. Just as much lovely intoxication). The overall fun of the Sunday afternoon will not be affected, but the pizza and beer guy will gain AT LEAST twice as much fat as the whiskey and burger king guy.

If fitness is a major priority in your life, keep it in the back of your head while youâ??re busy having a lifeand you will never end up in the situation where you look in the mirror and say â??Oh shit! I have to go on a diet!â?? Instead, you will be faced with deciding whether to diet into ridiculous shreddedness, or maintain a normal ripped physique, without trying very hard. Its because this is the guy is on the stairs. Every bit of progress you make, if you donâ??t RELAPSE into counterproductivity, is permanent progress.

Beer and pizza guy is the one sprinting up the escalatorâ?¦ Repeatedly busting his ass, getting out of breath, having to take a break, and ending up back at the bottom.

To take it out of metaphorical terms, pizza and beer guy will gain bodyfat %, then try to undo the beer and pizza with excessive cardio, then over-diet, and lose muscleâ?¦. and even then still end up slightly fatter, (now weaker), and more exhausted than the person that stayed mindful of their actions.

The little things, in and of themselves, donâ??t make a huge difference, but when you incorporate a lot of these little â??tips and tricksâ??, they really add up and make a world of difference.

originally posted by author Brendan Evans

um… thanks?

[quote]bevans100fitness wrote:
… as I am not only a knowledgable fitness professional, but I am also a talented writer; so I am at risk.[/quote]

I have some comments, but before I make them I wonder if you’d mind telling us your credentials?

That far right one is a real hot pic.

What where you thinking bout?

From the authors website

he’s a dreamboat!

Just when I was hoping there was a knowledgeable fitness professional and talented writer out there who could just tell me what to eat…and now I have found him.

[quote]bevans100fitness wrote:
… I am not only a knowledgable fitness professional, but I am also a talented writer[/quote]
Modest, too. Don’t forget modest.

That sounds like a cool finisher for quads. Just sayin’.

Okay, constructive criticism in 3… 2… 1…

Right off the bat, have the decency and respect for the reader to double-check your work after you click ‘submit.’ The formatting obviously changed from when you originally typed it out and it’s difficult/distracting to read.

Your metaphor is faulty. Three steps forward and one step back would actually be faster overall progress than two steps forward and one step back (as presented in this piece’s title), since you’re netting two steps forward in the first case and only one step in the latter.

Three steps forward and one step back would be the same progress as just two steps forward, and arguably more enjoyable (which would mean more likely to be followed long-term) because of the mental/physical benefits of taking that one step back.

Unnecessarily repetitive. You basically say the same thing three times.

This is a funky sentence structure. The commas, parenthesis, and “double and” towards the end are clunky. Also, capitalize Sunday.

I thought you’re addressing lifters, not fitness professionals?

You bring up and then totally fly right past some points that could be expanded so readers aren’t left saying ‘huh?’. What exactly is a “BS exercise session” and why/how does it influence insulin sensitivity? How exactly is a burger and fries better than a meat lover’s pizza? If we’re having a burger and fries, why do we care about whiskey being gluten-free?

Hyperbole to drive a point home is one thing, but this is a pretty bold, and frankly unfounded, claim.

Aside from the obvious typo/missed space at the end, if “fitness is a major priority in your life”, then how could you be “busy having a life” that didn’t automatically prioritize or include fitness? I get what you’re trying to say, but it’s muddled.

I’m pretty sure everyone who’s ever dieted “into ridiculous shreddedness” tried pretty damn hard.

Again, this painting with a very broad paintbrush. Earlier, pizza and beer guy was just a dude who had the day off and used it as a cheat day once a week. Burger and fry guy was supposed to be a less-cheaty cheat, but I presumed he was still following the same diet and training as pizza-beer guy Monday to Saturday. You’re saying you can do that much irreversible damage in one day?

You never actually gave us little tips and tricks to use. You only briefly stated a few in one example.

It’s a start, but if this was grade school, you’d get an NI. Needs Improvement. Keep at it though.

Bonus bio review because I just finished my drinking my Spike:

Fitness coach and fitness consultant is unnecessarily repetitive. No prospective client will know or care what the difference is. I don’t even know what the difference is.

Competitive athlete? Listing your sports would be nice. It would give some prospective clients a reason to relate on another level.

Is there an area of specialty non-goal wise? If not, there’s no reason for the parenthetical statement.

Modesty again.

I’d ditch “but not limited to.” it’s unnecessary.

Again, prospective clients won’t know or care about the difference. Experienced clients and peers will think you separated them just to have an additional “thing” to write.

Tricky situation with this one. I get that you want to say you’re “knowledgable” in these areas, but they’re the absolute super-basics. I’d either find a way to reword them without getting confusing/using filler or skip them. It just makes me think, as a reader, “well duh, he’s supposed to know that stuff.”

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

Your metaphor is faulty. Three steps forward and one step back would actually be faster overall progress than two steps forward and one step back (as presented in this piece’s title), since you’re netting two steps forward in the first case and only one step in the latter.

Three steps forward and one step back would be the same progress as just two steps forward, and arguably more enjoyable (which would mean more likely to be followed long-term) because of the mental/physical benefits of taking that one step back.

[/quote]

All I thought of when I read this was that old Paula Abdul song.

“I take…2 steps forward…he takes 2 steps back…we come together cause opposites attract…”

Great article!

[quote]Bryan Krahn wrote:
“I take…2 steps forward…he takes 2 steps back…we come together cause opposites attract…”[/quote]

Oh, I do agree. Hope I didn’t come off as too harsh. “Damage control” a strong topic, it just needs to be filled in with more “stuff.”

Well, I, for one, am impressed with the line-by-line critical review.

that’s what I thought. Your subject matter is so basic that it’s hard to get too excited about it.

Still, kudos to you for having the balls to put your shit out there.

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]bevans100fitness wrote:
Everything in life comes in shades of gray, everything is relative, and everything is a spectrum.[/quote]
Unnecessarily repetitive. You basically say the same thing three times.

[/quote]

But does he take one statement back?

S

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]bevans100fitness wrote:
Everything in life comes in shades of gray, everything is relative, and everything is a spectrum.[/quote]
Unnecessarily repetitive. You basically say the same thing three times.

[/quote]

But does he take one statement back?

S
[/quote]

No…he does not.

QED

[quote]The Mighty Stu wrote:

[quote]Chris Colucci wrote:

[quote]bevans100fitness wrote:
Everything in life comes in shades of gray, everything is relative, and everything is a spectrum.[/quote]
Unnecessarily repetitive. You basically say the same thing three times.[/quote]
But does he take one statement back?

S[/quote]
Well-played, sir.

Chris Collucci…I almost spit out my coffee when you mentioned the escalator/quad finisher thing! Ha Ha

Too much text to plow through. The OP could have shortened this and cleaned it up some.

TLDR