Not too long ago, The ONE Thing co-author Jay Papasan hosted a webinar with special guest and accomplished strength coach Charles Poliquin. If you are familiar with the fitness world, you may know him as the Strength Sensei. The accomplished trainer has made a name for himself shaping some of the fastest and strongest athletes in the world – coaching Olympic medalists in 12 different sports – and now he has made a new name for himself educating elite coaches on the secrets of his success.
In case you missed it, the Strength Sensei recommends reading The ONE Thing because the core message of the book has rung true throughout his own career – that the minority of your efforts lead to the majority of your results. When he trains elite athletes, he’s typically given only 11 weeks to make a difference for them, which means that every minute matters and every moment must be put to good use. Like Gary and Jay, Charles believes that no matter what you are doing, there is always one thing that if you focus on it, and only it, you will achieve greater results than if you tried everything at once. And Charles Poliquin applies this belief to improving health.
So what tips did the Strength Sensei share during the webinar for improving your health? It comes down to lining up three dominoes: sleep, diet and exercise.
1. Your first domino is sleep.
Charles believes sleep is an all-important platform that has a direct impact on the other areas of your health. While how much time you may need to feel rested may vary from your neighbor’s, one thing is for certain: if you don’t make an effort to get the sleep you need, you are simply wasting your time trying to improve other areas of your health. Why is sleep so important? For starters, it’s necessary for helping the body to regenerate itself. While you are at rest, your body is hard at work healing tissues and muscles and creating new cells.
The Strength Sensei believes the timing of your zzz’s matters too – that is, the shut-eye you get before midnight is more restorative than what you get after midnight. If you want your body to perform at its best, try to get on a good sleep cycle – and start by waking up at the same time each day. A recent study by the University of Bringham showed that athlete performance times varied by 26 percent throughout the day. Try to time your sleep schedule so that it gives you the most energy and performance when you need it!
2. The food you consume – especially at breakfast – matters.
The Strength Sensei stands in agreement with the advice your mom has been giving you for years: breakfast is the most important meal of the day! What you eat first sets the tone for the rest of the day. He suggests the higher the protein count of your morning meal, the better. Bring on the breakfast meats! The first food decision you make in the morning will impact all the other food decisions for the entire day – so make it a good one.
Nothing will ever replace a good diet. However, all of us struggle sometimes getting the right nutrients into our bodies, and at times, supplements can be a great way to enhance our nutrition. If your doctor approves the use of supplements and you’re looking to add a nutrient into your diet, the Strength Sensei suggests that omega-3’s are the one to add. Why? He believes it can help with everything from reducing body fat and inflammation to increasing muscle and brain function.
3. Increase your commitment to working out.
Once you’re sufficiently rested and eating well, your health will benefit from improving your approach to exercise. Start by increasing your fitness routine from three to four days a week. Adding a single exercise session to your routine has the potential to drastically improve your results. The Strength Sensei doesn’t believe there is a catchall time for exercising, so as long as you vary your muscle usage, pick the time of day that you feel most energized and make it a habit to get a great workout in!
Ready to commit to improving your wellness this year? Consider signing up for a group coaching course on health and wellness that can help you knock over your own health dominoes. Have any other health plans? We want to hear what your dominoes are!