Let’s talk about BLGs

BLGs…not BLT, not BFG, not B.I.G.  Today I want to talk about BLGs.

One thing that has really stuck with me over the years in my education endeavors is talk about BLGs, and how they are pretty much the foundation of your entire pyramid of life.

BLGs stands for Basic Lifestyle Guidelines.  It’s something that comes up time and time again as I coach athletes, other coaches, and especially when I take a look at my own training.

What we are doing in the 23 hours outside of the gym has a tremendous impact on the 1 hour a day we spend in the gym.  All of that hard work, sweat, grit, & dedication can go to waste at the worst, and at the very least not be allowed to reach its full potential if our BLGs aren’t in line with our training goals.

What are your training goals?  Some of you may be able to bring them to mind right away, while others might still be wondering what they are. The very first and most important question you have to ask yourself is:

What’s your “why”?

Why do you train?  To look good? Feel better? Lose weight? Keep up with your kids? Stamina for your job?  To improve in your primary sport? Or maybe it’s just to be social and have fun.

There are no wrong answers here.  You do yourself a dis-service though if you don’t have a purpose.  Once you have your “why”, then you can begin to build your BLGs around that personal goal.

So what are the BLGs?  Well, that’s a much more in depth subject than we have time for in a blog.  Perhaps I’ll host a seminar in the near future if the demand is there (sound off in comments!). For now, let’s have a look at the main points:

  • Water: assists in daily cleansing, proper usage of nutrients, and energy balance. Half of your body weight in ounces per day is a starting point.  Shoot for 60% bodyweight in oz. per day of filtered water at room temperature in a glass container. Just a 1-2% dehydration can mean a 10-15% decrease in performance. Get it all in a few hours before bedtime, and work toward no water for 1 hour before, and 1 hour after your meals. Say what?  That leads to my next point.
  • Digestion: Chew your food!  At least 30 times per bite…count it out if you have to.  Set down your fork between bites, have a conversation with your mouth full, and sit down while you eat.  Basically slow it all down.  The reason we don’t want water around meals is because we need to make sure we are emulsifying our food before swallowing it.  Digestion begins when you even start thinking about food. You want your saliva and digestive enzymes in your stomach to break down your food, not flush it down with water.  Water will also not allow you to properly absorb the nutrients from your food.  Imagine eating clean only to not reap any of the benefits because you diluted all of its nutritional content with a bunch of water. Bummer!
  • Sleep: 8.5 hours is the gold standard, but 7.5 is the base starting point.  6 hours or less and you cannot support participating in CrossFit. Circadian rhythm is a truth. You should be awake when the sun is out, and asleep when the moon is out.  During the hours of 10pm-5am everyone should aim to be asleep. Let’s be honest, this isn’t always realistic with different career types and families, so what’s the alternative?  Something that should apply to everybody is a routine.  Go to bed at the same time every night, and wake up at the same time every morning…yes, even on weekends.

OK, so those were just snap shots of each.  These subjects go DEEP and there is a ton that I am leaving out, but I’d love to talk to each of you about it more!  Come grab me in person or shoot me an email.

Remember, none of us are perfect and these are just goals…something to aim for.  Pick one or two pieces from within the BLGs and try to just improve in that one area and see what happens.

Easy homework: this week at every meal, chew each bite of food at least 30 times.  That’s easy.  We can all do that! See how it affects your training, your energy, your life.