Why does the modern person find it so hard to get in shape?
There’s usually a few things going on, but we can admit is that over the years, and if you ask your grandparents, your great-grandparents, you ask them about their lifestyle, there’s probably a lot less complexity involved and life seemed a little bit simpler, there seemed to be a lot less stress that was going on.
Life was a little bit easier, maybe not easier, maybe that’s not the right term, but definitely simpler
Now, what we do have is we need to acknowledge that the modern day stressors and sorts of stressors from historically are completely different.
Historical stresses could be things like there’s a severe lack of food
There is also, potentially a local tribe trying to take land, getting attacked by locals, they’re trying to take our resources, things like this, but also maybe wildlife could potentially want to hurt us as well.
Well, those things were very few and far between.
For the most part as human beings, our lives were pretty mundane. We just got by everyday doing our agricultural work, getting our food sources, foraging, things like this and it was fairly simple, okay. But every now and then, like I say, a stressor would appear, and a local tribe, local wildlife, would interact with us causing there to be a fight-or-flight response
Now, we don’t need to overthink this, it’s just an analogy, but what we have is that analogy, say a tiger, making an appearance and wanting to hurt us, that is when a fight-or-flight response from us which would kick in and our body would biologically react in a specific way
Pupils start to constrict
We see blood pressure goes up slightly
We see heart rate elevates
We see HRV drops, things like this and further yet fat oxidation rates all along with that will drop as well
Tour ability to rest and recover would drop, because naturally you’re under threat, so therefore you need to react and you need to bounce back and protect yourself and fight from that rather than resting and recovering
So, in the past, our nervous would kick in a fight-or-flight response, that would be the thing which keeps us alive, which is great
Because we’re actually gonna be alive kept alive, but in the modern day, we have a lot more stresses, a lot more complexity and those stresses are still creating the same response. So, when we wake up to an alarm for example, that’s a stress.
Say we’ve snoozed it four times, because you wanted to snooze a little bit, you then woke up later and now you’re in a rush for breakfast and you just inhale your breakfast rather than actually chewing it, that’s a stressor.
Then we have digestive stressors from there, right?
Then we drive to work and because we snoozed our alarm, we’re a little bit late now, so now we’re rushing to work, so now we’re rallying around in traffic getting annoyed, that’s another stressor.
Then we get to a job we actually hate, that’s another stressor and you can see where we’re going with this.
We keep rolling further in our day and we go back to the evening, we got the partners, the husbands, the wives, the children that annoying us, doing certain things.
We don’t sleep enough too
You can see how it’s a constant vicious cycle.
Now that’s the difference between a historical stressor, and a modern stressor. The fact that historically, very rare events would cause this response but nowadays, we’ve got this chronic overload of stressors.
We’ve got these constant patterns that we fall into where stressors are continuous and that’s a massive issue, because if we know that when we’re in a rest-and-digest state which is where we’d normally be, historically most of our time, we’re able to burn fat more effectively, we’re able to effectively recover from training if we were training back then, we were effectively able to do these things.
Whereas the modern day, we don’t and it’s because we’re constantly chronically overloaded with these stressors which we experience every single day. So, what we need to do is firstly acknowledge the fact that there is historical stressors and modern stressors and there is a big difference and these days we are overloaded chronically with these stressors and with this stressful response and we need to adjust to that.
We need to allow, we need to have some sort of techniques to manage that, because without management of it, it can become overwhelming, it can become too much and then all that happens is you simply can’t get the results you want. And this is something which we experience with a lot of people.
When you’re constantly overloaded with work, when you’re, and you know
I’ll give an example of somebody who I spoke to a long time ago, literally asked her, I said, “Can you show me “the Stoic Performance App on your phone?”
Literally she just sat in front of me and it was a simple task just from the app, show me where it is and just open it up, ’cause I need to show you something. Then she took about 10 minutes to show me the app, but she was stressing so much about it, because she had 3,000 apps on her phone, right, so it was crazy.
But the thing is because she had so many apps, it was just chaos trying to find this one bloody thing and she was stressing over it.
Straight away it was like, that shouldn’t be a stressor, but her response instantly kicked in and her fight-or-flight response kicked in, that resulted in her fat oxidation rates going down, so on and so forth and that probable caused a knock-on effect of stress throughout her day.
So, straight away, we can see just by simply having too many bloody apps on your phone, so you can’t find one thing simply can be a stressor and that’s something that wouldn’t happen in your great-grandad’s day. And historically even further, living in caves and whatever, that definitely wouldn’t have happened. So, we can see the issues.
We’re chronically overloaded here and we overwhelm ourselves. There’s no order and no real structure, because we’re not actively taking steps to make that order and structure. So, what we need to do is we need to look at things like this like the app for situation for example and say well, but what do we do?
3,000 apps on your phone, mate, you don’t them, get rid of ’em, get rid of most of them, just keep the ones which you actually use, make your life simpler in that respect and that instantly is gonna lower that stress response when I ask you to show me an app.
That’s an example, of course. But when we’re looking at things like snoozing our alarm, if that makes us inhale our breakfast as a knock-on effect, because like I said, we’re running out of time now. Suddenly we can say, right, well, we’re not gonna allow ourself to snooze, we’re simply not.
We may even look to the evening routine to better our sleep routines which in turn would help with not snoozing which in turn would help with not inhaling our breakfast which in turn means we’re gonna rush to work and be stuck in traffic and you can see it’s a knock-on effect like that.
So, really identifying what stressors of what and where the root of that’s is is essential, because once you do that, you need some sort of strategy to combat that and actually make sure it doesn’t become a chronic thing and doesn’t become overwhelming and doesn’t become a huge issue and hindering you in getting results, because that, that is genuinely one of the biggest things we need. In my opinion, we need a few things to get amazing results.
We need stress management, we need obviously sound nutritional practice and we need just good training systems, okay? Effective training systems and so that you’re gonna stick to
Your stress management out of all that will be the thing which people don’t acknowledge. I can promise you this, a lot of people even listening to this now wouldn’t acknowledge that, would be like, I’m more interested in my macros.
But what we do for example is the metabolism is not like a calculator, it’s not a case of you weigh this much, you’re this tall, therefore you this many calories, it’s like stress barometer, it’s like a pressure gage and when you lay the pressure on various stressors, what we know is that the metabolism will slow down, whatever you wanna call it or it’ll become dysfunctional in many respects. Well, it’s not gonna be efficient, that’s a fact.
So, when we alleviate that pressure from all these modern stressors and we take the pressure off, that allows the metabolism then to become more flexible which means you have more dietary flexibility, but also faster is a term I don’t wanna use, but I suppose we could use that now as well, so therefore you start to burn fat more effectively.
Have more energy, libido’s higher, your mood’s better, you’re sleeping better, your stress management’s sweet and hunger, energy and cravings are pretty much gone, because you’ve managed that system, all right? And a lot of things you’re gonna feel, a lot of little snappy moods, little irritability things or the sleep quality, all these things are usually knock-on effects of them overloading all our chronic overload stress.
So, we manage the stress, we find the root of it or we identify it, sorry. We find the root, then we address that, we put a system in place to stress management and away we go, better results come in. So, that’s really hopefully, hopefully it opened your eyes a little to that, because I could promise you now that this is the one which people do not acknowledge, guarantee, this is one thing, because we live in a time where everyone’s looking at glute kickbacks and cool stuff and all sorts of stuff on Instagram and Facebook and looking at macro splits and looking at different systems trying to really find the way on how to get an edge over everyone else. Everyone seems to be on a diet, right?
Everyone seems to be on some sort of system or some sort of method, yet nobody is truly making constant progress. And people have tried for years and years and years to try and achieve their goal and their dream physique and never really achieve it, because they don’t tend to look at the foundational stuff like a sound nutritional plan, nothing crazy, just something sound and simple to start with.
Nutrition, training plan, same sketch and then you have your stress management on top of that to make sure your nervous system is in alignment with what you’re trying to achieve. Remember, your nervous system is a central nervous system. Imagine the central nervous system being the big chief of everything that happens in your body, every single process in your body is governed by the CNS, okay?
That’s what we need to achieve and we need to win that over, should we say, we need to work with it rather than try to force it to do something, so all it’ll do is it’ll just put the breaks on for us. So, CNS, work with it.
Work with your nervous system, get your stress management in place, the results are better, that’s a fact and life tends to get better as well which is the ironic thing about it. We all wanna get in shape and stuff, because we wanna feel good, we wanna look good.
You tend to feel a shit load better when you just do this stuff, so following this sort of protocol, following stress management stuff will be a key player and in making you feel better which in turn indirectly is probably gonna help with your results, right? So, you can see where we’re going with this.
Anyway, been a pleasure. So, thank you for listening to the show today. Historical versus modern stressors, right? We can see life today is a lot more complex. What we need to do is be able to, like the example I gave earlier, get rid of those little things that are distracting us, get rid of your 3,000 apps on your phone, just keep the 10 which you actually use. Get rid of them distractions, get rid of them things, get routines in place and then identify your stressors, okay?
Just identify them and just start to put some sort of management system in place. Something in place which is gonna allow you to systemise how you handle that stuff and it could simply be, right, well, if I can’t do that, I can’t manage it. of course, have a day off from training.
Don’t go to gym, ’cause remember training is still a stressor. You’re lifting weights around your body, think you’re doing a bench press or a squat or a leg place, thinks you’re wrestling a bear or something, do you know? So, think about it logically.
We need to allow ourselves to recover and if that means taking a day off training then so be it.