By DAVE JACK | Moonshine Ink
I live to shred — whether it’s in the mountains on a board, skis, and bike; or on the lake with slalom skis, a wakeboard, or a surfboard. When I’m not shredding, I’m helping others get shredded, but I’ve found that no great gains are possible without one simple thing: balance.
I’ve always liked to go fast, push the limit, and get that adrenaline pumping. That’s why I live in Tahoe.
Early in my 20s when I first moved to Tahoe, I endured some traumatic sports injuries that really changed my perspective on my fitness program. I learned that if I want to enjoy all of Tahoe’s activities when I’m old and gray, I need to balance my fitness program better.
I’ve been a fitness professional for eight years, focusing on doing the work inside the gym to better enjoy the fun outside. In that time, I’ve learned that balance is the key to results, not just for me, but for everyone.
A comprehensive fitness program consists of harmonizing three primary components — cardio, strength, and nutrition. Think of it as a tripod. You have to devote time to all of them, and if one is overlooked, the tripod will fall.
Cardio must be done! If you hate cardio, I suggest finding an activity that can be substituted for cardio and building that into your weekly program — it doesn’t mean just plugging away on a treadmill. If you like to hike, hike. If you like to bike, bike. Take advantage of all of Tahoe’s natural beauty and find something that will get your heart rate up into a fat burning zone. Focusing on doing more low intensity cardio with shorter intervals into high intensity will teach your body to be more efficient at burning fat while also burning more calories for your time.
Strength training gives us the muscles we need to protect our joints. It also makes our activities easier and keeps our bodies looking and feeling young. Lifting weights is necessary to get our cells optimized to better adapt to external stress, which will help prevent injury. Focus on fundamental, functional movements that translate to our everyday lives. Squat, lunge, bend, push, pull, and move in all directions.
In order to maximize our efforts in the gym, on the mountain, or on the lake, we must ingest in the highest quality fuel. The fuel we put into our bodies will determine how efficiently they work. If we want to feel better with more energy and have great looking skin, then we need to start looking at our eating habits. We must manage our macros (protein, carbohydrates, and fats) and eat clean food that has been grown organically. We need to time eating habits around our exercise in order to maximize the work we put into the workout so we get the best recovery. Eat four to six smaller meals per day, all of which contain protein and veggies.
Tie it all together
It is scientifically proven that to get any body composition changes we need four to six hours of exercise each week. With that in mind, start with at least two days of resistance training and two days of cardio interval training every week. Stay consistent and build that habit for at least a month, and then decide if you want to set the goal to add another day.
Balancing each of these components properly each week will set us up to be strong and lean. Doing too much, too quickly will ultimately hinder our results. Consistency and time will get you to your goals. Don’t do too much or too little, but rather set micro goals each month for each week, and see how you do. Don’t add more until you’ve achieved your goal each week for a month.
We all have an area of our fitness we need to work on. For me, it’s incorporating more rest. For you, it may be incorporating more strength and mobility work and for others, eating cleaner. One way or another, we can be better.