A few weekends ago, I had the honour of being asked to speak at COFIT-19 Quarantine & Fitness Summit, an entirely free, two-day nutrition and fitness summit organised by Simon Mitchell (@iron_paradise_fitness).
It consisted of over 14 hours of talks, round-table discussions and Q&As from some of the best coaches in the business and I was so proud to be a part of it.
I was involved in 3 discussions:
- How To Become Mentally Tough and Achieve Your Fitness Goals (with Ross Gilmour, Nick Whiteman and Tim Reid)
- Habits & Behaviour Change for Weight Management and Life After Dieting (with James Hesling, Charlotte Fisher, Mark Worswick)
There was so much amazing information covered during the entire COFIT-19 weekend but I wanted to share a few of my main takeaways from the event, for anyone who didn’t manage to tune in. To keep this as short and sweet as possible, I’ll be sharing my top 5. Here goes.
Mobility is such an important, yet underrated aspect of physical fitness. Not only in terms of reaching your goals but also when looking at health and longevity.
Mobility refers to your active range of motion and denotes healthier joints, a more mobile body and contributes to a reduction in injuries.
In our discussion at COFIT-19, we talked about what mobility is and why it matters and what became clear was that an increased focus on mobility would help everyone, from those living a largely sedentary lifestyle to the ultimate gym bros, throwing heavy weights around 6 days a week. Not only will you increase your physical health but you can actually maximise your current efforts in the gym by working on your mobility.
The key for many may well be to start introducing these practices slowly – focus on trying to make the most of the hidden pockets of time during your day, such as when watching TV, sitting at your desk or in your pre-bed or morning routine.
By starting small, even with 5 minutes of mobility work every few days, you can start to introduce these new habits and build a strong foundation on which to progress.
A few of our top mobility drills are below but we will be sharing more over the coming weeks, via FIT By Flo.
2. The Importance of Maintenance & Life After Dieting
Dieting has, for many, become the norm. Many people spend such a large proportion of their life working towards weight loss that the idea of maintenance can become very foreign.
With any weight loss regime, the ultimate goal is to reach a healthy bodyweight that allows the individual to feel confident, happy and in control of their health.
Maintenance is, however, a skill in itself and can call for entirely different practices and habits to those employed during the diet. As a result, failing to prepare for or focus on the maintenance phase from early on, can lead to weight regain and yo-yo dieting.
Maintenance may well be the most difficult part of the equation and, in our discussion, we suggested that preparing for life after dieting should be a top priority even at the start of the dieting phase.
By looking at maintenance of a lower weight as the final goal, rather than the weight loss itself, you can prepare yourself from early on for a continued effort and a more practical approach to life after dieting.
3. ‘Mental Toughness’ & Mindset
When discussing the idea of ‘Mental Toughness’ and how it related to health and fitness goals, we came upon a few interesting ideas…
Although the idea itself calls for a slightly ‘Just Do It’ mentality, it actually may require a softer approach than initially suggested.
We discussed how to create a mindset that would help propel you towards your goals and it is clear that this kind of mental ‘toughness’, resilience and determination can’t be fostered without an element of self-compassion.
Even if it may not seem to directly impact, by being self-compassionate and kind to yourself, you can create a healthier, happier and more resilient, confident mindset that will ultimately help you in the pursuit of your goals.
4. Habits & Motivation
There were a huge number of questions surrounding motivation over the course of COFIT-19 and one of the distinctions that were repeatedly made was between motivation and habits.
Although it may be tempting to look for motivation, it is fickle and finite. Even personal trainers, nutritionists and other health professionals run out of motivation. No one wakes up every day full of it, ready to seize the day and smash through every single thing on their To-Do List. If only!
On the other hand, habits last. In the absence of motivation, which will be inevitable, ebb and flow habits can keep you consistent, which is ultimately the key to success for many health and fitness goals.
Creating strong habits will allow you to continue when motivation is at an all-time low. When you wake up in the morning totally uninterested in going to the gym, the ingrained habit of putting on your gym kit and training before work is far more likely to see you through.
Therefore, concentrating on healthy habit formation is key. Breaking down your goals and working on establishing small, day-to-day practices will get you further than motivation ever could!
5. Don’t Get Caught In The Weeds
This was a slightly more generalised takeaway from the COFIT-19 weekend…
We had over 1800 people tune in to listen to the talks and a huge number of questions, which was incredible, but some looked towards the minutiae rather than how to establish the basics.
In the fitness and nutrition world, it can be really difficult not to be swept up in a sea of information, not knowing who’s right and what to focus on. One of my main takeaways from the event was to encourage people to focus on the basics.
It may not be exciting or sexy but the basics are where you build a strong foundation.
There’s no need to go worrying about the intimate details of supplementation, exercise selection and macronutrient breakdown if you haven’t already established that strong foundation of healthy habits.
Moving regularly, exercising and eating a balanced, varied diet is always going to be that foundation. Get that right first and then start worrying about everything else later.
This is just a snapshot of the information shared over the course of this amazing two-day event.
If you would like to access the recordings for all the talks to hear more about what was discussed and contribute to a great cause, click this link. All proceeds will be going to NHS Charities Covid-19 Urgent Appeal – £1400+ has been raised already, amazing!
It was such a pleasure to be part of the whole weekend and I just hope we can do it again soon.
If you have any questions about the recordings, the donations or any of my Top 5 Takeaways, please get in touch here.
Much love as always,