It is an efficient and effective body fueling/maintenance process that will improve your quality of life, strengthen your immune sytem, raise your body awareness, upgrade your fitness capabilities, and increase your life span.
Why do I want to live Powerfully?
It will help you to reach your level of Optimal Health. Meaning, you will give your body the opportunity to operate at its full potential and reach the peak of its abilities. Does not mean you will become a professional athlete, though it is possible, but it will give you a clean body that will seldom ever show any symptoms of sickness or alert you of any random pains. Powerful Living makes you feel like a cut above the average, for most people live based on how they feel at the time and not what will make them feel the best in the long run. Essentially, you want to live a powerful life so that you may experience your best life.
How do I reach Optimal Health?
By eating powerful foods, getting powerful rest, and practicing powerful exercise routines. Mel Jones, founder of Grip Work Gear, does not believe that we should all follow the same regiments when it comes to reaching your Optimal Health, but he does believe we should hover around similar guidelines. As an example, Mel Jones is a former College Football player who used to eat nothing but meat, potatoes, protein shakes, and potato chips. After graduating in 2013, Mel transitioned into a vegetarian diet, works out 5-7 days a week now, averages 30 minutes a day of exercise, fasts 1 day out of the week, eats processed snacks 1 day out of the week, and you can occasionally find him training like a College Football Player. For himself, this has put Mel on a path closer to what he believes is his Optimal Health, but we don’t believe this is optimal for everybody. It’s a process of researching, implementing, and researching some more.
What/who should I research for attaining Optimal Health?
There are a lot of fitness and health gurus out there and the numbers are rising. That’s a good thing. The question is who do you trust? Nobody. You learn from everybody. You think creatively and logically as you learn from people. If they look healthy and they have the level of fitness you wish to have, then that person is probably a good place to start. Doesn’t mean everything they say is correct, or even half the things they say. Just means there is a greater possibility that they may know what they’re talking about. But as a quick warning, health isn’t just about your weight, figure and muscle definition. Those things are not what dictate whether cancers, diseases, or other cellular malfunctions manifest throughout your body. It’s your nutrition along with your fitness that creates Optimal Health. That being said, here are a few individuals/books/outlets that we feel are worth following for Optimal Health:
A) What should I consume to reach Optimal Health? B) What if I’m an athlete? C) What if I’m a vegetarian or vegan?
First, we would like to express that we are not doctors nor dieticians and in no way do we pretend be giving medical advice. That being said, we would like to give Powerful Living advice.
A) For the everyday person we would advise that you eat food rich in Omega 3, protein and other essential nutrients. These foods include locally farmed/organic beef, chicken, turkey, and pork. Wild caught fish is most especially preferred when it comes to seafood. Vegetables in high volume is optimal and you want to keep your fruit consumption to a moderate level. Organic/locally harvested eggs hold more Omega 3 than your typical store bought eggs. Eggs also provide powerful cholesterol that benefits and aids the body in getting rid of bad cholesterol. Raw/whole organic milk is best in moderation. Avocados are a personal favorite of Grip Work Gear founder Mel Jones, for they are high in healthy fats and contain up to 4 times the amount of fiber that oatmeal provides. For cooking, we recommend coconut oil for its favorable reaction to high heat. Organic herbs, spices, Celtic salt, and Himalayan salt are healthy forms of seasoning due to their macronutrient content and having some antioxidant values. We highly recommend that you stay away from high-carbohydrate foods. There are a few though, that The Primal Blueprint recommends if you really feel you need those extra carbs; sweet potatoes, wild rice and quinoa. For those who have a bit of a sweet tooth, dark chocolate is your best bet (75% cacao or more), and if you feel the need to have a few drinks at night, red wine does have some antioxidant properties that you can benefit from. It is best that you keep the dark chocolate and red wine to a minimum as well as coffee, which also has antioxidant properties. Keeping your carbohydrate count below 150 grams a day will help you to maintain your body weight, while keeping it between 50-100 grams a day will put your metabolism into the fat burning zone. And of course, the best liquid to drink for Optimal Health is water, but we also recommend organic herbal teas including chamomile tea, black tea, ginger tea, and green tea.
B) For athletes, especially professional/intercollegiate athletes, it may be wise to keep your carb intake a little higher than the average person. Depending on the sport and your training duration, you may need to consume closer to 150 grams or maybe even 200 grams if you’re not getting enough from the high-fat/protein diet. Still, you want to stick to the three foods stated earlier (sweet potatoes, wild rice, and quinoa,) for your main carbohydrate consumption outside of fruits and vegetables .
C) If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, you can still follow these guidelines pretty easily. You want to eat a lot of high-fats and proteins while keeping your carbs/sugars low. From experience, Mel Jones has found no problem keeping muscle mass for he always made sure he wasn’t starving himself and consumed a large amount of high nutrient dense foods. You do not need meat in order to build muscle and protein is not of major concern. If anything, keeping your energy levels up is the most important part. As long as you feel good, your body will typically function well.
A) What kind of exercise creates Optimal Health? B) How about for Athletes? C) What if you’re out of shape or recovering from an injury? D) What if you are elderly?
A) The best exercises for Optimal Health are those of the mixed variety. If you’re training for a specific sport or event, then it would make sense to stick to a specific routine. But for our fitness-for-lifers, we recommend that you train for the moment. Train based on how you feel today, how you want your body to ideally look, and execute whatever will bring you closer to your fitness goals. For example, owner of Grip Work Gear Mel Jones likes to lift every other day. He doesn’t always stick to this schedule, but essentially that is how he decides when to lift weights or not. On the other days, he typically does body weight exercises ranging from push up/pull ups, pistol squats, crunches/sit ups, or bare foot walking. Sometimes he will have an explosion day where he incorporates muscle-ups and broad jumps. If he’s feeling light on his toes, he may do some 40 to 100-yard sprints or hit a 6:40 minute mile on the treadmill. Sometimes, Mel may decide to do a whole 30-minute routine dedicated to just deadlifting. There are days when Mr. GRIP may go for a light jog around the neighborhood or do some precision striking on the punching bag. He does not limit nor box himself into a specific routine because he is no longer training for a sport. He is training for himself. Aesthetics/athleticism/functionality. You should train specifically based on what you want to improve on and achieve. And remember to do it at your own pace. No need to be a super hero every day. Just keep moving, and if you’re feeling up to it go for the gold.
B) If you’re an athlete you will want to train specific to your sport, but that doesn’t always mean you have to train hard. Some days should be dedicated to strength, some to speed, some to agility, some to explosion, and some to skill. We find that for the most successful athletes in any sport, skill is usually the deciding factor. With the exception of probably track & field and power lifting, speed & strength play a limited factor in sport success. Being faster and stronger makes it easier to compete, but it does not guarantee victory. So we encourage that you pay just as much attention to improving your skill set as you do to improving your physical abilities.
C) For beginners, rehabbers or those getting back into shape, it is highly important that you use your logic along with your feelings. For someone who is used to training on a regular basis it is perfectly logical to do what your body says it can do from day to day. When you’re getting into the swing of things, it’s not so logical anymore. You need to play the long game and remember that you have all of your life to get into shape. You should start with easy exercises that you know you can complete with minimal strain. Let your body get a feel for what is going on for it needs to learn or re-learn how fire all of its muscles in synchronicity, otherwise you are opening yourself up more to the possibility of injury. More importantly, your muscles may rebuild quickly, but your tendons and ligaments do not. The blood flow to these areas is a lot slower rate and not as abundant. So it is best to take your time in order to let your entire body build progressively together.
D) If you are elderly and are limited in your ability to move around, we recommend that you do various forms of walking. From uphill to downhill, walking sideways, walking backwards, and aerobic walking. Most people who consider themselves elderly tend to only walk straight ahead, causing them to forget how to cross their feet over and move suddenly in different directions. If you don’t use it, you will lose it, so you better use those other planes of motion. Walking barefoot is extremely important for you because your balance will be your most vital skill. Walking barefoot will improve strength in your feet up through your legs, giving you stability throughout life. No need to break a sweat. Just get your heart rate up from time to time to remind yourself that you still have lungs and change up the walk routine.
Is flexibility important for Optimal Health?
When we talk about flexibility, we are not just talking about having the ability to touch your toes. Really, we are focusing on relaxing the muscles. Enough relaxation so that you have full range of motion on a daily basis, minimal if any pain throughout the body, and an even distribution of functionality when performing day to day tasks. Essentially, we want to avoid muscle imbalances, body compensations, over active muscle activity, and injury. You don’t need to be as flexible as a gymnast nor do you have to practice an extreme stretch routine. You just want the body to be relaxed enough to where you don’t have to spend time warming up thoroughly to get moving and you don’t suffer from chronic pain. If you’re eating correctly, this will help in your goal of keeping the muscles relaxed for they will be less likely to be lacking essential nutrients, be filled with harmful toxins, or suffer from dehydration. If you would like to add some moderate stretching into your daily routine, we recommend that you stretch for about 10-15 minutes after you get out of the bath/shower right before bed. With your muscles warmed and relaxed, stretching will be a breeze and you will find it easier to fall asleep, as well for relax your mind, lowering your overall tension. For chronic pain or severe tightness, we highly recommend trying a myofascial release technique. This is when you are applying pressure to adhesions found in the muscle for 30-60 seconds in order to coax the muscle into relaxing. This is especially effective for athletes. You may find your performance instantly improved after the first release session.
How much sleep is needed for Optimal Health?
It is no secret that sleeping is essential to the success of the body’s ability to repair itself, just as much as eating is. The golden rule for optimal sleep levels is typically 8 hours, but everybody is different. Some people do better with 9 hours and others can do fine with just 6 hours of sleep. It is best to know that how you eat will also play a factor on your sleep patterns and necessity. Essentially, you want to get as much sleep as your body wants. Notice we are not referring to your mind, because the mind can play tricks on us sometimes. Sleeping can feel so good that we may over sleep, causing a negative reaction. It’s not abnormal to feel sluggish after sleeping for more than 8 hours. It may not be that you didn’t get enough sleep, just your body hasn’t effectively woken up due to the seemingly excess amount of rest. The best way to gage if you’re getting an adequate amount of sleep to attain Optimal Health is to listen to your body. It’s the stress of being fatigued that causes negative side effects.
How does meditation aid in Optimal Health?
Meditation is a form of rest. The world is filled with stimulating factors and it is at night when we are in bed that a majority of those stimulations are dispersed. Meditation helps to focus the conscious mind into a funnel like beam of concentration, therefore limiting stimulation. Founder Mel Jones likes to do most of his “meditation” in the shower, during his stretching, or immediately after stretching at night, due to the low amount of external stimulation and increased amount of heightened focused thought. This sense of focused thinking destresses the mind and body, allowing it to take a bit of a break and lower its defenses for a moment. Stress is one of the top killers in America. Not just from an internal perspective, but it is also the cause of many murders, accidents, and miscommunications. Meditation is not about sitting still and becoming 1 with the universe, though you may do that if you please, its more about pin pointing your thoughts so that you may gain a better understanding of what you are supposed to be doing with your day. You can’t figure these things out while sleeping. You need to be awake while thinking in a dream state. There are even cases of people healing themselves of ailments by deep meditation. Focusing their conscious thoughts towards healing a particular sector of the body, creating a chain reaction of subconscious thoughts directing a great deal of their body's healing agents to the source of the problem.
How do I meditate for Optimal Health?
You must first create a meditative environment that works for you. You definitely want it to be quiet, or create a steady flow of constant noise. This noise can be Zen music, nature sounds, a fan blowing, or the running water from your shower. These strategic sound creating mechanisms help the mind to block out the trillions of other existing stimulators including the very thoughts filling up your mind. After creating a meditative environment, close your eyes and begin to shuffle through your thoughts. Meditation is most effective when you have a goal in mind of what you want to achieve before starting your meditation session, that way your mind has a place to go, but you don’t have to. The key, if you’re a beginner, is to let yourself think whatever it is you’re thinking about. Don’t try to force it. Try to be an observer. Let yourself be interested in what’s happening. After a while the clutter and noise will slowly disappear, creating a seen of gradually dimming light inside your mind. As the noise slowly quiets itself, you will begin to notice 1 thought. You may even gain the ability to shuffle through specific thoughts without getting distracted. We like to believe that this is where you become more soul and less computer.
How do I transition into Optimal Health?
One day at a time. If you try to do it all today, we can almost guarantee that you will fall back into your old habits. Optimal Health is a constant growing process. It is a science, but we wouldn’t say it is exact. The transition is especially unique to the individual for we all have our own habits and demons that we must face. Your best bet to achieving Optimal Health is by picking 1 thing to change today. Do that for a couple of days or a couple of weeks until you have mastered that new habit. Then add the next change, maybe even 2 if you’re up for it. Don’t worry if you fault to old habits sometimes, it will happen and it’s supposed to happen. It’s a struggle that you will overcome with time and intention. Unless you go through some life threatening or eye opening experience, it will probably take you years to reach Optimal Health living practices. But that’s ok, you have the rest of your life to get there.
What foods should I stay away from to maintain Optimal Health?
Grains, wheats, oats, corn, cereal, pasta, peanuts, legumes, gluten, cooking spray, high fructose corn syrup, artificial sweeteners, sugar, processed foods, fast food, low-fat dairy, sodas, fruit juices, candy, chips, potatoes, rice, breads, high carbohydrates, polyunsaturated fatty acids, canola oil, margarine, trans fats, partially hydrogenated fats, protein bars, and alcohol.
Can I take supplements for Optimal Health?
Yes, and it is highly encouraged for those who may not have the time or means to gather all of their meals throughout the day. Of course you don’t want to take just anything off the shelf, so we do have a few recommendations:
Organic, local, and high quality supplements are always going to be your safest and most effective option. Even though fish oil is good for you, not every brand has an effective fish oil supplement. This is based on how it was retrieved, packaged, preserved and what kind of fish source they get it from. For gym goers, fitness enthusiast, and athletes looking to build muscle and enhance their performance, we do not recommend any fat burners, pre-workouts, and advise that you use protein supplements that have the least amount of carbs, sugars, whey, dairy, and other fillers, as possible. The more of anything other than protein that is in the product, the less protein your body will absorb.
When will I know that I’ve reached Optimal Health?
Every day is a fight for Optimal Health. We are always striving to be our healthiest and at the same time our happiest self. You will know that you have reached levels of Optimal Health when stomach aches become rare, sickness becomes almost non-existent, allergies are gone, joint pain isn’t a major issue, functional movement feels good, breathing feels good, and if you have the occasional random body high you are definitely on the right track.
Is achieving Optimal Health that important?
Think of your computer. If it is not running efficiently it will slow you down. If there are glitches in the system, it could freeze you up in the middle of completing an important project. If it is infected with a virus and crashes, how inconvenient is that? If you just spent $1000 on a new laptop and it won’t turn on after 2 days of usage, how mad would that make you? How about if the glitches cause multiple windows to pop up, inappropriate searches are created, and buttons are pressed on sites that you never intended? That wouldn’t be good. These same type of glitches, brain farts, and body malfunctions happen to human beings all the time, and a lot of them could be avoided if we took better care of ourselves. Eating is like your computer downloading stuff off of the internet. Do you want foreign programs entering your computer or do you want clean programs that will improve your online experiences? We hope you get the point.
Is fasting good for Optimal Health? How do I fast? How long should I fast?
If properly executed, fasting can be very beneficial to the body. There are different methods, reasons and time frames you can use for fasting. You can fast for fat burning and/or body cleansing. Intermittent fasting is typically used for burning fat. It is where you squeeze all of your eating time into a short window, typically 8 hours. For the other 16 hours of your life, you will only consume water. What this does is puts your body in a fat burning state which begins 8-12 hours after your last meal. You can fast for longer periods of time, but this is usually for people who are looking to put their body through an extreme detox. Though it will make you very hungry and possibly weak at the knees, a 72-hour fast is perfectly safe as long as you stay hydrated. A fast like this allows your body to focus more on healing and cleansing itself of unwanted toxins and radical cells for its attention will not be distracted by everyday digestion. It is possible to start losing some muscle mass at the 72-hour threshold, but nothing that you can’t quickly recover from and you will most likely see the disappearance of excess body fat first. If you are new to fasting, we recommend that you do not go beyond 72 hours for your body may exhibit a strong reaction. You can eventually go beyond that, but it becomes more stressful on the body and can become dangerous if not properly monitored.
Should everyone follow the same diet for Optimal Health?
Everyone should probably stay away from a majority of the same foods and bad habits, but it’s tough to say that we should all eat the same thing. Though we like to believe that all people are just people, it is important to recognize that we all come from different backgrounds, cultures, and parts of the Earth. These differences in environment have shaped our genes for thousands, if not millions of years, and has influenced our diet tremendously. Europeans have eaten differently from Africans and Orientals have dined differently than Native Americans. Climate, agricultures, and access to game has created differences in the way we have eaten in the past and our bodies have not adapted to this new blend of food culture. Grip Work Gear does not claim to be the epicenter of all that is healthy, only a learning center for those looking for some type of guidance and in a sense we are a library looking to add more beneficial knowledge to our database to help more Powerful Individuals upgrade their software and improve their lives.
Mel Jones' Powerful Living Advice:
Keep your meals simple, it allows your body to process and absorb nutrients more effectively. Get some sun, it will help protect against skin cancer versus the common belief. If you feel like you’re not getting enough sleep, create a schedule that will allow you to obtain more, for there is always a way. Try to exercise as many days as possible, because there may come a time when you can’t. For allergy control, digestion, and gallbladder stones, drink 1-2 teaspoons of APPLE CIDER VINEGAR a day. I promise you it works!