It’s an old story for us IT professionals that we think it is difficult to make time for your fitness regimen, But is it really just a trick we are playing on ourselves? Maybe, just maybe, your fitness regime is one of the most fun parts of your daily life. You simply haven’t allowed yourself to make it fun yet.
But then you mention that so much come in-between. Daily chores, stuff to do on the computer (work or not), and your partner. Yes, yes, and yes. But that is just part of all our lives. What if you focus on the fun benefits of being fit, and the process of working towards it? What if you make it a necessity in your daily life? Let’s face it, you are sitting down a lot. And that is why you ended up on IT Pro Workout.
We turn to Ryan Yates to hear what he thinks it takes for IT professionals to maintain a fitness regime. He is a published model as well as a diet and workout coach. He is also a guy that knows what it takes. Whether it’s the fitness workouts, the diet or just sticking to the routines, he has firsthand experience of it. His profession depends on it. We had the chance to ask Ryan some questions that many IT professionals ask themselves over and over again.
Oh come on, what should I eat?
First off, let’s talk about food. Your fitness regime really starts with what you eat and drink. Many know that the breakfast is the most important meal of the day. We asked Ryan what he thinks about the optimal breakfast for someone who will spend most of the day sitting in front of a computer?
“I would recommend a breakfast high in protein, moderate in fats and low in carbohydrates.”, says Ryan. “Given that you wont be very active at your desk your body does not require high carbohydrate intake at this time and they will only sit idle. Do not however be tempted to skip breakfast thinking that this will be advantageous to fat loss – it is so important to kick start your metabolism and get your body into gear! If your routine is to train in the evening after work then I would recommend ‘back loading’ carbohydrates. This involves consuming your carbs later in the day, around your workout.”
The importance of not skipping breakfast can’t be stressed enough. And still this is a trick that many pull on themselves, not realizing that they are only hindering their own progress over time.
Your workout is your own reward
Another question that really needs to be addressed is, how can you increase your excitement to workout when you have so many stressful tasks ahead of you during day? It turns out that for Ryan working out is a reward. “For me, working out after a long stressful day is a blessing, I genuinely look forward to working out as I know it will improve my mental state – As they say, a good mood is only one workout away! Over time, try to vent your daily stresses into your workouts and leave it in the gym. To make things a little more interesting, plan your training routine throughout your day and set yourself a daily target and give yourself something to look forward too. Alternatively try playing a game, each time your computer crashes, add another exercise to your routine – you’ll soon be falling out with the IT guy!“
“As they say, a good mood is only one workout away!”
In those words we find a clue to an attitude you absolutely need to adopt – Your workout is a reward in itself for a healthier life. Ryan points this out further “Your mental state will improve when you workout. Keep this in mind as you trudge through the motions of the day in front of a computer. Change your view of working as a must to a reward!”
Engage your autopilot to stay engaged
But if your workout is your reward and a blessing as Ryan points out, then what is preventing us from rewarding ourselves with a more fit lifestyle? “A lack of consistency. Remaining consistent is a must to maintain fitness levels. It is an obstacle we all come across and it is by far the easier option to skip a workout, or two! In order to overcome this the answer is simple – autopilot. Engage your autopilot feature (everybody has one) and just get it done. Dont think, just do! Once you can train your mind to work in this manor you’ll never look back and the gains will just keep coming!”
Wait a minute. If we all have an autopilot then how do we deal with the cheat day? Does it exist and what is Ryan’s take on this concept? The answer is a resounding yes but there is plenty to say about the cheat day. “In my opinion the cheat day absolutely exists, in fact, it is imperative. Not only for your mental state but as a way to break the routine your body be will used to, which can lead to a plateau in results. Everyone loves something to look forward to and cheating on your diet gives you just that! Rather than a cheat day, I would opt for a cheat meal. This way you get your ‘fix’ however it wont be too damaging! I also find it is better to eat your cheat meal earlier in the day rather than have it sitting heavy on your stomach overnight.”
80/20 or 70/30?
Finally we wonder what Ryan has to say about the 80/20 rule that states that fitness is 80% about what you eat and drink, and 20% about physical exercise. As many of us have experienced from trial error, this is not really an exact science. Ryan has experience with these figures as well. “The percentages might be a little off (I’d say more 70/30) however for the most part I share this opinion. I myself used to train hard but give no regard to my nutritional intake. As soon as i started planning my diet the results were astonishing. The phrase ‘abs are made in the kitchen’ is highly overused, however it is correct! The unfortunate truth is that you will never achieve the physique you want if you don’t make the effort in the kitchen. A great way to start dieting is by using Macro Nutrient techniques, calculating your personal requirements of protein, fats and carbs based on your goals.”
So you have to start with your own physique and metabolism and adapt your food, drink and workout routines from that. Don’t be hindered by the fact that it takes some time to tweak the parameters (as we IT pros like to say). It will take an effort to find a balance between what to eat and how to workout. This is a personal question and you need to find the answer to it. With Ryan’s helpful advice you are already on a good path.
We thank Ryan for his advice and insights. Remember that this is a guy that use the mentioned methods to stay in optimal shape for his modelling. There is a point to use the takeaways when we mould our own fitness regime.
For more information about Ryan Yates and his work, check out portfolio on his Instagram page: ryanyates_1
Photographer: Malvin Hobbes (Instagram: malvin.hobbs)
Author: P-C Markovski