“How do you become more productive?”
A very famous, successful businessman leaned back and thought for a second. Twenty people sat around him with rapt attention, wondering what a billionaire’s answer would be to one of the biggest questions, perhaps, the biggest question in business.
This group of twenty some odd people were assembled to brainstorm growth options for the philanthropic arm of a very large corporation. A corporation which has more than 300 companies, 50,000 employees, and $25 billion per year in revenue.
He broke the silence with two words.
He elaborated that it gave him an additional four hours of productive time per day.
And who was this very famous, successful business person?
CEO and founder of Virgin Group.
It’s a story that I read in the 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferris. Highly recommend by the way.
And it’s not just that Richard thinks so.
This shit is validated.
A study from the Journal of Labor Research found employees who exercised regularly earn 9% more than their counterparts. Forbes even listed exercise as the number 1 thing that super successful people do before 8 am.
Not that I think you HAVE TO workout before 8am, more on that later. But do want to establish that exercise has an impact on your career and how successful it can be.
Last week we talked about how your level of attractiveness can impact your earning power. Not only that, how attraction can effect other aspects of your life like getting more respect, more sex, and even get you off the hook in court. We also discussed that attraction can be influenced by a number of physical, psychological, and physiological factors.
The way to influence those factors?
And I know, a lot of people give out that information. Through conversations with friends, colleagues, and even clients, it’s easy to see that they all know that consistent exercise is good for you. And they all want to exercise consistently yet it’s a struggle.
Sound like you?
This means the issue goes a little deeper than just jumping on a treadmill, which I’m personally not a fan of. Much like eating healthy, we all know and want to, but still don’t do it on a consistent basis.
So today I’m going dig DEEP and share with you the psychological mechanics behind exercising consistently. Because of it you’ll be more attractive, earn more money, more respect, and have more sex.
Here’s what we’re going to go over today:
- How exercise influences attractiveness
- How to exercise consistently
- One simple exercise routine to do anywhere, anytime
How exercise influences attractiveness
There is no doubt that there is a direct correlation between exercise and body composition. This in turn, effects how attractive you are perceived by others. However, there are still physiological and psychological aspects of attraction that are affected by exercise, but how?
When looking at how exercise influences your attractiveness, we’re going to take a look at one chemical in your brain which will make you feel fucking awesome, and in effect, emit that perception as well.
Endorphins are endogenous opioid peptides which function as a neurotransmitter in your brain. They are released by a variety of activities, like sex, pain, love, and none other than . . . exercise.
In plain English, when endorphins are released they lock onto special receptor cells called opioid receptors (the stuff that makes you feel pain). When this happens, the feeling of pain is blocked while at the same time creating a feeling of euphoria. It’s the same feeling you get when you’re doped up on any drug from the opiate family (morphine, heroine, opium, etc.). The former is just cheaper and not as dangerous. Eminem said it best, “Don’t do drugs.”
Interestingly enough, the human body also produces endocannaboids during intense exercise, which is the same chemical that is active when consuming cannabis, aka marijuana. Link to study here . . . I know you wish you knew this shit in college.
Anyway, ever heard of runner’s high?
Though there is still much to be learned, one study indicates a direct correlation between exercise and reductions in opioid receptor availability. Which can prove that endorphins are at work. With that said, I’m really not a big fan of running. In fact, I hate on it a lot. Maybe cause I’m lazy? Or maybe cause I think it’s a waste of my time? I don’t know. Bottom line, though the term is coined as “runner’s high”, this endorphin rush can happen in any type of intense activity such as heavy weight lifting or high intensity exercise.
Either way, get after it on a regular basis.
Well aside from the fact that it gets you feeling good its linked to psychological and physiological factors which increase your perceived level of attractiveness. One of the most important being confidence.
It’s correlated with pheromones as well. If humans can pick up on anxiety from the smell of sweat, and since endorphins do a lot in lowering anxiety, might as well release them right?
In fact, endorphins do a lot to alter your moods. At the International Conference on Chemical, Biological, and Environment Sciences, Dr. P. B. Rokade published his review on the effect of endorphins and mood, specifically on patients with anxiety disorders. He concluded that the release of endorphins were able to make his patients stronger, more confident, and create a feeling of well being and happiness.
Feel great, be confident, all from just getting a work out in. Oh, let’s not forget being more attractive and earning more money.
Um, fuck yeah.
How to Exercise Consistently
It’s no mystery that we all want to look good and feel great. Ask anyone and they know that exercise is good for them.
Yet, we still don’t.
It’s a question that has been bothering me for the past couple of years. I wanted to understand what motivates people to work out. Like what makes someone like myself so motivated to work out and others not at all? And the one situation that really blew my mind was the group of people who wanted to exercise consistently but still didn’t.
What I found out was that I was looking for a solution to a problem that had already been solved. The issue was much deeper. And it all kind of clicked one day when I was looking for systems to make myself more productive . . .
Habits have nothing to do with exercise, I know. But it’s the most important driver in making sure you hit the weights, exercise, or just get to the gym consistently. The thing is that no one gives a shit about habits, we want results, like yesterday. It’s a fucked up philosophy to have for getting the body and looks you want, because it automatically sets you up for failure.
It’s why fitness and nutrition plans are often so advanced and complicated. On the surface, it seems like it’s going to get shit done. But the catch is that those plans are so advanced and complicated it’s hard to get follow through. And the result? You feeling guilty because you didn’t keep up with the routine, discouraged from continuing, and ultimately not having the body you want.
Well I want to share with you the right philosophy and mindset to have so that you don’t have to feel like that ever again.
And it comes down to forming habits. Good ones at that.
Charles Duhigg, author of The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business, writes that habits emerge because the brain wants and is constantly looking for ways to conserve mental energy and automate certain behaviors.
This allows us to have efficient brains, which mean smaller heads to make child birth easier, and creating tools to make life easier instead of wondering what to eat. Which is why we form habits.
The problem is that if we’re in a constant state of automation, we might miss something like, a predator in the bushes looking for it’s next meal. That would be bad news. Luckily, our brains are clever devised a clever system to identify when to let habits take over.
Our brains form habits via a three step loop:
- A cue that tells your brain to go into “habit” mode.
- Then a routine, which can be physical, mental, or emotional
- And a reward, which helps our brains determine whether or not this is worth remembering in the future.
Interesting stuff that Charles has to say about habits right?
Realistically, we all have formed habits. Like we never think, “Oh shit, just woke up and I’m running late to work, how am I going to shower now?” Because you shower every day, you don’t even think about it.
Understanding how habits form allows you to take action on exercising consistently without thinking about it. So this week it might be wise to try eating a small piece of chocolate after a workout to reward yourself. Maybe even a big bowl of spaghetti at the end of the week if you’ve met your workout goal.
And it’s not confined to just creating good habits, you can even break bad ones. For example, if you want to wake up early to work out but never do. Maybe it’s because you wake up tired, then get more sleep! Or because you always press snooze, then put your alarm clock far away from your bed. You picking up what I’m laying down? Find the cue, routine, and set up the reward.
Most importantly, start small. It separates failure from success. The more often you succeed, the more motivation you have to continue to progress. Small tiny habits automate behavior, which automate in your life, which create small wins, and on and on. It’s a snowball effect.
The whole point of forming good habits around exercise isn’t to get you a six pack, it’s to get you to want to continue so that you progress to a six-pack. Or whatever goal for you have for your body that you have in mind.
A lot of people approach the idea of working out or beginning a healthy life like this:
“Bro, I’m going to eat completely clean and cut out carbs from my life, join a gym, and work out every single tendon in my body for 6 days out of the week . . . FOREVER.”
Like that shit is crazy. Like no, you’re not doing that. In fact, NO ONE is doing that. I’m not even doing that.
If you’ve never even made or began a serious work out plan, a complex routine or any routine for that matter can be extremely daunting. It’s like me saying that I’m going to write a New York Time’s Best Seller in the next month, without ever having written a chapter of a book. Possible? Yes. Chances of me following through? Highly unlikely.
Will you stumble? Of course. I sure did.
Check out my work out log back from 2008:
Not only is my penmanship insanely legible but it’s one of the the most ridiculous workout programs I’ve ever put together. It was back in 2008 when I thought that doing a ton of complicated exercises would get me a great bod. There’s like 18 different exercises on this workout log, 17 of which aren’t effective at all, and a food log that would make Santa Clause look like a nutritional king pin.
My work out plan was too complicated and cumbersome. I never was able to reach my goals until I learned to work out more efficiently.
Make sure to set up small wins.
Small wins, coupled with rewards, create habits.
Want to exercise more consistently?
Stroke your ego. Set a goal of working out for 5 minutes a day next week, eat whatever you want at the end of week if you pull it off. Isn’t that much more achievable than working out every single ligament in your body for the rest of your life?
Try it out.
And I know, I know.
You’re probably wondering what can I possibly do in 5 minutes that will get a good workout in?
Well . . .
One simple exercise routine to do anywhere, anytime
Since you asked.
One of the only exercises that is not only convenient AND a great all around body workout.
Try it out, as many burpees as you can for 5 minutes. And it’s only 5 minutes so don’t be half ass about it. After you’re done, go have a piece of chocolate . . . then do it again tomorrow!
All in all, through exercise you’re able to take control of many other aspects in your life. Your attractiveness, earning power, career, and confidence are all bolstered by an activity that takes as little as 5 minutes a day to complete. Don’t miss out.
I want to leave you with a quick yet powerful TED talk. It’s by Dean Ornish, a clinical professor at UCSF and founder of the Preventative Medicine Research Institute. It carries this simple message forward: Your Genes are Not Your Fate.
Write some of your New Year’s fitness goals that you have in the comments section below along with how you’re going to reward yourself. And if you want some easy tips on how to look good and feel great, download my free ebook here!
Thanks so much for reading.