Ever feel like you’re living an “average” life?
Waiting for great things to come to you.
Joel Runyon was one of those people. But he did something about it.
Joel started his Blog for Impossible Things to tell a story about his new life. A life that includes being extremely fit and healthy.
Be sure to check out Joel’s blog.
He provides simple and easy to put to use advice on working out, motivation and lots more.
How has physical activity and being fit impacted your life?
Joel Runyon: Physical activity allows me to do the things that I want – namely adventure, travel and pushing myself to my limits. I never want to do have to turn down an adventure because I’m not physically fit for it or because I’m scared I won’t be able to do it.
Being fit allows me to not only broaden the range of my experiences, but it also allows me to enjoy them even more since I don’t have to worry about whether or not I’ll run out of breath or tire in the middle of it. And, on those events where I really have to push myself, I get to test my limits and see how much farther past them I can go.
When you do that, you really get a sense of how artificial many of your limits really are.
What advice would you give people looking for ways to motivate themselves to start or maintain a fitness program?
JR: Get a program and stick to it. Most people think weight loss is about willpower. It’s not about willpower, it’s about turning motivation into discipline. That means asking yourself, “How bad do you want it?” and being willing to sacrifice the things that won’t let you get to where you want to be. Pick a program, stick to it and be consistent. If you need to, make a big bet with a friend to hold yourself accountable.
Quick, you’ve got 15 minutes to spare with no access to gym equipment…what’s your workout?
JR: Sprint intervals. Find a short area and run back & forth for 15 minutes – seriously. Sprint as fast as you can for 100 yards, then walk 50. Repeat. It’s literally a no excuse workout. You can do sprints anywhere you have legs.
You recently launched your Impossible Abs program. What are the biggest myths or misconceptions when it comes to 6-pack abs?
JR: I’ve talked about a few common 6 pack myths before, but the number one thing that most people fall prey to is that they think they need to spend more time in the gym to burn fat and lose weight and do a billion crunches.
That’s really not the case. The biggest change you can make in order to affect your overall body composition and get six-pack abs is to change your diet. We’ve had people lose 30-45 pounds in the program simply by changing the way they eat. You can’t outrun a bad diet, so don’t bother trying to get a six-pack if you’re deadset on eating cake and donuts twice a day.
The other aspect is mental: actually being able to conceptualize you can do it and being willing to try in the first place. It’s really hard to believe you can do something you’ve never done before, so a lot of people don’t even try. But, if they have the guts to give it a shot and maybe even look a little stupid, they’ll start to see results and you will change. But, again, the key is being consistent.
Many people think that a completing a triathlon is out of their reach. As a triathlete yourself, what would you say to these people?
JR: The thing about triathlon is that it’s growing, but it’s still a small sport and has a mystique about it that a lot of other sports don’t. You hear about the Ironman triathlon in Kona on ESPN and it sounds really intimidating (because it is), but you don’t hear about all the other distance variations of a triathlon (sprint distance or Olympic distance) that are much more accessible to normal people.
I really believe anyone can train to race their first triathlon in just 3 months.
But watch out, once you do your first, you might get hooked.
You’ve experimented with different types of diets. What type of diet have you settled on and what challenges have you experienced along the way?
JR: It really depends on what you want to do, but generally if you focus on eating real food, I find that cleans up almost 80% of your diet. I tend to cut out most carbs these days as well, although if you’re focused on endurance events or long-distance races, you’ll probably need to have some sort of carbohydrate intake.
My diet right now is a relatively low-carb diet where I eat ~2 meals a day within roughly an 8-hour feeding window.
What are your favourite books and online resources for fitness and health?
JR: Mark’s Daily Apple by Mark Sisson is a huge reference point for me. He breaks down a lot of the low-carb, paleo and primal stuff, makes it simple to understand, but still packs a ton of science into his articles.
Vic Magary was a co-author of mine on Impossible Abs and is a huge mentor to me and a great coach.
Steve at Nerd Fitness does a great job making complex fitness advice simple.