You Can Do Better 2: Improve Your Diet, Fitness and Health I.Q. Instantly

All natural bodybuilder and kinesiologist Brad Borland gives us a second set of hints that take advantage of how the body works for smarter training and better health.

Do you ever wonder if there is a better way or maybe even a different way all together for improving your diet, fitness and health approaches? Is there a tweak or shift in perspective needed to upgrade those ever elusive results to finally put you over the top to do better?

Read on for more instant tips on advancing, enhancing and developing your greatest asset: You!

You Can: Reap even more benefits from the wet stuff!

We all know we need to stay hydrated when it comes to our training and all around health, but did you know you can use water to play tricks on your body? Drinking a full 8 ounces of H2O can help spur your metabolism first thing in the morning after a long night of dehydration. This not only hydrates but also stokes and wakes up your metabolism before any solid foods.

In addition, drinking a full glass of water before every meal can help you stave off overeating and cravings. By filling up your stomach with water, you will tend to want to eat a little less and that in turn will help reduce total calories throughout your day.


You Can: Save time in the gym by using the staggered set method.

Used for decades by bodybuilders, the staggered set method is a simple system designed to save time and up the intensity of your workouts. The normal training protocol calls for performing a set and then resting, do another set, rest and so on. With this method you can perform another exercise (usually a smaller body part) in place of those rest times. This is very effective with areas like arms and abs.

Simply perform a set of say incline bench dumbbell presses and then immediately go to a set of reverse crunches or dumbbell curls – something that doesn’t require a lot of setup. Afterward return to the presses. In no time you will have planted extra abdominal or arm work into your training without extending your time in the gym. It’s also a great way to increase intensity and burn more calories.

You Can: Cut carbohydrates in the morning for serious fat loss.

It has long been advocated that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. I like to think that every meal is important! A little trick for the serious dieter trying to lean up without pills or potions is to base a breakfast around proteins and healthy fats and drop the carbs. Carbs affect insulin levels the most. As insulin is responsible for muscle building it is also responsible for fat storage as well. To help keep insulin levels – well, level, cut them out of your first meal of the day. The proteins and fats will provide you with enough amino acids and energy to start your day. Save the carbs for later to bookend training time. Good sources of proteins and fats include whole eggs, nuts, lean meats and whey protein powder.

Closeup of eggs and ham

You Can: Be your own spotter in the gym.

It sucks when you are under the bar and know you could squeeze out one or two more reps – but only if you had a spotter! You decide you are better off racking the bar than getting pinned and making a scene in front of that hottie standing next to you.

There is a solution to your dilemma sans a spotter. Enter rest/pause. This method can extend a set when you cannot safely perform another rep but feel you still have gas in the tank. Simply perform your set as you normally do, then rack the weight and rest for only 15 to 20 seconds (this is the “pause”). After the short rest continue the set – you will only be able to get another 2 or 3 reps – but it’s worth it because you extended your set beyond what you were accustomed to doing thus pushing your gains even further!

A close up of a muscular man

You Can: Increase your productivity, health and wellness and decrease back pain instantly at work with this simple solution.

If you are like the growing workforce of sedentary individuals (pun intended) working at desks and pecking away at the keyboard, you may find yourself with a few extra pounds in the middle and feeling a bit drained. How are we so tired? We aren’t plowing fields or bailing hay! Believe it or not our bodies are not designed to sit at a desk so all sorts of bad stuff happens. We develop aches and pains, we gain weight, our mood often sours and stress builds.

Although we are required by our employers to do our work with what we are given we can improve on our condition. Simply take a walk every 30 minutes. That’s right, get up and do a lap! This will not only break up your day, but it will stoke your metabolism slightly, give you a break to clear your head, decrease pain and improve mood. When we sit a specific enzyme is activated to store fat – yes, store more fat. Set a timer ( so you are never late for your daily pick-up!

Brad Borland

Brad is the founder of He is a consultant, writer, fitness specialist, husband and father. He earned his Master's degree in Kinesiology, is a member of the Air National Guard and is a cancer survivor.