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The Beginner's Guide to Fitness

The Beginner’s Guide to Fitness

The Unconventional Guide to Motivation, Dieting and Exercise to Create a Better You

By: Dave Bonollo

 

 

 

 

The ideas, concepts and opinions expressed in this book are intended to be used for general education purposes only. This book is sold with the understanding that author and publisher are not rendering medical advice of any kind, nor is the book intended to replace medical advice, nor to diagnose, prescribe or treat any disease, condition, illness or injury.

It is imperative that before beginning any diet or exercise program, including any aspect of this book, you receive full medical clearance from a licensed physician.

Author and publisher claim no responsibility to any person or entity for any liability, loss or damage caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly as a result of the use, application or interpretation of the material in this book.

The Food and Drug Administration has not evaluated the statements contained in this book. All rights reserved. This book may not be reproduced in any form, in whole or in part, without written permission from the author.

 

 

Table of Contents

What Motivates You? 4

[+ How to Stay Motivated to Get Fit in 4 Steps 15+]

[+ How to Get in Shape. From 12 oz. Curls to Dumbbell Curls 21+]

Macros, Calories and How to Diet Properly 29

Finding The Best Gym for You 42

Building Muscle for Noobs 64

Get Started. Good Luck. 80

 

 

 

What Motivates You?

 

How come you can’t lose weight and get into the best shape of your life today?  You have all the know-how from reading books and websites but still you fail.

 

Is it because your job is crazy stressful?  Kids are taking up all your time?  Do you have a disease or preexisting injury sidetracking you?  Or you’re just beaten down from trying 100 different things only to fail each time so what’s the point?  Wait, let me guess, you are waiting for the perfect moment when you have no other life stress?

Since you don’t have the optimal situation of ample time or genetics then why try, right?

 

I mean you are really good at watching TV.

 

The only thing you really need to succeed is motivation or if you saw Rocky – the eye of the tiger.  What most people fail to realize is that motivation is a skill and can be cultivated over time.  Some people are born with an abundance of motivation, the rest of us need to work on it.

 

We all have stumbling blocks whether it be kids, work, injuries or insert anything else that could be an excuse.  The motivated people don’t use excuses, they work around and find ways to get where they want to go.  If it is important to you, you’ll make time.

 

Motivation can make or break a goal.  That is why I am going to devote my next two chapters to motivation.  This chapter is a primer to see what some of the fitness experts use for motivation.  Next chapter will go into finding your motivation and cultivating it.

Stop waiting for the perfect moment to hit you, you’ll be dead way before then.

 

Here are 5 fitness experts that were gracious enough to take the time out of their busy schedules to answer the question I asked of them…“What motivates you?”

 

Gunnar Peterson

Courtesy of facebook.com/GunnarChallenge

 

Short Bio

Gunnar Peterson is a Beverly Hills-based personal trainer whose clients include celebrities, professional athletes, and everyday people. Gunnar works with each on an individual basis, focusing on achieving long-term results through challenging and constantly varied workouts. He is widely recognized for his expertise in functional training and his commitment to developing and implementing innovative fitness techniques. With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Gunnar’s dynamic approach, boundless energy and humor only add to the effectiveness of the experience his clients enjoy. With a client list as diverse as his training methods, Gunnar emphasizes strength training modalities that can be transferred from the gym to daily life, from training camp to championship game. He has worked with athletes from the NBA, NHL, NFL, MLB, USTA, professional boxing (male AND female!) and various NCAA sports. Many film and television celebrities have also sought Gunnar’s guidance in preparing for roles and have stayed on to become devoted clients, making him part of their fitness regimen.

 

Motivation

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. My kids. I want to be an active participant in their lives for as long as I can. On the field with them not just on the sidelines. I want to run my daughter down the aisle, not walk her!

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. [_ My wife. The training keeps me energized so that during the limited free time we have together I can be 100% for her. Not fair to her OR us if I get home and crumble like a house of cards. My workouts fuel me as well as keep me from getting sick so I limit my downtime all around! _]

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. I work so hard to be able to do the things I want when I’m not working. How sad would the equation look if I weren’t PHYSICALLY able to do those things once I was financially able?! So, the old adage of ‘I stay ready so I never have to get ready’ plays on a loop in my head!

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Duh. I have no problem saying it. We live in a visual society. I care about how I look, how I present myself to the world. I try to bring my A game every day-and not a lower case a… I know that Father Time is going to win the fight, but I’m trying to win a few rounds before the final bell.

 

Links

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

http://gunnarpeterson.com/

 

Cory Gregory

Courtesy of Corygfitness.com

Short Bio

 

Cory Gregory was the co-founder of Sports Nutrition powerhouse MusclePharm®. He is a dietary and nutrition industry leader and top training expert. As a way to save for college, Cory worked as an underground coal miner until he opened a gym at the age of 20. He quickly earned the reputation as an industry expert in personal training and nutrition.

 

He has competed in more than 20 power lifting competitions, including a 550 squat and 575 deadlift at 198 pounds and 14 drug-free bodybuilding events. Cory has his exercise specialist certificate from Columbus State and is also NESTA nutrition coach certified, Westside Barbell certified, and a Cross Fit level 1 trainer. Cory has been featured on the cover of 11 fitness magazines. Cory also was recently added to Arnold Schwarzenegger’s fitness advisory board. Cory has learned from and been mentored by some of the biggest names in training and nutrition Arnold Schwarzenegger, Bill Philipps, Louie Simmons, Dr. Eric Serrano, Dr. Mauro DiPasquale, and John Broz.

 

Motivation

 

This was transcribed from The #MindsetManual Campus Protein Speech- Cory Gregory – Dustin Myers video sent to me by Cory.

I’m a 4th generation coal miner.  So when I looked at all the generations I said it’s not about me, it’s about the next generation.  When it becomes bigger than you, when you’re changing generations.  I always joke I want my grandkids to say “Grandpa was a G”.  That’s what I want.   It’s one of those things that, I’m not tired when I get up, the drive is so big.  Find your passion and put in that blue collar work.

 

Links

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

http://corygfitness.com/

 

Charles Poliquin

Courtesy of strengthsensei.com

Short Bio

 

Charles R Poliquin is recognized as one of the World’s most accomplished strength coaches who attributes his success to the quest for the “magical training program”.

 

Charles’ quest has lead him to produce hundreds of medals, wins and personal bests for many elite athletes in over 17 different sports including athletes from summer and winter Olympics, the NHL, and NFL. He is known worldwide for producing faster and stronger athletes.  As the creator of Poliquin Performance Center, Charles spent years teaching coaches worldwide a better way of getting results with their clients.  Now as Strength Sensei he shares his acquired knowledge and wisdom with the emerging leaders in the strength and conditioning field.  Now after decades of disciplined research and training he has refined his craft so he can educate the dedicated few who want to maximize their learning so they can bring their results back to their athletes.

 

Charles now dedicates his time to educate strength coaches from around the world so they can produce world class athletes.

 

Motivation

 

This was from Charles’ article Staying Motivated at 53 that was sent to me by his team.

 

There is no reason why hard work does not have to be fun.

One of the keys to strength building success is that you should look forward to your workouts. I use mainly 4 ways to stay motivated.

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Betting

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Verbal wake-up calls

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Trying out new systems.

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Gratefulness.

Now let’s look in more detail on how I stay motivated.

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Betting

When I train with fellow colleagues we challenge each other; you do this, I do 20 kg more. Who loses pays breakfast, post-workout shake…whatever. My colleagues and I know each other’s strength and weaknesses, so verbal judo is in full swing when we determine the goals for that day.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Verbal wake-up calls

Sometimes, an underhand comment will fire me up. For example, last May, in Marbella, Nick Mitchell busted my balls that my forearms were not what they used to be… that they were getting small compared to my arms…Screw that! I trained twice a day every 5 days until they came by to symmetry.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Talking shop with colleagues

Another way I stay motivated is by simply trying out other training systems, or by talking to successful colleagues like Paul Carter or Ed Coan and trying their approach in training. If you don’t grow, you die. It is true whether you are talking about a business or building strength.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Being grateful for what you have

I live in area where there are 5 military bases within 30 km. I get to see many war amputees. Whenever I see one, I am thankful for being able to deadlift, squat or even do calf raises.

 

At the end of the end, I love strength training, and there is no need for discipline when do you do what you love.

 

Links

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

http://www.strengthsensei.com/events/list/

http://www.strengthsensei.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kris Gethin

Courtesy of krisgethin.com

Short Bio

 

Kris is a Natural Pro Bodybuilder who’s highest ranking was runner-up at the World Bodybuilding Championships. He is the author of the #1 Best Seller Body by Design, The Bodybuilding.com Guide to Your Best Body and The Adventures KAGED MUSCLE. Kris is the CEO of Nutrition by Design, founder of DTP, Director of Gethin Gyms, Main Male Spokesmodel of Bodybuilding.com, Personal Trainer to Bollywood celebrities including John Abraham and Mahesh Babu, he is the Director of Trainers of Physique

Global and CEO of the supplement brand KAGED MUSCLE.

 

Motivation

 

[_Training in the gym isn’t a vanity project, it’s an opportunity for me to harden my resolve. With challenge of making each workout harder, more intense, bone bending, and sacrificing makes me feel conditioned to challenges in other aspects of my life. I know that every time accomplish success through finding failure in the gym, I accomplish more success outside of it. The discipline, courage, appreciation and opportunities found under resistance allows me to turn impossibilities and weaknesses into possibilities and strengths within my relationships, career, confidence, interaction and energy. Training isn’t just about motivation, it’s a necessity to my therapy and health. _]

 

Links

Facebook

Twitter

Instagram

www.kagedmuscle.com

http://www.krisgethin.com/

 

Nick Tumminello

Courtesy of nicktumminello.com

Short Bio

 

“A bit of an outsider…”

 

That’s how Nick Tumminello describes himself in the fitness industry. He’s an independent thinker who avoids falling in line with the crowd. His goal is to provide practical solutions that deliver specific results.

Nick’s hybrid approach to training allows him to leverage the tools, knowledge and skills of many disciplines and methods to help his clients and to educate other trainers how to deliver results.

 

As early as his teenage years Nick knew that he wanted to be a trainer. His early influence came from his mother, growing up in a gym watching her prepare for bodybuilding competitions. She’ll tell you that “Nick grew up on iron and sweat.”

 

As a way to connect Nick and his mother attended fitness events and conferences from the time he was 16 years old.

 

Personal training is the only ‘real job’ nick’s ever known. But, his story isn’t common. Not being one to fall in line with the crowd Nick never attended college or got a degree. He graduated high school as an average student. He worked hard to accumulate a lot of on the job experience and despite his distaste for structured education Nick was very interested in learning.

 

After being fired from his first two personal training jobs due to his independent thinking and lack of needing to ‘fit in’ he went off on his own to start a business.

 

Training and fitness aren’t a hobby to Nick. This is a profession that he’s very passionate about.

 

It would be easy to confuse Nick as a ‘science guy’ due to his ability to challenge thoughts and ideas, the way he respects the scientific process and critical thinking. However, he’s most excited by the application and end results that the information he learns and the ideas he creates can produce.   “Studies and research are great, but if there is no practical application there is no need”

 

Motivation

 

I’ve never cared about chasing weight room numbers because I’ve never wanted to be a weightlifter. I go to the gym to stay “in-shape,” which means that I’m interested in keeping my body looking pretty good while also staying fairly athletic. So, what keeps me motivated is that I don’t have to say motivated because I’m not interested in organizing my entire life around kitchens, gyms, and bathrooms. I simply enjoy challenging myself and my body and reaping the physical and mental rewards that come from it in both the short and long-term.

 

Links

Facebook

Twitter

http://nicktumminello.com/

 

There you have it.  Five people at the top of their game with 5 different sources of motivation.  Vanity, health, changing generations whatever it may be, find the reason you want to change and use that.

Next chapter I’ll help give you a system to cultivate that motivation to make you unstoppable.

 

 

How to Stay Motivated to Get Fit in 4 Steps

 

Still stuck in an endless loop of helplessness?  Have you exhausted “all” the ways to get in shape, get abs or just lose weight?  Does it seem like it will never happen for you?

 

I think it’s time you start developing a muscle- your motivation muscle.

Yes, the motivation muscle, the sexiest muscle you can develop.  With this muscle you can go places and achieve things most people only dream of.

 

In this chapter, I’m going to help you to start developing your own motivation muscle so you can kick ass and take names consistently.

No more reading motivational fitness quotes on the internet.  You are going to be creating those quotes.  Buckle up!

 

In the previous chapter, we saw a small subset of motivation that can be used. Family, affecting generations, therapy and vanity were some of the driving forces behind some of the fitness industries highest achievers.

 

So you might be asking yourself “Yea I read the last chapter, I don’t need the Cliff Notes version.  How will this help me get those John Basedow six pack abs?”  Fair question.

Before we dive into how we develop the motivation muscle let’s first look into…

 

Why do we do things?

 

Think back to the last thing you consciously decided to or not to do.  What swung the vote one way or the other?  My guess is it was whether the decision would bring you pleasure or pain.  Maybe not physical pain but maybe it was financial pain.  When you break it down, all our decisions are made based on a trying to bring pleasure into our lives or to avoid pain.  Sometimes pain is pleasure and that is a totally different therapy session all together.

The avoidance of pain for pleasure causes us to go into cruise control so we can make decisions without really thinking about them (one of the ways our bodies/minds are so efficient) where we consistently make decisions in a certain way.  For example, if you have the choice to hang out with the in-laws or hangout with your friends which will you choose?  You will choose your friends every time. Why?  Because they bring you pleasure.

 

To further illustrate this point, let’s look at dieting.  Dieting gets a very, very bad wrap because people always tend to focus on:

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. What they can’t have.

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. It’s too much work.

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. They will be a social leper.

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. I’ve tried other diets and they didn’t work why would it work this time?

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. They don’t know where to start (paradox of choice).

So what happens?  You focus on all the bad things and then 2 weeks later the initial motivation wears off and you fall off the wagon.  How can you honestly keep doing something you find all the negatives in?  It’s like trying to start a habit of punching yourself in the face every day.

 

So in your mind, dieting sucks and I’ll just go on with the way I’ve been living cause you’ve had enjoyment so far in life right?  That’s fine and dandy until you have Type 2 diabetes and weigh 3 bills (we will get into the mental shift that happens here in a bit).

 

So now we know the basic reason for the decisions you make; how can you change the way you look at things to get you more motivated and kick ass and take names consistently?

 

How to change

 

[I suggested you write this down somewhere, keep it visible and reread once a day or whenever you feel unmotivated.  I have mine in an app called Evernote.  Put aside the feeling of “this shit won’t work” and open up to change.  You might surprise yourself.  I was skeptical too, then I put my belief aside and I am super happy I did.]

 

I’m going to give examples as if my goal was to go on a diet.

Step 1)

Start with a something you want to do. This is where you will you write down dieting, going to the gym, running, stop being an asshole. Whatever the end goal is write it down here.

 

 

Step 2)

Reinforces your goal by adding new and more powerful focus points. Remember the negative dieting focuses above?  This time we are going to focus on the positives of dieting.  Surround yourself with people and things to help you achieve.  People, places, different ideas.  Books for example are a great way to help cultivate good focus points and ideas.

 

So if I were to put a positive spin on dieting, I would hang out at gyms and other places where fit people hang out for visual motivation (I know that sounds borderline creepy). I would find different diets and find one that fits me. I would find people I know or online that have gone from obese to in shape or fit and their reasoning and what prompted them to make the shift. The more positive focus points you develop, the more emotional the focus is, the stronger the motivation will become.  Facebook groups, online forums are a couple of places to start online.

 

When I was younger I always read articles about how pro athlete kept motivated.  I remember Kobe Bryant having a whole room plastered with all the negative articles about him.  He used that to prove people wrong throughout his career.  I liked that so I developed a mental room of negative things people say about me or things I can’t or shouldn’t do and then prove them wrong.

 

Step 3)

Find a triggering event, or else create one of your own. This is the meat and potatoes of the process. We all have a pain tolerance; the amount of pain you’ll live with.  There is always a certain amount of B.S. we are willing to live with before we either crack or change the situation.  We’ve all stayed in that relationship too long or hung on to the job because it pays the bills.  With this exercise you need to past that tolerance.

 

To do that, be honest with yourself and ask one question…

[*“What will it cost me if I don’t do (your goal from #1)?”          *]

                                                                        

So in our example what will it cost me if I don’t diet?  Health, years, time with your friends and family.  Spend some time and really think about this.  If you can do this and get it right, then all you will need is a little reminder when you’re feeling low/depressed or unmotivated.  There are no bad things you can come up with as long as they work for you.  Go back to the last chapter to remind yourself of the variety of things the pros use.  This portion takes time and practice to get the right amount of pain to change your ways.  Stick with it and I promise you it will work.

                                                                                                 

Remember the example from above where you got Type 2 Diabetes and hit 3 bills?  That’s the “Oh Shit” point.  You’ve realized that you messed up a lot and if you don’t change now then you’re dead.  Smokers hit this a lot when they get that cancer diagnosis or are hit with a severe illness.  So when you see someone quit smoking cold turkey or that person that weighs 3 bills completely change their ways they just jumped step 1 and 2 and found their triggering event.

 

Step 4)

The last step is to take action. The greatest plan is nothing without action.  Start the diet, sign up for the gym today.  Do something towards your goal.  Someone once told me in jest “Procrastination is like masturbation.  In the end you’re just f#cking yourself.”  I think that came from Shakespeare if I’m not mistaken.  Take action today.

 

Motivation is nothing more than a reason for doing something.  If you can manufacture a reason to consistently do something, you’ll achieve it.  The power of the motivation is the emotional response that it generates from you.  Over time you might have to adjust to what stokes the old motivational fire.  I’m going to bore you with a story from my life… right after college, my girlfriend broke up with me, we had been together for 5 years or so.  I was depressed in every sense of the word.  I sat down and looked at my options at the time.  I could either go down the road of drinking to erase the pain and doing nothing with my life or I could throw myself into the gym.  Guess which one I picked?  If I was sore or didn’t feel like going to work out, I’d just think of her having fun or moving on with her life and the motivational fire was lit.  But as time passed, I met my wife and calmed down from my reckless ways.  Now I just try to be the sexiest husband around.  See, it really doesn’t matter how stupid you think your reason is, if it lights the fire, it’s good motivation.

 

Motivation is like any skill if you train it, you will get better at it.

 

 

How to Get in Shape. From 12 oz. Curls to Dumbbell Curls

 

You’ve decided you want to start to get in shape or getting rippling abs but where do you start?  The logical place is the internet.  Do a quick Google search for “Get in shape” and now you’re inundated with a million different ways to do it.  From people trying to sell you the “latest and greatest” workout video (I’ll save you from the John Basedow picture for now) or the endless streams of ebooks (this one included).

You end up searching for 20 min only to get frustrated and say “F#ck it! I’m just gonna have a beer instead.”

 

 

That’s why I decided to write an ebook to address this issue and to answer at least a good portion of your questions to make exercise a habit in your life and make getting into shape a little easier.  I thought about all the pain points or anything that could possibly deter you from starting out.  I want to eliminate just about any excuse you could use to keep your ass on the couch.

 

In order to tackle a large and seeming herculean task of making a new habit, I broke everything up into different chapters:

Starting Out

Diet

Gym

Workout

FunnyCuteGIFs.com

This way we can digest things in little bite size pieces rather than trying to eat the entire turkey at once.

 

The main thing you need to do is take action!  I will lay out a plan for you and all you have to do is to put them into practice.  Take the week to work on what I lay out for you.  You don’t have to devote a lot of time but 5-10 min a day to really think about what I lay out and your situation.

 

So buckle up we are going to get in shape people…

 

 

CLEARLY DEFINE YOUR GOAL

 

I want to lose weight.

I want to run a 5k.

I want to see my penis without the use of a mirror.

 

All legit reasons to make exercise a habit, however there are a few problems.  For example, with the “I want to lose weight” goal; How much weight? By when? Are you strictly using bodyweight?  If so, what if you put on muscle and lose fat and stay the same weight?  Is that a success or a failure?

 

Those were all questions I came up in the time it took me to type it.

In order to properly define your goal, you need to make them S.M.A.R.T.  If you work in a corporate setting you might have heard about this or something similar.

 

S.M.A.R.T. goals are:

S=Specific

M= Measureable

A= Attainable (kind of a gimmie)

R= Realistic

T= Time Bound

So a better goal would be, I’d like to lose 20lbs of fat in 6 months.  See the difference?

 

We have specific (lose 20lb of fat), measureable (body fat measurements), attainable (yes, you aren’t asking to grow 3 inches), realistic (losing 20 pounds of fat in 26 weeks is doable.  Generally, a healthy weight loss goal is 1% of your weight a week), time bound (6 months).

 

The most important aspect of this is the time.  If you didn’t assign an end date this could drag on for years.  It adds a little motivation which is a good thing.

 

Once you’ve thought what goal you’d like to achieve, write it down and put it somewhere you see it every day.  Write it down and tape it to your fridge, put it into your phone, write it on your forehead if you have to.  If it’s out of sight, it’s out of mind.

 

TAKE ACTION[*: Give it 5-10 min and really think about what you want to achieve using the S.M.A.R.T. method.  Write it down somewhere that you see or check daily.   *]

 

FIND YOUR MOTIVATION AND ADD ACCOUNTABILITY

 

The key, in the beginning, is to maximize your extrinsic motivation.  Extrinsic motivation happens when you do something to earn a reward or avoid punishment.  Because you are just starting out, exercise is not fun for you right now.  You probably have all these negative thoughts about it (admit it, you do) so the intrinsic motivation (you want to do it because you like it) is not there yet.

 

To remedy this, try placing bets with family or friends.  Put your money where your mouth is.  Don’t have any friends and you don’t like your family?  Don’t worry, there are websites, like DietBet.com where for $25 you have the chance to win some considerable money.  Lose weight and win money?  There really is no downside.

 

No money to bet?  Make it a competition.  Nothing brings out the best in people like good old fashion competition.  The ability to shit talk is a powerful motivator.

 

Another thing I’ve found helpful is Instagram.  Take a before pic and post it to Instagram.  Tell everyone you are starting to workout and your goal and throw in some hashtags like #fitness or #fitfam so more people will see it.  The support will pour in (it really does, especially from people trying to establish their place in the fitness world) and it adds a little motivation to keep you on track.

 

Not into posting your half naked ass on the interwebs?  Just take that before pic and put it somewhere visible.  In your room, bathroom mirror, on your fridge.  Again, out of sight, out of mind.

 

All this adds accountability to your cause.  The more people know, the more they will ask you about it.  When someone asks you about it would you rather say “No I stopped it was too hard” or “It’s going great I’m making that goal my bitch”?  I rest my case.

 

TAKE ACTION: [*Take 2 seconds and snap a pic of yourself, with your shirt off (ladies you can opt for the sports bra or let the girls fly free) and put it somewhere you see it every day.  If you are feeling a little more ambitious put it on Instagram.  Also, talk to your friends and family in the same situation as you and see if they want to go in on a competition, winner take all.  If no one is interested go to dietbet.com. *]

 

Tell everyone your goal even if they don’t care.  The more people you could look stupid in front of, the more motivation for you.

 

SETTING PRIORITIES

 

How many times have you said “I don’t have time”?  All that tells me is that TV is more important to you than living a healthy life.  Talk to me when you have Type 2 diabetes from binge watching every TV show on Netflix.

 

You need to prioritize your shit.  Plain and simple.  If getting into shape is important to you, then make time for it.  Seem selfish? I see it more of a selfless act.  Taking 30-60 min a day to devote to your health will only prolong your life but it will give you a better quality of life.

 

There are millions of ways to waste time these days.  Social media, TV, cat videos on Youtube are all major time sucks.  Instead of sitting to look at Facebook, go to the gym and walk on the treadmill and get caught up.  Bring a tablet and watch a show while you run.  Boom! 

You can find out what happens on Game of Thrones and get fit.

 

By using the excuse that you don’t have time that tells me 1) It’s not important to you and 2) your priorities are out of whack.

 

Now what about social situations.  Going out for dinner, having a few drinks are all fun…in moderation and depending on your goal.  There is a leniency in each goal you can get away with and still achieve.  Someone going for a 6 pack has a shorter leash than someone who is obese and trying to lose 100 lbs.  Again, you have to determine which is more important to you?  These 3-4 beers or achieving your goal.

 

The easiest way I found to determine which is more important is to look long term.  For me, without question having a 6 pack is more beneficial than alcohol.  Who would you rather trust to get fitness information from, a guy with a 6 pack or a guy with a beer belly?

 

TAKE ACTION: Look at your daily schedule and everything that you do to occupy your time.  Now find time sucks and either eliminate, reduce or couple them with exercise.  See now you have time!

 

I HAVE THIS OR I HAVE THAT

 

We all have limitations.  Whether its diseases, physical deformities, or preexisting injuries.  Whenever I feel bad about my situation or get frustrated with something that seems impossible to accomplish, I always think someone with less has already accomplished this.  [*Give me any situation and I’ll find someone with less physical or mental ability than you who already accomplished what your trying to do.  That right there just blew up every excuse you had. *]

 

Let me tell you a story.

 

I know this gentleman who lost about 95% of the use of his legs when he was 10 from a disease and now he is losing the use of his hands.  For the rest of his life he is restricted to a wheelchair and there is nothing he can do about it.  He recently just graduated college and goes swimming and horseback riding every weekend.  He has every reason to just pack it in a quit but instead he chose to better himself and experience life to the best he can.  He is my inspiration.  When I feel down about something not going my way or the fact that my back hurts, I think about him and keep going.  I have the highest regard for him and what he accomplishes.

 

To put things in perspective, someone always has it worse than you at that particular point in time.

 

[*TAKE ACTION: Stop playing the victim.  Think about what you use that limits you and think for a second about someone you know or heard about that has accomplished something with less ability than you. *]

 

WHICH TO TACKLE FIRST DIETING OR WORKING OUT?

 

[* 99% of the time diet is the reason you aren’t healthy or in shape, so start with that first. *]  The only situation where that doesn’t apply is if you eat like a bodybuilder all the time and you have no muscle.

You can get healthy and lean by dieting alone.  But you can’t get healthy and lean by eating crap and working out.

 

Instead of working on gaining 2 new habits (eating clean and working out) work on something you have to do (eat) and tweak it.  This gradual change will make it easier to make healthy eating a habit.  After about 4-6 weeks add in a few workouts during the week.

 

TAKE ACTION: *] [*Start eating healthy today.  Protein, veggies, fats and maybe a starch should fill up your plate in that order for at least breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Fist full of protein, 2 handfuls of veggies and a palm of fats and starchy carbs (starchy carb not required).

 

SLEEP

 

I cannot emphasize the importance of sleep enough.  Behind food, sleep is next on the list.  Sleeping helps reset your hormones, regulates metabolism and is the limiting factor in the amount of energy you have during the day.  If you sleep like crap you feel like crap.

 

See: SLEEP BETTER

 

Take Action:[*  Sleep 6-8 hours a night and you’ll notice a big difference in how your body reacts to everything.*]

 

 

 

Macros, Calories and How to Diet Properly

 

Now that you have your goals and motivation all mapped out it’s time to start tackling the keystone needed to lose weight, get abs or perform on a high level.  No, not cocaine, it’s your diet.

 

But where to start?  [*How can you properly fit something into your macros (IFYM) if you don’t know what the hell a macro is? *]

And what do you mean diet properly?  That would mean that there is an incorrect way to diet.

 

There is a correct way to diet and it does require a little bit of brain power.  Don’t worry it’s only a little, you won’t break a sweat doing it.

I know what you’re saying; eating should be easy and shouldn’t require thinking.  I 100% agree with that.  Unfortunately, what you know about what to eat and how to lose weight through diet is more than likely coming from 1) outdated resources and 2) big company marketing.

 

How are companies going to make money if they don’t entice you with “organic” food labels?  Or get you to buy low fat peanut butter but fill it with sugar instead (yea, go ahead take a look at the label.  I’ll wait).

 

Since you already eat, I figure it’s easier to tweak that habit rather than diving in the deep end by changing the way you eat and creating an exercise habit.  Let’s up your level of success and get you a one-way ticket to sexy town. Sorry, that was really cheesy.

 

 

HOW MANY CALORIES YOU NEED

 

There are countless calculators out there that will determine the calories you need per day.  They all boil down to 4 different factors: age, weight, gender and activity level.

 

Based on all the calculators, charts and research I’ve dug up; here are the basic guidelines:

Women: Sorry, most of my readers are men so this chart is tailored to them.  All you have to do to find out how much you need is to perform the same calculation but then subtract 400 from that number.

 

So basically if you go to the gym, using mostly machines and have a desk job and weigh 180lbs. and you want to lose a little fat- multiply 12x180 = 2160 calories per day.  If you have a calculator, it’s easy peasy.  If you have to use an abacus, I wish you the best.

You’ll notice that the no exercise with a desk job has the same multiplier for maintenance and fat loss.  The reason for that is once you lower calories below a certain point your metabolism will slow down in order to conserve itself.  This also happens when you drop more than 500 calories per day for a period of time.  Stupidly, I did this when I got ready for my competition- I dropped from 2500 calories to 2000 and my fat loss almost stopped completely.

 

Now a couple things to keep in mind:

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. These are general guidelines. Tweak as necessary (we will get into that later)

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Every time you lose or gain 10lbs revisit this calculation to adjust calories

[*If your daily calories are too far from this number (more than 200-300) then slowly, over the course of a couple weeks, increase or decrease until you hit the amount from the calculation above. *] Don’t make my mistake and drop too much too fast (slower metabolism) or increase too fast (fat gain).

 

To illustrate that point, say you currently eat 3000 calories a day and you should be eating 2200.  So this is what I would do:

Week 1: 2800 calories

Week 3: 2600 calories

Week 5: 2400 calories

Week 7: 2200 calories

I know taking the slow ride down isn’t sexy or cool but it works.  You will get better results by stepping down rather than jumping from 3000 to 2200.  Your metabolism will work for you, rather than against you and most importantly you will lose fat during this time and see a constant stream of results.

 

TAKE ACTION: Multiply your weight by the appropriate factor above.  If you are more than 200-300 calories now from your desired daily calories, then adjust over a couple of weeks.  Step up or down rather than jumping the entire staircase.

ESTIMATED TIME TO COMPLETE: With a calculator: 10 seconds, abacus: who knows?

 

MIND YOUR MACROS

 

When we talk about macros, we are talking about fat, carbs and protein.  Now you know what us health nuts are talking about.

According to the U.S. government you should aim for a 45-60% carb, 10-35% protein and 20-35% fat breakdown.

 

There is a major issue with these numbers.  Protein and carbs should be switched at very least. 

 

You ask: “But I heard too much protein will cause kidney problems?”

I respond: “Do you have kidney problems now?  No?  Then you’re fine.”

 

Protein is used throughout the body from growing muscles to growing your hair.

 

Your body can do without carbs despite what you think.  Carbs supply glucose which is used to help your brain keep going and give your muscles a source of energy.  However, you can get away with not consuming carbs and your body will be just fine – The Ketogenic Diet for example.  Fats and proteins are essential as there is no way to work around what these macros provide.

 

[* A good macro ration to follow is 40-50% Protein, 10-30% Carbs and 30-40% Fats. *]

 

In order to find out what those percentages are in the form of useable numbers multiply the percentage by your daily calories and then divide that number by the calories per gram.

 

Clear as mud?

 

Before I illustrate this calculation, we must know protein and carbs supply 4 calories per gram and fat provides 9 calories per gram.  If you look on a nutrition label it says this, I also wrote about it in HOW TO READ FOOD LABELS.

 

So, to illustrate this calculation let’s assume the following ratio of 45% protein, 25% carbs and 30% fat for a 200lbs person who is a beast at the gym looking to lose fat:

 

Daily Calories:

200lbs X 12(from table above) = 2400 daily calories

Protein:

.45 × 2400 = 1080 / 4 = 270g

Carbs:

.25 × 2400 = 600 / 4 = 150g

Fat:

.30 × 2400 = 800 / 9 = 80g

 

So this person would need 270g of protein, 150g of carbs and 80g of fats a day.  Seem like a lot?  Break it down over a 5-6 meals a day and it becomes a little more digestible (see what I did there?).

 

[*TAKE ACTION:  Take your daily calorie requirements from above and figure out how many grams of each macro nutrient you need. *]

ESTIMATED TIME TO COMPLETE: 2 minutes

 

HOW MANY TIMES SHOULD I EAT A DAY?

 

This is highly individualized.  Some people can do 1 large meal and other have 5-6 small meals a day.  The main thing is to hit your macro and caloric requirements.  If you can hit that in 2 meals then stick to 2 meals.  If you don’t have a stomach like Joey Chestnut then break it up into little meals.

.

TAKE ACTION: Keep with the eating schedule you have but if you can’t hit your calories or macros, add meals as needed.

 

EATING ONLY THE CARBS YOU EARN

 

When I reference carbs, I’m referring to fruits, grains, rice, oatmeal, potatoes (sweet and white) and sugar.  All these contribute to your carb daily allotment.

 

Now when you calculated your carb intake you went for the higher end didn’t you?  You love you some carbs.

 

Well, in order to lose weight, you need to earn your carbs.  They are too easy to over indulge which will only lead to bad things.

 

You earn your carbs by putting in work at the gym.  If you can look me in the eye and tell me, you go balls (or ovaries) out every time then go for the higher end of the carb range.  Otherwise stick to the mid to lower end.

How do you know if you earned them?

 

Go by feel.

 

If you have no energy at the gym, then have a serving of fruit before you go.

 

If you leave the gym and feel absolutely drained, then have some potatoes, rice or some fruit to replenish your glycogen stores.

 

Tired during the day?  Then move your ass around.

 

[* Veggies should make up 80-90% of your daily carb intake.  These are not something you should skimp on because of the nutritional value.  *]

 

Also, notice I didn’t mention any snacks or junk food.  There is a reason for that.  There is one place for them and that is in your cheat meal, not everyday consumption.  But you knew that.

 

TAKE ACTION: Earn your carbs or be stuck with veggies as your only source.

 

WHY YOU NEED FAT

 

Fat is a precursor to hormones.  [*Low fat equals lower hormone levels which in turn has an effect on growth, development, metabolism, reproduction and mood. *] Some vitamins are fat soluble, meaning they only dissolve and absorb through fat.  These are vitamin A,D,E and K.

 

[*TAKE ACTION: Keep fats, all sources minus trans, in your diet to ensure optimal hormone levels. *]

 

WATER

 

You need water more than food and only slightly less than oxygen.  Pick a function of the body and water influences it in some way.  Yea it’s pretty important.  Aim for at least 0.5-1 oz for every pound you weigh.  So if you weight 150lbs then consume at least 75oz of water a day.

 

TAKE ACTION:  Drink more water to help your body function optimally.

 

THE KEY TO LOSING WEIGHT

 

Type 2 Diabetes is on the rise and everyone can see it.  People are becoming more and more insulin resistant because of the food they eat.  After a while their pancreas can’t keep up and boom, diabetes.

The key in the beginning of a diet is to reset your insulin sensitivity.

 

You do this by limiting, if not eliminating, all forms or sugars and fast digesting carbs.  Things like rice cakes which are advertised as “health food” you need to watch out for.  They jack up your insulin faster than you could enjoy eating it. Plus they taste like cardboard.

 

Consult the glycemic index if you question a certain food.  Basically, look for foods that rank less than 70.

 

By resetting your insulin sensitivity your body will become more able to use the food you consume rather than just storing it and increasing your waist line.

 

TAKE ACTION: Lower or eliminate all sugar and refined carbs from your diet.  This will be one of the best things you can do to help aide in fat loss.

 

CHEAT MEALS OR CHEAT DAYS

 

Everyone needs a release but how much of a release is what could make or break you.  For me personally, I don’t do moderation well – at all.  If I have a cheat day I end up feeling it for the rest of the week.  Some people can, but what it boils down to is feel.  If you have a cheat day and you start noticing you aren’t losing weight like you should or the reflection in the mirror doesn’t look any better than I think it’s time to tone the cheating down.

 

Start with one meal a week where you eat whatever you want.  Occasionally have a whole day for special occasions (holidays, cookouts etc.). Cheat meals give you something to look forward to.  Like a chocolate dipped, covered in nuts carrot on the end of the string.

 

TAKE ACTION: One meal a week, enjoy yourself and indulge.

 

TOOLS FOR SUCCESS

 

Here are a few things I recommend:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Have a meal prep day. Pick one day a week and prep at least some of the meals for the week.  For me, I cook up my eggs and chicken on Sunday.  The rest of the week is just scooping out whey protein and portioning out veggies.  Sunday takes me 1-1.5 hours to complete and the rest of the week takes me 5 minutes.

This will help prevent the excuse of not having time to prep lunch.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Plan dinners ahead and stick to it. Without planning you leave a lot of room for bad choices.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Downloading an app to track calories and macros, at least at first. I have used FitDay but find MyFitnessPal a lot more robust and easier to use.  These are both free apps so you don’t have to break the bank.  We can save that money for the next Taylor Swift album to come out.  Priorities on lock.

 

Fitday

MyFitnessPal

 

You need to track how many calories you are eating and this is the easiest way to track them.  Plus, seeing how much you eat really makes you aware of what your putting into your mouth.  Instead of putting in what you eat as you eat it, put it in the night before.  This way you have a “plan” for the next day and stick to it.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Invest in a bathroom scale and a kitchen scale. Nothing fancy, a decent bathroom scale will run you about $15 and a kitchen scale about $15.  This way we can track your weight loss and how much chicken you are adding to your plate.  The eye is not an accurate measuring device.

 

TAKE ACTION: Set aside a few hours one day to prep at least the basics for your lunches for the week.  While it’s cooking, plan out dinners for the week, download a calorie counting app and purchase a bathroom and food scale

ESTIMATED TIME: 1-1.5 hours a week.

 

WHAT TO EAT BEFORE THE GYM

 

60-90 minutes before for workout drink a protein and carb mix (30g of carbs and protein).  A scoop of protein and a banana would work.

From experience, I would highly advise to not have dairy before a workout.  I made the mistake of having greek yogurt before running once.  Take my advice AVOID PREWORKOUT DAIRY if you like the shorts you are wearing.

[*TAKE ACTION: 60-90 minutes before you step in the gym down some protein and carbs. *]

 

WHAT TO EAT AFTER THE GYM

 

Make this the most calories you consume at one time.  Shoot for 50g of protein and carbs each within 2 hours of finishing your workout.  If you don’t need the carbs after, stick to the 50g of protein.

 

TAKE ACTION: Within 2 hours of the end of your workout consume 50g of protein at very least.  If you need it and earned it add the same amount of carbs.

 

TRACKING PROGRESS

 

How do you know where you are if you don’t know where you started?  Here is a list of things to keep track of

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Calories

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Macros

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Weight (Same time every day. Don’t rely on the reading until Thursday morning, first thing*)

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. How you feel

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How you look (the infamous bathroom selfie)

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Workouts (Gym Hero, best workout app I’ve found)

Gym Hero

*The reason I recommend Thursday is because usually Saturday is when people go out for dinner.  Eating out usually means taking on more water weight from extra carbs and excess sodium.  After a few days of healthy eating the excess water you’re lugging around will be gone and your true weight is what you see.

TAKE ACTION: For crying out loud download some free apps and use them.  Plus, take your bathroom selfie.

 

EXPECTATIONS

 

By dieting correctly, you should lose about 1% of your bodyweight a week.

 

If you find yourself on the short end of the 1%, then drop your calories by 200 by taking away from carbs then fat.  Never take away from protein.

 

You will inevitably hit a plateau where you can’t lower calories anymore and that’s when you incorporate exercise or switch up your workout routine.  Plateaus are not bad; they just tell us you are ready for the next step in your progression.

 

There are many factors that go into your weight.  Things like muscle, fat, organs, water, food and poop all fluctuate which leads to weight fluctuations.  Weigh yourself the same time every morning before you eat or drink anything and after you pee.  This will be the most accurate reading you will get.  Sometimes the scale doesn’t cooperate and it will stick at the same number for some time.  In that case revisit your mirror and take an assessment.  Do you notice good changes?  Then stick to what you are doing.  Let the mirror determine how you feel about your weight.

 

The first week of a low carb diet (pick your flavor – Atkins, Anabolic, Slow Carb, total starvation) the initial weight loss is water weight.  There might be a tiny couple of ounces of fat loss but that 5 lbs. drop you saw was water.  Carbs stored in the body hold water.  By depleting the carbs in your body and not replenishing them, you also lose the water that was bound to them.  So when week 2 rolls around and you only lost 1-2 lbs don’t get discouraged, that the good part, that is fat loss.  So like I said before, be less concerned about the number on the scale and more concerned about what is in the mirror.

[*TAKE ACTION: By tracking what you do and what you eat you can throw in little things here and there that will keep you on the right path. *]

 

DIETS I RECOMMEND TO GET YOU STARTED

 

There are 3 diets I’ve used and gotten good results with:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. For weight loss and general living: The Slow Carb Diet

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. For getting extra lean: Carb Cycling

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. For gaining muscle: The Anabolic Diet

I wrote about all of these in the Accelerated Fat Loss.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON VEGETARIANS AND VEGANS

 

A lot of foods from both animal and plant origin contain protein, but not all protein is created equally. Protein from high quality animal food contains a better amino acid profile for building muscle as well as influencing nitrogen retention (maintaining muscle mass) on account of the higher biological value of the protein. This is an area where meat consumption is superior as most forms of vegetable proteins are either accompanied with large quantities of carbohydrate or come in powder form. Getting quality protein at each meal is important to not only stay anabolic, but to supply your body the amino acids needed to make enzymes, hormones, and structural components.

 

MY THOUGHTS ON DETOXES AND CLEANSES

 

If you want to spend money on detoxes and cleanse then be my guest.  I could get you the same results with Ex-Lax and a gallon of water.  That is more or less what they all are.  They help you drop everything off and that is there “AMAZING WEIGHT LOSS”!

 

Finding The Best Gym for You

 

[*When I say “It’s time to start going to a gym” – What’s the first things to run through your mind? *]

 

I got a membership during the Bush administration but haven’t used it yet.

 

I don’t want to be creeped on.

 

I don’t have time.

 

I don’t know what I’m doing so people will laugh at me.

 

Instead of coming up every excuse in the book why gyms suck and doing nothing is better, try to consider that maybe you chose the wrong gym for you.

 

Yes, it is possible that gyms, in the traditional sense (free weights, cardio equipment and machines) is not everyone’s cup of tea.  I find that crazy because I think the traditional gym is Disney World for adults.

 

Well thanks to Capitalism and the undying effort to differentiate oneself, this has opened the flood gates of new types of gyms and fitness available to people.

 

You also want to consider that exercise is whatever you define it as.  I consider exercise to be lifting weights and playing sports.  Call me a traditionalist or old fashion.   You might like to dance and that could be your exercise.  I wouldn’t because I have 2 left feet and the rhythm of Elaine.

Courtesy of giphy.com

 

But I digress.

 

So you’re probably saying now, “OK Dave you sold me.  I hadn’t considered there were different types of gyms.  I only considered lifting weights as my only source of exercise.  You are so wise and quite the salesman.”

 

OK the last part is a bit of a stretch.

 

Let’s assume (yes I know what it means to assume) that you are interested starting to go to a gym, where do you start?

First let’s look at….

 

THE TYPES OF GYMS

 

Yeah Capitalism!  Since we are all unique butterflies, here is a list with at least one thing that tickles your fancy:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 24-hr Gyms (24hr fitness, Boost Fitness )- Great for people with the “I have no time” excuse. You can find 20 minutes within 24 hours.  They have free weights, machines and cardio equipment.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Women Only (Curves )- For the women you doesn’t like to be creeped on while working out. They have machines and cardio equipment.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Old School Gyms (Old School Gym, Westside Barbell )- Think gyms in the 70’s. No TV, maybe some music. Just weights, grunting and some really strong dudes.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Specialty Gyms (Barre, Yoga studio, Kickboxing, CrossFit )- Class structure smaller size overall in terms of members and the facility. Usually bare bones in terms of amenities like tanning, massages, childcare or a juice bar.  Equipment is solely based on the specialty.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sports Clubs- Typically more expensive, usually have pool, racquetball and basketball courts along with free weights, machines and cardio equipment. All the amenities childcare, tanning, massage, steam rooms and towels.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Family Wellness- (YMCA)- Pools, sometimes courts for sports. I’d put Planet Fitness into this category as they cater to a wide audience.  Free weights, machines and cardio equipment.  Planet Fitness also supplies pizza, bagels and Tootsie Rolls.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Gym – (World gym, Gold’s Gym )- These are the gyms that come to mind to most people when you say gym. Some amenities like tanning, juice bar and childcare.  Free weights, machines and cardio equipment.

 

Now you know about the different types out there, I suggest you click on the links and check out what specifically they offer.  Just don’t do it now, you still have some reading to do here.

 

 

 

PICKING THE RIGHT GYM FOR YOU

 

This is the important part.  There isn’t one shoe that fits everyone.  Browse their websites and pick a couple that you would like to check out.  Like buying a house, the pictures online are always better than in person.  I suggest checking it out in the time frame you think you’ll be going in.  So if you think you’re going to hit the gym in the 4-6pm time frame, check out the gym in that window too.  There is a whole different breed of animal in the 4-6pm window compared to the 12-1 pm window.  When you get there check these things out:

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Atmosphere- Is it an atmosphere you’d thrive in? Will the clientele there allow you to excel or will you retract into your shell? Are you looking to work on some machines in a powerlifting gym?  Make sure the atmosphere fits to your goals.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Condition of Equipment- Check for “Equipment Out of Service” signs. Check the condition of the benches (no rips, leather is in tacked) and especially the cables of the machines.  Poor condition of cables will cause them to snap while you’re using them and possible injury.  If you see this on multiple pieces of equipment, then the gym is just a cash cow for the owners.  Move on.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Type of People- Are you intimidated by the people around? Are there a lot of certified creeps?  Be honest with yourself and move on if you don’t think you can work out there without feeling creeped on.  I’ll get into the types of people you’ll see later.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. How Busy Is It- This is why I suggest checking it out when you plan on going. 12-1pm busy is nothing like 4-6pm busy.  Can you deal with how busy it is?

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Multiples of Equipment- Are there multiples of the same weight in dumbbells, cable machines, bench press benches, squat racks (please tell me there is no one doing curls in there either). You get the picture.  Check for multiple pieces of equipment to alleviate traffic and wait time during the busy hours.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Locker Room Situation- What’s the condition of the toilets?  There is nothing worse than the toilets being out of commission when your pre-workout kicks in.  What’s the shower situation like?  Is it prison style or is it separate stalls?  Can you shower with a bunch of naked dudes right next to you?  Is there enough bench space?  Are there hooks in the lockers to hang up your dress shirts?

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Membership Structure- Is it month to month with a start-up fee? Yearly commitment then month to month? What’s the cancellation policy?  Is there a free trial period?  Are there any add-ons like a towel service, tanning, free personal training session, massages etc.?

 

Don’t get overwhelmed, these are all things you can pick up on a quick tour.  Take a pdf of this along with you if you need it.

 

OK so now you found a gym that meets all your criteria to excel.  You’re ready to go for the first time but you’re still uneasy like the first day of high school.  Here is what to do when…

 

GOING TO THE GYM FOR THE FIRST TIME

 

This can be an uneasy experience for you and some people might skip it, but not you.  You went through all this work to find a good gym and now you are going to get your monies worth rather than just blindly pay their rent.

 

I’m going to focus on gyms here and not specialty gyms here.  Specialty gyms have the class structure and usually a beginner’s program to help guide you in.  For the rest of us, we are left to our own devices to succeed or fail.  But don’t worry I’ve got your back.

 

Before you hit the gym you should have some sort of workout plan rather than just blindly sampling each piece of equipment.  (Next chapter I’ll give you a beginner’s workout to take with you.)  Just like your first time having sex, don’t expect your first gym session at the new gym to be good.

 

The first time at a new gym is the test drive, if you work up a sweat or pump that’s just an added bonus.  Your main goal is to learn the lay of the land and get familiar with the ebb and flow of the crowd.

 

Ebb and flow of the crowd?  Yes, if you go to a gym enough you notice patterns of how groups exercise and when they use certain pieces of equipment.  A majority of the gym will use a bodybuilders method where they follow this schedule:

Monday: Chest

Tuesday: Back

Wednesday: Legs

Thursday: Shoulders

Friday: Arms

 

This means that the bench press on Monday is damn near impossible to get to.  So out smart them and do back on Monday.  Crazy I know, but we (meaning me) think outside the box at Aesthetic Physiques.

When I go I have a plan each day with barbell work, dumbbells and then machines.  However, I can’t always do it in this order.  Sometimes there is a log jam in the dumbbell area so I’ll go over to machines then when the dumbbell area clears out I’ll tackle them.

 

Make yourself flexible and move on to the next thing if a certain area is jammed up and go back to it after.  After a while you’ll notice the flow of the gym and you can program your workouts to reflect that.

A little too far down the rabbit hole but it’s good info none the less.

So you’ll take the workout I give you and now what?

 

WHAT TO WEAR

 

Well unfortunately or fortunately you can’t go to the gym naked.  You need some proper clothes to wear.   Gyms don’t allow jeans because the buttons might rip the benches.  Since you can’t wear your super fly new skinny jeans here is what you can wear as an alternative:

 

Men and Women:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Comfortable sneakers or running shoes. Please don’t wear work boots, heels or dress shoes.  Cause for injury and ridicule.  Opt for the sneakers.  Also get some athletic socks, you’ll ruin your dress socks before you can work up a sweat.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. T-shirt or tank top. Under Armor and Nike makes some good moisture wicking shirts for $20-30.  Or you can stick to traditional cotton.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shorts or yoga pants – Men please don’t wear yoga pants; no one wants to see your moose knuckle. Go for athletic shorts or an elastic type pant to allow for free movement.  We don’t want you splitting your pants squatting.

 

Courtesy of vh1.com

 

Ladies, opt for a sports bra.  I don’t care if you have bee stings or the biggest boobs in the world.  You need protection up there.  I will laugh at you if you give yourself a black eye when you run without one on.

Now that you are properly dress, it’s time to go.

 

WHEN TO GO

 

Different times bring different numbers and different types of people.  Here is a quick breakdown assuming a 5am – 9 pm business hour place:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 5-7 Older Crowd- typically retirees and some crazy dedicated people. Crowd size is usually small.  Pretty much whatever you want is available.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 7-9 Professionals – Your lawyers, business people who work your typical 9-5. Crowd size is the largest of the morning.  Still able to move around freely.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 10-3 College kids/ stay at home parents/ retirees- Since everyone else is working besides these groups the gym is pretty empty. Pretty much have free reign of the gym.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 3-7 People leaving work – People start leaving work and showing up at the gym. This is where the gym turns a little different.  Between 5-7 is the peak hours and everyone and their momma is there.  Good luck trying to get a piece of equipment for yourself.  Crowd size is ridiculous.  Lot of tough guys/gym heroes at this time.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 7-9 Night people – Between these hours are the stragglers leaving work late or want to avoid the 5-7 rush. Crowd size usually equivalent to the 7-9am crowd.

 

My advice is to hit the gym in the morning.  That way you don’t have the excuse you’re too tired or it’s too busy.  Hang out with the old people and pump some iron.

 

An important part of being at the gym is “gym etiquette”.  Yes, there are certain unwritten or written rules you should obey to ensure smooth sailing.

 

GYM ETIQUETTE

 

On The Gym Floor

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Respect the headphones- easier than wearing a Do Not Disturb sign

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Wipe down the equipment

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Save your Facebook updates for later

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Talk when you done your set

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Don’t hog equipment

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Rack your weights

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Person carrying the heavier weights goes first

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Don’t cross in front of someone doing an exercise in front of a mirror

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Say thank you

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Share

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Ask before taking

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Don’t stare

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Wait until people are done their set before walking by them (fear of hitting arms, barbells)

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Give people some room

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Wash your hands after going to the bathroom

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Don’t commandeer too many pieces of equipment

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. If your filling a water bottle, let the person getting a sip go first.

 

Locker Room

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Keep the eyes up (no giving the up and down)

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Use a towel to cover up your no-no zone

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Rinse the sink after shaving and brushing teeth

 

PEOPLE YOU’LL SEE

 

Image by Adam Medders Photography for The Dapper Style

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Social Butterflies- The gym is social event for them. A simple “Hi” could turn into a 20 min conversation about God knows what.

Courtesy of calorieking.com

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Obnoxiously Loud Drill Sargent- Usually a personal trainer or someone that thinks they are that yells to motivate. Think of your middle school gym coach.  Odds are it’s the same person.

 

Courtesy of paintingyourselfpretty.com

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Cougar- Middle aged woman who gets all dolled up to workout. Hair done, make-up on to catch her next unsuspecting 20 something.

Courtesy of metalmadefitness.com

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Creep- The male equivalent of the Cougar. Will creepily stare at you until you leave or punch him in the dick.

 

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Grunter- Some people are loud having sex other people are loud when they lift weights.

Courtesy of flexoffense.com

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Jacked Person- They do competitions and are constantly tan.

 

Courtesy of lockerdome.com

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Gym Bro – He could still wear Zubaz. Otherwise they just look like him.

 

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Selfie King or Queen- For them the gym isn’t about working out it’s to make duck faces in the mirror or show off their asses.

 

Courtesy of livelifeactive.com

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Updator- Facebook and Twitter would cease to exist if their every second updates weren’t posted.

 

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The Innovator- You’ll see this person in every gym and you just ask yourself “What the f#ck are they doing?”

 

Courtesy of fitnesseagles.com

*
p<>{color:#000;}. The This Is How Much I Know Person - This person will go up to anyone and try to “show them the correct way” of doing the exercise. 100% of the time it’s unsolicited and wrong.

 

 

Since you’re just starting off, most gyms offer personal training and some offer a free session to hook you.

 

But do you need one?

 

PERSONAL TRAINER OR NAH

 

While I can’t give you a definite answer, I suggest you take them up on the offer of a free session if available.  It’s one session and there is no monetary commitment so far, so really there is no down side.

 

There are situations where I think a personal trainer would be a good investment:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you are a beginner in every sense of the word to exercise, then I would suggest getting a personal trainer. They can help you with form and put some structure into your workouts.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If the personal trainer has a specialty that aligns with your goals. For instance, if the trainer competes in powerlifting meets then they would be a great resource for getting tips on improving your bench or squat.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. If you’ve exhausted other avenues to get in shape and you just need some guidance. Rather than quitting exercise all together, invest some time and money into getting a personal trainer.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. You have a competition type goal. Bodybuilding, powerlifting or sport related training is better left to the pros.  In this instance I would opt for a specialize personal trainer.

 

Other than these examples everything can be learned through videos and reading super sweet websites like Aesthetic Physiques.

 

If you are going to commit to a personal trainer, then here is a list of what you should ask and known before you sign up.

 

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PERSONAL TRAINER

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Are they currently certified through ACE, NSCA, IDEA, ACSM?

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Are they currently CPR and AED certified (expires every 2 years)

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. They are working for you, not the other way around. You decide what you want and need rather than them telling you.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Do they have any schooling other than the certification? Like Kinesiology or Exercise Science?

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. How they motivate- drill sergeant, kind hand on the back?

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Their hours

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Preliminary plan for you. Listen for how your workouts will progress over time.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Personality- if you wouldn’t be friends with them then it won’t work

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Looks- Shallow I know, but would you put more effort in if your personal trainer was good looking rather than an ug-mo? I rest my case.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. How often would my workout change

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. What they specialize in (athletes, moms, post-surgery) if they don’t have a specific group they are either a) new to training or b) suck

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Ask for client references

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. What kind of personal training packages do they offer?

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Cancellation or missed appointment policy

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Individual sessions or multiple client sessions

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Refund policy

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Installments or up front or back end payments

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Package expirations

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Do they work with any professionals (nutritionists, doctors, Physical Therapists)? Good ones will.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Fitness assessments available (look for body fat caliper measurements) Bioelectrical impedance handheld devices are about as accurate as guessing by looking in the mirror.

 

There are 2 huge red flags and you should find a new personal trainer immediately:

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Pushing supplements on you

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Giving you a diet plan. Legally only Register Dieticians can give diet plans.  If they are a nutritionist, ask to see their certifications.  They can give advice, like food choice, avoid this and that, but as far as scheduling your meals and writing a formal plan is illegal. If they give you more information regarding nutrition, then you would from my site or in a book then they are over stepping their limitations.

 

Almost done I swear.  This whole thing would be useless without these last 2 points.  OK, maybe just this next point.

 

EXPECTATIONS

 

Just starting off, the first 6 months you will notice a rapid strength increase.  Unfortunately, that is just your nervous system making more muscle-nerve connections to increase the amount of muscle used.

 

Strength is generated first by how many muscle fibers you have firing.  More connections = more strength.  Then when your saturated the amount of muscle-nerve connections then the muscle gets bigger to continue getting stronger.

 

Like with doing anything you’re not used to doing you will be sore.  Be prepared.  It won’t be the end of the world it’s just your body adapting.  Make sure you get proper sleep and nutrition to help elevate the soreness.  Don’t skip a workout because of soreness.  Work another body part or go light to help flush the lactic acid from the muscle.  Movement will help you recover faster than laying on the couch.

 

Don’t let soreness be the measuring stick for a good workout.  Once you progress or do different types of training you might not be sore, but that doesn’t mean you didn’t get a good workout.

 

In regards to fat loss, don’t expect to lose 30 lbs of fat in 2 weeks unless you get lipo.  Give yourself time.  Consider how long it took you to get to the weight you are now, what the hell would make you think it would be quicker to lose it?

 

Now this last section is specifically geared towards the guys.  But ladies if you want a good laugh at the mental anguish that men feel at the gym, feel free to read on.

 

LETTING YOUR FLAG FLY

 

Yes, I’m going there.  Showering at the gym.

 

We’ve all seen the movies, the laughs, the jokes, the stares, the towel whipping.  It’s enough stress to rationalize smelling like a homeless guy all day.

 

But honestly, it’s nothing like that.  Except for that one time when I got the up and down while getting ready to go in the shower.  I kinda felt like I needed a shower after that.

 

Besides that one-time no one creeped me out.  I’ve showered in stalls and prison style and I can honestly say that I have no more trepidation about it.  I have enough shit to worry about then some guy getting an eye full of me in my birthday suit.

 

So how did I do it?

 

Well, being in locker rooms enough you’ll notice people around you and the total lack of a reaction to the nakedness and clothing.  I’ve seen more older men walking around with their hang down out and talking to their friends than I care to admit.

 

So one day I decided to go for it.  Hell, if these old guys with their saggy skin and old balls can do it then why can’t I?  So I dropped my draws and walked into the showers about 10 ft away with my towel in my hand and my junk in the breeze.  No on whipped me with a towel, no one laughed, no one stared.  Honestly no one gave a shit.  They continued to do what they were doing before I took my big walk.

Really?  This is what was making me anxious?

 

So after that it’s never bothered me.  In our heads we tend to think we are a lot more important and the center of the universe then we actually are.  But in reality we are just another guy with a fear of showing our hang down.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Don’t think you can take the plunge and go full Monty?  Then start slow and progress.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Just wear your athletic shorts and underwear to the shower and get undressed behind the comfort of the curtain.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Then after you get comfortable, just wear your underwear to the shower.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Then, progress to wrapping your waist with the towel and removing your underwear at the locker.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. If you made it this far then just be proud of what you have and revel in the fact that you’re not the guy in the worst shape in the locker room.  Drop your draws and just go for the shower.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. You have a lot more important things to worry about than who is checking your boys out.

 

I wouldn’t have wasted 430 words on something that didn’t mean anything.  Just don’t have a boner when you do it, that’s awkward for everyone.

 

 

Building Muscle for Noobs

 

What’s the right workout for me?

 

But I’m skinny and want to bulk up.

 

I’m heavy and want to thin out.

 

I’m a woman and only do “ladies’ workouts”?

 

[*Regardless of what you are looking to do or when you started with your internet based workouts, you’ll be able to gain something from this chapter. *]

 

Getting in shape isn’t as complicated as people and the interwebs make it out to be.

 

If you boil everything down from the beginning of time until they come up with a “magical pill” it comes down to:

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Motivation

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Eating healthy

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Lift heavy objects

If you can motivate yourself, and eat healthy, that’s 95% of the battle. The lifting heavy objects is the icing on the cake.  It’s delicious, sexy icing by the way.

 

Before I go further, ladies please try to remove the belief that you can’t lift heavy weights because you are afraid to look like a man.  Women lack the hormonal profile to pack on muscle like men.   Yes, some women do lift weights and in turn look like men.  However, there is some extra supplementation happening to cause that man-ish look.  Normal women will not look like that- you’ll look more like this:

Courtesy of womenshealthmag.com

Not going to lie, I just went from 6 to midnight. Moving on…

 

 

Building Muscle 101

 

THE ANATOMY OF THE WORKOUT

 

A proper workout will progress in the following manner:

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Warmup

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Weights

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Cardio

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Stretching

*
p<>{color:#000;}.

The duration of each phase is entirely dependent on the time you have available.

 

Before you condemn working out to hell because it’s so complex, let’s break down each phase and what you can do.

 

The warmup is to prevent injury.  Cold muscles don’t respond that well to being put under a lot of stress.

 

The warmup can range from a light jog to a few light sets of the exercise.  The main thing to accomplish here is to get the blood flowing to the muscles you plan on working out that particular day.  Really anything that gets the blood flowing will be beneficial.  If you plan on jogging, do it for 5-10 minutes.  At the point you start to sweat is when you stop.

 

See: Even the Gym Needs Foreplay

 

[* After the warmup comes the weights.  This will be true for 99% of people.  The other 1% is marathon runners. *]

 

This will ensure that you have the max amount of strength to put on muscle.  Remember, this muscle will help you burn calories after the workout where cardio stops when you stop.  We’ll get to what to do more in this area later.

 

After the weights are lifted is when you can do your fancy cardio.  This will help your heart, lung capacity and burn a few more calories before you leave the gym.

 

Personally, I like doing intervals on an elliptical rather than running at once pace on a treadmill.  Typically, I do 10 minutes total of 30 sec of sprinting followed by 30 sec of walking.

 

[*The final step is stretching. *] This has been the biggest thing I’ve added to my workout since I started lifting weights 15 yrs. ago.  Here is why:

When you lift weights you are contracting the muscle to lift the weight and in the lowering portion you are creating tiny tears in that muscle.

After the workout, when you are healing, the muscle spasms and contracts to prevent further injury to itself.  [*After a while of not stretching you muscles become banjo strings. *]

 

This leads to different muscles pulling on each other and in turn throwing things out of whack.  To prove my point, try stretching your hamstrings next time your lower back hurts.

 

Remember the stretches you did in middle school gym class?  Those are the same stretches you need to do here.  Hold the stretch for 20-30 sec and move to the next one.

 

HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU GO TO THE GYM

 

[*Aim for 2-3 workouts a week at first. *] We’ll do this for 2 reasons:

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rigging the game so you win.
Starting to workout is learning a new habit.  Setting the bar too high when you haven’t developed the new habit is setting yourself up for failure.  It’s like saying you won’t get anything lower than a 100 on all the tests all year.  If you go from 0 to expecting yourself to go to the gym 5 days a week and you only make it 4, that is considered failing and will give you a negative feeling about the new habit you are trying to create.  Instead, stack the deck in your favor.  Aim for 2-3 days until you really want to be at the gym for more.  2-3 days will still get you the body you want.

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Let’s not beat around the bush- you’re going to be sore. Give your body a rest between workouts.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Schedule your 2-3 workouts with a day in-between to allow recovery.
Over time your body will be more adapt to recovering and the damage you do to your muscles will be less.  At that time, you can aim for more days per week and cut down the rest time.

 

Clangin’ and Bangin’ in the Gym

 

PICKING THE RIGHT WEIGHT

Ego on fleek

 

Check your ego at the door T.O.  This is where people get hurt. Like the first time going to a new gym, the first week of a new workout is just a feeling out process.

 

If you’ve never lifted a weight before, start conservative.

Pick a weight up and do as many reps as you can for that exercise.  So if you are doing squats, take the bar and do as many reps as you can.  Not only will you be able to find the right weight to use but it’s also a good warmup.  Boom multitasking!

 

Once you have how many reps you can perform with the bar, all we have to do now is scale the weight appropriately.  My rule of thumb is this:

[*For every 2 reps add or drop the weight by 10lb for two limb movements and 5lb for single limb movements.  Clear as mud? *]

 

Let’s go back to the squat example.  So you do your squats with an empty bar and you can get 22 reps.  Your workout calls for 8-10 reps for 3 sets.  So to get the appropriate weight for 10 reps that will subtract 22 reps completed by 10 reps desired.  Using a calculator and complex math we get 12 as the difference.  Then we divide that by 2 to get 6.  Since the squat is a 2 limb exercise we multiply 6 times 10 to get 60.  So you’d have to add 60lb to the bar to get the around the weight you should be using. Trust me it’s a lot easier in practice than writing it all out.

 

After you get your desired weight, take it out for a test drive in your workout.  If you can get more reps than the workout prescribes then keep going and adjust the weight using the same formula.

 

[*Now at the other end of the spectrum, you find a weight that is good for the first set but sets 2 and 3 you can’t hit the desired reps.  What do you do?  Drop the weight? *]

 

Nope, do as many as you can and then wait for the next set.

 

The next time you do the workout use the same weight until you can perform all sets with the desired reps.  Then, and only then, will you move up in weight by our 5-10lb model.  Moving up too fast will not allow you enough time to build the muscle to lift the weight and waiting too long to move up the weight will not put enough stress on the muscle to grow.

 

HOW TO LIFT WEIGHTS AND KNOW WHEN YOU HAVE SHITTY FORM

 

[*Form is paramount when it comes to lifting weights.  I’ll take quality reps with good form or a quantity with shitty form. *]

Swolfie Stick coming to a store near you!

 

See all the mirrors in the gym?  They aren’t for swolfies, they are for watching your form – see we aren’t as arrogant a you think.

 

Learn form from personal trainers or search Youtube for people like him and these guys. Take it slow and take the time to learn proper form now.  Once you get the form down then go up in weight.  I’ll take weeks to learn the proper form, which I’m doing with front squats right now.

 

If you are using proper form your joints won’t hurt.

 

Proper form ensures your muscle and bone structure take the brunt of the abuse not your joints.

 

Another thing to pay attention to is the time it takes to lift and lower the weight (Time under Tension or TUT).  A lot of noobs lower the weight super-fast which puts a lot of stress on your body and eliminates the part of the movement responsible for muscle size.

 

[*The lowering or elongating portion of the movement is where the muscle tears a little bit and allows for greater size. *]

 

Maintain controlled movements through the entire exercise.

 

It helps count the seconds to lower and raise the weight.  I typically use a 2 second lower and a 2 second contraction.  That will ensure your muscles are doing the work and you aren’t putting the stress other places.

 

ALL THINGS REST

 

Let’s start with rest periods in between sets.

 

Can’t get a workout done in the time you have allotted?  Have you timed your rest periods or are you too busy checking the Facebook or tweeting?

 

Resting between sets is based on the reps in that set.  Here is a quick guide:

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. 1-3 reps: Rest 3-5 minutes

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. 4-7 reps: Rest 2-3 minutes

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. 8-12 reps: Rest 1-2 minutes

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. 13+ reps: rest 1 minute or less

 

[*Rest periods should be to drink water, stretch the muscle and catch your breath.  That’s it. *]

 

Now let’s move to rest days.  On rest days, I like to maintaining my humanness.  Rest days are not to sleep all day or binge watch The Walking Dead on Netflix.

 

[*Rest days are for doing things that humans thousands of years ago did on the reg.  Things like walking, running, stretching and manual labor. *]

 

“But Dave I’m tired, sore and need to rest my body.” 

 

I know, me too.  That’s why I go to bed at a reasonable hour every night.

 

Rest days are there to help you recover and the best way to recover is through proper nutrition and getting the blood flowing through moving around.  Increasing the blood flow increases the oxygen and blood to the muscles which aides in healing.

 

Laying on the couch just prolong the soreness.

 

BEST BANG FOR YOUR BUCK EXERCISES

 

Machines? Bicep curls?  I know sit-ups, right?

 

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

 

The best bang for your buck exercises are ones that recruit the most muscles while lifting the most weight in the least amount of time.

 

Ladies and gentlemen, allow me to introduce you to the top 6 exercises.  Truth be told, if you work out 3 days a week and performed 2 each per workout you would be in better shape than 90% of the people in the gym with you right now.  These 6 exercises are always part of my routine.

 

In no particular order here are the big 6 exercises:

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Squat

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Deadlift

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Barbell Shoulder Press

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Barbell Bench Press

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Pull Ups

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Barbell Bent Over Row

 

Just incorporating these 6 will give you a well-rounded workout and hit all the muscles, yes even your biceps will get bigger.

 

Wow That was intense,

Now we are out of the gym

 

HOW TO DEAL WITH SORENESS

 

We’ve touched upon this a few times already but soreness is a part of using your muscles in a fashion that they aren’t used to.  This soreness is called Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS).  It’s going to happen regardless of what you do, but there are a few things to help minimize the suffering.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ice baths after a workout to minimize the inflammation.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Proper nutrition. Nothing beats good old fashion protein, vitamins and minerals for muscle recovery.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. * A good night sleep.* In REM sleep is where all the growth hormone is released to help repair those sore muscles.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Heat increases the blood flow to area which increases the nutrients and oxygen which helps repair the muscles.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Massages and stretching helps break the cycle of going from soreness to muscle spasm to contraction to banjo string muscles.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A light workout – meaning light weights, higher reps – is good for getting the blood flowing.

 

See: DOMS: The Bitch That is Muscle Soreness

 

WHEN AND HOW TO CHANGE A WORKOUT

 

If you’re new to exercise, you should initially take a longer period of time before switching things up.

 

The body undergoes an adaptation phase where the muscles, nerves, and hormones have to get accustomed to the new norm of learning movement patterns, getting the brain to recruit the right muscle fibers, and neuromuscular (nerve to muscle) coordination. This phase typically takes upwards of 6 weeks, and true benefits from a program can extend beyond this initial stage.

It would be too soon to change things up in a case like this.

 

For the intermediate lifters in the group, you should consider changing your program as soon as your muscles begin to adapt themselves to a certain style of training.

 

The typical time frame I like to use is 6 to 8 weeks.

 

When you notice a major strength plateau, or a lack of physical results, it’s time to switch things up.

 

[*Changing things up doesn’t have to be ground-breaking.  Just focus on progressive overload. *]

 

No progressive overload, no growth. Doing the same exercise in the same rep range with the same weight and getting discouraged by your lack of progress is like getting discouraged you aren’t going anywhere sitting in a rocking chair.  This is because only by placing ever-increasing demand on our body can it grow and adapt. There are a few ways to progressive overload, such as

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Adding more weight

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Doing more reps/sets

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Decreasing your rest period

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Making the exercise more difficult

 

See it’s not that hard.  Changing any one of these 4 things will jumpstart your stalled workout.

 

HOW WORKOUTS ARE WRITTEN OUT

 

Whether you get your exercises from Stronglifts.com, magazines or through Aesthetic Physiques they all are written in the same way.

 

[*We have reps, which is the repetitions you lift the weight. *]

Finally, we have sets which is how many different times you perform the reps.

 

For illustrative purposes, look a couple of headings down.

For simplicity sake, there are 4 different types of rep ranges and corresponding muscle adaptions.  I won’t go too deep in the rabbit hole with the biology of the adaptations because honestly you don’t care and I’m cool with that. 

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. For Explosive Power: 1-3 reps. 

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. For Strength: 3-6 reps

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. For Hypertrophy: 6-12 reps

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. For Endurance: 12+ reps

 

Sometimes you’ll see something like this:

Squat 4×12,10,8,6

 

Now you’re thinking WTF is that nonsense?  Let’s break it down and give you what’s written between the lines.

 

Exercise: Squat

 

Sets: 4

 

Reps: 1st set: 12

 

2nd set: 10

 

3rd set: 8

 

4th set: 6

 

What’s written in between the lines is that for every set you will add weight like we did above in Using the Right Weight.  This is common once you hit that intermediate level and is great for muscle development.

 

Everyone’s Favorite…

 

SUPPLEMENTATION

 

I always get questions from my friends on supplementation and what they should be taking.

 

I, and most good fitness experts believe, that supplementation should be kept to a minimum.

 

Supplement companies and the GNCs of the world will have you think otherwise.  All I’m going to say is that I always find people that are making money off me don’t always have my best interests in mind.

With that being said here is what I recommend for supplementation:

[* Casual weight lifting- If you lift to be active and healthy *]

Protein- Take after the gym (Skip the blend from above from here on out)

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Whey protein- look for a whey protein isolate and concentrate mix

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Product: Optimum Nutrition Whey Protein

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Preworkout- Wild guess when to take this.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Product: MusclePharm Assault

 

Serious Weight lifting (competitions or profession)

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Casein Protein- At Night

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Product: Optimum Nutrition Casein

 

Vitamins and other essentials

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. ZMA- Helps recover at night also helps you sleep. Take at night.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Product: MusclePharm Z-Core PM

 

*
p<>{color:#313131;}. Creatine- gives your muscles a bigger gas tank. Take in your post-workout shake.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Product: Creatine Monohydrate

 

More than this is excessive and only makes more crap for your body to filter out.  Despite what people say in your local GNC you don’t need anything more than this.  I’ve gained 15lbs of muscle and gotten lower ab veins on whey protein and preworkout alone.

 

[*Don’t blame or give credit to supplements, it’s you that determines your results. *]

 

 

CYCLING PREWORKOUT

 

Certain supplements need to be cycled.  Preworkout is one of those.  Over a period of time you build up a tolerance to caffeine and the other stimulants.  Pretty soon you are taking the preworkout for the preworkout and not the effects it should have.

 

A good rule is to use it for 4 weeks then cycle off for 2 weeks.

This will help keep your stimulant tolerance in check and get the most bang for your buck with preworkout.

 

Workout

 

BEGINNER’S WORKOUT

 

Finally, it’s here.  The beginner’s workout to get you going.  This is a very basic workout to help you get into the flow of things and learn some of the big 6 exercises.  Use this for 6-8 weeks, progressing the weights like we talked about in the Using the Right Weight section and you’ll be good to go.  After those 6-8 weeks throw your own little tweak in there from the When and How to Change Your Workout section.  Next thing you know you’ll have your own blog about fitness.

 

Day 1

 

Squats or Leg Press 4×12,10,10,8

Romanian Deadlifts 3×15,12,12

Seated Calf Raises 3×15

Exercise Ball Crunches 3×15

 

Day 2

 

Barbell Shoulder Press 4×12,10,10,8

Dumbbell Bench Press 3×12,12,10

Assisted Dips 3×12

Planks 30 sec hold for 2 sets

 

Day 3

 

Deadlifts 4×10,10,8,8

Assisted Pull ups 3×12,10,10

Barbell Bent Over Row 3×12,10,10

Dumbbell Incline Curl 3×12

Side Plank 20 sec hold for 2 sets

 

If you want this workout in a pdf to take to the gym, just click here.

 

The End

 

Get Started. Good Luck.

 

I’ve given you all the tools you need to succeed. If you were waiting for the perfect time, it would be right now. Get Started!

 

If the workout in this book is a little boring, I put up, almost weekly, new free workouts at aesthetic-physiques.com to hit just about everybody.

 

Here are a few:

 

[+ The 300 Rep Workout+]

 

Holy HIIT Workout

 

10 Minute Fat Burning Workout

 

 

I’m a big fan of the Slow Carb Diet, here are a few resources for that:

 

The Slow Carb Diet: Sexifying my 60 yr old Dad (He lost 30+lbs and never did a single rep.

 

Quick Slow Carb Ideas If You’re Too Busy to Eat

 

I’m also going to create a course to create healthy eating habits rather than trying to do a 180 to the way you currently eat and fail within 2 weeks. It will be out before January 1st 2017.

 

It will have a money back guarantee.

 

*
p<>{color:#0563C1;}. Aesthetic Physiques System of Healthy Eating

 

I’ve done all I can as of now, it’s your turn. Take the knowledge you’ve gained from this ebook and apply it to your life. You won’t regret it.

If you’ve found this book helpful, please give it a 5 Star Review!

 

If you have questions/comments/success stories send them to [email protected] or @Dave_Bonollo on the Twitters I’d love to hear from you.

 

Good Luck,

 

Dave

 

Bonus Material

 

Here are the 2 ebooks as promised:

 

20 Ways to Make Your Workout Better Today and 14 Ways Your Screwing Up Your Diet and How to Fix It.


The Beginner's Guide to Fitness

How many years have you said this? “This the year I’m going to start going to lose weight” …and by January 10th you’re back to your old ways. If you want to build muscle, lose fat, and look better naked without steroids, good genetics, or wasting ridiculous amounts of time in the gym and money on supplements...then you want to read this book. With so much information out there telling you to try this diet, do this workout for epic fat loss - how could you not get confused. That’s why I took the time to make it super simple to get you on your weight loss journey. This is not a silver bullet plan to get you lean and ripped in 2 weeks. I wanted to break everything down for people looking to get off the couch and start making healthier choices in life. What I will not do: I will not recommend supplements to waste your money. I will not guarantee you will lose weight quickly. What I will do: I will show you how to motivate yourself I will show you how to add accountability to that motivation I will show you how to diet properly to keep your fat loss going I will show you how to pick out the right gym for you I will help you get started with a workout to further enhance your fat loss And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stop waiting around for the “perfect” moment. Get this book and start right now. The book will supply all the details. At very least, it’s free for crying out loud. SPECIAL BONUS FOR READERS! With this fitness book you'll also get 2 free ebooks, “20 Ways to Make Your Workout Better Today” and “14 Ways You’re Screwing Up Your Diet and How to Fix It”.

  • Author: Dave Bonollo
  • Published: 2016-10-04 01:50:42
  • Words: 16107
The Beginner's Guide to Fitness The Beginner's Guide to Fitness