Let's face it, nothing can be so cruel as time. When you are young you are filled with energy, on the go and in constant motion. It is awesome! You play hard and you crash hard. Your metabolism is on fire and you can eat like crap day in and day out without bearing any of the consequences. You can go to the gym and see results almost immediately as your muscles and hormones are primed for growth. However as you get older you get hit with multiple obstacles that take a collective whack at your fitness and health. Not only does your body naturally start dialing back developing human growth hormone and testosterone, but your bodies become more prone to injury and your ability to build lean muscle becomes more difficult. Add to that the demands of life as you get older like managing a career, going to school, spending time with your spouse or significant other, taking your kids to practice, and your weekend runs to Home Depot. No wonder so many people just give up and say the hell with it. They say, "I don't have the time and my body just does not respond.”
Most everyone understands that they need to put in work to experience results, however what few understand and even fewer practice is what comes before the work! Newton described action with his Principle of Inertia, in that “an object will continue moving at its current velocity until some force causes its speed or direction to change.” How does this apply to our fitness? Well, read on…
If you are a competitor in bodybuilding or fitness competitions, you are likely familiar with the change from off season to in/on season. This may be your first time starting on season preparation, but for many of us, we already know this is not an easy adjustment. When you talk about “off season”, many people take this to mean it’s time to let themselves go and consume any and all foods placed in front of them. I highly recommend avoiding this approach. Instead, stay focused on eating clean, but ensure you are maintaining an appropriate caloric surplus.
If you are just getting started with weight training, it can be confusing. You don’t know exactly who you to listen to, everybody seems to have the answers. If you are a complete novice it can be totally over whelming. Do you do straight sets or supersets or giant sets? Do you need post workout carbs? Should you do a split or full body routine? What about high reps to ‘tone’? If you do a Google search on ‘weightlifting for beginners’ there are over 568k results. That is one variation of one term. Everybody has an opinion, from your fat co-worker who thinks they know the best way to get ripped, to Dr. Oz who seems put his name on anything and everything under the sun, provided they pay him for it. Just a word of advice, the vast majority of information you need to transform your body is available online for free. Browse this website and you’ll get more information than you know what to do with, all without paying a penny.
We hit the gym, the track, pool, or cycling circuit with limitations and established parameters of strength and conditioning based on our current fitness levels. In order to improve conditioning and strength, we MUST push our bodies beyond failure. When we go down to do a push-up for example and stop at 20 reps when we might have been able to do 25, we are not doing ourselves justice towards reaching our full potential!
With the onset of the New Year and so many people beginning their resolutions it is very important to talk about the idea of “perfection” that many of us hold or rather, society holds. You see, we live in an imperfect world so to expect and even aim for perfection does nothing but set us up for failure in the long run. The true skill is recognizing that life truly is a journey with many twists and turns and if through it all we strive for Progress and NOT Perfection we are able to make continual long-term improvements. The beauty is finding that it is our imperfections that make us unique, if we all were perfect, we all would be the same and what a boring place that would be!
Ladies and gentlemen the darkness is upon us. It descends upon our gyms, fitness centers and health clubs like a plague. The plague cares not for gym etiquette, has zero appreciation for proper form, and will hog a piece of cardio equipment like nobody’s business.
The plague is known by many names including newbie, beginner or worst still: resolutionist. (Note: resolutionists are those people that make New Year’s Resolutions.)
According to a study conducted by the University of Scranton, 45% of American’s will make a New Year’s Resolutions in 2012 and 38% of those will be weight-related. So, what that means is that the first couple months of 2013 are going to be extremely busy.
Fret not because all is not lost as the contagion can be contained and short lived.
Here are a few tips for surviving the early part of 2013:
Recently, I have learned some new techniques and exercises from fellow trainers and others in the gym that have helped me make drastic improvements in my muscular development and overall physique. I am reminded of when I first started working with my trainer, I quickly realized I had previously only gained minimal knowledge of training. I knew the basics of common exercises and an understanding of training techniques, but I was struggling to make consistent improvements. Limited as my experience was, I would not think to ask others in the gym for advice. Once I started working with my trainer, he taught me how to eat properly and train effectively. Literally ten weeks from the day I started training, I was able to shed over thirty pounds and had the opportunity to do my first photo shoot. It scares me to think if I had not been open to receiving this guidance, I would likely still be fighting the same weight loss battle today.