Last year was the first time I actually put my ego aside when it came to fitness and training. Well, I still have an ego though…Regardless, I’ve always wanted the chiseled body structure of a Greek God (RIP Zyzz). Not really. But I always wanted to just be healthy and become stronger. I never had the motivation in high school where I became envious of the football team and their stellar athletic abilities. I was able to hit the gym maybe once or twice a week during my senior year with my friend, but we had no structure. We were using all isolated machines. Most importantly, nutrition was the last thing on our mind.
Transitioning into the first few years in college, I started going to the gym on a regular basis and put on some weight in 2015. No one really noticed because it was all under my attire. All they saw was an ‘Average Joe’. I saw a slob who had no motivation and a depression that was just getting deeper by the day.
A lot of people look into shortcuts into losing weight, but the reality is to eat less. That’s it in a grand scheme of things. Stop buying supplemental crap to gain a shortcut into losing weight. I did the same for a few years and realized how much money I wasted. All you need to do is cut out all the crap in your life and start lifting (at least that’s what worked for me). My goal is a continuous run to achieve somewhere below 9% Body fat. I want to increase my strength while I’m doing that and so far, it’s working.
I’m lazy as fuck. A lot of us are. I tried cooking and meal prepping my food, but that didn’t work out for over a month. On the plus side, there’s a Trader Joes a few blocks from where I live. I practically feast from the frozen aisle where they have chicken fried rice and lots of frozen fruits. When I’m busy with work, school, extracurricular activities, etc. I never have time to cook. So, Trader Joes’ frozen food is a staple of my nutrition. At least I’m hitting some whole foods? Ha, sometimes. Although, I have to accredit leangains to a majority of my lifestyle change. In a summary, I fast for 16 hours and have an 8 hour feeding window where I’ll have 2-3 meals. I stick with my customized macronutrient ratio to hit the right amount of protein, fats, and carbohydrates. Also, I like to eat shake shack and whoopie pies quite often. The key is to keep yourself in moderation and learn from your previous mistakes.
A guide to leangains can be found here.
There’s not much to this. I customized my macronutrients ratio from here. Downloaded Joyapp (link here) and tried to hit my ratios for workout days and rest days. It’s up to me how healthy I want to keep everything, but once you start with this, you’ll eventually see what you like to eat that keeps up with the nutritional values.
I used to eat a lot of food truck food (still do sometimes) and just didn’t give a damn about nutrition. Stop that mindset! It’s more important than training. Most of your gains/cutting progress will come from your diet. I still can’t believe I spent 21 years with that way of thinking. Don’t be like old me.
For just over a year, I’ve tried 4 different training programs. The first was a generic HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). Second, I moved to a stronglifts program to learn about proper form with barbell compound movements. This was my start into proper fitness. Third, after 4 months in StrongLifts, I tried a Push Pull Legs routine with deadlifts. Deadlifts have always been my strong suit and damn, that program had a ton of volume. When I realized that I was plateauing progress after a couple deloading sessions, I switched to a linear program I found on Reddit. The purpose of this is to increase my 3 total lifts to 1000 lb. club! Also, to get my form right and learn variations that other powerlifters use.
It’s best to stick with a routine for as long as you can. If you find something you like, finish your current program first. If you’re unsure about a program or any specifics, there’s bound to be an answer on Reddit or the general Internet. If you’re beginning, I recommend looking up Stronglifts 5x5 to learn about the main lifts.
I’ll go over these in more detail in another post, but don’t use them unless you’re an advanced lifter. If you are an “advanced lifter”, why are you even reading my page? If you’ve been lifting for under 5 years, you’re not advanced. Just stop with the semantics and ego.
On topic, they’re a waste of money. I’m talking about those fat burners and extreme pre workout sugary crap people have. Stick with a protein shake for post workout (or even to add in some protein) and maybe some caffeine before you lift.
Lastly, refrain from being a lazy bum all day. Most adults, like myself, have a 9-6 desk job. I work as a software developer currently and am stuck with sitting still with 9 hours. That’s not good. Your body was made to move and be active. I try to get up every hour and stretch for a bit. I’ll walk around and get some coffee and talk with coworkers. After work, I refrain from working at my computer for more than 2 hours. Maybe try a standing desk at home if you’re up for it, but just try to keep active. I’m not saying to buy any expensive standing desks, but just keep your body moving!
I learned a lot within the past year. These tips are just scratching the surface to what being healthy and strong means. I’m glad I was able to transform my life to evolve around my body. In turn, I’m more happy, intelligent, and alert!