How To Motivate Yourself to Go to the Gym

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“man lifting barbell” by Arthur Edelman on Unsplash

Have you ever found it hard actually getting to the gym? You have good intentions, and plan on waking up early and getting it done and gaining the muscle mass you long for, but you end up sleeping in, and just admit defeat, thinking you will never muster up the self-will to get in there.

It happens to us all. It’s hard sometimes to actually get into the gym, but there are some tips that can help you get by the excuses. I talk a lot about overcoming excuses on the podcast.

  1. If planning to go in the morning set yourself up for success. Have your workout clothes laid out the night before, set your alarm and put your phone across the room so you have to actually get up and go get it. And go to bed at a decent time, don’t stay up late binging your favorite show when you know you are trying to get up early.
  2. If you are planning to go after work, plan ahead. Pack your gym bag and have it in your car so that you don’t go home first and get distracted by something else.
  3. Write down your why. Have your reason always in front of you, set it as your desktop background, tape it to your dash in your car, or on your bathroom mirror. You need to know why you want to get fit. Is it for health purposes? Longevity? To have more energy? For your kids? Your spouse? To have more self-esteem? Figure out your reason and hold onto that.

Remember there’s no excuse that can’t be overcome when it comes to gaining muscle. You can accomplish this, it’s just a matter of going for it and committing to get in the gym. You’ve got this.

Should You Workout When You’re Sick?

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Photo by Alexandra Gorn on Unsplash

So you’re in a good routine with your workouts and then that dreadful sickness creeps in. You hope that it’s just a scratch in your throat, but soon you feel bad, your temp goes up and you are crushed that the great habits you had been working on are now drifting out the window as your body gets used to being sick. But is that how it has to be?

Should you workout when you are sick? First off if you are blazing a fever, you are very contagious so don’t go contaminating the gym. But with that being said, you probably should still workout.

You know your body better than anyone, what it can handle, and what is typically too far for you. While I do recommend resting a day or two when you are sick, don’t wait any longer. Often by the end of two days, any fever we’ve had is gone, and sure we probably are not 100% back to normal yet, but you are well enough to at least get in a partial workout.

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Photo by Arthur Edelman on Unsplash

I mentioned in this week’s podcast how you may not be able to go as hard in the gym if you aren’t completely better, and that’s okay, you still should get in there and do some things. Because staying out of the gym for more than couple days is going to hurt your habits. And habits which I talk all the time about in my videos are crucial to your success.

I’ve seen it before. Someone gets sick and then they quit lifting for over a week, by the time they are all better, the body is lazy and doesn’t want to do anything and they fall off the cart and go back to square one.

So while you need a day or two to rest and get rid of the fever, don’t delay any longer.

Make sure you stay hydrated with tons of water, but don’t be afraid of lifting (go easy and maybe lighter) after a couple days.

Keys to Winning Outside the Gym

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Photo by juan pablo rodriguez on Unsplash

We know the importance of the gym, but have you ever asked what you need to be doing outside the gym to get to your fitness goals?

There are some musts when it comes to staying on track throughout the week, because let’s face it some days getting to the gym is one of the easier aspects of staying on track. And while home workouts can be beneficial outside the gym like the ones in our free program, it also takes knowing how to handle food.

The real challenges can come in the form of the donuts in the break room, your kids’ Halloween stash, or your favorite pizza delivery service on speed dial.

Because while workouts are important, food is something we have to face almost 24/7. This is something we talk about it this week’s podcast.

The first key to resisting eating something you know is going to screw up your routine, is know it’s coming. You know there’s going to be junk in the break room, so make sure you are packing your snacks and lunch bag, and if possible just avoid the break room.

2. Prep your meals, cooking and preparing meals ahead of time can keep you from picking up junk food on those days when you get home late.

3. Stay hydrated. Drinking water throughout the day not only is super beneficial for your body, but can curb cravings and make you feel more full, making it easier to resist those candy bowls set out everywhere.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be hard, it just takes some planning and knowing what you are going to run into ahead of time.

3 Exercises to do Outside the Gym

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Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

When it comes to workouts we typically view them as only taking place in the gym. And let’s be real, if you are wanting to gain lean muscle you do need to be working out in the gym, but there are a lot of things you can do outside the gym to help you get strong. You can find more on this in this week’s podcast.

  1. Push-ups. Yes this may seem like a no-brainer, but push-ups can do so much for you, working your biceps as well as your chest muscles. Varying how wide your hands are can even work out your triceps, as well as bring more focus to your chest. Don’t be afraid if you can’t do a ton. Do as many as you can, take a break, and then do more. Set a timer for two to three minutes and do as many as you can during this time.
  2. Sprints. While this may seem weird to build lean muscle, it helps develop sudden bursts of power, and you can do them in your backyard, a side-walk or wherever there is a little open space. Again this isn’t something you have to do for long. Five minutes a day will go a long way.
  3. Crunches. Don’t feel you have to do an insane amount, but set a timer for 5 minutes and pump out as many as you can, rest, and go again.

Don’t be afraid to get outside the box and do some extra workouts when you are outside the gym. A little bit every day goes a very long way.

Why Age Is Not An Excuse

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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

When it comes to working out does age really play a role? Should it? While there are a few things to keep in mind about working out as we get older, the answer to the questions is an affirmative ‘yes’.

Thinking that it’s too late to start or that you are too far gone is a load of crap. The truth of the matter is as we age there is no more crucial time to start lifting and maintaining our health. Once we hit our 30’s if we don’t lift, we actually begin to lose muscle mass. Each year it declines, as I discussed in this week’s podcast.

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Photo by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

But the good news is this isn’t the way it has to be, and there is a remedy for this. Start lifting! Slips and falls are common for the seniors and they usually result in less than favorable results, but by lifting not only do we develop our core and balance, but we strengthen our bones.

When we lift, it’s not just our muscles that grow, our bones increase in density and size as well aiding us in our aging process. So stop saying you are too old to start or that it’s too late. Otherwise, another year or five years will pass you by and you will be wishing then that you had started now.

So stop thinking about it and start lifting. You deserve it and your body deserves it. Find out more in my video.

Why Your Bench Press Is Wrong

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by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Head into any gym on any given day and chances are someone will be on the bench press. Pumping out reps. It’s one of those staple workouts that must be done. But are you doing your bench pressing right? Are you even hitting your chest muscles while performing your reps? There’s a chance you aren’t. There’s 3 major mistakes we can make when doing the chest press.

  1.  Arching your back. From slight arches to insane ones, it’s easy to arch your back so much that your back barely touches the bench. This is taking the load off of your chest muscles and also setting yourself up to get hurt. Keep your back flat on the bench.
  2. Not coming all the way down. So often I see people only come about half way down with the bar, or stop a couple inches above the chest. You want to bring the bar completely down so it touches your chest.
  3. Bouncing. This is the last common mistake I see, performing your reps so fast that you are using the momentum of the movement to “bounce” the bar back up after it comes back up.

All of these mistakes are easy to do, but also are easy to correct. So next time you are trying to crush it on the chest press, evaluate yourself and see if you are making these mistakes. For more check out this week’s podcast.

Do You Really Need Protein?

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“almonds and milk” by rawpixel on Unsplash

Protein. We hear all about it. We consume it on a daily basis from one source or another. But what does it do, and do we really need it? If you follow my podcast you know how much I talk about nutrition being everything when it comes to hitting your fitness goals. But protein is often misunderstood.

I’ve known some people who wanted to gain muscle and so just started taking whey protein throughout the day. Whey is important, but that act alone is not going to just start making you jacked.

When you workout and exert a lot of muscle energy your muscles are literally starving and, because they’ve expended all their energy. They need amino acids (the building blocks of protein) in order to repair themselves. You see when muscles are worked out they literally tear. Then new muscle fibers come and grow over those tears like a scab on our skin. After these new muscle fibers patch up the tears that results in our muscle being stronger and denser.

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“man holding black dumbbell” by Alora Griffiths on Unsplash

Protein comes into play in patching up those tears, because our muscles need them to heal, otherwise if you are depleted of amino acids, the body will actually pull them from other muscles if it can (which is counter-productive to growing muscle).

So the cure? Try to down a scoop of protein within 30 minutes after working out, this gives your muscles their much needed boost of healing. My video talked about the importance of that this week.

In addition whey protein when mixed in low-fat milk can aid in pushing you up to your calorie range for the day. It’s a quick way to get some extra calories. But as with anything, you need a well balanced nutrition plan and don’t think that the whey protein will be enough to get you jacked. But it’s a very useful tool.