What if I told you that the key to everything you want with your fitness level has to do with food. Would you believe me? Sure the gym is important. Working out is important, but it’s a very small piece of the puzzle.
With that being said, there is so much information both good and bad out there about nutrition.
Starting Monday I am launching an exclusive video series talking about the do’s and don’t of food. All you have to do is be a part of my Facebook group to watch them.
Have you ever felt that you are not fit? Maybe you are working out hard, lifting weights, putting on muscle and trying to do the right things we just don’t feel fit. But is it that we are not fit or that we are mentally stuck in what we think feeling fit looks like?
It can be easy to get a picture of what we think “fit” looks like. We think that being in shape looks like someone we look up to, or our muscles aren’t what they should be and we end up getting frustrated or depressed about it.
As I said in today’s podcast, we are typically the worst judges of ourselves, we are far harder on ourselves than we should be. Now I’m not saying you shouldn’t push yourself hard, but rather than constantly looking at where you are not, look at where you are. Look at where you’ve come from. Look at how much more you are lifting than what you used to do.
You should have a clear goal of where you want to be, but remember that there is no elusive peak of fitness, there is always a way to become better, to become stronger, so don’t feel like you just are not there, you will always need to work to be better, and that’s okay.
Have you ever found yourself weighing in every day and getting frustrated at not seeing the changes you want? When you are on a fitness journey and are trying to gain muscle mass, it can be extremely frustrating to not see the numbers you want to on scale and correlating it with failure at not gaining muscle mass. It can almost become an addiction.
First let me say that I am a big proponent in weighing in from time to time when you are starting out. You don’t want to workout for six months and never step on a scale and realize you have not been on track for that length of time.
So I do recommend a once a month scale check-in just to see where you are at. But with that being said, it should not dictate your fitness journey. Here are 3 reasons to ditch the all controlling scale.
It can dictate your actions too much. If you are weighing in once a week or more, you may change up your routine too soon. It takes time, Rome and your muscular body were not built in a day, so don’t fall into the trap of weighing in all the time.
Is that ideal weight really ideal? Often we get stuck in our heads a certain number that we want to be and we are not happy until we do. But the goal is to be happy with our bodies and how we feel. One time I was convinced I should be a certain weight, and I made it to that weight and felt sick and bloated all the time. I realized it wasn’t my ideal weight and adjusted accordingly.
Losing sight of the goal. I always talk about finding your why when it comes to your fitness goals. By focusing solely on the number on the scale we can lose sight of why we started and where we want to be.
So while yes you should weigh in once a month just to get an idea of if you are on the right path, the scale should be simply an aid in your journey not a dictator.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.