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.
If you’ve ever taken a walk into a health food store, or supplement store it’s easy to get overwhelmed. There are a million and one choices and options for protein, and everything else imaginable. Catchy labels like “lose belly fat” or “lift like a beast” are everywhere. Is it all just a lot of hype? Are those supplements really doing anything other than taking money out of your wallet?
Well there are a lot of good supplements and a lot of bad supplements out there (not surprising right?). So which ones should you focus on?
For starters you need protein. I talk in my free course about how you need protein from both food and supplements. If you are lifting your body needs the extra protein to rebuild your muscles, otherwise after a workout if they are depleted they will literally take the amino acids they need from your existing muscles (counter-productive to building more). Stick with protein powders that don’t contain a long ingredient list or have extra fillers in there.
The second supplement that should be on your radar is Creatine. Creatine is something our body naturally produces. It gives our cells energy. So when we take extra Creatine our cells have more energy to expend when we lift in the gym, thus causing us to exert ourselves more, tear our muscles more, and ultimately build more muscle. There are two types of Creatine: Monohydrate, and HCL. Stick to HCL. The monohydrate version causes your cells to retain water which will give you a bloated look and feel (not what you want). Take this about 30 minutes before your workout, I suggest taking it with your pre-workout (bonus supplement that you should be taking).
The last supplement I recommend is fish oil capsules. This helps with lubricating the joints which get a lot of tension on them in the gym, helps keep you lose and lubricated. We are talking about supplements more in this week’s podcast episode. Check it out here.
I’m too old to start working out. My metabolism isn’t what it used to be. These sound familiar? Maybe you’ve heard them before, or have even found yourself saying them. Is there any truth to it? Is there an age where lifting heavy weights just becomes too much for the body to handle?
I’ve got good news for you. There is never an age that is too old to start working out. Now does weight lifting look slightly different for a 20 year old than a 70 year old? Sure. But both are still capable of lifting heavy. I know a couple people in their 70’s that could own me in the gym. True story.
Regardless of what your age is, you need to start off slow, no one regardless of age should just walk in a gym and start throwing up a ton of weight. Doing so will more than likely leave you with an injury or so sore that you don’t go back. Not just that but typically when we lift more than we should our form is terrible, something I talk about all the time in my videos.
As the age old story tells us, the turtle really does win the race, and it’s okay to take that approach with fitness.
So many new years goals fade and fizzle out almost as quickly as the fireworks on New Years Eve. Why is that? While there are many elements as to why those goals are not meant, one important one is because people view it as a sprint. “I’m gonna take off out of the gate running 100 mph, then they burn themselves out 2 weeks in and can’t figure out why they haven’t completely changed their bodies.
This stuff takes time. So whether you’re 18 or 80, start slow and build. Develop healthy habits, learn proper form, go slow in the gym, you are not there to impress anyone, and regardless of your age, you are capable of hitting some impressive numbers in the gym. Sure you have to work up to it, but you’ve got this. You can hear more about it in this week’s podcast.
When it comes to your workouts you want to get the most out of them as possible right? So what are some tips for the gym that will get you the best workout? For starters stay focused. It’s easy to get distracted in the gym, our phone can blow us up, or even connecting with other people in the gym can cause us to lose focus of why we are there, at Bones to Bulk we try to bring that focus back into play.
Now while neither of those things are necessarily bad all the time, when we are working out we have to get in that zone where we are pushing ourselves so that we are not just going through the motions, but really pushing ourselves. So stay focused.
The next thing is move fast. Don’t get caught up in resting a long time in between sets and exercises. Thirty seconds to a minute is all you need. This allows you to really bring an extra load of strain to the muscles which will help them grow.
Third do the exercises you hate. The reason you hate them is because they are hard. They suck because they wear you out, and make you really work for it. That’s why they are the best ones to do. Remember the more strain, the more muscle growth.
You’ll know if you’ve really pushed yourself by whether or not you are getting out of breath and sweating. If you’re not push harder.
It’s the number one thing I hear from people I train, or from those looking to train and gain muscle, “I just don’t have time”. What’s interesting is that these same people manage to fit in binging there favorite shoes late at night, getting some video game time in, or grabbing coffee with friends. I’m not saying any of those things are wrong to do, after all, my wife and I spent several very late night binging Stranger Things last year. But it should never take priority over your health and fitness.
In truth yes getting to the gym takes time. It takes work, and sometimes that is downright inconvenient. But not having energy, strength, and motivation is not a good alternative.
So how do you find time? You don’t. Wait what? That’s right, you don’t. You make time. We talk about this more in this week’s podcast episode.
Trying to squeeze time in will lead to failure because if you don’t make time for it, you won’t go. You have to be intentional. You may have to get up an hour earlier and hit the gym on your way to work, or stay up an hour later and work out before bed. Or skip watching your show that you always tune into.
While it may seem hard, and in truth yes some days it is, but the return on your investment is so worth it.
So there’s that one muscle group you want to be larger but you are just not seeing the result that you are looking for. I’ve been there. Before I dive into what you can do to solve this dilemma, let me briefly describe what the compound effect is. It’s when you spend a small amount of time on something every day and over the course of months or years, drastic results happen. It’s the fact that you are doing something however small over a long period of time.
So what does this have to do with targeting muscles? Everything! If you are working out regularly and you can’t get that one muscle group to grow more it’s time to take it one step further.
The first step is pick two intense workouts that target the muscle you want to focus on. It could be an exercise you know, or even better find a new one online. Don’t pick your favorite ones or the ones that are easy, instead pick the ones that you hate because they hurt.
Then at the end of every workout perform three sets with each of the two exercise you picked. Regardless of what muscle group you are working out. Do these every single day at the end of your workout.
Over time, just these two extra exercises that you are pushing yourself to do when you are already tired will have amazing results. Don’t expect to have results over night or even in a month. Remember this is the compound effect. Little changes with huge impact over the long haul. You can learn more about it in this week’s podcast.
Starting sometimes is easy. We start new routines, new diets, and new workouts. We buy new workout clothes, get a gym membership. What happens a month, two months, or twelve months down the road. Well I hope you stick with it. But in reality it’s easy to quit, to give up and not see it through to the end?
Why is this? Because it’s easy to lose sight of the goal. It’s easy to forget why we started and only remember how it used to be easier. How we didn’t used to have to work or try so hard.
So how do you keep that fire going? How do you stay motivated when you feel like throwing in the towel? You remember your why and you push harder.
In my last blog I talked about writing down your why. Why you want to get fit or workout. That’s the firs step. The next step is to remember your why. Write it down on post it notes, put it on your dash in your car, on your bathroom mirror.
When you wake up in the morning tell yourself your why. Constantly remind yourself. This coupled with building your routines and habits is going to be the biggest aid to you in your journey.
Because at the end of the day it’s just you, doing this to push yourself, to make yourself stronger. So remember your why. Let it guide you and push you.
For more on developing your why, check out this week’s podcast.