5 Reasons to hire a personal trainer. Some may surprise you..
To run or not to run, that is the question...
Don't wait until January 1 to get started with fitness. Too many guys burn out after a month because they go from 1 to 100 without any thought on how to build sustainable habits.
Have you seen the articles that say all you need is 3 workouts per week for 30 minutes each session?
Is this just a bunch of bull?
In my experience with clients, if a guy hasn't worked out in awhile 3 days per week for a half hour each will be plenty.
If you are starting up at the gym after a long break or if you've never trained vigorously in your life, then 3 days will be plenty.
On the other days you need to do some walking. Yes, walking. Outside, inside, at the mall. I don't care. Just get in a walk every day. Ideally you will walk an hour every day, even on days you train with weights.
But I get it. You don't have time as it is. How are you supposed to do something physical every single day?
You start small. 20 minute walks. 30 minute workouts.
Find a way.
How does anyone do it?
You make it a priority. It should be anyway.
Once you establish this healthy habit for a few months you are ready to take it up a notch. You will no longer be sore from workouts (not AS sore at least) and you have already 'made time' for your health and fitness. Now it's time to take it up a notch.
Shoot for an hour of physical activity every day.
This could be weights or cardio. But just messing around in the yard does not count. This is your time. Where you are working on improving yourself. An hour a day. You can dedicate this time to your most important asset- your health.
Start small. 30 minutes. Even 15.. but eventually you will need to do more. Embrace it.
Now get started. Go for a walk today.
How did you start your day today?
Did you hit the snooze button?
That damn button is no good!
I know you don't want to be preached at. To have someone tell you to "do this, do that" or "stop doing this, stop doing that".. I get it. I don't want anyone telling me what to do or what not do do.
It needs to happen on your own terms. On your own time. When you are ready. When will you be ready to change your life?
What will it take to make you decide now is the time? Today is the day I change my life for the better...
I can't be the deciding factor for you. No one can except the man in the mirror.
What I can do is tell you the benefits of changing your life with weight training and fitness.
You will have more energy. When you feel drained at work, or after work when you get home to your wife and kids or home to your girlfriend. It may seem counter-intuitive that by working out you will generate more energy but it's true.
You will notice your body change on the outside. Looking in the mirror you will see your muscles pop, your belly shrink.. your shape will take on more of a masculine, attractive look.
When it comes time to work in the yard, or to move furniture, you will be more confident. Up and down the stairs you will have more air, you won't be out of breath as easy.
You'll sleep better. Eat better. You're standard of living will improve. Yep, all this from lifting weights on a regular basis.
Get on a program today.
Do something daily.
Don't do it for anyone other than yourself. Or if you find your motivation comes from wanting to be strong for your kids or your wife or whatever, then use that as fuel for your fire.
Whatever it takes, find a way to just do it. Morning, on lunch hour, after work, late at night in the garage.. etc.. Find a way, not an excuse.
Most people find an excuse.
But not you.
Be different. Be strong.
Back when I was starting out writing on the interwebs some 5 years ago, I remember "experts" saying you had to do TOP 10 Tip articles. I did a few. I tried to follow what I was supposed to do. What others were doing who were successful in the blogging world and specifically in the fitness blogging world.
But like all things, I eventually go off the path and do my own thing. You gotta follow your own heart, listen to your own drumbeat and other such sayings..
So I've grown to dislike the "Top 10" posts. Or top 5, 20.. Mostly because, you don't need any more tips.
You know what to do. But you aren't doing it. Or not enough of it.
The biggest excuse I hear is lack of time, and rather than just scream at the top of my lungs "MAKE TIME!" I choose to offer up something more helpful, in my opinion.
Here's what I want you to do. This is your action-plan.
Go to a store that sells t-shirts and shorts/sweats/workout clothes. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive or colorful.
More basic the better, in my view but if you like to mix it up with fancy colors then have at it.
Also, while you're out, buy a gym bag. Seriously. It can be a no-name brand, doesn't matter.
Now before you go to bed I want youto pack the gym bag with your gym clothes. Set your alarm for an hour earlier than you normally do.
You will be doing a 30 minute workout. Depending on how far your gym is (it could be your garage or basement) you will have to adjust for time, obviously.
Even if you have weights in your garage I want you to perform this routine. It seems so simple and ridiculous, I know. But it's important.
The act of buying gym clothes and packing your bag can make a huge difference. And the repetition of this act, over and over for weeks, months, years will pay off in big-time results. (along with hard work in the gym and proper diet, of course)
If you have yet to cement your fitness habits this is a great way to start.
Just do this. Don't worry about packing your lunch every day or anything else just yet. Do this 3 times per week for 2 months. If you have found it hard to get to the gym and only go sporadically, this will help.
No "TOP 10 Tips" here. Just actionable advice. Now do it.
If you need someone to help you stay accountable send me an email. I will do my best to help you get over the hump.
Today I woke up feeling rough.
Nose a bit runny. Sore in areas unexpected. Sleepy.
It's the Friday after thanksgiving, what do I expect right?
It made me think of the movie "Office Space".. and that famous line from the movie "somebody has a case of the Monday's"...
Do you ever feel that way on Monday morning? Or certain days like today, after a holiday or party,wedding..etc..?
You're human, it's bound to happen. But what do you do about it?
Just deal with it. Slog through the day. Just waiting for it to end.
Here's what I did today, and what I propose you do from now on when you get a "case of the Mondays".
Train. 30 minutes to 45 minutes of weights and bodyweight movements. Followed by 20-40 minutes of low-intensity cardio. (about 100-120 bpm heart rate)
The key is to just train. It doesn't need to be your best day. You aren't trying to undo all the damage of the booze and/or extra calories you consumed.
But you will feel much much better when you do this.
For the cardio I prefer the low-intensity work as I rather put more effort into the weight training and when you are feeling rough like this you don't need to do that high-intensity stuff. It won't make that much of a difference anyway. So why bother killing yourself with hardcore cardio (if there is such a thing)
After you do this workout of about an hour or so, you should do some stretching. You probably won't but if you do 10-15 minutes each day you will notice the difference.
When I don't do any stretching my body lets me know.
What stretches should you do?
There's all kinds, of course. And you can search some up on the internet.
My advice is to pick out some that you will do. They don't need to be complicated or fancy.
Just stretch out the hips, shoulders,calves,pecs, and wherever else you have tight spots.
Don't give up on it either. One day will not provide miracles. But consistent stretching over time will add up to make you feel much better long-term.
I was fired up.
Maybe it was the little extra calories I had the day before after being in a caloric deficit for a few weeks.
Maybe it was my first few clients that came in before the sun was up and worked their rear ends off.
Maybe it was just one of those day.
I was all set to squat a thousand pounds. Hit the weights with a passion and aggression.
Then I started feeling a little kink in my shoulder. Even with a good warmup. For a moment I got mad.
Again..? Come on!
So I said ok, it's not my day for putting a bar on my back and squatting so I did some variations instead.
Worked the legs. That was the point anyway.
I had my mind set on doing the squats a specific way but I've learned to listen to my body as it gives clues to what is feeling right and what isn't.
In previous years I would just push right through that little pain and maybe nothing came of it...or maybe it got worse. That has happened many times over the years and I think maybe (finally) I have learned to take the signals and adapt on the fly.
Live to fight another day.
One of the only things we have control over, our fitness. And at my nice young age of 37, with almost 20 years in the gym and many years before that playing baseball, football, hockey.. I think it's a good idea to train in a way that builds my body/mind up, rather than snap up the joints.
So get in the gym and get crazy. But have the awareness to listen when you should hold back, or switch it up or adapt in some way to make progress rather than regress.
I was never a 'morning person'.
Am I now?
I get up early every day but I wouldn't say I'm a morning person.
Do morning people just get up naturally without an alarm?
Do they enjoy being up and shaking off the cobwebs and going right for the coffee?
I don't know and it doesn't matter.
What matters is getting up early can be a great habit to help you get much more done in your life and this includes your workouts/nutrition.
I used to think morning workouts were impossible. But now I never train later than 10/11 a.m.
What you do first in the morning sets up the day. It's like laying down the foundation. Doing it properly so the rest of the work will follow suit.
I can hear the complaints already. I hear them often from clients before they begin training with me.
You're not a morning person. Isn't it better to eat before working out? I can't eat that early, I'm not hungry. It's still dark out. It's cold. I have to shovel the driveway. Get up earlier. Leave home earlier. On and on..
Do what you want but I'll tell you this-- if you have trouble with finding time to workout or with being consistent then working out first thing in the morning may be the best change you can make right now.
And I mean right now. Not for the next holiday. Or summer. Or after you get all your ducks in a row. (what does that mean anyway?)
But RIGHT NOW. Take action. Decide right now that tomorrow you will get up an hour earlier and eat something light and then go to the gym or your garage. Get in a half hour session. Warm up for a good 5 minutes with bodyweight exercises/calistenics then do some weight training.
Finish with some more calistenics/bodyweight training for a few high-paced circuits. See how much better your day goes.
You will be hungry earlier in the day.
You will want to go to bed earlier.
There will be slight changes.
All for the better.
Even if you aren't a morning person, whatever that means. Try it out.
You may never go back. I haven't.
My mind was set. All I wanted was to get my deadlift up to 4 plates.
This was my priority number 1.
I pushed my other lifts also but all my focus was on this goal.
Having just one goal will give you tremendous focus.
And this is a big struggle for most guys I talk to.
No excitement about training. Not looking forward to the gym.
No destination. No plan.
This is for you guys.
For the guys who have a plan and need a break from goals, this is not for you.
So having no passion for training. You don't have thoughts in your head while sitting at work about getting into the gym and crushing pullups.
Or how you can't wait to feel the sweat from your sled pulling after your lifting.
The problem of having no real zest for the physical. For hard training. The work. The grunting. Sweating. Swearing. Moaning and groaning that comes from real tough physical exertion.
What should you do to get it going?
Find something, anything really, that you can get excited about. Maybe it's one exercise you really enjoy because it's easy. Or one muscle group that seems to grow easy for you. Or a good challenge that gets you amped, maybe it's a crazy workout of the day that scares you a little bit.
Anything will work.
The feel of the barbell. The sound of the weights clanging.
The high after your session when you sip on your protein shake as you drive home. A feeling of accomplishment in your veins.
Just get that one tiny flame. Find it. And ride it. Let it take you to the gym. Or your garage or the park. Wherever.
Passion for physical fitness.
It doesn't have to be a gym.
In fact, there are NO limits here.
But don't let another day, week, or year go by without making some kind of physical progress.
The grass is always greener on the other side...
What's that guy over there doing? He looks like he's doing better than me...
Maybe I need to try that new program I just read about.
Or join that bootcamp to get rid of my beer belly..
There are always going to be get-rich-quick schemes. And fitness programs that promise super fast results.
And while some quick results are good, and can be encouraging and motivating, it's more about long-term progress.
Whenever you try something new it's fun. It works. For a little while.
As strength coach Dan John says "everything works for 6 weeks".. or was it 4 weeks? Either way.. Your body is not used to the stimulus. It must adapt. You get results. Often very quickly.
But this wears off. Now what?
Jump on another program every time the old one loses its novelty effect?
I find it exciting to program my own workouts. Tracking them on paper, changing things as I see fit. Finding new weakness and attacking them. Adjusting as I go along but sticking to a general plan. But I realize not everyone cares to do this or is as interested in fitness this way as I am.
So what should you do?
You can get a coach/trainer. Join a group fitness class. Find a training partner who can teach you something and you can bounce ideas off each other. Or get on legitimate program that you can tweak and use as a guide to follow.
Yes, the best program is the one you are not doing. But depending on what your goals are, and what kind of results you're after, maybe you shouldn't jump from one program to the next every few weeks.
When a program stops 'working'. Maybe you just need to make one or two small tweaks. Then go from there. Just don't change too many variables at once because then you won't know what worked and what didn't.
Work hard and stay consistent. And find something you will enjoy!
Hey I'm all for going hard in the gym. You get what you give, right? The harder you work the better your results will be... for the most part.
But you have a life. You don't spend all your time and energy on working out and your nutrition and getting enough sleep, massage, stretching, yoga etc..
So this is where I say let's get realistic.
How much work can you do in a week to make progress? Should you always strive to do more? Or should you do just enough?
As with anything fitness-related, there are a ton of opinions on this and many studies, of course.
Here's my opinion, take it for what it is. My experience and my opinion. Works for a lot of people, but not for everyone.
Keep in mind that this is for a general fitness-enthusiast. It's a funny term, fitness-enthusiast, but when reading articles and books about fitness, remember that the writer has a specific person in mind. For me it's not an athlete. It's not a competitive bodybuilder or powerlifter. I am writing for the person who wants to get in better shape, get stronger and look better on the beach but who doesn't want to spend a ton of time in the gym (if at all) and who has a busy work life, family life and fitness is not the number 1 priority.
With that said...I'm not going to give you a number of days per week to workout or anything like that. What I want to do is give you an idea of how I like to structure going hard in the gym and having more "park bench" days.
One way that is very effective is to have a very hard day followed by an easier day. You could go heavier weight one day and the next you could do just bodyweight exercises and some machines (if at a gym)
Another great way to structure high intensity days is to just get after it when you get into the gym and feel like you are pumped, full of energy etc..
Not every day needs to be one of those all-out crazy marathon workouts where you leave every single drop of yourself in the gym and you have nothing left. Those memes that say you have to go hard or go home and that try to be hardcore and make everyone feel like if they don't basically pass out by the end of the workout that it's useless.
Pay no attention to memes on the internet! Seriously, they are the worst.
Mix in some very hard days with days that you go in work hard and do what you need to do. Put together enough of those and you will get where you want to go. Consistency is the key. Not going as hard as possible for every single rep, exercise and workout.