If I can tell anyone one piece of advice for life, its to lift. A good body cannot be bought, sold, auctioned, bribed or won. Every good physique you see on the street, your subconscious is telling you about that person’s dedication, willpower and work ethic. There are a million good reasons to lift, but for the purpose of this blog, the reason that guys want to lift is to get girls. Just like guys appreciate a good body, girls do too. If you want the girl with a good body, you have to work to get your own! In this post I will go through the three main concepts behind getting a good body: Lifting, diet and sleep. If you want to gain muscle, all three are equally important!
Step 1: Get in the gym
Intimidated? I’ll let you in on a secret. Every ripped guy in the gym was once a skinny little twig or overweight neck beard (please somewhere. NOBODY is judging you in the gym! The real gym bros are supportive as we all have the same goal! There will always be the d-bags, ignore them! Do a month of pushups, situps and jogging to prep yourself for day 1 in the gym. This will help you ease into it and give you some confidence for getting in there. Once you get into the gym you will grow to love it. I can’t imagine a day without the gym anymore, it’s literally the favorite part of my day.
Were in here! Now what? Start light.
Your not in the gym to impress anyone. Don’t try to lift too much. Start small and work on form. Too often I see countless gym bros and skinny newbies cheating their way through their routine. It’s a crime a very large majority of the gym population are guilty of. But, if you think about it; how many of the people that go to the gym actually achieve the results they want? (Answer: less than 10%). It takes time, dedication and discipline.
Now, there are multiple ways to think of this ‘rule’ of mine:
How often do you see people curling absurd amounts of weight and simply let the weight fall down to their hips after the peak contraction? Are you guilty of this?
This doesn’t just apply to curling, every movement should have a controlled tempo.
- The contraction phase (the muscle shortening) should be fast and explosive. Aim for 1 second.
- The peak phase is the end of the contraction. Really squeeze the muscle and force blood into it to pump it up. Mind muscle connection is very important for safe and effective lifting.
- The eccentric phase is the one that is neglected by the majority of lifters. This is the extension of the muscle. For example: Lowering the weight to your hips after a curl, dropping down into a squat, or lowering the bar to your chest during bench.
Aim for a minimum of 3 seconds to complete this phase. If this phase is something you have neglected, you will have to lower the weight you are using without a doubt. The only time I judge people in the gym is with bad form. Watch the gym bros, watch Youtube videos and focus on form above all else! If you want to watch people get hurt by doing too much weight with terrible form go join a Crossfit class! The number one thing that people ignore is their Abs. It’s also what I struggled with the most. Sit ups are for chumps, here is a program that I incorporated into my routine that totally changed the way my body looked. Check it out here!
Your fighting with one arm behind your back in the gym if you have a bad diet. A top notch diet is like cheating! First place to start? Drop ALL soda (try water and lemon/lime/orange), candy (try fruit), and processed food. Fast food and McDonalds? Forget it – this stuff is literally the worst crap you can put in your body. Start looking for little things you can incorporate into your diet. For my veggies, I love smoothies with some fruit to cover up the taste. Start reading the ingredient list of whatever you buy. Often the “healthy” stuff has sugar pretty high up on the list. Look for grass fed beef, organic chicken and fruits and veggies. The old pyramid of grains is long gone. Here is a breakdown of what your diet should look like. Don’t be afraid to have cheat days or you will wear yourself out. I typically eat super healthy 80% of the time and don’t worry about the other 20% of the time. I won’t be competing in any body building competitions anytime soon but it has my body looking great. If you are really struggling with your diet, Eat Stop Eat is a really comprehensive guide that understands the importance of nutrients and blasts all the fad diets away. I highly recommend it for anyone that doesn’t understand nutrition.
3. Sleep / Rest
Your body needs time to recover. If you are not getting 7-8 hours of sleep a night, your not giving your body enough time to recover. There really isn’t much more to say about it than that. Lifting, diet and sleep work in tandem. I use a magnesium spray on my inner elbows and behind my knees: It’s scientifically proven to help you REM longer! If your missing any of these pieces you wont be getting the results that you want. A final note on rest, is to not work the same muscle group until they aren’t sore anymore. Don’t work a group of muscles more than 2 days a week. I was over training for a while and its counter productive to getting the results you want. It’s a tough thing to learn for people that love to lift, but its very real! Let me know what questions/comments you guys have in the comment section and get out there! Cut the excuses, close the computer, and get out there!!