||Fitness AdviceSo after I said I'd offer fitness advice to anyone who asked, I got bombarded with messages. Instead of answering each one individually, I'm going to make this here journal post to cover a variety of topics regarding exercise and a little diet stuff. Full disclosure: I'm not an expert, nor would I claim to be. What works for me might not work for you, so take all of this with a huge grain of salt (but watch that sodium intake, bro).|
Gaining Muscle: I personally enjoy the Hypertrophy approach to weightlifting. It's commonly used by bodybuilders, and I've noticed it gives me a good mix of mass and tonage. Hypertrophy is typically 3 or 4 sets of about 10-12 repetitions. There are some great workout programs available on Bodybuilding.com that I've used in the past. They break it up based on your goal, your intensity level, and the amount of time you want to commit to the program. Look into it. I'm super reluctant to upload my own regimen because it's what's working for me now, and it may not be what your body needs.
Diet: For keeping my weight down and insuring muscle gain, I keep an eye on my macronutrient ratios. I want to make sure my diet is divided into 30% Fats, 30% Proteins, and 40% Carbohydrates. I use a cool app called "Tap and Track" on my iPhone that helps me monitor this. You go through and enter information on your weight, activity level and goals and it calculates roughly how many calories you should take in in a day. Typically you'll want to take in a lot of carbs earlier in the day, and then fats and proteins later in the day. Another note about diet: drop sodas. That's a load of sugar you don't want. I stopped drinking sodas regularly years ago and I don't regret it. Sodas make you gain weight. Stop eating if you are no longer hungry and drink between mouthfuls. If you're full, don't finish what's left on the plate. You've gotten the food your body wants, so cool it. Drinking between mouthfuls of food helps quell your hunger. In regards to supplements: I take a protein shake after workouts (Whey Tech Pro 24 from Vitamin Shoppe). Post workout supplements are great. Other than that, I do not feel comfortable giving supplement advice. I cycle creatine now and then, but if you want to get into that, go look at professionally written articles about it.
Exercises: Don't neglect cardio, and don't neglect body parts. Cardio will help you burn fat and increase endurance, so go biking, go running, climb stairs, whatever. Just get that heart rate up. As you improve, introduce more challenges. If you notice you can run a mile with ease, then run faster or run further. Keep pushing your body, you'll be surprised by your increase in stamina, and it'll help with other aspects in life (like staying awake throughout the day or HAVIN' SEX). In terms of lifting, work all your body parts. I break my workouts into three days. Day 1: Biceps, Backs and Shoulders. Day 2: Triceps, Chest, Traps and Forearms. Day 3: Leg day. I also like to do small abdominal exercises each day. Your abs and calves can regenerate quick enough that you could work them on a semi-daily basis if you wanted. If you can lift something easily, at 3 sets of 10 reps, increase the weight. I shoot for a weight that, on the tenth rep, I am giving it my all to lift it. Don't just coast through exercises, you won't see improvements that way. Push yourself.
Final Notes: Don't get discouraged and stick to it. You won't get a six pack over night. It's a slow progression, but you will get there if you put in the effort. Like anything in life, you'll get out what you put in. With fitness, if you put in a lot of time, effort and work, you'll get results. Just give it time and stay motivated.
One of the best parts of RTX was people coming up to me and saying I had inspired them to exercise. I love hearing about people improving themselves. The last few years of my life have been the best, I owe a lot of that to the fact that I feel in control of my body and my health. Everyone deserves to feel this good. Life's too short to keep pushing off fitness goals and wishing you were in-shape. If you want to make a change, get off your ass now. Don't wait until tomorrow, because you'll keep pushing it off, and pushing it off. Leave your computer now and go improve yourself. Best of luck, and I want to hear all of the success stories next RTX.