The Gains Team

    • The Gym: Do's and Dont's

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      What's up Swoldiers! The timer is running as we are only 6 weeks away from that day of days, hopefully you are crushing your goals on the march towards RTX. If you have been working out at a gym, you've probably started to notice the way people conduct themselves is pretty similar. I thought I'd take a second and list a couple things that everybody should know when working out. 

      First off, there are mirrors all over the gym. Not everybody who's working out in front of them is checking themselves out, in fact, a lot of people are watching their form. So, with that in mind, stepping in front of somebody when they are in the middle of a lift can be considered pretty rude. Sometimes it can't be avoided when the gym is crowded, but when you can, be courteous and give your fellow gym rat some space. 

      Next, if you are at the gym and you aren't sweating, you should probably re-evaluate your workout. We all sweat, it's definitely nothing to be ashamed of. However, if you are working out on benches, mats, or any machine, wipe it down! Nobody wants to jump on a piece of equipment only to see there's a little bit of you left on it! And they definitely don't want to have to clean it up. 

      Now, have you noticed how most people have headphones in? Sure, people like to listen to their own brand of music to keep them motivated at the gym, but a lot of times it's also to block out everybody else. Asking for a spot when you are trying to rep out heavy weight is great! Asking somebody if they are using a piece of equipment is fine. Striking up a conversation though, that can come off as inconsiderate. You never know how much time somebody else has to get through their workout. 


      GYM RAT used LEER! It's super creepy! To piggyback off my last point, keep your eyeballs to yourself. Everybody looks from time to time, but no matter how much you tell yourself that you are, "checking out their form," it's creepy. At the gyms I've worked out at I can say 99% of people aren't there to get hit on or picked up.

      That sums up the big ones I wanted to address! Do you have do's and don'ts you feel should be added to the list? Comment and let me know! If you have a horror story, feel free to add to forum post here!

    • Bulking and You!

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      Lets face it, nerd/geek culture isn't exactly known for its over abundance of "hot bodied/picture perfect" people out there. We are entertained by hobbies, shows, and video games that have us sitting down for long stints of time. We tend to lead a very sedentary lifestyle, which is fine so long as you are happy. But for those of us who want more, to expand into things like Cosplay, but don't feel we have the body or the look for it, we let that urge fall to the way side. 

      First of all, stop it, you're beautiful. 

      Whether you are trying to look good in a costume for the next con, or just want to get in better shape a lot of people tend to post a lot of "How to lose weight fast" type articles. But what about all of us that want to bulk up? To get a bulkier build to fill out those tight fitting shirts. To literally have people able to swing from our arms! Well you are in luck, today I will give you some tips and tricks on how to pack on the muscle, while keeping the weight gain low. 

      The Meat and Potatoes 

      You love to eat and don't want to have to stick to salads? Good news! A lot of people don't realize how much you need to eat when you are trying to pack on muscle. In order to gain size you could easily up your calorie intake to between 2800 - 3500 cal per day! Carbs, fats, proteins, all of these are acceptable to eat. But it's how you eat them that is key. 

      A lot of people talk about Macros, but Ill make it simple. Your day should consist of 50% Protein, 30% fat, and 20% carbs. As long as you are around these proportions, you should be good.  

      Eat 5 - 7 times a day. In order to achieve this I highly suggest at minimum meal prepping for your work day. Leave some oatmeal at the office, prep hard boiled eggs, make a bunch of rice or quinoa, and ground turkey and beef are easy to whip up fast. Avocados are also a good source of fats for a snack. Also, if you work out during the day, have some protein powder on hand. 

      The key is, keep your food intake clean. Fried chicken, pizza, and beer are all sources of protein, fats, and carbs, and they will get you bigger, but you will be gaining just as much fat, if not more as muscle. 

      The Lift

      Have you ever seen those people in the gym who grunt and snarl as they try to put up one more rep? Spittle hitting the mirror as they power through another set. Well, good news? You are going to want to drop your rep count from the 10s and 20s down to the 6s and 8s, and pack on more plates for your major lefts.

      But let me back up for a second. 

      First off, you should only be working out 3 to 4 times a week. Your body is going to need a bit more time to recover. It's good to split your workouts between your upper and lower body. Here's what your weeks should look like:

      Monday: Upper body
      Tuesday: Lower body

      Wednesday: Rest
      Thursday: Upper body

      Friday: Lower body

      I like to hit specific, major muscle groups each day. So on Monday I focus on my chest and Triceps, Thursday Ill focus more on my back and Biceps.Your work out should still consist of cardio. I suggest doing around 10 - 15 minutes of warm up cardio before your workout at a minimum. Optimally you should be doing around 20 - 30 minutes worth of sprints each workout. Remember not to neglect your core. You can work your core every workout, which is important because a strong core will help give you stronger lifts. Instead of typing up an entire list, I found a good beginners workout guide to bulking up, check this out:

      Goal Setting

      I would suggest giving yourself about 12 weeks to plan out your goals. Any less then that and you may try to move too quick and the last thing you want to do is injure yourself. Don't get discouraged if you are only gaining a pound or two a month, slow and steady wins the gains. 

      As a note, if you are somebody who has some excess fat to lose, you may not notice any weight gain. Like anything, it will take a while to notice your size differences and you may not notice it at all! Take a picture of yourself at the start and again at the end to help see your differences. You see yourself everyday so its hard to tell, but if you are increasing the amount of weight you are lifting every week, trust me, you are increasing the size of your muscles. 

      That's pretty much it. Are you somebody who has bulked in the past? What worked for you? Do you have some favorite recipes for getting big? Let us know! I'd love to hear from people who are trying to pack on some muscle!

      -Nate T. 

    • Gym Fatigue

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      The gym...

      For some its a house of worship. A place where you can get down and throw plates around. A place where you push your body to the breaking point, only to come back the next day, ready for more. A place to put in you headphones, listening to viking metal, and conquer reps like an invading barbarian hoard that's trying to overrun your land and burn down your home! However, for even the most devout followers on the "Road to Swoll" it's possible to experience fatigue. Waking up and going to the gym can become grueling when it was otherwise exciting. So how can we avoid this? Is there a way to re-invigorate yourself? 

      Fear not weary travelers, I have a few suggestions that'll help to recharge your batteries! 

      First off, has something changed in your lifestyle? I find that if I start eating like crap and not getting enough sleep, its the fastest way to kill wanting to wake up and go to the gym. If this is the case, try to get yourself back on track. Take a few days off and focus on eating clean again and make sure you get your eight hours. Even if nothing has changed diet wise, it may be good to take a week off. Give your body a little time to recover and then hit it hard again! 

      Next, are you not giving it 100% while you are working out? Does it feel like you are more or less going through the motions? It could be that you are too used to your workout. If you have been doing the same sets and reps for the last few months or longer, it might be time for a change. Lifting heavy with light reps? Try something more intensive! Looking for something more exciting? Look for something outside the gym. Try trail running, wall climbing, swimming, etc. Not only will changing up your workout help to keep it interesting, but your body will benefit from the change as well. 

      Finally, It's nice to put in your headphones and tune out the rest of the world. However, if you are having a hard time getting into the gym, try working out with a friend. Make your workouts a bit more social. I know, working out with somebody can slow you down, but, the right person can help push you to achieve new goals. Find somebody close to your fitness level, somebody who is as motivated to hit their goals, and you both will benefit from having one another around. 

      Hopefully this helps to keep you motivated. Do you have something that helps to keep you motivated? What tips do you have? Let us know in the comments! 


    • Fit For RTX!

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      For some of us, this weekend is a 3 day weekend. Be sure to think back on your favorite President and thank them for maintaining that sweet, sweet freedom we all have come to know and love, as well as the day off if you happen to be so lucky. The idea of hanging out with friends, drinking all weekend, and binge eating come to mind first when I have an extra day off. Why not have a couple of drinks on a Sunday night when I don't have to work? Being in the mindset that every holiday weekend is a celebration is a quick way to destroy your goals, so lets change it! 

      I know there are still about 6 months before RTX Austin, but now is a great time to start making a conscious effort if you are planning on dropping those lbs. (Or gaining them!). Starting with small goals is an easy way to get yourself motivated. If you are planning on losing weight, try adding a day of HIIT workouts or intermittent fasting. Are you trying to bulk up? Start eating more or, my personal favorite, start adding more weight and less reps to your lifts! Whether you are losing, gaining, or maintaining, setting attainable goals with enough runway is a great way to stay motivated. 

      How I will start my Fit for RTX is by promising myself that I will eat clean this weekend and every holiday weekend until RTX. I will offer myself one cheat meal and I will mitigate my alcohol intake. Check out the list of mixed drinks I posted in the forums that are low calorie options if you are thinking about having a couple in the near future (read as tonight). 

      Do you have any plans for getting fit for RTX? If so what are they? I'd love to hear what everybody else is doing this year!

    • The 100 Push-up Challenge: What I've Learned

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      I did it! I finished the 100 Push-up Challenge! Woo!

      ...Is how I thought I would be feeling after I did my last push-ups for the challenge. This was very much a challenge in that soreness and fatigue were the biggest things to overcome. When I finished I have to admit, there was a bit of relief knowing that I didn't have to do another 100 the next day. Here are the things that I learned a little too late in the challenge. 

      Mind Your Form
      I like to think that I have pretty good form when doing my push-ups, however, when you are in the middle of a parking lot trying to finish off your "100," form might suffer a little bit as you try to speed through them. When doing any activity extensively, take the time to make sure that your form is as close to perfect as possible. Any excess strain you put on your body will only become worse as you continue your challenge.

      Which brings me to my next point!

      I can't stress this one enough, mainly because I didn't do it as much as I should have. Whether its push-ups, squats, crunches, whatever it is, make sure you stretch. My shoulders and triceps started to be consistently sore towards the end of my 30 days which made doing push-ups grueling at times. If you are going to do this challenge I suggest getting a lacrosse ball and rolling out your chest and shoulders several times a week! 

      Do This!

      Manage Your Fatigue

      Stay Hydrated, your muscles with thank you for it! Eating good foods and drinking enough water will help your body fight off fatigue. Getting 8 hours of sleep a night is also helpful if you want your body to recover as much as possible. If you decide to go out drinking and you don't take the proper precautions, just remember that you still have 100 push-ups to do, with or without the hangover. 

      I have noticed that I firmer chest, larger and more rounded shoulders, and tighter triceps as a result of this challenge. I am glad I did it, now I know what to do for any challenge I decide to take on in the future. 

      Have you completed any challenges like this? Any tips or tricks that you found? Let us know! 


    • Why is Eating So Fun!?

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      I was talking with my girlfriend last night (brag) and we got onto the topic of what to have for dinner. We went back and forth about getting soup and salad and eating healthy, but what we really wanted was a Burger and Fries. We wound up at the grocery store, looking at the unappetizing cans of soup and the salad options seemed to be wilting right in front of our eyes. We made out selections and started to make our way towards the counter when we looked at one another and realized that instead of being miserable, we would have a cheat meal. We were literally giddy with excitement as we got into the car and drove down the street. 

      We usually eat pretty clean and have both been working out regularly. I've heard people say things like "After eating clean for so long fast food just doesn't taste as good anymore!" 


      I've eaten clean for 3 months straight and then bit into a McDonalds burger and almost pre'd my pants. It's not only delicious, but fun. Maybe its the social aspect of it, maybe it's the idea of treating yourself, but something about eating like crap is so fun!

      Personally I believe that eating whatever you want once in a while is alright as long as you are willing to put in the reps to make it up. Maybe I'm crazy. Does anybody out there know of anyway to strengthen your willpower? A way to trick the mind perhaps? Let me know!


    • Morning Glory!

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      I used to only work out on my lunch breaks or on the rare occasion, braving the gym after work when it was swamped. It was nice going on lunch because most of the time the gym wasn't very crowded and I didn't have to fight for any equipment.

      However, I have recently started going in the mornings before work. I have to say, the benefits have already been noticeable. It's a much more motivating way to start the day. I've also noticed that not matter what happens for the rest of the day, I've already worked out. So no more having a rough day and rationalizing that I don't want to go to the gym. I think the biggest difference is that it gives me a sense of accomplishment at the start of the day. Having that feeling is a great way to start the day and instantly puts me in a better mood.

      Whether you have to be at work at 6 am or 6 pm, if you can squeeze in a work out before you can squeeze in a workout before the start of your day, I highly recommend doing so. Your mind and your body will thank you!


    • New Year, New Me!

      1 year ago

      The Gains Team

      Not to be cliche, but, with a new year comes new goals! Time to start getting ready to be pool side or out at the beach during the summer. I figured I would start this year off by doing the 100 push up challenge! I am on Day 6 and so far I'm crushing it. Paired with that I have decided to start waking up earlier in the morning and getting a workout in before work. 

      I've already started to get my diet under control again. I love food, it hates me (curse you mother and these baby-bearing hips!) so this will probably be the biggest challenge for me. So far so good though, if I can keep alcohol to a minimum I should be dropping lbs fast. I'd love the consistently lose 1 lbs per week for the next couple months. 

      What are you planning on doing. Have you already started, if so how's it going?? Let us know! 


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    The Gains Team

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    Are you feeling a little soft in all the wrong places? Do you like to seeing how many plates you can put on the bar? Does getting a good pump in sound like a great way to start the day!? Well then maybe you should be apart of The Gains Team. 

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