I’m going to give a brief run-down on why I do what I do for a living: training and writing. For starters, I’m one of the good guys, and there are about one-percent of good guys in this field. I know some of them either personally or via social media. They’re the people I look up to and try to model myself after. One thing I like about them is if they talk training, they’re also talking nutrition, and nothing of a fad, but good, sound nutrition that melts the fat and feeds muscle before it’s starved. I also like when they post before and after pictures of anyone, numbers accompany the pictures but not necessarily in what the scale says, but in terms of inches lost or bodyfat percentage.
Then you have who I call the bad guys, and they are the ones who market a certain style of training, swearing by one or two types of workouts, products, programs, or pieces of equipment. You’ve probably met a few of them, as all you really need to do is turn on the television screen to see the latest fad accompanied with paid actors talking non-stop about how this product, workout style, or program changed their life. Dr. Oz is another great example of this, and if you’re doing anything he recommends, then you’re probably also in that crowd debating one another about the ever-growing conflict of United Airlines dress code in favor of focusing on more serious issues in the world today.
The last sentence may be a little harsh, but good guys speak the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. This is a cold, hard fact but it’s a good one at that, and we all need that one person out of one-hundred telling you what needs to be heard and not what one wants to hear. This is where I come in. Ironically, I never used to be like this, but after seeing what I’ve seen in the past in regards to false fitness prophets, I knew I had to change or else I’d become one as well. Simply put, I wanted to be a good guy, since very few in the world today are in that crowd. It’s time someone stepped up and said enough is enough.
So, with all this misinformation out there, I’m going to lay some guidelines which you can follow in order to help protect yourself from these false prophets forewarned by the only soul ever known to conquer death, although I think He was talking of something other than fitness. Anyway, this is exactly why I survived a fractured skull at birth, to spread warnings about the other serpents in the garden from a fitness standpoint.
I’m going to bypass the “too good to be true, it probably is” statement, because that one’s as old as our own disk or planet itself, and every single soul around as heard that one, including the Sentinelese, one of the last remaining isolated tribes known to this world. I know of a lot of people who tend to “talk down” to the level of their target market’s fitness education.
They use the word “tone,” “tighten-up,” and “spot-reduction.” Here’s the truth: you can’t tone a muscle, tighten anything up until you’ve built enough muscle in order to make this possible, and spot-reduction is the biggest myth since George Washington chopped down a cherry tree in his youth. Yet, these so-called, self-prescribed fitness celebrities do just this because their audience doesn’t know any different and they know whatever is being sold will be bought on that day.
It’s a sad, unfortunate truth, but it happens day after day, year after year, to hard working Americans who have been seeking a “weight loss” solution for years. Look, you just can’t lose weight, which is something a lot of these people thrive on. Yay, you look much thinner in a progress picture, and please note my sarcasm. In all honesty, I don’t care how much thinner you look in an eight-week progress picture and even if you’ve lost fifteen pounds in that timespan. Why is that? When was the last time you had your lean body composition checked? What if you lost ten pounds of muscle and only five pounds of fat? Hate to tell you this, but that’s a net weight loss of .33 pounds because you lost ten pounds of good weight. You’re becoming skinny-fat, yet you’re swearing by the product because you saw yourself shrink and the weight come off.
Many of my posts are tough love posts, and the reason I have thousands of followers already is because people are beginning to realize just how right I am and how wrong America is. You can’t go to a dance studio and do nothing but bodyweight, cardio, and ultra-light dumbbells five days a week and see the results you want to see. Sure, you may look thinner in the mirror, but again, how much of what you’ve lost is body fat? Are you eating right, or are you eating between 800 and 1,200 calories per day, and in the process killing your metabolism, thyroid, hormonal levels, and overall health? Are you eating the right amounts of protein and starchy carbs or are you simply just counting calories and eating whatever you feel like eating? Yes, I swear by macro-based dieting, but it doesn’t give me a free ticket to eat whatever I please! In fact, I’m eating the right foods about ninety-five percent of the time, and eating a cheat meal only five-percent of the time, if that. I lift heavy, I engage in bodyweight exercise, high intensity interval cardio, and core training, but I also do one thing very few people think of and that’s paying attention to what I’m eating. Nutrition is seventy-percent of this, and if you think it’s all about working out while you can eat whatever you want, then you need to seriously reconsider your thought process because without sound nutrition, you’re only going to stagnate. Why do you think so many people go years without finding the solution to their fat loss goals and end up giving up altogether?
What do you need to do right now? You need to find help from qualified professionals who are more than interested in directing your path to success. The success you’ve dreamed of for years yet have been fooled time and again by fads promising results, and even giving you an illusion of results, only to see you end up taking two steps back for every step forward. What I’m saying is a qualified fitness professional is going to tell you something straight up: if the nutritional aspect isn’t there, you will never see the results you want to see. You can workout twice a day, seven days per week and still see nothing change in the right direction without sound nutrition.
If you want to engage in the so-called “toning-up” of a muscle, you need to build it first, which means you need to lift weights and engage in hard, heavy resistance training. It doesn’t matter if you’re male or female, this needs to happen. If you’re a female who is afraid to get bulky, you won’t. I know several who lift hard five to six days a week and they actually have that look you’ve been dreaming of achieving for years, yet you were afraid to touch heavy weights. Well, there’s your answer, because they aren’t bulky, they probably have what you’re calling a “toned look.” Maybe they know something you’ve been afraid of for years, but it was actually the best thing for you, and I’m not talking about lifting three pound dumbbells for fifty reps per set, it’s as heavy as they can go for eight to twelve reps, or sometimes even fewer reps.
As for nutrition, most of us tell you that you can and will be eating. Food isn’t bad, and neither are carbs and fats. Protein is the most important macro-nutrient in terms of muscle building, satiety, and the thermic-effect, which means you’re burning protein calories faster than anything else. For instance, when I raise my protein levels, I can see myself getting leaner as a result, each and every time. As for carbs, you need plenty of starchy carbs in order to fuel your workout. If I tell someone to make forty-percent of their two-thousand, five-hundred calorie intake, they’re going to be eating roughly one-hundred and seventy-five grams of carbs per day. In other words, they’re going to feel much better and much more energized than that person eating one-thousand, two-hundred calories per day and eighty grams of carbs per day. Not just that, the one eating more calories are going to see the results they need to see, and not that false illusion that makes it look as if they’re achieving results. Again, if you look thinner in the mirror but never had a body composition test done, then you really need to get one done every two weeks to see your actual progress. Was it muscle or fat loss? Fats need to be kept in moderation, as they’re the least thermic of all the macro-nutrients, but still very important for the body’s hormones, joint lubricants, and a secondary energy source as well. Like I said, moderation, not cut out completely.
You can’t be doing the same workouts over, over, and over again. They need to be changed up, and changed up frequently. We have three different types of muscle fibers, and each one has to be worked at least once per week. This means three different resistance training sessions, each targeting a different muscle fiber type. If you’re only in the gym three times a week, then it must be three total body workouts. The first type of muscle fibers are our power muscle fibers, known in the science world as Type IIx muscle fibers. Those muscle fibers used for sprinting, throwing, shooting a basketball, and jumping fit the power mold. Then we have our slower of the fast twitch muscles, which typically help us with strength, also known as Type IIa muscle fibers. What do they do? Build muscular strength, which is something we all need to work on in order to carry out our daily functions at maximum capacity and prolong our body’s strength as we start to age. Why do people tend to get weaker as they age? They stop strength training because they think they’re too old. Think again. Then the surface muscles are worked in a volume workout, where we’re be taxing the endurance muscles, better known as Type I muscle fibers. They are typically the toughest workouts out there, the surface muscles must face longer, high repetition workouts, because we’re trying to work endurance into the mold here.
The above paragraph speaks wonders, because most people will only work one or two of their different muscle fiber types and leave it at that, neglecting at least one or sometimes even two of the other fiber types. You need to stop neglecting and start working them pronto. If all you’re doing is dance cardio, the only muscles being hit are the surface muscles, leaving you suspect to losing power, strength, and function. If you’re only maxing out every single day and working in rep ranges of three to five, your strength and volume will suffer. Power and strength are two different types of training, something most men cannot seem to grasp.
I hope this article sheds some light on further misunderstandings in the fitness world and becomes that compass to point you in the right direction of all things fitness. If I sounded harsh here, then I got your attention.