This Isn’t A Three Month Fix

Commitment is such a powerful word. To me, it entails me to go tooth and nail, day in and day out, to get what I want. This approach goes far beyond fitness, and it indeed pertains to my life. I want to be committed to several things, and I’ll mention a few of them. I always want to be stronger, faster, leaner, and better overall than I was the year before. What I mean by this is that I’ll turn twenty-six in two weeks, and I want twenty-six-year-old Todd to be better than sixteen-year-old Todd back in 2007. It also means that if I’m fortunate enough to reach my thirty-sixth birthday, I want to be better than I was in a fitness-sense than twenty-six-year-old Todd. I laugh when people tell me this is impossible and that I’m being far too ambitious, because in my own mind, and especially around the Pittsburgh area, I’d like to mention a man named Brady and leave it at that. Well, I can’t because Tom Brady is going to be forty this year and I guarantee the masses he has at least one more Super Bowl Ring left in him. You simply can’t talk commitment without mentioning Tom Brady.

So, when it comes to fitness, commitment is key. You can’t join a gym for three months, briefly change your lifestyle, and then try to somehow maintain that. Are you serious about changing your life? If you are, then you need to be held accountable. This is why I love long-term commitments in writing. You simply can’t make a short-term one, and then watch it all go to pieces over the next nine months because no one was grilling it into your brain that you need to stick to this over a period of time.

With commitment, however, comes appliance of knowledge. What does that mean? This means you really need to have someone telling you what you need, especially when it comes to fitness. Allow me to lay out a common misconception: Cardio burns fat. Let me correct you by saying that you haven’t even begun to grasp the concept of fat-burning. Ninety percent of people join a gym because they want to “lose weight,” even though they’re talking about fat-loss. They also “just want to tone” and not build muscle. Newsflash, masses: You can’t “just tone” a muscle. Toning practically means building a muscle the same way a bodybuilder would, except you lack the genetic capacity to get bulky, so you won’t get bulky, so get it out of your head that you will get bulky, because I’ve repeated the word bulky about four times so I can personally reprogram your brain with factual knowledge rather than the “lifting makes you bulky so try my workout video, or workout video series” propaganda you fall victim to. I love that word. Propaganda. Because about one-hundred percent of the population fall victim to propaganda each and every day, however, they are completely and verbally in denial of doing so.

Now that I’ve drilled into your brain that building muscle doesn’t, in any way, shape, or form make you bulky, I would now like to tell you that in order to lose fat, uh, I mean weight, that you have to build muscle first. Why? Because we have something in our bodies that controls all reactions called a metabolism, and this metabolism slows down when we don’t properly fuel our bodies because we also have it drilled in our minds that we need to eat less food to lose weight because for some strange reason, fuel is evil. Have you ever wondered why that in NASCAR, the drivers take about five to seven pit stops during a race? This is so they can replenish their worn tires and refuel their cars. When you eat the proper foods, at the right times, in the right amounts, something amazing happens. Your body runs more efficiently. Have you ever been tired, unmotivated, worn out, feeling overwhelmed, and constantly sick and dragging? This is because you’re starving yourself, though the stomach isn’t hungry because it’s not used to getting food anymore so it won’t be. However, your body has been in starvation mode somewhere between a few months to a few years, which is the real reason why you’re consistently losing muscle and putting on body fat as you age. No, age isn’t what’s slowing your metabolism down, it’s the fact you stopped eating right a couple decades back and stopped working out regularly. What’s the main idea here? You need to eat to gain muscle in order to speed up your chemical reactions in your body so you can lose fat. That way, when you get into a fat loss phase, you then can lose fat efficiently, but there is a process.

Okay, so how much muscle do you need to build? Well, that depends on the amount of muscle your body is currently holding. If you’re holding less muscle than you should be holding, then it needs to be built first. Like I’ve said before, if you want to lose body fat, you might have to build enough muscle to stimulate that metabolism first. How do you do this? First off, you need to do resistance training. Once again, as I’ve said before. Resistance training always trumps cardio in terms of muscle building. You need to build the muscle first, before even thinking about fat loss, because if you don’t, you’re only going to put on more fat. This is even true if you lose weight through cardiovascular means.

If you lost weight but lost only muscle, your body fat percentage just increased, your lean body mass percentage decreased, your metabolism became even slower, which can ultimately lead to thyroid problems and other metabolically related issues. Furthermore, since your bodyfat percentage saw an increase, you just increased your risk for heart disease, among others. Do you realize what you’ve done to yourself? You just made a bad situation worse because you thought you knew it all and in actuality, you knew nothing at all in all things fitness as it pertains to your body.

So, for your frame, if you need to add thirty pounds of muscle, it’s going to take you thirty weeks before you should even think about substantial fat loss. Thirty weeks may be a long time, but the fact that you’ve been failing at this for the last decade by continually yo-yo dieting, maybe you should start exercising (no pun intended) some patience here and finally fix the problem for good this time. So from that perspective, thirty weeks is only seven and a half months. This means if you start something new in January, you will be at your muscle building goal by the middle of July. Then you get to slash body fat, and if you have twenty pounds of fat to go, then it’ll take another twenty weeks. So, before Christmas, you’ll be where you want to be. That New Year’s Resolution you’ve been talking about over the past decade finally came true! But you have to set your own self-absorbed pride aside first and admit you know nothing about this subject, because you don’t, and those who actually have experience and qualifications in this subject do.

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