April 15 2011 13 Tips for Anyone
Copyright 2009, RedPointFitness.com
Guys and Gals, here is an article I wrote several years ago that has been revised numerous times since then and now finally broken into 4 parts. Here is part 1 which was recently published on EliteFTS.com. Enjoy!
13 Tips for Anyone Who Wants to Improve Performance and Look Better Naked Part I – Training
If I could go back in time and tell my “beginner self” a few things about training, nutrition, cardio and supplements… what would I want to know? What tips have I learned over the last several years that have contributed most to improvements made in my physique, my performance and my overall health? I have thought about this a lot, and I have come up with 26 golden nuggets of information, split into several parts, that will help you reach your goals more quickly, whatever they may be. Keep in mind that these are in no particular order. Also, I try to get to the point and present you with the “takeaway” information, which is what most of us are concerned about to begin with, right? I hope you enjoy!
1) Focus on strength! Until you can properly squat and deadlift at least your body weight for females and 2x your body weight for males, and bench press at least half your body weight for females and 1x your body weight for males, you have no business doing body part splits. Getting stronger opens up so many doors to so many other types of training, and makes that training infinitely more effective. Think about it, how effective will your metabolic circuit be if you can barely do 5 pushups? How many rounds will you make it through before your upper body gives out on you? And think about doing curls on your “arm day.” How will your results improve if you are doing hammer curls with 30lb DBs instead of 10 lbs? What kind of effect will that have on your hypertrophy training? Astronomical, right? Training for strength will also help improve the strength of joints and ligaments and help prevent injury when you are training explosively, like doing sprints or plyometrics. So the bottom line is: training for strength is the way to go! Once you have built up a decent strength base, you can try other types of training and reap major results. Some great programs to focus on strength for someone new to weight training include but are not limited to: The New Rules of Lifting by Alwyn Cosgrove and Lou Schuler, Maximum Strength by Eric Cressey, Westside for Skinny Bastards by Joe DeFranco.
2) Build upper back strength! This is super important! I have never met a person who was new to training who didn’t desperately need to build their upper back. Hell, most people I know who have been training for years still need to build their upper backs too! We spend hours each day sitting at our desks slumped over a computer with our heads jutted forward looking at the screen. The stronger and more developed your upper back is, the easier it will be for you to sit up straight and have good posture, and the more progress you will make in the gym! It’s a win-win! Some great exercises for building your upper back include inverted rows, chin-ups and pull-ups, one-arm DB rows, face pulls, bent over rows, T-bar rows, chest supported rows and YTWLI raises.
3) Stretching your pecs! This kind of goes hand in hand with the previous tip! Poor posture coupled with “mirror syndrome” (training only the muscles you see in the mirror) often leaves women with pectoral muscles that are overdeveloped in relation to their back, and these muscles shorten and become VERY tight. This can lead to shoulder problems, posture problems and other imbalance issues within the body. Try the doorway stretch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xzR9trLRD0c
Also try the Broomstick Pec Mobilization found here:
4) Hamstrings! Hamstrings! Hamstrings! Strong and well developed hamstrings not only make you powerful in the gym, but they help protect your knees from injury and look incredible sexy! I mean seriously, have you ever seen a nice pair of hamstrings on a person that wasn’t incredibly fit everywhere else? I didn’t think so! Don’t forget that primary functions of the hamstring are hip extension and knee flexion, so both functions needs to be trained. Examples of hip extension exercises would be romanian deadlifts and good mornings. Examples of knee flexion exercises would be lying leg curls and glute ham raises. Also note that hamstrings have a higher percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers than other muscle groups and they respond well to very heavy loads.
5) Improve hip mobility! Like the weak upper backs and hamstrings that I ranted about previously, this is another problem I see with almost all my clients. Tight hips can lead to non-firing glutes, low back pain and knee pain which can decrease your performance in the gym, adversely affect the appearance of your glutes and lead to other imbalance issues within the body. If you think your hip flexors might be tight, they probably are. And if you think your hip flexors are not tight, then there is a good chance you are wrong. Here are a couple fantastic exercises that can be done at home or in the gym or anywhere you feel comfortable dropping down into a deep lunge or squat position. Starbucks, anyone? Grocery store? Mall? No judgment here! We are all busy and we all need to improve mobility when we can. Do these exercises almost daily while you are trying to correct the problem and 3-4 days a week for maintenance purposes.
6) Recognize the importance of unilateral work! In other words, include plenty of one-armed and one-legged exercises in your regimen. It’s natural for one side of our body to be more dominant than the other. Almost all of us feel more comfortable writing with one hand or the other, or kicking a ball with one leg or the other. This often leads to one side of the body being much stronger than the other. So when you are performing bilateral exercises like squats, bench presses or military presses your dominant side is probably taking a heavier load than your non-dominant side, which just widens the strength gap between the two sides. Doing unilateral work is also a great way to increase core stability and single leg work can increase awareness of the ankle joint. Some examples of upper body unilateral movements would be single-arm DB rows, single-arm overhead presses, and single-arm bench presses. Some good examples of lower body unilateral movements would be the single leg squat, single leg deadlift, step-ups and lunges.
7) Diligently do your pre-hab work! No one wants to go in the gym and spend half an hour doing dinky-looking exercises that kill their ego because they are impossible to do with more than 5 lbs. Well check your ego at the door and get over yourself! Pre-habilitation exercises are just that…they help prevent injury. To be honest, everything you do in the gym should be helping to prevent injury, but it just doesn’t always work that way. Assess and Correct by Mike Robertson, Eric Cressey and Bill Hartman is a fantastic tool to help you figure out areas of your body that may be tight/weak/unstable/immobile/etc. If you find an area where you need a lot of work, I would do corresponding exercises and/or stretches 4-6 days a week. If you are just trying to maintain an area that’s in good shape, you could do those exercises and/or stretches 2-3 days a week. Bonus: most of these warm-ups, exercises and stretches can be done at home if you have some light DB’s and/or bands. I love my Jump Stretch Bands found here http://www.flexcart.com/members/elitefts/default.asp?m=PD&cid=138&pid=246
They are cheap, durable and they have an infinite number of uses.
8) Stick with a diet/routine long enough to get results! Everyone wants results from their routines, like yesterday, and this can cause frustration and “the grass is always greener syndrome.” Any time a new routine or diet comes out that sounds cool, everyone wants to jump on the bandwagon and they end up skipping around from routine to routine and diet to diet without ever really sticking with one and seeing results. There are tons of great routines out there. Pick one, stick with it for 6-8 weeks and see results! This will also help you in the future in knowing how your body responds to certain training/dieting stimulus. Do you feel like you gained a lot of mass incorporating heavy deadlifts into your routine? Awesome! Does the Anabolic Diet give you great energy? Wonderful! Do barbell complexes rip the fat off of you? Great! Did you get some awesome gains from Wendler’s 5/3/1? Fantastic! Sticking with a diet or routine long enough to see results is the best way to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t. So quit jumping from one thing to another like a Chihuahua with ADD!
9) Realize that fat loss and muscle and strength gains are rarely linear! Bodies are extremely finicky and they like to do things at their own pace. This includes losing body fat, and gaining muscle and strength. I have heard stories of guys plateauing on their squat for a full year and then BAM! They come in one day and hit a 30 lb PR! So don’t get discouraged if you don’t see daily or even weekly progress. Take progress pictures, take measurements, write down the weights you are using in the gym, and try to look at progress as a long term thing, instead of getting down on yourself if you have a bad workout or two, or the scale won’t budge. It can also be good to acknowledge accomplishments that are not necessarily related your primary goal. For example, if you are looking to lose fat, and you feel like you are stuck, maybe take a look back at your training journal and see how your weights have improved or look at old progress pictures and notice how your shoulders are much fuller and rounder than they were 4 months ago. If you keep working smart and hard, the results will come, and they probably won’t be linear!
10) Recognize that everyone is different! What worked for your best friend, your Dad, or your significant other may not necessarily work for you. This is true with results from different types of diets, calorie levels, training routines, etc. I tend to make the best strength and muscle gains while staying lean if I lift weights 4 days a week, eat a lower carb diet of nearly 3,000 calories a day, and do a decent amount of HIIT and other conditioning work. My 200 lb boyfriend on the other hand, made his best strength gains training once every 7-10 days and doing almost NO interval training, but more low intensity cardio work. My friend Claire resorted to eating pie filling every morning in her oatmeal while trying to gain lean mass because she was having such a hard time doing it with only clean carbs. And she could see her abs the whole time! So see, everyone is different! I found that I made the most progress and had the most fun with my diet and training when I became my own science experiment and figure out what worked for me! Of course, I was careful to stick with each diet/calorie level/training routine/cardio regimen long enough to draw conclusions about how they affected my body. So I encourage you to be open-minded and try new things (and by new things I mean things that make sense! A no-protein diet or a training routine that has you doing single-arm handstand push-ups on a Bosu Ball should probably be avoided no matter what the Guru on the infomercial says!)
11) Give weak areas extra attention! Most of us have heard that we should not train a specific body part more than a couple times a weak, or we will over-train. This is partially true. If you have an area of your body that needs extra work, it’s OK to do exercises for it up to 4 or 5 times a week. However, you probably do not want to hammer that body part with multiple exercises and multiple sets 4-5 days a week unless you are, ahem, assisted (and of course you don’t want to focus on multiple weak areas at once). For example, if you would like to work on upper back strength, doing 2-3 sets of 2-3 exercises on your upper body days is a great idea. Then you can also add another couple sets of 1-2 exercises on your lower body days, and then maybe even do a set or two of an exercise on an off day. The key is to focus on one area at a time and to train the muscle with different exercises, on different planes and with different set and rep schemes. This is a technique often used by some of the strongest powerlifters in the world over at Westside Barbell. I have read and heard stories about them having someone train hamstrings 6 days a week when they are trying to strengthen that body part. Now that may seem a little excessive… and it’s hard to compare the lifters at Westside to your average person, but trust me, I have seen this work many people who are new to lifting. Using the example from earlier, I may have a client train their upper back like this (I will only be detailing the back exercises… not all of the exercises that are done):
Monday: Upper Body (Pullups, 3 sets of 5-6, Seated Cable Row, 3 sets of 12-15)
Tuesday: OFF from lifting (Band Pull-Aparts 2 sets of 25)
Wednesday: Lower Body (Deadlifts 5 sets of 5-6, Face Pulls 2 sets of 8-10)
Thursday: OFF from lifting
Friday: Upper Body (1 Arm DB Rows, 4 sets of 8, Straight Arm Pulldown 2 sets of 12-15)
Saturday: Lower Body Day (YTWLI exercises, 2-3 sets of 10 reps)
Sunday: OFF day from lifting
Also keep in mind that after 4-5 weeks of focusing on this body part, give it a rest and train it “normally” for a while. You can always come back to it in a few months.
12) Let big, compound movements comprise the bulk of your exercises! If it’s been said once, it’s been said a million times - these are the money exercises: squats, deadlifts, pushups, pullups, bench press, rows, overhead presses, lunges and all of their variations. These are the exercises that will make you strong and build muscle in the shortest amount of time. They are also the exercises that create the biggest demand on the body and burn the most calories. Get good at these exercises and do them often if you want to reach your goals! ‘Nuff said.
13) Always use progressions! Our bodies are very smart organisms that adapt quickly to stimuli. That’s why it is so important to always be pushing yourself a little further in the gym. Every time you go in the gym you strive to be a little better than you were last week. You should be able to add weight, or do an extra rep, or an extra set, or be able to do what you did last week with shorter rest periods…. something! You can plan the progression ahead of time if you’d like. For example:
Week 1: Workout as planned
Week 2: Increase weight or reps on exercises
Week 3: Using same weight and reps as week 2, decrease rest periods by 15 seconds
Week 4: Using same weights and reps and rest periods as week 3, add an extra set to each exercise
Week 5: Try to increase weight or reps again.
Or, you can go by how you are feeling or some other external factor like how much time you have. If you are crunched for time, then it may be a good idea to shorten the rest period. If you are feeling extra strong, maybe you want to increase weight or reps. If you have plenty of time and endurance, then maybe it’s a good day to add an extra set to each exercise. You can choose whichever method works for you… but always be progressing! On the other side of the coin, as mentioned previously, gains are not always linear and one bad workout shouldn’t get you down too much. If you have several bad workouts in a row, you should probably examine lifestyle factors such as sleep, stress, and calorie level. It could also be time for a de-load (5-7 days of rest or light workouts to allow for proper recovery).
MMGBack to Blog »
February 10 2011 Ad mala quisque animum referat sua
Copyright 2011, RedPointFitness.com
I have been thinking lately on what I would do differently if I could start my entire lifting career over. About the things that I wish someone would have taken the time to tell me, about all of the stuff that I had to learn the hard way, which could have been easily avoided. Since I am not yet in possession of a time machine (parts are on backorder) this doesn’t do me a lot of good. However, it might help some of you. And in all honesty who better to listen to than someone who, like you, is genetically average in regards to weight training.
First off a little about me. I am not a great lifter, nor am I ever going to be. I was born an ectomorph, into a family of ectos. Hell, even my grandparents were all ectos. I was not dealt the best hand for my sport of choice, but such is life. I would consider myself a “powerbuilder,” (a term I use to make me feel OK about not being really strong or really big). For what I started with, I have hit or come close to all of the ranges that “they” predict are possible for someone with my build/genetics who is a “natural.” (These predictors include wrist size, ankle size, bone structure, body type, etc).
My best lifts are as follows. (All numbers were raw and with good from, i.e. not quarter reps with my spotter lifting most of the weight).
Flat Bench 300x6
Flat Dumbbell bench 130x8
Dead 485 x 1
Squat 365 x 8
These numbers are by no means impressive or freaky. It took me years to get to that level and I peaked on all of them at different times. I also injured myself a good deal along the way and wasted a lot time on ineffective routines, diets and supplements.
With well over a decade in the game to look back on, here is what I wish someone had taken the time to sit down and explain to me, and what I wish I would have been smart enough to listen to if they had.
1) Hire a good trainer, day one
The amount of information in this sport is mind blowing. It is being written faster than you could ever read. It is growing like a cancer, and most of it is useless. The greater majority of this information stockpile is being produced by would-be gurus who are micromanaging minutia in order to sound like an expert. If a new trainer wanted to make a name for himself and wrote an article on why you should squat heavy, eat a lot and sleep more that wouldn’t be very “guru-ish” and most people would pay him no attention. When in reality that advice is much closer to what works than a large percent of what you will read by the micromanagement experts or find in grocery store bodybuilding magazine. Unless your goal is to become a world class trainer why would you ever want to tackle this on your own anyway? When your car breaks, 99.9% of you will take it to a mechanic and pay them to fix it. When you get sick, you pay a doctor to help you get better. When your computer breaks you go a computer repair specialist. In all of these examples it’s obvious that you are incapable of fixing it on your own and it would probably not be a good use of your time to learn to do it. But a lot of you walk into a gym and by God, you are going to do it on your own. This is science blended with art and you need help with it. That’s hard to admit, especially for men.
2) Eat. A lot.
Preferably things that had parents. Especially when you first start. If you follow the advice in item 1 this will be taken care of for you. Good coaches know that the best training program in the world will fall flat on its face if there isn’t a proper eating plan to support it. Lifting is the easy/fun part. Eating can suck, it’s like a 2nd job. “Research” can prove that the human body will only digest 46 grams of protein per day. Go find someone who is big and strong and ask them if they eat 46 grams of protein per day. Between mouthfuls of food they will tell how stupid that sounds. Get at least half of your total calories from real food, preferably more. 1.5 to 2 grams of protein per lb of lean bodyweight seems to be where most people need to be. You probably don’t’ handle carbs well…keep them at low to moderate levels and mostly post workout. If the ingredient list consists of more than about five items and/or you have trouble pronouncing any of them, put something else in the cart. Where does the “Disodium Ribonucleotides 5” plant grow?
3) Some supplement companies will lie to you
They do this in order to make money off of you. They do not feel sorry about it. The promise of an easier/shorter path has been the secret to selling useless crap to the uninformed and generally lazy for hundreds of years…and will continue to be employed for the foreseeable future. There is no shortcut in this sport. There is no “secret.” I have watched guys take a boatload of steroids (card carrying members of the “2 grams per week club”) and barely look like they trained. Why? Their routines were way beyond their recovery and my grandmother eats more than they did (grandmother is very small). Since not even high dose steroids can overcome an ill-conceived training and nutrition game plan the latest bottle of “super jacked nitric beef cake 9,000” that is staring back at you from the GNC shelf probably won’t either. I like the following: Good Multi Vitamin/Multi Mineral, Vitamin C, Green Tea, Fish oil, Creatine, Taurine, Glutamine, Protein Powders, Digestive enzymes, BCAA’s, TTA and Forskolin. For the money they can’t be beat. If you have extra cash Coq10 and Idebenone are also great and may even extend your life.
[I debated about whether or not to mention this next part, it is the truth and I decided that you can’t go wrong telling people what is true. So here goes.] The only things that I have ever seen produce “Steroid like results” are Steroids. They work; they work amazingly well and are probably safer for you than some of the over counters anyway. There are several “Pro-Hormones” on the market that provide Steroid-like results because, well, they are steroids, with a better PR agent. Their manufactures have found short term loop holes in the law which allow them to legally sell them. Realize that the biggest gains left for someone who is close to hitting their genetic potential come from manipulation of the HPTA axis. (Neither I or the owners of this site are promoting the use of illegal substances. Make your own decisions; don’t try this at home or at all. Please don’t try to sue us if your choices turn out to be poor ones. They were after all, your choices.)
4) Stay balanced
I have met a lot of people who let this sport consume them. I use to be one of them. I hated vacations, holidays, travel, snow days and anything else that would get me out of my routine. My girlfriend at the time lived several hours away from me and did 80% of the traveling because I had “legs” on Saturday and didn’t want to train at a different gym. I would arrange my college classes around my eating times and lifting schedule. This might have all been ok if I were training for a NFL combine or a state level bodybuilding show. The sad part is that I was 5’10, 180lbs and when wearing street clothes I was rarely accused of lifting weights. I was in love with a sport that didn’t love me back. I was giving up some of the things that really mattered in life to be an average lifter…and hoped that because I was “hardcore” I would eventually wake up looking like the next Mr. Olympia. (P.S. It didn’t happen).
I am a firm believer that if you are going to do something, do it right. I am not saying that you shouldn’t be disciplined. I am not suggesting laziness masquerading as “enlightenment.” I am simply saying that you should find a balance to your life. There are things far more important than picking the weight up and setting the weight back down. Lifting should be a great addition to your life, not the reason you live. For most of you this sport is a phase. The majority of lifters that I have known last about 3-5 years and then get into something else. If I had college to do over again I would have spent more time with my friends and less time weighing my food out and obsessing about the perfect rep speed and the weight I was going to lift the next morning. The weights are still there, and some of my friends aren’t.
5) Set realistic goals
This sport is not “6 months to a new you.” From 1992-2004 Ronnie Coleman gained 76lbs of muscle. That is 6.3lbs of muscle per year. You will probably not outperform Ronnie; he’s pretty good at this sport in case you didn’t know. Also, you didn’t get fat in 2 months, your probably not going to get lean in two months. Think long term, be patient, enjoy the process. The people that are gifted for this sport typically find it out VERY quickly. If you have been lifting for 2-3 years on an intelligent program and don’t look “freaky,” you probably never will. You will obviously continue to progress but don’t harbor dreams of state titles and supplement company sponsorship. All of the guys that I have seen that are good at this sport were good at it from the start. Society, the media and your parents have told you from day one that you can do anything you put your mind too if you want it bad enough. There is a lot of truth to this, and most people set the “what’s possible” bar of life much lower than need be. That being said, no one has out trained their genetics, nor will they. Everyone can be a better version of themselves…and that’s what this sport should be about. Improving yourself, for you. Not trying to hit some unattainable goal and feeling like a failure for missing. Genetic potential can only be properly assessed in retrospect. Bust your ass in the gym, eat like a machine, rest properly and you will be amazed where you end up.
Stress can destroy your lifts. The human body has adapted too, or was designed (pending your world view) to stay alive in its environment. One of the core features that allow this is the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS). There is a split in this system, on one side the Sympathetic and the other Parasympathetic (think: Team Jacob vs. Team Edward). The Sympathetic side’s main purpose is mobilization under stress. It has a very militant point of view, anything that is not 100% necessary to get you out of harm’s way gets shut down including digestion, tissue repair, sperm production, etc. All of those things can wait until we are safe. This system is good; it is what allowed your ancestors not to be eaten. The Parasympathetic system can be summarized by SLUDD (salivation, lacrimation, urination, digestion, defecation). Your body repairs itself in this state. The interesting part about these systems is that they are activated by your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind only knows what you tell it and can’t distinguish between what is real and what is imagined. Have you ever woken from a nightmare to find your heart racing, sheets covered in sweat, and breathing like you had just finished a prowler session? Your subconscious mind had reacted to your nightmare the same way it would have if the event was real. It instantly switched you over to Sympathetic, shutdown all systems that weren’t critical for immediate survival, started pumping out adrenaline and prepared for war.
However, there was no real reason to get prepared for battle, no WMD’s, it was all in your head.
With our, fast paced, everything now, instant access, faster download, twittering, commuter lane, army of one, overworked, overclocked, single parent, in-debt, five hour energy powered world, what mode do you think your ANS selects a majority of the time? Take walks, meditate, learn relaxation techniques, go get massages (with happy endings if budget/significant other/state laws allow), stretch, take yoga, do something to relax and let your body heal itself.
7) Long term health rocks!
There is a quote by Benjamin Franklin, “He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither.” My variant on this is, “He who sacrifices long term health for short term aesthetics or strength deservers neither.” Take time to do pre-hab work, stretch, do preventative maintenance on your body. Get regular blood work done. Learn the difference between discomfort from lifting and an injury. Lift with someone in person who knows good technique. Books and online trainers are great, but nothing can replace someone watching you lift in person and making corrections on the spot. Learn form first, add weight second. If the amount of weight forces your technique to breakdown, it’s too heavy. Terms like: food, non-allergenic, FDA approved, organic, non-organic, supplement, drug, illegal, illicit, medical grade, animal grade, locally grown, pro-hormone, herbal and the like are all just made up words. There is not an “FDA approved” compartment in your cells any more than there is a supplement compartment. The body only knows one thing, chemical (action/reaction). Be very careful with what you ingest, inject, and otherwise expose yourself to. Most people are pathetically uninformed about this, do you own research as you will be the one living with the results. If you don’t already know someone with a serious medical condition, go find one. Ask them if they would take their health back in exchange for having average lifts. Take care of your body, it’s the only one you’re going to get (Hinduists, no need to stress this one).
8) Be careful who you take advice from
This could have almost been a subset of item 1, but it is so often and easily overlooked I wanted to make it its own entry.
Let’s say there was a crack head, who wandered around high, begging for change. One day someone gave him a couple of bucks and with that money the crack head purchased a lottery ticket. This lottery ticket ended up being the winner. The crack head is now a millionaire. Is he suddenly in a position to offer sound financial advice? He has money, and lots of it, more than almost everyone else, surely he must know something about the accumulation of wealth.
Let’s say you approached him one day, “Crack head, you’re rich and I really want to be rich…tell me how you did it.” He could honestly reply, “Getting rich is easy!”
Step 1: Smoke crack.
Step 2: Beg for change.
Step 3: Take that change and buy a lottery ticket.
Step 4: Be rich!”
If you tried his (patent pending) system: “Smok’n crack and being rich” do you think that you would also end up rich?
The above scenario seems ridiculous but it is often exactly what people do with their training and diet. They find someone who looks the part, asks them how they got there…and then repeat those steps. The problem is that often times the person they are asking is a genetic lottery winner, it doesn’t really matter what they do. Walking aimlessly from curl machine to tricep push down to cable flys and getting drunk a couple of nights a week works them. It probably won’t work for you. Find someone who understands the concepts behind exercise science and nutrition and knows how to apply them in the real world to get results on themselves and the genetically typical.
9) Bulking is often confused with “Fatting.”
If you are a sub-50 year old male you don’t have much business being over ~14% bodyfat. Ever. Fat doesn’t lift weight, actin and myosin cross-bridge cycling does (muscle contractions for you non-nerds). And please, no PM’s on “improved leverages.” See also: Tip #7. I kept a china buffet in business during college when I was trying to get “jacked.” Unfortunately, you can’t force feed muscle growth. You can however; force feed your own fatness. There is something that feels good about seeing the scale jump 10lbs in one month. All that time in the gym is paying off. You’re a little stronger so it must have been all muscle, right? In reality it was probably closer to 9 pounds and change of pure fat and water. Carrying excess body fat for long periods of time makes it even harder to progress in the gym, screws up insulin sensitivity, can mess up your hormone production, and is harder to get rid of after it’s been there for a while. Many guys have trouble watching the scale drop when cutting…they feel like they are regressing. It’s odd, if you gave them 20lbs of fat in a Ziploc bag and told them they could carry it around all day and even weigh-in with it none of them would want to. Yet, you let them store the same 20lbs in their gut and it’s suddenly a badge of honor. “Look man, I am getting thick!” No sir, you are fluffy.
10) Cardio. It sucks. Do it anyway.
Many lifters (me included) confuse poor recovery with plain old just being out of shape. Squatting heavy doubles with 8 minutes of rest between sets and knocking out a couple of accessory movements and then going home to watch TV won’t bring your cardiovascular system up to the level it needs to be. If I listed out the benefits of walking 45 min 3 times per week without telling people what I was describing they would swear it was either a lie or the next miracle drug. The first time I trained under SB I ended up in the back room of my gym, on the floor, in a cold sweat, in my own puke. I had no idea how out of shape I was. Because my lifts were relatively good I just assumed that I was in shape. Wrong. GPP work mixed with cardio will do wonders for your lifts, overall health, fat loss, mood, etc. Cardio is mind numbingly boring. Sled pulling and prowler pushing are the suck. The benefits outweigh the cost, do them.
I sincerely hope that this keeps some of you from making the same mistakes I did.
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