I’m in a weird phase now, having joined a gym and going enough to see results, but not so much as to burn out on the people who go there. The personalities of gym-goers range from “Aggressively Spray-tanned Wide-Backed Renter” to “Scrumptious Bootypacked Stairstepper” to “WHAT ARE YOU LOOKIN’ AT?” to “Keepin’ Sleek at 60.” We all go for different reasons, but the underlying goal is to ultimately beat The Reaper at his own game.
I guess that means killing yourself trying to stay healthy?
Anyway… thanks to some information that piqued my sensors (maybe the 2nd time ever using the word “pique”) from a great site I found, BuffDaddio.com, I started a new lifting protocol. Mike Mentzer’s HIT (High Intensity Training) simplifies all the Sets x Reps x (WeightLifted*DistanceMoved/TimeUnderTension) + Time Staring At Self In Mirror maze of crapola people wade through. Mentzer’s workouts are all about applying a mindset of FOCUSED INTENSITY for a short period of time to properly perform basic muscle-busting movements. You squat 255 perfectly, slowly, for 8 reps and you’ll do more for your body than the guy busting out 315 with bad form and 15 half-reps. Keep it simple, keep it short, keep it moving.
I love lifting again. I’m not as strong as I was 8 years ago when I was in a gym every day pretty much. But I’m getting there. And I’ve accepted that I don’t NEED to toss iron the way I did when I was in college, throwing shot-put, or trying to attract girls with daddy issues. I basically want to drop about 50lbs before next June and see 4 of my abs and have some specific measurements. How does this all come together? I HAVE ADD, SO BEAR WITH ME.
Here’s what I’ve found to be the basic principles of the most-loved and “realistic” fitness regimens. Bodybuilder, athlete, fat-burner, carb lover, busy dad, busier mom, weight-dropping project manager… these are for all of us.
- What you eat is about 80% of your success. If you eat really cleanly (lean protein, moderate fat, lots of veggies and fruit, low sugar and carbs), your body gets its energy from your stored bodyfat, which you have (sorry you had to find out here).
- Eat Protein. It repairs your muscles and takes energy to metabolize. Eat Fat. It makes you feel full and happy and your brain will love you for it. Eat veggies and fruit. Vitamin and antioxidants are all up in those. If you GOTTA HAVE A COOKIE AND PIE AND ICE CREAM, have a little bit of each, once a week. Then get right the hell back to the good stuff.
- If you’re gonna lift, lift pretty heavy, and keep the workout short. Short rests between sets. Compound exercises are best, like deadlifts, squats, presses, and rows. Start with those, then do your 20lb kickbacks in the Zumba room.
- If you’re gonna do cardio, DO CARDIO. Get your heart POUNDING, not pumping. Do some HIIT work. Warm up for a few minutes, get loose. Then run/row/pedal/elliptical about 90% effort for 15seconds, higher tension or speed or incline. Then ratchet it down for 45seconds, like you’re on a stroll. Repeat that cycle about 8-10 times. Cool down a few minutes. Boom. 15min of cardio twice a week, and your fat’ll be burning.
- Move a little bit every day. Walk around, stretch, be purposely active. Especially if you’re sore.
- Get as much sleep as you can. It helps your hormones regulate, weightloss, recovery, and you’re not a complete turd to be around.
- Quit stressin’. Life’s too short. Exercise to live better and healthier. If you put in 3 hours of exercise a week, that’s 156 hours a year, or about 6.5 days each year. If those 6.5 days/year meant that you had another 12 months of great health later in life, would you trade that time in?
6.5 days of effort = 365 more days of health, love, family, and friends?
Yeah, I’ll take that trade. Still gonna work to see my gawddamn abs.
To your health!