There’s a reason you see so many advertisements in the fitness, workout, weight lifting, bodybuilding, and health market. It is one of the major, ever-present issues that people think about on a daily basis. To take it a step further, it is full of people who want to improve their health, wellness, fitness level, strength, or any other health related goal.
The point of this is that there are countless numbers of people at their ‘starting point’ at any one time. Many of them will find the key to success and crush their goals, but a vast majority will fall short and never reach the level they want to get to. There are a few things that almost everyone at their ‘starting point’ can do to take the next step and break free, and one of those few things is diet.
We find that a ton of people who are overweight, unhealthy, and unfit, have what we like to call, a “Deep Fry Diet”. This is, as it sounds, a diet that consists of a high volume of food fried in oil, usually from fast food joints like McDonals, KFC, or Wendy’s. These foods are sky-high with fat, cholesterol, bad carbohydrates, and salt – all things that do significant damage to your health if not kept at a reasonable level.
The Very Beginning
There is so much information out there it can be absolutely terrifying and paralyzing for someone looking to get into shape.
Put down the magazines and remember just this one thing: diet is responsible for around 80% of whatever fitness goal you’re after.
Don’t start running, don’t start going to the gym, don’t start taking any supplements. Start with your diet and only when you have that under control, move on to the other 20%.
Almost every single person at the start of their fitness journey can benefit from eliminating certain bad foods and changing their eating habits. Rather than salivating over the new fryer you new picked up as you stand in line at Burger King, you should be preparing the week’s meals while chowing down on a chicken and avocado wrap.
It seems too easy to be true, and today’s advertising and work out culture has made it impossible for the average person to grasp that working out alone isn’t what gives you results. After all, the gym is sexy, working out is cool, and how are you going to get shredded eating spinach?
We have to do what we can to educate people on taking small, achievable steps on their journeys to fitness, hence our post today.
Even doing something like getting into the habit of using your oven for cooking real food or trading in that deep fat fryer for one of those new ones that doesn’t user more than a tablespoon of oil are great steps.
It is vitally important that diet be the first habit you change. So many people don’t even know what healthy eating is, and they are surprised when we tell them it is not chips, soda, and cake. People also get tricked by eating ‘healthy’ ingredients that are mixed with non-healthy ingredients. “But I’m eating tuna!” they say. Yes, but that doesn’t matter as much when you’ve got a load of cheese and mayonnaise and salt added to it.
And NO you don’t have to give up every single thing you like. We encourage cheat days every once in awhile because you shouldn’t have to skip using the best turkey fryer that your grandparents just bought for Thanksgiving just because you’re ‘on a diet’. In fact, we like to think of this as a lifestyle shift. From unhealthy eating with tiny, tiny bits of healthy eating…to health eating with tiny, tiny bits of unhealthy eating.
These are the best exercises for toning and shaping your body, and dissolving fat. Many of these you can do at home, or at the gym for the extra motivation. Either way, these exercises do only one thing – they work.
It’s time to get down to the floor and shred away that fat. Start off at any number of push ups that you can do, one still counts! Now do a few sets of your maximum number of push ups at least three times in one day. Tomorrow, do the same, and by next week you’ll easily have doubled your original number. Half the battle is psychological, and this exercise proves the saying mind over matter!
Correct Posture: Make sure your hands are below your shoulders on each side, not closer to your body. You back should be straight, and you should get someone to watch your first few to see that it is. Bring your chest all the way to ground and your whole body back up again.
This one won’t just get you in shape, it will get you out of bed in the morning. Try for a solid number that’s easy to remember, unless you’re marking your progress down. Your minimum should be around ten to twenty crunches in three sets. You can space the sets apart from one another within the same day, but make sure that each set is done quickly and without pause.
Correct Posture: Lay on your back with you knees up, feet flat in front of you, and keep your hands on your chest. Don’t lift your body all the way to your knees, as this will use more of your back rather than your core muscles. Instead, lift yourself only a few inches off the ground, count to one, drop, count to one, up. Keep in rhythm and the set will be over before you know it!
If you want to increase the amount of muscle in your body quickly with one exercise then you want to do squats. Squats are proven to increase human growth hormone in the blood, leading to better metabolism and muscle growth. There are plenty of videos online and on demand with group workout sessions where all they do is squat. One pro tip: make sure you’re not wearing thin or overly tight pants.
Correct Posture: Your feet need to be wide enough apart so you won’t fall. Keep your back straight while you descend by bending your knees. It will feel like you’re trying to sit, but there’s no seat there…that’s okay just don’t fall over.
The latest rage in the fitness world, planks are great if you hate the ups and downs of sit ups and push ups. They’re extremely easy to perform and provide the same benefits as multiple exercises. A plank is all about timing, and you should try to keep one in the correct posture for at least a minute, and work your way up to five. Most people recommend doing at least five sets of your maximum plank time.
Correct Posture: Just like a push up, you want to keep your back straight, parallel to the ground. Unlike a push up, rest your forearms beneath you – shoulder length. Hold til you collapse!
What you need:
- Whey Protein
- Fish Oil
* Many of these should be blended into your pre and post workout shakes for maximum benefit. See below for the proper amounts.*
Whey Protein digests fat and supports rapid muscle growth. It also contains peptides that increase blood flow to your muscles. Take: twenty grams thirty minutes before working out, and forty grams within one hour post workout.
Creatine can gain you up to ten pounds of mass and increases your overall strength. Creatine also increases the number of reps you can do at the gym, improving the time you spend lifting. It draws more water into the cells that compose your muscles, which supports long term growth. Take: two to five grams before a workout, two to five grams post workout, and on no-gym days take two to five grams with a breakfast that has carbohydrates as a part of it.
Caffeine raises testosterone, boosts focus and motivation, and helps overcome fatigue. Can also help you recover faster. Take: when you need to get pumped. Spend every minute in the gym at over one hundred percent.
Fish Oil enhances the outcome of the work you put in at the gym via the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Take: four grams of fish oil a day to increase protein synthesis and muscle building by up to thirty percent. Fish oil can create up to two percent gains in muscle mass without even exercising or working out regularly.
Glutamine, an amino acid that is directly linked to muscle function, and one of the most plentiful amino acids in the body. It aids muscle growth, decreases muscle breakdown and supports your immune system, so you don’t get slowed down by getting sick, even a little. Take: before workouts to decrease fatigue and boost hormone levels. Ingest five to ten grams at breakfast, pre and post workout, and at night.
ZMA stands for zinc, magnesium aspartate with a mix of vitamin B6. Most people are lacking these three supplements in their normal diet, but these are critical minerals in terms of building muscle and should be taken to maintain hormone levels and to aid sleep for recovery after strength building exercises. Extreme training can bring down your level of testosterone, but ZMA has proven that it actually increases your testosterone when training. Take: thirty milligrams of zinc, four hundred fifty milligrams of magnesium and ten point five milligrams of vitamin B6 – thirty minutes to an hour before bedtime on an empty stomach. This makes sure that you absorb as much ZMA as possible for the best possible sleep.
Vitargo is a brand of high molecular-weight carbs (HMC) made from corn starch. These carbs pass quickly through your digestive system and are absorbed by the body entering the blood. HMCs pass through your stomach 100% faster than sports drinks. HMCs help reduce muscle degradation and brings up your levels of insulin to promote muscle growth and replenish your muscle glycogen levels. Take: sixty to one hundred grams postworkout.