Fitness and Health is a Decision
It was February 16th 2011, I was 34 years of age, 186lbs, 5’7″, and in the worst shape of my life. Throughout my life, I have been active in martial arts, swimming, tennis, break dancing, and running. When I hit my 30’s, just like most of us, life get’s busy and takes over a lot of things that we want to do in life for recreation. So because of this, I let life get the best of me and I started to eat whatever was in the way to doing my errands and going to work. Sound like a familiar story? It happens to all or most of us. Just look around. There are McDonald’s, Jack in the Box, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s popping up all over the place because they are supported so much by the nation that business owner’s know what sells.
You Think you Know but you Don’t
One of the biggest problems today is that people would probably eat healthier if they just knew what foods to eat and what foods not to eat. When people go out to eat these days, they order a salad thinking that they are safe cause it’s a salad. Truth is, when you go to a fast food or restaurant, the salads are some of the worst things to eat on the menu. For example, an Apple Walnut Chicken Salad at Apple bee’s sounds healthier than the Ribs right? Wrong! It’s just as bad with 1000 calories, 65g fat, 53g carbs, and 55g protein. Or let’s go to the Cheesecake Factory and have a weight management salad there. The Asian Chicken Salad on the Weight Management menu has 574 calories, 39g fat, 68g carbs, 39g protein. So much for controlling your carbs. Now don’t get me wrong. Apple bee’s and Cheesecake Factory have great food, but to over consume and eat out often at places like this, will eventually kill you.
Are you Happy With the Way you Feel Daily
One of the reasons I took on a 90 day program to improve my health was because I felt slow and tired everyday. Not only that, but it was harder for me to breath just putting on my shoes or cutting my toe nails. I know I’m not the only one. Everyday I told myself I needed help but then your busy life takes over again and you put it on the back burner. Fast forward 6 months and 10lbs heavier later. I had to realize as many people do, that I won’t get better, lose weight, or become fit without work. Anything in life with great rewards takes some kind of commitment and consistency. It is no different transforming your body.
It Starts and Never Ends with Eating Right
How many times have you heard of someone you know that did some kind of diet pill or medical procedure just to see them enjoy a few months of happiness and then, 4 months later, they are even bigger than they were before. Like I said, great rewards come from some commitment and consistency, not cheating and laziness. Laziness is what got them there. Know this, if you want to achieve true health and fitness in your life and live longer with your loved ones, you MUST combine proper nutrition, with both cardio and resistance training. Not one, not two, but all three, to achieve true long term success. It may seem like a bit much in the beginning, but take it one step at a time. Start with changing the way you eat. When you do that, you will slowly start to feel better and have more energy than usual. Once you start feeling better, your body may tell you that you need to start exercising because I feel great with energy. Once you start working out and your body gets used to moving a bit more in workout fashion, commit to a complete road map of cardio and resistance training. (There are several programs out there that you can look into. Each program has a different routine and are categorized by your fitness goal. I have included some that I have done at the end of this article). By the time you start exercising, you will start seeing a change in the way you feel daily and may have lost a few pounds. Keep it up, cause you are well on your way.
What Type of Program Should I Look Into?
First and Foremost, decide what your fitness goals are. Is it just to lose weight? Or is it to lose weight and lean up with muscle mass definition? When you figure that out, get yourself a picture of someone on the internet or magazine that you would like to be like. I like the Internet because I can stay at home and have access to more pics on the computer than driving around and finding the right magazine. Then, once you have decided your fitness goal, you need to go out and look for the fitness program that works for you. You can choose going to the gym, hiring a personal trainer, or doing a proven in home fitness program that requires minimal investment, a complete road map through your workouts, a nutrition guide, and DVDs that will guide you daily on exactly what you need to do. Everyone is different and stays motivated differently. I chose to do in home fitness programs because in the past, getting up to go drive to the gym was hard at times. With an in home program, All I had to do was put on a shirt, shorts, and shoes and I was ready to go. I have many friends that go to the gym religiously, and after years, they looked the same or even worse. The problem is is that they tend to do the same workouts time after time. I preferred the in home programs because they guide you what to do daily and they change it up to constantly keep your muscles working in different ways, that way your growth never plateaus.
General Routines vs Muscle Confusion
General Routines I refer to is when an individual works out the same typical things each week. They do the normal bench press, curls, dead lifts, tricep kickbacks, and such every week. Their muscles get so used to the same routine, that they plateau.
Muscle Confusion includes these same workouts, but then adds other routines as well in different angles and positions to work your muscles in all different directions. What this does is keeps your muscles guessing and doing different things. Changing workouts constantly over weeks keeps your muscles from adapting to a set routine and prevents your muscle growth from plateauing. P90X is a program that uses muscle confusion and has proven to work with thousands of people in the US alone. It is an in home fitness program that you can do in the privacy of your own home and you don’t need to invest in a complete home gym. P90X will guide you through a 90 day schedule and also provide you with a nutrition plan to accompany your journey. Remember, nutrition is 80% of the your results.
Plan Your Workout Schedule Before you Start
You want to make sure that you know which road leads to success. Before I started my fitness program, I wrote in all my workouts on a calendar that I was supposed to do on every specific day for the whole 90 day program. That way, once I finish my workout on Monday for example, I can mark it off as done and know what i must prepare for on Tuesday. Doing this daily, helps me to stay on track to know what day and week I am on, and look at the calendar as a whole and see what I have accomplished so far, and what journey lies ahead. It also shows me a current road map as to what I am currently building upon myself. Monday for example is chest and Back, and then I look at tomorrow and see that I am doing Plyometrics, which is jump training. So by looking at the calendar, I see what areas of my body are getting covered as I go. This helps you to stay motivated, especially if you need to work on that specific area that you will be working out the next day.
Plan your nutrition for the week and make sure you have available what your schedule says. It is vital to eat enough while your body is working. If you are worried about starving because you are starting to eat healthy, chances are, you probably will struggle to eat enough, cause your body will be demanding more at times cause it has increased it’s activity. When I started my 90 days, I weighed 186 and the nutrition plan suggested that with my age, weight, and activity level, I am to eat 2700 calories per day. I was eating 5 times per day so that meant that I needed to average 540 calories per meal. So to answer that question about starving?You are less likely to starve when committed to a fitness program then you would as non active. All you need to do is make sure you follow the nutrition guide provided to you with whatever program you decide to do.
Let’s be honest, no matter who you are, you are going to run into days when you just don’t want to get moving. For me, when those days came about, I learned that once I got past the warm up, I was good to go. It is the getting warmed up that is the hard part. It is harder for your body to get moving from cold muscles than it is from warm muscles. So if you can get motivated enough on those sluggish days to get through a warm up, I guarantee you that you won’t stop there. Some people also like to workout with a workout buddy. The only thing is that it is usually hard to have the same schedule as somebody else in this lifetime. If you do have that luxury, than great for you. I run a fit club every Saturday in Las Vegas where I live and it is great. We support all people with beginner to elite athlete fitness levels and we all do some cardio and resistance for 1 hour. It is a great way meet new people, motivate each other, and feel great about yourself.
If You’re going to do it, Do it Right
If you are new to working out, here is a tip: Work your way into the routine one step at a time. Don’t try to be a hero and go above and beyond the first day and pass out. You have to introduce your body to this new lifestyle and it’s gonna need some time to reach a level that impresses you. Make sure that you know how to do each exercise properly by asking someone credible at the gym or watching them on a DVD program and then emulating. Some exercises done improperly can cause injury or you could be working out an entirely different muscle that you’re supposed to be. It is not that difficult, just pay attention, learn it, and you will be fine.
Fight to the End, Get Plenty of Rest
Always, always, always, remember why you started. Make every workout count, and make every rep count. Keep your goal in front of you and prove to yourself that you can stick it through to the end. Make sure that you get plenty of rest as that is when your muscles actually grow. Keep fighting for more, associate with people that support you and are pulling for you. Have an accountability partner that will hold you accountable when or if you start to fall apart and slack. Working out is to improve your well being, not to make you worse. Make the Decision, make the commitment, and you will be on your way to a better you.
Pay it Forward
With my experiences and results in fitness that I have proven to myself, it means to me if I can’t share it with others. I have had the opportunity to help people get started in their own fitness journey across the nation by sharing with them what has worked for me. Feel free to visit my blog post and learn about the programs I decided for myself to be effective. I urge you to find the right program for you. Feel free to email me with any questions. For me, fitness is not just getting results for myself, but also in helping others improve themselves. By doing this, we can help the world become healthier, end the trend of obesity and bad nutrition, and show the youth, the future of this world, a healthier living by leading by example.