Letter To You From Your Older Self

Dear Me,

Keep having fun, but also keep working hard! Don’t be so wrapped up in your work that you never relax. On another note, don’t be complacent and never get any work done.

Always find a balance and work hard at being the best version of yourself! You know you can’t be Mr. Joe Cool, and never let anything bug you. You also know you aren’t always going to be a go-getter, and have the world in the palm of your hands. Seek a balance of the two, and better yourself because your own life’s journey is unique to you.

You will make mistakes and fall down; that’s a part of life. Making mistakes is the fun part! If everything were easy and you had no challenges, you’d never change. Adversity and challenges are obstacles, and overcoming obstacles develops character. Develop your character and become the best version of yourself.

The best version of “you” will be a version of you that overcame hardship; a version of you that sought adversity and became a victor. Keep fighting, and you will eventually find yourself. Do it from a standpoint of..

..pursuing your life’s ambition, YOUR PASSION! It may be cliche to say “Follow your heart,” or “Find your passion,” but do that and you will be much happier with your life. 

Also, it may be highly presumptuous to write some “life-advice” letter considering I still have a long adventure ahead of me…

But remember! I’m your older self, and I am writing this letter to you.

Sincerely,

Maxed Out Muscles

p.s.

Lift hard and dream big; set smart goals for yourself and achieve them.

  
..image courtesy of theredish.com

The Value of Perseverance

This is a great post! I’ve noticed that the road to success is full of bumps and twists(and I’m just getting started), and perseverance is possibly the greatest common denominator among everyone who has succeeded in living their dreams.

The Life and Times of Ben Weinberg

“The road to the top is paved with obstacles but the view is worth the struggle.”

Perseverance: Noun. Steadfastness in doing something despite difficulty or delay in achieving success. (Source: Webster Dictionary)

One of my favorite words in the English language recently is the one I just listed above along with the definition. Perseverance. The innate will to finish what you started, and to become successful despite all of the obstacles thrown at you. Life can be pretty difficult to deal with sometimes and it’s hard to remain committed to your goals, hopes, and dreams. I’m writing you to tell you, dear reader, that despite the long odds, and struggles that you may encounter in your life, you have to push on each and every day to make it one step closer to becoming successful and making those dreams come true. It won’t happen overnight and there will be setbacks…

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Saraswati Says Put Your Heart Into Your Work

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts.  This is the secret of success.”

Above is a great quote I found by renowned and deceased Hindu teacher Sivananda Saraswati.  This rung so true to me as I thought about the past few months, and what I’ve noticed.

While I can’t say anything from long term experience, I can say that in these past few months that I’ve been working harder at everything I’ve been involved in!  And I’ve honestly felt more successful!  As I said in another recent post(click here to read “Climb To The Top And Do Not Look Back Down”) I haven’t fully defined myself as successful, but I am much better off than I was six months ago!

..and you can be too!

I’ve had real conversations with you guys about my own struggles with complacency and how I didn’t enjoy certain parts of my life, but I kept pushing(click here to read “The Key To Climbing To The Top And Why You Should Do It Today”).  Since I’ve had my ups and downs, I know that I’ve grown a lot and I am maturing.  I know that I will be successful! 

..and I know that I’m already very close.

I’m getting so much healthier, stronger, and leaner as I continue to go all out in the gym.  I continue to learn more about nutrition.  I’ve learned a lot about blogging, creating content, writing, distributing, and networking.  I’ve also learned some humility from working a job I didn’t like, along with patience.

..and I don’t tell you these things to brag!  I tell you this because the only way I can explain these thoughts of mine is through my experiences.  So I say to you today..

cropped-blog-banner

..go for what you want and pursue your passion!  Work hard!  As Saraswati says “put your heart, mind, and soul into your work”, and all you lifters work hard so you can have maxed out muscles!

What Is Killing My Gains?

Image

“Why have I been working out for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AND STILL CAN CURL MORE THAN I SQUAT!?”

I doubt anyone in history has ever said that!  I doubt anyone actually will…BUT now that I have your attention, I want to talk about gains and why some of us aren’t having any.

You may have been lifting for a while and hit a plateau, and you may even seem to get weaker.  These things happen, but as long as you stay consistent

you will grow stronger.

maxed out muscles

Maxed Out Muscles

About as strong, in fact, as this stick figure that I hastily drew in Microsoft Paint.  Look at those biceps!!

However, he did skip leg day which I would say is pretty bad!

Now jokes aside, all of us hit plateaus or walls in our training and it can be pretty depressing.  I know because this has happened to me, and is happening to me now.  So I write today as optimistic as I can!  I don’t know from experience that I will overcome this plateau, but I am optimistic!

Without further ado I want to list some possible reasons why I, or you, are hitting a plateau and how I, or we, can overcome this:

  • Diet

Diet is probably the easiest to call out because, without proper nutrition, how can your body grow?  There is a lot of controversy on diet(feel free to post your opinion in the comments).  A lot of bodybuilders and strength coaches say you should eat whatever your basal metabolic rate calls for while eating a gram of protein per pound of body weight.  However, some text books say you should eat no more than 60% of your body weight in protein and other people recommend 50 grams a day.

I personally feel that the gram per pound approach will be most effective for me personally.  This is because, when I look at other people who have been bodybuilding(natties included), I notice that most heavy lifters recommend eating a lot of protein.  A lot of them have good aesthetics too, and it doesn’t look like they converted any excess protein into fat.

Simply due to my own preference and based off what I have seen I will choose the gram per pound method.  Again, feel free to comment your own opinion below and I suppose I will show you how mine works over time 🙂

  • Complacency

This is my other point and what I feel is the kicker for me lately.

As I work full time, have a part time job, and enjoy some time to relax..

it gets REALLY hard to even want to lift on some days.  It even becomes difficult to write these posts on other days.  However, I am consistent and self-motivated!  No matter what life is tossing me, I will strive to continue what I started.  Now, it has become depressing to work out and see little results lately but as I’ve been consumed by other things I realize that it is a feat in and of itself that I’ve made it to the gym and maintained.

..and I’d like to add that today I worked out hard!!  And it felt GREAT!  So no more complacency in the gym, and a better diet is not my recommendation;  no complacency in the gym and a better diet is my prescription!

It’s always time to continue fighting the resistance we have in front of us and put our best foot forward!  Today is that day, and so is tomorrow.

Do your best and make some gains!

Questions to Ask a Friend with a Chronic Illness

This is pretty cool! My Crohn’s is very tame compared to what it used to be, but I’d love to know about any events related to IBD. I think running a 5k for IBD awareness would be awesome!

Mangia Paleo

what to say to someone with a chronic illnessThis post is for friends, boyfriends, girlfriends, family, and anyone close to those with a chronic illness.

Lately I’ve been discovering articles on things not to say to someone with Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis, and other chronic illness. They are fantastic! Some made me frustrated and others made me laugh. It’s pretty accurate. But these articles prompt us to beg the question, “what do you say to someone with a chronic illness?”.

Below are some questions rather than statements. An inquisitive friend is a great friend to have. If you ask the right questions we will give you information we want you to have.

What are your limitations?

The answer to this question will help you decide how to better treat your friend. When you make plans with a friend who has a chronic illness they may have some things to work around. Limitations can involve food choices, being away from a bathroom, a long day with no…

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Go Out And Get What You Are Worth

Yesterday, we talked about how discipline is so much more important than motivation. While motivation is great to get you started on something, discipline is what carries you through the good times and the bad times.

Discipline is getting things done even when you don’t want to, because you know you need to. So I suppose a rational thought is to say if you’re passionate about something, choose to discipline yourself in your pursuit of that passion.

  
Honestly, sometimes I don’t even want to work out and sometimes I don’t want to write posts. However, day after day I still work out and write my posts. This is because I’m disciplining myself. Above is a picture of me in a shirt I bought from brosciencelife and I honestly love the way my physique is shaping out. 

..and I love the way this website is turning out. 

..and in the end, I have a lot of reasons to thank for all this success but the most important is discipline. If I quit, I wouldn’t have received any results. I probably would have fallen into a vicious pattern of complacency.

Which leads me to believe something,

Life runs off momentum. 

So don’t be complacent. Don’t slow down! Have a fire in you that won’t die and keep pushing forward. 

You know that you’re worth something and that you can do great things. Go out and get what you’re worth.

Forget Motivation And Develop Discipline

Motivation – (noun) the general desire or willingness of someone to do something.

While motivation is great, it can often be fleeting.  You may be willing to do something one day, and not want to on another day.  Motivation is simply wanting to do it!  For a little while you’re driven, and if you have no discipline you crash and burn.

Discipline – (noun) the practice of training people to obey rules or a code of behavior, using punishment to correct disobedience.

Discipline is doing something whether you want to or not.  It’s sticking to a set plan, or something you said you’d do, whether you’re still motivated or not.  This is self-discipline.  You don’t have to punish yourself if you don’t finish things, but you know that self-discipline is important if you want to have the habit of getting things done.

In the video above, Elliott Hulse talks about his timeline for success.  He explains how he worked fruitlessly for five years on creating his youtube channel before he ever got the viewership he has now.  It goes to show how you have to stay dedicated, even when things don’t seem like they’re paying off.  Even when you have doubts.  Even when you don’t know if you really feel like it.

Often times, I think to myself

“What would I gain if I quit working out right now?”

“What would I gain if I quit working on Maxed Out Muscles?”

The answer is nothing.  There is nothing to gain from quitting.  If I continue working hard I can assume that maybe someday I’ll be successful.  I can also assume that I’ll become a different person as I’m working hard to become the person I need to be in order to succeed.

My questions today are 

Have you personally felt like giving up?

Whether it be on your fitness regime or something you’re passionate about?

Have you ever been highly motivated to do something and then wavered?

What do you think of today’s post?  Do you agree that discipline is extremely important?

Please let me know in the comments down below.   I want read your opinions.

Motivation. Results Take Time

I posted this a while back. I just wanted to make it clear that I plan on being consistent whether I’m motivated or not. That’s called dedication 😉

-Christian

Maxed Out Muscles

I found this image on Google. It was from a user on Pinterest and the message is so true. It’s my third post of the “Three Day Motivational Quote” challenge and here is the last quote, and it really hits home for me:

“Commitment means staying loyal to what you said you were going to do long after the mood you said it in has left you,”

This is so true and if you’ve been weightlifting or running, then you know that commitment is the most important aspect in regards to getting lasting results.

Too often I am lifting weights and I get a lot of blood pumping to the body part I am working on, and it begins to look bigger. During that time my confidence is great, but sadly that comes to an end a few hours later. The pump shows me how big I could get, but…

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This Is Your Brain On Exercise

This is very cool! Aimee from “Health and Fitness by Aimee” posted this and I found this very interesting.

I noticed that weight training has helped with my overall physical health, but I didn’t notice a whole lot of improvement in my mood. When I started adding more cardio, it felt like I had taken antidepressants. Suddenly all of my stress was gone.

Just another account of how exercise has been great for me 🙂 I hope it can help you also and enjoy the effects it has on your brain.