WordPress community – What is your opinion on popular weight loss apps?

I’m specifically asking about healthy wage, sweat coin, and achievement. All promise to pay you for activity and weight loss.

Feel free to comment and discuss any fitness app you’ve had experience with in the past.

To Bulk Or Cut First

Should I cut or bulk first?

Almost everyone asks this question when they are starting out and the answer is quite simple..

it’s all subjective!

Do you want to bench three plates and you don’t care about being lean?  Then go ahead and do a sloppy bulk my friend!  Lift hard and in a few years you will be insanely strong!

Do you want to be strong but you care a lot more about having a six pack?  Then cut out the hot dogs, the twinkies, and the bullcrap! 😉  You need to restrict your calories to about 500 below your basal metabolic rate(BMR) and go somewhat light when you lift weights.

Now how about all of you in the middle ground who want to be somewhat lean but also strong?

Welcome to my world.  We can do this together!  However, this is still somewhat subjective and ultimately weighs down on the body type you have already.

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I had just gotten out of the hospital and I had a little extra fat but absolutely zero muscle to cut into, so I went straight to a bulk and I am almost content!  It’s almost time for me to cut down my calories.  My strategy is to attempt about 15-20 reps of my 70% max lifts until I am done cutting.  That way I stay strong and quickly lean out.

As for you, if you have a lot of extra fat and some muscle then go ahead and cut.

If you are lean but you’re weak, go ahead and bulk.

All of us can get stronger and max out our muscles!

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

Hard Work Produces Greatness

Yesterday I stated that there is never a bad time period in your life for lifting. When I say that, I don’t mean you can’t take an occasional day off. I am just saying that you should meet all of your challenges with a fight. Have a drive for success and greatness, and you will be there someday.

You will be great.

However, you have to work for it! In fact, no matter what you want to “be” in life you will have to work for it. If you put in the work, it will be worth it. Set your sights high and work hard! So in respects to everyone, including non-lifters, this applies to all of us. Here’s some examples:

  1. Want to be a hard working, family person? Then get a job, work hard at it, save money, meet someone, and invest everything you’ve got into making it work!
  2. Want to be a professional athlete? Then constantly train and exercise, diet, stay away from drugs and alcohol(good tip for everyone), and take your sport seriously.
  3. Want to be the kindest person you can be? Then practice! Keep a smile on your face all the time and treat others with respect. 

Notice that those three things are completely unrelated! But it’s all relevant to the point that you will have to work hard and practice to be the best! 

I come to this point that hard work is the one of the most important things(if not the most) and I want to leave you with another quote by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

  
 

Sharing Hard Work Helps Everyone

A lot of the posts on my site have been about passion. Passion is incredibly important because, when you love something, you will probably work harder on it. 

While passion is so important, there is really a lot more to succeeding than having passion. With passion, you’ll need to follow through on your dreams and work hard. Then you’ll have to know how to reveive and share that passion and hard work to others.

I was watching this video from Elliott Hulse on passion and he answered a question titled “Worthless Passion”. As he stated in the video below, Obama isn’t handing out passion checks so we have to work hard to make our dreams happen. Feel free to watch his video and join the conversation in the comments below.
What I noticed right away is how this video impacted me today.

…and just today!

I have been watching his “Yo Elliott!” series for a year now and when he posted this it didn’t impact me. But now, I’ve been pursuing my own passion and sharing with you so I understand.

So on top of the message he made clear in his video, I noticed that it is so cool that he walks the walk. And I’ve walked the walk also! I’m going to stop before my arm gets tired patting myself on the back. 🙂 

Metaphorically, Think about the garden Elliott talked about. If you at least leave something for the world, you’ve been successful. I just noticed that he has hundreds of videos up and that in a sense is his garden. You can pick what video(his work) you need in a specific moment for advice, and then another video when you’ve grown past needing help with the same subject.

So I will continue to try and emulate that mentality. I will continue to write new articles and share content with you so that I can be of some service.  Maybe the things I post today or tomorrow won’t be helpful, but someday you may see the exact article in a related search bar and it may be more relevant to your current situation.

So in conclusion I want to ask you a question:  

What are you doing to pursue your passion? Also, are you helping others?

..and since this is so relevant today,

“Life’s a garden. Dig it,” –Joe Dirt

SMART Goals For Healthier Eating

As I mentioned in an earlier post, SMART goals are used by businesses and many professionals in achieving whatever goal they have set for themselves.  SMART can be used for any goal ranging from fitness to business, and it works well for your accomplishments.  Today, I wanted to focus on something very specific for a post to you but also because that is the first thing you have to do when setting SMART goals.  Without further ado, a SMART goal is this:

  1. Specific – goals are very specific and include detail of what, why, and how the goal should be accomplished.
  2. Measurable – goals should have tangible evidence of how to tell whether you’ve completed them or not.
  3. Achievable – the goals should be very possible and not impossible.  If a goal is impossible it is likely to only discourage someone.  If the goal is obtainable then the person achieving the goal may feel very proud of themselves once they finish.
  4. Results focused – there should be a clear explanation for why you’re completing the goal.  Also, there should be a definite result from completing this goal that can impact you or your work.
  5. Time bound – there should be a set date for when you need to complete this goal.  Your goal should have some urgency involved to its completion.

And today I want to talk about eating healthier to become a healthier, happier version of yourself!

become a healthier, happier version of yourself!

I don’t often hold the idea that you “are what you eat” in a physical sense but I do believe that if you eat awful food all the time you will feel a lot worse than if you eat clean.  With that being said, it’s best to set these SMART goals now so you can enjoy the benefits of clean eating as soon as possible.

First, you will want to map it out like I did above…I will do this again in actual terms of eating healthier and some of you who enjoy fast food will be able to use my SMART goal to become healthier.

Goal:  No longer eat fast food and no delivery.

  1. Specific – Begin avoiding fast food restaurants and delivery places like domino’s in order to lose weight and feel better
  2. Measurable – Each day you should be able to say that you didn’t eat out anywhere.  If by the end of each week your number of fast food trips is going down until it is eventually zero, you are doing great!  Good job!
  3. Achievable – Absolutely achievable.   People give up fast food all the time.  If you want to make sure you can give it up without relapsing, try to replace the fast food with some other kind of healthier option that you enjoy.  If you’d normally buy a cinnabon delight pack at Taco Bell, buy some strawberries at the grocery store.  If you’d normally buy a pizza, buy a chicken breast at the grocery store and put any kind of seasonings on it that you would like!
  4. Results Focused – You are striving to achieve this goal because avoiding fast food will make you healthier, and will also make weight loss easier.  After a few months of clean eating, you should feel incredible!  You should feel like a million bucks in comparison to how you feel eating out!
  5. Time Bound – For the purpose of this goal, you don’t want to set a specific time frame to be “done” with the goal as you would with some of your other projects.  For this, once a month look back at how you are doing by avoiding fast food and eating out, and try to continue in the right direction!

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I encourage you to set SMART goals for yourself and achieve them!  You may not struggle with the example I listed above, but you can always find a new SMART goal to create that could help you boost your success rate by 100%!

Leave Gotham For Gains

Just as Christian Bale left Gotham to undergo serious soul searching and to receive training from Liam Nielson, I have to ditch the hit TV show Gotham to work out more effectively and commit to my own journey.

I think that sometimes we become so wrapped up in fantasy that we don’t live out our lives. It can be fantasy, or some idealistic picture you have in your mind. But the way to make things happen is to ditch the fantasy and make reality happen.

Make reality happen!

I’m not saying you should fight crackheads with your underwear over your pants, but I do think you could ditch the remote and pick up a dumbbell!

  
Image courtesy of joyreactor.cc

Or don’t pick up a dumbbell, but do something. Do something that will ultimately strengthen you and prove resourceful to your own Hero’s Journey.

To those of you who don’t know, The Hero’s Journey is your own call to adventure. It is an outline made of all heroic narratives, like BATMAN!, by Joseph Cambbell. If you’d like to read up on the Hero’s Journey, I found a great webpage on it here

Find Balance To Become More Fit

There is a lot of talk in the fitness world regarding weight training vs cardio, diet vs exercise, and paleo vs vegan!

All of this crazy talk about which side of every fitness debate you should choose, but you should probably try to choose…

All of the above!

Weight Training or Cardio

Weight training is an excellent way to increase strength and can be used for hypertrophy.  By lifting heavy weights and working out consistently over a period of time, you will achieve great results.  Weight training has also been proven to actually strengthen your structural integrity and protect your joints, as long as you are lifting with proper form.

Cardio is an excellent way to increase endurance and burn fat.  By running or walking, or riding a bike consistently over a period of time, you will achieve great results.  I’ve also, personally, noticed that when I go for a run and do some cardio I manage to work out a lot of the stress I have.  It seems that we hold a lot of tension in our bodies and some intense cardio like running could be just what you need to go the extra mile(see what I did there?).

Basically, if you choose to do both for a period of time you can be a strong person with nice, tone muscles with barely any fat and you can be as calm as can be!  What’s not to love about that?  I notice when I’m just lifting weights, I’m often angrier and it isn’t enough activity to keep me from gaining fat at any amount of calories.  If I simply rely on cardio, I become fairly skinny and in the past it caused my joints to suffer.  Here’s a picture of me running cross country my junior year:

Running from all the gains I didn't have ;)

Running from all the gains I didn’t have 😉

Now we have another end of the spectrum

Diet VERSUS Exercise

Should I do a lot of exercise and train frequently or should I just drop my calories below my basal metabolic rate(BMR) and wait patiently for the fat to fall off?

You should do both!  Some of us are just genetically wired for losing weight to be difficult.  I know that I put on weight somewhat easily.  If you drop your calories a little bit, and add some form of exercise you will lose weight and you will lose it faster.  I also mentioned earlier that I experienced cardio as something that was therapeutic for me in the sense that it reduced stress.  Those benefits are also great and I think that having reduced stress due to some form of exercise will help you stay positive during all the trials and tribulations associated with losing fat.

Paleo vs Vegan

This one was more of a joke! (haha) Anyways, I don’t really see the need in following any kind of fad diet unless you really believe it has some sort of profound effect on you.

If you choose not to eat meat and dairy because of ethical or dietary reasons, go vegan and be happy! If you choose the exact opposite route and want to eat bacon and cheese, go ahead cavemen!

Do what makes you happy with yourself when it comes to dieting and do your research.  If it’s anything extreme just make sure you follow a doctor’s advice and get your blood work done.

But with dieting, as well as the rest of this post, just find balance.  I don’t see the need to cut out anything I like as far as food goes, and neither should you.  To join in on the conversation with dieting, click here.

Overall, find balance in your life with fitness and nutrition and you may become a happier, more healthy version of you.

Join The Conversation on DIETING

JTC

Join The Conversation!

I want to know how you diet.

I have tried many diets on my own and experimented with my calories and macros to see what works for me, and I believe I found what works!  I, personally, can eat about 2300 to 2500 calories a day and still lose fat as long as I am slightly active.  I eat a high amount of protein in my diet with fat as a byproduct and I strategically place my carbs at the beginning of my day and after workouts.

When I border on eating too many calories or when I decide to take a cheat day, I simply add more cardio to burn the calories that I added.

Please let me know in the comment section down below what you do!  I want to hear everyone’s view on diet and exercise, and how you have found what works best for you!

Thanks,

Christian!

Adding Cardio To Help Cut Down

Sometimes you may cheat on your diet or you may be struggling to lose some extra weight, so cardio is a great method to burn off extra calories and burn fat!

A lot of people in the fitness industry have fear mongered and made people fear that they would lose muscle if they did a lot of cardio.

and that just isn’t true!  Here is a video by Elliott Hulse explaining why cardio burning muscle is a complete myth!