Back!

It’s been two years!

I’ve only worked out off and on in this timeframe. I definitely haven’t been blogging a lot. I had the domain maxedoutmuscles.co for a while through bluehost.

Once my domain expired I opted to go .com through WordPress and start the blog back up. I am missing a few posts I made on the bluehost site, but that’s ok. As I said, these things were few and far between.

I would like to introduce myself to anyone new to maxedoutmuscles. My name is Christian Boyles, I am 23 years old. I work at a factory as a supervisor, and in my off time I love to work out. My goal is to ultimately own my own gym, a MaxedOutMuscles fitness center(or maybe named something else), and dedicate my life to fitness.

I will be making an effort to post here at least three times a week. Lots of site changes are going to be made for a better viewing experience. Welcome to my page and feel free to read from any of the hundreds of posts that I have available from 2015.

Practicing What I Preach

Almost every day I write a post about fitness, Crohn’s Disease, and life.  Almost every day, I try to share advice that was given to me, research, and my personal opinions on the above topics.  That does not mean that I am a testament to this perfect, idealistic version of me that I am trying to assimilate in this blog.

However, every day I keep in mind of where I’m at and I remember my end goals.  I remember that eating a nearly perfect diet that I believe in will further my goals, that pushing out the extra rep will also help, and that blogging is my form of expression and a means to an end for going the extra mile until I choose to go even further.

Not having these things all figured out oftentimes makes me feel like a hypocrite.  I’m reminded of a quote from Jesus in the Christian’s New Testament:

“Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

That’s Matthew 7:3-5 in the New International Version of the Bible(crazy how many different versions there are!!).  I was raised in a fairly religious home, thus I remember random scriptures often that I sometimes relate to things I’m going through in my life.

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I chose this image from freeimages.com because the bar looked like a barbell

However, if those words were taken literally I wonder if there would be a single person willing to preach.  That’s where Christians believe in grace and moving forward, even when they make mistakes.  That’s where I believe in getting up, even when I fall down, and continuing to blog while simultaneously fighting to improve my life into that idealistic version I spoke of in the first paragraph.

So what is the idealistic version of myself?

Idealistically, I’m going to continue blogging and working out, running, and dieting, studying nutrition and also furthering my career.  I will turn into someone I would proudly call a role model.

I will practice what I preach.

It’s going to happen!  I believe in myself and I know I can do it!  Since I wrote the series on diet last week, I have made a lot of healthier choices.  I’ve been running a lot more and eating cleaner just like I said my character Jimmy would as compared to Carl who only likes greasy, nasty food.

So as long as I talk bad about Carl, I’m going to be a Jimmy!  While practicing what I preach, I’ll continue to keep you posted and share content.

 

 

National IBD Awareness Week

What does the purple ribbon stand for?  That’s a pretty common question, right?  Everyone knows that the pink ribbon is a symbol of breast cancer awareness and prevention, so what about the purple ribbon?

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The purple ribbon stands for lots of things!  Some of which are Alzheimer’s disease, domestic violence, anti-gay bullying, and cystic fibrosis.  However, this week from December 1st until today it has stood for IBD awareness.

IBD stands for Irritable Bowel Disease!  Irritable Bowel Disease is somewhat of a blanket term Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.  If you’ve been following my blog, you know I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease five years ago(if you didn’t know that, then HI!  Welcome to my blog!)

Today, I’d like to tell you that I’m a little upset.  I’m upset with myself!  I was focusing on work and lifting last week and I forgot all about it being Crohn’s Awareness week.  At least I can forgive myself since I am posting about it today and giving IBD a little bit of the recognition it deserves!  We need to recognize that these diseases exist and work together to rid the world of them.  I’m about to tell you why this should matter to you even if you don’t know anyone who has IBD(besides me LOL).

Crohn’s Disease is a debilitating illness.

When I was 15, I started having some stomach problems.  At a time when I should have been happy and healthy and careless like everyone else, I was going to the bathroom 10 or 11 times a day.  There was blood in my stools and I was malnourished.  I didn’t want to eat but I forced myself!  I knew that if I didn’t eat but kept going on like that, that I would die.  I was losing weight insanely fast.  I was turning into a skinny-fat, malnourished mess.

..I was turning into a skinny-fat, malnourished mess.

me when i was sick

This was 8 days after I turned 16.  ..The calm before the storm.

I remember being six foot tall(1.82 meters), and older than most of my friends but being insanely weaker.  If they wanted to bench press or play sports, I wouldn’t have the energy or the strength.  I went to the doctor for all of this and after an initial lower GI they concluded that I was suffering from hemorrhoids. 

They gave me suppositories and sent me on my way.  I wanted so badly to believe them that I went my whole freshman year without getting any better.  I just sucked it up and dealt with it.  I’d go to the bathroom a lot but I think most of my teachers understood that I wasn’t healthy.

Finally, just eight days after I turned 16 I had gotten my license and it was a big day for me…but getting my license was the only reason I wasn’t in the hospital.  I didn’t want to wait, and I had gone my whole freshman year without treatment, so what was eight days?

Long story short, I waited way too long to get real treatment and I could have died.  As you see me in the photo above, I was very skinny-fat and it was hard to smile with all the pain I had in my abdomen and back.  Somehow, when you have a bad crohn’s flareup you can also have other digestive problems such as pancreatitis and gastritis.  On July 21st, when I was admitted to hospital, it turned out I was suffering from all three.

But this story doesn’t end negatively!  I was treated and given corticosteroids when I was in the hospital that healed my colon and digestive tract.  I started feeling better and over the years they experimented with different drugs.  However, also over the years I have discovered that drugs are bullshit.

I am still on one autoimmune suppressor and it’s called Remicade.  I get Remicade treatments once every two months and honestly, I don’t want them anymore.  I know that this sounds bad, but I have spent months at a time without my Remicade or other drugs and remained healthy.

Is this partly due to the residual effects of the drugs?

Sure it is!

But I firmly believe it is more because of how I handle stress, my environment, and my daily habits.  I used to be inactive, I had a lot of family problems that a 15 year old shouldn’t have to worry about, and I ate awful food.  Over the years I’ve learned a lot and I find that I may someday be a testament to the possibility that all of these illnesses popping up have more to do with processed food and less to do with bad luck.

If we continue to talk about these illnesses and even cancers, then maybe we can have the right people do real research on the significance of our diets.  I hope we can all further the discussion and possibly donate to Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America to further awareness and possibly help a young kid going through what I went through!

Remember that if the diet we eat is causing a rise in these types of IBD and cancers, that research and discussion could save lives and ultimately help us all live healthy lives.

To donate to CCFA, click here.

Edit:

I think I also need to leave a disclaimer!  I doubt anyone would read my post and think I’m saying they need to quit taking medicine, but just in case, don’t quit taking your medicine!  At least not without your doctor’s consent.  Try to do everything by the book.  If you do everything right and try your best, then you’re blameless among your physicians.  Keep that attitude and build a relationship with your doctors so that they can better help you.

 

Are You Confident Or Insecure? Rep It Out!

“I try my best to leave my ego outside,” is what one of the most jacked, aesthetic guys at New Leaf Fitness said the other day.  It’s a common idea, but not one that a lot of average people would expect to hear from a daily gym-goer, meat head, or serious bodybuilder.

“Oh really?!  Keep my ego outside of the gym…There’s no way you have ever done that,” is what I’d expect some of my own critics to say to me.  However, he really did say that and so would I.  The truth is that working out is a great way to please your ego and make you more self-confident, but what happens when you are bloated with self-esteem issues and pride?

Do you:

A) Always attempt lifting a weight that is far too much for you?

B) Constantly check yourself out in the mirror?

C) Only give your mirror muscles a work-out?

D) HAVE to lift as much as the other guy at your gym who has probably been lifting for years?

E) Constantly think about supplementing your “gains” with steroids or pro-hormones?

If YOU said yes to any of the above questions, then you may need to take my friend’s advice and leave your ego outside.  Luckily for you, a big part of lifting weights is building character values such as discipline and humility. Here is a short list of things I compiled during today’s workout that may help YOU succeed at your gym-going endeavors.  Not only that, but these tips may help you succeed at life in general:

  • Practice humbling yourself when speaking to other people.

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Keep a smile on your face and try not to talk about yourself too much!  If you make it about them you’re happy to listen to them, then you are well on your way to getting that ego of yours on lock down. This carries on into the gym, where you’ll notice that you are happy to listen to more experienced lifters who want to give you advice.  You may even become more apt to initiate the conversation.  You may wind up asking them how to improve your form or how you should go about seeing better results.  Over time, a well developed sense of humility can only make others more likely to help you on your fitness and life endeavors.

  • Make sure that your mentors are humble.

You want to be humble!  You want to listen to the advice older, more experienced people have for you.  You also know that if you hang out with losers, you’re more likely to be a loser.  Be careful about who you surround yourself with and who you take advice from.  This is a bit more challenging, but be a little selective when looking for advice.  Respect everyone and at times respectfully disagree, but make sure you don’t allow someone to give you serious self-esteem issues.

  • Try working out solo!

A lot of people don’t like to work out alone, and oftentimes there are plenty of good reasons for that.  Maybe you like to lift heavy and need a spotter.  Maybe you need the extra boost of support from a friend to get into the gym.  However, if your spotter and you work out in a way where you get seriously too competitive then it may be time to fly solo.  I’m not saying competition is always a bad thing. However, if you are so competitive with your gym buddy that you’re constantly worried that he/she can curl more than you then it may be damaging your self esteem and causing you to lift too much too soon.  Try working out by yourself with good amounts of TUT(time under tension) and progressive overload.

  • Wear baggy clothes that don’t show your muscles.

A sweatshirt, maybe?

A sweatshirt, maybe?

It’s not always a bad thing to inspect yourself and make sure that you are making some serious gains. However, if you’re checking yourself out for 75 minutes and lifting for 60 then it may be time to take action.  Some sweats would be a great option as that’s appropriate gym gear!  You know what I mean…as long as you don’t cut the sleeves off! 😉

All of this was just my advice and my personal opinion.  Keep in mind that working out is awesome, and it’s good for you.  I hope that you see a lot of impressive gains and that you have genuine self-confidence, discipline, and humility.

Have a great day!  Please subscribe to my blog via email, wordpress, or twitter for updates of my new posts.

Keep lifting folks.

Intermittent Fasting Update – First VLog!

Intermittent fasting is more of an eating schedule than an actual diet, but numerous people have tried it and managed to lose a lot of weight.  I decided to give it a shot and see if it is truly a great way to lose weight or if it is mostly a myth.  Here is my first video log update on “intermittent fasting”.  I kept it short for you.  Also, at the end of this, I posted a picture and if you saw my previous post titled Attempting IF – Intermittent Fasting then you can see that I’m already starting to lose a little bit of weight.  Some of that is water weight but I am confident that this is working.

Here is my video.  I believe that this is really soon to credit or discredit my results, but here this is to get the ball rolling and I’ll keep you updated weekly.

How Successful People Think (vs. How Unsuccessful People Think)

This is a video I found while browsing youtube earlier and I think that it could be incredibly motivating for you. The moral of the story that this guy is projecting is right in line with what I am trying to convey to you through this blog. I hope it is of some service to you and that you have a great day. Enjoy the video.

How I Got My Crohn’s Disease In Remission

I’ve had crohn’s disease since I was 15, and it’s been a journey that I could describe as a roller coaster.  I’ve had my ups and downs.  For a few months I’d be in remission and then for a month I’d be really sick.  Things went this way from the time I was diagnosed shortly after my 16th birthday until I was about 18.

When I turned 18, my doctor decided to try a drug called infliximab, or Remicade, and it seems to be a wonder drug.  I’d go in to the outpatient nursing clinic at the hospital and get this drug through an IV ever eight weeks.  I still get it every eight weeks.

However, last year I started flaring up a lot even though I was on the Remicade and another drug called Imuran.  I finally decided that the cause for my illness was diet and stress, as I had read a lot on the disease and my body would get too sick for the medicine to do any good.

Finally, I began experimenting with diet and exercise.  To my surprise, exercise alone seems to be enough to keep me in remission as long as I am getting my Remicade every eight weeks.  That’s without even taking the Imuran, so no need to take pills every day.  Right now, just having to go to the hospital every eight weeks for a few hours, I’m a lot happier than when I started with my consistent flare-ups.  I know from previous experience that if I also focused on my diet I’d personally have no need for the Remicade either, since my case of this disease seems to be so dependent on diet, exercise and stress.

I’m not saying that this will work for anyone with Crohn’s disease, but I am saying that it works for me.  I hope that no matter if you are healthy or have a type of illness that you do the research and try to get your body on track through exercise and diet. Try to do this under the guidance of your physician or specialist, and make sure you get to know your body.  This has helped for me, and now I am in a much better place as far as my health goes than ever before.

Thanks for reading!

A Wonderful Day To Work My Back. Always Have A Plan.

I have a schedule where

Monday – chest, triceps

Tuesday – back, shoulders, biceps 

Wednesday – Legs

Thursday thru Saturday I repeat Monday thru Wednesday.

Today, being a Tuesday, is my back and bicep day and I plan on killing it!

I’m going to do chin ups, dead lift, bent over rows, bicep curls, preacher curls, and hammer curls!

The point in this post is to note that it’s great to have a plan. Always have a plan. It helps you set goals and will make it easier for you to get a set amount done before you quit. This being said, having a plan will get you results. Try it and see.

Why Consistency Is So Important

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Consistency – steadfast adherence to the same principles, course, form, etc.:

There is consistency in his pattern of behavior.
That is the definition of consistency by dictionary.reference.com
Consistency is important for several reasons when it comes to exercise and weight lifting.  For one, you need to be consistent.  Otherwise, what are you?  If you aren’t consistent, I’m assuming you’re following fad diets and dropping them about as quick as you start. I’m also assuming an exercise plan doesn’t last long with you.  Not saying this to be rude, but isn’t that the only case possible?  I believe that this is so.  We all need to work on being consistent with our gym, diet, and exercise habits.  Let’s highlight why consistency is so important:
  1. Being consistent can at least guarantee some results.  You may hit some plateaus, but I promise you that over time you will see results.  Whether you’ve been working out for a month or a year, going to the gym will still help you so don’t give up.
  2. Your views on weightlifting and exercise will change.  According to a huffingtonpost article I will link at the bottom of this post, it takes roughly 66 days to make something a habit.  More or less, if you stick to going to the gym and eating right, you should be able to build a habit of going to the gym and eating right.
  3. With all the dedication to exercising and weightlifting, you may learn new things.  If you get focused a certain task or aspect of fitness because you’ve been consistent and want to learn more, then you may be more apt to ask questions and research articles on diet and exercise.
  4. You will probably meet people with similar interests and make friends.  Why did you decide to consistently go to the gym?  Because you have some sort of fitness goal, right?  Everyone else there does too.  That means you already have at least one thing in common with someone in the gym.  You can get to know them better and help each other become more fit through advice and motivation.

Thank you for reading.  Please subscribe to my blog.  You can either follow me through wordpress and twitter, or click follow and type in your email address.  If you want to follow me, I’d appreciate it.

Any questions or comments?  You can comment below.  I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Links to the sources I used above:

Definition of consistency as provided by dictionary.com

Article on forming habits from Huffington Post

How to Diet – Basic Advice

This is just basic advice for anyone wanting to follow a diet for whatever reason. It’s pretty simple. You just have to experiment a little bit with your calorie intake and make sure that it matches up with your goal.

If you’re wanting to get bigger and have lean muscle you should aim to eat more calories and also pay attention to your protein, and try to eat about .8 grams of protein per pound. You may try eating .8 grams of protein per pound of lean body mass. You can find your lean body mass by finding your body fat % and subtracting your amount of fat from your total weight.

If you’re trying to cut up and lose some weight you will want to experiment and lower your calories a little bit. You don’t want to go overboard because you could be setting yourself up for failure doing a diet that is hard to maintain. What I’d recommend is starting out by dropping soda and simple sugars like cake, candy, or ice cream. From there you can set a new goal every couple weeks like lowering your fast food intake, etc.

If you want to maintain what you’re at then you probably just need to keep doing what you’re doing. This may not hold true for someone who has spent a long time building muscle as a person with a lot of muscle probably needs to keep working out and needs to eat slightly more calories than a regular person.

If you want to find an easy way to keep track of all of this, learn a bit more about nutrition, and have an easy way to count your calories then you can try an app I’ve used and played around with. It’s called nutritionist and it should be in the apple App Store and if you have an android you should be able to get on there too. I’m sure there’s other useful apps like that too, such as fitness tracker and my plate. 

Do whatever works best for you, and if you have any other advice to add to my own feel free to add it down in the comments below.