Pushing Through A Hump Day

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I made this transformation photo a couple of months ago!

I think I just have to push through my hump day.  For most people it’s Wednesday, and for me it’s Friday.  I know I’ll be excited for my weekend on Monday.

That being said, I’m content with my schedule.  I just enjoy my Fridays like everyone else and enjoy myself.  Sometimes I even take a day off of the gym.  Today is one of those days.

I know that I’ll have to make up for that so I’m dedicated to working my back and biceps tomorrow.  I want to go all out for bent-over rows and barbell curls!  I’m hoping to hit some new personal records.

On that note, I’m content with the progress I’ve had so far with my strength training.  At this point, I’m wanting to maintain the lean mass that I’ve gained and cut down the body fat.  As I said yesterday, I am making positive steps in that direction by eating better and adding the cardio.

I can’t quit saying how thankful I am to you all for continuing to read my posts and for sharing your thoughts.  I like reading from you because it motivates me, and you often give great advice!

Thanks for reading this update.  Today, again, was my day off and I will continue to push forward and make good progress!

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By the way!!

It’s been a while since I mentioned progress photos, and believe me when I say that they are coming!  It may be another month or two yet, but I have a few progress photos to share with some training logs and in the grand scheme of things I am hoping to make a transformation video.

The video is far off yet as I want to have somewhat of an end result before I begin editing.  Also, I made a free eBook for anyone who is interested but I am not sure how to put it up for download on my website.  If anyone wants to give me some tips or advice, I am all ears!  Thanks!

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I decided to make this for the post.  I’m not sure it shows much the way I edited it, but at least it’s something!  There will be more in the future.

Week Recap

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This week I had a great time going over dietary choices with you!  We talked about calorie control, the basal metabolic rate, eating clean, health disorders, and macro-nutrients.  I had a great time doing it too!

With all of this information, it would be silly if I didn’t walk the walk as much as I talk the talk.  As I said in my last post, it’s better to be like Jimmy(who likes eating healthy) than Carl(who eats loads of crap).  I am doing my best every day to eat as well as I say you should, and I hope we can all grow stronger together and help each other make better choices.

I also wanted to mention a few ideas that were presented to me via the comments this past week:

  1. One of you mentioned doing karate and MMA.  You told me it would be a great way to do my cardio.  Thank you for the suggestion!  I really think that sounds like a great idea and I’ve actually been considering it lately.  A few guys I know from a town about 20 minutes away attend a gym that’s very highly rated for its Mixed Martial Arts.  I know I’m not going to be like Chuck Norris in a couple of weeks, but I’d love to learn some self defense and enjoy the sport(..and learn how to kick heads…Just kidding )
  2. I was told to try a vegan diet.  I’ve also thought about that lately.  I think vegan-ism is becoming more popular because of people like Vegan Gains on YouTube.  I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all!  He seems to be a bit of a sociopath, but other that he gives a great message and raises awareness of animal cruelty.  The animal cruelty aspect alone is a great point for many who have forsaken animal products, but the dietary effects seem to be great also!  I can see how eating a plant-based diet would lower bad cholesterol, decrease cancer risk, and alkalize blood.  However, I honestly haven’t done a ton of research on this diet.  I am mostly stating hearsay, but I do really like what I’m hearing and you may see a post about it from me in the future!

In conclusion, I really like all of the feedback I get from you and I love having the conversations with you.  I hope to continue making progressively healthier choices, and I want to refocus my attention on Crohn’s Disease and auto-immune disorders.

I did, after all, start this blog in response to remission from my Crohn’s Disease.  I want to help others who are suffering with auto-immune disorders and raise awareness.  If you’d like to help with that, send me an email or reblog some of my posts.

All of that being said, I think Crohn’s Disease has a huge link to diet along with other auto-immune disorders.  My assumption is strengthened with personal experience.  I did the Paleo Diet and I know it is completely anti vegan but both diets are great for banishing processed foods.  Cut out the processed foods = healthier life.  Thanks for reading and feel free to join the conversation!

10 Fitness Myths That You Might Still Believe

In today’s world, information is at our fingertips.  While this is a blessing, it can also be a lead to a lot of misinformation.  Here are ten fitness myths that you might still believe!

  • Myth #1:  Squatting Is Bad For Your Knees!

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Don’t shy away from doing barbell squats next time you go to the gym!  While many people have said in the past that squats are bad for your knees, that is 100% false.  Doing squats will actually build strong muscles to support your joints rather than causing injury.

  • Myth #2:  Up The Crunches If You Want A Killer Six Pack!

Actually, crunches won’t do you any good in attaining that chiseled look you are going for!  While you may build up ab muscle, those abs will never show unless you have a lower body fat percentage.  Having abs is, in fact, almost entirely a matter of low body fat.  This is followed by genetics, but don’t use genetics as an excuse not to try.

  • Myth #3:  Stretch Before Your Workout

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While stretching after your workout is a great idea to avoid injury and soreness, stretching before your workout could actually cause injury!  That isn’t a guarantee but some studies have shown that doing stretches before you work out actually destabilizes your muscles.  Try doing a warm-up before your workout to get the blood flowing and you will be much better off.

  • Myth #4:  You Can Spot Reduce Fat

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I’ve gotten into (polite)arguments about this all the time, and it is the question I get asked most through my email:  “Can you spot reduce fat?” The answer is no! You may store fat more in some areas due to genetics, but that doesn’t mean crunches can burn off the extra stomach fat.  Try a good resistance training routine, some good cardio, and a great diet to drop your body fat percentage, feel great, and look better!

  • Myth #5:  Test Boosters!

Raise your hand if you are guilty of buying test boosters!  **I guiltily had to raise my hand since I was naive starting out**  There is actually no evidence to support the possibility that natural test boosters actually work!  The only thing I am certain of with test boosters is that they are a waste of money.  Know that you aren’t buying actual prohormones or steroids so they won’t work to raise you testosterone level over natural limits, and if your testosterone is so low you think you absolutely need the help….then you could probably just get a prescription for real testosterone therapy.

  • Myth #6:  Lifting Weights Will Make You Look Like A BodyBuilder

A lot of women don’t want to look weights because they are afraid of looking “bulky”.  Trust me, due to genetics and hormones you won’t get that bulky look.  You’ll look fine unless you start taking steroids and other than that, you’ll be able to control how far you take it in the weight room!  So keep calm, and keep lifting!

  • Myth #7:  Sweating Means You Burned More Calories

Sorry to rain on that sweaty parade of yours…

While sweating can sometimes be a great indicator of a hard day’s work in the gym, it can also mean that it was just really hot.  Sweating is your body’s physiological response to being overheated.  Nevertheless, keep working hard in the gym and keep sweating and you will burn more calories through perseverance.

  • Myth #8:  Running is Bad For Your Knees

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I did a little bit of research on this and found that running actually isn’t that hard on your knees!  The knees of older runners compared to other people of the same age were of no worse condition.  I would like to add that you should probably still wear a nice running shoe and throw in some squats!

  • Myth #9:  Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

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This is just funny!  I read this on someone’s blog post one day and had a real laugh, because I’ve even said this before(and I bet some of you have too):  “Muscle weighs more than fat?”  How though?  How much does a pound of muscle weigh? A pound.  How much does a pound of fat weigh?  A pound.

Muscle is leaner than fat!  But it certainly doesn’t weigh more!

  • Myth #10:  Cardio Will Give You A 48 Hour AfterBurn

The statement itself is true, but you don’t benefit nearly as much from this afterburn as you think.  Some experts say that you will only burn 20 extra calories a day!  Weight training will give a slightly higher afterburn but it still isn’t anything significant.  Therefore, if you really want to lose weight you’ll probably just have to do more cardio or add intensity!  If you still don’t lose weight, then try dropping your calories.

..and there you have it!  Ten fitness myths that you may have still believed!  I hope you benefited from reading this post! 

Train hard and train smart!  Make sure you have some maxed out muscles!

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!

Drink Away That Extra Tummy Fat And Fight Illness

Today, I had a question from one of my readers and I would like to respond to that question in today’s post without placing their name out there.  I understand how embarrassing some medical conditions can be and if you want your name linked somewhere in this post, simply let me know in the comments below.  Otherwise, I’m simply going to address the question and I hope this is of some service to you.

The question is this(paraphrased, of course):

“I have a heart problem, epilepsy, and diabetes insipidus(water diabetes).  How do I live with these conditions while reducing my tummy?”

First off!

I am assuming you mean you want to get a flat stomach or be somewhat close to having abs?  If not having abs?  This means we have to have a low body fat %.  The body fat percentage must be around 12-14% for a female to have that flat stomach look you are going for; for a male, that would be around 10%.  For the general consensus of people, this must be achieved through three factors(a balance of all three):

Diet:

Your diet must be on point!  You have to play around with your macro-nutrients and calories and see what works best for you.  Without diving too deep on the calories, a web search will reveal that you may need to stick to a 2,000 calorie/day diet for maintaining your weight.  If you are rather heavy, you may lose weight at 2,000 calories/day.  However, for the average woman and someone who is already fairly lean this will simply maintain.  I’d recommend eating about 1700-1800 calories a day.  You can use a fitness app to track these calories or log them online, or on paper.

A general rule of thumb is that your calories should be a 40/40/20 split between protein, carbohydrates, and fats.  Now, remember that protein and carbs have 4 calories per gram while fat has 9.  This means that at a daily caloric intake of 1800 you should be eating about 180 grams of carbohydrates, 180 grams of protein, and 40 grams of fat.  If you don’t agree with the ratio I’ve made, you can get a different result by plugging your weight and “weight loss” into just about any of the nutritional apps.

Resistance Training:

Resistance training is important because it improves the overall strength and endurance of your body.  Also, it is well known that muscle burns more calories than fat for maintenance.

So, simply incorporate a well balanced training routine into your plan for getting that smaller waist and you should start seeing better results.  A good split would be legs one day, chest on another, arms another day, and back/shoulders your last day every week.  If you haven’t lifted at all you will see some good results in less than six months.

Cardio:

You actually mentioned that you’ve been doing some cardio so I would stick to that, and I actually wouldn’t recommend you do much more of it.  You seem to be doing quite a lot already.  I’d say that if you feel comfortable doing what you have done so far, keep it up.  If you don’t see impressive results from the cardio, at least you are doing something to keep busy and it may have better results mixed in with the resistance training.

Now, to address the illnesses!

Everyone is going to have their own challenges in life and I am glad you came here to seek help on your personal dilemma of losing weight while dealing with such a myriad of sicknesses.  The first thing I want to say is good for you!  I am extremely happy for you in the sense that you are fighting the struggles in your own life and trying to do great things with your body despite the problems you are having.  That is really inspiring.

I’m assuming you’ve been living with these illnesses for a while so you should know some of your limits with the heart problems.  I’d say that you are doing great with the cardio, and when you add the weight training, be sure to take it slow since lifting will temporarily increase your blood pressure.  Go slow, and know your limits.  Now as far as the diabetes goes, I see that as something you may not be able to cure but you will be able to treat it with a good diet and lots of fluid.

I did a little bit of research on water diabetes and to my knowledge it makes you have to use the restroom a lot due to the body not producing enough ADH(antidiuretic hormone).  Here is a information I am directly quoting from the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases(NIDDK):

  • Diabetes insipidus (DI) is a rare disease that causes frequent urination and excessive thirst.
  • DI is not related to diabetes mellitus (DM).
  • Central DI is caused by damage to the pituitary gland and is treated with a synthetic hormone called desmopressin, which prevents water excretion.
  • Nephrogenic DI is caused by drugs or kidney disease and is treated with hydrochlorothiazide (HCTZ), indomethacin, or a combination of HCTZ and amiloride.
  • Scientists have not yet discovered an effective treatment for dipsogenic DI, which is caused by a defect in the thirst mechanism.
  • Most forms of gestational DI can be treated with desmopressin.
  • A doctor must determine which type of DI is involved before proper treatment can begin.

Due to the nature of this illness, I suggest that you drink more water.  I don’t know how much you are drinking currently, but some research has shown that the majority of people are dehydrated.  I just read an article saying that a survey done on 3,003 Americans showed that 75% of those studied were chronically dehydrated.  This may be, in part, due to high sodium diets and even the weather.  However, with your condition coupled with a statistic like that I would say a safe bet is to drink more water.

Also, on the topic of water, there have been many studies showing evidence that drinking a lot of cold water can increase your metabolism by 30%.  Think of the fact that your water diabetes makes it very easy to become dehydrated, along with the fact that many Americans are dehydrated, and the likelihood that drinking water can raise your metabolism.

I would say that you should possibly try drinking 2.5 to 3.0 liters a day.  Possibly more, depending on how severe your water diabetes is..

In conclusion!

I recommend to you the classic advice of diet, weight training, and cardio!  But I also invite you to start tracking your water intake!  Make sure you are drinking plenty of cold water and let me know if this helps.

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Make Sure You Do Some Cardio

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To all of you serious weight lifters and dieters out there, it may be a great idea to add in some cardio! Just remember that cardio is important.

Cardio is just as important as the weight lifting and the dieting.  Maybe you are wanting to be strong to the point that you started weight lifting, but endurance built from cardio will help you increase repetitions and sets during your workouts.  For the dieters, cardio is important because:  If you fail at your diet on any particular day, you can simply amp up the cardio and burn off those extra calories.

Take a look at any distance runner and conditioned athlete.  Just take a look at any of them.  They had to do a lot of cardio to get to where they’re at.  They had do a lot of conditioning and it may have taken a lot of running or swimming.

Also, as far as the running or swimming goes, you can choose to do whatever cardiovascular exercise you want.  I would just recommend that you do cardio three to five times a week.  It can be running, or swimming, or even walking.  There are a lot of different cardiovascular exercises.

Remember, the cardio is good for your overall cardiovascular health.  This means that in the ‘long run’ it’s good for your entire health.  By doing cardio, your blood flow will be better which in turn is better for your major organs.  It will help you lose weight, and you’ll be a well-balanced athlete.

Thanks for reading and please subscribe!

You Are NOT What You Eat

People always say you are what you eat, but perhaps that isn’t true. I am under the suspicion that you can eat whatever you want in an exercise program as long as you keep it in moderation.

If you count your calories and you’re getting a healthy amount of proteins, carbs, and fats then you have no need to sweat the fact that you got them from Taco Bell or a steak with vegetables. A calorie is a calorie, a carb is a carb, and just eat! Enjoy yourself whether your goal is to lose weight or gain it!

Tracking Results Can Maximize Performance

I just want to let you know it will help you tremendously if you track your results when you lift weights. This will keep you from aimlessly stacking weight on the bar because you don’t remember how much you did before. It will set a personal goal for you as you want to do more, somehow, than you did previously.

I hope my advice helped. If you’d like free updates to my blog feel free to subscribe. Thanks!

Snap, Crackle, and Pop? Not happening.

This is just a reminder to always pay attention to your body. Not only should you be pushing yourself hard and focusing on your nutrition and consistency but you should also focus on your body’s reaction to your workouts.

If your joints are making noise or hurting during a workout you should go down on weight and work on your form. Maybe even take some time off, worst case scenario.

Honestly, it’s the best route to be cautious because slow and steady gains will be a lot better than fast gains if it means only working out three months before getting hurt and then being out for a long time.

Just a reminder to always use a common sense approach first and to pay attention to your body. Thanks for reading.