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.

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. ūüôā 

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¬†‚Äď goals are very specific and include detail of what, why, and how the goal should be accomplished.
  2. Measurable¬†‚Äď goals should have tangible evidence of how to tell whether you‚Äôve completed them or not.
  3. Achievable¬†‚Äď 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¬†‚Äď there should be a clear explanation for why you‚Äôre completing the goal. ¬†Also, there should be a definite result from completing this goal that can impact you or your work.
  5. Time bound¬†‚Äď 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 ūüėČ

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!

Health and Wellness Through Hydration and Clean Eating

If you’ve been following Maxed Out Muscles for any period of time then you probably know that I have Crohn’s Disease and that it has been the contributing factor in a lot of hospital visits. ¬†I’ve had Crohn’s Disease since I was 15 and over the past 6 years I have learned some ways to keep the symptoms in remission.

I also answered a question from one of my readers, yesterday, about a condition she had called water diabetes.  She was wondering how she could reduce tummy fat while having the condition.  I told her the basic advice of eating healthy, weight training, and cardio.

However, we have to dig a little more in depth when it comes to our health and wellness.  I think a lot of times our problems may come from malnutrition.  From my experience, this is the case.  I also believed that this is the case for the girl who asked me the question.  Here are two things that I think are most important when it comes to diet:

Water:

Drink enough water! ¬†If you drink a lot of soda, beer, or orange juice it doesn’t count. ¬†Be strict with yourself to ensure that you are drinking enough water and hydrating your body. ¬†I know this seems odd, because

How can something as simple as drinking more water actually help put a disease in remission?”

It may not by itself! ¬†But you would be surprised how much dehydration can damage your body when you are suffering from any kind of chronic inflammatory disease. ¬†Even if you aren’t suffering from some form of illness, studies have shown that 75% of Americans are severely dehydrated. ¬†That’s a huge percentage of Americans. ¬†If you have a condition that makes it easier to become dehydrated, then that is pouring gasoline on the fire.

Think of it this way:  Just like a car needs gas to run, your body needs water.  Drink plenty of water, and stay hydrated.

Eat Clean:

Last year, around this time, I had recovered from a severe Crohn’s flareup and I decided that I would try the Paleo Diet. ¬†In no time at all my Crohn’s Disease symptoms were gone, I was shedding body fat, and I felt happier than I ever had before. ¬†I was on top of the world! ¬†However, it wasn’t very sustainable. ¬†I had a few nights where I went off track, and over time I fell back into my junk food addiction and started having symptoms again.

So now that I am a year wiser and I am starting to eat clean again I have some advice for you. ¬†Don’t fall into the trapping that I did in proclaiming some miracle diet and focusing on it so much. ¬†There were days where I was miserable because I couldn’t have something starchy. ¬†Just eat cleanly and perhaps as strictly as a Paleo or Vegan diet starting out and then reintroduce foods to find what works best for you. ¬†If you can eat certain things without getting sick, more power to you.

Those¬†are what I believe to be the only aspects of dieting and the only ideas you should really have to keep in mind while finding what works for you nutrition wise. ¬†You can do additional research if you want to find how many calories you should be eating or what macros, but as far as illnesses go I’d say I covered it.

Now I have covered nutrition based off of my experiences with Crohn’s. ¬†I’d like to add some other honorable mentions such as¬†weight lifting, cardio, and maintaining your stress levels.

With a lot of sicknesses, keeping a low stress level is about as important as having a healthy diet.  Thankfully, we can branch a low stress level together with weight lifting and cardio.  For me, the gym is what relieves my stress so when I couple that with a good diet I have virtually no symptoms at all.

If that doesn’t work for you, I’d suggest also looking into some meditation and yoga.

Work on maintaining a low stress level, lift weights, do cardio, focus on diet, and find what works best for you.  We are all different and it can be easy to compare ourselves to other people.  Simply breathe, relax, and think about what is the most beneficial for you.

Remember, you can live healthy and happy!

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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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