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.

The Fitness Masochistic Paradox

I’m thinking that getting bulky was exceptionally easy for me.  However, getting lean is an entirely different story.

It seems that there’s a reason why people are always wanting to give up when they are attempting to lose weight on shows like “The Biggest Loser”.  Losing weight takes a lot of discipline!  The reason why gaining weight was so easy for me?  It took consistency and dedication, but no discipline for me.

I would eat whatever I wanted to gain weight.  I’d eat a lot, and gaining weight just depended on me lifting weights at a progressive overload.  Of course, I didn’t care as much about the cardio because I was trying to get big!  That’s not to say I didn’t do cardio to minimize the fat gains.  It just wasn’t top priority, and it was a lot more challenging.

Doing cardio and eating clean?  That sounded brutal.  I’ve done it before, and I honestly thought it sucked.  Oddly enough, that could be because I get addicted to crap foods and not because eating clean is actually horrible.

It does feel like a mission, though, and while bulking required the consistency, cutting is requiring a lot of discipline.  I am doing my best to develop the discipline needed to lose weight, and honestly it feels like some weird masochistic effort.  That is, I’m inflicting all of this pain on myself in the moment during my training and I’m depriving myself of the crap foods.

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..the crap I used to eat provided by FreeImages.Com

So why do I call this masochism?  I like doing it!  It’s a challenge.  I’m putting myself into challenge and I’m going to come out of this a lot stronger than I was when I started..

It’s a paradox because it may be hard now, but it only gets easier as I continue to push myself and succeed at my goals.  Before too long, I will be bigger, faster, stronger and as lean as can be!  I believe I can achieve my goals through a little pain and hardship now…

and you can too!

My mile times are speeding up, I’m eating fewer calories, and I’m beginning to feel like a healthy individual.  Progress is, as always, a matter of consistency and discipline.  I’ll keep grinding, and I hope you do too.

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.

 

 

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!

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!

A Belated Monthly Progress Report

Today is the day!  I stress this sentiment every day.  Every day is the day to make progress and record results.  Every day is another day to be the best that you can be!  To read one of my best posts that stresses that sentiment, click here.

Now, I’d like to share with you some results I have made in the gym!  I haven’t done this in a couple of months, and I was intending to make a monthly progress report.  However, the journey of a natural lifter requires perseverance and results do not always come every month.  Without further ado, I give you my (semi) monthly lifting report:

This is what I could lift 3 months ago!

This is what I could lift 3 months ago!

Legs:

I can now easily rep out 225(102 kg) on squats!  I am really proud of that and I can quickly becoming strong enough to do 275 as a one rep max.  I am hoping to achieve that weight soon so I can set my next SMART GOAL for 315.

I don’t quite know the weight conversion but I can now max out all of the leg machines and I am using the leg press where I typically throw on a lot of plates.  Today I put 360 lbs(163 kg) on the leg press and went for reps.  I had a good time working my legs this Sunday afternoon and I am happy to share those results!

Back and Biceps:

As I’ve said some new personal records on leg day, I also set some new records on back and bicep day.

Yesterday was my back and bicep day, and I managed to lift heavier on my deadlift than ever before!  I did 315 lbs(142 kg) for EIGHT reps.  I didn’t attempt to go higher because usually I can only do three reps at that weight.  I was tremendously proud and surprised that I could do so much more!  (ALSO, A LITTLE DISCLAIMER:  I count deadlifts as a main workout on back day because they work every muscle on your posterior chain.  You could count them as a leg workout or a back workout, or even a shoulder workout because they work almost every muscle in your body)

I immediately went on to do bent over rows and knocked out 185 lbs fairly easily.  I did some shoulder presses with 55 lb dumb bells and managed to get about six good reps.

Keep in mine that the bicep work I am about to talk about is all dumbbell work and not with a barbell as in the picture above.  My barbell curls are about 80 lbs now.  When I went on to my biceps, I managed to get about eight strict curls on each arm with 40 lbs.  When I did restricted curls, I only aimed for 30 lbs and did them nice and slow to get really feel that burn! 🙂

Chest and Triceps:

Here is where we hit all my plateaus!  I am only getting slightly stronger in this group, but some of my reps are feeling less forced so I am assuming that I am near the end of this long plateau.  I am only at 185 lbs (83 kg) on bench press and struggling to get four reps, and that’s where I’ve been for months now.

I am under the impression that it’s an easy fix, though!  I feel like I have neglected some tricep work and that is why my bench press and (other) tricep related exercises are lacking.  I have been hitting them hard and, as I said, the reps feel less forced.  I am almost to the point of maxing out my local gym’s chest fly machine and I feel that, when my triceps catch up, I’ll be able to do a lot more weight in all my other chest-tricep exercises.

Conclusion:

I’ve been training hard, and sometimes I don’t see huge results while other times I see remarkable results!  As I’ve said in the past, consistency is key.  Just remember, if you work out hard for a long time you may not see the results you want…

..but if you don’t work out at all, you will see NO results!  Keep moving forward and have some MAXED OUT MUSCLES!

maxed out muscles

Five Creatine Myths Exposed

With all the misinformation that is being passed down, we talked about 10 Fitness Myths That You Might Still Believe last week!  Here are FIVE common myths regarding creatine:

  • Myth #1:  Creatine will make your belly fat when you stop taking it

Contrary to what some people believe, creatine will not make you store fat anywhere on your body when you stop taking it!  Fat is actually stored due to an excessive caloric intake.  As you eat more calories than what your body needs, it stores them calories as fat for any possible oncoming genocide.

So it is safe to say that the fat isn’t caused by creatine.  Sadly, that means that “creatine makes you fat” is probably just a scapegoat used by someone who doesn’t want to diet or add more cardio.

Creatine doesn't make you fat.  Donuts do.  ..image by newgrounds.com

Creatine doesn’t make you fat. Donuts do. ..image by newgrounds.com

  • Myth #2:  Creatine will make you store too much water weight

This is partially true!  However, I add this to a list of creatine myths because of how exaggerated this statement often is!  While creatine will add water weight, it won’t make you look like you’ve been on prednisone for five months!

If you’ve ever been on prednisone or any other corticosteroid for illness, you’ll understand.  The moon face you get from those is all water weight, and creatine won’t do that.  In fact, creatine will help you build some nice muscles so the pros will far outweigh the cons! 😉

"I should have never taken creatine!" :(

“I should have never taken creatine!” 😦

  • Myth #3:  Creatine is bad for your kidneys!
..image courtesy of iheartguts.com

..image courtesy of iheartguts.com

This is the most common myth regarding creatine and it’s understandable!  I get the logic behind it:  Creatine works, therefore there has to be something seriously bad about it.  That’s how steroids are, and even preworkout recommends you take a week off now and then to avoid some bad side effects.  However, countless studies have shown that creatine is actually healthy and won’t harm your kidneys.  In fact, this next myth is going to shock you..

  • Myth #4:  Creatine is NOT natural

Contrary to this myth, creatine is completely natural and can actually be found in some of the foods we eat on a daily basis but in small quantities.  Creatine is found in different forms of meat, and if you eat red meat you will have plenty of creatine phosphate saturation.

Epic Chris Farley image is courtesy of pinterest.com

..Epic Chris Farley image is courtesy of pinterest.com

  • Myth #5:  Creatine Needs To Be Cycled

Absolutely not!  Creatine saturates your muscles so when you’ve taken it consistently it starts to have its charm.  If you take a week off every so often you are actually just dehydrating your creatine stores and not getting the most benefit from creatine.

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I use 10 Grams of the GNC brand of creatine every day.

Thanks for reading!  Remember, those are just five myths related to creatine.  Always receive your information with a grain of salt, and do the research yourself so you know what you’re putting into your body.

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!

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.

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.