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

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

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

You Need To Go To The Gym Without Being A Douchebag

Pardon my french, but please refer to the title.

 

We all know them, right?  The guys who go into the gym and grunt loud enough for everyone to hear while benching 225 for the first time.

(…and by that, I mean the first time today.   They do this every day.  They also don’t do this with any other work out.  They don’t do many other workouts, and they definitely don’t do leg workouts.  Only upper body brah.)

This is the same guy who wants to give you unwarranted workout advice every time he sees you.  He’s into himself, and he thinks you should be too.

Still with me?  If you’re not, picture this:

You walk into the gym.  You’re feeling a little guilty because you haven’t gone in a week, and you ate more cake than you should have at a birthday party you attended the day before.  You’re also feeling kind of achy from your escapades at the bar the night before.  No worries though, you are stepping into the gym and getting your life back together.

You think you’re in for a difficult, but rewarding session as you know you need it and you’re excited at the prospect of getting your life together.  You start to walk over to the free weight area because you read some article online saying that compound movements work better for seeing some results.  This is when you spot them.  There’s a group of three guys.  All of them are wearing nothing but Nike, a snap back cap, their gym bags are tossed against the wall, and they each have one of the free weight racks.

“If they’re here together, why can’t they just work in together on one rack?” you think to yourself.  However, you avoid confrontation and consider grabbing some dumbbells instead.  That’s also a no-go.  You start to look over at the dumbbell area.  None of the weights are there that you’d like to use.  You look back at the matching gym rats with their tribal tattoos, and there are your dumbbells by their feet.  You ask if you can use them, and they all act odd about it and say they are actually doing a “superset” but they’ll totally be done in a minute.  This isn’t going to happen though, because you quickly notice that they talk for five minutes between every set.

You end up going to the treadmills, you do some cardio and you hear them snickering in the back.  It seems that they might be laughing at you.  Seems rude, but also seems plausible as they don’t seem to believe in working legs, doing cardio, or having gym etiquette.  You get a little frustrated, and you leave.


My thoughts here are, that, this stuff actually happens.  How many gym douche bags have we all seen, seriously?  I can personally laugh at myself and say that I have in the past had some of these behaviors.  I’ve gotten lost in the mirror, taken up free weights, and talked to people for a long period of time between sets.  This was a while ago and I feel that being self aware is the first step.  I don’t think I’m that annoying anymore, and I think there’s a lot of hope for most bros out there.  Just be courteous and kind brothers.

 

 

 

 

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.

 

 

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!

What Is Killing My Gains?

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“Why have I been working out for TWENTY-FIVE YEARS AND STILL CAN CURL MORE THAN I SQUAT!?”

I doubt anyone in history has ever said that!  I doubt anyone actually will…BUT now that I have your attention, I want to talk about gains and why some of us aren’t having any.

You may have been lifting for a while and hit a plateau, and you may even seem to get weaker.  These things happen, but as long as you stay consistent

you will grow stronger.

maxed out muscles

Maxed Out Muscles

About as strong, in fact, as this stick figure that I hastily drew in Microsoft Paint.  Look at those biceps!!

However, he did skip leg day which I would say is pretty bad!

Now jokes aside, all of us hit plateaus or walls in our training and it can be pretty depressing.  I know because this has happened to me, and is happening to me now.  So I write today as optimistic as I can!  I don’t know from experience that I will overcome this plateau, but I am optimistic!

Without further ado I want to list some possible reasons why I, or you, are hitting a plateau and how I, or we, can overcome this:

  • Diet

Diet is probably the easiest to call out because, without proper nutrition, how can your body grow?  There is a lot of controversy on diet(feel free to post your opinion in the comments).  A lot of bodybuilders and strength coaches say you should eat whatever your basal metabolic rate calls for while eating a gram of protein per pound of body weight.  However, some text books say you should eat no more than 60% of your body weight in protein and other people recommend 50 grams a day.

I personally feel that the gram per pound approach will be most effective for me personally.  This is because, when I look at other people who have been bodybuilding(natties included), I notice that most heavy lifters recommend eating a lot of protein.  A lot of them have good aesthetics too, and it doesn’t look like they converted any excess protein into fat.

Simply due to my own preference and based off what I have seen I will choose the gram per pound method.  Again, feel free to comment your own opinion below and I suppose I will show you how mine works over time 🙂

  • Complacency

This is my other point and what I feel is the kicker for me lately.

As I work full time, have a part time job, and enjoy some time to relax..

it gets REALLY hard to even want to lift on some days.  It even becomes difficult to write these posts on other days.  However, I am consistent and self-motivated!  No matter what life is tossing me, I will strive to continue what I started.  Now, it has become depressing to work out and see little results lately but as I’ve been consumed by other things I realize that it is a feat in and of itself that I’ve made it to the gym and maintained.

..and I’d like to add that today I worked out hard!!  And it felt GREAT!  So no more complacency in the gym, and a better diet is not my recommendation;  no complacency in the gym and a better diet is my prescription!

It’s always time to continue fighting the resistance we have in front of us and put our best foot forward!  Today is that day, and so is tomorrow.

Do your best and make some gains!

Sharing Hard Work Helps Everyone

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

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

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

…and just today!

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

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

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

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

So in conclusion I want to ask you a question:  

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

..and since this is so relevant today,

“Life’s a garden. Dig it,” –Joe Dirt

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

The Key To Climbing to the Top and Why YOU Should Do It Today

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I always try to make posts that I hope can help my viewers and subscribers, and so I usually try to leave the point of focus off of myself. The problems or help guides that I post may be something I found useful for me, but I write it out to you.

The truth is, I write a lot of things out to you that I wish I had known a long time ago.  There’s always so many things I wish I had known two years ago or three years ago and the only thing I can do now is pass what I know down to people who are high school age, or any age really.  If I can be anything, I can try to be like a big brother. 

And so today I want to tell you what has been on my mind.  I want to tell you what I did today and what really has me thinking about life and success.  Again, I’m doing this because I want to motivate you.

Work

I went into work today and, as usual, I wasn’t really happy.  It’s not that my job is very hard and it is not like anyone treats me bad there either, but today has been extremely different.  While I’m thankful for the job, I realized that it’s a stepping stone for me.  I need the job at the moment because I have debt to pay.  My plan is to go back to school for nutrition and be well on my way to success(for those of you who don’t know, my name is Christian Boyles, and I have a lot to say to you about my battle with Crohn’s and how I want to help people with nutrition, click here or here).

As I said, I walked into work today and immediately I felt depressed.  In that moment, it is just draining to think that I want to help people with nutrition and training, but I’m at a Walmart stocking soda.  Again, I’m thankful for the job I have but I know I am meant to do much more.  

“…I am meant to do much more.”  

So I got off work, got home, and began to think.  Honestly, I was still depressed.  It was almost like I was in kind of a funk, but then I realized that there are things in life that you have control over and there are things in life that you don’t.  And I know one thing for sure!  I can’t help it that I grew up without a lot of money to help me with an easier transition through college.  I can’t help it that all of that happened and it led me to where I’m at today.  But there is something I can do.  

I can acknowledge that I am far better off than I was a year ago, and I am moving in a much more positive direction.

I have to credit my current success to three things:

  1. Incredible People in my Life – If it weren’t for my great-grandmother who raised me, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  If it wasn’t for my mom giving me tough times, I wouldn’t be who I am today.  It was the challenges that my mother presented in my youth and the love that my great-grandmother gave me that ultimately molded who I am today.  And it’s not like everything going on in my life is a direct result of two people.  It seems that there are always people who come and go, but they are like shooting stars.  You see them for a moment and it’s a beautiful site, like looking up at that night sky, because they can really do something positive in your life that can really impact who you will become.
  2. My Personality – This is 100% the most conceited thing I have to say.  However, if I wasn’t as nice to people then I know they wouldn’t have been so nice to me.  I have always tried to be good to people, and it has always worked out well for me.  I try to give my best to those around me and it always seems that I attract people that are kind and want nothing more than to see me succeed.
  3. I Found my Passion after Bad Things Happened – As I mentioned in some of the hyperlinks above, I have Crohn’s disease.  This disease has always been a challenge for me.  It has made me so sick that I’ve thought I was dying at times and I have definitely had my fair share of spiritual experiences.  I have asked questions like “Why me?” I have thought about my life and re-evaluated multiple times.  It wasn’t until the last time that I got sick that I said Enough is ENOUGH!”  I knew right away that this time would be different.  I knew that if there’s a God or some rule to our universe, that He or It was leading me to confront my problems and make something positive of it.  At least that is how I chose to view the situation.  I finally decided that I am passionate about health and wellness, and living the best life possible.  I decided that I would begin writing this blog and reaching out in an effort to reach as many people as I can.

And of course, this morning, I realized that today is the day.  I realized that today is always the day to do your absolute best.  There is never a better day than today.  You don’t have to wait until tomorrow, and you don’t have to take time to plan things.  If there is something you love, and if there is something positive that you have to give the world…….then go out and do it.

So that is why, today, I have written this long post.  I’ve written this in hopes to inspire, and also because this was needed.  I try to give you content everyday, but today was the day for something special.  And every day should be..

Counting Macros VERSUS Eating Healthy

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You want to be in the best shape of your life!  You also want your routine to be sustainable and to keep the gains you get over time.  There’s a new way of dieting, or I should say non-dieting, called IIFYM.  IIFYM stands for “If It Fits Your Macros.”

The idea is that you count your macros and focus on getting all of your proteins, fats, and calories.  This actually works, because you are simply calorie counting to the extreme.

It’s fun to tease at the idea of eating a PopTart or a Snickers bar and saying, “So what? It fits my macros” but let’s think about how that would work.  Basically, when eating something unhealthy like poptarts or candy, you are taking up space for nutritional calories and macro-nutrients you can get from nice, lean foods.

On all of my fitness tracking apps, they recommend only 80 grams of fat a day.  Imagine eating some fast food on one of your days.  It may fit your macros, but how much fat does it have?  Probably too much.  You’ll end up eating half of your daily macros in one meal.  This leads to making things difficult and you’ll end up having to eat leaner foods throughout the day.

In conclusion, I think IIFYM is a good idea because at first it’s fun to toy with the thought of eating unhealthy and then you realize you can’t.  You realize you can’t eat out much or eat a lot of junk food and still make it fit your macros.  The best thing about IIFYM is that you’ll become more aware of how much of each macro your foods have and of the caloric content.  You’ll wind up knowing what’s leaner and how to eat in moderation.

If It Fits Your Macros and eating healthy aren’t two different choices.  They’re two sides of the same coin.

Have a great day and thanks for reading.  Please subscribe to my website, MAXED OUT MUSCLES! 🙂