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.

Getting Back At It

Gotta keep this short, as I’m typing this from my iPhone before work. I appreciate anyone who decides to read, but please understand that I am typing this for me. This post is an affirmation of my goal, and I am stating the facts:

Fact 1- I started going hard at it 6 months ago. I was also going hard at it a year ago. I went hard at it 3 years ago. I did even better, than those other times, 5 years ago. My continual issue has been discipline and consistency. There are huge gaps, between each attempt at fitness, where I have gotten more out of shape, more gross, more overweight, unhealthier, more unfocused, lazier, and more depressed.

Fact 2- I am the heaviest I have ever been at this point in my life. I weighed myself in at 268 lbs.

Fact 3- I have a long ways to go and I can’t trust every number I see. My scale is basically telling me, “yeah, you’re overweight but look at your body fat %. Only 20%.” The problem is that my scale is wrong and I shouldn’t believe that number. I have since taken body measurements with tape and a caliper and my body fat % is typically close to 30% when I average between my 3 results. Even that may be a low ball number.

Let’s place these facts together, shall we?

I’ve gotten out of shape because I find myself wanting to believe I don’t have a problem. I have trusted obviously faulty numbers regarding my body fat %. I’ve believed “that Three Musketeers won’t be that bad”. I’ve been living day to day without a routine and have had little to no discipline. I’ve made a victim of myself and spiraled out of control.

Today, I tell myself…. I am taking control of my life back. I will develop more discipline. Over the past week, I’ve begun by developing a routine. I now have a bed time, and a time to wake up. When I wake up, I eat breakfast and work out. Then I get ready and often have time to relax before work since I work second shift.

This is going very well so far and I am feeling like I have a lot more energy. I will strive to do more, and I will succeed. I want to, no…. I will be the best version of myself.

Disgusted that I’ve let it get this far out of control, but again… I will take control. I can do it, and I will do it.

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.

Week Recap

IMG_1042

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.

IMG_1018

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

Letter To You From Your Older Self

Dear Me,

Keep having fun, but also keep working hard! Don’t be so wrapped up in your work that you never relax. On another note, don’t be complacent and never get any work done.

Always find a balance and work hard at being the best version of yourself! You know you can’t be Mr. Joe Cool, and never let anything bug you. You also know you aren’t always going to be a go-getter, and have the world in the palm of your hands. Seek a balance of the two, and better yourself because your own life’s journey is unique to you.

You will make mistakes and fall down; that’s a part of life. Making mistakes is the fun part! If everything were easy and you had no challenges, you’d never change. Adversity and challenges are obstacles, and overcoming obstacles develops character. Develop your character and become the best version of yourself.

The best version of “you” will be a version of you that overcame hardship; a version of you that sought adversity and became a victor. Keep fighting, and you will eventually find yourself. Do it from a standpoint of..

..pursuing your life’s ambition, YOUR PASSION! It may be cliche to say “Follow your heart,” or “Find your passion,” but do that and you will be much happier with your life. 

Also, it may be highly presumptuous to write some “life-advice” letter considering I still have a long adventure ahead of me…

But remember! I’m your older self, and I am writing this letter to you.

Sincerely,

Maxed Out Muscles

p.s.

Lift hard and dream big; set smart goals for yourself and achieve them.

  
..image courtesy of theredish.com

Saraswati Says Put Your Heart Into Your Work

“Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts.  This is the secret of success.”

Above is a great quote I found by renowned and deceased Hindu teacher Sivananda Saraswati.  This rung so true to me as I thought about the past few months, and what I’ve noticed.

While I can’t say anything from long term experience, I can say that in these past few months that I’ve been working harder at everything I’ve been involved in!  And I’ve honestly felt more successful!  As I said in another recent post(click here to read “Climb To The Top And Do Not Look Back Down”) I haven’t fully defined myself as successful, but I am much better off than I was six months ago!

..and you can be too!

I’ve had real conversations with you guys about my own struggles with complacency and how I didn’t enjoy certain parts of my life, but I kept pushing(click here to read “The Key To Climbing To The Top And Why You Should Do It Today”).  Since I’ve had my ups and downs, I know that I’ve grown a lot and I am maturing.  I know that I will be successful! 

..and I know that I’m already very close.

I’m getting so much healthier, stronger, and leaner as I continue to go all out in the gym.  I continue to learn more about nutrition.  I’ve learned a lot about blogging, creating content, writing, distributing, and networking.  I’ve also learned some humility from working a job I didn’t like, along with patience.

..and I don’t tell you these things to brag!  I tell you this because the only way I can explain these thoughts of mine is through my experiences.  So I say to you today..

cropped-blog-banner

..go for what you want and pursue your passion!  Work hard!  As Saraswati says “put your heart, mind, and soul into your work”, and all you lifters work hard so you can have maxed out muscles!

How Stress Can Make You Fat

Yesterday I was working a DJ shift at the radio station where I work part time.  I wanted to read some interesting health news articles and I stumbled upon two that were really relevant to what I talk about on here.

So, I decided to share them with you:

Clearing The Clutter Could Help You Lose Weight

mess-1238122

To read the story, click here.  According to Dr. Jennifer Ashton, an ABC News Senior Medical Contributor, making a lot of messes and being overweight are linked.  This would be on account of you having the mess due to a stressful life, and the stress affecting your metabolism and causing eating disorders.  She says “Clutter usually represents chaos and confusion.”

In response to this information, I’d say it’s a great idea to clean up your messy desk and your car.  Clean up those messes and relax!  Maybe then you can avoid unnecessary stress and live a happy, healthy life.

Studies Probe Whether Sleep Deprivation Can Affect Your Weight

sleeping-tiger-1403657

To read the story, click here.  According to a study shared by ABC News, sleep deprivation and weight gain may have a definite link.  They noticed that overnight shift workers had worse metabolisms and tended to burn more muscle than fat.  The people who slept less than 5 hours a night and were sleep deprived burned more muscle than fat.  Those who were not sleep deprived burned twice as much fat.  Those who sleep less tend to be more stressed, and have less control over their weight.

The article says a lot about the weight gain and how working over night and doing shift work is the problem.  The article suggests that these things are “all in a night’s work.”

In conclusion,

I read these and determined that there is one huge underlying factor:  STRESS!  Keep the stress low and be mindful of your body’s well being, and you can be more fit!  Other than just mental and emotional stress, there is physical stress which you are bound to have if you aren’t getting enough sleep.  Limit all of these forms of stress and pursue a lifetime of health and wellness.

I would like to add that maybe it’s sometimes necessary to work long hours, eat unhealthy because you don’t have time to cook, and sleep less….

but is it worth your health?  Is it worth dying at a younger age?  Count the costs and value yourself!

Climb To The Top And Do NOT Look Back Down

For a while I have talked about being successful. To clarify, I don’t find myself as successful yet!

..and most people don’t! But what is “success”? According to Google, it’s the accomplishment of an aim or purpose. That means that success is extremely subjective and only you can determine whether you are successful.

Keep in mind that to achieve your goals you will have to work very hard. And, recently, I’ve come to the conclusion that hard work is important regardless of what you choose to do. To be the best you have to work hard

Here’s a quote by Kevin Hart:

“Everybody wants to be famous, but nobody wants to do the work. I live by that. You grind hard so you can play hard. At the end of the day, you put all the work in, and eventually it’ll pay off. It could be in a year, it could be in 30 years. Eventually, your hard work will pay off.”

Read more quotes at Brainyquote.

So have the mentality that you will be the hardest worker to be the best at accomplishing your goals! If the journey to success is like climbing a mountain,

then don’t let the people and things at the bottom keep you from reaching the top.

You can do this.