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.

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 I Am Thankful For This November

It is November, and if you are living in the United States or Canada it is a month of Thanksgiving!  I got to thinking that it was so strange that we celebrate this here and not everywhere, and that we don’t practice our attitude of gratitude every day.  So, no matter where you’re from and no matter what day it is I think you and I should practice our gratefulness all the time!  So, I want to list Five Things I Am Thankful For Every Day!

  • I am so thankful for my grandmother who is my biggest supporter.  I always know that no matter what I am going through, that she always will love me and support me.  She always listens to me and helps me through all of my problems.  Since my grandfather died, her and I have always had each other and she has pushed me to be an overachiever.  When I was younger, she used to make me study all the time and now I’m hoping to be successful with the values that she instilled in me.
  • I am incredibly grateful for my health.  I made my blog, Maxed Out Muscles, after having a Crohn’s Disease flareup in April.  I recovered in May, and it has officially been six months since I was sick!  I am hoping to go for a year, and eventually succeed in being symptom free for the rest of my life.
  • I am thankful for the feedback from all of my friends on this site.  All of you who I didn’t know, I am so grateful that you have lent your support and commentary on my posts.  I am so thankful that we have had discussions and interviews.  I hope to give you good content, and I hope to read more great replies! 🙂
  • I am happy for my weight lifting results.  They are modest but they add up over time.  I know that when I look back to my starting point, it is a day and night difference.  So without a doubt, I say to you time after time that consistency is the number one thing involved in seeing weight lifting results.  ..and perhaps results in any field.
  • I’m thankful for how this year has gone!  This is the number one thing, and possibly the most basic.  It isn’t possible for me to be thankful for this year without all of the things I mentioned above, but this year has been so important to me.  Without seeing the long term results and consequences of my choices this year, I am so grateful for all of the experience I’ve gained.  I would say that in this year alone, I have made more decisions and stuck to them than in any other year of my life.  I have grounded myself in some core values, and chose a direction for my life and have so far, consistently, stuck to it!

I can only hope that every thing I am going through leads me to more results and success.  However, whether I’m successful or not I am thankful for who I am becoming because of these things.

I hope you have too many blessings too count and that you have a lot to be thankful for this Thanksgiving!

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A Thanksgiving Turkey!

Also, Feel free to comment below what you are thankful for this year!  Or, if you would like to, reblog this post and write 5 Things You Are Thankful For This Year!  I am really excited to read all of your great responses.

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!

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..

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..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!

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.

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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!

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. 🙂 

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