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 😉

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.

Passion Produces Mastery

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I wasn’t going to say that being passionate about something causes you to be successful, or that it always shows great results visible to other people.

However, that can often be the case. Lots of people think about taking on huge obstacles and going through routines throughout their lives because they’ve been told to or they want to make money, but not a lot of people genuinely do what they love doing. I believe that it’s because of this that I don’t often here people saying follow your heart, but I do hear them saying “Go to the right college,” “Be a doctor,” or “Do this. It makes a lot of money.”

I’d like to say that none of those things are bad in and of themselves, however with a passionate heart and determination a person can go a lot further. There is a lot more waiting for a person down a road specifically designed for them and their talents and passion, than someone traveling down the beaten path laid in front of them by people who have gone before.

I just wanted to let you know that whatever it is your doing, do it with passion. If you can’t be passionate about it, maybe you should do something else. I can’t promise fame and wealth from following your heart, even if that may very well happen, but I can say that you will be a lot happier with yourself doing something that is indivualized and unique to you.

That being said, in relation to that I can tell you that my passion for reading, writing, and the human body has caused me to learn a lot about physical training, diet, and exercise through various books I’ve read. I write about these various experiences and steps I’ve taken towards mastery in this blog to you.

In conclusion, I hope you can also find what you are really passionate about and take steps toward mastering it. Be the best you can be with your own life’s passion which is unique to you.

Build The Virtues Associated With Giving It Your All

No matter what you’re doing with your life right now, give it your all! That may sound cliche but if you never go all in you may never find out how far you can go with something, or how truly incredible your accomplishments are.

  
Along the way, you may learn that achieving your goals requires you to become more committed. You may learn that you have to become the type of person who has to commit, and finish what he/she starts, and take the ridicule and torment others try to drive your way and use it for fuel. You may need to learn to be strong, independent, self-accountable, and determine.

Whatever your end result is, if you learn something and become a better person through the experience then you are truly gaining something in life. That may just be my opinion but it’s the truth. 

I have a challenge for you. No matter what your goal is. If it’s weight training or running marathons or being a great painter, I still have a challenge for you. Decide today that you are going to pick that thing that you are passionate about and you are going to go for it 100%. No matter what the end result is, look at the beauty that had to have unfolded for you to grow as a person through the trials and struggles of achieving that goal.

Lastly, if you fail or fall off the wagon, just dust off your knees and try again. Thanks for reading.

Taking A Week Off Can Help You Appreciate Working Out

Taking a week off can really help you appreciate working out. I know that I’ve been anxious to get back in the gym all week but I’ve been stopping myself, in fear that I won’t get the full effect of a week’s worth of rest. That may not even be the case, but just the thought is sort of like a placebo that may make me hit the weights twice as hard next week.

I decided to take a week off because I had been going hard at it for three months and I was catching a cold and my joints were hurting. Now I am starting to get better and I feel like that’s all I needed.

It could be extremely beneficial for you. If you’ve been working out for months at a time, it certainly won’t hurt you to get a little rest, as long as you dedicate yourself to going back. Try to become gracious of the time you get to spend getting your body in shape when you go back. Thanks for reading!

Jamming To Good Tunes May Improve Workouts

Don’t worry about what others think of the music you listen to or what’s playing in the gym, unless you like it. You can always bring in a pair of headphones.

Turns out, an article I read by the Huffington Post stated that listening to music during your workouts can increase your performance.

So whatever it is, either T-Swift or rap or metal, jam to it and finish your workout.

To read that Huffington Post article, click here.

Backstory To Becoming A Warrior

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Before I started on a journey of self-improvement and fitness, I was timid and always so stressed and self-conscious. I remember being a shy kid at first who just wanted to have friends, who made them mostly by convenience and then had the same friends through grade school.

Having what I’d say is a bad friend and a bad family member led me to learn there are three things that made me grow the most as a person and ultimately become a warrior.

  1. This friend was an obstacle placed in my life for me to overcome. It was my responsibility to cut ties and have confidence in myself.
  2. The family member, sad to say my own mother, was always bringing stress into my life which led to a lot of Crohn’s Disease flare ups and problems. Dropping her from my life and choosing to do my very best to move on without her was a huge step proving I will not take undermining and disrespect for others.
  3. My Crohn’s Disease was a problem that has been with me for years and it has been both a blessing and a curse, as it has made me learn more about nutrition and keeping calm. It has also driven me to my passion of becoming a nutritional counselor and helping people.

By overcoming these obstacles, I have learned that there are two things you must be ready to do at any given time.

  1. Say no!
  2. Take action.

Say no – do NOT allow anything in your life to slow you down in your development as a person.

Ex: If you are trying to stay away from alcohol and you have a friend who always wants you to drink and makes fun of you for not drinking, drop that friend. Not saying anything against drinking, but this is my example.

Take Action – Be ready to take action by knowing what you want in life and going for it, by whatever means are necessary.

Ex: If you want to become an amazing musician be ready to practice day and night and always be ready to meet new people who could teach you more and give you valuable connections.

Hopefully, this will make sense to you and you can use this as helpful advice in whatever you are choosing to do. Whether it be fitness related or not, find your way as a person and be successful. Prepare to say no to opposition and crush through barriers, because on the inside you are a WARRIOR.

Don’t Ignore Naysayers, Laugh At Them

Let’s say you’ve gotten into working out and one day you’re hanging out with a large group of friends, and a friend or friend of a friend says something about your weird body shape and tries to make fun of you. How do you react?

You may have thought to yourself that this kind of behavior would make you upset or angry. That’s understandable because they are being rude, but look outside the box for a moment. Think to yourself, why would they take the time to single me out and cut me down? Simply, so they can bring themselves up. 

These people can only bring themselves up by trying to bring you down, so now that you know you’re dealing with someone who has serious self esteem issues you can laugh at them. They’re so pathetic, it’s funny, and you are better than them.

Keep doing the things you love, lift, and exercise and don’t let the naysayers get you down. Try to keep negative people out of your life but if something happens and you can’t help but be around them, don’t ignore them. Just laugh at them. They’re looking for you to get upset, which is funny, because they are also making it evident that you are better than them. 

Thanks for reading. Subscribe if you’d like free updates to my blog. I make new posts regularly.

Beginning To Squat Everyday

Today is only day 2 but I’m really excited to begin this. The concept is that training is about taking the path of most resistance and challenging yourself, and so squatting every day for a month should indeed be a challenge.

 
The article I read on this at bodybuilding.com said after a month you won’t want to stop. That might be true, but from where I am now I’ll just be happy if I raise my squat by a good chunk of weight before this month is over.

 Good luck to you on whatever your goals are, and if you’re interested in squatting every day the article is on bodybuilding.com and you can google ‘squat everyday’. Thanks for reading.

Mechanic’s License Before Operating Heavy Weight

I just thought of the title for this as I am sitting here at the gym between sets of squat. Be careful when you do great exercises like the squat or deadlift. Heavy weight won’t do you much good if you don’t have the mechanics down for the exercise. Don’t be ashamed to do lower weight if you can get used to the squat and have excellent form. Thanks for reading.