When it Gets Real


100%.  What does that mean to you? I found myself asking myself the other day.  I feel like I give about 95%.  Why not 100?  My wife and I were discussing this the other day.  She asked me what I think is holding me back from hitting that other 5%, and I really had to think about it.  I think it’s because I’m comfortable with my workouts.

Comfort should be my first sign that I need to change.  I work hard.  Very hard but I know I can give more.   Now I’m not saying that 95% isn’t good, because it is.  But I want to get better than I am now.

We live in a day and age where it’s very common to do just enough, just enough at work, just enough to hold things together.  It’s easy because we get in a routine and get comfortable and then it’s really hard to change.  But don’t be afraid to change things up, to push yourself harder, farther, and faster.


Eat For Your Training


So maybe you are getting into a routine with running, or are starting to get the hang of those weights.  You’ve maybe seen some improvement, or feel stronger, faster etc.  But you want to go further.  Do you train more?  Train harder?  Well both of those are good. But you need to change your diet.

Our bodies can only grow or shrink with what we give it to work with.  It can’t just burn fat by you sitting on the couch, and just the same it can’t get healthier without changing what you put in it.

If you are bulking or wanting to drop weight you need to eat clean and you need to eat for your size.  Myfitnesspal is a great app that lets you plug in your height weight, etc and determine what your calorie intake should be.  Let’s say you are 200lb and you want to get to 175lb.  You need to eat as if you weighed 175lb.  If you keep eating the calories required to maintain 200lb you won’t lose anything.  You can also just do a google search for a calorie calculator.

Once you know what number to hit, now start keeping track of everything you eat for at least a week.  Your eyes will be opened to what you are actually putting in your body.  Not only do you want to hit the calorie amount required, but you want to hit that number by eating clean foods.  No more mcdonalds every morning, no more 44oz fountain sodas.  Get rid of the crap food, and start fueling your body for success.  It needs clean protein sources, chicken, fish, tuna, cottage cheese. It needs good carbs, oatmeal, brown rice, sweet potatoes.

What you put or don’t put in your body will transform it.  You’ve got this!


Should You Be Taking a Pre-Workout?


The ago old question should you take a pre workout?  Well yes, yes you should.  When you work out your body uses a huge amount of energies.  Your muscles have to have energy to keep up the work.  If they are not fueled they can actually shrink during workouts.

Carbs and Amino Acids (protein) are what fuels your workouts.  If your body doesn’t have enough to fuel your muscles, it will actually start taking the protein away from your muscles which is the opposite effect of what you want to happen.

To avoid this you want a quick acting fuel source before and during your workout.  I personally use a protein blend (I love Jym products), and add dextrose to it. This gives me fast acting carbs, a fast protein as well as a slow working protein.  This helps in providing the body with the fuel it needs before exerting yourself.  You want to ideally start drinking some of this 30 minutes before your workout, and continue to sip on it throughout your workout.

After your workout you can take some more dextrose, or eat some gummy bears.  This keeps your muscles getting the energy they need so they don’t break down.



Do It Anyway


How many times do you roll out of bed and get to work when you don’t really want to?  I know this feeling.  How many times do you get up and roll out of bed and go workout even when you don’t want to?

Because our workouts don’t actually pay our checks we can tend to take them less seriously.  But in reality our well being, our health and vitality and adding years to our life by staying healthy is worth far more than a paycheck.

No working out is not always fun.  I have been exhausted this week.  Weeks on end without getting a day to rest is catching up to me and yes I just want to skip the gym and nap.  But I go anyway.  No I may not have my best workout ever when I’m dragging, but it’s still a workout.

It’s the same with food.  Sure some days it’s easy to be motivated, eat healthy, drink plenty of water, get a good workout in and we are killing it.   Just as easily the next day we may be hit with waking up late and wanting to devour the donuts at the office.

Have that discipline, know that denying yourself now will make up for it in the end.  Write down why you need to do it.  Put it in front of you every day.

You Have Time


Number one excuse why people don’t work out?  No time.  My job is too hard, my kids wear me out, my college classes are too hard.  I have to go grocery shopping instead.  My favorite show is on.

It’s all excuses.  People are busy.  Very busy.  I am married, I have one child with another on the way, I work full time, I go to school part time, I am a reservist in the military.  It’s rare that I’m home on a weekend with traveling somewhere.  My wife is equally as busy if not more so with working, classes, running a non-profit organization, and a for-profit business.

Life is crazy to say the least.  But you have to find time to work out.  For the sake of your health, your sanity, and your children.  I rarely ever feel like working out. I have a physically demanding job and work in the heat a lot, so yes I come home drained a lot, but I’ve got to tell myself to go workout.  I want to be healthy, the healthiest I can be, so that I can accomplish as much as possible, I want my kids to have a good example of what it means to be healthy and active.  I want them to see what it’s like to balance a busy lifestyle and work towards things that are hard and take effort but are worth it in the end.

So how do you fit your workouts in?  Planning.  You’ve got to have a plan in place, you have to prep for it.  Whether it’s skipping that late night show to go workout or setting the alarm clock earlier to get up do what it takes.  If you are single you are in charge of your own schedule so make it work for you.  If you are married work with your spouse to get it straight, get your workouts in.

No one said it was easy.  But it’s worth it.


Dig Deep


I was reminded by one of the members of my fitness group on facebook today of the importance of really digging deep.  Digging deep is I think something we tend to shy away from, we usually want the most benefit from the least amount of work, the most bang for our buck, and to a degree the easy way out.

When it comes to fitness, the easy way out is always wrong.  You want to go with the hard things, the things that challenge you, that bring you to your knees gasping knowing that you’ve given it all you’ve got.

I’ll admit there’s a lot of times when I don’t reach this point.  I know when I leave the gym if I’ve given it all I’ve got.  There is nothing like that feeling of leaving it all out there.

So if you are struggling with really digging deep, find some new motivation.  Think about your why when it comes to working out.  Why do you want to get fit?  A common answer is “to look good” or “to better my health”, those are good, now keeping asking why.  “Why do I want to look good.”  Keep asking why until you can’t ask why anymore.

Write down your reasons, post them on your mirror.  Use this motivation to push yourself to dig deep.

You’ve got this.

If you are interested in joining my facebook fitness group, the link is: http://www.facebook.com/groups/kickbuttfitness


Getting Past The Voice


Your workout actually starts the second you wake up.  Because every day we are going to be tired at some point, we are going to think to ourselves “maybe I can skip today and make it up tomorrow”.  The workout isn’t the hardest once you are at the gym lifting, or once you are running at the pavement.  The hardest part is convincing yourself to go to these places.

The mind is a powerful thing, and you’ve got to master it. You’ve got to win out against the voice that says no.  That says not today, that beckons you to chill on the couch instead.  After all you’ve worked hard today and deserve a rest right?

Wrong.  If you aren’t the best you can possibly be right now then no you don’t deserve to rest, you deserve to kick your own butt and get your body moving.

If your workouts are first thing in the morning set multiple alarms set them in other rooms, whatever you have to do.  If you workout after work, bring your gym bag with you so you don’t go home and get tempted to do something else.

Life will try to find every excuse for you, you’ve got to be ready to conquer the excuses and the voices.

You’ve got this.

Find a Plan

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Have you ever found yourself in the gym wandering around, half looking at everyone else and just copying what other people are doing?  This isn’t necessarily bad.  I’ve learned some things by watching some people at the gym, and have also learned some “what not to-do’s”.

If you are trying to get serious about your workouts you need to go in with a plan.  There are some great resources online, and a simple google search will pull up goals.  If you want to run a marathon, google marathon training.  There are great tips on how much you should be running each week when to take rest days and what you should be eating etc.

If you are wanting to tone or bulk or just lift in general http://www.bodybuilding.com is your one stop shop.  You can choose your body type, goals, and choose beginner, intermediate, or advanced.  Then you can follows along lots of different trainers personal plans.  They also provide diet plans with lots of options.

Don’t be afraid to write it down in a small journal and take it with you to the gym, or put it on your phone and keep track of what you should be doing at the gym.  I still reference my phone on some days when I am doing workouts I don’t do on a regular basis.  This isn’t a sign you’re a beginner, it’s a sign you are taking things seriously. Go for it.  Go with a plan.

You’ve got this!

Nutrition before Workouts


I get told all the time from people “I’ve been working out but I just am not losing much weight”.  My first question is always, “What does your diet look like?”  Usually the response is something in regards to they are still eating the same, and eating crap.

Working out without eating right is like putting  a brand new set of tires on car that won’t start.  It’s almost pointless.  Almost.  Now working out is always good, if you are not going to change your diet, still workout, you will at least be healthier.

But if you are looking to change your body you really have to focus on diet.  It’s a huge part of getting in shape.  I firmly believe fitness is 75% diet.  You have to monitor what you take in.  Because exercise can only take you so far by itself.  Hugh Jackman in addition to training like crazy for the Wolverine movies ate broccoli, brown rice, and chicken like 5 meals a day.  He wanted to barf all the time.

It takes sacrificing some of your tastebuds and learning to like new foods.  Your body won’t like you for awhile, you will be tempted to reach for the same old sweets, chips, and sodas, but don’t.  Stick with it for a month till it becomes habit.  Once it becomes habit then start branching off and trying other new healthy things.  You will find you feel better, look better, and are getting closer to your goals.

Don’t get frustrated over slow results either.  Society everywhere tells us there is a “quick fix” to get in shape.  Wrap this thing around your body, take this miracle pill.  It’s bull crap.  It’s someone trying to make money.  Eating clean and working out will get you in shape, it just may take some time.  For some even years who are at a very unhealthy place, but that is extreme cases.

You can do this!

Stop Avoiding the Carbs


There seems to be this hatred of carbs, like carbs are the devil or something.  The cause of this is probably some very popular diets that really push “carb free”.  Unless it’s a no fat, no soda, or no sugar diet, you should probably approach it with a lot of caution.  Diets that restrict one kind of food are usually not a good thing.

The key to healthy diets is making sure you eat clean foods, if you don’t know what clean foods are google it, it means avoiding as much processed foods as possible, eating whole wheat breads and getting rid of white flour.  It means whole wheat pasta, whole grain oatmeal, more veggie, white meats, turkey, chicken, and lots of fish.  It means brown rice, and lots of water.

Don’t be afraid of carbs, carbs are key to getting your body fuel and building muscle.  Don’t steer away from it.  Kris Gethin has some great advice on carbs as well in the video below.