About directorb

Author, film-maker, husband to an amazing wife, father of an incredible daughter. Work-out nut. Fighter of human trafficking.

Never Stop

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You should never be content in your training.  I am always looking at what other bodybuilders are doing, always trying to learn more about what workouts are more effective, or which ones target muscles better.  You can ask my wife, I’m always changing things in my diet, adding or removing calories etc. And you should be too.

If you are new to working out, then yes stick with one thing until you get into a routine.  But once you have the routine down start changing things up.  Do drop sets one week (Do as many reps as you can at a max weight, then drop the weight down and do as many reps as you can, repeat this till you are at the lowest weight).

If you always run inside, try running outside on a trail or a track. If you always bike, try getting on the elliptical.  Increase your reps one week, and your max weight the next.

I’ve been lifting for years, and I still am not where I want to be, because just as my body evolves, so does what I want to attain. Change is good.  Keep your body guessing, keep your muscles questioning what you are doing.  And never quit learning.

When You Get Hurt

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So if you lift or run, or workout in general long enough eventually something will get hurt.  A pull, a strain, a sprain.  It’s common.  It happens.

So what do you do in those circumstances?  Do you rest, do you push through the pain?  Well you may want to do both.

It’s easy to automatically think that when you get hurt, you should just stop. But this isn’t necessary nor good.

First off, you know your body.  You know how serious the injury is.  You know how fast you heal, and how bad the pain really is.  Let’s say you pull something in your leg and you are a runner.  You probably can still do something like the elliptical that takes strain off the leg.  Or you can definitely do upper body workouts.

If you lift, and you hurt something in your chest or arm, you can workout other muscle groups, and depending on the severity continue to work out those muscle groups, just with much lighter weight.

Because working out is a habit, you don’t want to just stop working out completely, then you will get out of the habit, and by the time you are healed you may not have the motivation to start up again.

Remember don’t push the injured area, work around it, that way you rest it but still get in some workouts.

Never Underestimate Yourself

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Every one has a past.  Statistically, how you have worked out in the past and viewed fitness, determines how you currently view fitness and workout routines.  If you had a bad experience in the past, you probably view fitness in a negative light.

But your past doesn’t have to define you.  It doesn’t have to define who you want to be.  We live in the now.  Not the yesterday.  Not the ghost of Christmas past.

We are capable of overcoming impossible odds. We can accomplish far more than we think. But that’s just it, we have to in our mind think that we can.  We have to know that we can mentally.  There has to come a point in your life where you are sure beyond doubt that you want to get in better shape, that you want to feel better.  You have to decide in your mind that you want it. That no one and nothing will stop you.

Don’t let past mistakes, past hateful remarks, or past failures keep you down.  Instead use it as fuel to try again.  As fuel to try harder.  And to work for it.  Get it.

Make It Happen

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Workouts can be tough with your normal schedule.  But then throw in going out of town and usually you are in for a couple weeks off.  Don’t let this happen!  It’s too easy to say, oh I’ll pick it back up after vacation, but then you’re used to not going.

Make plans to workout even on vacation. Just about every hotel now has some kind of small gym, yes it’s not great, but you can still get a workout in.  You can do pushups, situps, and body squats in your room. You can go on a run.

Working out is all about habit.  Also be conscious of what you are eating on vacation.  You can choose to eat healthy at  just about every restaurant.  No it’s not as good as cooking at home, but still be smart.  Go for the grilled fish or chicken over the fried fish, or ribeye.  Make smart choices.

You’ve worked hard to develop the healthy habits, don’t throw them away when you are away from home.

Getting that Six Pack

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I get asked a lot “what the best workout for abs”.  In truth?  Eating.

Yup that’s right.  Eating is the best workout for abs.  Let me explain.  I can do planks, sit-ups, and every other ab workout imaginable, but if I’m downing pizza, mcdonalds, and guzzling route 44’s of soda I’m never going to get a six pack.

What you put in is what you get out.  I say it all the time.  Fitness is like 75% diet, and 25% working out.  It is the hard part, but it gets you do those results that you haven’t been able to get to.  Diet is hugeeeeeeeeeee.

I can’t emphasize it enough.  Yes you need to do ab workouts, I’m not saying don’t do them, but if you want abs, there is no miracle workout, it’s eating right, and exercising. Here is a great video that goes into a little more detail about all that.

 

For those who have kids.

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Kids can be time consuming.  I know.  I have a three year old and another on the way.  Sometimes I wonder if I had half of my daughters energy what I could do.  We live crazy hectic lives, and kids make it even crazier.  But that shouldn’t keep us from getting to the gym.

The number one excuse people use is that they don’t have time.  And yet those who make that claim have time to watch every episode of game of thrones or the walking dead.  It’s not a matter of not having time, it’s a matter of not wanting to use your time for that.

It’s not easy I know.  I work full time, at a very active job and often in the heat.  When I get home most days I don’t feel like going to the gym, Add in being married, having a child, having a part time job as well, getting my personal training certification, and well you get the idea.  Life is crazy.

But you know what?  It’s okay.  Life will probably always be crazy.  It’s not going to be better, next week, or  next month, because something else to steal your time will come up.

It’s crucial to make time for your workouts, and even more so when you have kids.  Why is that?  Because kids model their behavior after yours.  They need examples of what it looks like to eat healthy, of what it looks like to have discipline to go to the gym, make time for it, work hard to be healthy.

I want my kids to know be healthy and happy in life, eating good and being fit is their best bet for the health part.  And I want to be around to see their kids, and their grandkids, so I have to do all I can to stay healthy.

So don’t use kids or anything else as an excuse of why you can’t.  Instead use it as motivation to get to the gym.

You’ve got this.

Gym Etiquette

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Sometimes I don’t wonder why new people at the gym are intimidated.  It can be a harsh place sometimes.  So here are few tips on gym etiquette I think are good to remember whether you are new to the game or have been at it awhile.

Be respectful.  The fact that people are there is a testimony that they care enough to change, and get in shape.  That squat rack doesn’t belong to you, nor does that bench.  It’s everyone’s in there.  If it’s in use, there are plenty of other machines and weights to make use of.

Be kind.  While I’ve met some awesome friendly people in the gym, there are those also who have their  nose a little bit higher, and can’t say hello to you.  If you encounter this just smile and go on.  It’s not you it’s them.  If this is you, there is always someone out there in better shape, so don’t think too highly.

Be humble.  You can always learn something new.  I can’t tell you how many new things I’ve learned either from talking to people are watching people do different workouts.  I want to learn as much as I can so humble yourself enough to be teachable.

If you are a gym rat, you know who the new people are.  Smile and say hello, ask how it’s going, that can go a long way for someone who already feels out of place.

Lastly, don’t hog.  If you are using some equipment great.  But if you are taking 5 minute talking breaks in between your sets and it’s busy, don’t leave your gym bag, keys, or towel on the bench.  Let someone else use it.

The gym can be a home away from home.  Be kind, be friendly, and kick those weights butt.

Change It Up

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When you get into fitness, you’ll soon realize that no exact plan works forever.  Fitness with your body is ever evolving, and change is something that should be embraced. It’s a funny thing really.  We get into a routine, where we finally start to click, where we are on target with our workouts and diet, and then we stop progressing and have to change it up, and find a new routine.

While this can be a little frustrating, it also is a growing opportunity.  There is always more to learn with fitness.  For example about 3 months ago I completely changed up the way I worked out and my diet.  While I got some very fast results in some areas, I am lacking in some other areas. So?  Back to the drawing board.

Everyone’s body is different, and while general fitness and health has similarities, everything at a certain point must be adapted to that specific person.  I can read an article and watch a video that explains a specific type of workout, but it’s not until I try it out, and measure my progress from what I was before that I know if it really works for me.

So don’t be afraid to go off the beaten path a little bit.  Now I don’t recommend doing this if you are just starting.  But if you have been at it for awhile and are feeling frustrated because you’re not seeing the results you saw at first, then it is probably time to change it up.  Read new things, watch new videos, try new caloric counts.  Remember to document everything so you know where you were, and if you are progressing.  You’ve got this!

Don’t Listen to the Scale.

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For a lot of people who are really into cardio weights can seem daunting.  What if I get bulked, what if I get bigger?

We live in a society that is really concerned with what the scale says.  Now if you are overweight and weight loss is what you are aiming towards, then yes you need to pay attention and see what’s working and what’s not.

But if you are working out to maintain your current physique, the scale may lie.

When you start lifting weights 2 things happen.  Your number on the scale will go up.  Your body will not get bigger.  If you are just lifting and not supplementing it with a bulking diet or supplements, then just lifting is not going to turn you into a bulging beast.

Now the second thing and what scares some women especially is the fact that the number on the scale goes up for a couple months.  This is NORMAL.  A tiny bit of muscle weighs the same as a very large amount of fat.  As you begin to lift, you are losing fat,and it is being replaced by muscle.   Muscle is heavier than fat, and often people who lift regularly for awhile will see they are putting on a few pounds.

It’s part of the process, after a few months you will even out and like I said if you are not eating to bulk, you are not going to get big, you are just getting more toned.  So don’t worry so much about the number on the scale as you are with becoming fit and strong.

Looking for a full workout?

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What is up guys and gals.  Sorry I’ve been so irregular on here the past few weeks.  It’s a crazy season right  now, but here I am.  We are going to be talking about full body workouts.  If you are not used to working out you may feel a little lost at the gym, and rightfully so.  I was when I first started.

Rest assured that everyone feels like that at first, and you are not alone.  Second off I know all the weight stacks can be daunting if you are not used to that, and maybe you are not ready to dive into workouts that much but want to get a good workout in.  I suggest kettle bell workouts.  To be honest I only started doing them recently and it’s not my focus,  but I know a little about it.  I was very surprised the first time I did it how much of a full body workout it was.  I had areas hurting that normally don’t, which is rare as much as I lift.  If you are unsure how to do a kettlebell swing, youtube it, or check out http://www.bodybuilding.com.  Just make sure when you start off you start with very light weight until you get the motion and movement down, because you don’t want to hurt yourself.  Try to build up to doing 5 minutes at a time of swings.  Rest then do two for 5 minute segments.

Some other starter workouts, are box jumps.   Start off small again, till you find out what you can do.  Again if you are unsure about these, youtube.

Push ups, sit ups, and pull ups have a huge value.  You can build a lot of strength just from these 3 workout. While they don’t hit any lower body, they will definitely work your upper body.

So get in there and get to work.  It doesn’t have to be all weights, to get a good workout in.