Maintain your frame

March 24, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

How to maintain your weight and build a lean body

Ok, here is the typical scenario of your usual dedicated and determined gym goer:

Train

Results

Few months of top results

Get complacent

Stop training (distractions and life issues set in)

Wake up one day and…crap, i’m losing my look!

Sound familiar?

It all goes back to that old saying ‘ Build it in 3 months, lose it in a week’. But that is only towards those who train at a high level and when they stop for even short periods of time, they notice the changes. But for the average person it still applies. The key thing here is maintenance.

Stick with a realistic time goal and then promise yourself you will work out at a moderately hard to challenging level for that time.

The higher intensity will ensure that your workout is of value and your time is well spent.

Another trick that helps people guarantee their workout is to schedule it. If it is written in your day planner, you are more likely to stick to it.

You are also more likely to stay away from that time when other engagements begin to fill your schedule.

Begin your week by opening your calendar on Sunday night, immediately pencil in workout at times that fit your existing schedule.

As other things come up, you will know to avoid the already scheduled exercise time.

Research shows that people who schedule and write down their workouts are 40 percent more likely to stick to their workout goals.

If you can’t depend on your own motivation, try finding a workout partner.

People who exercise with a partner two or more times a week are 35 percent more successful at keeping their commitment to exercise over the long term.

It is uncertain if the attraction is the combination of socialization and exercise, or some other, guilt-filled reason. Whatever the reason, people who meet others to workout will stick with it longer than those who try to go it alone.

Cross training is another trick to regular training. Without further study of exercise adherence and exercise psychology, I cannot comment on why this is so. Perhaps the cross training, varying your type of exercise, helps to aid with boredom. Or maybe it keeps us from getting overuse injuries.

Do you really need to know why?

The bottom line is that people who vary their exercise between at least two activities are more likely to become lifelong, regular exercisers.

You can spend 10 minutes a day talking with friends, giving them excuses why you couldn’t fit exercise in today, or you could save those 10 minutes. Combine your 10 minutes from Monday and 10 from Tuesday. Use that 20 minutes for a moderately paced treadmill workout or a walk around the block.

If you do this regularly, without skipping or stopping, over the course of a year you will have walked off approximately 6 pounds.

Up the Ante and Move Out of Your Comfort Zone!

February 10, 2014 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

weight_lifting work_out harder

Just like in everyday life situations whether it be a job, change of lifestyle or whatever it is you are trying to improve… if you stay in your comfort zone, it’s not likely that you’ll achieve anything greater than which you already have.

If you do take yourself out of your comfort zone, you’ll probably make many mistakes in trying to improve or change whatever the goal is, but those mistakes will improve ‘you’ as a person and in the long run will lead you to achieve greater things!

The same can be said with weightlifting and exercise. If you lift the same weights or keep to that same treadmill routine for to long with out changing it, you will get used to it and you won’t achieve much more than that until you ANTE UP!

It’s all a part of the ‘no pain, no gain’ game, but the question is, when do you ante up?
I know for sure that this question affects everyone in a big way when working out, as it has certainly affected me in the past, and I’m quite a big enthusiast on ‘change’.

Quite simply, you need to ante up once that exercise starts to become too easy. But even then it is to late. You need to ante up before ‘easy’ sets in… push yourself a little.  If everyone in this world pushed themselves to their utmost capabilities, I think the world really would be an amazing place.

If you are doing arm curls for example, and your routine is:

  • 8 reps
  • 3 sets
  • At 15 kg

Ante up!

Aim for failure and start:

  • 5 reps
  • 3 sets
  • 20kg

You might feel like you aren’t achieving much initially, but give it 2-3 weeks, muscle memory will start to set in and it will begin to feel like the norm. Now where would you be if you stuck with the original plan and didn’t ante up?

The bottom line is that in your workouts or in any activity where you are trying to progress and achieve, you need to step things up a gear. You will surprise yourself, and when you do, don’t forget to drop me a comment here and thank me for it. 🙂

How do you get motivated and ANTE UP!

See you in the comments.

Scrawny to Brawny- The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way

September 11, 2009 by  
Filed under Books

The Complete Guide to Building Muscle the Natural Way (Paperback)

 

Since starting this site i have talked quite a bit about going from ectomorph to a daddy mammoth. If my advice to you so far hasn’t been enough, then this is a gem you can stash away and retrieve when ever you don’t have an encouraging voice to turn to. I’m not much of a book reader myself, but this one held my attention as i was reading excerpts from a friends copy, so i got my own and started to read it from the beginning.
My number one problem with the book… is the meal plans outlined get a bit vague when it comes to your own caloric needs. Plus, the author constantly pushes his website in the book.

The other issue I have with the book, is lack of organization. He uses terms like “the above table”….when the table is on another page. There is a lot of flipping around in the book too. Grrrr!

I like the style of writing this author has. It’s comical while still keeping to the point. It is very “Men’s health” like in style.

Other than those small issues, Scrawny to Brawny isn’t just a book… as i said, it is a book you can turn to when ever that encouraging voice isn’t present.

If what i have outlined above relates to you and if you still love the ‘physical’ book, give it a shot.

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Help Me Bulk Up My Long Giraffe Neck!

September 5, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

longneck

As it stands, I am still on my quest to solve the problem of building those muscle groups that simply get neglected (forearms, Legs), yet are very important in regards to developing a well rounded muscle bound body.

In a previous article I talked about those individuals who have plenty of muscle, but don’t appear to have any when fully clothed. A big contributor to this issue is having a long neck, or just a very un-muscular one. But today we will discuss how to overcome this.

Talking from experience, having a long neck is a bad thing, because when you,

  • Wear a shirt (and trousers)
  • Wear a suit and tie
  • Wear a collarless jumper

People simply cannot tell that you are finely chiseled underneath the clothed armour. So for appearance sake (and we all know you build muscle to impress others), building a strong and powerful neck is crucial, and when you do build it, you will,

  • Stand out from the crowd
  • Give the impression of power and strength

But looks aren’t everything! By developing strong neck muscles you will,

  • Prevent injury (From performing many everyday tasks and during fitness and sporting activities)
  • Protect your spine and spinal chord

What are the neck muscles?

strong_neck_musclesstrong trapezius muscles

The 3 main neck muscles are,

  • Splenius
  • Sternocleidomastoid
  • Trapezius

These muscles are responsible for flexion, extension and rotation of the neck.

How do you build the neck muscles?

Now that I’ve gone over the textbook stuff, lets talk about how to build muscle onto your giraffe neck. When people think of muscles around the neck, they would probably have these exercises in mind.

  • Front dumbbell raises
  • Lateral raises
  • Wide grip pull ups

These will all be great contributors to forming a great set of upper body muscles, namely your,

  • Deltoids (Shoulders)
  • Upper back muscles (Traps)
  • Triceps
  • Wings (The latissimus dorsi)

But one must put a real focus on developing the neck and ONLY the neck, here’s how.

Implement safety first!

1. Dedicate a ‘neck only’ day for exercising. This is to make sure that your neck doesn’t suffer from fatigue from doing other exercises. It also allows for more concentration, I guess you could this as one big isolation exercise.

2. Make sure you stretch before, after and in-between every neck exercise. The classic rotate left, rotate right neck exercise will be good enough. Either sitting or standing, turn your head to the side, as though you are looking over your shoulder, and make sure that you don’t raise or lower your head. You can use your hand to press against the side of your head to create more resistance (Hold for 10-20 seconds and do it 3 times for each side). By doing this you will stretch out the three main muscles – the splenius and levator scapulae on one side and the opposing sternocleidomastoid.

3. Ensure that you have the correct form… Always!

4. Use full range of motion

The exercises

The best thing about ‘these’ exercises is that you can perform them at anytime, regardless of where you are. In fact, perform each of these exercises as you read them. That should make for some truly interactive reading 🙂 . Now it’s time to say good-bye to the long neck!

Make sure you are comfortable and relaxed in all of the exercises described, whether sitting or standing.

Neck Flexion

Target muscles: Upper trapezius and the splenius

This one is simple but very effective.

  1. Begin the exercise by bending your head forward, allowing your chin to drop towards your chest.
  2. Stretch until it feels tight.
  3. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds, then gently raise your head back up.
  4. Do this ten times and several times throughout the day.

Neck Extension

Target muscles: Sternocleidomastoid

I call this one ‘Mr Noddy’.

  1. Place your hands on your forehead
  2. Apply tension
  3. Tilt and push your head down to your chest
  4. Keep the tension and raise it back up
  5. Do this ten times and several times throughout the day

Upper Trapezius Stretch

Target muscles: Trapezius

This is the triangular shaped muscle that connects your 2 shoulders and head together in the upper back area. This exercise is an important one as it will keep your neck flexible and help prevent injury.

  1. Put your right arm behind your back.
  2. Hold the right side of your head with your left hand.
  3. Use your left hand to gently tilt your head toward the left.
  4. You should feel a gentle pull on your right side, from the side of the neck down to the shoulder.
  5. Hold for this position for 10 to 20 seconds.
  6. Relax and repeat three times for each side.

The Chin Tuck

I call this one the ‘double chin’.

  1. Using either hand, put your fingertips against your chin and gently push your head straight back.
  2. Keep looking forward as your head moves back.
  3. Hold the position for five seconds, and then relax.
  4. Repeat this movement 5 times.

Neck Side Bend

Target muscle: Sternocleidomastoid

This exercise is similar to talking on a mobile phone while your hands are busy doing other things.

  1. Begin by tilting your head so that your right ear moves toward your right shoulder.
  2. Take it to the point of tightness or discomfort, but not to the point of sharp pain.
  3. Relax and return to the starting position then tilt your head so your left ear moves toward your left shoulder.
  4. Be sure not to rotate your head, or to raise your shoulder toward your head.
  5. Do this 10 times each side.

There you have it folks! Your official guide to eliminating your giraffe neck once and for all. Keep doing these exercises regularly and sooner or later you will develop a strong and powerful neck that will make you stand out from the crowd. Now here is the goal i am setting you,

strong neck

😉

Do you have a long neck?

How do you build your neck muscles?

See you in the comments.

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Killer Compound Exercises

September 2, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

This is a guest post from Jedd Johnson, strength coach, strongman competitor and performer and Grip competitor.  Check out his site at http://www.dieselcrew.com.

Killer Compound Exercises

Let me ask you a question.  Do you go to the gym to get serious results, or do you go to pass time, hang out, catch up on gossip, and hang out in the air conditioning?

If you go to the gym and train so that you can have a good time, chat, and just listen to the radio in the cool air, then this article isn’t for you.  Feel free to check out the next headline.

However, if you go to the gym to put in an hour or more of solid, hard work, work up a serious sweat, and put yourself through a routine with the goal of improving your physical conditioning, then you’ve come to the right place.  You’re my kind of guy and I want to help you out.

I know that you are hitting it hard in the gym, never missing the workout, and I want to give you a handful of gold nuggets that are going to help you be more productive.

The fact is, many of the hardest workers in the gym make the mistake of incorporating an over-abundance of isolation movements.

Now, I’ll admit, I love hitting dumbbell curls as much as anyone, but the problem with dumbbell curls, tricep push-downs, leg curls, and leg extensions is that they are isolation movements, meaning they isolate one muscle group and have activity at one joint.

THE KEY TO BUILDING SERIOUS MUSCLE IS COMPOUND MOVEMENTS.

Compound movements are just the opposite of isolation movements in that they involve multiple muscle groups all at the same time.  These movements are effective at producing natural testosterone in your body, which means you are going to be out-growing your tee shirts in no time.

How do you know you’re working a Compound Movement?  The detail that sets compound movements apart from other lifts is movement over multiple joints.  This movement over multiple joints is what begins to involve more musculature into the lift, making you work harder, causing a spike in your testosterone production, and resulting in more muscle growth on your body.

Check out this illustration for an easy way to tell isolation movements apart from compound movements.

Side Lateral Raise

Side lateral raises
Side lateral raises

The Side Lateral Raise is a common exercise for generating a monstrous set of shoulders.  With the Side Lateral Raise, there is movement at one joint, the shoulder.  The muscles involved in the movement are the deltoids, but aside from them, not much musculature is taxed in the movement.

Standing Military Press

standing military press
The Standing Military Press is another common shoulder exercise, but in this case, there is movement involved at the shoulder, and at the elbow.  Throw in the fact that you are standing, and this requires even more coordination and muscular involvement, but even if you perform this lift seated, you will still involve more muscle than Side Laterals alone.

Now that you understand the concept of compound exercises, it’s time to know which ones to put into your routine.  The following three exercises are what I call the Killer Compound Exercises.  These lifts NEED to be in your weekly routine starting now.  You need to look at where you can start implementing them starting this week.

Back Squats

back squats
The Back Squat should be one pillar of your compound movement training.  It is used mainly as a lower body movement, but when done properly, there is tension created throughout the entire body.

When you do these, make sure you remember to get down to parallel or below.  Quarter squats are not going to do anything for you except make you lose cool points.

The Workout:  Form is very important with Back Squats and since they involve so much musculature, your form can break down easily, especially if you are not used to doing them.  You don’t want to bring about an injury from poor form, so stick with singles, doubles and triples with the Back Squat.  Because I keep the reps lower, I usually hit several warm-up sets with sub-maximal weights and then do 5 work sets.  I hit Back Squats every week, usually on Sunday or Monday, or whenever my training cycle starts over.

Dead lift

Dead lifts

Also considered a lower body movement, the Deadlift hit the legs and lower back well, as well as the lats, rhomboids, erectors, and traps.  This movement is great for targeting huge masses of muscle, even causing tension to be produced in the shoulders and arms.  Your hand strength will be taxed with this one as well, so make sure to get your grip on!

The Workout:  Again, Deadlift form is important to get the most out of this exercise.  You should feel every bit of muscle in your body tensing up as you pull the bar off the floor to the lockout position.  When performing the deadlift, I like to get warmed up really well and then work singles.  I also like to work triples for speed, but I don’t usually go up much higher than 3 reps per set.  I like 5 work sets for the Deadlift as well.  After that, my form usually begins to go.

Clean and Press
clean and press

Pulling an object from the floor and pushing overhead is plain and simple a brute strength movement.  It also involves a ton of musculature to perform and should be included in your program if you are truly serious about getting big and strong.

For the Clean and Press, you can use the bar that is in your gym, or an odd object, like keg or sandbag.

As always with compound movements, you must pay attention to your form so that you can do more reps and generate more testosterone and make more muscle.

The three lifts above are what I consider staples of my routine.  I have done them for years and I plan on doing them for years to come.  These full body movements will make a huge difference in your training.  Start taking your before photos now, because in 16 weeks you are going to look like a completely different person.

In addition to these three core lifts, for every muscle group, there is a good example of a compound movement to fit the need.  For as hard as you work in the gym, you should make sure these lifts are in your cycle as well to get the most out of the time you are putting in the gym.  Here they are:

  • Quads – Lunges
  • Hamstrings – Romanian Deadlifts
  • Biceps – Power Curls
  • Triceps – Close Grip Bench Press
  • Upper Back – Pull-ups
  • Lower Back – Deadlifts
  • Chest – Bench Press
  • Shoulders – Military Press

I want to know what you think about these movements once you try them out, so please leave a comment here, or come check out my website, http://www.DieselCrew.com.  We train for and compete in Powerlifting, Strongman and Grip competitions.  We have tons of articles and videos up as well as free give-aways and newsletter, so please feel free to come check us out.

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Gym Etiquette: Follow These Rules or Else

August 28, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Up until this present day, I have always considered myself to be a calm, cool and collective type of guy, and it would take something really ‘out there’ to piss me off and provoke me to cause harm to anyone. But if there is one place where I have almost been lead to cause harm to anyone, it is in the gym.

Below I’ll list some key do’s and don’ts and the gym etiquette that you should all follow in order to prevent anyone from being provoked at the gym. Once you do follow, we can all get along just fine at our favourite gyms.

Keep your distance

effective squats

Whether I’m doing squats, barbell curls, lateral raises or standing shoulder press, stay out of the way dammit!

Every now and again there would be some idiot that would walk right in front of me to get to the weights rack or close enough to cause a distraction.

Advice

First off this is potentially dangerous to both the individual and myself. Secondly, a mirror is needed to keep good form. Walking in front of it and breaking up my form is the ultimate way to provoke me and guarantee a beat down.

One machine at a time, please!

We all have to use the equipment fairly at the gym, but every now and again you’ll find some lounger messing about and bouncing around the machines. Usually it would be beginners or old people trying to get fit.

Advice

Use one machine at a time. Use it until you are completely finished with it then move onto the next and do the same. If we all follow that rule we will all be happy.

Put the weights back on the rack

Rack your weights

If you are in a good gym then you’ll often get one of the staff members re-racking the weights when things get messy. But in-between that time there needs to be rules. There is nothing more annoying than being ‘in the zone’, moving to another exercise, then finding the weights that you want are scattered around on different machines.

Advice

Put the weights back as you use them (unless someone requests to leave them on). Be bold at times. If you see the culprit causing the crime, confront them! Politely ask them to put them back.

I don’t want your sweat on my clothes

Sweat on weights machine
It’s the gym and most people will sweat, stinky sweat or not, sweat is sweat! Sweat carries bacteria and it’s an easy way for infections and diseases to spread. If you leave the machines sweaty, clean it up, PLEASE!

Advice

Always bring a towel.  I’m known to sweat a lot, buckets in fact, so I always bring a towel. If you are in a good gym then they may keep disinfectant around.

Slow ballads is not gym music, wear head phones

Music and exercise
You are probably thinking ‘who the hell listens to slow music when exercising’? I don’t know these people personally, but I have seen them in action. Running on the treadmill blurting out country music or pop ballads. This is highly non-motivating music. The gym usually has the TV or radio on, but when there isn’t you can hear others music.

Advice

To end all arguments with this, just wear headphones!

Don’t hit on all the girls (They all think we do anyway)

Most ladies at the gym are there to workout. Hitting on them with brute force will piss them off more than anything else. But if you are a natural smoothie and get yourself a date then you may want to consider changing gyms. If things don’t workout then I’m pretty certain she’ll be telling every one what a jerk you are, even worse, how crap you might have been in bed. (Her word against yours)

Advice

Hot girls at the gym

I have talked about this before. If you really want a date just go to a bar. Most people there are looking for the same thing. One-night stands or what ever.

You talk so loud, please lower your tone

Conversations

Depending on what type of gym you are in, this could be acceptable… or not.  If your gym is like a barbershop, then loud debates are sometimes acceptable. If so it’s probably the culture of that gym.

If not the gym you are will be more conservative, and you have to lower your tone. Pushing weights and trying to concentrate while someone is shouting in their conversation is highly distractive.

Screaming

When you are pushing weights you  sometimes have to scream. This is especially the case when doing bench press. Every rep counts and quite often requires a scream. But every now and again you will get extreme screamers.

Advice

Just cut it out, you really don’t need to. If you want to scream get a sex change and take yourself to Wimbledon, theirs no screaming rules in tennis… yet!

Wash your stinking pits!

Body odour at the gym

As I said, we will sweat. But keep your sweating till after your workout and not before please! There is nothing worse than finishing a heavy run on a treadmill, gasping for air and then swallowing a waft of someone’s deadly body odor! Now I am nice, but when ever this happens, I won’t hesitate to tell you that you STINK!

Advice

Do not fear the soap! This is not prison and you will not be anal raped.

Heavy lifters are ready to pounce
bodybuilder workout
Most bodybuilders are pretty cool guys, but every single one I have met seems to have uber amounts of testosterone in them. Because of this it seems they are ever ready to squeeze you into a pulp at any given opportunity should you annoy them.

Advice

Keep away!

Talk to me after i finish my set

I may have developed a nice set of pectorals and bulging biceps, and that may have impressed you. But if you are going to ask me a question, at least wait till after my set. Talking to me during will make me want to halt my set, catch my breath and provoke me to giving you a beat down!

Advice

1) Don’t ask questions during my set
2) Don’t ask questions during my break (I’m out of breath)
3) Make sure your questions require a yes or no answer

That’s that. Its not often I get things off of my chest but that about wraps it up. Follow these gym etiquette rules, and pass them on to your gym buddies, and then I think we will all live happily ever after while exercising at the gym.

See you in the comments.

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The Importance Of Goal Setting When Working Out

August 25, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

Setting workout goals

How often do you here these types of quotes from your peers?

‘ I’m so out of shape, I will lose weight and be real skinny someday’

‘ I hope I can build my body up one day, I am just so scrawny’

How often do you see these individuals succeed in their statements?
I probably know the answer, but I’ll let you answer that.

Then you may have peers that state quotes like,

‘ I’m so out of shape, I really need to get fit within the next 6 months for that wedding, I can’t have people seeing me look like this’

‘ Christmas was really good this year, but damn, I have put on some serious weight. I’m gonna be dancing at Rio carnival in 3 months time, this puppy fat has to go’

Now how often and how many of your peers do you know that follow that through? I’m guessing you know a lot that try and a few that succeed. (Sometimes continuously succeed)

The difference between both sets of individuals is that one was specific and detailed about what they wanted to achieve and set time limits in which to do so, while the other was vague, gave them self ‘an out’, and didn’t!

A goal without a time limit is no goal

The bottom line is that if you want to start achieving in your workouts, start setting time limits to achieve them by. Once a time limit is set, you have no choice but to take action and do what ever it takes for those actions to be translated into completed goals.

Questions I get asked all the time are,

‘ How long will it take till I get a 6 Pac’?
‘ How long until I lose weight’

If the human body were a processed computer with strict rules, those questions would have a valid answer. But we are not, and the answer is variable and dependable upon how hard you work and the energy you put in. And the answer to those questions would be,

‘What are your goals?’ and ‘Do you have a time limit to achieve them by?’

Setting goals and dates to complete them by

Realistically, the first few goals you set might fail; it could be due to reasons like,

– I didn’t eat right
– It was a half hearted attempt

THAT’S OK!

It could be that you didn’t reach it because of self inflicted injury.

THAT’S OK!

You might have nearly got there and done almost everything right, but still didn’t get there.

THAT’S OK TOO!

Why?

All of the things that you would have learned above would have taught you what did/ didn’t work, will allow you to analyze everything and lead to more frequent successful goal setting and achieving them when you do. All of it is failure, but it’s all necessary and for you to get into that process to start achieving.

If you do reach your work out goals, whether you are losing or gaining weight, and even before the time frame that you set, you will feel great!

‘SUCCESS’

Successful workout routine

You will feel great and on top of the world, and you will no doubt flaunt your body in front of any and everyone (rightfully so, you worked you’re a** off to get there). But don’t brag too much (unless you are the arrogant type that just knows they are better than everyone 😐 )

Be humble about it and focus on what you want to achieve next and be proud to boast about the failure aspect of the whole process (because we all know you faced hurdles and failed … right? 😉 )

We all know how difficult it can be to obtain optimum results when working out. But to give yourself a fighting chance in achieving them, start setting some goals already.

What goals have you set and how far did you get in achieving them?

See you in the comments.

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Gym Partner Or No Gym Partner?

August 24, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

find-a-gym-partnerFor as long as I can remember, I don’t think I have ever had a solid gym partner. Yes, I’ve met and trained with many people on the odd occasion, but for me I choose the solitary route because,

  1. People tend to distract my concentration and slow me down.
  2. I have UBER amounts of self-motivation.
  3. I’m quite self-aware.
  4. I enjoy my own company.

Also, when you workout alone you get to meet more people than when accompanied by a partner, because you often appear more approachable when alone. When this happens you get to learn from other peoples knowledge and experience and that knowledge and experience has been key to what Stay-Fit Bug has become up until now and towards the goals and themes of the site!

The solo route works for me, it may even work for you to, but in general you will be better off training with a partner.

Humans are built for social interaction

Get social at the gym
I first began to realise this in the early days of Athletics training. Unlike a team sport such as football or basketball, athletics training can get very lonely and you need quite a high drive and willingness to achieve to stick at it.

Mankind is also a social being by nature, and when you take away the word ‘social’ from that being, the outcome can be quite dramatic.

examples

  • Ever lived alone for the first time?
  • Ever watched the movie I AM LEGEND?

Lonely Human at the gym

Get the picture now?

This is the reason why having a gym partner is vital, because of the social benefits it brings. Lets look at all of the things that I am missing out on from being a solitary bore of a gym goer. 😉

It’s good to talk

Whether you are going to or coming from the gym, it is always great to have a good conversation along the way. It also keeps you punctual so that you actually go to the gym, and it keeps you awake and in the zone.

Goal setting

An important thing to do when striving for anything, is to set goals. Keeping to them is the hard part, but by setting them with a partner you are more likely to follow those goals through.

It doesn’t happen overnight

Most things that are worth achieving don’t. But by having that partner to cheer you on when achieving results seems to be slow, it will keep your motivation and confidence levels up.

Spot a spotter

Everyone has experienced having to shout out to someone ‘hey, can you spot me’? When you have a gym partner you have the benefit of spotting each other.

Avoid injury

As a solitary gym goer you can and will learn from others as I stated, but these people aren’t at the gym to socialize, and probably won’t be with you 24/7 to baby-sit you. Once you have a gym partner you can learn from each other and correct each other on the fly when either of you is performing an exercise incorrectly.

Share experiences

This goes hand in hand with being ‘social’. Once you have a partner, going to the gym is no longer seen as a chore (even though it never should). It can be seen as a great experience or day out, similar to going out to a bar, watching a football or basketball game or any other social activities you do when out with friends. It’s even better when you go to a good gym, as you get the full luxury treatment and you both get to work on your goals at the same time.

Competition spurs motivation

I had to leave the best till last!

Competition at the gym
If there is one thing that we all do constantly, it is comparing ourselves with others! We compare with our peers and with the famous, when we should really only be comparing and competing with ourselves. Overtime we should only compare with our past selves in order to track progress and improvement, but for the most part, due to our nature, comparing with others is what it will be.

But in regards to training, comparing with others is a huge bonus, and in this case, comparing and competing with your gym partner!

Healthy competition will spur motivation, no doubt about that. There will be days when you both finish your workouts, one of you will take your top off, the other will follow suit and the competitive talk will begin. There may even be others around comparing and stating that one of you looks better than the other. If you happen to be the one lagging behind, even though you have been following the exact same routine as your partner, watch how your competitive drive soars off into the sunset.

All of the above are all great reasons to have a gym partner, but do keep in mind that you need to have a good partner, one that,

  1. Is hard working
  2. Shares the same goals as you
  3. Has a competitive edge

And if that person is you, who knows I might drop the solitary training and take you on as my gym partner 😉

Do you train alone, or with a partner?

See you in the comments

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Working Out Affect My Tattoos? (Will it? To stretch or not)

August 23, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

The answer to that question is yes! See you in the comments… Working Out Affect My Tattoos

Ok, now that would have been pretty boring. Let’s look deeper into it.

I have always thought that tattoos look great when done well, and when it is on the body of a toned or muscular person. I am yet to get a tattoo as of now, although I had always planned to get one. It could be that I just love my natural skin too much? Well… probably not.

The main reason I haven’t yet got one is because of this ridiculous fear that I’ll one day get loads of free time, eat tones of great food, get a dedicated personal trainer and start to develop monster size muscles! 😐

All of which will affect my tattoo if i get it before that happens.

In some way I do plan and hope that will actually happen (To an extent), but it probably won’t, as I’m more of a ‘maintain muscle’ type of guy.

Either way, If you decide to get a tattoo and you are certain that most of your life will evolve around fitness and exercise, then it would be a good idea to plan before hand what it is you want to do with your body in the long run. Yes, life can be unpredictable and plans will probably change due to issues regarding,

  • Change in metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Genetics

But you still need to have an initial plan. One good thing to do would be to analyze the last 5-10 years of your life and note any natural changes your body had faced. That will give you a rough idea of what to plan for and when to get a tattoo.

Will my tattoo stretch?

Working Out Affect My Tattoos

A general rule of tattooing is that if the underlying muscle gets bigger, the skin has to stretch to cover it. The tattoo is in the skin, therefore, it has to stretch as well. So yes, it will stretch. But lets look at some body types and the way it affects both.

Low metabolism types

If you have a tattoo and you are one those who come into this category, then overtime your tattoo is more likely to stretch as it is very likely that your body weight will fluctuate over the next 5-10 years. Realistically you cannot state a 5-10 year plan when you first get your tattoo, life just doesn’t work that way. But if you do notice it starting to look bad, all you need to do is get a ‘touch-up’ and it will be fine.

High metabolism types

If you decide that you are going to develop a body builder body within 1-2 years and know that you will follow through with that, then it’s a good idea to wait and see how your body develops. If you get impatient and get your tattoo before you do, your tattoo will stretch.  If so, again you can just get a ‘touch-up’. But that’s not too cool after a while.

Where not to get a tattoo?

stretch marks on shoulders

Area’s to avoid would be,

  • Lower back (for ladies)
  • Stretch mark areas

The reason why ladies should avoid getting a tattoo here is because of issues to do with pregnancy. The weight around this area is likely to change and when it does, so will your tattoo, so it’s a no go tattoo area.

If you’ve ever seen those guys that get tattoos early on in life, around the front shoulder areas and then start to workout, you will know that those lovely tattoos they once had don’t look so lovely any more!

Get a tattoo in a low affected area

If you are like me, have a ridiculous fear of getting a tattoo before becoming magically muscular, but want to get one, get one in a good tattoo area that is less likely to be affected by body weight changes. Key areas would be,

  • Upper back
  • Hands
  • Feet

If you do get one in these places, be warned, once you have one tattoo you will become an addict and want more. And if you have a plan outlined like I stated that you should, then you’ll probably change your plan and build your tattoo filled body regardless.

Consult with the artist

tattoo_artist drawing on muscle

Consult with a professional tattoo artist on the design and placement.

(There will be expectations of the ink spreading with age and changes in body size that will have to be accounted for to keep the tattoo distinguishable for life).

Design and placement is actually a big part of getting a good tattoo… something that flows with your muscles. Avoid designs that require white or yellow colours, as they are quick to fade and could require touch ups every five years or so.

To sum it up, if you want to get a tattoo, get one! Unless you have a drastic change in body weight and size, most of you won’t get big enough or loose enough weight for it to affect a tattoo. And of course, more tattoos designs for men are always welcome, if you want to show them.

Have your body weight changes affected your tattoos?

See you in the comments.

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Now that i’m ripped, should i try modelling?’

August 19, 2009 by  
Filed under The Fitness Bug

How to build a lean body like a modelOk, so you’ve been following fitness and workout tips on stayfitbug.com, have got your body ‘ripped’, you maintain a fantastic physical and mental being, look in the mirror and think to yourself ‘damn I look good!’ Maybe I should try my hand at modeling?

When I first began to start developing muscle, this was the first thing that I thought of as well. I even went to visit a scouting agent at one point who spotted my picture on a social networking site, so I had a taster of what the process is like first hand.

I probably could still go for it, as I am still far off the ‘gone pass your sell by date’ age, which tends to be mid-late 40’s. The main reason I don’t is because I simply didn’t start training to get attention from others, I started training for personal satisfaction (but that may change):-). Every one has their preferences, but if you have looked in the mirror and got that ‘wannabe model’ feeling, then here are some things to consider.

Build for an athletic body

A couple of weeks ago I wrote an article on why your training doesn’t result in an athletic body. The fault comes from the reason that most workouts are designed as body builder workouts, but there was a resolution; give it a read if you haven’t yet done so already. So what you must do is build a fit, healthy and ‘toned’ body. That’s what they’re after.

Build muscle and tone like this

One person who done this a few years ago was LL cool J. He went from slim, to huge, to toned, and he’s now in his 40’s maintaining the same appearance! It seems people don’t seem to age like they used to. But ideally this is the look you may want.

Ryan Reynolds

Ideal lean body build
Move to a big city

If you live in the US, then move to New York City. It is deemed as the heart of the modeling world. If you don’t, then still try to go. If both are not an option then look around in other big cities in your country. The Internet is bigger than ever these days, so start Googling.

Start to build a portfolio

Get in front of the camera and start to get some photos taken. That’s headshots and body shots in both formal and casual wear.

Find an Agent

If you are serious about being a model, then you are going to need one of these. Some times they’ll even come to you, as they may scout around smaller cities, or on the internet as I mentioned earlier, so be sure to be social. But the best time to find one is when there is ‘open call’. This is when an individual can be informed of their potential of making it in the modeling industry. But before you do anything, it is important to check that the agent you go with is legit, the scammers are out there! So do your research.

Hint: If they demand money upfront, then don’t be scared to ring some bells!

The importance of Persistence

This applies to almost everything in life, which I’m sure most of you already know (Always easier said then done). You will probably face a few rejections, but within every negative situation lays a positive. So when one turns you down, you’ll probably find a better one soon after.

Have a flexible schedule

This actually applies to all models, male and female. Once your agent starts booking photo shoots for you, you have to be ready to drop everything and go, so you might want to stay away from fixed hour jobs. Maybe you could even start making money online, which will free up your time, and I’d be glad to assist :).

Let me know your experiences with your approach to becoming a model.

See you in the comments

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