Pursuit of Performance
It took me four months of working out and committing myself to a strict plan to get the body I always wanted. I combined working out and eating a balanced diet to reach my goals and have never felt better! The healthy and nutritious diet for my new body is like putting premium gas into Ferrari Enzo – maximum performance and a priceless feeling!
After about a year, I decided to educate myself further and completed a Can-Fit-Pro Personal Training Specialist course. Everything that follows has been experienced personally and it is backed by the up-to-date fitness industry education.
I started my fitness transformation by using a promotional offer at the Extreme Fitness gym. I signed up on a 60-day no obligation trial membership and with excitation started daily regimen.
With my new Health is # 1 Priority mindset, I went for a workout regularly and started seeing a difference within 2 weeks. That means that when having to choose between health and anything else (party with friends, optional business trip, procrastination), health would win. When you make your health # 1 priority, everything else becomes irrelevant.
After my 60-day trial, I continued to work out on my own progressing with weight and intensity, but I realized that needed extra push and / or a better technique. I did some research by inquiring about personal training at different locations – it's the same rate at every location, but the knowledge is power. I signed up with a personal trainer for 22 sessions with monthly payments for 18 months and no-interest.
Choosing a Personal Trainer
Personal training is a big financial investment, so before you start make sure you find the right qualified trainer. Expect someone who is experienced, punctual, friendly, motivates you throughout the entire process (very important!), And gives you clear and honest answers to your questions.
I connected with my trainer right away. This is really important so make sure to find someone you get along with. If your trainer is not the right fit for you, simply ask for another trainer.
The discipline goes two ways. In return for trainer's competency, you should be a great client by pushing yourself without whining, being punctual, friendly, and above all – showing up at the gym even when you do not feel like it … or even when it's raining!
I did not skip the gym even when my trainer called in sick. I showed up on time at 8:00 am and had a great workout session on my own. After you pass “the hump” you will feel so good, this will make sense to you. You'll see!
I was chubby all my life and my diet was horrible, but it took me two months on my own and another two months with a personal trainer to reach my goals. Believe me, if I could do this massive shift, you can do it too! Movie stars do it all the time! It's possible!
To reach my fitness goals, I began by working out five times a week: three times with a personal trainer and two times on my own. Ask your trainer to design a simple plan for you for the “on your own” times. Just remember to be patient and persistent! Keep your workouts simple but focus on the correct technique to make them as effective as possible.
Working with a Personal Trainer
There are 4 major workout phases that can last few months to a year. After you complete the 4 phases, you can repeat the whole process and progress to even higher level of fitness. My 4 phrases with the trainer were following: Anatomic Adaptation, Muscle Building, Fat Shredding, Maintenance.
Phase 1 is the hardest one to survive. Your body and mind resist change with all their might. Add to that the new diet and it comes down to strength of your character.
Phase 2 is a bit different. You already see the results and have the motivation from watching your body change and your muscles grow.
Phase 3 is just like Phase 1 all over again with Phase 2 interweaved, but since you've already developed a habit and feel strong it's a lot easier.
Phase 4 is finally about the relief. My trainer showed me what to do and I took it from there.
There is a big difference in working out by your self, and working out with a trainer. A trainer will make sure you feel the right muscle in your body and push you to your 110%.
My recovery time after a really hard workout was exactly 48 hours, but I felt great! Consuming High quality Whey Protein after such exercise was very helpful in this process. Consider scheduling morning workouts if your schedule permits for 300% better overall workout effectiveness (your metabolism keeps working all day).
Do not forget to take 5-10 minutes to stretch after every workout – very important! Otherwise you will be hurting plenty the next day. Also attend yoga class 1-2 times per week for flexibility and relaxation. Consider deep tissue massage like Shiatsu after few days of intensive workouts ..
Your workout should not be limited to just going to the gym. Try getting exercises done at home like doing push-ups or sit-ups after waking up and before going to sleep. At the gym, change your exercises often to keep the workouts interesting and keep the body guessing. Think about it as switching the TV channels vs. watching the same channel everyday for weeks – it makes sense.
Get a book on working out or start start with my fitness eBooks (sign up for my newsletter to download them all). If you are serious about body building, consider Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding: Fully Updated and Revised.
Maximum Strength Workouts (Phase 2)
In phase 2 for your muscle to go into a growth mode, you need to push the weight you are not used even just a few seconds. So let's say you are comfortable doing some exercise at 40 lbs, make sure you increase the weight 5-10 lbs for every set and hold the last 2-3 reps for a few seconds until muscle failure. The difference is astonishing (make sure you stay safe – have a spotter for the last heavy reps!).
In Phase 2, I was using Powerbar Carb Gel just before the workout and did feel the boost in a way that the limit line was not as clear. This made me realize that I can push more weight than I “think” I can push. So when you workout by yourself, always try a bit more weight than you think you can handle – you can always go down a notch. But DO stay safe and have a spotter!
Before each set, take a couple of very deep breaths. Then as you are pushing the weight, direct your conscious thought to the muscles doing the work. It helps to know the exact technique and which muscles should be doing the work. I noticed that when I focused on the muscles doing the work and breathed slowly, I got the most power in the movement.
Challenge yourself – the ultimate WIN is when you beat your own self! Keep saying to yourself “I can do this, just a bit more, 4 more feet, 2 more reps.” Swear if you have to! Mythbusters provided that swearing or growing gives you more power, so do not be afraid to make noises. But please, remember to be respectful towards other members.
You should schedule a 20-30 nap time about 1-2 hours after a power workout – your body will need it and will definitively let you know about it. These will be some of the best naps of your life.
Exercise and diet go hand in hand. Your results will be guaranteed only if you combine the right foods and nutrients with your workout routine. I know this requires discipline and patience, but you will love yourself for it. Consult the information and tips listed in my Weight Loss Success article to neatly drive this journey home.
Choose a high quality protein such as Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex Protein Not only I experienced my muscle recovery and growth to be super fast, but it also tastes and mixes great. At first I was mixing it with milk, but then I got used to mixing it with water (for me, Vanilla tastes better when using water).
I bring my own cup and 1-2 portions of the protein in a zip lock bag. I consume the mix within 10-20 minutes after finishing the strength workout. Do alternate the brand of protein now and then and every few months so that body does not get used to it. My recovery was at most exactly 48 hours after super hard work out, and I could feel the protein working its magic on my muscles.
Avoid smoking and alcohol and introduce a high protein and low carbohydrates diet. Do not rely on artificial drugs or chemicals to enhance your body. Use natural and only the best supplements to fuel your body. With a solid commitment and great nutrition your success is guaranteed!
Let me reiterate the key point again: having a fit and healthy body is priceless! If you take the step today and make a commitment to yourself, I guarantee that you will see results. Sign up for the Practical Wellness Guide newsletter on its Home Page to get my free fitness eBooks including the 122 Life Enriching Reasons to Exercise. Something will speak to you in there!
So believe you can do it, believe in yourself, and just do it !!!