My Journey Back to Health
When I was 18 I was lean and mean. Now I’m 39 and I’m mean but not lean.
Can you relate?
I’ve been going to the gym for about three weeks to a month at a time and then I just stopped going. I get excited about all the benefits because I do experience benefits.
Here are the benefits that I experience:
They are: clarity, detoxifying my system of negative thoughts and toxins, a boost in overall well being and a feeling of strength. My testosterone levels go up and I know what I have to focus on for the day.
Confidence. Clarity. Boldness. This is another way to put it.
So why would I stop going if I experience these things all the time? I think the reason is anxiety. If you want to kill off your anxiety immediately, the gym is one way to go about it.
I start thinking, “wow, I feel really good.” But then I start thinking about my bills and all the other things I have to do and those thoughts eventually take over and I convince myself that I don’t have enough time for the gym. The gym actually gives me more time in my day because it gives me more energy and I get a lot more accomplished. (very important)
So I started up in the gym 3 weeks ago. But first I want to go back to when I decided to get serious with a work out from Arnold Schwarzenegger‘s book. His simple, yet optimal work out was giving me great results.
What was happening though, was that I was getting bigger and I don’t want to be bigger. I want to be leaner and meaner and I want to lose my gut. I want to have a fighters body, w a bit of muscle on it.
This is confusing. But the confusion can go away simply by acting. If I keep going to the gym I will know what I want eventually. More clear, I will become. It’s confusing also because I don’t believe that a fighter should lift weights at least not too much. Too much muscle, as Jack Dempsey says in his book makes a fighter musclebound. It makes him heavier and the cardio seems to go away. Key words = too much muscle.
So I did Arnold’s work out and I was seeing results but then I stopped because I thought I was getting too big and I didn’t like it. Why don’t I like being big or bigger? Is it so bad? Should I accept my body as it is?
When I lift weights I grow pretty easily and it’s really not that much. I don’t look like a huge animal. But I tend to grow quicker than guys who are skinnier than I am and have trouble putting on weight. I could eat like a horse and lift very heavy in the gym, and my body will grow because I can eat and eat and eat. What happens is that I look rounder and not fitter. Rounder is not the goal. So I had to switch things up.
At that time I was fascinated by Olympic lifts. I said fuck it, might as well get big, my body was meant to be big… I don’t have the skinny fighters body. So I tried 5×5 workouts. 5 reps for 5 sets of bench, deadlifts and squats, all on different days. I burned myself out by going too heavy and it was also a bit boring since I wanted to curl and there was nothing about curling with 5×5.
Instagram is probably my favorite social media, probably because its not that social. I found the Owen twins on there and was impressed by their physiques so I purchased a workout tailored to me with a diet. This was a great workout and diet and I may go back to it at some point but right now it was way too much. I burned myself out on that one as well.
It was a very difficult work out even though I was seeing results but after 4 weeks of intense lifting I just stopped and I went over to Victor pride’s body of a Spartan. It came along with a bonus and immediately implemented the bonus section and the workouts. This is a very good plan and book and I wanted to keep going with it but again I lifted to heavy too early on and lost my momentum.
I did go very nice and heavy for about 3 weeks and then I just totally caved in and did not want to lift weights ever again. So I didn’t go to the gym on and off for a period of maybe 4 to 5 maybe weeks and I lost weight. Mostly the muscle. I felt good though, because I realized that I don’t need the extra muscle to look the way I want to look and I want to look lean and mean.
At this point I was confused as to what to do but I still have the desire to be better and get fitter so I kept researching.
Before I found my next plan, I encountered a problem. I stopped going to the gym completely.
I felt weak, unconfident, fat and I had to start working out again but I really didn’t want to put on muscle. So I went on with my life trying to find a gym partner. I finally found one and we’ve been going to the gym and working out with weights again and I’m growing again. Growing into the round fat ass that I don’t want to be. I can see the growth and I am not a fan of it.
The only thing that’s happening is that I’m getting bigger and rounder. You can’t really see the muscle on me but you do see an increase in mass and I really really don’t like this because its not shredded mass. Totally not the goal. I despise this look on a physique.
Going with a partner gets me to work out. At least I’m back in the gym, I can always adjust later. I started this time with much less weight and less exercises so Im still on a roll on the 5th week out.
People tell me “wow, you’ve lost weight” after I have been lifting heavy in the gym and actually gaining weight. This is because the muscle burns the fat and I look skinnier. But to my eyes I see it differently. I don’t see the weight-loss, all I see is the mass and its not aesthetically pleasing.
I keep going because of the benefits: confidence and clarity and boldness. It allows me to keep blogging, to keep playing guitar, and to keep moving forward in my life despite many failures.
I don’t feel without energy, on the contrary I feel energetic and optimistic even when there seems to be no hope in what I want to accomplish. This is why I keep going even though I keep growing a little.
I want to be flexible and be able to run for long distances without getting winded. I’d like to ride a bike. But all these things require me to be alone. Which makes it that much harder to work out right now. At the gym you can start a conversation. When you go on a bike ride your friend has to have a bike and have the same desires as you which is… to ride a bike. If I want to hit the bag and do some punching and kicking then I have to find someone who wants to do the same. This has proven difficult because of the lack of motivation of people around me.
This means a few things. My approach has to change. My problem is in my diet. And the people around me have to change.
So I went today now that Ive been going for awhile I can push through workouts on my own, although not as effective. I did some legs and then some shadow boxing to finish off. Sprints and jump rope will help a lot. But my diet is key. This is my biggest problem. How do you fix such a bad diet?
I’ll keep you posted.
For now, Im gonna purchase some fat burner. I was gonna use some testosterone booster but I figure if I wanna look lean and mean then a fat burner is a better option at this point. The booster will always be there next month.
Below Ive posted my pictures for accountability:
This is me here after I had joined Crossfit several years ago. Didn’t really see any change in my body because of my diet but I did notice a huge increase in strength. I hurt my back and couldn’t continue but Im not really a fan of crossfit anymore. Too many women in there seemed like too much of a fad for me. Women cause distractions. 🙂 Good old weight training and cardio is the way to go for me nowadays.
After Crossfit, I put on my weight again as you can see in the pictures below.
Then I found the Arnold workout and started busting my ass I’m the gym and the Victor Pride, Body of a Spartan as well as the Owen Twins.
This last round though Ive been more consistent, my pecs are more defined but my diet is still in ruin.
This is me deadlifting after 3 weeks…looking a little leaner than before.
My diet some days is eggs and steak. Yep thats it. It works.
My problem is consistency.
I’ll keep you posted…