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Don’t Put People On a Pedestal

What’s up everyone, I’m back. This post is motivated by an observation I have made about the way people place other people on a pedestal. It’s apparent in all walks of life whether the person is a professional athlete, model, or even an everyday person you admire and aspire to be. Today I am going to talk about not only why you shouldn’t place these people on a pedestal but also how it can stunt your personal development.

To use a quick example, I heavily followed the YouTube fitness community between 2012- mid 2014. If you also were also into the community then you know who the major channels were around this time. I have considered myself an expert in getting into shape since 2010, so i mostly watched for the entertainment value and to see if anyone could teach me anything that I didn’t already know. As I watched videos and scrolled through the comments sections of these YouTube personalities I noticed all of them have hardcore fans that basically worship them. If anyone expressed a difference of opinion, they were verbally assaulted and called a “troll”.

I sometimes go to these channels to read the comments, and nothing has changed in 2017. It’s pretty sad, and this mentality isn’t just in the fitness community but also in the sports industry, entertainment industry, and people who are public figures based on their status. These celebrities are put on a figurative pedestal and are worshipped by their followers. A lot of it is due to the social programming aspect of people being trained to look up to people with high status. Another part of it is that most people are not natural leaders and gravitate towards people who demonstrate any hint of being a leader (even if said person has no tangible skills or knowledge).

The reason why you should not put people on a pedestal is that they are humans just like you. They eat, shit, and put on their pants the same as you, the only difference is that they might be better than you in one particular area of life. This doesn’t mean that you can’t develop yourself and become much better than average if you are willing to put in the work.

One thing that people don’t realize is that when you give another man or woman god-like status, it blinds you to the fact that they are not perfect, just like we aren’t.

Think about the professional athletes that take performance enhancing drugs but tell you that they are natural.

Or the people that are cool as long as you worship them but get mad as soon as you call them on their bullshit.

I don’t have to name any names, as I’m sure someone pops into your head as soon as I gave these examples.

I’m not here to bash anyone, whether it is high-status people or those who look up to them. There is a fine line between respecting what someone brings to the table and engaging in mindless hero-worship.

If you ever question whether you ever find yourself in a situation where you are defending said person from something another person says about them, ask yourself, “Am I doing this because the person challenging them is wrong or because I look up to (insert celebrity’s name)”. That will bring awareness to your situation and allow you to reevaluate you mentality.

I’m not saying don’t have mentors or respect the accomplishments of other people, but always do your own research before trusting anything someone tells you. It reminds me of a saying we had in the military “trust but verify”. The phrase sounds corny, but it reminds you that just because someone has been of upstanding character in the past, it doesn’t mean that it’s still the case today.

Anyway, I will have more posts up soon. I’m out.

Fitness

The Hardest Part About Working Out

What’s up, everyone? This is Demetrius from DRichFitness, and I’m back once again with another powerful message. Today I want to talk about hard work and what it takes to accomplish a goal. The goal in this instance is working out and the obstacles we as bodybuilders, fitness enthusiasts, and athletes face in our pursuit of excellence.

Many people think that the it’s tough to fight through the burn to complete your set. You might envision the person screaming and slamming the weights on the ground at the end of the set.

Others might say it’s difficult to find the right combination of pre-workout supplements and pre-workout meals to fuel them during their workout.

I see it differently. I compare going to the gym to going to work. Some days I am excited and can’t wait to hit the weights. Other days I am feel unmotivated and begin to rationalize excuses of why I shouldn’t go.

I need to recover.

It’s just one workout.

I waited too late in the day, and the gym is going to be crowded when I get there.

These statements all have merit, but the problem arises when you use them everyday and decide to act on them.

Getting in your car and driving to the gym after everything you have been through during the day is by far the hardest part about working out. None of the other factors even come into play unless you actually go through the doors and go through the rigors of pushing yourself.

Genetics aside, the difference between people who accomplish their goals and those who don’t is that the people who consistently put in the work even when they don’t feel like it accomplish more in life.

When I feel unmotivated, I remind myself that there is someone out there that feels just like I do but is still going to workout that day. This is usually enough to light a fire under my ass and push me to stop being lazy.

As a matter of fact, I have worked out twice in less than 24 hours and will be going back to the gym in a few more hours to complete another workout.

Nobody said this is easy, but these weights ain’t going to lift themselves! I’m out.

Fitness

How to Set a (SMART) Goal

What’s up everyone? I am Demetrius, and I have another message.  As I mentioned in this post, you need to set goals, because they literally give you purpose and direction in life. Without them you will literally accept any influential idea that comes your way, and these ideas are generally not formed with your self interest in mind. It’s a really good post, so go ahead and check it out and leave me feedback. Today I will be adding on to that post by showing you how to set a goal using the S.M.A.R.T. method. It is not an original idea of mine, but I have used it to achieve academic, personal, and professional goals.

What Is Smart?

Smart in this situation doesn’t mean intelligent, but the S.M.A.R.T. system is a great technique designed to help you set actionable goals. The acronym stand for specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. I will give a brief description of each

Specific

Specific means knowing exactly what you want to achieve. It’s not enough to want to lose weight because technically if you go to bed on an empty stomach you will be lighter when you wake up in the morning. A more specific goal is “I want to lose 20 pounds in 4 months”.

Measurable

The measurable aspect of this process takes you specific goal (i.e. lose 20 pounds) and breaks it into smaller, shorter-term goals. In this situation you want to lose 20 pounds in the longer- term, so a short term goal would be to lose about 2 pounds a week. Smaller goals give you quick gratification and can keep you on track for your big goals, because you are able to see the progress that you are making.

Attainable

Attainable is another way of asking if your goal is realistic. It may not be realistic for you to lose 100 pounds in 6 months, but it also shouldn’t take you 6 months to lose 6 pounds. You generally want to set your goals high so that you even if you don’t achieve it 100% percent, you push yourself at a higher level than if you had set a lower standard and easily achieved it.

Relevant

This is where you basically have a gut-check moment and decide if the goal is really important to you. If your main priority is losing weight, then increasing your bench press might not be important to you during this time period. You need to be able to determine if a goal is relevant or not so that you’re not putting your time and energy into something that is a poor investment.

Timely

Putting a time limit to your goal makes it real. It’s easy to talk about what you’re going to do when you have no time limit. This is why you hear people say, “I’ll start my diet tomorrow” and a week later they still haven’t changed anything. When you set your goal to a time, it adds pressure and holds you accountable. This is a good thing because we perform better under a moderate amount of pressure compared to no pressure or too much pressure. This performance curve demonstrates my point.

HebbianYerkesDodson.svgThis is the Yerkes-Dodson law for those of you who are into science.

As you can see, the S.M.A.R.T. system has 5 components: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely. A good goal incorporates all 5 parts of this method and by doing so, you greatly increase the odds of accomplishing what you set out to do. Although this is a fitness-oriented blog, a lot of the stuff I talk about can be applied to life in general. You might want to design a website or learn a foreign language, but you can still take this information and use it how you see fit. A goal is a goal. Like, comment, subscribe.  I’m out.

 

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Why You Need to Set Goals

What’s up everyone? This is Demetrius, and I’m back with another message. I find that am inspired to write when I’m going about my day and start to tap into my thoughts. I remember taking a college course a couple of years ago that compared having goals to taking a vacation and knowing exactly where you want to go and how you are going to get there. The alternative to this is of course hopping in your car and burning up your gas and hoping for the best. I’m sure you can tell I’m going to be talking about the importance of setting goals today.

Most people spend their whole lives basically on a hamster wheel. They don’t know what they want out of life so they chase after whatever looks cool at the moment. Or they find a short burst of motivation to better their lives but stop working towards it when they are no longer having fun doing so. This person may also wonder if the payoff in the future is worth all of the time he or she is investing in the present tense.

There are many distractions that we can place the blame on. First, we can blame the shows we watch on television. Yes we have “reality” television where the lowest quality people (Teen Mom, 16 & Pregnant, Housewives of…) get all of the recognition, but there are also shows where being extremely obese and overweight is glorified. I’m not taking shots at people who have legitimate medical conditions that prevents them from losing weight, but I have no sympathy for people who are undisciplined.

We can also look at how we spend our time. I have sources here and here that suggest that the average adult spends between 2 to 3 hours on social media per day. These sources only include platforms such as YouTube, FaceBook, and Instagram. It doesn’t even account for those of us who spend time in front of the television. It should go without saying that this time could be better spent on activities that actually bring value to our lives such as working out, reading a book, or learning a new skill.

I could keep going with this, but the point I want to drive home is that we have more control over our lives than we would like to think. Some people try to deny this because it’s easier to blame others and our circumstances than it is to blame ourselves. Blaming ourselves is painful because we all like to believe that we are high achievers and winning at life. To say contrary is to directly attack our ego, and some people can’t handle that. A better way to view the situation is to understand that we are not where we want to be (whether financially, physically, relationships, etc.) due to us not knowing what we want. This is a freeing mindset to have and allows you to take steps toward becoming who you want to be. I will have a post up later this week about how to set a goal. It will be fitness-oriented, but you can apply the information to achieving any goal because it is the same process. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’m out.

Fitness

You Can’t Lie to Yourself

What’s up, readers? This is Demetrius, and I am back with another message. Today I want to talk about being real with yourself when it comes to your fitness lifestyle. There is a saying that goes, “You can lie to others, but you can’t lie to yourself”.  It means that you know who you truly are when you look yourself in the mirror at night.

I find this is even more true in present times since you can create a public image thanks to outlets such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We can create a whole reality that is not based on who we really are and sell it to the public. There’s also software such as Photoshop that can help us take this process one step further by allowing us to completely edit photos.

The problem with this is that the truth eventually comes to the surface. You meet someone and you present a false image to them. A year later, they get to know the real you and make the comment, ” You have really changed”. You didn’t change, they just found out that you aren’t who you pretended to be.

Another example of this in real time is online dating sites. If you are familiar with sites such as Plenty of Fish and OkCupid, then you are probably aware that people generally try to put their best foot forward in order to make a good first impression on a potential mate. A large part of this is the pictures one puts up on his or her profile. Suppose you meet someone online and decide to meet up in person. When you meet the person, they look 5 years older or are 50 pounds heavier than they are in the pictures. You would obviously feel lied to and wonder what else this person has lied to you about.

This relates to fitness, because humans have a tendency to want to be accepted and admired by others. Again, this is why people try to sway their public perception in ways such as talking about all of the good things they are doing or by posting pictures in the gym or in their workout gear. If you’re like me you, then you have noticed that people like this aren’t consistent. They aren’t in the gym day in and day out, and in they don’t make any significant progress from a physical or performance perspective. In many cases they will come to the gym for a few days and then take a few months off.

When you are really about this life you don’t have to post endless selfies or continuously talk yourself up. Of course you might do these things to motivate others and show them what’s possible, but you are not doing it solely to hear others tell you how great you are. At the end of the day, you can lie to others, but you can’t lie to yourself.

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Why You Should Never Be Ashamed To Go To The Gym

Good morning everyone, this is Demetrius from DRichFitness. Today I want to talk about a topic that isn’t often addressed by the bigger names in the fitness game. This may be due to the fact that these men and women have been going to the gym so long that they don’t remember how it feels to be “out of their element”. It could also be because they have an image to maintain and want the perception that they have always been the man (or woman). I have no image to maintain, and even when my name blows up I am secure enough in myself to open up to my audience. I mainly am addressing the gym/bodybuilding crowd, but you can adapt this message even if you train in a sports based gym or do anything where you are exposed to the general public.

To give a little background on myself, I am 25 years old and have lifted weights since I was 13.

I played football and wrestled in high school, and I recently (January) joined a mixed martial arts gym and started training Juijitsu.

My love for bodybuilding led me to going to the local gym when I was 15 years old. I remember seeing professional bodybuilders, college athletes, and super in-shape people who just loved to work out.

It took me a few months to get used to being in a new environment. Some of the things I had to adapt to were:

-The loudness of the gym

-People that like to size you up

-People asking you what you do to build a certain muscle group (I’ve always had pretty good arms and a wide back.)

Looking back on it now, it seems pretty silly but the thing I want you to take away from this experience is that I continued to go to the gym even when I was out of my comfort zone.  This paid off in the form of gaining respect and admiration in and out of the gym, attention from the opposite sex, and increased athletic performance. A side benefit from this experience is that I gained self-confidence in the fact that I saw that I was able to set a goal and achieve it in spite of external situations.

Maybe you’re an athlete or martial artist instead of a bodybuilder.

I can also relate to you, because I am one of the “new guys” at my jiujitsu gym. A little backstory about this is I have been a big fan of combat sports since high school. In between serving 4 years in the military, 2 deployments, and going to college, my aspirations of learning martial arts started to fade.

I made excuses like:

“It’s too expensive” But I could afford it.

“I don’t want to be the new guy” But everyone was the new guy at some point.

“I don’t want to get submitted by a woman” And it happened more than once.

The turning point came around the first week of January when I decided that I didn’t want to be the 30-year old who wished he had started in his 20s.

The funny thing is that a lot of people joined the gym when I did, so I’m not the newest person nor the least experienced. I do get destroyed by the upper belts, but I can see improvement and I am able to hang with a lot of the people that are my rank and slightly above. Either way, Jiujitsu is a lot of fun and I am glad I started this year instead of letting another year pass me by.

The point of those two stories is not for me to brag or give myself props. The message I want you to take away is that I wouldn’t be who I am today if I had let fear stop me from doing the things I want to do with my life.

Maybe your goals don’t include a gym or getting into shape, but I have the knowledge to help you with that if that is what you want.

You can still use this mindset if your goal is to go to college, or get a better job, or even start your own business. The process is going to involve you having to take a leap of faith and believing in yourself. Some of your friends and family members might even doubt you, but your desire for achievement must be higher than your desire for external validation. These same people will tell you how they believed in you the whole time once you do achieve your goals (go figure).

There is nothing to fear, and you will most likely love going to the gym once you adapt to it and start making the progress that you want in your physique. Once you have this momentum going it will become easier to stick to your new, better habits than to fall back into your old, unproductive habits. As always if you like the message, subscribe, like, and comment. I’m out.

Fitness

Protein Supplements Are a Waste of Money

Hello subscribers and new readers, this is Demetrius from DRichFitness. In my last post, I discussed fat burners and how the are not the end-all, be-all when it comes to permanent weight loss. Check it out if you already haven’t. Today I am going to be talking about protein powder, and how it benefits you even when all of these fitness gurus would have you believe it is a waste of money. As always, I am not a sponsored athlete, a doctor, or medical professional. Everything I say is based on my experiences and research.

The supplement industry does a great job of convincing you that you need their products in order to achieve your dream physique or fitness levels. The truth is anyone that who is an exceptional athlete or has an amazing physique has put years into building themselves into that person. It doesn’t happen overnight. The disconnect between people’s expectations from the advertisements and what they achieve from using protein powders is that they see these exceptional people and think that the only thing they did to get to that point is taking the supplements in the picture. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to admit that I used to think the same way before I understood that everything has a process.

With all of that being said, protein powder is a convenience. It is similar to a multivitamin in that if you already receive enough protein through your diet, then you don’t need to consume additional protein through supplements. At the same time, preparing meals comes with costs. First, there’s the cost of buying the meat (or other protein sources), which is steadily increasing. Then you have to prepare it before you can eat it. This time could be used to do other things, and can really start to add up if you are someone who eats 4-6 meals per day. You also have to take into account that protein sources have different digestion times in the body. For example, beef takes a long time to digest compared to something like chicken or fish. Lastly, once you have finished preparing and eating your food, you must wash the dishes and put them away.

All of these factors are why you would want to invest in a good protein supplement. Cost per serving of whey protein compared to that of other traditional protein sources is cheaper in many cases. There’s also less preparation and cleaning time, even if you’re someone who has to blend all of their shakes in a blender. Whey protein sources containing isolate and hydrolysate are going to be faster absorbed than your concentrate and casein proteins, because they have gone through a refinement process that makes them easier to digest. This means you are able to get a good amount of protein into your body quickly to jump start the recovery and muscle building process.

Since we know that this is a long process, we are not going to look at it on a daily basis, but instead on a monthly and yearly basis. No, this is not an anabolic steroid so you are not going to gain 20 pounds of muscle per year doing this (you also may not want to if you are a non-competitive bodybuilder). At the same time, if you are able to build between 3-5 pounds of muscle per year for 10+ years, you obviously are going to greatly improve your physique. Another way to look at this is that you are in this for the long-haul anyway, so you may as well do it the right way. The difference between two people who have been lifting for the same amount of time (minus differences in genetics) is that one person may be doing all of the right things (diet, supplements, training, rest) and the other person may not. This is what I believe separates me from most people in the gym. I’m not in the top 1% yet, but I know I can be if decide to take it to that extreme.

At the end of the day, protein powders are not anabolic steroids, but they can help jump start the anabolic (muscle building) process. If you are a natural bodybuilder, don’t compare yourself to those on enhancements. Do accept that you can still build a great physique, but it takes longer and you have a smaller margin of error. Let me know what you think in the comments. I’m out.