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.

 

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.

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.

Fitness

There is No Such Thing As a Fat Burner

Good afternoon everyone. I am Demetrius from DRichFitness. Today I am going to be talking about fat burners and weight loss pills, because I see that many people are misinformed about them and the role they play in their quest to lose weight and maintain a healthy (and subjectively aesthetically pleasing) body. I don’t currently take fat burners with the exception of caffeine pills that I take for a daily energy boost, but I do remember a time where I feel victim to the marketing hype and propaganda that we all see in the fitness and bodybuilding community. There is no such thing as a fat burner in the traditional sense, and I am going to explain why.

The first thing I am going to touch on is that people take “fat burners” for a reason. We feel that we don’t measure up to a standard that 95% of the population don’t and can’t measure up to in the first place. Most of the advertisements for these pills come through fitness and bodybuilding magazines or on television commercials. These advertisements generally use people that have top-tier genetics, and in many cases, use anabolic steroids and other physique enhancing drugs to attain the physiques they display. I’m all for letting people do what they want with their bodies if it doesn’t negatively affect anyone else, but I find it disingenuous to take drugs but tell someone you look the way you do simply through hard and the supplements you are selling to them.

At the same time, I am not saying everyone falls into this category. Some people are already in good shape but want a little edge to drop the last 5-10 pounds to put themselves into the top 10 percentile. If you look at the picture of myself I posted of me as a teenager a few posts back you would probably agree that I fell into this category. Truthfully, I never needed them to begin with, but being a young, impressionable teen, I bought right into the hype. Some of the “fat burners” I have taken are the original Hydroxycut Hardcore, Super HD, and Animal Cuts. These products all do their job from the standpoint of giving you alot of energy, and you can lose weight, often times in the form of water, but a “natural” product can only do so much for you, which brings me to my next point.

Nothing works if you are consuming more calories than you are burning off.

A caloric deficit is literally the only way to lose weight. Different macronutrients do play different roles in the body, but that is not what I am talking about right now. The problem I have with these companies is the fact that between the extremely ripped models and propaganda in these ads,  I can see why the uninformed consumer would think that a pill is the answer to their weight problems. The next time you pick up a magazine, I want you to really analyze how much of it is useful information, and how much is supplement companies trying to sell their products to you.

A big part of business is to identifying a need in the market, and then creating and marketing a solution to potential customers. In other words, you are helping people solve their problems. I can respect this from an entrepreneurial standpoint, because the supplement industry has become a billion dollar industry. The issue with this is that most people who are into bodybuilding and fitness have a warped view of what is attainable naturally. Worse than this is the fact that some people think they need these supplements in the first place. I’m not saying fat burners don’t have their place, but generally I would only recommend them if you already have your diet in order, otherwise you are just wasting your time and money.

In conclusion, no pill can make excess weight fall off of you. If it does, it is only short term, and rest assured you will gain it back if you don’t practice the correct dietary habits. There is a lot of misinformation out there and supplement companies use your ignorance and insecurities against you to make a profit. Some weight loss pills do have legitimate ingredients in them that are proven to facilitate weight loss, but this is a small drop in the bucket in the grand scheme of weight loss. This is also assuming that you have you training, diet, sleep, etc. all in order to best make use of this slight edge that normally wouldn’t be there. Don’t feel bad if you have bought these products in the past, because at least now you have a little insight as well as a realistic expectation for these products. Tell me what you think in the comments section. I’m out.

Fitness

Why Multivitamins Are Beneficial

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor or healthcare professional. Consult your primary physician before starting any new dietary or strength training program.

Hello all, today I’m going to be talking about why multivitamins are useful for anyone who takes their health and performance seriously. Let me start by saying that I am not sponsored(yet) by any nutritional or supplement companies, so I am completely impartial to any brand or supplement. I am simply giving my informed opinion based on years of research and experimentation on myself. Public perception of multivitamins generally falls to one of two extremes: those who think they are a waste of money and those who take them because someone else told them they work. The truth lies in between both assumptions. Vitamins benefit you if you need them.

Most people do not consume the optimal amount of nutrients they need through their diet. This doesn’t mean that you can’t feel alright or perform decent in your sport or in the gym, but nobody wants to be average (at least I hope you don’t if you are a reader of mine). The reason for this is because food loses nutrients based on the way you prepare it. You would also have to eat large amounts of other types of foods in order to meet your nutritional needs for certain nutrients. I may do an article about this in the future.

Another thing to consider is that dietary guidelines are based on the average sedentary person. This person probably goes to work and sits at a desk for 8 hours, clocks out, and goes home and sits in front of the television before going to sleep and repeating the process the next day. As a health conscious person who strength trains, does cardiovascular exercise, and plays sports, you obviously exert more energy (and nutrients) through your physically demanding lifestyle.

With these factors considered, you see that you are in even further a nutritional deficit compared to your sedentary counterparts. Since I am speaking in general, I can’t recommend the same amount of vitamins for everyone because we all lead different lives, with varying factors that differentiate us from one another. I do advise to get blood testing from your doctor to see what deficiencies(if any) that you have and then work towards correcting them. Keep a log where you track what you take on a daily basis and how your feel. After a few months go back to your doctor and get retested to see if you did the right things.

Some of the physiological benefits of taking a multivitamin include:

-increased immune system

-increased bone density

-increased cognitive function

-improved energy levels

-lowered blood pressure

As you can see, multivitamins can offer you a multitude of benefits. This is, of course, predicated upon you being deficient in one or more vitamins. It’s easy to write multivitamins off as a “health in a bottle” scam to take your money, but in reality that is not the purpose of vitamins. They are simply an addition to (the definition of supplement) an already decent diet and health oriented lifestyle.  Yes those cigarettes and beers can reverse the positive effects of your lifestyle. Most of us are not getting the nutrients we need through our diets due to processing and the fact that we would require large amounts of food to consume and retain the nutrients we need to be at our best. Give them a try and what benefits they can bring into your life.

Fitness

Why You Need Rest Days

Good afternoon readers and new readers of my blog. Today I will be talking about why you need to incorporate rest days if you want to continue to see progress in your fitness. By fitness I mean your physique if you’re into bodybuilding, as well as speed and strength if you’re an athlete. I have experience in all three areas so I can offer my advice rather than citing something I read in a textbook. This topic is actually bigger than one post, so I am going to talk about the immediate benefits you will notice from day one of using rest days in your routine.

Coming from a football and competitive wrestling background, I can understand the mindset of wanting to constantly improve. We want to outwork our opponent outside of competition, so that we will destroy them inside of it. This is a winning mentality, and it’s natural to think that more exerted effort equals greater results.  The catch 22 with this logic is that you will receive results but only if you are able to recover from your workouts. Recovery is a pie chart, and rest days are a big piece of the pie. If you are an experienced lifter and or athlete, you may notice that you feel fatigued throughout the day. The fatigue comes in the form of an increased heart rate, irritability, soreness, etc. All of these things are a normal part of training, so what you need to be aware of is a drop in performance. For example, if you find yourself lifting less weight or doing fewer reps, it’s a sign of fatigue. If you are an athlete the signs you want to look for are loss of endurance and feeling “off”.

The tricky thing about rest days is there is no one size fits all approach. Some people need more days off. Others need fewer days off. Another thing to think about is that if you are active on your rest days, you are not recovering to your full potential. For example, I go to jiujitsu classes several times a week and I also lift weight and do cardio. I sometimes do both in the same day and I have noticed that even when I space them out, they still conflict to a degree with one another. If I lift first, I am not 100% on the mats, and if I do jiu-jitsu first, I am not as strong or durable in the gym. I feel my best when I do them on separate days, with rest days during the week. Again everyone is different, but at some point you are going to need to take a day or two off because the body must recover before it gets stronger and adapts to what you are asking it to do.

That’s it for now. As always, I am not a doctor or medical professional. I’m just a guy that reads and experiments on myself. Let me know what you think in the comments. Like, comment, subscribe. I’m out.