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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.

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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.

Fitness

How To Maximize Your Time in the Gym

Good morning all. Today I will be talking about the importance of managing your time in the gym in order to get the most results (gains) for your effort. For those of us into Economics we understand that everything we do has an opportunity cost because the time spend on an activity can be used to do something else. To be transparent, I have more control over my schedule than most people, but I know what it’s like to get off from work and have several things I need to do in addition to going to the gym. The good news is you only need about an hour per day 3-4 times a week in order to reach your goals (this obviously differs depending on your goals). I’m going to give you 3 tips that you can use starting today that will take your efficiency in the gym to the next level.

1. Put Your Phone Away

This is one of the biggest time wasters I see people doing in the gym, and I am guilty of it myself from time to time. Again, I have the luxury of being in the gym as long as I want and this isn’t the case for everyone. Whoever you are texting or talking to on the phone can wait until after your workout. Your time is limited and therefore valuable. You can either tell them this (in a nicer way) or just get back to them after you leave the gym. Another reason people use their phones in the gym is because their phone is also their MP3 player. In this situation I suggest making a playlist so that you’re not constantly having to flip through songs in between sets. Believe it or not, those seconds turn into minutes and before you know it you are wasting a lot of time in the gym.

2. Choose Better Exercises 

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I assume no liability for any injuries suffered because you misunderstood my advice. Consult your healthcare professional before beginning any new exercise program.

All exercises are not created equal. I know that it’s popular to say “Everybody doesn’t have to do this exercise”, but you can’t tell me that doing dumbbell lunges will give you overall superior leg development than doing heavy barbell squats. It just doesn’t work that way. You also don’t want to waste your precious time doing the pec fly machine when you could be doing exercises such as the bench press (flat or incline) and/or the dumbbell variations of it. Again, this is all about getting the most bang for your buck. When I see the average person at the gym doing these exercises I can’t help but think that they have either been misled by bodybuilding magazines or that they are just doing what they see others doing in the gym. I will be the first to admit that I was guilty of both of these things in my teenage years before I train the way I do now.

3. Do Your Weight Training and Cardio On Separate Days

The third thing you can do to maximize your time in the gym is to separate your cardio and weights. There are two ways you can do this: you can do them at separate time of the day or you can do them on separate days of the week. For example, you can do your cardio first thing in the morning before you eat breakfast and then lift weights later in the evening. You could also lift Monday and Wednesday and do your cardio on Tuesday and Thursday. (Adjust this if you go to the gym more than 4 times per week, but you get the idea.) The thought process behind doing it this way is so that you can put 100% effort into both without worrying about time constraints or if you will have enough energy to do both at 100%.

So there you have it. I have given you 3 ways to maximize your time in the gym. Put your phone away, choose better exercises, and do your weight training and cardio on separate days. These are not things that require a lot of extra effort but they can be incorporated starting right now. I wrote this with the understanding that most of us are not competitive bodybuilders, but even if we are, being in the gym is only one part of the overall equation. I have many more time saving tips for the gym, but I will save them for another day. Like, comment, subscribe. I’m out.

 

Fitness

You Don’t Need Motivation

Good morning all. Today I’m going to be talking about motivation and why you don’t need it in order to achieve your fitness goals. I have been in the blog game since 2014, and prior to this I consumed a lot of content from the bodybuilding and YouTube fitness community. I stopped following the fitness community back around this time because with over 12 years of personal experience, I know I have a vast amount of knowledge and experience to offer to others. A big part of content, for those not familiar, is motivating others to join the lifestyle and better their lives.

This leads me to the topics of today’s post:motivation. Every year without fail, people get “motivated” because it’s a new year which means people have the opportunity to become a new person. (Technically, that is not how it works, but I will discuss this is a future post.) These New Year’s hopefuls then bust their asses for a few months and then typically stop going to the gym altogether. As a matter of fact, I have been paying attention at my own gym and have noticed the difference. I typically workout in the mornings, but sometimes go in the afternoons. At the beginning of the year, there were a fair amount of people packing the gyms no matter the time of day, but especially around the typical times people are getting off from work. Anyway, I went to the gym this past week during prime time and it was empty. The reason for this is that motivation by itself only gets you so far.

To use a personal example, this photo is me when I was 18. During this time, I would say I was more motivated and excited about going to the gym than I am right now. If I wasn’t in the gym, I would be reading any of my huge stacks of bodybuilding magazine or books. If not that, then I would be walking around the neighborhood to get in some cardio. As you can see, I have always been in great shape, but the difference now is that I no longer have to psyche myself up to get in the gym and workout. Developing good habits is what you really need in order to achieve any goal in life, not just in fitness.

I will continue this topic at another day because it is pretty late right now where I currently live, but I felt a rush of motivation (see it’s not always a bad thing) to get this post out. As always, like, follow, and comment. I’m out.