Working out is fucking hard. No, I mean it. Many people, especially women, exercise with a certain degree of fervor, excitedly trying to pump the most out of their bodies, to become leaner, faster, and more toned. But that doesn't always work- with bullshit diets and crappy workout machines all over America and Europe, it's hard to figure out what works. John Basedow had beaten the odds and made Fitness made Simple, but this has nothing to do with any of this.
But as a guy, you have it "easy" in that you can rely on very simple things in order to build yourself up. Women have nasty genes that inhibit weight loss for promoting childbirth (having a bit of fat makes you able to have children easier... nutrients and such). As a guy, all you need to worry about are the "Big Three":
- Muscle Tone
- Stamina and Energy
- Weight and Overall Health
Table of Contents
Muscle tone (tonus) is the electrical activity in the muscle. It is the passive activity in the muscle (along with metabolism) that has you ready to do work. In common slang though, it refers to having noticable muscles through a combination of size and leanness (low body fat). Don't spread the myth of calling this toned, call that looking "defined". Stronger variations include 'sculpted' or 'chiseled' or 'ripped'. Gains in size can be acquired through myofibrilar hypertrophy (strength gains), sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (endurance gains), and through making sure your muscles are 'carbed up' because storing carbohydrates as glycogen pulls water into them, making them look full.
Your muscles are all over your body- not just in your chest, thighs, or biceps. This is a very important lesson, because much like a car, having one specific muscle insanely strong does not mean that your whole body will go better.
Basically, you need to do everything, from your shoulders to your legs. For those of you who need a literal count, that means that the following muscles will have to, at some point in your routine, be "hit" by an exercise and developed:
- Shoulders and neck (deltoids and upper trapezius)
- Upper arms (biceps on front, triceps on back)
- Forearms (wrist flexors+extensors, finger flexors+extensors)
- Back (rhomboids, upper/mid/lower trapezius, lattismus dorsii)
- Chest (pectorals)
- Lower back (erector spinae)
- Ass (gluteus maximus)
- Upper legs (hamstrings on back, quadriceps on front)
- Lower legs (gastrocnemius and soleus on back, tibialis anterior on front)
The answer is to develop a routine and stick to it. A routine is literally a schedule of what-you-do-when: some prefer doing different parts of the body on different days, some do everything and stagger it along the week. No matter what, the most important thing about a schedule is giving your body the exercise it needs, but giving it resting time so it does not kill itself trying to grow.
A routine really depends on what you want in life. Let us take, for example, a really skinny person who wants to bulk up. Bulking up is hard, especially if you have a thin body (your body obviously wants to be that way). This means that his focus will be on eating some "power foods", hitting the main muscles with low repetitions but high weight, and giving himself plenty of rest and time to bulk up.
But if you're a big guy looking to bulk up and slim down, you have almost the opposite job. You will do a lot of bulky weight lifting, but a bit more reps to give your muscles that extra edge, as they are probably ready to grow already. One important thing for most big people is eating right, due to the easy chance to gain weight as they build their muscles. That means a lot of vegetables and not much carbs or fat.
This means you need to do research. Go out on a limb on some good weight lifting websites and read what they have to say on the subject. Build up an exercise plan. Stick to your guns. Once you have one, just get to it- don't let yourself get lazy or easily distracted. Sometimes, it is best to do all of this with an iPod or something, just to distract yourself and let yourself build the energy up. You won't become Hercules in a year, but you will definitely see improvement if you stick to it.
Once you get this plan, find yourself a good place to go. By "go", I don't mean "get 10 pound weights and come home". The problem with such a thing is primarily mental- you are at home, you can get distracted easily. As well, you probably can't afford the thousands of dollars worth of muscle-straining equipment you need. Go to a big gym in your area- Gold's Gym, a smaller joint, a spa/sports club, or anything like that. Try to avoid places designed for women- you can go to those once you HAVE the muscles, then you can pick up women like a lint brush picks up lint.
In your average gym, everyone has their own routine or schedule they follow. In general, this is good- doing someone else's concept of an exercise setup can make you irritable and tired, and possibly not get you anywhere. With that being said, there are a few patterns as to different people and how they weight lift, and they sift out as follows:
A rep lifter is someone who counts out his weight training in numbers, attaining higher numbers each time they do the same exercise (as in, you do better on Friday than you did on Monday). The advantage to this is that these lifters tend to get in more reps than most others- however, the disadvantage is that they can easily get into a "routine" where they never do anything stressful or truely muscle building.
If you are a rep lifter (if you like counting out reps and such), your best option would be to keep a log of both how many reps you did, how many times, and how much weight you did. Increasing one of those numbers each week (generally the weight) is a way to build muscle. Just remember to not get into a "pattern" and get lazy.
This is what a lot of weight lifters do, and what a lot of /b/tards themselves promote doing. The "Psycho" lifter, as some weight groups call it, is someone who weight lifts by the feeling, quitting upon a "dead" lift (that is, quitting when your muscles can literally not move the weight any longer). This tends to build muscles up the fastest and the hardest, and also makes the weight lifter the most sore and uncomfortable.
The disadvantage to this is that lazier weight lifters have a tendency to just stop with one rep, thus doing nothing. Thats why it's insanely important to actually push yourself hard, and never ever stop unless you absolutely cannot move.
This is something that should actually be avoided- a light lifter is someone who lifts light weights with a lot of repetitions, building what a lot of people call "lean muscle". This is only good for those looking to build a runner/swimmer physique, and in no way really constitutes an actual weight lifting regime. This is the kind of thing the majority of body building women do, purely because it is very light and easy, and puts minor pressure on any muscle at any given time.
It should be noted that light lifting can be weight lifting, if you train with a 'dead lifter' mentality. You won't get the bulging muscles that a rep lifter gets, but you still get gains. For example, if you can lift 40 pounds somewhat easily, and do exercise with 20 pounds until you can't lift, you're going to get the same result. Ripped muscle heals, regardless of whether you rip it with 40 pounds or 20 pounds. Just a thought.
Avoid "Supplements", "Quick loss diets", and home weight machines
One temptation a lot of people have is using powders and supplements to augment their exercise routine.
Much like snake oil, supplements and powders are generally useless. Many people will tell you that you should intake a ton of protein- which is true, except they may "forget" to tell you that the average American is already intaking enough for growth. This means that as long as you eat healthy and try to make sure you eat "good" food, having to drink a blend of whey and eggs will not really matter. This is really a bullshit scam to trick you into paying $5 a bottle for a shitty little joke of a drink.
It is important to note that there are some good things you can do if you're looking to augment your diet (which is necessary the more you get into weight lifting). While the majority of lifters are adamantly against protein powder (mainly because it costs insane amounts of money), eating eggs and drinking lots of milk will actually help out. Some diet bars (such as the South Beach Diet bars put out by Kraft Foods) also tend to carry a large amount of protein, which are good pick-me-ups in various situations. But yes, the rule still stands- if someone at your gym is trying to make you buy some sort of crock bar or supplement, it's probably just because they're trying to make money off you.
But hey, while we're on the subject, the weight lifting world is full of scams- and for good reason, it is by far one of the most competitive and hard-to-endure things there is.
There are two other main ways that people try to scam potential body builders- namely, Quick Loss Diets and home weight machines. The former is basically what is marketed at old women 24/7- losing 60 pounds in a week or something. These diets, while they sound fancy and sophisticated, only really work with exercise. NEVER will you see these tests ("I lost 30 pounds with this diet and exercise!") tested against a control sample, meaning that the 30 pounds of the example I gave may have been 100% exercise and 0% diet. Just don't do it.
The third and probably most tempting thing is the things known as home fitness machines, or whatever they call themselves now. From Nautilus to Bowflex, a ton of companies market these little strange contraptions to people, swearing to them they build muscle mass and burn weight.
The secret is that they DO give you a workout, but not a complete one. The Bowflex is a good example of this, being one of the most limited of them all. As well, it tends to be very dangerous due to the lack of controlled movements.
The truth is that if you want to do exercise, either get some real "Stack" weight machines and free weights, or go to a professional gym like Gold's Gym or a smaller joint. Those places tend to be more comprehensive, detailed, and definitely better- they usually even have fitness trainers to help you.
Despite what anime or anything else tells you, you cannot gain energy by concentrating. That is not the way. So I, Java378, will tell you of my way. Why? I have had a 6-pack since 7th grade and am currently still growing in an age where most people are gaining useless weight.
Stamina the Java378 way.
Like in video games, Stamina is like an energy bar. You have a set amount that can be used. This bar can be lengthened or recharged. The key to stamina is doing repetitions. Whether you are using weights or not, moving a part of your body will improve it's function. Your heart (cardiovascular) will improve as you use each of these parts. You must also breathe. Take semi-deep breaths and release them. This is important. The more Oxygen your heart can pump, the greater chemical reactions will be in your body. This means you will gain more this way.
The best part if you do not have any equipment is to do push ups. Guy push ups. This is done usually by placing you hands shoulder length on the floor. Extend your legs behind yourself and keep your feet together. Lower your Upper Body to the floor until your chin is close to the ground. Lift your upper body back up. Follow this plan.
- Make up a number from 1-10.
- Do this number of push ups in a row.
- Get on 4chan.
- Do the number of push ups you did in a row+1.
Weight and overall health really comes back down to the basics: diet, exercise, hygiene and not being a fucking idiot. Most of this is review, but it must still be covered. It's suppressing how many people fail at the above criteria.
This must be said: IT IS YOUR FAULT, NOBODY ELSE'S THAT YOU'RE A DISGUSTING, FAT, TUB OF FILTH COVERED LARD. GET OFF YOUR ASS AND DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT, YOU FUCKING LARDHEAP.
That said, weight is tied to genetics, but that doesn't mean that you have an excuse to be a disgusting tub of shit. Those who are naturally more heavy set will find that it is practically impossible to get the definition they want, but far easier to gain muscle mass, and retain it. This also means that you'll lean down a bit, and not make people want to vomit on the mere sight of your bare chest. So, moral of the story, nobody wants to hear you bitch and moan about being fat and ugly. Do something about it.
Diet is important, and it's one of the things most often mistreat. Protip: the food pyramid is right. Grains such as rice and bread hold complex carbohydrates, which give you energy without adding an excess of weight. They'll give you energy and move you along the day (Atkins died of his own diet because of this. Not eating carbs is the most retarded thing on the planet). Protein will help you build muscle, don't eat a steak every night unless you're lifting weights or being otherwise active, because most meats have a healthy dose of fat as well. Fruits and veggies give you fiber, simple sugars and a massive payload of other needed minerals. Eat them. Simple sugars that you can find in most processed foods are bad. Very bad. They are a crap source of energy, and add weight. A chocolate bar is good every now and again, but not every meal, dumb ass. This is all basic nutritional crap, and really, the one tool I have to help you is this: moderation. As long as you stop eating, you won't need to worry so much about what you're eating. Protip: Stop eating before you're full. It takes the stomach about 15 minutes to tell your brain that it not longer needs food. That means if you're eating until you're full, you're eating about 15 minutes of food you don't have to be.
An important note is that if you are weightlifting, as mentioned above, your metabolism will probably shoot through the roof. This is normal. The temptation for some people is to cut back on a lot of food when weight lifting, which will send their body right into "Crash" mode. The concept here is to cut back- but simply eat lots of what is healthy and forgo what is bad for you. Eating a lot of wheat bread and fruit is not going to kill you, and if your body is still hungry after a long day of exercise, just go for it. Doing otherwise will hinder muscle growth, make you feel like shit, and tear your body apart.
Exercise. This is important. It is suggested that you elevate your heart rate for about 30 minutes EVERY SINGLE DAY. Fapping doesn't count. that means you'll have to get up and move around a little every day. Running, swimming, lifting weights, martial arts, sex (you'll never have sex). These are all good examples of how to do this. I'd suggest about an hour to help regulate your weight, or to help out your endurance. Cardio, cardio cardio for the simple shit. If you're going for bulk, start lifting.
Another good way to promote healthy activity in your life is to find a sport you like. I know for a lot of people trying something new is scary, and it is. I remember when I was 13 I decided I liked Hockey enough to play it. My first season I fell the whole year and just got back up over and over until I got it. The whole key to sports is having the will to play. In every area there are leagues for most sports. So you probably can find a nice place to go and play. No only will this keep you healthier, it will introduce you to new people, and I know most of the Legion could use a friend or two.
These probably belong elsewhere, but hell, you need a good reminding.
Another good way to keep healthy is to not be a filthy little bastard. These means washing your hands after taking a piss, it means not eating off the floor. This means that you take standard precautionary steps towards basic cleanliness that the majority of unhealthy people just ignore. Stop it.
One last thing. Don't be a fucking idiot. You know that not wearing a rubber is a bad idea when you're with somebody you don't know, now throw some paper down on that public restroom seat. It's probably not too clean. You know that hundreds of people use doors and other shit you touch with your hands over and over again(1 out of 6 people will masturbate and not wash his hands afterwards...think about that). Wash your hands regularly to avoid spreading contagion and other gross shit like that. Just think about crap, and stop eating gum off the bottom of chairs.
Aerobic exercise is a must for anyone who is attempting to follow some sort of exercise plan. Not only does aerobic exercise have many obvious health benefits, most notably in the cardiovascular system (no more heart attacks or high blood pressure ^_^), it has a good number of side benefits. In regards to your exercise plan, it can help you with your weight training. It's usually a good strategy to wait at least one day after lifting to lift again, and it's very easy to do aerobic exercises that day. Also, if you learn to work through the pain and burn during a strenuous aerobic exercise, the increased pain tolerance can help you push yourself during weight training. In addition, aerobic exercise will help you just in everyday life. Most notably, you'll be more attractive; you'll lose weight. Like it or not, most people prefer skinny to fat. Also, being able to walk up a flight of stairs or run after the bus without losing your breath is a very nice thing.
For those of you who already do aerobic exercise, such as running, swimming, or whatever, good. Stick with it. Keep pushing yourself to go farther faster. However, for those of you anons who are currently kind of fat, and can't outrun most twelve year olds (which I imagine is the larger portion of anon), starting aerobic exercise can be kind of daunting. Well, I'll try to lay out for you a good system for finally starting.
Also, try to find a running partner. It's much easier to stick to your exercise if you exercise with someone. Also, it's more fun.
The first couple weeks are going to be the worst. They're the ones where you're most likely to give up. Also, I imagine they're the ones when your most likely to have a heart attack or stroke. With those facts in mind, the theme of the first couple weeks is pretty much to not bite off more than you can chew.
While treadmills do have their drawbacks (expensive, not very fun), they are actually pretty useful for someone who's trying to start running. They're a great way to pace yourself, something a beginning runner isn't very good at himself yet. That's why I recommend using a treadmill when you first start. If you have one, or can get to one, great. However, you might need to go find a gym membership to access a treadmill. Go for it. You'll be able to meet some attractive people there, and most gyms have personal trainers who can help you out once you graduate my little beginner course.
So, the first time you go running, you're going to suck at it. Your form is going to be terrible, you'll get winded quickly, and you won't go very fast. Sure does suck to be fat. So, here's my little routine for the first couple weeks, to help you ease into it.
- Walk for 2 minutes. Yep, walk. Not a slow walk though, a nice brisk walk.
- Run for 2 minutes. The speed's going to very different, depending on how in shape you are. Go with what feels good for you. Go fast enough that you don't feel like your jogging, but slow enough that you aren't sprinting. This is where a treadmill comes in handy, because you can experiment with different speeds, and once your find yours, it can help make sure you stick to it and don't slow down as you tire.
- Walk for 2 minutes. Same speed as before. Once again, the treadmill helps make sure you walk briskly, and don't just stumble along at half a mile an hour.
- Run for 2 minutes.
- Keep repeating until you've gone a couple miles.
Now, as the first couple weeks progress, increase the difficulty of this exercise. Walk for 2, run for 4, walk for 2, run for 4. Etc. Also, you might up the total distance you go.
Now, you're kind of a runner. Kind of.
You could, if you wanted, just go run. Warm up, run your normal running speed for a few miles, warmdown. Rinse, repeat, profit. This kind of running is important, but it's boring, and won't help you progress very much. Now's a good time to go running outside. Go find a park or something, and run there. Not only is it more fun, but any hills that might be there can help challenge you.
Here's some other running routines you can use, now that you're in the groove of things.
- Run a mile your normal running speed. Then, try to run a mile as fast as you can. Repeat. The first time, you'll probably over-exert yourself and fail. Keep trying. This exercise helps you learn to pace yourself. Also, it will increase your base speed. If you always run the same speed, you won't speed up very much. If you push yourself, you can increase your speed much more noticeably.
- Run your usual distance, but go a little slower than usual. Then, at the end, try to run a fast mile. You'll feel like your dieing, but push through. This exercise really helps you learn to work through the pain, and helps give you that extra end push you'll need if you ever run a marathon or mini-marathon.
As you know, sport means effort, effort means strain, and strain can be bad. Now there are some sports that are worse than others on certain things, but better on others. Here is a list of sports and what they do to you, but do keep in mind that every sport overpracticed is dangerous on the long run (no pun intended):
- Overall the best and most damageless sport, since it consists in doing the same move you'd do in your everyday life, but with an increased fluid resistance, it will not be dangerous for your joints.
Running, Football(soccer), etc. any sport involving running:
- Not a bad sport, pretty efficient, but does put an increased strain on your knees and ankles, so (much) later you may experiences pain in these areas.
- these will simply fuck every part of your body up, the shocks, runs, confrontations will use your spine, legs, and most of your bones. Your brain may even be affected, but that's because you'll get dumb, not just because of the shocks.
- Will strain your knees, back if you're mispositioned, ankles if you're pedaling the way one should, elbows and wrists if there are many bumps.
Computing (no that's no sport I just want to tell you how bad it is):
- Will fuck your wrists up (carpal tunnel), your back(most likely), and every muscle in your body will melt.
Also, you can't be so dang lazy and do lesser everytime you excercise. Then you'll be the lazy faggot you were from the start. Once you start for your first time, start slow, then over time do a little more. I don't mean lifting more and more until you can lift a thousand pounds or a car, just until you get into a good routine, not doing less.