(Yikes, posting is slow lately. Edenist Whackjob, I’ve decided to give you a set of keys to the place as soon as I figure out how to do that. Clearly I’m not responsible enough to be hosting a blog by myself, and the situation can only improve. Just don’t be boring, that’s my only requirement.)
What was I talking about again? I think the point was that I had an onion on my belt, which was the style at the time…
My philosophy on weightlifting is similar to my philosophy on learning guitar. Knowledge, programs, and such are about 2 percent of the equation when you’re studying guitar. The other 98 percent is quality practice time. You can accomplish this through discipline or obsession, although I’d advise obsession for the added benefits of compulsive mental rehearsal (see also the comment by two miles). A similar rule of thumb exists for weightlifting: it’s 50% consistency (spend quality time with the weights and stop dicking around with your phone), 40% proper nutrition and sleep, and 10% other. If you get in the gym and eat right, you’re going to make gains. As for the other 10 percent, I think most TTs will benefit more from a high-weight, low-rep lifting regimen, although this does vary from body to body.
On any day I don’t go to the gym, I go for a very long walk. I mean 10 miles or so, which takes a couple of hours. This is mostly because I need to burn off a lot of stress and calories if I’m going to sleep well at night. Psychologically, it is also a barrier against skipping my trip to the gym. There are a lot of valid excuses for skipping a day at the gym, like taking a rest day (two days on, one off is my baseline), or working so many hours that lifting would be counterproductive (the body needs rest to build up). This rule is also important for failure cycling, because long walks are mandatory at bio level 1- it’s a very important stepping stone to more intense levels of physical activity. For reference:
Bio 1: Long walks every day
Bio 2: Cardio most days, walks on every rest day
Bio 3: Lifting most days, cardio some days, walks every other day
Bio 4: Serious athletic training
Rec sports are the best cardio days, because they don’t suck so much dick. Right now I play pickup basketball with a bunch of old men on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. If you think marathon training is a good idea then I don’t want you on my blog. Get out. The combination of running 10 mph for five minutes every lifting day as a warmup, plus these longer cardio days playing ultimate frisbee at the local community college or something, will get you in pretty good shape quickly.
People say you should mix up your exercises for the same muscle groups, but I haven’t noticed any problems with doing the same exercises over and over. If your muscles are bored, I say you should put more weight on and that’ll mix you up plenty. My chest exercises haven’t changed one bit: dumbbell bench press, dumbbell incline, and the fly machine.
Speaking of dumbbells, I can definitively say that you will make a lot more long-term progress if you get in the habit of lifting without a spotter. Lifting partners are way too flaky to be useful, IMO. Sure, maybe you work on your bench press for 6 months, but then your buddy starts making excuses, or moves to another state, or you move to another state or something. Then you gotta change everything around, doing bench press on the fucking Smith machine or something, wondering the whole time whether your buddy’s gonna snap out of it. Nah, you don’t need that extra shit in your life.
The hour before exercising is crucial. You should be doing an activity that segues into exercise because it gets you unfocused and amped up, like watching UFC on YouTube or something. I try to do guitar practice here. About twenty minutes before exercising, eat a banana or drink a big glass of orange juice. This is gonna spike your blood sugar, and between this and watching UFC videos a trip to the gym is going to start seeming like a great idea. This removes a big obstacle between you and consistent exercise. Set yourself up for easy success.
No reason to use willpower if you can be smart instead- we want easy habits. Remember, it’s all about consistency, diet, and rest. Think about how much you’ll be able to lift in ten years if you just lift three days per week, get some damn sleep, and eat some damn protein.
I don’t believe anyone should lift first thing in the morning, not even morning people. Late afternoon is best. Running first thing is fine if you have the stomach for it. I’d prefer to knock out cardio days during lunchtime, but it’s not up to me.
Oh, and for fuck’s sake drink more water. At least a gallon per day if you’re working out a lot. Even if you aren’t it’s only going to make it easier to ding bio levels. Plus it’ll give you a lot of energy because you’ll have to pee all the time.