Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here 

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

At Our Limits We Have Growth

growth

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

We all searching inspirations and sometimes we found them with videos or in biographies.

Our limits

limits

The world’s chess champion Josh Waitzkin says in his book « The Art of Learning »  :

« Growth comes at the point of resistance. We learn by pushing ourselves and finding what really lies at the outer reaches of our abilities ».

Training shouln’t be boring

boring

The moste of people do training by constraint, somthing boring :

  • Run on treadmill ou sit down at a weight machine

  • Suffering by doing exercices during 20-60 minutes

  • Repeat it again

Everybody had this experience. Day after day, do same exercices, because we believe that with this way we will have results.

Training shouldn’t be a constraint. We shouln’t see it like a constraint but rather like a way to challenge our limits.

Each training should be exciting

You must exploit this excitation in you training to reach results you want.

Step forward

step forward

Step forward to get out of your comfort zone, get out of securitiy zone, out of your known limits of your life for an unknown adventure maybe dangerous. In all movies you watch, the hero get out of his comfort zone to become better and that’s what makes the movie exciting. You can have the same scenario in your life.

Where are the gate keepers of your life ?

  • Is it the weights that you have never lifted for a deadlift ?

  • Is it the mountain hike you would like to do but you have never tried ?

  • Is it travel outside of your country or continent and test your preconceived notions about other cultures ?

  • Is it to learn a new instrument or make new friends or attending an event ?

Security and the « know » transform us in zombies !

Take the control of your life and avoid the « good enough » syndrome. To do the bare minimum has never evolved anything.

It’s true, stay in your comfort zone means be safe but your growth depend on what you do outside of the line.

Celebrate each victories and appreciates the feeling of joy that you have each time that you have succeeded in a challenge.

It’s not to cross the finish line. We haven’t yet found the finish line then profit of the life’s journey and love the life’s game.

Growth happens at our limits, wherever they may lie. It’s how much we can become comfortable with being uncomfortable that will determine just how much we can grow.

To paraphrases Professor Barnhardt in the movie « The Day The Earth Stood Still » : At the precipice we change !

Which thing did you do to get out of your comfort zone ?

-Steph

P.S : Do you want a free training program ? Click here 

Upgrade Your Life

upgrade your life

I read an Nerd Fitness article  and there is good stuff.

I play video games since I can use a controller and I was always excited to know :

  • What is there in this castle ?

  • What is there behind this door ?

  • What is there in this way ?

This possibility to explore, improve skills and have harder challenges everytime gave me more desire to play. There was always a new bad guy to beat, a new place to expore ou a new weapon.

Is it possible to use video games principles to improve lifestyle ? Let’s see.

Blocked

Here an Onion’s article . « Alarming New Adult Trend – Plateauing In Your Career And Relationship – Sweeps Nation ».

With this passage :

It’s called « plateauing in your career and relationship », and it involves adult men and women hitting a wall in their professional and romantic lives and doing absolutely nothing to reinvigorate them, an activity that researchers at University of Chicago’s Department of Comparative Human Development warn may be, while popular, highly dangerous and unhealthy.

Sources confirmed that plateauing in your career and relationship is merely the latest fad to grip adults in recent years, following on the heels of popular trends such as giving up on your dream of writing a novel, having kids because it’s a box to check, and gradually feeling alienated in your own body after steady weight gain.

OK,OK, stay calm, stay calm. Me too, I thought : « But it’s my life ! ». So if we reach this plateau, ours lives are adrift and I was this guy !.

Gaming

push start mario yoshi

What video games have to be so addictive ? Video games pay my attention for 3 reasons :

  • A chance to live vicariously through a tough guy

  • A constant source of improvement and rewards

  • A chance to interact with people of minds

I like Legend of Zelda because I can see myself like Link, a little boy with a wood sword who explore a big scary world to save a princess (sometimes the princess don’t need to be saved). There is always something to find or a place to discover.

All these video games like Chrono Trigger, Final Fantasy, GTA gave me a lot of entertainment but they gave me something else, something I didn’t know.

Run away

  • Run away a new school’s day because there is no challenge, this isn’t interesting and there is no progress.

  • Run away a new job’s day that wasn’t interesting and didn’t match with my skills.

  • Run away a new day of my life that wasn’t excited like the life of video games characters.

We all do it with a book, a movie or something else and it’s cool to run away and live the life of sombody else. We all want a chance to do something that doesn’t exist in the real life. it’s fun to live a life in a fantasy world to relax after a long day. This isn’t bad except if this make us forget to upgrade ours lifestyle. Have a job just to pay rent and eat, an unfulfilling relationship and don’t be excited to do an activity outside of a screen, it’s like to be plugged to the Matrix. Did you watch the movie ?

Since I realized the Matrix, I adjusted my vision about books, movies and video games. Instead to use them to run away to my life, I use them like inspiration to improve my mindset.

Be excited to be better

In gamers community, there is a section like : « Who can best this game faster ? ». Beat Super Mario Bros in less of 5 minutes ou Legend of Zelda Ocarina of Time in less of 20 minutes. Those games train to beat the game as fast as possible. They’re felt in love with the concept of be better or be the best.

Now, how to do in the real life ? Identify a skill that you like to do and you like to improve. Think about this skill with which you like challenge yourself, this skill who make you feel alive and work to improve this skill.

For me, it’s bodybuilding and I have some challenge like :

  • Can I run faster ?

  • Can I be stronger ?

  • Can I be more agile ?

If it’s a fail, instead to say to myself I’m not able to do this. I say to myself this fail isn’t crucial to be successful. Learn from failure is what allows you to succeed. Exaclty like in a video game when you push restart.

Find a skill and challenge yourself to improve it.

Everydays

everydays make things happen

A quest to improve your lifestyle to infinity. Here the list of my challenges. I must do at less one per day. If I do more, it’s BOOOM :

  • Find my main quest

  • Learn the basics of strenght training

  • Try a new exercice

  • Improve my social skills

  • Master my habits

  • Save some money for an adventure (travel)

  • Learn a recipe

In the real life :

  • Do I lift more weight at the gym ?

  • Do I do one more set ?

  • Do I help anyone to improve its life ?

  • Do I save some money for my next adventure ?

  • Do I reach the job I want ?

  • Do I improve my job ?

Are you improve our lifestyle this year ?

-Steph

P.S : Do you want a free training program ? Click here.

Do You Live Your Story ?

gandalf

Gandalf the Grey teach us something: « All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us ».

I often get emails from people who aren’t happy with their lives. My answer is: You have to find a way to be happy today because it’s not sure that you’re alive tomorrow !

Seriously, if your friends humiliate you, your relationship is zero, your work is unbearable, stop everything and move on to better.

It’s true, that it’s easier said than done but think « You can find some excuse or you can have what you want, but not both ». Hmm, it makes you think !

You can continue to be unhappy and find you an apology if you’re not interested in having what you want but your potential is untapped, get full of regret and you will spend your day to say « What if … ».

Tomorrow you can get hit by a car. It’s not like in a video-games where in the level there « add 1 life ». You think your health is taken for granted ?

Be happy today.

be happy

I don’t tell you to quit your job and go live in a tent in the mountains (unless it makes you happy) but make your life a story. Your life isn’t your possessions or your bank account.

We spend too much time on things that don’t matter, we have to focus on the important things. Everyday is an opportunity to be happy, improve yourself, adventure. Problems exist but it shouldn’t spoil your whole day.

You can start by spending time with people who fill your head with stories like: « Remember that time we ……… .I will never forget ! ».

Whether it’s a night out with friends to drink alcohol and to tell stories or play a game, we need to realize that today is a great day. If you can fill your day of adventure, improve yourself and be grateful, you’re on the right path.

Gandalf the Grey teach us something: « All we have to do is decide what to do with the time that is given to us ».

So what do you do ?

-Steph

Reset Superhero

superhero child

The heroes of comics and books are dead. The power to change the world is now in the hands of all people like you and me. It’s the time for a new type of hero.

When I was little, I used to dream of being a superhero. For hours I created a fantasy world with villains who had powers and were strong in martial arts. The truth is that all my heroes come from manga.

These superheroes always have strong powers, they aren’t like people around them. But I can’t live like a manga’s superhero in my life every day, did you see the world how it is now, right ?

superhero real life

Why not make a modern superhero. Here is a quote from the actor who made the first Superman movie, Christopher Reeve:

“A hero is an ordinary individual who finds strength to persevere and endure insurmountable obstacles”.

The heroes of comics, films and books are distractions that prevent you from becoming the hero you want to be. It’s time to kill this hero and to create a new hero capable to act in our world. Today’s heroes are people like you and me, who despite problems are pushed to become better and make the world a better place.

The world doesn’t need a person with extraordinary powers but of a people who is willing to:

  • Take responsibility for his actions

  • Step up and does what he can to make a difference in his entourage

  • Refuses to be OK with the status quo

We all have flaws (sometimes HUGE) that make the idea of ​​being a hero really sucks.

The objective of this new hero is progress not perfection: he aims to be better than yesterday.

In our world, the difference between a hero and a normal person is not to move at the speed of light or having a giant hammer. The hero has the ability to look at its flaws, imperfections in the eye and act without being blocked.

Each of us is able to be that hero and this is what is most terrifying and liberating at the same time.

Appearance and be able to do performance

health body

It takes work to have a body that projects health, confidence and that allows you to manage all the physical activities of the day.

You want to rock climb ? You can

You want to be confident when you take off your shirt at the beach or pool? You can

A strong body positively influences all aspects of your life. It teaches you discipline, courage and endurance. It gives you assurance despite what is happening around you, you will always have health and that’s HUGE.

When you look in the mirror at the end of the day, you’ll see a body that allows you to have the ability and energy to achieve your goals.

Accept your dark side

villain in us

Inside of us there is a hero and a villain, the best villain of your life.

The hero in me is a guy who controls his life, who is active and who lives every day in order to create an impact.

The villain in me is a guy who doesn’t know what to do with his life. He wants to break the clock and sit all day in front of the TV eating anything.

The two always make Deathmatch to see who will win every time of day.

We hide from our villain. We don’t want to acknowledge its existence while being aware of its negative impact on our lives.

And you know what ? It never works. The more you hide him, the more he will become stronger and when you will stop to hide him, you’ll take his power.

Listen to what your villain, but refuses to let him to work in your subconscious. Then hit this shit head.

Facing your fears

facing fear

“In the cave you fear to enter but inside is the treasure you seek” – Joseph Campbell

Joseph Campbell is the person who wrote it and one of the key elements is when he describes the hero enters the Cave (also called The Pit or The Whale’s Belly).

The Cave is where the hero must face his deepest fears and insecurities. This is the key point for his transformation and this is often where the hero faces a dragon or a huge monster.

For modern superhero, the Cave represents the time in our lives where we left our comfort zone, to face our fears and live it as a challenge. As we have done, we have grown and progressed into a new state of mind.

Unfortunately, most of us don’t pass this point. We reach the Cave and that’s it. We don’t progress further and our story ends.

I did a lot of things in my life to avoid getting into my own Cave and I can tell you at this point, you become disgusted with yourself for being controlled by fear.

One day I realized I’m not a hostage, nor a hostage taker. I walk to the Cave and I turn around because from the uneasiness I feel or I run into the Cave, tight teeth and not ready but I give the best of myself.

This is not a decision to be taken once. Facing your fears is like anything in life: a skill that must be used.

It’s a process for life. More often you do it, more you feel yourself comfortable in your non-comfort zone.

Answer the call of adventure

hero journey

In stories and myths, the hero faces a recognizable choice: the villain threatens to destroy the world and the hero must decide whether to intervene or not.

Today, the call to adventure may or may not be so clear

We experienced sudden events that changed our lives: the death of a loved one, loss of a job. But more often, it’s not clear, there is no dragon to kill and no girl to save.

Ultimately, your call is an invitation to leave the humdrum of normal life, live the adventure like a trip for self-actualization.

The world around you is in demand of this new redefinition of superhero so get out and answer the call. Well, what are you waiting for !?!

-Steph