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

Meet People In Shape

meet people

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

This has been scientifically proven that we look like the 5 friends we see most often. Think about your 5 best friends :

  • Are they successful ?

  • Are they happy ?

  • Are they healthy ?

  • Do they to exercices ?

When you see a friend’s group, they all have about the same state of mind. When a person of this group want to change, it becomes complicated. Once case that has all happened to us is that on the day we decided to work to be healthy, we were the only person in the group to do it.

And when you’re the only person who want to have a better health, it happens :

  • You decrease your consumption of sugar => your friends complain that you’re in a good physical condition and force you to go eat in a fast-food

  • You go to train at lunch => your classmates or co-workers make fun of you because you’re weird and force you to go eat at the best restaurant in the town.

  • You have a new pullup record => your friends complain that you didn’t come to the bar after school/work.

Don’t worry, these situations also happen to me. It’s hard to reach its goals when people around you want you stay like them. But be healthy is one of the best goal in the world and you aren’t the only person to know this pressure.

This is the moment, yes, it’s the moment to meet people who want to be healthy. Be surrounded by people who are healthier, stronger and faster than you is extremely motivating.

How to find people in shape

how to find people

Here are some tips :

  • Google

    Do a search like : « your activity + your town » and see results. It’s easy and effective. You want to do Tai-Chi, Taekwondo or badminton, you’ll find about 20 clubs in your town.

  • MeetUp

    It’s really cool. Do a search of your activity within 4-8km (3-5miles) of your town. You’ll find about twenty clubs. In 5 minutes, you subscribe on MeetUp.com  and you find 20 interesting clubs, easy !

  • Ask a person who is in a good shape that you see regulary

    This can be a classmate or a co-workers or on Facebook. You can start the conversation with : «  Hey, you’re in shape, what’s your secret ? ». This person will tell you his/her sport and his/her days of training.

    You need to do a training session with this person, even if you don’t like his/her sport. Imagine that during the training session you meet a person who share the same interests as you. You would never have met this person if you hadn’t done this new sport, right ? In the beginning, it’s important to say « yes » to have new contacts.

  • Think different

    Don’t be afraid to think differently to do different activities. There are clubs of soccer, dance, ice-hockey, yoga, etc. Chose something that interests you and give a try. If it’s an activity you’ve never done before, it’s even better. How can you know if you like something if you have never tried ? This is exploring, adventure.

Say « YES »

say yes

It’s important to say « yes » to everything when you do a new activity. Let’s me explain, all these activites have events with social media. Say « yes » to participate to these events to meet more people and have new opportunities or discover a new activity that is implanted in.

Now, I’ll tell you the truth. It’s important to say « yes » more often than « no » if you want that people continue to offer you new activities.

Imagie that you offer regularly to 2 of your friends to do new activities. Your 2 friends always answer the same thing and that’s it :

  • Friend A : « Ooooh no, I can’t today. I have a lot of things to do. Maybe another time ».

  • Friend B : « Mmmmmmmh, what is that ? Ok, we go there together of we find ourselves there ? »

After a while you’ll not propose anything to Friend A and you’ll only talk to Friend B. So for yourself, you want to be the Friend A or the Friend B ?

Go to a MeetUp alone

meetup

When you go to a MeetUp arrange you to go with somebody to stay motivated. But be careful, this often prenvents us from having new contacts. If it’s not possible, you need to be prepared to go to a MeetUp alone.

If you don’t usually go to events on your own, there are skills you can learn like confidence and social interaction.

Here a plan to have new conctacts during a MeetUp :

  • Smile

    This is the most crucial thing. Who like to talk to a scared person and who has a closed face ?

  • Don’t look for another person alone

    It’s easier to talk to a person alone than a group but there is a trap. This person is like you and is to shy to talk to someone else and you’ll spend the rest of the time to talk together in a corner without meeting anyone.

  • Make eye contact, give them a firm handshake and introduce yourself

  • Ask «  Are you here for the _______________ MeetUp ? »

    Continue the conversation with : «  Ok, cool. I signed up yesterday and I didn’t know what to expect ».

  • Ase open questions

    « What brought you here ? » or « Where are good places to do this activity in the city ? » or « Why did you start this activity ? »

  • If the conversation starts to be annoying

    Ends the conversation with : « Great to meet you. I’m gonna run to the bathroom/grab a dring ». You do the thing you said and you go to the another group.

Note

In a Meetup, you’re surrounded by people who want to meet people. Don’t do the anti-social and profit to have new contacts. Here a video  and an article  of Ramit Sethi to help to improve social skills.

Proactive

proactive

It’s not with magic or thniking very strongly (Mmmmh, The Secret ?!?) that you’re going to have new activites or meet new people in shape. It’s for this reason you need to do the first step because they are not going to come to seek you, it’s up to you to be the hunter.

It’s worth looking for them because they’ll help you reach your goals, encourage you to be healthier, be stronger and be faster.

Then goes hunting for people in shape

How it went when you joined a new club or met new friends when you decided to be healthier ?

-Steph

P.S. Do you want a platform with free training programs ? Click here 

Smartphone apps :

To track my calories, I use MyFitnessPal 

To track my training program, I use Jefit 

Sometimes We Are Struggling To Be Healthy

struggling to be healthy

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

Doing things we know we need to do may sometimes seem impossible. We know we can have a better lifestyle to « stay motivated » and « get focused ». And yet when we work on a long-term project, we have the impression of always starting from scratch.

We doubt : « What’s happening ? Why I can’t do it anymore ? »

  • I know I need to eat better

    But after cook healthy meals for one week, I don’t have the time to cook and I buy pre-prepared meals.

  • I know I need to train more often

    But after train for one week, I’m less motivated, I see no result and I’m demoralised.

  • I still have a good physique

    But I try to have an athletic body like the pros but it’s always frustrating.

I already tought about it and I think you too. Change this situation can be useless if we aren’t well prepared. It’s like a video game when you will fight a Boss with 50 % of your life without potions.

Boost your inventary

inventory video game

It’s real, I advise to everybody to prepare their meal of the day in advance (like my Instagram’s video) to have health meals. And I advise you to eat 1-3 time per week in a restaurant (see tips for eating at restaurant and staying healthy).

There is the perfect plan and the realistic plan. We like prepared perfect plans to reach our goals but in reality, it’s harder. An imperfect plan executed is better than a perfect plan poorly executed.

  • Potion

    You can go in a restaurant to eat a big plate of rice, protein and vegetables. It’s quickly prepared, it’s not expensive and you have healthy foods in your body.

  • Improve weapons

    Find a blender with a good motor to do fruits/vegetables shakes. It’s perfect for a snack at 16h (4pm).

  • Improve your armor

    Buy a rice cooker to save your time in evening.

These elements help you to reach more easily your daily calories goal. I have never plan my meals for all the year, I plan what I will eat each week (when I go to the supermarket) and each day, I do my best to eat as healthily as possible despite the unexpected. It’s this imperfect plan that I use and I see results ! If I had continued to follow my perfect plan, I think I would have given up because of my environment.

Now, when I see old friends they’re surprised to see how my physique changed better and there are some who jealous me (but there is less brawl than before, it’s cool).

In a video game, when you will fight against a new Boss, you will have the maximum of potions to have the maximum chance of winning. When you attack a new problem in your life, adjust your priorities to build a new habit or miss your attempt to be healthy.

Mercenary and strategy guide

mercenary

In a video game, you can have mercenaries to help you to fight the Boss and you can unlocked strategies can help you have the advantage.

You used strategy guides or tutarial video to help you to beat a difficult Boss. Some people say it’s « cheat » but it’s up to you to follow instructions and execute them properly for it to work.

In life, you can also have mercernaries and strategy guides. You can find tutorials like « How to do squat properly » or « How to create your workout plan » but often it’s our lack of knowledge or lack of confidence that keeps us from succeeding.

Have a great mercenary (personal trainer) to reach your goal who all times yelling, prodding, educating and helping you to have results. Just have somebody to help you for one session or for one week can do the difference between long term success and long term frustration.

That means you need to have a mercenary (personal trainer) forever ? No, but it’s good to have the opportunity for several months to learn from a great mercenary (personal trainer) to follow the patterns set out in a strategy guide to have confidence to attack the Boss without being assisted.

A victory is a victory

victory

When you try to fight the Boss, all that matter is that you have 1 % of life when the Boss has 0 %. This can be an ungly fight and even you used 10 potions, this victory is important to continue. It’s for this reason you buy potions and upgrade your armor. This is what make the difference between victory and throw your controller against the wall.

The life is the same and it’s important to organize priorities to have success :

  • Discuss with your family about the financial investment to have a better health (gym, mercenary)

  • Save money to by health product and have tools necessary to avoid to eat at restaurants everydays.

Organize your priorities to reach your fitness goals and others aspects of your life, right now. There are Bosses that you fight with 50 % of your life ?

  • Hard to meditate everydays ?

    Use calm.com  and follow the 2 minutes of meditation guide (strategy guide).

  • Hard to start yoga ?

    Subscibe to a yoga class for a month to learn movements. By this way, you will have more confident to do yoga at home (mercenary).

  • Hard to eat better ?

    Seek in Craiglist or another website that do the same thing and find a Chef to prepare meals for you at a reasonable price for a month (improve inventory)

  • Hard to walk more ?

    Buy a Fitbit and train you body to walk 10 000 step each day until you can do it without technological assistance (improve armor).

  • Hard to do squat and deadlift properly ?

    Hire a personal trainer to learn properly to do squat and deadlift. Contact this personal trainer one month later to check your technique (mercenary).

  • Hard to learn a new language ?

    Use iTalki.com  and speak with a native speaker and in exchange you learn to him/her your native language. (improve your group).

Yes, it’s possible. You will try several times and you will do several mistakes to improve yourself and it will be difficult. The most important is to know why you do all these things and not the others. It’s to improve your lifestyle and you’re the only person to do it.

What is the Boss you’re fighting and what mercenary, armor, potion, you use to build this new habit to beat it ?

-Steph

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

Smartphone apps:

To track my training program, I use Jefit 

To track my calories, I use MyFitnessPal 

Blog content (Part 3)

blog content

Asymptote

Attention, if you didn’t read from the beginning, click Part 1 and Part 2.

With this writing and reading cycle, you discover your potential asymptote. When you begin a process of excellence and knowledge because you read all the articles, all the studies about your subject, you build a quality knowledge. You discover within yourself that you are good at something. Because in the world, everyone, without exception, is good at one domain, you just look for it.

Vulnerability

Being vulnerable when we begin to write about a topic. When you go to publish your articles, there will be experts who will read you and ask « But he thinks he’s good ? ». It will always happen here and be vulnerable and willing to be vulnerable, is to accept to have nothing to do with that. Being vulnerable because we’re judged but to continue to be in action. It’s like the Theodore Roosevelt’s speech « Man in the Arena ». Life is like an arena. The majority of people watching gladiators fight and critics but there are very few people in the arena. Create content, this is the same context, it’s a window to the brain and to the heart, it’s stronger.

Not alone

a lot of people

You’re not the only one wanting to build something, to want to express yourself. In the current economic context, there have never been so many people educated in the world. Today, there are more living mathematicians than in the mankind history, therefore to study and have a degree isn’t enough. We must do things by creating content. Write or make videos on a topic you’re passionate is the smallest step towards action and excellence. The action and excellence a little more every day, a little more every day and so on. This isn’t something that is done in 24 hours.

In this world where there are more mathematicians and other scientists, you must become an expert. Everyone becomes an expert in a field. It takes 10,000 hours to become an expert, not everyone agrees with this principle, but it takes time to become an expert. We must begin as soon as possible to become an expert on a topic and it isn’t because you’re an expert on a subject at a time that it will remain your expertise all your life. But continuing this approach to search, explore, decant, produce, create, you’ll pass expertise, in expertise, in expertise. And what to keep in mind is that we live in a world where it’s hard to be successful in any field and you have to be a great expert to succeed.

Write to the outside

It’s good to write for himself for all the reasons I have explained but we also do it for the world. Because when you’re going to start writing, you will communicate with other people. You will meet people online that you would never meet, whether people like you who don’t have much knowledge but are enthusiasts or experts who are available on Twitter with whom you can talk about your blog. This is gold, so this is great start moving into the content creation and content publication, it’s fundamental.

This also allows you to pretend : « Fake it unitl you make it ! ». The idea is to sell to see if it works and then design and produce the stuff. It’s selling something that doesn’t exist to see if people are willing to buy it like that we have no need to produce it and see that it doesn’t work. You need to train yourself to pretend to save time and to pretend playing excellence. Albert Einstein said : « Genius is 1% talent and 99% hard work … ».

Even if you’re competing with yourself (the hardest competition), imagine that there is a person twice as smart as you. If you work twice as that person, you have twice as much chance to succeed that person who is twice as smart as you. When you’ll start to interest about your topic in extreme and passionate way and you’ll enter in a virtuous circle, you’ll start working hard. You’ll be able to get more things before most people.

Your blog could become a startup

There are many companies that began as a blog. There are articles on internet which list it and we see that it all began with a passion. Groupon, the huge site with limited reduction in time, started with a blog.

Self-defense

self-defense

When you gonna write about your passion and get better, you’ll create your headquarters (HQ). In all conversations you’re having, you know that there is a subject where you’re super good. That’s the headquarters, it’s a place where you are well. You can go places where you don’t feel safe but once you’re in your headquarters, it’s you who are in a dominant position. And when we have something like that, that create tremendous confidence in us and it allows us to do many more things.

Luck surface

Post articles outside can increase your « luck surface ». A « luck surface » of 1, for example, is to write a letter in a bottle and throw it into the sea to find a soul mate. This is « luck plan : 1 ». Tinder, « luck surface : 10 000 ». This is the « luck surface », it’s to increase the friction ratio with the world to be able to create the chance. There will haters that say : « Yes, but he was lucky, he had a blog, it’s why he found this job, blah, blah, blah ». But no, it’s not luck, it’s just increase the « luck surface ». Increase the « luck surface » with people who share the same passion.

Asynchronous connection

This also allows to make asynchronous connection with people. When you publish articles in your blog, typically, there is the No. 1 network that will work, people who read the article on the day of its publication. But this article will also be referenced in Google and people will read it, 1 year or 3 years after and they will contact you.

It was the last part of « Content blog », I hope that you’re motivated to put you in action to make your passion your profession.

-Steph

Useless To Have A Better Body ?

body transformation

I’ve wanted to look like people on magazine cover or in music videos (50 Cent), it’s already happened to you ? I think that it’s already happened for everybody. Having an athletic body seemed to be really cool. But as you can see in fitness’s world and bodybuilding, there are several types of athletic physique. Some may be achieved naturally and other with steroids.

Confidence or obsession

body transformation

Why you want to have a better body ? This is to feel better in your body and have more self-confidence or you want to make money with your physque (personal trainer, fitness model, competition, etc.) ?

It’s interesting to ask you this question because there is an important point : « We always feel small ». When your goal is based on physical appearance, so like a pro, you always seem to not be quite muscular. I say this because I live it. I look at a picture and I look at me in the mirror and I think : « Damn, there is still a lot of work ! ». At this point, it can become an obsession.

Shit, I’m obsessed with my muscles !?! Well, what I meant was there is some tricks to avoid that this obsession becomes too big with stuff like :

  • If I have 6-packs, I’m happy

  • If I fit in these pants, I’m happy

Those little things show you that you have made some progress and it’s always good to remember.

Finding Balance

body transformation

Having obsession to have a better body isn’t a bad thing as long you find the balance. The purpose of having a better body is to be healthy and happy, right ?

Health: You aim to have a healthy body with no physical problems. You change in a healthy and sustainable way.

Happy: You can do activities you want without your body prevents you from doing. You feel good about yourself. You’re naked or swimsuit, you trust in you because you determine your personal « look ».

Having a better body is something very motivating but when you get always compared with someone else, this can become a poison. Not to lose myself, I tell to myself :

Be better than yesterday

Be a better version of yourself

And you, have you found a way to improve yourself without fixate on your flaws or compare yourself to another person ?

-Steph

Strong Mind

strong mind

I would like to talk about strong mind . There are certain principle that you must develop to have a strong mind.

A strong motivation and a strong desire to win or be successful

You need to believe in you. You need to have a great confidence in your ability to achieve your goals. Another thing, when you fail, you need to be able to recover from that to keep moving forward. You need to see your obstacles as potentials opportunities. Viewing a obstacle and see it as an exciting challenge. Be like « Okay, that look difficult but it will make me stronger when I will have succeeded ». Obstacles are springboards and opportunities to improve your attitude.

So don’t be discouraged, don’t be sorry for yourself, don’t be sorry for your friends. If someone made a mistake, let him know. Fix yourself, head up, chest up and back to work. There is no time to « Ooooh I don’t know why it happened blah blah blah ». No, no, no, you’re a strong person, you have a strong mindset. Don’t be overwhelmed by a negative situation, learn from your mistakes and good things will happen to you.

You have your conscience and your subconscious, your subconscious doesn’t differentiate between what is good and what is bad. It doesn’t understand this concept. Your subconscious takes what you give him and made it a reality. Some people call it the Secret, others prayers, no matter the name, it’s still the same way.

guts berserk

Put yourself in your mind that you are the boss and that you can handle any situation that happens. Don’t say you think do it, tell yourself that you do it. If you say to yourself « Oh, I don’t know, it’s too hard », you’re right, you will not succeed. You are always right, no matter what you tell to yourself, you’re right. If you tell to yourself you know you can do it, you’re right. If you say to yourself that you can’t do it, you’re right. It’s a cliché but life is exactly what you want to do.

So why not live like a boss. Be a lion in the jungle. Don’t be the wildebeest, be the predator. Become the king of your domain, control your own body, control your own mind. Control situations happens to you and being positive. When you really understand that, you’ve really got it and you are using it is better than having riches.

I’m not a very religious guy but I always admire King Solomon. King Solomon was like « I don’t want money or wealth, I want wisdom and I can get everything I need with wisdom ». That’s the thing.

Talking to yourself

There is another thing I do is talking to me myself. I know it sound crazy, especially when you do something very difficult, but it increases your self-esteem. This increases your self-esteem for a difficult task. Say to yourself « I can do it, I really can do it », it boost your self-confidence to achieve your goal.

talking to yourself

This trick is not physical, it’s mental. Your mind can allow you to exceed the limits of your body. Put yourself in survival mode, get out of your comfort zone and you become stronger mentally, spiritually and physically.

-Steph