up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE !!! I heard Olivier
Roland’s tips and I learned some good stuff.
Often people ask themselves this question to start a company on internet: “What is the difference between a website and a blog ?”.
answer is that there is no difference because a blog is a website. To
be more precise, a blog is a type of website because there are
websites that aren’t blogs. A blog is a type of website in which the
content is published by antichronological order (it means that the
last published article is displayed first). It’s possible to have a
static home page for blogs, this is an option.
In the case of e-commerce, a blog can be a complementary website to attract qualified prospects. I take the example of fitness. You have a company that sells fitness accessories (weightlifting belt, squat knee sleeves, etc). You create a website to sell your products with Prestashop , Shopify , Magento . By creating another blog type website, you share content that will interest your potential clients, fitness fans.
On the blog, you share articles like: “Protect you back with these 4 strength coach secrets” or “7 exercises to build your strength and power foundation” or “How much protein, fat and carbs should you eat to lose weight”. Topics that interest people who do fitness. You have to publish content to attract qualified prospects, it means, qualified prospects who are likely to buy your products.
gives a huge advantage compared to your competitors who don’t do
Here is a concrete example. Bonnegueule is basically a blog about French men’s fashion. But the Bonnegueule’s founders did more than what infopreneurs usually do (sell online training and ebooks) They created their own clothing brand in collaboration with fashion designers. Since 2014, they have 3 physical stores in France.
What is innovative with Bonnegueule is that on the products sheet of clothes, there is the complete details of the materials used, tips to be elegant with the clothe, how to associate this clothe with others, tips for good maintenance of the clothe and the fashion designers pictures.
all this people see Bonnegueule as advisers and not sellers, even if
they sell products. And that makes a huge difference in the relation
It’s also smart to create multiple types of content (text, video, audio) on other platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Facebook or Soundcloud to attract other qualified prospects to other locations.
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P.S. If you’re in Miami and you like Caribbean food, go to my cousin’s bistro to eat Haitian food, click here .
What’s up ? This is THE stephane ANDRE ! I read a Frederic Delavier’s book « Strength Training Anatomy » and I learned good stuff.
Lying on your stomach on your hands with your arms extended :
Straighten up your chest slowly by tilting your head back slightly
Maintain this position for few seconds while breathing slowly to feel the stretching of your abs.
It’s possible to make this movement with your hands on a bench and your feet on the floor, or you’re lying on your back on a big ball (Swissball).
Stretching of abs can be an important element in some sports like throwing sports, especially the javelin. In this type of sports, it’s essential to have good flexibility and a good abdominal amplitude to make the movement perfectly.
Abs stretching are to be avoided in case of lumbar pathology.
The position tilted forward (anteversion) of women’s pelvis allows a portion of the child’s weight to be transferred to the abs. By analogy, abs muscles can be compared to a « hammock ».
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When I started to train in a gym. I often asked myself this question : « How much protein do I have to eat at each meal ? ». I asked this question to people in the gym and I had several different answers. For example, someone told me that if I ate too much protein, it could destroy my kidneys or that whey (shaker) was better protein than protein from food (chicken, beef, eggs, etc).
I think you also ask yourself this type of questions so I will help you understand better.
Firstly, everyone knows that protein is very used in fitness and bodybuilding. You can find protein in food or as a dietary supplement such as whey, casein and amino acids. Protein are composed of amino acids.
1) How much daily protein is recommended for someone who doesn’t do fitness ?
It’s 0.8 grams (gr) of protein per kilogram (kg) of body weight or 0.36 grams per pound. For this article, I will use the unit of mesure kilograms (kg).
I will take the example of Jamo who is a former professional bodybuilder who continues to train. Jamo weighs 95kg. 95kg at 0.8gr per kilo of bodyweight gives as a result that Jamo eats 76gr of protein per meal. Jamo want to keep his bodybuilder body without steroids. For this, he must eat several times a day and that makes a total of 360gr per day.
2) With sport, do these recommendations change ?
Yes, because a sedentary person will use more of his/her body, which means that this person will use more his/her muscles. The meals content changes with the sport and the type of sport. If we compare a person who is doing fitness and a person doing marathons, we see that the meals are different.
A person doing marathons needs to eat more carbohydrates than protein to have endurance. A person who does fitness/bodybuilding need to eat more protein than carbohydrates for muscles rebuilding and muscle growth.
3) Depending on the intensity, do these recommendations change ?
Depending on the intensity, the answer is yes and no. It also depends on the muscle mass. When a person is doing a really intensive workout, the most important marcro is carbohydrate.
An increase of protein is necessary when a person decreases carbohydrates to be shredded. Increase protein helps maintain muscle mass.
4) With age, these recommendations change ?
With the latest scientific studies, we learned that proteins need to be increased with age. When a person start to become old, that person loses muscle mass naturally (and it’s normal). It’s for this reason that it’s important to play sport to maintain muscle mass. And to help to maintain this muscle mass, it’s necessary to increase protein.
5) Consume a large amount of protein destroys kidneys ?
The answer is yes and no. In a case where a person has pre-existing kidney problems before playing sport, it’s important to see a nephrologist (kidney specialist) or a doctor. For people who have healthy kidneys, proteins don’t destoy the kidneys. Kidneys are the most detoxifiying organs of the human body and we (human being) have been created to eat meat. The human being is made to eat a lot of meat. Until now, no study has shown that the protein destory kidneys, except for people with pre-exiting kidney problems.
Here is a scientific study on the effects of high protein intake on the kidneys, click here . This study shows that is a myth and a lie.
6) Assimilation and MPS (mass protein synthesis)
Assimilation is when you eat protein. A part of the protein you eat will be assimilated for protein synthesis. Everything else, your body will assimilate because your body is made of 80% amino acids, so these proteins will be used for your skin, your hair, your eyes, your organs. Absolutely all the protein that you eat will be absorbed by your body, nothing is thrown away. There is no protein in you pee.
The goal of protein synthesis is to repair or eliminate damaged proteins and to build new proteins that are copies of the original. New proteins are stronger, denser and more resistant to stress. Muscle Protein Synthesis (MPS) is the reconstruction of muscle caused by stress placed on the body. This can be an injury (muscle tear) or because you intentionally damage a muscle (lifting weights creating micro tears in muscles). MPS process activated right after micro tears and can last up to 48 hours on a damaged site before being repaired.
A part of protein you eat is used for protein synthesis, which will create the state of hypertrophy with hormones. Protein synthesis doesn’t buid muscle, it’s muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
I just read again my text and I see that it’s a bit difficult to understand (for me too ?!?). To make it simpler, protein synthesis repairs your skin, your hair, your eyes, your organs and create the state of hypertrophy. Muscle protein synthesis repair only your muscles.
Here is a scientific study on nutrition and muscle protein synthesis, click here .
7) Liquid and solid protein
Liquid proteins are whey and casein (shaker). Solid proteins are chicken, beef eggs, etc. The diffrence is that the body assimilates liquid proteins faster than solid proteins. The problem is that the quality of liquid proteins is 75% bad on the market, so it’s up to you to study ingredients (as for food in supermarkets) to find the best quality possible. I wrote an article on this subject, click here.
8) Number of grams of protein per meal
For men, it’s about 30-35gr of protein per meal. For women, it’s about 20-25gr of protein per meal.
For older men, it’s about 35-40gr per meal. For older women, it’s about 25-30gr per meal.
Here is an interesting study for women. Eating a large amount of protein has harmful effects on the bones. Click here .
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Taste is a bit of an amalgam of 5 senses because it’s necessary to use 5 senses to have the full sensation of taste in the brain. It’s enough that it misses 1-2 senses so that the flavor modified. When a brand works to be recognized by several senses, it improves the credibility and the memorization of the brand.
An effective sensory marketing is based on the coherence of the senses to increase the positive evaluation of products, stores and visiting intentions. This multisensory experience increases the probability of creating strong and lasting emotional connection with the consumer.
Cognitive ergonomics, pricing, distribution and sales
Rules of innovation, presentation product/service and a good selling price increases the turnover and improves a brand’s perceptions. Consumers spend more time in a store when the place is thematized, theatrical or with a sensory experience.
Creating nice design for the brain helps a product to succeed in a market. Certain specific packaging’s elements attract the attention and interest of the brain. Imaging and iconography provike emotional evocation, color awakens somatic makers, writing gives meaning to the product and the brand gives the product qualities linked to its essence.
The preception and the price of a product/service by the brain have important consequences on the amount of purchases. An inapproritate price compared to consumers perception on the price-quality ratio can cancel a sale. A consumer refuses to pay for an expensive product if the quality seems low. With a price too low, a consumer thinks that the quality is bad.
The psychological price, which is the price that a consumer is willing to pay to buy a product/service, is the fundamental basis for the price policy.
Pay creates an impression of pain in the brain and there are several solutions to decrease or avoid this feeling : payment term, credit, deferred payment, product/service presentation like Premium, billing per month rather than per hour, price below a fixed price ($ 299.99 instead of $ 300.00).
When stores are thematized, theatrical or with a sensory experience, it increases the presence time of consumers as well as the interest. The result is an increase in turnover and an improvement in the brand perception of the store.
Since antiquity, communication has used many subliminal techniques to be more persuasive. Subliminal communication target directly the brain’s subconscious. Ads is still based on Aristote’s rhetoric method to improve credibility and Cicero. Here are Ciceron’s recommendations : It’s necessary to prove the truth of what you say, it’s Logos. To reconcile the benevolence of the listeners by using the Ethos and to awaken in them all the emotions useful to the cause with Pathos.
This corresponds to the choice of logical and rational messages. Theses messages show indisputable arguments about the quality of the product/service on an innovation that other brands don’t have.
This is to give confidence or seduce consumers.
It’s about message based on emotions.
Communications can be based on hedonism to look for inner well-being or joy like luxury or sex. To trigger strong emotions and enter in the memory, messages can be violent as for example advertisements on the road safety.
Subliminal communication target directly the brain’s subconscious, bypassing the barrier of reasoning. Even though subliminal communication is prohibited in some countries, many methods are allowed and used in advertising.
Advertising entertainment is an advertising based on the spectacular using humor or art with the harmony’s rules like Golden Ratio , Vitruvian Man , eroticism, etc.
Brands works with emotions to influence the consumers brain to make purchase. Consumer’s brain is attracted by brands whose history is reminiscent of known myths memorized in the unconscious (copy by somatic markers).
Brands need to create a story, an original epic that can be told in the community and be told for several generations.
Community and social networks
Community and social networks influence the consumer’s individual consciousness, which make it a collective consciousness. A consumer has access to a huge amount of information from different sources in real time. This information comes from all over the planet. This access to information allows the consumer to make comparisons before buying. With interactivity, a consumer becomes a neuro-consumer-actor. We’re living the creations of a new behaviororal generation of neuro-consumer multiprogrammed, it means people who consult several media at the same time.
We’re slowly entering a world where zapping replaces logic and reflection. A world where people prefer sequential information based on emotion rather than linear information based on conceptual reasoning.
Several factors influence the purchasing behavior : free economy, uberisation or participative economy of purchases, return of auctions, the wait of the proposal of purchases of the last minute, used to choose from several references as with Amazon (70 millions products), geolocalisation use of different sales channels (social networks, internet, smartphone, etc).
There are methods to meet these new expectations, permission marketing and digital marketing desire.
Permission marketing allows communication only with prospects who have given their agreements.
Desire digital marketing
The digital marketing of desire is based on quality content and the pratice of « one-to-one ». « One-to-one » is the creation of a personalized relationship with each consumer and to develop this relationship.
Consumers saturated by the advertising of digital marketing gives a very limited confidence to the brands coming from traditional communication. They prefer to seek advice from people who have already tested the brand, product or service.
Use a viral marketing, buzz or word of mouth to spread positive communication on social networks across communities can seriously increase sales. This viral marketing, buzz or word of mouth is based on the oldest media in the world : the rumor. With the development of internet (website, blog and social networks), recommendation becomes more important than the communication.
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Here is how I worked, a few year ago. I had a project that I really wanted to do and I thought to myself : « When I come back home tonight after eating, I work on it ». And after eating, I preferred to play video games or watch a TV show until sleep. I think that situation has already happened to you.
Regret is a poison
Now I realize that if I had done these projects, I would have had more fulfilling lifestyle, I would have leaned to manage my money earlier and I would have interesting contacts earlier. Maybe I wouldn’t have had it all earlier but in any case a part, that’s for sure.
Discipline and productivity are important skills to create and evolve a project. I did project but these weren’t my most ambitions projects. These weren’t projects with big risks, so I dissatisfied inside of me. The problem is that all this insatisfaction transformed into frustration.
There are a lot of things I wanted to do in theory and that I never did.
As you know on my blog, I mainly talk about fitness/bodybuilding and I notice that many people enroll in a gym with a 3 months subscription and go to the gym only 2 times. This is a classic case.
Know that there is a solution because before I had very little discipline and productivity and now it’s improving more and more.
Track you progress
To have more discipline and productivity, you need to make sure that this is a long-term goal. This requires several years to have concrete results like for sport. We would like to have results right away but the best things take time because it’s an exploration in yourself.
This is not going to be Disneyland every day because there are times when you’re going to tell yourself you’re not going get there. That’s why you need to keep track of your results. It’s interesting to note why you’re less motivated to continue your project to better understand yourself. You’ll read books on personal development, follow training, meet people who have the same goal as you. With this methods you’ll build your own toolbox to improve your discipline and your productivity.
What is cool when we keep track of our results is that we can see our evolution from month to month, year by year. It’s funny to see your results 2 years ago to really realize your progress.
Increase your success
To find a way to improve my discipline and productivity, I read on internet that enrolling in a group of people who shared the same goals as me could be extremely motivating. So I looked for websites and Facebook’s groups. What is interesting in groups is that every week a person offers a challenge. Then everybody share their results and everyone shares their impressions.
It’s also possible that you find a person in your entourage who has the same goal as you. I find it really cool to put people around you into groups because the more people there are the greater the motivation.
You see, the fact of telling everyone that you are challenging, force you to be disciplined and productive to complete the project. And there were always funny punishments for people who didn’t show their project. And little by little, you improve and often you have proposals to make competitions.
I used to do this for sport at first but this concept is used in all fields such writing, photography, dancing (I like dance salsa), cooking, etc. And in all these field there are competitions several times in the year. Here is an example that astonished me, watch the paper airplane world championship .
No need to be a shaolin monk
By tracking your results, you’ll find ways to boost your will without it being painful. You know, you don’t have to work to have the discipline’s level of a Shaolin monk, you just need to have a discipline’s level that allows you to make your projects a reality.
Several scientific studies have made an important discovery in order to better understand human beings. This is because the will is an element that trains as a muscle to develop. Which means that to develop your discipline, you have to train it like a muscle and it doesn’t happen overnight.
When I’m in gym, people tell me why they started to train. There are several reasons, lose weight, gain muscles or to be in shape for a special event. There is a golden rule to have result in strength training, it’s eat clean and lift heavy.
Everybody says it, eat clean and lift heavy but what does that means ? I think it’s time to go back to the source.
The life is easier when we’re stronger, did you notice it ? By exemple, to carry bags from supermarket, to carry a piece of furniture, to run to be in time, etc. Everything is easier.
Strength training is extremely efficient to build muscle and burn fat. Whether to lose 6kg (15lbs) or 45kg (100lbs), it’s the same thing.
Strength training help to build muscle and lose fat but it also help to stop or even reverse sarcopenia (it’s skeletal muscle reduction with aging). Train our skeletal muscle allow us to be independant (therefore avoid nursing homes) and live longer.
The profits list isn’t finished yet.
A nice athletic body
Strength training help you keep your muscles while you’re in calories deficience and losing weight.
Strength training allows you to have a better oxygen consumption than aerobic exercices. After training your body needs to make a lot of efforts to recover and return to the normal state so the state you had before the training. Scientific studies have shown that your metabolism‘s level increase for 38 hours after your training.
Strength training increase your metabolism, increase your Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) because your body needs more calories to keep your muscls than to keep your fat. It’s estimated that for each 4.45kg (1lbs) of muscle, your RMR increase of 30-35 calories.
Improve your health
Strength training help you to improve your balance and coordination, improve cholesterol’s rate, help to control blood sugar, stop muscle loss, improve blood flow, reduces your resting blood pressure, build a stronger heart and increase bone density.
It’s clear with strength training you have more self-confidence, your have more energy, a better mood, less anxiety and less stress . It also improves the quality of your thoughts, a scientific study has shown that this increases the cognitive function .
It’s not advisable to do a strength training 1 hour before sleeping. On the other hand to train early in the day helps to prevent sleep apnea and insomnia.
Prevents diseases and degenerative diseases
You notices that many men and women die because of cardiac disease. Stength training helps to solve problems that are factors of heart disease such as inactivity, diabets, obesity, high blood pressure and cholesterol. Cardiologists begin to advise strength training to people who have heart attack.
Strenght training helps to reach your goals whether an effective training of 20 minutes to have a good naked body or to do a sports competition. It’s fun to see our progress because it’s like increase level in a video game. If you want to be better in a sport like badminton or rock climbing, strength training is a good choice.
People who shouldn’t train
The only people I’ve found who shouldn’t train are people who have an injury and it’s a break that doesn’t last long. We’re human being and it’s natural to carry things and move. Strength training is recommended for pregnant women , children and teenagers and even paraplegics .
Obviously, it recommanded to see his/her doctor before beginning a strength training program to adjust the training program.
Other scientific studies have shown that this helps to avoid dementia and to delay Alzheimer’s .
People who think they’re too old to train are exactly people who should train.
But I just want to be better for a sport and I want to stay fit
Strength training improve your muscle’s endurance, scientific studies have shown it. Resistance exercices help to increases overall muscles endurance , fix nervous system problems and increase activation of motor units within your muscles.
I don’t want to bulk too much
It’s a great strength training’s myth, it’s not in 1 year than you’ll have the bodybuilder’s body no matter wheteher you’re a man or a woman.
For women, here 2 exemples of moms who have become strong and fit without having a bodybuilder body. This is the story of Veronica and Bronwyn .
Have a the body of a famous bodybuilder doesn’t happen in one night. Naturally we don’t have the amount of homones to have the body of a famous bodybuilder. We need to eat a huge amount of food (8 000 – 10 000 calories per day) and a huge amont of drugs (no, no, it’s another type of pharmacy, it’s true).
I’m fat, I want only lose weight
I’m fat, I want only lose weight
It’s a good reason to start strenght training. By losing weight, you surely want to keep your muscles. I mean, yout want to keep your muscles while you lose fat. With strength training you lose quickly centimeters (inches) in different body’s parts. It’s true that the overall weight loss may seem slow, that’s why is important to track your measurements. With strenght training when you eat with a caloric deficit, it’s increase your metabolism so you lose fat.
What I like with strength training, it’s we can see our progress quickly. It’s like increase level in a video game. I think people get bored when they expect nothing to do between 2 sets. This is why I advise people to have headphones to listen to their own music selection or an audio book to increase motivation.
Muscles and strength training
Don’t be fancy, it’s interesting to understand how our muscles work to avoid failling into the Matrix’s trap. What I mean is that the only person you gave to impress is yourself and not the others.
It’s our muscle fibers that are small muscle cells that build up our muscles. Our muscle fibers are long, cylindrical and have the size of a strand of hair. Our muscle fibers are composed of myofibrils surrounded by sarcoplasm. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .
We have around 642 skeletal muscles that work together to make move our body. Imagine, when you bend your arm, your biceps contracts and your triceps does the opposite (elongates) to let the elbow bend. Every muscle of your body work as a team to make you move.
We have different type of muscle fibers :
Slow twitch (Type 1 fibers)
Slow twitch fibers are used to convert oxygen into energy for a long period of time. They don’t move quickly to be resistant to fatigue. These are the fibers we use most for marathons.
Fast twitch (Type 2 fibers)
Fast twitch move quickly so they’re not resistant to fatigue. Our body has 2 categories of fast fibers. The type 2A fiber has an endurence characterisitc used for long sprints. The type 2X fiber has « super fast » characterisitc used to short sprints or lift weights. I really summarized that but if you want to see it in detail, click here .
Each individual has a different percentage of slow and fast fibers. It’s for this reason that people are naturally better to run long distances or sprints. It’s funny because we can see it in strength training with people who are better to do sets with high or low repetitions.
It’s the end of the first part and the second part is event more interessting.
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Very often in gym’s advertisements, we watch a lot of high-tech machines to do exercises and the free weight zone is a small hidden room.
What I see in my gym, it’s people start their training with a little bit cardio and they use machines. They do this because it’s easier and this look more secure. Unfortunately, this is not the reality. The Matrix trap us with these machines.
Attention : If you have a medical prescription or you need to use machines for a special reason, continue to follow your training program prescribed by your doctor or physiotherapist.
The truth is that machines force muscles and joints to make movements that aren’t natural.
Machines force your body to move weights in a single pattern (up – down or left – right). Our bodies naturally don’t move like it, this is the problem. Movements or our bodies aren’t straight lines, it’s rather « S ». The result is that machines develop our muscles in a way that isn’t balanced and they endanger our joints and spine.
Like you can see, machines don’t put your body in safety and in addition, they don’t work your stabilizing muscles. Don’t work stabilizing muscles is very bad for everyday activities.
When you bent forward to take something on the floor, you body use a dozen and a dozen muscles at the same time. But since you no longer work your stabilizing muscles because of machines, your muscles don’t know how to work together so your body uses a muscle.
« Smith Machine » is famous to do squat in safety so it protects your back. Lie ! This machine is perfect to destroy your back and compressed your spine because this machine force your body to move only up and down. The real squat allow to do the fundamental movement and when you do it, you notice that your body doesn’t do a straight line from up to down. With the real squat you do a natural movement.
Do exercise with weight or with bodyweight is more efficient to burn calories than machines.
All exercises classified in 2 categories : pull and push
I remember, I did a full body training program for 1 year before lift weight. This is what my Taekwondo’s teacher advised me and he was right (wow, Korean wisdom). A full body training program, 3 times per week is more efficient than a machines training program, 5-6 times per week for beginners. If you want to train more, you can do Tai-Chi or walking during rest days.
Full body is important
With full body, you learn to each body’s muscle to work together, you synchronize you body. This is allow you to be healthy, avoid using too much a muscle and avoid injury due to a weak stabilizing muscle. To maximize your body, eat healthy and you’ll burn more fat, build muscle and build a body of which you’re proud.
What is great with a full body training program, it’s when you skip a training day, it doesn’t matter. You’ll not have certain muscle more developed than any others because each training session work all body’s muscles
Bodyweight (full body)
Mastering basics movements with bodyweight is perfect to prepare you for a training with weights.
It’s primitive movements therefore natural that allow you to become stronger without material.
The best example are gymnasts. Look gymnasts body, it’s amazing, impressive and the majority of their training are with bodyweight exercises.
Push = push up, dips, handstands
Pull = pull up, body rows
Legs = bodyweight squat, pistols squats, lunges, box jumps
For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
No it’s too simple ! =>Do this training program and if it’s too easy, increase the difficulty. You can do push up with one hand or pull up with one hand (like my friend Inti). You can also add more set ou repetition.
No it’s too difficult => Do this training program and if it’s too difficult, decrease the difficulty. You can do sets of 3 repetitions. The principle is you progress to do 4 sets of 10 repetitions. Take your time but be regular.
No I want abs => When you do squat, push up and pull up, you keep your core tight and by this way you work your abs. But if you want to do an exercise specially for abs, you can to plank and side plank.
Strength training (full body)
It doesn’t matter whether you’re a man or a woman, dumbbells and barbells are your friends.
Push = Bench press, Overhead Press
Pull = Deadlift, Bent Over Row
Legs = Squat, Deadlift
For each exercise, you do 2-4 sets of 8-10 repetitions.
No I don’t like squat => Do you think squat is an useless exercise ? I advise you to read the book of Mark Rippetoe. If you seriously want to train, this book is for you !
No I afraid of weights => Don’t panic. Most people in free weights section are too busy to look at themselves in the mirror, they will not look at you. You can use a barbell or dumbbells for each exercise to improve your pure strength. I advise you dumbbells.
No I’m afraid of being ridiculous=>Everybody don’t care if you life a dumbbell of 4kg (8.8lbs) or you squat 181kg (400lbs) because everybody struggle to do their training program. Forget people, stay focus and do you training program until the end.
But if I do bad => At the beginning use light weight to do movements with the good form, the good technique. When you’ll stronger, you’ll can add weight slowly each week to reach your limit. You can hire a personal trainer for 1-2 sessions to learn and improve basic exercises techniques or form.
No I want only lose weight => It’s simple, you do basic exercises and you eat less. The training is the same for lose weight or gain muscle. It’s diet that make the difference ! It’s a science :
Eat more calories than you burn = gain weight
Eat less calories than you burn = lose weight
Your physical condition, it’s 80 % diet and 20 % training. If you want bulk, you need to have a specific diet to do this.
Track and adjust slowly your training program and your diet to see your progress.
No matter what you do, don’t be afraid of the free weight zone. Remember than 90 % of people inside are focus to do their exercises by looking in the mirror therefore don’t worry. Do your exercices, become better and become stronger.
What do you feel when you train with free weights ?