Thursday, April 15, 2010
Exactly what do I do at the gym?
I lift weights, that's about it. I mean I go the "the room" where all the big weights are, and all the men, and I lift weights right along side them, often lifting more than they do. If you are a woman, don't be intimidated by the guys, they are all very nice, more than willing to spot you and sometimes they even ask YOU to spot THEM!
My workouts change depending on the time of year. When I am not competing, or preparing for a competition, I am eating more, deliberately putting on more weight, and lifting really, really heavy to gain as much muscle as possible. I avoid cardio....
When I am preparing for a competition, I eat less, lose weight and I do more cardio (still never very much).
It's a cycle that you just have to get used to, it can be a little hard psychologically to make yourself gain weight, but then you have to because it is not healthy to have extremely low body fat for any extended length of time, and it can really mess up your head and prevent you from enjoying the normal lifestyle of social eating with friends and family.
In addition, for most of us who exercise as a hobby and not for a living, you need to be in a certain "phase" of adding lean mass, maintaining your current mass, or losing. If you go through any extreme body fat loss, such as that involved for bodybuilding or figure competitions, you need to go back to a gaining phase afterward because you inevitably lose some lean body mass along with that body fat and you need to re-build it.
Unless you are make your living as a model, and get paid to be extremely lean all year round, you shouldn't be trying to put yourself through the torture of looking this way all the time, it just isn't realistic. You may read in magazines that some women are "ripped" year round, remember, that's their job and if they weren't ripped year round, they would be out of work. To be honest, if they are able to be ripped year round, and still hold onto a lot of muscle, they have some good genetics to thank too.
No matter what time of year, I ALWAYS lift weights and they are always heavy weights.
I don't use many machines, I use the squat racks, Olympic bar, fixed weight barbells, cables, dumbbells (and never those teeny tiny colored ones.)
When no one is looking on those really early days, I even sneak my chalk into the gym!
The best way to develop a beautiful body is to incorporate weight lifting into your daily activity. The more muscle mass you have, the more calories you burn, even at rest.