The Starting Foundation
One of my cousins on my mom’s side fell in love with physical training and the idea of staying in shape. To be honest I don’t know where the passion came from. He was a tall toothpick the majority of his life. Standing at six-five back in the day I am sure he didn’t break anywhere close to two hundred pounds of muscle. Now I believe he is two hundred and twenty pounds of pure muscle.
The transformation seemed to come out of nowhere. One summer I saw him with his girlfriend at the time and they both looked the same size. The next summer I barely recognized the guy. My cousin recently took basketball very seriously. He was in adult leagues and tournaments, the serious ones that can get you some major cash after the championship. He wanted to get better and at the time getting better to him meant increasing his size and strength.
So how did he do it? What’s his big secret? I won’t spoil anything but I can tell you I will give out the answers soon. I want to address my interest first and similarities between us. I’m not a hundred percent sure but I think basketball both sparked our motivation to work out. When I was playing I realized I needed more athleticism and strength period. I am only five-seven and not too long ago I didn’t even weigh a buck fifty. I was getting dominated on the court and could barely shoot from deep.
This Was Me Every Time
So I soon found myself getting up at five in morning before school and running two miles. I would workout in the morning then join my high school basketball conditioning in the evening. However, I didn’t dive in as deep as my cousin did when it came down to weight lifting. I didn’t understand the difference between the weight you lift, the repetitions or sets. I had only one goal set and that was to get stronger. I had no real plan with any substance. I would just work out until I was tired.
I just knew my hard work would eventually pay off. In fact, I did start to feel faster, healthier and capable of doing anything on the court. I would get home from school and pass out. On the weekends calling my friends and meeting at the gym would become my only routine.
Eventually, some type of results started to show. I trained for endurance mainly which is fine but not what I wanted. I could take a lot more hits, stay at full speed, and have high energy for most of the games but that’s about it. I still couldn’t shoot and I didn’t feel strong enough to even attempt to drive to the basket. Needless to say, I gave up weightlifting for a while, my cousin, on the other hand, didn’t.
Years went by, and I finally ran into my cousin. We went to the gym together and naturally, I followed along with his routine. I noticed a few key things. One we would lift light weight first then after a few sets we would pile on heavier weight. I couldn’t keep up it felt like my arms and chest were about to explode. In fact, after we worked out, we started to play basketball and I could barely move.
I barely survived the two games we played before my whole entire body started to cramp up. My cousin watched and laughed as my arm started to twist and lock up, “drink some water man and don’t worry about it. You will get back used to working out.” I didn’t want to tell him I never had a workout like that in my life.
I was sore for almost the whole entire week. I kept working out anyway, and my muscles could not keep up. He explained to me that right now my muscles are being shocked back to life and the best thing to do now is to eat a lot and right. He would eat two plates a meal. Yes, he literally had two plates with every meal. I notice how much I was eating as well. Apparently working out is just part of the equation.
Shocking The Muscles
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Remember, shocking principles should be applied when you have hit a plateau. If you are just beginning to lift weights, then straight sets is all that your body will require.
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Actually working out is an important part but eating is actually the most important part of the whole entire process. When working out you tear and rip up your muscles. Yeah, I know it sounds counter productive and like your damaging your muscles. The truth is that’s all working out is, you damage your muscles and force your body to think, “we need to repair and build more muscle to keep from being damaged again.”The human body is fascinating. Working out is similar to how vaccines work to help your bodies immune system against the cause of a disease.
A certain dose can help build tolerance or resistance. The more you damage or stretch out your muscles, the more resistance and tolerance your muscles begin to build up thus making you stronger. The deeper part of this is how the body builds natural protein in order to help rebuild your muscles. This is why protein shakes and eating a lot of meat is favored if you want to build muscle mass.
We ate nothing but large amounts of lean, healthy meat and rice or any other starch. The vegetables were not excluded of course. In fact, we usually ate green vegetables, such as broccoli or green beans. My two weeks with my cousin went great. I almost immediately noticed the difference in his workout routines and nutrition. Then well… I left and came back home. I completely lost all motivation to workout.
What Happens To Your Muscles?
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I continued to workout for about two months then suddenly stopped. The goal was never set and I had no one yelling in my ear to keep going. How can you avoid this? Simple, have a serious reason for working out. Why are you working out? If it’s an image you wish to portray to others then use that to push you. If you were recently sick and lost a whole bunch of weight, great use that to push you. If your father died due to bad health and that scares you, then use that fear.
Whatever you need to play in your head, make sure it's strong enough to keep you moving. It has to be good enough to get pass the days you don’t feel like working out. Let’s get this straight if you start working out thinking you will always be motivated and excited you have already lost. Your reason has to be so damn good that it pushes you to finish every last set. The reason is the engine behind your drive to reach a health goal. Just make sure the engine is v8.
This Got Me Going
The Full Routine
So what’s the major workout routine? It’s quite simple and that’s good if you are just starting off or a basic weight lifter. Start light! Let’s say you are about to bench press, I know you can probably slap near two hundred on the bar. I know you somewhat want to look good for the girls in the gym, or at least not look too weak. However, my cousin always told me, “we don’t ego lift in here.”
So put just enough on the bar, to where you can squeeze out three sets of ten reps, or repetitions. If you only can put twenty-five pounds on each end of the bar don’t feel bad, I was there too. I promise you that it will all change soon. The whole point of this lifting light technique is to warm your muscles up and get oxygen flowing to your muscles. It also builds endurance and some muscle mass as well. Typically eight to ten reps being done within no more than thirty seconds of rest will make your arms look the way you want them too.
Next, is the hard part. You lift real heavy and build pure muscle strength. You immediately slap the big plates on the bar and aim for five sets of five to seven reps. This will be tough but that’s basically it. Try your best to control the weight and lift slowly. Lifting slow and in control will engage every fiber in your muscle. That’s your bonus tip for the day in order to get more out of each lift.
For nutrition, you have to understand your metabolism. If you have a low metabolism and gain a lot of fat please stay away from fast food or anything unhealthy. Eat lean meat which we all should do anyway. If you are the opposite and have a high metabolism you can practically eat whatever you want to. Just know that healthy eating is always the best route. In fact, stay away from overeating as well. Eat enough don’t eat until your damn stomach hurts it’s not that serious.
So find a goal, make a plan, and stick to a regimen. This is just a small amount of advice. Dive in as deep into this information as you need. Don’t follow the advice if you want to. Everyone is different. I hope this does somewhat help you.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.