I started going to the gym at the start of the year, but I'm really sorry to say that even after 10-months of consistently working out 3-4 times a week, nothing much has changed in my body. Like you would not see the expected progress given the large amount of time and effort I dedicated in exercising. I should be buff by now, but I'm not losing fat or gaining muscle that I'm supposed to. It seems to be so easy for everybody else in the gym, but why wasn't anything happening to me? I'm clearly still doing a lot of things wrong and through this piece, I hope you guys can help me figure them out so I could get better results moving forward.
It was Time to Level Up
Basically starting from scratch with no fiber of a muscle, the Beginner's full-body workout routine that I started off with proved to be effective. It acquainted me with a lot of work-outs I'll be using more of later on and slowly sculpted my body to be ready for more torture. I've gotten a lot stronger, lifting heavier loads and doing more reps than I barely could before. My back and shoulders got broader, my chest got wider, my stomach tighter and arms firmer. I'm not sure if you agree, but here are the pictures from January of this year to March and then, June.
I've certainly come a long way and it was time to level things up by trying Dr. Workout Fitness's Intermediate work-out
From 3 times a week to 4 and more exercises focused on certain muscle groups per day, it was certainly a challenge and I was super up for it. Watching Youtube videos on proper forms for lifting and maximizing the equipment in the gym, I've slowly familiarized myself with the new routine. It took a couple of visits to get the work-outs correctly and not struggle as much completing reps. After some time, I managed to get a hang of it. Yes, it was going to be more demanding, but doesn't that just make it more fun? I loved how sore my body would feel every after work out and crave the feeling if I went too many days without it.
I Grew to Love the Gym
Even when I crawled myself to get to the gym, I always find myself geared to get through each work right when I'm all warmed up. You have the strength to power through your laziness. Breathe properly, drink lots of water, wipe off that sweat and go again.
Chest days are the best days for me and I would really be pumped doing bench presses because I will always be amazed how I could surprisingly carry them. Biceps were always the hardest for me to work on, but then I grew to love barbell curls. I was delighted when I saw my arms began to taking shape. Ab workouts were done every visit even if they weren't supposed to be in the lineup because I wanted my stomach to be firm.
Gym was a place for me to start off a day right. Depending if it's a weekday or a weekend, I would either go before my desk job or whatever time I get out of bed if there's no work. Then, onward I go to a coffee shop for hours long of writing and brainstorming. The sense of accomplishment of not only sticking to your commitment but successfully completing a routine boosts your motivation to be productive for the rest of the day!
I was Working Too Hard for Nothing
Waking up early in the morning and walking to the gym 4 times a week, doing cardio and 10-12 other work-outs depending on the day, 3 sets each. Isn't that just exhausting? I was also beginning to notice how much longer I was spending in the gym per visit. I'm guessing 3 hours is too much?
Instead of challenging myself with heavier loads, I would rather complete one workout right after the other like I was in some sort of race. I needed to complete each set, each routine so I could get to the end and get on with my day. I would always force myself even when I knew my body couldn't do it anymore. I had to because the routine told me to. If you think about it, that's actually scary because pushing yourself too far beyond your limit could lead to injury. More weeks would come and I would see no progress in my body and feel frustrated every time I look in the mirror.
My Issues, My Excuses and My Stupidity
What was wrong? More than the obvious mistakes performing the actual work-outs in the gym, I admit that I have other faults. I did not eat right at all or give the proper rest and nutrition my body needed. After work-outs I would go straight to eat fast food because I was just so hungry. I would rather lift lighter loads just to complete sets because there were just too many other work-outs for me to do! There wasn't any effort during the workouts anymore and I was basically just tiring myself every visit I had to the gym. The discipline and consistency was there sure, but there just weren't that motivation anymore, that willingness to go through the pain and torture that builds the muscle. The struggle was supposed to be the fun part.
Going to the gym was a habit, a part of my routine. It just wasn't my entire life and I couldn't dedicate more time for it than I already. We're busy doing other important things. That was fair. We all have our own lives and enough problems to justify not giving it more attention.
I was so close to giving up gym and it would really be nice to use the money I'm paying for membership somewhere else right? Like food in my stomach? I just wasn't a quitter and always wanted to see through my goals. It's then that I realized, I never really had definite goals for my body. Everything was recorded using JeFit App and the data from the past few months is just stored there. It wasn't being used at all. Why was I so pissed about not achieving a goal, I did not even set in the first place?
I Asked for Help and Friend Told Me to Chill
A friend introduced me to The Lazy Lifter, a work-out routine created by Cho Lim, a Filipino fitness blogger who I was surprised to see had the same dilemma as me. For many years, he was pushing himself in the gym doing excessive work-outs and still not achieving his desired results. With a definite goal, proper nutrition and of course, doing the work-outs correctly, you can have your dream body even with just a handful of exercises during your visits to the gym. You don't have to do too many exercises. It's all about quality and not quantity. You have to make sure you're also progressively carrying heavier loads, testing your strength each time.
I shifted my work-out routines to follow the Lazy Lifter program, reducing my visits to 3 times a week. Instead of 3 hours, I'm going to spend a maximum of 1.5 hours. Instead of 12 exercises, I should only do 6. I was taking away a lot and I was kind of doubtful if the routine will even be effective for me. What if all of the work I've put in the past 10 months go away because I reduced my work-outs by half? But admitting the fact that I was also stuck and seeing no progress at all with what I was currently doing, I could at least give it a try to see if it works, right?
Does it Work? Will I Finally Get Somewhere?
The first few weeks of doing the work-out were the first time I've felt refreshed in a long time, like I was able to breathe again. I didn't feel over exhausted by the end of the work out and I also noticed how I was actually stronger than I was letting on. I was able to carry heavier loads than I was letting myself do the past months because I still had enough energy. I was cutting myself short for all of that whole time and didn't even realize it!
It's still too early to see if the Lazy Lifter work-out works for me, and I'd also have to fix my other habits like eating and tracking my goals properly. It's going to be tough resisting the urge for fried chicken and fries after a work-out and I'd have to create space in my schedule dedicated for more research about fitness, but I guess it only takes more of a commitment? I might also try some other fitness classes and have more friends or gym buddies to make the fitness journey extra fun.
Stay Tuned and Join the Journey!
I'll keep you guys updated and hope that for next time, I'm already closer to the dream body that I work too hard to achieve. I think you guys won't have as much as a hard time as me, so if you want to start you fitness journey, now is as great of a time as any. If I could do it, you could do it better! Until next time guys and let's keep our body and minds healthy!
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