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O/T: HEALTH The Big Lies We've Been Told About Fitness

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James Klymus

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When you think about someone building a great body, what do you picture?

You probably will picture a guy in a tank top, in a gym with a protein shaker filled with BCAAs and whey protein for after his workout. He'll probably be doing a specific muscle group that day (Leg day, arm day, chest day), Where he will do 6-8 exercises for said muscle group. Probably consisting of 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise. He also found this routine out of a muscle building magazine, or from his favorite juiced up body building instagrammer.

He'll probably go stretch for 10 minutes before his workout, then run on the treadmill for 30 minutes to "warm up". Then he'll get into his workout routine.

After all this, he will probably have been in the gym for 2 hours. Then he will repeat the process tomorrow, and 6 days a week.

What's the problem with all of this? This is the type of routine the fitness industry tells people to do for a good body, isn't it?

Well for one, and what I think is the biggest issue, You simply cannot go into the gym and tax your body every day. You cannot bench and squat heavily, and keep adding 5lbs to the bar every workout Monday thru Saturday. You'll understand why lifting heavy is important later.

Another problem is naive, natural lifters listening to unnatural bodybuilders. Most guys in the muscle building magazines, and A LOT of the guys on instagram are juiced up.

In a nutshell, steroids don't just cause your body to grow muscle out of no where. You still have to train. They help your recovery, which is why bodybuilders can be in the gym every day. Naturals take about 48-72 hours to recover.

But when a natural lifter sees this routine and mimics it, he won't get the same results.

After a few months, he will quickly plateau.

So what's the best training protocol for a natural lifter then?

I'd like to introduce you to strength training.

Before we go further, I'd like to make one thing clear. Strength is the basis for muscle size and growth. Our muscles have absolutely no reason to be bigger unless it is completely necessary. Muscle tissue is "expensive" to your body, meaning it takes a lot of energy (calories) to build and maintain. That is why people with more muscle have a higher base metabolic rate. Their body has to maintain the muscle tissue it has created.

And as far as your body is concerned, you are still a caveman that has to go hunt, and starvation is a very real issue. Your body doesn't understand that there is essentially a limitless supply of food available to you in the modern world. This is a very new reality for us as humans, with this only being the case for the past hundred or so years. So your body still wants to be as efficient as possible to ensure survival.

Now look, if you can only bench press 100lbs, of course you will have small muscles. That isn't a lot of weight. But show me a someone who benches 275lbs x5, and you'll show me a guy with a good chest. Same thing with shoulders. Show me someone who can overhead press 200lbs, they will have great shoulders.

Strength is also a general adaptation, It effects all aspects of your ability to move and exert force. It is unlike "traditional" functional training, which argues that you need to do exercises that resemble the task you need to train for (Like picking up groceries, your kids, moving furniture). In reality, if you gain overall strength, you will be able to pick things up more easily. You don't need go train specifically to pick up groceries or your kid.

Why is there such a big misunderstanding in the fitness industry? Because strength training is HARD. Going into the gym and adding weight to the bar every single workout is tough. Light weights are easier. Also, for whatever reason, people seem to think lifting heavy is dangerous. I would argue these people have no experience with barbell training, and don't know what they're talking about.

And as we all know, the market buys what the market wants! It doesn't matter if it is correct, or good for you, The market decides what it wants. And (this may shock you) most people DON'T actually want to put in years of effort of hard training. Crazy right? The market wants a fat burning, muscle growing pill that gets you ripped and lean over night. So typically that's what sells in mass, then "typical wisdom" and dogma comes about.

It's the same reason why people never build a business. It's tough! But it is so worth it.

Getting strong is actually very beneficial psychologically, because when you aren't sure if you'll get this last rep of squats, and then you do get it, it shows you that you can do things that you weren't sure you could do. Which is important for everybody, but especially for us entrepreneurs.

So what does our training look like?

We will "only" be training 3 days a week, and doing 3-4 exercises per workout. This may sound like I'm about to sell you some easy get ripped fast routine, but I promise, I'm not.

I say "only" because we won't just be doing some bicep curls then going home. We are squatting, bench pressing, overhead pressing, deadlifting, and doing weighted chinups. And every time you go in that gym, you'll be adding 5lbs to your lifts in the very beginning. Later on as progress slows, you'll want to pick up a set of microloading plates, I would recommend a set of 1.25lb plates, so that you can add 2.5lbs to the bar total. You'll see progress slow quickest on your overhead press and bench press. Squats and deadlifts you won't need to microload for a long time, If ever. And weighted chin ups, you can just use a 2.5lb plate from the gym.

The Program:

Like I said, we will only be lifting 3 days per week. You can lift whatever days you want, I personally do MWF. This gives me a day of rest in between to recover, and a 2 day rest at the end of the week to ensure you're fully recovered from the week of training.

We will also be doing an A/B split. This means Monday you would do workout A, Wednesday B, Friday A. Then the next week B A B, Then the week after would go back to A B A. You'll be alternating like this so that you can hit each lift once every 5 days.

Workout A:

Bench Press 3 Sets of 5 reps.

Squats (High bar or low bar, up to you) 3x5

Deadlift 1 set of 5 reps

Dumbbell Chest Flyes 3x12-15

Workout B:

Overhead Press: 3x5

Weighted Chinups (Or bodyweight until you can add weight) 3x5

Deadlift 1x5

Lateral raises 3x12-15

This program continues on indefinitely. You keep doing it until you can't add 2.5-5lbs every workout, at which point you are an intermediate.

Some people might be wondering, why is the volume relatively low for this training protocol? It's because this is intense. You can have high intensity, or high volume, not both.

And remember, this is a program designed to increase your overall strength. You muscles will grow as you get stronger. Furthermore, You'll notice I have added in some volume work at the end of the workout (Lateral raises, chest flyes). This is treated as icing on the cake not the cake itself. The cake is your main lifts, the bench, OHP, squat, deadlift, weighted chins. Everything else is secondary. In the beginner phase, these aren't even necessary, so if you are in a time crunch, you can skip these for now.

Don't forget to be increasing the weight by 5lbs every time you're in the gym. Start off with a light weight, then keep adding weight to the bar. Your first week you may add 20lbs to each lift until you find a weight that challenges you for 3x5. Later on when you can't keep adding 5lbs to your bench and OHP, start with those microloading plates. This will probably happen first with your OHP, as it's a challenging lift, and your shoulders are small muscles that grow relatively slowly.

I can't stress the importance of increasing that weight every week. This is why a lot of programs don't work long term. If you go in and bench 135 3x5 for a year, you chest will never grow. An important note: You will only be adding 5lbs on your MAIN lifts, not the accessory lifts at the end (L Raises, Curls etc..), This is because 1. dumbbells go up in increments of 5lbs (10lbs total) and 2. because individual isolation exercises only use the muscle you're isolating. This is why there is a limit to how much you can do for lateral raises, but OHP you can keep progressing on for years.

For your accessory lifts, work your way up to the top of the rep range, then you can up the weight.

As far as warming up on this program, You DO NOT need to run on the treadmill and stretch. I advise against it for a few reasons. 1. It's not good to stretch before you lift heavy. Think about it, if you are going to load a joint with a lot of weight, do you want a stiff and sturdy joint, or a loose and wobbly joint? 2. It will fatigue you before your training session, so you will not be lifting the weight you truly could lift. 3. It's a waste of time, IMO. If it makes you feel good, then sure whatever, stretch after your workout. I have yet to come across any conclusive evidence that stretching and running before a workout does anything else besides making you more tired. But running will certainly impede on your recovery, and you will progress more slowly.

A sufficient warmup consists of a set with an empty barbell, followed by 2 sets of increasing weight. I do about 75% for 3-5 reps of my work set then 90% of my work set for 1-2 reps. Anything else is a waste of your time.

Speaking of time, A nice byproduct of training in this way, is it will only take you about 45 min to an hour, 3 days a week. As opposed to 2-3 hours for 6 days a week. We are all busy, especially entrepreneurs, so this is a nice byproduct of focusing on a few key lifts.

A note on complex programs:

The ones that are in the fitness magazines, the functional training, the muscle confusion. The ones that a lot of body builders will try to sell you.

This program is simple, but it doesn't mean that it is easy. You go in the gym, do your 3-4 lifts, and leave.

Complexity appeals to stupid people. I'm not saying that complexity has no place in your training at all, it's just for very advanced athletes. A beginner and intermediate can follow a routine like the one above and keep progressing for years. Don't be fooled by the simple nature of this program.

Diet

Look, I'm not a diet expert, and I don't try to be one. But diet is just as important as training. I'm not saying you should do keto, vegan, paleo, or any particular diet, do what you like!

When you're getting stronger every week in the gym, like in this program, you absolutely need to be fueling your body properly. I know this first hand, because when I was 20 years old and 115lbs I was weak as hell. When I got in the gym I started progressing a little bit, but I quickly hit a wall. I couldn't get stronger on my lifts.

I didn't understand how much food your body actually needs to grow. Like I said earlier, your body does not want to have to expend extra energy by maintaining a bunch of lean muscle mass. You have to "show" your body that you are getting enough food for it to grow with out a problem.

Also, as far as macro nutrients, You will need to eat plenty of carbs, and about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you weight 150lbs then eat 150 grams of protein per day.

So here's what I recommend as far as diet:

If you are very skinny (like I used to be) Then you need to eat. A lot. If you think you eat a lot, but you weigh 120lbs, then I would tell you to download a calorie tracking app on your phone and look at how much you really eat. When I did this I was eating like 1800-2000 calories a day. There is absolutely no way your body will grow significantly when you're eating like this.

I would tell you to start eating about 3500-4000 calories per day. And before you ask: No you aren't going to develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or any other health ailment by eating a lot of food for a period of 6 months to a year. I was unhealthy at 115lbs. If I got sick and lost 10lbs, I would look like a stick, and possibly end up in the hospital. But if you're 185 and lose 10lbs, it's no big deal.

You might think this advice is a bit reckless, telling people to eat 3500-4000 calories a day. But you have to remember, if you are following the program, you are asking A LOT of your body during your training, and it needs to be given the fuel to repair. You may need to eat even more than this if you are a taller person. Telling someone who sits on the couch all day to eat 4000 calories a day is irresponsible, but telling an athlete who's pushing them selves during training to eat like this is necessary.

One last word on this, is you have to understand how your anabolic processes work in your body. When you gain weight, you gain both body fat and muscle. No matter what.

This means if you only fed some one chips and soda all day, who does not train in the gym, and they gained 100lbs, about 20lbs of that would be lean mass. That's because when your body grows, all of it grows, at different proportions of course.

By training, we get to skew these numbers in our favor. We get to increase the amount of lean mass we accumulate, and limit the amount of fat we gain. Like I said, you will always gain body fat when you gain weight, but you also will always gain muscle.

If you gained 100lbs, but you were training like I outline above, then you would have skewed those proportions greatly. You could reasonably expect that 70lbs of that weight is lean mass, while 30lbs would be body fat. This is a bit of an unrealistic example for most people, but it illustrates the point I'm trying to make. When you train, and eat in a caloric surplus, you will gain more muscle than you would without training.


I know there will be people saying "but aren't you going to gain a bunch of fat by eating 3-4,000 calories a day? For one, remember what we talked about earlier. You skew the way your body grows by strength training. More muscle than fat will be gained by a typical beginner. Second, So what if you do gain some body fat? Especially if you were a skinny bitch like I was. Who cares if your abs go away for a bit? It is impossible to get significantly stronger without more muscle tissue. And remember what we said, When your body grows, it grows fat tissue and lean tissue no matter what. So in order to grow muscle tissue, some fat tissue will be a side effect.

As for someone who has an "average" body (not super skinny/underweight and not obese), I would also download a calorie tracker, see how much you're eating then go from there. From there you can probably keep eating the same as you usually do, but you may need to up your protein intake. If you're eating under 3,000 calories per day, you may need to up your calorie intake as well.

As far as an obese trainee goes, the focus will be first on losing weight. You probably won't be able to do this program the way it is set up currently if you are obese, and you may need to substitute squat for the leg press.

For women, You should not go as crazy on the calories as men, women progress slower and differently than men do because of hormone differences.

Once you get to a point where you can no longer recover enough to keep adding 2.5-5lbs to the bar every workout, then you have likely reached the intermediate phase. The beginner phase will likely last 4-12 months. This phase is beyond the scope of this program, but it's a point where you can make a decision:

You can choose to lean down, and lose some of that body fat you accumulated over the past few months. This concept is also beyond the scope of this program, but you will have to clean up your diet and start eating less calories. If you chose this path, just understand strength gains will stall and can even regress. Because like the way your body grows, you don't get to choose wether you lose fat or muscle. Again, you will lose both, but if you still are lifting heavy, your body will lose more body fat, because you are signaling your body that you need to keep this muscle mass because you are lifting heavy weights.

You can go on to compete in strength sports. You will have built up a good level of base strength by this point, so you could compete in powerlifting.

You can continue on with the sport that you play. You've become stronger and are a better athlete. You will be able to sprint faster, throw faster and farther, punch harder. General strength increase does wonders for athleticism.

Or you can focus more on hypertrophy (Making muscles bigger). Of course strength is the basis for muscle growth, but you will also need to add in some higher volume work to your program to really make your muscles bigger and more impressive. This is the path that I am on, because I don't want to compete, and I don't play any sports.

Our bodies are adaptation machines. This is why we can take our squat from 135lbs to 3-400lbs in the course of a few months. Our bodies adapt to whatever we throw at them. But most people are sitting behind a computer, sitting in a car, on a plane, or train most of the day.

With the way our society is headed, I believe that there will be many health problems for my generation later on in life. We aren't using our bodies like we used to, and like they're designed to. Strength training increases your bone density, helps you live longer, and also increases your quality of life in your later years, allowing you to keep your independence for longer.

The reason why I wrote this article, was because if you stick around here you obviously have a fastlane mind set. You're someone who's willing to do the work. Training isn't easy, but neither is going after your dreams.

Training has changed my life profoundly. I used to be a skinny, weak kid 4 years ago. I wasn't very self confident, and I felt like people picked on me because I was tiny. Now, I'm getting stronger every time I go to the gym, and my body is progressing along every week. I want the same thing to happen to anyone who feels weak and small.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them!
 

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Yzn

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Great thread.

It's exactly how I was able to transform my body and be able to take on big guys in my school. Even though I never had to, I knew I would be able to kick their a$$. Or at least make huge damage before I got my a$$ kicked. So the risk of messing around with me was high lol.

At age 14, I used to do those hypertrophy gym training that are usually stuck on the wall as you enter the gym, which every gym instructor worships. Never gained anything and always stopped due to lack of motivation - usually because there weren't any results.

I found SL5x5 at 17 and damn.
4 months passed, I was able to kick every kid's a$$ in my school. I had unexpected strength gains that were amazing.

I believe fastlaners would love strength training because the results that show up from just a couple of months of exercise is fascinating. It's like being unscripted.

IMO every teenager has to be able to feel this power. Not because he will go on and start bullying people, but because he would now have massive respect from people around him and be able to create a safe zone around him.

As for diet, there is a great boost in SL5x5 if you're finding it hard to bulk.

GOMAD. A gallon of Milk a day.

You don't really need a gallon of milk a day. I used to do 1-2 litres of milk a day. And it did massive impact.

Anyway great thread. You actually wrote everything I believe about gyming lol
 

gryfny

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Nice write up. I'm curious to see your stats and progress on the big lifts. And how long have you been training like this?
 
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James Klymus

James Klymus

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Nice write up. I'm curious to see your stats and progress on the big lifts. And how long have you been training like this?
I have been strength training for the past 3 years, But like I said in the write up I wasn't fueling my body properly. Eating 2000 calories per day and trying to get stronger is going to end with you being burnt out, and luckily i was never injured while doing that.

I tried playing around with different rep schemes switching exercises, and other wastes of time. I put my head down and researched programs like starting strength and 5x5. About a year ago I decided to force my self to eat way more and my strength has gone up consistently ever since.

I did have a couple of layoffs of about a week or 2 this year, because I got the flu and the stomach flu, so I couldn't eat properly for about 2 weeks.


When I first started, I could barely bench 90lbs, squat was at about 115lbs, deadlift was about 120lbs, OHP was at 75lbs, weighted chins were at 30lbs and dips were about 30lbs also. I'm 5'9 and my BW was 115-120lbs when I started.

I can bench 185x5
Squat 190x5 (I omitted barbell squats from my program for too long so I'm playing catch up)
I can pull 250
OHP 135
Weighted chins are at 90 and weighted dips are at 100

My body weight went from 115 to 160 I would like to be up around 200 within the next 6 months.

I consider my self in the novice phase still since I can add to my lifts every single time I'm in the gym.
 

Visionary96

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Good post man. I personally hate lat raises though, it just feels like an unnatural position to put the shoulders in, but then again that may just be my body. Same with chest flys not going to lie. Love the simple approach to strength training here though, all about that linear progression. Fantastic.
 

Champion

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checkout aworkoutroutine.com

For me this program has been working, just talking from experience!
 

Stargazer

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I think you are conflating fitness with bodybuilding.

No one who joins the Army is told to do what you have outlined.

No one who plays professional sports is given a program similar to what you have outlined either.

Neither does any manual worker eg Farmers who are fit and strong. You think they pick up a heavy bale of hay 5 times by 5 then call it a day?

The only people mislead by Bodybuilding magazine routines are mostly young men wanting to look a certain way. So for them your post is pertinent. Stick with the basics and do them well and consistently.

Dan

PS; About food. You know in the olden days simply looking outside of your dwelling was like looking at a larder don't you?

You are in the US. Hardly any Native Americans lived there yet hundreds of millions of bison lived there plus all the tens of millions of deer etc. No one had any problem getting food. Same thing in Africa where we all came from. Food galore.
 
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James Klymus

James Klymus

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No one who joins the Army is told to do what you have outlined.
No one who plays professional sports is given a program similar to what you have outlined either.
You're right, they aren't. But when did I suggest that the Army or professional sports players would be better off using this exact method?

Since you brought it up though, I do think that a stronger NFL football player is better. If you can squat 700lbs, you will be a monster on the field. They are already gifted athletes. If you're 290lbs and your vertical is 35 inches, you're a genetic freak, and you would be even more of a freak if you got stronger.

Same thing with the Military. You aren't always dealing with a super gifted gene pool like in professional sports, but why wouldn't you want stronger people in the military? This is coming from a civilian who has never served, so if anyone has any input on this, it would be appreciated.

Neither does any manual worker eg Farmers who are fit and strong. You think they pick up a heavy bale of hay 5 times by 5 then call it a day?
No they obviously don't do 5 sets of 5 on hay bales. But if they can deadlift 400lbs, they will much more easily be able to move 70lb hay bales around all day.
 

biophase

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I was with you until you posted the workout routine. I actually expected some combinations involving something cardio wise or something to get you in shape. This is because you said fitness in the title and just like @Stargazer pointed out, your routine looks like it's a bodybuilding routine.

I'm not a big guy at 160lbs, but when it comes to carry weights over a long distance I can hang with the bigger dudes that just bodybuild. They're just not made to do anything that requires a sustained effort.
 

Stargazer

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Ok :)

My point was about you conflating fitness with bodybuilding.

Your thread title implies we are told lies about fitness by presumably the fitness industry.

I am saying that organisations that deal in fitness do not tell lies at all.

You talk about bodybuilding type things which I agreed is misinformation by a certain sub section of fitness (usually bodybuilding) that does make ridiculous claims and therefore your post is pertinent in that regard.

Make sense? It is nearly midnight here so maybe I am not being as lucid as if it were earlier.

Dan
 

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Brian Suh

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When you think about someone building a great body, what do you picture?

You probably will picture a guy in a tank top, in a gym with a protein shaker filled with BCAAs and whey protein for after his workout. He'll probably be doing a specific muscle group that day (Leg day, arm day, chest day), Where he will do 6-8 exercises for said muscle group. Probably consisting of 3-4 sets of 8-12 reps for each exercise. He also found this routine out of a muscle building magazine, or from his favorite juiced up body building instagrammer.

He'll probably go stretch for 10 minutes before his workout, then run on the treadmill for 30 minutes to "warm up". Then he'll get into his workout routine.

After all this, he will probably have been in the gym for 2 hours. Then he will repeat the process tomorrow, and 6 days a week.

What's the problem with all of this? This is the type of routine the fitness industry tells people to do for a good body, isn't it?

Well for one, and what I think is the biggest issue, You simply cannot go into the gym and tax your body every day. You cannot bench and squat heavily, and keep adding 5lbs to the bar every workout Monday thru Saturday. You'll understand why lifting heavy is important later.

Another problem is naive, natural lifters listening to unnatural bodybuilders. Most guys in the muscle building magazines, and A LOT of the guys on instagram are juiced up.

In a nutshell, steroids don't just cause your body to grow muscle out of no where. You still have to train. They help your recovery, which is why bodybuilders can be in the gym every day. Naturals take about 48-72 hours to recover.

But when a natural lifter sees this routine and mimics it, he won't get the same results.

After a few months, he will quickly plateau.

So what's the best training protocol for a natural lifter then?

I'd like to introduce you to strength training.

Before we go further, I'd like to make one thing clear. Strength is the basis for muscle size and growth. Our muscles have absolutely no reason to be bigger unless it is completely necessary. Muscle tissue is "expensive" to your body, meaning it takes a lot of energy (calories) to build and maintain. That is why people with more muscle have a higher base metabolic rate. Their body has to maintain the muscle tissue it has created.

And as far as your body is concerned, you are still a caveman that has to go hunt, and starvation is a very real issue. Your body doesn't understand that there is essentially a limitless supply of food available to you in the modern world. This is a very new reality for us as humans, with this only being the case for the past hundred or so years. So your body still wants to be as efficient as possible to ensure survival.

Now look, if you can only bench press 100lbs, of course you will have small muscles. That isn't a lot of weight. But show me a someone who benches 275lbs x5, and you'll show me a guy with a good chest. Same thing with shoulders. Show me someone who can overhead press 200lbs, they will have great shoulders.

Strength is also a general adaptation, It effects all aspects of your ability to move and exert force. It is unlike "traditional" functional training, which argues that you need to do exercises that resemble the task you need to train for (Like picking up groceries, your kids, moving furniture). In reality, if you gain overall strength, you will be able to pick things up more easily. You don't need go train specifically to pick up groceries or your kid.

Why is there such a big misunderstanding in the fitness industry? Because strength training is HARD. Going into the gym and adding weight to the bar every single workout is tough. Light weights are easier. Also, for whatever reason, people seem to think lifting heavy is dangerous. I would argue these people have no experience with barbell training, and don't know what they're talking about.

And as we all know, the market buys what the market wants! It doesn't matter if it is correct, or good for you, The market decides what it wants. And (this may shock you) most people DON'T actually want to put in years of effort of hard training. Crazy right? The market wants a fat burning, muscle growing pill that gets you ripped and lean over night. So typically that's what sells in mass, then "typical wisdom" and dogma comes about.

It's the same reason why people never build a business. It's tough! But it is so worth it.

Getting strong is actually very beneficial psychologically, because when you aren't sure if you'll get this last rep of squats, and then you do get it, it shows you that you can do things that you weren't sure you could do. Which is important for everybody, but especially for us entrepreneurs.

So what does our training look like?

We will "only" be training 3 days a week, and doing 3-4 exercises per workout. This may sound like I'm about to sell you some easy get ripped fast routine, but I promise, I'm not.

I say "only" because we won't just be doing some bicep curls then going home. We are squatting, bench pressing, overhead pressing, deadlifting, and doing weighted chinups. And every time you go in that gym, you'll be adding 5lbs to your lifts in the very beginning. Later on as progress slows, you'll want to pick up a set of microloading plates, I would recommend a set of 1.25lb plates, so that you can add 2.5lbs to the bar total. You'll see progress slow quickest on your overhead press and bench press. Squats and deadlifts you won't need to microload for a long time, If ever. And weighted chin ups, you can just use a 2.5lb plate from the gym.

The Program:

Like I said, we will only be lifting 3 days per week. You can lift whatever days you want, I personally do MWF. This gives me a day of rest in between to recover, and a 2 day rest at the end of the week to ensure you're fully recovered from the week of training.

We will also be doing an A/B split. This means Monday you would do workout A, Wednesday B, Friday A. Then the next week B A B, Then the week after would go back to A B A. You'll be alternating like this so that you can hit each lift once every 5 days.

Workout A:

Bench Press 3 Sets of 5 reps.

Squats (High bar or low bar, up to you) 3x5

Deadlift 1 set of 5 reps

Dumbbell Chest Flyes 3x12-15

Workout B:

Overhead Press: 3x5

Weighted Chinups (Or bodyweight until you can add weight) 3x5

Deadlift 1x5

Lateral raises 3x12-15

This program continues on indefinitely. You keep doing it until you can't add 2.5-5lbs every workout, at which point you are an intermediate.

Some people might be wondering, why is the volume relatively low for this training protocol? It's because this is intense. You can have high intensity, or high volume, not both.

And remember, this is a program designed to increase your overall strength. You muscles will grow as you get stronger. Furthermore, You'll notice I have added in some volume work at the end of the workout (Lateral raises, chest flyes). This is treated as icing on the cake not the cake itself. The cake is your main lifts, the bench, OHP, squat, deadlift, weighted chins. Everything else is secondary. In the beginner phase, these aren't even necessary, so if you are in a time crunch, you can skip these for now.

Don't forget to be increasing the weight by 5lbs every time you're in the gym. Start off with a light weight, then keep adding weight to the bar. Your first week you may add 20lbs to each lift until you find a weight that challenges you for 3x5. Later on when you can't keep adding 5lbs to your bench and OHP, start with those microloading plates. This will probably happen first with your OHP, as it's a challenging lift, and your shoulders are small muscles that grow relatively slowly.

I can't stress the importance of increasing that weight every week. This is why a lot of programs don't work long term. If you go in and bench 135 3x5 for a year, you chest will never grow. An important note: You will only be adding 5lbs on your MAIN lifts, not the accessory lifts at the end (L Raises, Curls etc..), This is because 1. dumbbells go up in increments of 5lbs (10lbs total) and 2. because individual isolation exercises only use the muscle you're isolating. This is why there is a limit to how much you can do for lateral raises, but OHP you can keep progressing on for years.

For your accessory lifts, work your way up to the top of the rep range, then you can up the weight.

As far as warming up on this program, You DO NOT need to run on the treadmill and stretch. I advise against it for a few reasons. 1. It's not good to stretch before you lift heavy. Think about it, if you are going to load a joint with a lot of weight, do you want a stiff and sturdy joint, or a loose and wobbly joint? 2. It will fatigue you before your training session, so you will not be lifting the weight you truly could lift. 3. It's a waste of time, IMO. If it makes you feel good, then sure whatever, stretch after your workout. I have yet to come across any conclusive evidence that stretching and running before a workout does anything else besides making you more tired. But running will certainly impede on your recovery, and you will progress more slowly.

A sufficient warmup consists of a set with an empty barbell, followed by 2 sets of increasing weight. I do about 75% for 3-5 reps of my work set then 90% of my work set for 1-2 reps. Anything else is a waste of your time.

Speaking of time, A nice byproduct of training in this way, is it will only take you about 45 min to an hour, 3 days a week. As opposed to 2-3 hours for 6 days a week. We are all busy, especially entrepreneurs, so this is a nice byproduct of focusing on a few key lifts.

A note on complex programs:

The ones that are in the fitness magazines, the functional training, the muscle confusion. The ones that a lot of body builders will try to sell you.

This program is simple, but it doesn't mean that it is easy. You go in the gym, do your 3-4 lifts, and leave.

Complexity appeals to stupid people. I'm not saying that complexity has no place in your training at all, it's just for very advanced athletes. A beginner and intermediate can follow a routine like the one above and keep progressing for years. Don't be fooled by the simple nature of this program.

Diet

Look, I'm not a diet expert, and I don't try to be one. But diet is just as important as training. I'm not saying you should do keto, vegan, paleo, or any particular diet, do what you like!

When you're getting stronger every week in the gym, like in this program, you absolutely need to be fueling your body properly. I know this first hand, because when I was 20 years old and 115lbs I was weak as hell. When I got in the gym I started progressing a little bit, but I quickly hit a wall. I couldn't get stronger on my lifts.

I didn't understand how much food your body actually needs to grow. Like I said earlier, your body does not want to have to expend extra energy by maintaining a bunch of lean muscle mass. You have to "show" your body that you are getting enough food for it to grow with out a problem.

Also, as far as macro nutrients, You will need to eat plenty of carbs, and about 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight per day. If you weight 150lbs then eat 150 grams of protein per day.

So here's what I recommend as far as diet:

If you are very skinny (like I used to be) Then you need to eat. A lot. If you think you eat a lot, but you weigh 120lbs, then I would tell you to download a calorie tracking app on your phone and look at how much you really eat. When I did this I was eating like 1800-2000 calories a day. There is absolutely no way your body will grow significantly when you're eating like this.

I would tell you to start eating about 3500-4000 calories per day. And before you ask: No you aren't going to develop heart disease, diabetes, cancer, or any other health ailment by eating a lot of food for a period of 6 months to a year. I was unhealthy at 115lbs. If I got sick and lost 10lbs, I would look like a stick, and possibly end up in the hospital. But if you're 185 and lose 10lbs, it's no big deal.

You might think this advice is a bit reckless, telling people to eat 3500-4000 calories a day. But you have to remember, if you are following the program, you are asking A LOT of your body during your training, and it needs to be given the fuel to repair. You may need to eat even more than this if you are a taller person. Telling someone who sits on the couch all day to eat 4000 calories a day is irresponsible, but telling an athlete who's pushing them selves during training to eat like this is necessary.

One last word on this, is you have to understand how your anabolic processes work in your body. When you gain weight, you gain both body fat and muscle. No matter what.

This means if you only fed some one chips and soda all day, who does not train in the gym, and they gained 100lbs, about 20lbs of that would be lean mass. That's because when your body grows, all of it grows, at different proportions of course.

By training, we get to skew these numbers in our favor. We get to increase the amount of lean mass we accumulate, and limit the amount of fat we gain. Like I said, you will always gain body fat when you gain weight, but you also will always gain muscle.

If you gained 100lbs, but you were training like I outline above, then you would have skewed those proportions greatly. You could reasonably expect that 70lbs of that weight is lean mass, while 30lbs would be body fat. This is a bit of an unrealistic example for most people, but it illustrates the point I'm trying to make. When you train, and eat in a caloric surplus, you will gain more muscle than you would without training.


I know there will be people saying "but aren't you going to gain a bunch of fat by eating 3-4,000 calories a day? For one, remember what we talked about earlier. You skew the way your body grows by strength training. More muscle than fat will be gained by a typical beginner. Second, So what if you do gain some body fat? Especially if you were a skinny bitch like I was. Who cares if your abs go away for a bit? It is impossible to get significantly stronger without more muscle tissue. And remember what we said, When your body grows, it grows fat tissue and lean tissue no matter what. So in order to grow muscle tissue, some fat tissue will be a side effect.

As for someone who has an "average" body (not super skinny/underweight and not obese), I would also download a calorie tracker, see how much you're eating then go from there. From there you can probably keep eating the same as you usually do, but you may need to up your protein intake. If you're eating under 3,000 calories per day, you may need to up your calorie intake as well.

As far as an obese trainee goes, the focus will be first on losing weight. You probably won't be able to do this program the way it is set up currently if you are obese, and you may need to substitute squat for the leg press.

For women, You should not go as crazy on the calories as men, women progress slower and differently than men do because of hormone differences.

Once you get to a point where you can no longer recover enough to keep adding 2.5-5lbs to the bar every workout, then you have likely reached the intermediate phase. The beginner phase will likely last 4-12 months. This phase is beyond the scope of this program, but it's a point where you can make a decision:

You can choose to lean down, and lose some of that body fat you accumulated over the past few months. This concept is also beyond the scope of this program, but you will have to clean up your diet and start eating less calories. If you chose this path, just understand strength gains will stall and can even regress. Because like the way your body grows, you don't get to choose wether you lose fat or muscle. Again, you will lose both, but if you still are lifting heavy, your body will lose more body fat, because you are signaling your body that you need to keep this muscle mass because you are lifting heavy weights.

You can go on to compete in strength sports. You will have built up a good level of base strength by this point, so you could compete in powerlifting.

You can continue on with the sport that you play. You've become stronger and are a better athlete. You will be able to sprint faster, throw faster and farther, punch harder. General strength increase does wonders for athleticism.

Or you can focus more on hypertrophy (Making muscles bigger). Of course strength is the basis for muscle growth, but you will also need to add in some higher volume work to your program to really make your muscles bigger and more impressive. This is the path that I am on, because I don't want to compete, and I don't play any sports.

Our bodies are adaptation machines. This is why we can take our squat from 135lbs to 3-400lbs in the course of a few months. Our bodies adapt to whatever we throw at them. But most people are sitting behind a computer, sitting in a car, on a plane, or train most of the day.

With the way our society is headed, I believe that there will be many health problems for my generation later on in life. We aren't using our bodies like we used to, and like they're designed to. Strength training increases your bone density, helps you live longer, and also increases your quality of life in your later years, allowing you to keep your independence for longer.

The reason why I wrote this article, was because if you stick around here you obviously have a fastlane mind set. You're someone who's willing to do the work. Training isn't easy, but neither is going after your dreams.

Training has changed my life profoundly. I used to be a skinny, weak kid 4 years ago. I wasn't very self confident, and I felt like people picked on me because I was tiny. Now, I'm getting stronger every time I go to the gym, and my body is progressing along every week. I want the same thing to happen to anyone who feels weak and small.

If you have any questions, I'd be happy to answer them!
Every thing about fitness is a lie. Everything you know about life is a lie. The only real “truth” is the one you find out. It’s an ongoing process. I have worked out for 8 years and found out what works best for ME. This where the dying he journeys is what matters meansz you find yourself through the journey. You find out what your really made of. Are you a fraud or the real deal? Let’s find out.
 
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James Klymus

James Klymus

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I actually expected some combinations involving something cardio wise or something to get you in shape
Getting strong IS getting in shape. You do not need to run in order to be in shape. The whole "you need cardio to be in shape" is the dogma that I talked about in the post that I wrote.

Resistance training causes your heart to work harder, and in untrained individuals will improve their cardiovascular fitness.

Unless you actually WANT to run long distances (for whatever reason), Or have to run for the sport you play, Running is a waste of time. If it were between running, or sitting on the couch, I would, of course, have you run. But it is not optimal for the average individual who is not interested in playing sports, or running long distances. They would be much better off getting stronger through resistance training.

The average individual doesn't need to run to get in shape, they need to get strong to get in shape.
 

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