Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Step Up to The Bar

I am a workout clothes addict.  The other day I was working out and realized I spend more money on my workout clothes, shoes, and gym equipment than my professional clothes. Why?

Because I spend a lot of time in the gym and I love to be comfortable when I'm sweating.  I've learned something as simple as a seam in the wrong place can distract me from my task at hand.  An itchy fabric, thick underarm seam, stiff tag on my neck, non-breathable fabric, tanks that ride up, pants that slide down, fabric that chafes or the dreaded camel toe can all wreck a great workout.

I know this sounds ridiculous to most but to those that train hard and often know exactly what I am talking about.  I am there to workout so the less irritation I have with my workout clothes, the more I can concentrate on my workout. Same goes for iPod, headphones, hair out of my face via baseball hat or headband. Wisps of hair in my mouth or eyes drive me insane!

Color is a completely different story.  I generally look like a rainbow threw up on me with a hint of camouflage thrown in for good measure just to make sure people know I'm serious and not just a Richard Simmons.  I am tired of black.  It's boring. It's drab.  Yes, black does hide a lot of 'flaws'  and 'embarrasing' sweat spots but I'm there to reduce those flaws. So if they are staring me in the face workout after workout then I have no choice but t work harder and fix them! Sometimes my bright clothes motivate me and even cheer me up.  After all, who doesn't like a rainbow? I wear my funky Vibram's (or glove shoes) which are becoming more popular but still are not very stylish but they serve a purpose.  They force me to use my core and legs for balance and strength.

I also have a system for what clothes I wear for particular workouts.  Again why? For example, leg day requires pants that are tight down to my ankle (or shorts) so I can get my knee braces over them.  I'm old and have brittle parts so I need to brace them properly. Certain tank tops are used for shoulder day and others for arm day depending on exercises performed and how the straps sit on my shoulder.  To me, it is no different than wearing a nude bra under a white blouse rather than a white bra under a white blouse.  It serves a purpose.

I also have a lot of my own equipment that I lug back and forth to the gym.  I have my own hanging ab straps, a manta ray squat brace, front squat harness, foam roller, yoga block, weight belt, weight sled, and weight plates, etc.  I don't like to wait to use these items when I need them.  But generally the gym doesn't have these items or they have been stolen or are just plain disgusting.  So I have invested in my own or even requested them as gifts.  Again strange to you but normal to me.  

Working out is one of my hobbies so why not buy the things that make it even more enjoyable? Plus the fabric is specially made to avoid absorbing the 'stinkiness' unlike cotton.  Additionally, if you have to look at your bulges, imperfections in the mirror while lifting, sometimes it pushes you a bit harder!  There are far more harmful addictions in my opinion so I will continue to invest in my health whether it be supplements, healthy food, gym equipment, clothing, shoes or even just one more baseball hat.

When I go clubbing, I go in my own style and when I belly up to the bar, it is very different than your bar. 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Pop off that Muffin Top

I've had many people ask me in the last few weeks how to slim down, build muscle and get good looking abs. The answer is not well -received. Because it is the answer they already know but were hoping I had some magic pill or secret to share with them. Guess what? I don't.

It's really quite simple.  Either you do it or you don't. It is a choice, your choice.  How badly do you want it?  Is it worth the sacrifice? You can't have it all.  Pure and simple.  So take the plunge or sit there and be quiet and quit complaining.

This applies to many things in life but I'm only talking about one thing this time.  Your stomach. You want a flat stomach, six-pack abs, no muffin top and no love handles.  Well guess what. It takes work.  Hard work but even more so it takes discipline - a great deal of discipline and self-control.  You can't have it with 50% effort or even 75% effort.  It must be at least 95% of not 100%.  Take control of what you put into your mouth.

You can't have a two glasses of wine every single night, eat garbage every weekend because you were so good during the week and expect to get or even maintain a six-pack.  I agree, not everyone wants a six pack but most would like a 'flatter' stomach or less of a muffin top.  Yet, when you realize what it takes to achieve these results, it seems less important until you want to wear that bikini,  the little black dress,  or feel sexy for a significant event.

Maybe a very select few can eat like crap and maintain an awesome muscular body complete with a six-pack. They are genetic freaks and are few and far between. Kudos to them. I am envious.  I am not one of these 'lucky' individuals and most likely, neither are you.

No one likes to believe it, but abs are made in the kitchen.  Of course, exercise is an essential component of this but if you reign in your diet and cut back the simple carbs and sugars, add veggies, lean meats, good CLA fats and drink water, you will be amazed at what will pop out in your mid section over time. If done properly, it will be muscle and not fat.

So quit complaining and decide what you want and why you want it.  If you are going to try it, go all in and make it a lifestyle rather than another quickie weight loss plan or fad diet.  Do it right. Be Healthy. Be happy and I promise you won't regret it.  It will get easier over time and once you reach your maintenance level, you can indulge on occasion, not every day or even every week.

Either you want it or you don't but don't deceive yourself in thinking it happens quickly and doesn't require work to maintain. You didn't make your muffin top over night so don't think it will disappear overnight. Patience and self control. Plus there are many more health benefits to eating a clean diet than just your physical appearance.