In the 20 years of fitness, Strongman, weight lifting, and just being a gym rat, it goes without saying I’ve learned a TON. In fact, I continue to learn everyday. Years of being a personal trainer taught me valuable lessons when it comes to how the human body works, and the fact that not every body reacts the same way to training.
#1 – Take Care Of Your Body
We only get one body, as far as we know, so you better take care of it! What no one tells you when your 15 and eager to start lifting weights, is how much wear and stress it puts on your body. That doesn’t mean don’t lift, it means you just need to take care of yourself.
One main piece of that puzzle is using support gear. This ranges from elbow sleeves, knee sleeves, wrist wraps, belts, and so on. If you plan on lifting heavy, these items will be a must, without question. For pressing movements, wrist wraps can be a life saver. The guys over at Nordic Lifting know exactly whats going on in this area. They have some of the best wraps, straps, and sleeves I have ever used, at very affordable prices I might add. Once you get to a point in the amount of weight you’re lifting, you’re going to need these things, you might as well get used to them now if you want to save your joints and the rest of your body from damage down the road. Just ask my elbow, he’ll tell you! Here are some of my favorite, most used Nordic Lifting products.
#2 – Supplements Aren’t All Bad
You might get both positive and negative things about supplements. I’m talking about things like pre-workout, protein, amino acids, etc. The bodybuilding world especially has a lot of “bros” who will tell you that supplements are what you need. This isn’t always the case. It depends on the level of fitness that you are on, in my opinion. If you are putting in the work, hour(s) per day, 5-7 days a week, then your body is going to need these things. If you go to the gym to check yourself out in the mirror, well, maybe you need to re-evaluate what your wanting out of your gym membership.
A few supplements I recommend are the ones I mentioned above, we will start with pre-workout.
Now, please note any of these are only recommendations from my personal experience. I am not a health professional and am only sharing my opinion, what you do outside of this blog is not my fault 🙂
I use pre-workout often, on long days it helps me get that good workout in and make progress. Obviously, you don’t want to abuse it, or any supplement, and for me, taking a lower serving size usually produces the same results. Here are a couple of my favorites:
Protein and Amino Acids are both a great idea for both building muscle and losing fat. The fat loss part is because most good protein doesn’t have a ton of calories, so it can be used for a meal replacement at times. Combine it with some vitamins and you’re good to go. Amino Acids are great because if you’re working out hard, there is a good chance you’re not getting enough through your diet, so supplementing these helps! Protein will obviously used for adding it into your diet. Some folks have a hard time eating enough solid foods, so using a shake here and there is awesome. Keep in mind, unless you’re an IFBB Pro, you most likely don’t need the super amounts of protein you see people telling you to eat, just an fyi. Some quality Amino Acids and Proteins I’ve used:
#3 – Time Is Not Your Enemy
We all want it yesterday, I get it. I am likely one of the most impatient people you’d ever meet. When it comes to getting stronger and building muscle, it takes time. Period. No shortcuts. We all need to learn this valuable lesson. No amount of supplements, drugs, steroids, or whatever will get us there faster and safer. My advice to you, especially you young guys, is to enjoy the process! Enjoy hitting the gym, feeling that feeling, working out with your buddies. The rest will come and fall into place if you’re consistent.
We are all here for one life, don’t rush things. I know that can be hard, but the faster you learn it, the more you’ll enjoy the little bit of life you have. Many of these guys you see in magazines or on the stage have been doing this for 10, 15, or 20 years, because that is what it takes to reach those levels. I know it isn’t what you wanted to hear, but there it is, take it or leave it! In the meantime, get yourself some new gym shirts from our shop, you’ll feel better 🙂
Bonus Strength Tip
Sleep! You have to get some good sleep if you expect your body to recovery properly. Not sleeping good or not sleeping enough can result in many different problems, not to mention hinder muscle growth and strength. When you sleep your body repairs, recovers, and releases HGH, which helps all these processes. If you need a new mattress, find one. If you need more or less noise, make it happen. Just find the way to allow yourself to rest properly.