How To Identify And Smash Your Physique Goals

“No Wind Blows In Favor Of A Ship Without A Destination.” Montaigne

 

Exercise is a great way to stay young and healthy. It holds a host of benefits for all those willing to stick to it, but one of the most controversial is the fact that it augments one’s physical appearance. That is the MAIN reason many people get into it, quiet as it’s kept.

And that is perfectly okay. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look your best, and shut shit down every time you step out the door. A healthy ego, not an out of control one, is an asset, not a liability. That brings me to the purpose of this article. This is for any and everyone who wants to achieve a specific physical aesthetic. With that being said, let’s dive into it.

Let me preface with a small disclaimer. This article is written by a male and primarily intended for other men, however, women can certainly benefit from it.

Look at you! You’re hitting the gym several times a week. You’re being more mindful about what you put into your body. You’re even seeing some results. Congratulations!

But before you celebrate your new found gains and confidence, let’s face facts. After that beginning period of 1-2 years of making decent progress, most people will Inevitably plateau.

Why is this? Don’t get me wrong. It’s perfectly fine to coast if you’ve reached your physique goals, although personally I believe coasting leads to losing ALL your hard earned gains sooner or later. Coasting is what happens when you lose motivation.

And why do you lose motivation? It’s simple. Undefined goals! Think about it. Why would you bust your ass in the gym when you don’t even know exactly what you want to look like? Exactly! You wouldn’t.

Luckily, this is a simple fix. People are obsessed with the way things look. When something is beautiful, we can’t stop staring at it. The body is a thing. And we have the ability to change it. Look at it like an artist. Our genetics are our canvas. What we eat is our paint. And the weights are our paintbrush. With these tools we can create a masterpiece, or a mess.

This brings me to my next point. What do you want to look like? Seriously, if you could have any body you wanted, what would you choose to look like? It’s very important. Find someone, an athlete, a celebrity, that you would love to look like, and put a picture of them up on your wall, or the mirror.

Pro tip: Make sure that they are similar in structure to you. If you are tall, they should be tall. If you have a small waist, they should too, etc. Obviously they won’t look like you due to added muscle mass and lower body fat, but just look at the structure. This will ensure that you can build a very similar physique to them.

Look at this picture in the morning and before bed, and try to imagine looking at yourself in the mirror with that physique. You look great, you feel vibrant and fit.

This will create a deep level of motivation that will make it easier to go to the gym and make responsible eating choices, and will aid you in staying focused throughout your workouts.

Next, create a basic plan to attain your goal physique. Don’t get fanatical. Just remember this, junk food is a treat, not fuel. Whole(REAL) food is fuel. Eat to fuel your body and treat yourself every so often. Try to drink mostly water, or other zero calorie beverages, and eat mostly whole foods.

This will of course vary from person to person, and if you’re naturally as thin as a rail, you may be able to eat junk more often and still get the results you’re looking for. Generally speaking though, it is always wise to eat healthy most of the time.

Now, let’s talk about identifying the type of physique you want. Different physiques are created by different types of training and nutrition. Here are a few basic physiques to help you identify your goal.

Physique 1

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This physique is slim and very lean. To achieve this type of look you would have to eat very clean, ideally knowing and tracking your macros, at least in the beginning. You could lift weights as little as 3 days a week, preferably in a circuit training fashion, and attain this look as long as you were doing some cardio as well to burn extra calories. You would want to keep rep ranges around 10 to 15 to increase the length of your sets and therefore burn more calories. Remember to keep rest periods short to keep your heart rate elevated while you train, no more than 60 seconds rest after each circuit.

 

Physique 2

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This physique has quite a bit more muscle, but isn’t quite as lean. For a physique like this, you would want to train a with relatively heavier weights in the 8-10 rep range. You would also want to get in a good amount of volume each week, and therefore hit the gym more like 4-5 times a week. To accomodate the heavier weight lifted, you would want rest periods between sets at 90-120 seconds. You would also want to eat in a slight caloric surplus, in order to build muscle.

 

Physique 3

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This physique is basically a blend of the first 2. A fair amount of muscle, but also shredded. This is my ideal physique type, but it should be noted that this physique is the hardest to achieve of the 3. It takes several years to build the muscle mass, and absolute dietary discipline to stay so shredded year round. If this is your ideal physique type, prepare to be in the gym 5-7 days a week. You need to lift light, moderate, and relatively heavy and do cardio several days each week to achieve this look. Figuring out your macros is a must! If you want to look like this, you can’t afford to lose focus in the gym, or in the kitchen. Of course you can still have cheat meals every so often, depending on how lean you are. Let me make it clear that these physiques are just a few examples, and there are many more to choose from. The most important thing is just to find a physique that inspires you!

There you have it. A clear cut way to identify and SMASH your physique goals! Remember, be honest with yourself, and also remember that it’s ok for your goals to change with time. Maybe you start off with something more attainable for you now, and set higher goals over time. Don’t bite off more than you can chew.

If you do, you’ll most likely just burn yourself out. So, if all you can commit to is 3 days days in the gym, then do it. Set your goals accordingly. Monitor your progress. It’s incredibly motivating to see your progress on paper, or in pictures. If you know where you’re going, you have a much better chance of getting there. If you have read this far and still feel overwhelmed and confused, you aren’t alone. I would LOVE to work with you. I offer one-on-one coaching, as well as custom training and meal plans. Simply go to my products page to check it out, or you can follow this link: https://wordpress.com/page/frommeatheadtomeatless.com/125 As, always, I love you guys.

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Adonis

 

 

4 Best Diet Hacks For Getting Leaner Easily

“Bodybuilding is 80 percent nutrition.” Vince Gironda

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“Abs are made in the kitchen.” “You are what you eat.” You’ve heard the sayings. They all boil down to one thing and that is this. If you want to create changes in your body, your diet has to be on point.

However, let’s face it. There are new fad diets popping up every week. Keto, paleo, vegan, plant-based, carnivore, etc. All of this basically just complicates a simple thing. There are a few basics that if you’ll add to your repertoire will put you well on your way to mind blowing changes in your health and physical appearance.

That’s why I’ve put together this simple list of 4 hacks that are so simple, yet so powerful in their effect. Give even one or two of them a try, and within four weeks, I guarantee you’ll notice a difference in your energy and body.

1. Only drink things with zero calories. This is self explanatory. Drink plenty of water, tea, etc. So long as it is calorie free it is ok to drink. Avoid artificial sweeteners and drinks with unnatural ingredients.

2. Only eat sugar containing foods at predetermined times. For instance, for a weekly designated cheat meal. Another acceptable time would be after an intense workout. Keep in mind though that dependent on your body type and goals it may be best to avoid cheat meals altogether until you hit your physique goal.

3. Avoid carbs within four hours of bedtime. Chances are they won’t be utilized by the body for energy, and thus, will be stored as fat. Instead, eat meals consisting of protein and “good” fats such as those found in nuts, seeds, and avocadoes.

4. Make it enjoyable. The best diet is one you can stick with. The old adage of healthy food being tasteless is simply not true. A healthy way of eating can truly be sustainable for any and everyone, although it may take some time to find what works for you. Don’t be afraid to expand your palette.

If you apply even one or two of these very super simple principles I promise you’ll be astonished at the changes that occur over time. Don’t forget to be active whenever you can on a daily basis. Take the stairs instead of the elevator, walk instead of driving to the corner store, stretch while binge watching your favorite netflix show, and whatever else you can think of. You’d be surprised how creative you can be when you use your imagination. Much love,

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Adonis

 

 

 

A Simple And Practical Way To Begin Weight Training

The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide you’re not going to stay where you are.” John Pierpont Morgan

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So, you’ve decided to begin a weight training program, but you’re not sure where to start. There is so much conflicting information out there, it can be a challenge just figuring out what will work best for you. While there are many factors determining your ideal training program, there are a few basics that essentially apply to all beginners right off the bat. Due to all the complex information available about this subject, my chief aim is to make this as straight-forward and simple as possible. With that being said, let’s get right into it.

 

As a beginner in the weight room, the best thing you can do is to keep things very simple. Resist the urge to do fancy exercises and exotic programs simply for this reason, the basics are the most effective things you can do to improve your body composition and your overall health. So, what are the basics? They are compound (multi-joint) movements. Why would you do this? They work more muscles at a time the, then isolation (single-joint) movements.

 

In other words, you’re doing more in less time. This is not only more efficient for building the body, it’s also time efficient. Time efficiency in the gym is super important because when you’re training for too long, aka more than an hour, cortisol aka the stress hormone begins to rise in the body. Cortisol inhibits muscle growth and fat loss, which is a big no no! Also, as a beginner, the body responds to even a small stimulus, and isn’t conditioned to recover from a significant amount of work.

 

It is for these reasons that it makes sense for a beginner to utilize a full body three times a week routine. There should be at least one day of rest between workouts so doing your workouts on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday would be ideal. However, if Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday, or any other combination of days work better for you then by all means go for it. The exercises you select for your routine should all be basic compound movements, as I said earlier. Examples of basic, compound movements are: Deadlifts, Squats, Barbell rows, Chin-ups, Leg press, Military Press (esp. When performed while standing) , Clean and Jerks, Snatches, Dips, Etc. You can pick five of these exercises and perform 3 sets of each for eight to ten repetitions. A sample program would look like this:

 

Exercise:                                                   Sets                                                                 Reps

 

Deadlift                                                      3                                                                    10

 

Squat                                                           3                                                                    10

 

Bench Press                                             3                                                                    10

 

Chin-Up                                                      3                                                                    10

 

Military Press                                           3                                                                   10

 

For the chin ups, you can use an assisted chin-up machine if you need to. If your gym doesn’t have one, lat pull-downs would be a great option as well. Rest sixty seconds between each set and control the weight on the eccentric(negative) part of the movement. Repeat three times a week increasing the weight used in each each exercise every week by about five pounds. This will ensure that you are progressing consistently, provided you are eating a balanced diet.

 

That’s all there is to it. Stick with this program for as long as it is effective, which could figuratively be indefinitely, and I promise, you will not only improve your health, but also create phenomenal changes in your body chemistry. Print this article out, write it down, or whatever you have to do, and take it to the gym with you. If you’re unsure of the form on an exercise, look it up on YouTube. Remember, it doesn’t matter where you’re starting from, or even where you finish, but the distance that you travel. All the best.

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Adonis

 

8 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Be Resistance Training

                        “The groundwork of all happiness is good health.” L. Hunt

Adonis

Nowadays, more people than ever are taking up resistance training and rightfully so. Although in the past it was thought that weight training was harmful to health and decreased speed and mobility. Thankfully, these days we have many scientific studies showing us that just the opposite is true.

Weight training performed in a controlled and safe manner has many benefits for people of all ages, and I will be covering many of them right here in this very article. I’ve compiled them into a list, in no particular order, for your convenience.

Check them out, perhaps it will give you that extra push you need to get into the gym, or perhaps your workouts have grown stale, in which case this may be just the fire you need to get out of a rut. Ok, enough of the chit chat. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

                           8 Benefits of Resistance Training

  1. Anti Aging. If this one doesn’t grab your attention, don’t even bother reading the rest of the list. Training slows down many of the factors that result from the aging process, and let’s be honest. Who doesn’t want to feel good in their body for as long as possible?
  2. It reduces abdominal fat. In 2014, a study published in the research journal obesity, performed by Harvard researchers on 10,500 men over the course of 12 years found that strength training is more effective than cardiovascular training at preventing increases in abdominal fat. In other words, if you want to get leaner, lift weights.
  3. Creates better cardiovascular health. Lifting weights has been shown to decrease visceral fat(abdominal fat), which loves to sit around the organs, including the heart. It also improves blood pressure and facilitates better functioning HDL(good cholesterol). Fun fact. 2015 research published in The Lancet medical journal showed that grip strength (a marker for total-body muscle health) more accurately predicts death from heart disease than blood pressure does.
  4. Controlled blood sugar levels. Strength training improves the muscle’s ability to take in and use glucose, or blood sugar, thereby decreasing blood sugar levels.
  5. It reduces the risk of cancer. Research from the journal Oncogene show that visceral fat cells produce high levels of a cancer-triggering protein called fibroblast growth factor-2, or FGF2. Also, according to research, published in Therapeutic Advances in Medical Oncology, muscle mass is a strong predictor of cancer treatment outcomes. Muscle wasting is a common complication of cancer treatment and is associated with a higher risk of chemotherapy toxicity, faster tumor progression and lower survival rates.
  6. Improved brain health. Strength training can improve brain power in all people over a lifetime, but the effects are possibly the strongest in older adults who are suffering from cognitive decline. In a study in the Journal of American Geriatrics performed in 2016, when men and women ages 55 through 86 with mild impairment performed weight training twice a week for six months, they improved their scores on cognitive tests significantly. However, when participants spent their workouts stretching, their cognitive test scores declined. The key could be getting the blood flowing, Rebold says, noting that high-intensity strength training increases the flow of blood, oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. In this study, adults lifted 80 percent of their 1RM, or the maximum amount of weight they could lift for one rep. That roughly equates to the amount of weight they could lift for eight reps without breaking form.
  7. Preventing and managing osteoporosis. Strength training greatly increases bone mineral density. Any weight-bearing exercise in which you’re standing with gravity pulling down on your body will lightly stress and strengthen bones and muscles.
  8. Improved brain health.  Strength training can improve your brain power over your lifetime, however, the effects seem to be the strongest in older adults suffering from cognitive decline. In one 2016 study in the Journal of American Geriatrics, when men and women ages 55 through 86 with mild impairment performed weight training twice a week for six months, they significantly improved their scores on cognitive tests. However, when participants performed stretching only workouts, their cognitive test scores declined.

The key may be getting the blood flowing, Rebold says, noting that high-intensity strength training increases the flow of blood, oxygen and other nutrients to the brain. In the study, adults lifted 80 percent of their 1RM, or the maximum amount of weight they could lift for one rep. That roughly equates to the amount of weight they could lift for eight reps without breaking form.

There are a tremendous number of benefits to weight training, these are only a handful, however, I hope some of them are new to you, and perhaps could be the inspiration you need to get in the gym. There’s no need to kill yourself, all you need to experience many of these and more benefits is 30 minutes, 2-3 times a week. In the meantime, I’ll be here, guiding and encouraging you every step of the way. Let’s do this!

Amon 1-14198Adonis

How to Stay Motivated to Crush Your Fitness Goals

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing. That’s why we recommend it daily.” Zig Ziglar

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Often, in the fitness community, there is a rush to achieve a certain result as quickly as possible.

This leads to the use of steroids, growth hormone, ephedrine, and other harmful and unnatural substances. It may seem like no big deal to experiment with these kinds of drugs, but in reality to use these drugs is to cheat and misuse your body and mind. Like it or not, harming yourself to look good or be stronger is self-abuse.

This kind of abuse comes as a result of low self-esteem, and though it temporarily increases confidence, it is unsustainable in the long run and ultimately leads to even lower self-esteem. Remember, bodybuilding is an act of self love.

Any act putting one’s health at risk for the sake of vanity is not in line with true bodybuilding. Keep this in mind when temptations to take shortcuts come along. Bodybuilding is a journey, not a destination.

Still, with all that being said, how does one stay motivated day in and day out for decades? There is no simple answer to this question.What motivates some is of no consequence to others.

I’m sure you’ve heard that to stay motivated one needs a strong why. A strong why allows us to push through difficulties that would otherwise make us quit. People get into bodybuilding for all sorts of different reasons.

I find that on the surface it doesn’t really matter what gets someone into bodybuilding initially. What ultimately keeps us around is love. Some love the art of bodybuilding, while others love the challenge.

Some love the release, while others love the health benefits. There is no right way to be motivated, ultimately we are all motivated by love of something.

Take some time to think about what you love about bodybuilding. When you are connected to your love of bodybuilding, day to day motivation is almost effortless for the most part.

So what about those who don’t love bodybuilding? What about those who hate training and eating in a balanced way? I believe everyone loves something about bodybuilding, some of us just have to look harder to find out what that something is.

Working with a trainer can be very beneficial in this regard, as a good trainer is generally passionate about fitness, and passion is contagious. Knowing what you’re doing early on can help you to achieve your goals in significantly less time.

So then, what if someone doesn’t love anything about bodybuilding? Well assuming someone truly didn’t have a love for any aspect of bodybuilding, to that person I say, find a form of exercise you do love.

One that doesn’t feel like work. One that makes time fly. It could be biking, dancing, martial arts, gymnastics, hiking, swimming, jogging, calisthenics, or any other of the endless possibilities.

This is a far too often overlooked aspect of anyone’s health and fitness. At the end of the day, I bodybuild because I love it. I love training, being disciplined with my eating, and watching my body progress.

If I didn’t love it, there’s no way I would’ve trained almost daily for 17 years, and eaten a bodybuilding style 6 meals a day for almost just as long. Some people love training, but don’t enjoy being disciplined with their eating.

If this is you, figure out a way to get what you want, while still progressing toward your goals. Hating your training or diet is a sure sign that you won’t last. What you have to realize is that will power is a finite thing, and when it runs out, it’s gone.

That’s when you give into temptation, skipping workouts, abandoning your diet, which leads to feelings of guilt and shame, and the cycle repeats. You’re much better off creating a lifestyle where you can achieve your goals gradually, taking on new challenges as you’re ready. This is sustainable because it’s not based on deprivation and abstinence, but balance and moderation.

Conclusion

Let’s recap the tools to staying motivated long term.

  1. Steer clear of shortcuts. This is a marathon, not a sprint. Pace yourself, and enjoy the process.
  1. If you love it, you’ll stick with it. Therefore, find a form of exercise you do love. Maybe you don’t love every aspect of it, but you should enjoy it overall.
  1. Figure out your why. And make it meaningful. More than just, “I want to lose such and such weight.” Why do you want to achieve X Y Z? Get specific. Find out what emotions are attached to achieving that goal for you.
  1. Work with a trainer. This is optional, but can be a tremendous investment in your health.

Inevitably there will be times when you feel more motivated than others, but if you implement these tips, I guarantee you’ll be well on your way to achieving your fitness goals.

me b&w

Adonis

How to Build Bicep Peaks That Will Stop Traffic

Introduction

“I visualized my biceps as mountains. This allowed me to develop my biceps much more than if I had pictured them only as muscles.” Arnold Schwarzeneggar

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In bodybuilding, developing every muscle in a symmetrical way is paramount. However, there are a few muscles that are and have always been favored by most. These are considered the show muscles.

They are the muscles that the eyes are first drawn to. Think about it. When you first see a muscular person, where is the first place you look. Nine times out of ten it is at the chest and of course, the biceps. Namely, the bicep peak.

When someone asks us to flex, we automatically know that they are talking about flexing our biceps. A well developed bicep peak takes any physique from great to extraordinary, but many people believe having a great peak is genetic.

This would mean that for those who are not born with a great peak, there is no hope. This is a misconception, and with the right mindset and work ethic, almost anyone can develop a great peak.

I’ve witnessed it first hand on myself, and also on others. You see I didn’t always have a great bicep peak, even once my arms got to 18 and a half inches, my peak still lacked.

It wasn’t until I learned a few key principles that my peaks really began to develop. These principles worked like a charm for me, and they can for you too, but keep in mind that everyone is different and has to find their own ways of training.

Use this only as a guide. My hope is that it will lead you down a path of discovery. Discovering that there is much more to training the biceps than you had previously imagined. Let us get into it.

What Exactly is a Bicep?

Let’s briefly discuss the anatomy of the bicep. The bicep is composed of the bicep brachii, which consists of two heads, the long or outer head, and the short or inner head, and the brachialis, which is an underlying muscle that gives the bicep height and thickness when developed.

The primary function of the biceps is elbow flexion and also supination of the wrist. This is why even though the biceps are trained during virtually all back movements, the optimal movement for training them is and always will be the curl. However, there are dozens of variations of the curl.

Variations of Bicep Curls

The biceps are a relatively small muscle group, and therefore should not be trained with excessive volume. Three sets of three exercises twice a week for a total of eighteen sets a week is plenty.Very advanced lifters can do more at times as long as they are able to recover from it.

A good way to know if your bicep routine is effective is to measure the biceps every six to eight weeks. If they are growing, you’re on the right track, if not, it’s time to reassess your routine and diet.

For every muscle group, a basic compound movement is generally performed first in your routine. In the case of biceps, this movement is the barbell curl.

Although it’s not technically a compound (multi-joint) movement, it allows you to go the heaviest, and train the entire biceps effectively. In general, this is a good movement to start with, but in some cases there are other movements that are ideal for beginning your routine.

One example of this is if you have been training for at least two years and beginning each workout with barbell curls, and your biceps are still a weakness. In this case, for whatever reason, be it technical or structural, your biceps are not being fully stimulated during the barbell curl.

It would be wise then, to start off with a more strict movement to isolate and pre-exhaust the biceps. Some good movements for this are, preacher curls, incline curls, lying cable curls, or even concentration curls.

These movements make it hard to incorporate any muscle besides the biceps. They will give you a great pump, strong contraction, and get your mind in your biceps. This will make it easier to feel barbell curls later.

Keep your reps higher, between 8 and 15 and never going below 6. This is because when you go to heavy when curling other muscles, namely the lower back and front delts tend to take over.

Focus on feeling the biceps, not on lifting the weight. Follow this up with a more basic movement, like barbell or alternating dumbbell curls. You could also do cable curls with a low pulley.

Follow this up with an exercise for peak such as guillotine curls, high pulley cable curls, or dumbbell preacher curls, and you will have a solid routine for growth, so long as you progress over time and eat adequately.

If you start with barbell curls you could do dumbbell hammer curls next, or cable curls with the rope attachment. From there you would finish with a peaking exercise.

Technique

Technique is paramount for maximizing results, and it varies for everyone depending on their unique structure. Figuring out and perfecting the best technique for you takes time, but there are some basic guidelines I’ve found helpful for most.

Here they are. Don’t go too slow. Use a good speed, especially on the positive portion of the reps. Going too slowlywill result in more type 1 muscle fiber recruitment. Type 1 muscle fibers are responsible for a more slim muscular look.

This will result in toned arms but not much of an increase in size in my experience. Utilizing a faster tempo will generally result in more type 2 muscle fibers being stimulated. This will result in a big increase in size over time.

Tips

Now that you have an idea what exercises to perform, and how to set up your routine, let’s discuss a few tips to really maximize your time in the gym.

Tip 1: Keep constant tension on the biceps. Do not rest at the bottom unless you’re doing rest-pause reps at the end of a set. This applies the time under tension principle, which is crucial for bicep growth.

Tip 2: Don’t go too heavy. The biceps are only so strong, and if you pick up more weight than your biceps can handle your lower back and front delts will help.

Tip 3: Relax the wrists and forearms. The forearms assist during all bicep movements, since we are grabbing something. Especially if the biceps are a weak point,aim to fully relax the wrists and forearms and put as much tension as possible on the biceps.

Tip 4: Biceps not responding to regular training? Add techniques to increase your intensity such as, rest-pause, drop-sets, supersets, holding peak contractions, etc. to really wake those guns up.

Tip 5: Train the biceps frequently. Twice a week minimum to keep protein synthesis elevated and growth consistently occurring.

Tip 6: Monitor rest periods. Resting too little or too much will negatively affect gains. Aim for around 60 to 90 seconds depending on how quickly your biceps recover from a given movement.

Tip 7: Squeeze! Every rep squeeze the biceps at the top.

Tip 8: Visualize how you want the biceps to look while you are training them. This may seem esoteric, but I can tell you it works!

Tip 9: Flex your biceps in the mirror often, to build a strong mind muscle connection.

Tip 10: Don’t overtrain the biceps. They don’t need a ton of volume, just to be properly stimulated. If any bicep workout takes longer than 30 minutes then you are resting too long and or not training hard enough.

My biceps are over 18 inches, and my bicep workouts typically only last around 20 minutes. However, this is a hard and focused 20 minutes, and at the end, my biceps are toasted.

Conclusion

There you have it. The biceps are a very simple muscle to train, but to sculpt them to perfection takes a tremendous amount of effort and will. Our minds are truly our strongest muscles and in order to develop the biceps to their full potential we must utilize not only weights, but our mental faculties as well.

There you have it, if you will incorporate just a few of these tips into your biceps training, you are sure to build peaks that would belong on Mount Olympus. Now train hard and eat properly, I’ll be watching you and counting your reps.

me flexin

Adonis

How to Bring up Weak Points

“My attitude is if you push me towards something that you think is a weakness, then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength.” Michael Jordan

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In bodybuilding, the idea is to create the illusion of perfect balance, symmetry, and proportion. Ideally this seems simple and straightforward, train everything equally and you will create balance throughout the physique. However, this is not the case, and if it were, every bodybuilder would be walking around with perfect symmetry, resembling a statue carved by Michelangelo himself. The truth is that body parts develop differently due to several factors. This is what we will be addressing in this very article, along with how to overcome these factors and build a physique worthy of being immortalized on Mount Olympus.

Why Everyone Inherently Has Weak Points

No one wants weak points, and for this reason we typically ignore them and keep training as usual, as if hoping they’ll magically vanish one day. This often has the opposite effect, exacerbating our weak points as our strong points continue to grow consistently. Among the many factors that cause weak points are: Genetics, poor mind-muscle connection in certain muscle groups, lack of intensity, overtraining (particularly in smaller muscle groups), and simply the way we are naturally put together. For example, someone with long arms and a short torso is usually going to appear to be lacking in arm thickness. Someone who’s short with a wider waist is going to look blocky, etc. If any of the above describe you, don’t worry. It’s all fixable. It isn’t your fault that you have weak points, it is however, your duty to do something about them.

Bringing Up Weak Points

So how do you bring up weak points? It varies from person to person, and bodypart to bodypart, however, with dedication and patience, any weak point can always be drastically improved. The following is a list of ways to bring up weak points. Give one or two methods a try, and if they work, continue implementing them. If not, try other alternatives, but just remember, the most important thing is that you have your mind made up regarding exactly what you want to achieve.

1.Train more intensely. This is the most basic principle when bringing up a lagging bodypart. Often we are lacking in intensity. Let’s say someone is lacking in the medial or “side” delts for example. It is hard to train them to failure because when they start to get fatigued you have to swing the weights up to keep working them which takes most of the tension off of them and puts it on the traps and lower back. Because of this, I find that the best way to fully develop the side delts is to train them with alot of volume. Every muscle is like this, it has its own preference and it is on You, the bodybuilder, to figure out what that preference is.

2.Learn more about training that particular bodypart. I believe the best way to learn is hands on experience, however, when bringing up a weak point, often it can help to learn about what its functions are. This will help you understand why you would choose certain movements in your training program, and what the most effective movements are. You can also research different methods of training that bodypart that you haven’t tried before. Assuming you’ve been consistent with your current routine, something completely new will often prompt your body to add some new muscle.

3.Lighten up your weights and focus on mind-muscle connection for a while. Too often we believe that big weights equal big muscles, and while this is true in some cases, such as when doing compound movements, there are some instances where going too heavy can hinder or prevent progress all together. Let’s take rear delts for example. They are a small area that is stimulated with heavy weight when training back, however, if we try to use heavy weights on rear delt specific exercises, the back and traps are going to take over the movements. This prevents us from getting deep fatigue in the rear delts and thus, hinders our development and creates a disproportionate look. The same is true with virtually all bicep movements, most tricep movements (with the exception of close grip bench presses and tricep dips), and generally all isolation movements. A good rule of thumb to follow is to never go below 10-12 reps when doing an isolation movement. This will ensure that you’re using a light enough weight to really utilize the mind-muscle connection. It will also increase time under tension, an important factor for growth. Most importantly though, it will aide you in minimizing the involvement of assisting muscles.

4.Train weak points more frequently. Research shows that muscle protein synthesis is increased for 48-72 hours after training a bodypart. This suggests that training a bodypart every 2-3 days is optimal for growth. If you are only training a muscle once a week, consider cutting your current workout in half and training said bodypart twice a week. Add more as you can handle it. For example, you could train arms on Tuesday and Friday. This will keep muscle protein synthesis elevated and ideally, produce more growth. Also, you could do a main workout for a bodypart, then a feeder workout 3 or 4 days later. A feeder workout is a low volume pump workout where nothing is done to failure. The idea is just to bring blood into the muscle to provide it with nutrients and stretch the fascia.

5.Stretch that bodypart daily. Stretching is one of the easiest, and most overlooked ways to improve your physique. First and foremost, stretching can create good posture. Good posture will automatically make your physique look significantly better, even without changing body composition. Correcting bad posture can lead to better technique and the correction of muscle imbalances. Another benefit is decreased risk of injury. As you know, when you’re injured, you can’t workout. If you can’t workout, you can’t progress. It can also help improve mind-muscle connection. It increases range of motion, which leads to better development. Lastly, as an added benefit, it’s good for you in general.

6.Visualize daily how you would like that bodypart to look. This one is slightly different, as it’s not a physical thing. Visualization is very powerful, just look at the studies on how visualization has affected high level athletes’ performance. I have found that if I can clearly imagine how I want a bodypart to look, and I persist with this vision, that is exactly how that bodypart develops. Give it a try, visualize how you want a bodypart to look while you are training it, and also when you think about it throughout the day. Arnold and many other greats have said this was crucial to their success.

In Conclusion

All of these methods will assist you in achieving your goals, but keep in mind, nothing will work unless you do. You have to really want it, and be willing to put in the time. That about wraps it up. Have some weak points? Give some of these methods a try and watch them turn into strengths.

Facetune_13-10-2018-13-33-22

Advanced Bodybuilding Techniques for Taking Your Physique to the Next Level

“For me, life is continuously being hungry. The meaning of life is not simply to exist to survive, but to move ahead, to go up, to achieve, to conquer.” Arnold Schwarzenegger

me outside jeans

I’d like to begin this article by giving you a little background about me. I am a natural bodybuilder with 16 years of training experience and a great physique to boot.

I also have 9 years of personal training experience and am certified by the National Academy of Sports Medicine. I am also plant based and I have experience bodybuilding on an omnivorous diet as well as a plant based one.

The reason I tell you all of this is because, as they say, the proof is in the pudding. I never take advice about training from someone that doesn’t have the physique to back it up.

For this reason I am including recent candid shots of my physique as proof that I know what I’m doing and it has worked very well for me. If you’ve been training for three or more years and are looking to take your physique to the next level naturally, this article is for you.

If you’re a beginner, perhaps you could pick up a few tips as well, but this article is geared mostly towards the advanced lifter as for the sake of saving time, I won’t be covering the basics here.

There are many aspects of training, including frequency, intensity, sets, reps, splits, and mind muscle connection. We’ll be delving into each aspect and lightly touching on the science of things.

However, you can easily read scientific articles on each aspect of training, I’d like to focus more on what has actually yielded real life results for myself and my clients. Without further ado, let’s get right into it.

Training frequency

Let’s discuss training frequency first. There are many different schools of thought regarding frequency, ranging from high frequency high volume, to low frequency low volume, to everything in between.

I have tried them all, beginning with a standard three working sets of three exercises as a beginner, and gradually increasing volume, eventually adopting a high volume style.

After training this way for years, out of curiosity I switched over to high intensity training, trying it with a very low frequency due to extreme soreness, and gradually increasing frequency.

Through all of these training protocols my physique looked great, so there’s no doubt that they all work if you do, but by far, my physique has always looked the most muscular when training with a high volume, high frequency routine.

There are many things I attribute to this, but I believe the main factor is that with a high volume routine, you’re able to hit each muscle from so many angles, and get more contractions.

You are also able to master movements more quickly, since you get so much practice performing them. There are some drawbacks though, as high volume is more time consuming and you have to eat more food to grow due to increased caloric expenditure.

That being said though, in my experience, nothing is going to give your physique a more polished and 3D look than high volume training, performed properly, along with adequate rest and sound nutrition.

However, keep in mind that muscle protein synthesis is elevated for only 48 to 72 hours after training, so be sure to train any lagging body parts twice a week, once with a full workout, and once with a feeder workout.

Perform the feeder workout 48 to 72 hours after your main workout. Ideally, this will keep muscle protein synthesis elevated at all times in those lagging muscles.

A feeder workout is just a shortened workout with a focus on getting a good pump, as opposed to lifting heavy weight, or training to failure. Keep this in mind and never train to failure in a feeder workout. In general I’d say high volume workouts are only for the truly dedicated, since they take a greater time commitment.

me mirror

Training Splits

The next thing we’ll discuss is training splits. There are quite a few different training splits, the basic full body training three days a week, upper, lower split where upper body is trained one day, lower the next, usually followed by a rest day, and repeated.

Push, pull, legs, where you perform all push movements on one day, pull the next, then legs, usually followed by a rest day, and what is now called bro splits, where you train less of the body on a given day but with more volume, such as back and biceps.

When performing a split such as this, each muscle gets trained less frequently, sometimes only once a week, and for this reason bro splits have been deemed ineffective, unless you are on steroids.

This is simply not true, as myself and many of the people I know have used this kind of split and gotten great results.

For those who just want to stay fit or are limited on time, high intensity training performed once or twice per week, with a full body or upper lower split, would give you the most bang for your buck.

However, for those of us who want to actualize our full potential in the gym, more effort is required. But just what split is most effective? A split that allows you to hit each muscle group with high volume on a frequent basis.

Remember that high volume is crucial if you want to bring out those subtle nuances in the muscles that bodybuilders possess.

me mirror 3

Sets

The amount of sets of a given exercise can vary greatly from one, to as many as ten. However, most of us fall somewhere in the middle of this range and do around three to four sets per exercise.

I have gone as low as one set a la Mike Mentzer, and as high as eight a la Vince Gironda. Both have worked to an extent, but I’ve found that generally three to four sets works best for me.

This is because it allows me to do a wide variety of exercises and get a good amount of work from each of them. I also do 1 to 3 warm up sets of each exercise, usually the 3 warm up sets are done on the compound movements, with 1 to 2 being done on isolation movements.

I’ll do anywhere from 10 to 20 reps on these sets and never take them to failure. That is why I consider them warm up sets, they are not intense enough to count as working sets.

This equates to a very high amount of volume being done for each muscle group, which creates a bodybuilder look to the physique. What do I mean by a bodybuilder look?

Do you know how some guys are big and muscular, but other guys are not only big and muscular, it also looks like someone blew air into their muscles? That roundness is attained by, among other things, a very high amount of volume.

In conclusion, a high amount of concentrated work equates to a high amount of muscle. This obviously isn’t for beginners and it isn’t totally black and white, but generally speaking, may be used as a rule of thumb.

Now as for the high intensity philosophy, one set is all that is required. Basically, after warming up, you would do one all out set, the repetitions would be slowed down to about 2 to 4 seconds on the concentric and eccentric portions in order to achieve greater time under tension, aiming for about a minute or slightly longer.

Each consecutive workout you have to beat your previous workout by increasing the weight or reps, however you should always strive to beat your previous best with any training style.

Two of my favorite techniques are drop sets and super sets. They are a great way to take your workout to the next level and are easily applied. For drop sets, simply pick a weight you can do a certain number of reps with, then perform those reps and immediately drop the weight by around thirty percent or more.

You can also do a double drop set, which is the same, but you drop the weight a second time. Sometimes I’ll even do triple drop sets. What a pump! My favorite thing about drop sets is that you can use heavy, moderate, and light weights, all in the same set.

This effectively hits the type 1 and type 2 muscle fibers and also pushes the body to the limit, forcing it to adapt as long as adequate calories and protein are being consumed.

Supersets are performing two exercises back to back with little to no rest in between. This can be done for opposing bodyparts like chest and back, or for the same bodypart. Supersets are a great way to save time, and amp up your workouts as well.

As I said before though, all training styles that I’ve utilized have worked to some extent, but the best results have always come from high volume training. So, the take away here is, generally speaking, high volume works best for building muscle, however, there are exceptions to this.

Like for me my calves respond best to high intensity lower volume workouts. My forearms respond best when taken beyond failure, so remember to pay attention to your body.

Most muscles have a preference, but some grow no matter what. Those are your strong points. Your weak points are muscles that don’t grow unless you figure out specifically what they respond to, which can be an arduous process.

Keep in mind that genetics do play a large part here, but combined with passion, a great work ethic, and patient consistency, incredible things can be achieved. I didn’t do high volume training for at least my first 3 years of lifting.

I stuck to 3 sets of 3 to 4 exercises on each body part, always aiming to beat my previous workouts in weight or reps. In conclusion, get to know your body. What are your strong and weak points?

What does it take for your weak points to grow? It may take years to figure this out, so fall in love with the process. Also, generally speaking, more work is more effective for building muscle if your body can handle it and it must be high quality work.

me mirror2

Rep Ranges

When it comes to reps, there are two main variables to consider. The amount of reps, and the quality of reps or the way in which reps are performed. First, let’s discuss the amount of reps.

There are many different rep ranges for bodybuilding, but most fall somewhere in the 6 to 12 rep range. This is due to the fact that when you go below 6 reps time under tension usually isn’t sufficient for muscle growth, and when you go above 12 reps, the stimulus is usually so light that you don’t hit the deeper thicker type 2 muscle fibers.

Your body also calls on your aerobic systems when performing very high reps, as opposed to your anaerobic systems which are responsible for muscle growth. Generally it is believed that lower reps, 4 to 6 or even 1 to 3 are predominantly for building strength, while reps in the 6 to 10 or 8 to 12 range are best for muscle size.

Having utilized almost every rep scheme out there I’ve learned a few things. One, they all work to some extent to increase muscle size and strength, and two, a wide variety of rep ranges is most effective when it comes to building size and strength.

Pyramid sets are a very effective way to achieve this, since you start off lighter and gradually go up in weight. I find it most effective to start with 12 to 20 reps for one or two sets.

Then increase the weight so I can barely complete 10 reps, increasing it again on each successive set so that I can only get 8, 6, and sometimes only 5 reps.

The last set is usually a drop set, meaning I do a heavy weight for as many reps as I can, let’s say 5 reps. Then I’ll do around 30 to 50 percent less weight and complete as many reps as I can with no rest.

This gives me a ridiculous pump which stimulates sarcoplasmic hypertrophy (basically a size increase in the muscles caused by increased glycogen storage), however, I’m also using very heavy weight, which causes myofibrillar hypertrophy (a size increase in the muscles caused by increasing the size of myofibrils).

This gives me the best of both worlds, and keeps the muscles guessing which means they will continue to respond. It also keeps things fresh mentally, which keeps me from burning out due to only doing one type of training.

Another effective technique for utilizing both sarcoplasmic and myofibrillar hypertrophy is to do one heavy, lower (4-6) rep day based around compound movements and a separate, lighter, higher (8-12) rep day based around isolation movements.

In order for this to be effective though, you need to be training that body part twice a week. In conclusion, a variety of rep ranges is most effective for building muscle as it allows you to take advantage of all avenues of growth.

How Reps Are Performed

The other major factor concerning reps is how they are performed. There are many different ways to perform reps, however there is one major difference between how a bodybuilder performs a rep and how a weightlifter performs a rep.

When a weightlifter performs an exercise, their primary goal is to lift and lower the weight, whereas when a bodybuilder performs a rep, the primary goal is to contract the muscle.

It is for this reason that I believe as bodybuilders we should squeeze the muscle being worked as hard as we can on every rep. This will recruit more muscle fibers and result in increased separation between the muscles which will make them pop more.

We should also perform burns, partials, rest-pause reps, and isometric contractions. The reason being is that these techniques will not only keep training exciting, they are also crucial to achieving maximum muscularity due to the fact that they increase intensity.

Another variable is the speed in which the reps are performed. There is the standard half to one second concentric and eccentric, speed reps which are reps performed quickly in a rhythmic fashion, explosive concentric and slower eccentric, negatives which generally are done with a heavier weight and a 7 second eccentric, and then generally slower reps.

I have experimented with reps as slow as a true 4 second concentric and 4 second eccentric. If you’re in tune with your body, you will feel how each exercise feels best, and that could change from day to day.

For instance, one day you may feel pullups best in a quick rhythmic fashion, and the next you may want to do them slowly. Always rememver that variety will keep the body guessing, and there are certain advantages and disadvantages to each style and they will all stimulate growth in their own unique ways.

Rest Periods

Now let’s talk about rest periods. Almost everyone I’ve ever witnessed training, has rested for too long between sets. This is detrimental to the success of a training program, because it lowers intensity, and allows some blood to escape the muscles being worked.

In other words, you lose some of your pump. To maximize sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, we want to create and maintain a maximum pump throughout the course of our workouts.

Most people don’t do this intentionally, they talk, or look at their phones, or stare off into space and don’t realize that two or sometimes even five or more minutes have passed.

In order to prevent this, it is best to watch a clock or timer between sets. Having a workout partner can also help with this, since their sets will usually take thirty to sixty seconds to complete, giving us just enough time to rest, get set, and begin our next set.

There are different rest period recommendations for different goals, but the general rule for building muscle is to rest for one to three minutes. I believe three minutes is too long.

Don’t get me wrong, there are times when it can be useful, such as when one is going heavy on compound lifts. Keep in mind though, that this type of training is mainly for increasing strength and not as effective at increasing muscle mass.

So, just how long should a bodybuilder rest? I believe thirty to ninety seconds is perfect, and I would never recommend resting longer than two minutes. Unless your primary goal is strength.

Keep in mind that that two minute rest would be on a very select few heavy compound movements, such as squats and deadlifts.

Intensity

One of the most crucial factors determining the success or failure of a lifting program is intensity. I’d even go as far as to say that the reason most people don’t achieve or maintain the results they desire from an exercise program is due to a lack of intensity, or a lack of sustained intensity.

You see, if you really want to create mindblowing changes to your body, you must reach and sustain a certain level of intensity throughout the course of your workouts.

This means don’t go hard and focus for twenty minutes, only to get distracted and rest for three minutes straight. Intensity can be increased and maintained via incorporating the methods that I’ve already discussed in this article.

Brief, consistent rest periods are one of the best ways to achieve this. One thing is for sure though, if your workouts are lacking in intensity, you will be lacking in results.

Mind Muscle Connection

Although it is an intangible, the mind muscle connection is one of the most important tools for the advanced bodybuilder. But what exactly is a mind muscle connection?

It’s as simple as it sounds really, the connection between the mind and the muscles. A great mind musle connection will allow an experience bodybuiler to exhaust and even cramp a muscle even without using weight!

If you can’t do this with a certain muscle, you should work on strengthening your mind muscle connection there. Like with most things, there are many different ways to achieve this, but there are a few that aren’t talked about often enough.

One way is by performing isometrics, simply flex a muscle as hard as you can, and hold it for a predetermined amount of time, let’s say ten seconds, then relax. Repeat again for a total of three to four sets.

Also using light weight and concentrating fully, focusing on the contraction, and using isolation movements are good ways to strengthen that all important mind muscle connection.

Once you develop a strong enough mind muscle connection you’ll be able to sculpt a muscle more or less to your will. You’ll be able to focus your mind on a specific part of a muscle, and contract it harder, which will take your physique to the next level.

Conclusion

Bodybuilding at it’s core is truly an art form. Our bodies are the canvas, the weights are our paint brushes. We are all unique and different things will work for each of us, which is why it is important to always keep an open mind.

There are literally infinite aspects to training. It is simple, yet complex. It is art, yet it is also hard work. I encourage you to always learn, expand, and evolve, and your physique will always do the same. I hope this article has served you well. Now go make some gains:) With all my love,

tricep

Adonis

Laugh and Play Your Way To Better Health and Fitness

 

“Assuredly, I say to you, unless you change and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus Christ

children for fmtm 

Remember when you were a child? How often you laughed? How you would play for hours on end without getting tired?

All you wanted to do was play, and you had seemingly limitless energy. Then, somewhere along the way, likely around adolescence, you became aware of your reputation, the opposite sex, how you looked, your grades, college, etc.

You began to play less and less. The older you got, the more responsibilities you had. By the time you entered into adulthood, you rarely played at all, and no longer had that seemingly infinite fountain of energy that you possessed as a child.

You sometimes looked back and thought about how much fun it was to be child, but never could quite figure out what it was that made you more joyful as a youth.

You chalked it up to things like, I had so much fun as a kid because I didn’t have any responsibilities, and accepted that those days were over.

But did you want them to be? Were you really done playing or did it slowly get lost in the shuffle? As you prioritized things like college, work, cleaning the house, and so on, you were unintentionally left with no time to play.

Most adults’ idea of play is drinking alcohol and partying. I’m in no way criticizing that, however, that isn’t the healthy form of play we’re discussing here.

Most adults have forgotten how to enjoy simply playing. Things like a game of kickball or climbing a tree no longer seem to hold the same excitement they once did, but what are we missing out on by playing less, or not at all?

As usual, I’m glad you asked. We are missing out on unique exercises, which allow us to burn calories, and move our bodies in ways that we typically don’t.

This encourages flexibility in areas that we may otherwise become rigid in. It also brings one into the present moment, and stimulates the mental faculties.

It brings one back to the simple joys in life, absent of electronics, etc. It encourages bonding with other people since usually (though not always) more than one person are required to play.

Another benefit, and I believe this is the greatest, is that it encourages inner peace, and a light heartedness. We have been taught that play is for children, and that it’s not as important as work, but on the contrary, it’s vital for our overall sense of well-being.

Not only that, once we rewire our brains to enjoy it, it becomes fun. The interesting thing is that there is technically no specific activity that constitutes play. Playing is a state of mind. Y

ou can do anything playfully. You can have an uncomfortable conversation playfully, you can work playfully. Some people do this naturally, and some have to make a conscious effort.

It is a vital skill that facilitates an enjoyment of life. When someone is playful and lighthearted they are a pleasure to be around, because they are happy and free from anxiety.

This is because their energy is expressed, rather than repressed. On the other hand, when we lack this basic skill we can become rigid and uptight.

It’s a trip right? We have been taught that playing is a waste of time, and a luxury only afforded to children. So where do we start?

It’s as simple as it sounds, but if you haven’t done much playing in several months or years and are unsure of what you’d enjoy, I recommend giving yourself a sampler platter.

Pick a day and time, maybe on the weekend, that works for you and start trying activities that seem like fun. Also, think back to when you were a child. What did you like to do?

Where did you like to go? What made you happy? You can start there. Also, and this may be even more beneficial, inject some fun into your daily activities.

Again, play is a mental attitude, so approach things like work or cleaning with a playful attitude.

Have some fun with your coworkers in a way that’s appropriate for your work environment, turn on your favorite playlist while you clean the house, smile for no reason while driving, make silly faces at yourself in the bathroom mirror.

All of these things will help to lighten and loosen you up, and over time they will affect all areas of your life in a wonderful way.

This may all sound like common sense but remember, the most profound things are often the simplest things. I find that in today’s fast paced world where the average person has so much, often we forget to do the simple things, and those are often the things that bring us the most joy and peace.

So the next time someone tells you to grow up or stop acting childish, say thanks but no thanks. With all my love,

me b&w 

 

Adonis

How Low Self-Esteem Keeps YOU From Achieving Your Fitness (and other) Goals.

“Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.” Lucille Ball

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Is There A Low Self-Esteem Epidemic?

There are a lot of injustices in the world today, and there always have been. However, one of the biggest injustices is that we as people constantly underachieve compared to our potential.

In other words, most of us are not living our highest vision for ourselves. There are many reasons for this, but I believe that at the core of this is low self-esteem.

To better understand what I mean by this, let’s define self-esteem. The oxford dictionary defines self-esteem as confidence in one’s own worth or abilities; self-respect.

So to have low self-esteem then is to have a lack of confidence in one’s own worth or abilities. It isn’t hard to see that there is a deliberate effort in media and pop culture in general to cause low self-esteem among people.

Why would anyone do this? There are so many reasons, but here are a few:

People with low self-esteem don’t trust themselves, they think other people know better than they do, therefore they are more easily manipulated, they can be made to think things, buy things, and feel certain things. They are willing to work for someone else, and accept pay that is lower than what they could be making, they take less chances, don’t try to change systems, etc.

Even on a surface level, it’s pretty obvious how low self-esteem could affect one’s thoughts, attitude, and actions. Thoughts, attitude, and actions come together to form a personality.

Our thoughts determine our attitudes, and our attitudes determine our actions. You’ve probably heard the saying it’s not what you know, it’s who you know.

When you have a positive vibrant personality, you develop great connections. This opens up opportunities that would not be available if you didn’t have positive thoughts, attitude, and actions.

Thoughts become beliefs over time. Have you ever heard of a governor? I know you’re thinking what do politics have to do with this?

You’re absolutely right the answer is nothing lol! However, I’m not talking about that kind of governor. I’m talking about a governor in a car.

Let’s say a car is capable of going 200 miles per hour, but there is a governor on it. The governor will keep the car from going over a set speed, let’s say 80 miles per hour. Now, think of your beliefs the same way.

They act as a governor in our lives. If we have a belief that we’re good but not great at something we will never achieve greatness in that area.

Your beliefs dictate what you do and what you don’t and how you do it. Quantum physics, particularly the “double slit experiment” has shown that what we believe affects matter at the subatomic level.

Michio Kaku’s water experiments showed that our intent affects water tremendously, keep in mind that our bodies are mostly water.

These experiments show us just how powerful our intent is, and the tangible affect it has on the physical world.

This is why it is imperative for us to develop a healthy self-image and general relationship with ourselves.

It’s certainly not your fault if you have low self-esteem, but it’s most certainly your responsibility to do something about it. So what’s the big deal you say?

Why should I do anything about my self-esteem? I’ve gotten by just fine and in fact no one even knows I have low self-esteem.

My friend, I’m glad you asked. Let’s discuss just a few of the effects of low self-esteem. Not fulfilling one’s purpose, not taking necessary risks, not connecting with certain would be friends, lovers, business partners, even would be mentors.

Also, a weakened immune system, lessened motivation, depression, anxiety, and many more. You see? This is why it is SO important for us to develop a healthy relationship with ourselves, but why stop there?

We should develop amazing relationships with ourselves, the quality of our lives depends on it. I know it sounds a little cheesy, but roll with me here.

 

A Simple Approach to Building Self-Esteem.

So, now that we’ve discussed what low self-esteem is, and why we should do something about it, let’s discuss some of the ways we can develop a healthy self-esteem.

One of the simplest and most powerful ways we can increase self-esteem is by setting and achieving goals that are just slightly outside of our comfort levels.

We should also clearly define the date we plan to achieve them by. For example, if we know we can run a mile, but aren’t so sure we can run a mile and a half, we would set a goal to run a mile and a half by a certain date.

We would then create a step by step plan to consistently work towards that goal. We are then almost certain to achieve it, and when we do, we will notice that we feel a little more confident in ourselves.

As we keep setting goals and then accomplishing them, our belief in ourselves will grow, and that will spread into every area of our lives.

As we achieve more and more, our goals will grow, and so will our self-image. We will begin to feel that we have something to offer to people, to the world.

It sounds simple and it is, but it’s not always easy. See, there’s a reason that you haven’t felt as good about yourself as you’d like to.

To put it simply, your beliefs aren’t conducive to having the level of self-esteem you would like to have. So, why not just start thinking different thoughts?

Wouldn’t that work? Well, what I’ve found is that while it is helpful, if it’s not backed with new actions reflecting confidence, and a knowledge of the mind and how it works that only comes from consistent study, it just isn’t effective enough when it comes to changing your beliefs at a subconscious level.

It’s too challenging to consciously make effort to think healthier thoughts, when your actions reflect low self-esteem.

So, in conclusion, it is crucial for our happiness, success, and full expression of who we are to have high self–esteem.

I would even go as far as to say, unless we develop high self-esteem, we can never fulfill our highest callings in our lives. In case you were wondering, YES that includes our health. With all of my love,

 Adonis

Adonis