Fitness and training is a part of my life just as much as music. In the last 10 years or so my main focus for exercise related tasks has been primarily weight lifting.
It was a process of learning the movements, building a routine and comprehending the mechanics of it all. As well, as cleaning up my diet and having more nutrients in my meals.
But the process is worth it.
Starting out, it can be a daunting task to consistently put in the work. But once I had a solid routine I began to feel like crap for not being able to fulfill the duty. You feel more compelled to do it than not. I use my calendar. Whip out my pen and scratch out what I have done during the day. So under Monday, I will write “Chest” Tuesday “Back,” etc.
It keeps me motivated to write what I have done for the month and I can see at a simple glance and reinforce and reward my consistency not only from my mind, but to see it visually is paramount. I visualize and sculpt the physique I desire.
These days, I work out from home rather than a big gym. With some barbells, a bench and plenty of dumbbell weights I manage to maintain my physique. It seems to work for me.
This time of year, you see people making New Years resolutions of the body and diet. People pack the gyms for the first couple of months, then the grind and desire is extinguished.
I’ve said it before, but the people that last, are creating a “lifestyle” out of it. You’ve heard it before. I don’t like the sound of it but there is validity to concept of “creating a lifestyle”.
If you want to look and feel great for the rest of your life, it must be consistently involved in your life. It may begin with an incremental, gradual change. But you must give your body a reason to change.
There is no easy way out baby! haha
If I could offer a piece of advice for beginners on a weight training program I would suggest these classic exercises within a week block. You can find me doing this any day of the week. I’ve included my thoughts on them.
5 Staples Of Weight Training: The Classics
The bench press is a classical exercise to create size in the chest and front shoulder area. There are many variations of the bench press. Probably one of the most common question people will ask you in a gym, whether antagonizing or not, is “How much do you lift, bro?” Invariably, they refer to the bench.
Squat (With Barbell)
Squats. The most commonly neglected exercise of all workouts. I believe people neglect it because 1) It is less apparent in terms of aestethics (ie. Pants. Out of sight, Out of mind) 2) Done correctly, it is most challenging. I would argue it is most important for balancing your overall body, and keeping thing proportionate, don’t want an overpowering upper body, with tiny legs. Legs are one of the meatiest parts of the body and there are many angles to engage them.
Pull Up (Chin Up)
An excellent workout out for the Lats, this is the part of the back that give the V-taper on the body, also nicknamed ‘The wings’. It can really widen the shape of the back.
There are many variations of this exercise, in terms of handgrip etc. Swimmers and Gymnasts often have a physique that are reflective of doing a lot of pullups or similar movements.
Clean and Press (Or Military Press Variation)
The Clean and Press is perhaps my absolute favourite exercise. Done correctly it can prove to be a very explosive movement. At first glance, this exercise appears to work the shoulders, but your whole body is tied and flaring off to lifting the weight above your head. You are pulling with your legs, back and arms. Tearing it up! This is a fundamental movement. You can gain a lot of strength with this one.
Probably the most common movement in everyday living – lifting stuff. “Pick it up, set it down”. Similar to the clean and press in that it activates a whole lot of different muscles! You gradually add more weight to the barbell as you increase strength.
Get Your Body Right, Get Your Mind Right
Understand the feel of the movement without weight, find a trainer/partner, look in the mirror, get the movement and technique right. And increase weight gradually.
These are the staples. The reason why I dubbed these the staples is because these are natural movements of the body, whether in everyday movement or recreation, these muscles are all affected and required for living. They are classic lifts and movements.
Done with sufficient amount of weight, these exercises can trigger a surge of testosterone in the body since they activate the entire central nervous system. It tells your body, “Oh crap! Fellas we’s needs to get bigger for the next times.”
Most exercises can be based around these movements. You are pushing something, or pulling something. Expanding/Contracting. With these staples you can build a good solid base of strength and mobility. You can build a good physique with these kinds of movements in your arsenal.
If you want to get specific with muscle growth you can use different isolation exercises. With just slight variation in the movement you can change the entire dynamic, the muscles that are firing and the intensity of the workout!
There are plenty of resources online to understand these movements.
Get out of homeostasis and push yourself!
Hasta La Vista!
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