In this installment of the Best of Muscle For Life, you’ll hear hand-picked clips from three popular MFL episodes: an interview with Austin Current on the science of strength training, a monologue on how to easily and accurately calculate your body fat percentage, and a Motivation Monday episode on getting fired up for your workouts.
Some people—my favorite people—listen to most or even all of my podcasts, but my wizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life and thus miss out on insights that could help them do at least a little better inside and outside the gym.
That’s why I do “best of” episodes that contain a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from the more popular episodes I’ve published over the years. This way, you can learn interesting insights that you might have otherwise missed and find new episodes of the show to listen to.
So, in this installment of The Best of Muscle for Life, you’ll be hearing hand-picked morsels from three episodes:
And we’ll be starting with number one, Austin Current on Understanding the Science of Strength Training.
0:00 – My free meal planning tool: buylegion.com/mealplan
5:24 – Austin Current on Understanding the Science of Strength Training
20:16 – How to Calculate Your Body Fat Percentage Easily & Accurately
31:17 – Motivation Monday: 6 Reasons to Get Fired Up For Your Workout
Mentioned on the Show:
Want a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, macros, and micros, and allows you to create custom meal plans for cutting, lean gaining, and maintaining in under 5 minutes? Go to https://buylegion.com/mealplan and download the tool for free!
What did you think of this episode? Have anything else to share? Let me know in the comments below!
Hello, and welcome to the latest and greatest episode of Muscle for Life. I’m Mike Matthews, and thank you for joining me today. Now, I have recorded hundreds of episodes of Muscle for Life, and I’ve talked about a huge variety of. Things related to health, fitness, lifestyle, mindset, ranging from the basics of diet and exercise, like energy and macronutrient, balance and progressive overload, and training frequency and volume to fads like the ketogenic and carnivore diet and collagen protein to more unfamiliar territories like body weight, set point, and fasted cardio.
Some episodes resonate with my crowd more than others, but all of them contain at least a few key takeaways that just about anyone can benefit from. At least that’s what I tell myself. That’s what helps me sit down in the chair every day and do this, and as cool as that is. It poses a problem for you, my dear listener, especially if you are new here, and that is, ain’t nobody got time for that.
We’re talking about probably a thousand plus hours of content at this point. And while some people actually do make the time to listen to most or even. All of my podcasts, my Whizbang analytics tell me that while many listeners tune in on a regular basis, they don’t catch every installment of Muscle for Life.
Thus, they miss out on insights that could help them get even just a little bit better inside and outside the gym. Because if you just get a little bit better, consistently enough, that can add up to big results in the long. And people have also been telling me that they would like me to do more shorter multi topic episodes like my q and As and says You episodes.
And so I got an idea. How about a best of series of podcasts that contains a few of the most practical and compelling ideas, tips, and moments from. My most popular episodes going all the way back to the beginning. This way, people who are new in particular can quickly determine if this is the droid they’re looking for, if this podcast is for them or not.
And then those who are regulars and enjoy what I’m doing, but just don’t have the time or inclination to listen to all of my stuff. And I do understand that I don’t take it personally. , you can also then benefit from. The discussions and the episodes that you are not listening to in full. And you can also find new episodes to listen to without having to give an hour of your time to determine whether it was worth it or not.
So here we are with the best of Muscle for Life and in this episode you you’ll be hearing. Picked morsels from three episodes. The first is an interview I did with Austin Current on understanding the Science of Strength training. Austin released a book with, uh, a similar title. I think Science of Strength Training is in that.
Book, fantastic book, lots of great illustrations, great information. Definitely recommend it. And then there is a monologue, just uh, an episode from me that is going to be featured in this episode and that is how to calculate your body fat percentage easily and. Accurately something that I am always asked about and probably will always be asked about.
So if you’ve ever wondered about that, I think that you’ll find the information helpful. And finally, I have another monologue from me featured here, which is Six Reasons to Get Fired Up For. Your workout. But first, how would you like a free meal planning tool that figures out your calories, your macros, even your micros, and then allows you to create 100% custom meal plans for cutting, lean, gaining, or maintaining in under five.
Minutes. Well, all you gotta do is go to buy legion.com/meal plan b u y legion.com/meal plan and download the tool. And if I may say, this tool really is fantastic. My team and I spent over six months on this thing working with an Excel wizard, and inferior versions of this are often sold for 50, 60, even a hundred dollars.
Or you have to download an app and pay every month or sign up for a weight loss service and pay every month, 10, 20, 40, 50, even $60 a month for what is essentially in this free tool. So if you are struggling to improve your body composition, if you are struggling to lose fat or gain muscle, the right meal plan can change everything.
Dieting can go from feeling like running in the sand in a sandstorm to riding a bike on a breezy day down a hill. So again, if you want my free meal planning tool, go to buy legion.com/meal plan b u y legion.com/meal plan. Enter your email address and you will get instant access. So let’s start our highlights with the interview I did with Austin Current.
Basically, for muscle growth to occur, there must be a mechanical stimulus or stress that happens. Right. That’s the mechanical tension. So this mechanical stimulus is referred to as mechanical tension or muscular tension, right? More collo. And when you contract your muscles against resistance, you create mechanical tension via the force being placed.
On those muscles. Right? So once those, those receptors within the muscles, right, those mechanical receptors is what they’re called within the muscle, detect that tension. There’s a cascade of chemical reactions that basically lead to muscle growth down the line, right? And that process is that that process of mechanical trans.
Reduction, which is basically taking physical stimulus or resistive work and, and making it, um, more of, uh, the biological response or chemical response in the body. That then relays the message down the, down the chain, if you will, of command, and then the amount or duration of. The time that that system is turned on or switched on, if you will.
Um, then we kind of get into, um, things that are nutritional and, and protein based, right? Which is why protein intake and, and other, uh, macronutrient intake such as carbohydrates and fats that help fuel that process, right? So we need a certain thing to trigger it in a certain threshold to trigger. But then, or switch it on, if you will.
Kind of like a light switch. Strength training is such a good way to trigger that, respond to that, and it’s a safe and effective way to, to make that happen. Right? And we can target tension in certain muscle groups. Uh, to, to have that response in those muscle groups specifically. Right? Which obviously if we’re looking to craft or, you know, grow a physique that we want to or maybe improve our arms or our back or our chest, right?
That we need to be able to, we can’t just. Squeeze our entire body or, or just go for a run and hope that our chest grows, right? We need, we need a stimulus on that muscle tissue on those muscle cells, um, or those muscle fibers to actually make this happen. So muscle damage, basically the micro tears to the muscle fiber and disruption, um, sort of within the functional unit of a muscle, the way that it contracts, right?
Um, so it’s kind of that disruption of that, uh, machinery or. Physical makeup of that muscle. Um, but also those really mic those small micro tears that we always kind of hear about correlated with muscle damage. Right? And the main role of muscle damage, or the main thing is going to be a byproduct of muscle contraction, right?
It’s sort of a, an accumulation of waste. Um, and there’s different mechanisms here, but. The main one, um, just being sort of those micro tiers and ultimately a byproduct of this process. And there is, there does seem to be, and, and especially in my opinion, and this, as you mentioned, this is an ongoing debate and ongoing discussion.
Um, and we’re trying to learn more. It’s, it’s pretty miraculous. I, I find it miraculous that as much as we know about muscle. And as much as we know about the human body, we still don’t know as much as we could, and there’s still a lot more that we can find out, right? Which to me, is exciting. We contract the muscle, we create mechanical tension on the muscle.
We create this cascade. But when we do contract, right, there are positive things that happen. But just like anything, there’re sort of, there’s negative things that occur during that process in terms of metabolic waste, um, and waste product from that machinery working, right? So like if a, a machine is working and it, let’s say your engine, right?
It’s working and it heats up, right? A byproduct of an engine running is heat. Right. And so there’s, you have to some, have some sort of machinery to regulate heat, right? Um, and so that’s just a byproduct that more or less making the comparison to a byproduct of a machine working, right? So a, a byproduct of, of muscle, uh, contraction is therefore damage that can occur if we have too much mechanical tension happen, or too much intensity of it for a long, too long of a duration, right?
And this is where we get into the field of, uh, an adequate amount of training. Right. Uh, we need hard sets, but how many hard sets do we need relative to our training age relative to our training abilities? Right? How much volume were we doing before then? Right? So there’s some good stuff. And our lifestyle as well.
Um, lifestyle’s a big nutrition, stress level. Status. Stress. Stress. Yeah. Sleep. Yeah, sleep, all that stuff, right? So all this is playing into this. It’s not just a black and white thing. There starts to be a benefit of, of muscle damage early on, maybe in a training phase or, or a new movement, right? So we know when things are novel and new.
So if we try, let’s say we try a new movement. We haven’t back squatted before or we haven’t, um, you know, bench pressed before. There seems to be that, that little bit right there, there’s like, we’re like, we’re talking about off air. It’s sort of a proxy. It lets us know we’re, we’re placing tension in the right spots, right?
It lets us know that we achieved a certain threshold that we hadn’t achieved before, right? And we know with progressive overload, and that’s, that’s an important bit of, of training, uh, periodization and programming and, and progressing on our muscle growth journey, right? We need progressive overload. We need a progressive stimulus of some kind to further along an adaptation that we want to happen, right?
Because once we adapt to a certain stress, We’re pretty covered with that, right? You get really good at running a mile a mile’s, not gonna be too difficult any longer, but then you take that mile and make it two miles. Okay? Now we got some adaptation to happen, right? We have a progressive stimulus there.
Same here, the same thing here with with strength training, with with creating tension and with muscle damage, right? So I do think, you know, I wouldn’t shy away from maybe. Creating a little bit. Um, and you know, or if you come up, if you come happen to come by it, don’t think of it as like, oh, my gains are gone.
I, I separate tension based soreness with like trauma-based soreness. Like you’ve gone too far. Right? And so, like to me, an easy example to me is like, Little tension based soreness is like, you were sitting down and you went to get up and you’re like, Ooh, my quads are kind of sore. You know, you kind of stretch ’em out.
There’s, there’s some tension in there. You’re like, Ooh, that’s kind of, I don’t know if I could squat today, you know? Um, Too far is like your partner looks at your quads and you’re like, don’t even look at Mike. Don’t even act like you’re gonna touch me. Don’t look at ’em. You know, don’t get near me cuz you might bump into my legs.
You know, it’s like you were in a car wreck, right? It’s like a trauma. Right? And that can happen. From strength training, it can happen from ex, you know, exercise induced muscle muscle trauma. Right. It’s, you know, if you’ve never ran, yeah, it’s new. Go do some German volume training and see how you feel. . Oh, you’ll feel like you got in a car crash.
Yeah. Go do, go do 10 by 10 on the squat rack. You know, I, I think a productive level of muscle soreness can be upwards of, of a day, you know, 24 to 36 hours. Um, you know, sometimes, depending on the intensity of the session, the, you know, , you know, if you’re in a really intense high volume hypertrophy phase, right?
Yeah. Um, you’re gonna, you know, you’re probably gonna be sore for a couple days. Yeah. I don’t believe strength training, sole purpose is to gain as much muscle as possible either. Right. So there’s, there’s a lot of benefits that st extend beyond muscle growth here. Right. It’s just a helpful byproduct of.
Strength training, right? We get bigger, stronger, we adapt. Um, and sometimes leaner and there you go. Um, nice. But also I don’t, I don’t, yeah, there you go. I don’t think that, um, you know, we should go for just bludgeon ourselves with, with trauma, either physical trauma, every training session, right. Where, and you, you can, you know, yell at me that Arnold did it till you’re blue in the face, but you’re not Arnold dude.
Okay. Yeah. Um, I’m not Michael. , I can swim, but I’m not Michael Phelps. Um, and this is where kind of deloads come in, right? That, that you hear about Deloads and, and pulling back on training volume and training stress and. You gotta periodize things, right? You got, there’s times in your life where you gotta pull back on things.
Maybe go on vacation or holiday, spend more time with, with your, your family and, and then kind of take a load off. Do what kind of recharge yourself. Same thing goes with training. You know, it, it’s a ebb and flow of a biological system, you know, and it’s the same, same thing. We’re not machines, whether you speak in ones and zeros or not.
The more tension you’re producing in a specific muscle, the more stress on that overall system. Right? But the more, but the more work is being done in less time with less volume. Right. And if we have less volume, we have less accumulated stress on the system and on our joints. In our connective tissues.
Yeah. Yeah. And so that’s a good positive thing. Right? So to my goal, I, I kind of almost, you know, with, with clients I’ve worked with for a long time, If we get upwards of, let’s say 16 plus sets a week on something, um, it’s my goal, or let’s say upwards of 20. It’s my goal to actually be able to productively pull back on that because that means that we have more high quality work.
rather than more low quality work. Right? Yeah. I’d rather have high quality than qual quality over quantity. Right. Um, and this really plays into that in a, in a big way. So, um, you know, technique and in your ability to create tension to me is, um, A fundamental skill, right? It’s, it’s as important to strength training as dribbling as to basketball.
So metabolic stress is the accumulation of metabolic products within the muscle fiber, right? Within the muscle cell during training, right? So that, that fatigue, right? This is where muscle or metabolic stress gets really interesting. So metabolic stress actually has, uh, currently what we know, uh, or is theorized, has an indirect.
right? So earlier we talked about direct volume and indirect volume, right? So metabolic stress has this indirect relationship with muscle hypertrophy, right? And it does so through increasing the most direct one, which is mechanical tension, right? So I’m gonna explain that case. The fatigue that is in part caused by metabolic stress is thought to contribute to an increase in mechanical tension.
right? As it increases the MUS in the muscle metabolic stress, as it increases in the muscle, it increases motor unit recruitment and decreases the muscle fiber shortening velocity, right? So it allows us to create even more tension as that fatigue is produced and the more is produced, the more tension is produced.
Right? And that’s so more is required. , it’s tension is then required to keep that, to, to do that, to keep doing the exercise properly. Right. And that’s where your rep speed starts to really slow. You’re like, you’re, you know, you’re to that point where you’re, if you’re watching, like you’re doing a bicep curl and you’re like, Shaken, right?
You’re like, there’s so much tension and there’s not a lot there. Right? You’re, you’re getting, and that’s again, so there’s, there’s a, there’s a healthy amount of that. Um, Dr. Cody Hahn and, and colleagues, Stephanie posted a, a great paper on this, um, you know, talking about sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, right? So outside of the muscle cell directly, , you know, we have the, the Sarco Lima and, and we have the Sarco plasm, and there are, there’s certain things in there, right?
We, we store glycogen in there. We, there’s certain enzymes in there that help sort of govern that cell in a positive way that help, you know, maybe drive more nutrients in or more fluid or more glycogen, or more glyco could be stored there because we, we need more availability. Ready to go energy within that cell, right?
Because we’re always working at that capacity. And so there is definitely merit to that. Um, in terms of sarcoplasmic hyper, there’s, you know, my fibular hypertrophy, which is more of like the, the hyper we were used to where muscles, the actual protein, we’re gaining more protein. Yeah. Right next to each other.
Right, and, and in parallel and in series. So looking next to each other, they’re, they’re expanding, we’re getting bigger, we’re growing more protein, right? That muscle protein synthesis process, right? We’re growing more. Synthesis just means more, right? Growing, developing. So within that sarcoplasmic hypertrophy, we’re rising, basically rising the volume.
Of the, that, that fluid state where, um, those things that help contribute as well to fueling the process of all that muscle growth, that pro myo fibular muscle growth as well, right? So we need those components outside of that, uh, protein to, to do their job as well, right? Those, those muscle fibers to do their job as well.
Um, you’re adding more ability. To, uh, divide labor and, and increase your ability to, to handle, you know, fatigue or, or even work being done within workouts within, uh, you know, mesa cycles. And, and so like I come from the more of the competing world and we, on stage people talk a lot about muscle density Yeah.
And muscle maturity and to. That’s just the difference of you having actual more protein, more my fibular hypertrophy over the course of your career rather than circle plasma-based hypertrophy. Right? So, you know, us young bucks on stage are just kind of pumped up blobs of, of fluid, of just like we got some, we got some muscle, but it’s mainly just for show here for.
And as soon as we step on Yeah. Step off stage, we’re gonna flatten out . Yeah. Yeah. We have about 30 minutes of where we’re gonna look. Like that older dude, that’s a, there’s a certain rate limiter of our future gains that’s sort of being compromised by our lack of ability to see the full picture rather than this sort of, this myopic view of it, of, of just this one sole focus of being like myo fibrillary perch view.
Like it has to be within this, right? So if you never. Do those types of training. You never expose yourself to those things and you never have to force those things to adapt, to work better and more efficiently and, and your ability to store maybe more muscle glycogen in a cell, like that’s huge for your long term potential of muscle growth.
It allows you over a course of a phase maybe’s to tolerate more volume. You recover a bit quicker in between sessions, which as we’ve been talking about this whole time, that’s massively. Hey there. If you are hearing this, you are still listening, which is awesome. Thank you. And if you are enjoying this podcast, or if you just like my podcast in general and you are getting at least something out of it, would you mind sharing it with a friend?
Or a loved one or a not so loved one even who might want to learn something new. Word of mouth helps really bigly in growing the show. So if you think of someone who might like this episode or another one, please do tell them about it. All right. That’s it for the featured snippets of my interview with Austin Current.
If you want to listen to the entire interview, you can find it back in September of 2021. Now let’s move on now to the next episode featured here, which is how to calculate your body fat percentage easily and accurately. . All right, so let’s start with what is body fat percentage? Well, your body fat percentage is exactly that.
It is the percentage of your body weight that is fat. So for example, if you weigh 150 pounds and you have 15 pounds of fat on your body, your body fat percentage is 10%, right? 15 divided by one 50. This means that your body fat percentage is a moving target because it changes when you gain fat. It changes when you lose fat, and also when you gain and lose muscle.
Body fat actually plays many vital roles in the body, including protecting organs from damage, maintaining body temperature, producing various hormones. Leptin and other chemicals and much more, and that’s why there’s a limit to how lean you can get before your health starts to decline. What is that limit though?
Well, first let’s start with some classifications of body fat percentage ranges. So in men, the essential range is four to. Percent. The athlete range is seven to 10%. The fit range is 11 to 16%. The normal range is 17 to 25%, and the overweight, eventually obese range is 26% and above. And in women, it looks like this, the essential range is 10 to 12%.
The. Range is 13 to 20%. The fit range is 21 to 24%. Normal is 25 to 31%, and overweight slash obese is 32% and above. And in case you are wondering, the additional fat that women carry in their breasts, hips, thighs, and butts, accounts for their generally higher body fat percentages and higher ranges top.
Athletes in many different sports are usually around six to 10% body fat, and the females are usually around 13 to 20% or so. It is not pleasant to try to maintain that look for very long periods of time unless you are very, very active like an athlete. Which allows you to eat more food and is just better on your body than trying to stay very lean on smaller amounts of food.
But it can be done if you are willing to strictly control your calories, and unfortunately, that can be hard when you are fighting against your body’s natural desire. To be fatter. Really, your body does not want to be seven or 8% body fat or 16 or 17%. If you’re a woman, it would much rather be probably closer to 10 to 15% if you’re a man, or 20 to 25% if you’re a woman.
The good news is, You can maintain slightly higher levels of body fat, at least most people can, while still being able to enjoy life, eat foods that you like. You can’t eat whatever you want whenever you want, of course, but you know, have good workouts and be healthy. Now it is not necessary to be that lean, to be healthy.
Generally speaking, the health benefits of fat loss drop off around 15% body fat in men and around 20% in women. So you can be more or less just as healthy as a guy at 15% as you can at 10% or even 8%. And the same for women at let’s say 25, 20, or. Percent. And so the only real reason to bring your body fat percentage below the fit range into the athletic range or the athlete range, or especially the lower levels of, uh, the athlete range, is it’s about vanity really and just feeling better about how you look.
Alright, so now let’s talk about calculating body fat percentage. How do you do it? Well, there are quite a few ways of. Doing it, and you can get quite a few different results based on what you do. So in my case, the multiple point caliper tests that I was talking about in the beginning of this podcast said I was 11% body fat, but then the handheld device in the gym said I was 8%.
And a different method, A single point caliper said 6%. So what gives, let’s go down the list here. Let’s talk about body composition scales and handheld devices first, because they are the simplest way to measure your body fat percentage. You step on the scale, you hold the device, you get a number. Now these instruments use a method called bioelectrical.
Impedance analysis bia, which involves measuring your body’s resistance to a light. Electrical current muscle conducts electricity very well because it is over 70% water and fat does not because it holds much less water. Thus, the more resistant the body is to an electrical current, the fatter it must be.
That’s the logic behind. Method, and it sounds reasonable enough, but there are some serious problems with bia. First, electricity takes the path of least resistance, so as the current passes through your body, it will actually avoid fat stores for tissues that are. Easier to traverse. So internal tissues will be chosen over subcutaneous fat, for example.
And making matters worse is the fact that two electrode devices like scales, or at least most scales and. Handhelds skip entire portions of your body. The foot to foot scales miss your entire torso and hand-to-hand devices miss the lower half of your body. And as you can imagine, this corrupts the results now.
Skin fold testing uses CAS to measure the thick. Of your skin at various points on your body and the measurements are added together and then fed through a couple of equations that ultimately give you a body fat percentage. And I think you might see where this can go wrong, namely, if you pinch too little skin, you’re gonna read lower than you are.
If you pinch too much skin, you’re gonna read higher and then beyond. Pinching there is the problem of bad equations, bad math, so the upside to skin fold testing is this. Some methods are more accurate than others and do lend themselves well to tracking changes to body fat levels over time, and we’ll get to that in a few minutes.
All right, let’s move on and talk about the next method of estimating body fat. And that is dual energy x-ray abort geometry or dxa. And this is a technology that uses a full body X-ray to help calculate your body fat percentage. And the scientific basis of this method is that. and fat-free mass absorb x-ray energy differently, which then allows each of these elements to be isolated and measured.
And that sounds like it should be very accurate. Right? And most people do indeed think that Dex are eatings are un airing. If the Dexo says that the due to 7%, he is 7% end of story. But research shows otherwise ironic. Dxa can be just as inaccurate as any of the other methods that we’ve discussed so far.
For example, in two studies, the individual error rates using dxa were as high as 4%, and again, that’s in an absolute, so somebody at 10% could read at 6% or 14%. All right, next up, let’s talk about the BOD pod. So this is a machine that works similarly to hydrostatic weighing, but it uses air instead.
Water. So what you do is you sit in a seated chamber and then sensors measure the amount of air that your body displaces. And then mathematical formulas are used to translate the readings into body composition statistics. Now we already know how inaccurate hydrostatic weighing can be. And unfortunately, research shows that the BOD Pod seems to be even worse.
Its accuracy is affected by more variables like facial hair, moisture, body temperature, and even the tightness of the clothing that you’re wearing. Alright, so those are the most popular methods that people use to calculate or estimate body fat percentages and obviously, They all have serious flaws. So how do we do it?
Then? How do we calculate our body fat percentage? Now, I mentioned something earlier, which is this four compartment analysis, and this is how scientists were able to determine the error rates of the various testing methods that we’ve gone over. They checked bia, DEXA, bod, podd, hydrostatic and Skin.
Results against the four compartment analysis, which is the gold standard of body fat calculation. And this method involves using several testing methods to piece by piece separate body weight into four categories, bone, water, muscle tissue, and. Fat mass. Now, this is nice to know, but it’s not very useful for most of us because it requires a team of scientists.
Fortunately, however, there is a method of calculating and tracking body fat percentage that I feel is fairly accurate. And consistent enough to warrant the time and attention, and this is how I do it myself. So what I do when I want to keep close tabs on my body fat percentage, so let’s say when I’m cutting or when I’m lean, bulking, is I use cas a scale.
I’m measuring tape and the mirror. So what I do is I weigh myself every day, and then I calculate an average weight every seven to 10 days. All right, let’s talk about caliper measurements and taking biweekly caliper measurements. So generally speak. If your skin is getting thicker over time, you are gaining fat, and if it’s getting thinner, you are losing fat because of course most of the fat that we are gaining and losing is subcutaneous fat.
It is the fat underneath the skin, and this is why caliper readings can be useful despite being not very reliable for determining body fat percentage. I recommend taking weekly waste measurements when you want to keep an eye on your body fat percentage because. The size of your waste measured at the naval is a reliable indicator of fat gain or fat loss.
An ever expanding waste indicates fat gain and ever shrinking. One indicates fat loss, and that’s why it is a good measurement. And that’s it for the Choice Select snippets from how to calculate your body fat percentage easily and accurately. And if you want to listen to the rest, you can find it in June of 2019.
And now let’s listen to my selections from Six Reasons to get fired up for your Workout. So there’s a reason why you don’t see very many fit people walking around. It’s pretty simple. Of course, sticking to a workout program and sticking to a diet can be hard. It can be really hard. You don’t get to eat all the foods that you want to eat whenever you want to eat them.
You don’t get to drink all the alcohol that you might want to drink whenever you wanna drink it. You often have to sacrifice. Some of your free time or maybe even your sleep to fit workouts in. I’m sure you can think of many more inconveniences and difficulties that come with getting and staying fit, and anyone can drum up enough emotional resolve to get started, but staying the course, making it into a lifestyle is another matter altogether.
Doing that takes. Deep lasting motivation and dedication. And so I wanna share with you a few things that help motivate me whenever I’m on the fence. I hope that these emotional triggers will help you remember why you started working out in the first place, and we’ll get you fired up to get your butt off the couch into the car and under the bar.
So the first one is, working out is a great way to enjoy a natural and healthy. High, and I’m just talking about mental satisfaction here. I’m talking about the actual physical high that results from exercise. You see the brain altering chemicals that are released by exercise act similarly to opioid drugs, meaning that when you work out, it is a very healthy and natural way to just feel very.
Every day of your life. This is why many studies have shown that regular exercise is a powerful way to increase mood. Alright? Reason number two is working out is a fantastic way to silence your critics. Now, while I’m all for, you know, doing it for you and not having to prove yourself to anyone, we all take satisfaction in doing what other people say we can’t do, and we’ve all known.
People who are just compelled to criticize and doubt us whenever we undertook anything positive. And you know the type of person you tell them you’re starting a new workout program and they question why they roll their eyes, they snicker or otherwise tell you, they just don’t think you can do it well.
You can use. Those people as workout motivation, get in the gym and prove them wrong, and then relish the look on their faces as you transform your body, as you lose fat, as you build muscle, as you build the body you’ve always wanted, and probably the body that they’ve always wanted too. Okay. The next reason is obvious.
It’s getting sexier because let’s face it, the number one reason most people start working out is to look better for other girls or guys. That’s why I started hitting the weights back when I was 17, 18. My goal wasn’t just to be cuter, but you know, sexier, that primal, universal, irresistible kind of attraction that just bypasses critical filters and makes people physically want you.
And, you know, hey, I was a teenager. Cut me some slack. I’ve, I’ve matured since then. I don’t really care so much about that anymore, but it definitely was a strong motivator in the beginning. And of course, vanity is still part of the reason why I keep working out. I don’t know if I would say it’s 50%, but I’d say it’s probably no less than 30%.
I definitely enjoy looking a certain way and that will never change, and that’s okay. Uh, the next point kind of goes hand in hand, which. Working out builds your self-confidence. Yes, that’s right. Lifting weights doesn’t just build muscle. It also builds self-confidence. Now, of course, some people go to the dark side and just become narcissistic, neurotic egomaniacs, but those of us who are mentally balanced, Generally just become happier, calmer, nicer, and nicer to be around people.
This self-confidence boost extends to all areas of our lives as well. Do not be surprised if working out regularly. Also makes you want to push the envelope in other areas of your life and strive for more to challenge yourself. Next on my list is while strength is pretty awesome, mental toughness is even awesome, or don’t look into it, but that’s definitely a word.
Definitely in the dictionary. No, but seriously, how many workouts have you missed because your mind seduced you into thinking you were too tired. How many reps have you missed because. The little voice in your head said that that was enough. You’d already done enough already. These aren’t physical failures, they’re mental failures, and they relate to something much bigger than just working out.
If I had to choose one thing, one trait that sets extraordinary achievers, apart from ordinary ones in any field, in any activity, it wouldn’t be in intelligence or wisdom, talent, luck, genetics. It would just be mental toughness. Conscientiousness in psychological terms or in pop psychological terms? Grit.
Right? That’s kind of the trendy thing right now. What all grit really is, is the psychological trait of conscientiousness. The will to finish what has been begun, the discipline to not give in to temptations, to stray or quit. The willingness to make sacrifices, to make hard sacrifices. Every day you show up to the gym every day you put that work in.
No. How many reasons you had to do otherwise, no matter how much mental resistance you might have felt, no matter how drained your body might have been, you are transforming more than your physique. You are transforming your very being. So the next time you start to convince yourself why you should skip or miss a workout, stop for a second and recognize the simple fact that the reason you don’t want to go is why you have.
If you don’t go, you are making your. Weaker. And if you do, you are making yourself stronger. Okay? That is it for the featured moments from Six Reasons to get fired up for your workout. And if you wanna listen to the entire episode, it was published in April of 2018. Well, I hope you liked this episode. I hope you found it helpful.
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