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Sometimes you have to start at the bottom of the fitness ladder to get to the top.

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The other day I got another call about workout tips (Fourth Time in two months). This one like so many others went something like this

Guy: “ Hey, could you give me some advice on how to get big?”

Me: “ I could, but what’s your goal?”

Guy: “ I want to add some size.”

Me: “ Well I can suggest some stuff that will help, but do you just want to add size, or do you want to be able to do something with it as well

Of course his answer was that he’d love to be fit and have size. Great! was my response.

I told him that before I could recommend anything, he should take my short ten-minute fitness test. He agreed that he’d do it over the weekend. A week passed by and I didn’t hear from him, so curiosity got the best of me, and I called him.

During the call I asked how the test went and he said he did ok, but had problems with the sit-ups.

I explained that for men, one sure fire way to build mass is to do heavy lifts like the squat. I went on to explain that to do them correctly and without injury you have to have a strong torso and use proper technique.

I told him that if he is having serious trouble with basic sit-ups, his mid torso is probably weak, and it’s something he should work on before beginning heavy squats.

I recommended starting with the basics, just body weight stuff, and only adding or increasing weight as he overcomes his weak areas. Of course I get the “You’re an Idiot” look and I never hear back from him.

You have to crawl before you can walk.

Most people that want to get back in the gym, especially men, have unrealistic expectations. They expect that they’re going to look like the guys in “Muscle and Fitness” and that somehow they’ll accomplish this in three months or less.

So they go to the gym, try some ridiculous workout they read about (or a buddy gave them), and when that doesn’t work, they begin asking around for tips and tricks (or supplements). When those don’t pan out, they ask even more people, hoping to find a magic solution to their problem.

Occasionally when they do get sound advice, it doesn’t mesh with what they think they know, so they discount it and move on.

Over time one of three things will happen to them.

  1. They’ll eventually quit when they see no progress.

  2. Or they’ll continue forever down the same path, never getting anywhere. Trying every gimmick that comes along, waiting patiently for the one magic solution that will sadly never materialize.

  3. Or they’ll educate themselves, apply that knowledge, and change their lives forever.

If you’re one of these people I have some free advice.

The basics tell you a bunch of information about where you are. Sure you might be strong in one area, but you may be totally weak in another. A few body weight exercises will point out your deficiencies.

Sure size looks great, but if you can’t do anything with it who cares.

Drop your ego and accept the fact that maybe you don’t know it all. Understand that it’s gonna take some considerable time to un-do what you’ve done to your body over the years. Set realistic expectations, and start at the bottom.

As you progress and learn the basics, you’ll begin adding more and more weight, which will help you reach your goals. It won’t happen overnight, some areas will progress faster than others, so have patience. Consider it a journey, not a race, and you’ll succeed

See you in the hills.


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