5 Honest Truths About Getting Fit
I’ve been working out regularly for over a year now and while I felt prepared and knowledgeable for a lot of what I would encounter during my newbie fitness adventure, there were some things that I didn’t necessarily expect.
When you see results, it really does become an addiction
I read this mantra quite a bit when I’ve read about exercises and various fitness-related articles. So much so, that I fluffed it off as just industry catch phrases. But then I started working out. I started eating better. Going to the gym became a habit of life for me several days a week and you know what? Once I started to see the definition of my muscles and the inches dropping away, I wanted more. I couldn’t wait to go to the gym again. I couldn’t wait to prep my healthy lunches for the office. Fitness and exercise had become an addiction.
There’s a difference, though, between being addiction to something good for you, and becoming so obsessed that it leads to things like eating disorders or dangerous overuse of supplements – which I’ll get into later on. Take control of your health, but always be aware of what you’re doing.
People will tell you that you work out too much
Once I started to actually enjoy going to the gym instead of dreading it and trying to find a way to talk myself out of going, I noticed that I wanted to go as often as I could. When that started happening, I also noticed that many people around me started telling me that they think I worked out too much.
Some gym rats think that when people say these things, that it’s because they’re jealous of the efforts and results. Other times, these cautionary warnings are said because they assume you’re being careless about what you’re subjecting your body to. Whatever the reasons – selfish or not; good-natured or not – understand that people will expect an explanation when they see you spending a lot of time working out.
If you take supplements, people will freak out
This is a touchy subject. If you do any amount of research about supplements and bodybuilding, you’ll find many heated diatribes about what is supposedly the best and only way to make your gains (aka: build muscle). I see this topic as being on par with religion: It should be up to each individual based up on their own homework and seeing what they respond positively to. With that being said, when you start taking and buying supplements, people will voice their concern that you’re damaging your body, that you’re taking steroids, and some will even say you’re “cheating your way to top.” There are a million ways that someone could respond to these statements, but for now I’ll just say a few things:
- Supplements are not steroids, anymore than vitamins could be considered steroids.
- Before taking a supplement, you should definitely read up on it and see how people have responded to taking them. If you’re going to put it in your body, you should know what you’re ingesting.
- Taking the right supplements can definitely help you achieve your health and fitness goals.
- Only take the recommended serving size and NEVER take more than the recommended dosage of any pre-workout.
- Before you commit to a large tub of a supplement, look into getting samples sent to you either by the company themselves or by joining a monthly subscription service. For more on this, see my post where I reviewed supplement sample subscription boxes.
After a lot of review reading, ingredient research, and sample trying, I personally like the supplements stack that I take regularly:
- Pre-Workout: Gaspari Nutrition SUPERPUMP 3.0. Great energy without the body pins-and-needle feeling.
- Protein: Muscle Pharm Combat Whey Protein in either Cookies & Cream, Vanilla, or Chocolate Swirl flavors. Versatile, dissolves/mixes well, and tastes great.
- BCAAs: Muscle Pharm BCAA 3:1:2. What are BCAAs? According to WebMD, “Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are essential nutrients that the body obtains from proteins found in food, especially meat, dairy products, and legumes… Athletes use branched-chain amino acids to improve exercise performance and reduce protein and muscle breakdown during intense exercise.”
Expect to sacrifice. A lot.
This is one that some know about when setting off on their fitness journey, while others downplay it in their own minds. Make no mistake about it: You will have to sacrifice. A lot. More so than you might even anticipate.
- Sleep: If you work out in the mornings or at night, you will find that your dreams will be of sleeping in like you used to. On my gym days, I’m at the gym around 5 o’clock in the morning, even on Saturdays. Sleeping in just doesn’t usually happen any more.
- Money: Depending on your financial situation, you may need to sacrifice frivolous expenses to accommodate a gym membership or supplements.
- Diet: You will have to sacrifice that big, juicy, greasy hamburger that you REALLY want because you haven’t eaten in a few hours and instead go home and whip up something healthier. For example: While my family had pizza for lunch, I had a sandwich with salad greens, lean turkey, and avocado, when I really wanted pizza. If you’re a coffee drinker, you will need to be aware of when you take your pre-workout supplement since most contain a lot of caffeine, which may mean you don’t get your morning coffee.
- Consistent Schedule: If you’re like me and you have a very busy daily life, but you’re also not the kind of person who enjoys drastic changes in routine, you will have to get used to squeezing in workouts whenever you can. While I prefer to work out early in the mornings, some mornings I just don’t make it there in time before work, so then I can either skip the day entirely or squeeze in a workout later on in the day before dinner or after the kids are in bed.
- Laziness: While this seems like a no-brainer, this is a big one. You will have to plan ahead for many things. Meals, re-orders of supplements, gym time, sleep, and so forth. If you always wait until the last minute, you’ll end up sabotaging your efforts and minimizing your results.
You will want to give up
I’ll keep this one short and sweet. You will want to give up. I don’t care who you are or how long you’re been at it, you will want to quit. You will get frustrated by your self-perceived lack of progress. And just about the time you think you’re wasting your time, you will see the results you’ve wanted. Stick with it and never give up.