Attraction Basics: Working Out
If anything is “basic” then it’s your body. That makes it a perfect topic for “Attraction Basics” series which is all about things to be fixed before we hit the streets.
Women are attracted to nice bodies. By neglecting that part of your SMV you’re just lowering your chances of getting hot girls. At the very least you should be fit. If you want your appearance to work in your favor – aim for being jacked. And of course being skinny isn’t as bad as being fat but it’s still not a good look.
There are tons of places where you can get good advice on how to lose fat and build muscles. Remember that for a beginner doing anything is better than doing nothing. Any physical activity will work in your favor. But once you’ve lost excess fat you have to train smart. Or better yet – start working out properly from the very beginning.
There is no good body without good diet. Everyone who say otherwise is a liar. And there are far too many contradicting articles on that topic. But we all can agree that if you eat less calories than you burn – you’ll be leaner. If you eat more – you’ll bulk. If you won’t provide enough proteins whatever you gain will be mostly fat. So the key message is: don’t eat more than your body uses and provide enough proteins.
For a guy that doesn’t want to be a bodybuilder there are just three things to remember: 1. Let go of as many bad carbohydrates as you can (white bread, buns, sodas, anything considered sweets, deserts, juices, etc.; if it’s high in sugar – don’t eat/drink it!) 2. Eat as much unprocessed food as you can (especially meat and other protein sources) 3. Don’t eat highly processed shit (fast food, snacks) – if you can, cook for yourself; if you really need a snack – eat nuts, fish, cheese or even a protein bar.
Even if your diet is generally good it can be ruined by sodas, ice creams and muffins that go with your every coffee. Don’t snack on carbohydrates!
When you do all three you’ll find it’s easy to eat around 2000-2500 kcal per day and very very hard to go over 3500 (if for whatever reason you’d want to). Things that are low in carbs and high in protein/fat are rarely unhealthy and usually satiating. Meaning you won’t crave snacks between your meals. And no, fat isn’t going to make you fat. That’s what carbs do.
2) Low intensity training
You want to be lean without having to do heavy work? Who wouldn’t? But unfortunately it’s not how the body works. I’ve rewritten this section at least three times as originally this post was created months ago. Since then I’ve prepared workout plans for few friends and learned that low intensity training isn’t the way to go. Why? Results are coming way too slow for most guys to stick to this approach.
I did got lean and even gained some muscle doing mostly endurance work – lots of reps with light to moderate weight, bodyweight exercises like pus-ups, crunches, squats, scissors, etc. It took me years to get “great” physique. Which as soon as I stared to lift heavy turned out to be “decent” at best. It’s healthy but far from effective.
Running is whole different story – you shouldn’t be doing long distance runs at all. I know what I’m saying. I’m running marathons and only good it does for me is in giving me free pass to eat literally anything on weekends as it’s the time for my long runs (25-35 km). Other than that – it takes a lot of time, makes you really tired and also contributes to muscle loss.
There are lot of bodyweight programs, low intensity endurance workouts and running schedules and the thing they all have in common is very slow progress. So slow that most people tend to quit them before any significant change will happen.
Yes, running burns tons of calories. But if you’re overweight it’s very hard to run significant distance with decent tempo. If you’re skinny it hampers any muscle gains. The only way to combine working out and running – if you’re as stupid as me – is to work out a lot, run a lot and eat tons of food that provide you with all the necessary proteins. It’s extremely demanding and even though I’m living like that for past two years I don’t know anyone who does that too. Which probably means it’s not a good idea.
If you really, really, really want to do some low intensity workout or short runs research HIIT (high intensity interval training) or Tabata method (a.k.a. four minutes of pain). Interval training promotes fat loss and muscle gains, it doesn’t take much time but it really is demanding. Interval sprinting or Tabata “thrusters” (squats combined with pressing dumbbells overhead when you straighten up) are great tools but unfortunately aren’t exactly complete programs.
3) High intensity training
If you’re looking for fast and simple way to look better – there is one. It’s called lifting. You know: gym, sweat, heavy weights, pain, stuff like that. That’s the “easy” way. And because it’s so fast it’s the default strategy for most of the guys. It’s not only fast – bigger muscles means body needs more energy just to maintain them. You won’t be burning much calories during your training sessions but in the long term it will be so much easier to stay lean given the muscle buildup and boosted metabolism. Sounds cool but how to begin?
I can give you probably the best advice that there is (besides hiring a trainer or consulting a lifting friend): make yourself a training program. It’s not going to be perfect or optimal. It will, however, work. If you’re just starting then whatever you do will work. Body will respond really quickly and in time, as you get more friends at the gym, they’ll show you better ways. Or you can start reading something like T-Nation.
If you want to do it all by yourself then at first decide how often you can train. I started by training 40-50 minutes every workday morning. Some start by doing heavy lifts 3 times a week (that takes about hour and a half). Both are good starting points. As your body changes you’ll want more and probably go somewhere near 5-6 sessions per week. That’s great but don’t rush there. Make your schedule realistic.
If you’re just starting train your whole body every session. You need to go through the DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) stage and just get used to training. You can even start with two workouts per week, then go to three as soon as you’re no longer sore. After few months during which you hopefully will make friends at the gym you can work with them to create a split (training different body parts on different days). But that’s a whole other text.
Go with the most basic exercises. For example for chest pick bench press, incline bench press, flyes; for triceps – French press, kickbacks, skull crushers… At first avoid machines – go free weights (barbell, dumbbell). In Poland the standard site to use that lists all the basic exercises is this: http://www.kulturystyka.pl/atlas/ and I’m sure you can find something similar in English.
However, many guys are simple overwhelmed with the sheer amount of possibilities and they can’t even find a starting point. So I’ll give you one hoping that online fitness gurus won’t lynch me. Problem with workouts is that everyone has a different one that works. And everyone thinks every other sucks. But for beginners anything will work and work fast.
4) Results – body & mind
The hardest thing is to start. Wake up, start the training. Go out and run first few meters. Pick up the first weight. Day after day. But you know what? After months of doing this something changes inside of you. Not only you start to like working out because you can see your body changes. You also learn how to be dedicated and relentless.
Just like easier interactions with other people are a side effect of daygame, being tenacious is byproduct of training consistently.
I’ve talked to many people that somehow cannot imagine training at home. They need to go to the gym and train there. Everything is easier when there are other people around you. If you take a shot on doing something alone then you know you’re doing it for yourself and battling your own hamster. If you win there’s so much more to gain. But as in daygame – everything’s easier with a wing.
Heavy lifting supposedly promotes testosterone production. I’m no expert but it definitely makes you feel better. When you look in the mirror and think “I look good” the next thought that pops up is “how can I make myself even better?”. Yes, it’s an never-ending story but every step of it is exciting. Just like daygame.
So – get yourself a gym membership, find a workout friend or just go and pick up some damn weights. You won’t regret it.