Feb 2014 Progress

Well its been over a year since I posted my thoughts on this site and I must admit that now in days, in contrast to my previous posts of "I don't look good enough" and "why is it taking so long to make gains", now I can say that I am happy with my shape and progress thus far. I'm older now so obviously maturity has set in to some degree where I know that my body will grow in due time. Consistency in diet and training and knowing what you are eating is key for a bigger body. 

However, as I grow more in love with this lifestyle/sport, I also begin to see the backlash of it. Basically alot of time and money is invested into this, which means less of both for my personal time, which now ranges from me staring my new career as an insurance agent, to staring me own E-commerce business, to basically dealing with the normal BS you put up with from the family/home and people around. I am very driven this year to make $$$, so I am focusing on my career/business more than anything else, but in order for me to do that I had to take away from the one thing that I was investing in previously; bodybuilding. So now, I don't go to the gym as often as I did, sometimes missing weeks out of the training, and my diet is not as consistent, now eating only 4x a day, which is not enough for this type of training. 

But I still do it. I miss the consistency of the training. When I had a job, it was easy to keep the consistency of the training; I worked in an office where I had a good timeline for my meals (breaks, lunch) and where after work, I went straight to the gym. Easy, simple, and very much geared towards the lifestyle, except for one thing-I was miserable. I hated my job (taking calls from mindless idiots can do that to you) and I saw no real growth for me in that small company that I was working in (even though the owner frequently went on vacations and left me to run the whole place which I freakin loved *insert sarcasm*). The point was that while my bodybuilding goals were doing great (I won 1st place in the novice middleweight in August) I was not making goals for my life, and honestly, bodybuilding is not my life. I like to do it because I enjoy going to the gym and cranking my ipod up and killing my sets. I like the sweat, the pain, and the feeling of accomplishment after every workout, but I don't need a contest as a motivator as to why I should go to the gym.

I say this because I like alot of the fitness and bodybuilding pages in my facebook, but I realized that I was doing an error of constantly comparing myself to those guys with the advanced bodybuilder physique. Real talk, alot of the pros out there have either some sponsorship and/or are on "something" to achieve that type of level, and I am not against that, but I have to be real with myself, I cannot look like them because I don't have that type of financing -for now ;)-and in the end, I don't want to take any drugs to grow; I like being a natural. Besides that, as stated, I don't plan on competing in the nationals, or go to the Olympia. I want to look good, be healthy at the same time reaching my true goals of being successful and happy, something I could not do had I stayed in my job. 

Anyhow, nothing is forever, and that same principle applies to bad times. I have been blessed with not going broke since I quit; my business has maintained me, and with this new career, I know I will grow financially; so good times are at hand. I just don't want a boss over me anymore-I want to be my own boss, and I don't want other mindsets to control me, I want to decide what's best for me. I deleted or unliked alot of those fitness pages on facebook and I also stopped measuring my weight. Right now I could not tell you my weight or my bodyfat% since I don't know. I want to keep this simple for me-if I try to keep it otherwise, I'll end up hating this lifestyle and that is something that I do not want to do. There is nothing wrong with maintaining balance in your life. If you are fortunate to incorporate this lifestyle into your career and financially benefit from it, awesome. If not, that's fine. I guess for me, it took me awhile to realize that I had to stop being hard on myself and that taking risks was not a sin. I don't know if some of you would agree with me, but life with no risk is no life at all. Every person is unique, so apply this broken up story and anecdote to your life as it best fits you.

Happy Training friends.

Progress up to 8/2/2012

Well its been a while since I posted anything up and for good reason-between my work, business, and family I've had little time to socialize in person and on the net, but one thing that I have maintained is my training. 

From May up until July, I had tried to do a cut cycle to shred for the summer, but it blew up in my face. I did not shred, though I dropped 2% in bf and am looking leaner. So after my failed cycle, in July I started my bulk cycle and a new routine and so far its been doing wonders for me. My old cycle had me training 5 days a week, and I was doing cardio in weekends. Now, I train 4 days a week, and do my cardio after my main workouts. The rest days has proven to be effective in giving my body time to grow and heal. 

I cut out a couple of things as well. I have stopped checking on my weight, so if you haven't noticed, my weight measurement is far behind. I actually don't know what I weigh to be honest neither do I care anymore. Earlier in the year I did, but it would always tick me off whenever I saw my weight drop or not rise at all. Now, I'm going by eye-if I look big, then there is nothing to complain about. Yeah my goal is to be 200 lbs at 8% bf, but I know I will hit that, though it won't be an overnight process; 3 words: determination, consistency, and patience. Without those, its easy to lose motivation for your goals.

I also stopped taking preworkouts. They would give me energy, but they made it hard for me to breath, and sometimes that $h!t left me feeling nauseated and gave me insomnia. Since I stopped taking them, I feel better; I sleep better and breathe easier in my workouts with more comfort. As far as energy goes, I'm going natural. I'm only taking 3 supplements now which are the protein, bcaa's and creatine, but I'll be cutting that out soon when this last batch finishes.

I'm thinking about competing next year :) I see alot of you guys post great photos of your comps and ya'll look like you're having fun. I wanna try it and see what happens, though if I do, I've decided that for my cut cycle next year I'll have a trainer set it up for me cuz I was way over my head on this one, haha...

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Depressed? Try running a bit....

So my mom has been depressed lately cuz a three year relationship she has had with a guy ended recently. I was surprised to see it get to her bad; no she's suicidal and all, but she feels like the relationship fell through because she wasn't attractive enough, or she is old, or this or that. Basically she started to blame herself, which drove me nuts. I keep telling her to get over it, but as she has pointed out to me, it is easy for me to say that because I am young. A breakup for a young guy/woman isn't going to stop us from finding another because we got youth on our side. For her not so. She is pressing 50, and though everyone tells her that she still looks 20 (I'm not lying), she feels the pangs of old age (wrinkles that were not there begin to appear, hair turning white near the temple, pains from joints she never felt before). So I guess this breakup has more of deeper meaning for her than I figured. 

Today was another typical Saturday for me-busy as hell. No time for gym, just keeping up with my responsibilities. Towards the end of the day, I went grocery shopping with her, and she was in a her depressed state yet again. I hate sounding unsympathetic, but I was so tired of it. You have to understand that this was the same woman that held down three jobs at one time for nearly a year, who helped me through school and through my 3 years of hell that I passed through after high school. The same woman who when I was a kid, would wake up at 5 am and drag my sorry butt through the streets with her while she cranked up Madonna's "Material Girl" on her Sony Walkman and ran like there was no tomorrow. It was just unlike her to be this sad, withered person, mopping around for a man, feeling old and feeble, when I believe that that same young vibrant woman that I remembered still is living within her with every beat of her heart. All I needed was for her to recognize that truth, and then it hit me: "Mom, it's a beautiful evening, why don't we go running in the park like we used to?"

And boy did that do something. Her face lit up and she took to it like fat kid on cake. She got dressed up and so did I and we went. It was late already, but we both hit the pavement hard, and I was surprised at how well she kept up with me. It had been years since she ran at the level she was going today, but she made it, and the evening could not have been more precious. Idk, there is something more surreal about running through nature's terrain rather than at a treadmill or Stairmaster. All I can say is that when we got back home, her character changed. For that brief period in the park, she was not my aging mom, but she was once again that single gal with the legs in her first year in the United States. She was that woman who recognized no barriers and who could crush any obstacle in her path. She was fierce and independent, not needing a man to help her get through this run (I certainly didn't help). She lost herself in that heat of the moment, in the run, in the beautiful scenery, somewhere. Reality took a backseat and she found herself again.

When we got back home she thanked me for the run and already was fitting plans in the next week for more runs. Obviously, this first run did not eradicate her depression, but let's just say she gave it an upper hook :) My personal advice: if you are feeling down for any reason, find something that you can lose yourself in. For me its fitness and I can definitely say that I got it from my mom. But for others it could be music, art, work, religion, innovation, something that you can find yourself and let lose your full potential. Its moments like that that truly define who we are, not the struggles in our life. How? Because those moments appear right when the struggles and problems do; we create those moments. We create our victories. No one can stop us in those moments because we are at our element. Though it never hurts to have a pal give us that little push like I did for her today to help us get there :)

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8/20/2011 Progress

Well, I've uploaded my progress pics for this month, and I can definitely say that I'm impressed-I like what I see in the mirror! It shows that my new routine and diet have definitely proved they work and that nothing is impossible to reach/obtain when you have a positive attitude and the drive to get you to your goals.

The only problem area that I am still dissatisfied with is my waistline. I've never been chubby, so to see love handles since I started this more than a year ago still remain is bothering me. I want to shred, but I am at a lost as to how to create an effective cut meal plan. My routine is in place, but I really am ignorant as to what meals I should consume during this new cut cycle. More research is under way for me, but if anyone has any suggestions, please do not hesitate to drop a line-I'd greatly appreciate it.

To finalize, I'd like to grow my legs more, which means lots and lots of squats, but I like challenge :D I'd like to also have more definition on my chest and back. Lastly, I'd like my shoulders to gain more strength and size, simply because they are my weakest parts of my body.

Hopefully I can give an update by December on my progress. I'm going to school now two days a week till then, so its going to be tricky to work out an effective schedule, but as stated before, with the correct positive attitude and drive, nothing is impossible. Be blessed...

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No workout partner sucks...

Since I started getting serious about training a year ago, the idea of how bad  or tough it is to train without a workout partner never really crossed my mind. One of the things that I love about bodybuilding above all sports is that its a solo project: you get out what you put in. You can take your body to any direction you want; just tweak your diet here and there and change your routine. I love that. I never was a team player and probably never will be (I'm a pretty independent guy and proud of that), so bodybuilding appealed to me in more ways than getting built. By working out alone, I can come in anytime I want, set my routine to whatever I want (and currently I want mass), and go home whenever I'm ready.

 But lately, as my lifts are getting heavier and the gym is getting packed (its that time again) I've taken into notice that having a partner does have its benefits.  Watching those high school kids in the gym has pushed this on my face so that I can't ignore it anymore and I hate it. They come in in pairs and packs; they got spotters from left to right, and they keep the workouts interesting with conversations of some chick they want to bang. Me I'm stuck trying to lift heavy while keeping form and praying to God that my knees won't give way (squats are a b$#ch) or that my arms won't give way. Maybe because I'm young and all, but I like the idea of making friends in the gym; the problem is that no one around my age works out there. My gym has two extremes: the 50+ crowd, and the 18-younger. Please don't take this the wrong way, but I'm too neither crowd fits me. Either 50+ crowd is discussing about how Obama is a failure (which I could care less) or 18- are talking some really stupid s#$t that I grew out of. I'm not saying that I'm too mature for that and all, but no I can't relate to the fact that detention sucks and World history sucks because I work to pay bills and keep the food on the table to live and keep up with my life. I'd like someone with similar stats or better to work out with me, but there aren't a lot like that when I go in (and I go in right after work).

 I'm just venting so its not like I'm looking for a solution with this blog, but as my lifts get more intense a workout partner definitely appears to be more of a need than a want in my future. Maybe I was being to Mr. Independent for my own good because I know there's a lot guys out there that lift alone and have never needed a workout partner, so maybe I'm just letting this get to me. Now I feel kind of weak for admitting this, lol.

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Expecting too much from myself?

So this March dedicates my first full year of non-stop dedicated training and looking over my progress pics from the whole year I can say that I see...no difference at all. It could be because I'm my worst critic or I am used to seeing myself, but I am definetly not satisfied with my progress.

Am I being too harsh on myself here? Is it right to ask too much from myself and meet my demands? Or was I way over my head on this sport? I love working out and all, and I started 2011 out correcting my diet and lifting heavier, but I don't seem satisfied with myself. I feel like I'm still missing something. I take supplements, I log my progress, and yet the result shows I'm at a standstill. Is my progress thus far normal, and I'm simply being to hard on myself, or am I right to suspect something is amiss here? Anyone reading this, I'd appreciate your feddback; this has been on my mine for some time and I want to put all my suspiscions to rest.

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