Why Did I Start Lifting Weights

I was never a skinny kid. We ate well at home. My mother was (and still is) a good cook. She can also bake pretty good too. Growing up we always had home cooked meals on the table and when we didn’t, we went out to good restaurants.  I grew up playing soccer and that was enough to keep me from getting fat. I was never encouraged to lift weights. To the contrary, I was told that weight training would make me big and fat. This resulted in me being skinny-fat for most of my life. I looked good with my clothes on. The mental need to always have my shirt on has followed me for most of my life. I hope that by the time I finish writing this book, that will all change.

I wish when I first started in the gym I had a crap filter on the information coming from my computer. I had to filter through so much of it on my own. My new ebook, “BW Barbell’s Guide to Fitness Over 40”, is a crap filtered collection of the best information that I have found organized in a easy to follow format. Back when I was a freshman in highschool, I took a weight training class for P.E. We were thrown into the weight room with the wrestling coach without any instruction. At the end of the semester we were tested on our 1RM bench and squat. When most of us couldn’t 1RM our body weight, we were told by the teacher that his wife was stronger than us and that we should be ashamed of ourselves. This was pretty much the extent of my weight training education.

 

Fast forward to January 2009. I’m was 31 years old and tipping the scale at 260lbs of hamburgers, pizza, burritos and beer. 3 months earlier, my brother almost died in the hospital from undiagnosed diabetes. My wife finally took me aside and told me that I had to get in better shape so I could be around when my daughter got older. She was 9 months at the time. The following Monday I put on my waders and began to sift through all the information online.

That first week I did what every person does when they start in the gym and don’t know what they’re doing…I ate salads with chicken breast and spent most of my time on isolation machines. That week sucked. I had no energy and I was ready to quit. I started to look online for information about what other people do when they get in shape. I found muscle mags in the grocery store and feverishly began to devour the information. Ronnie, Jay and Branch become my workout partners. I bought all the supplements they used. I ate the same diet they did. But I didn’t look like them. I was losing weight but I didn’t have the bulging muscles that they did. I did the 12 week diet and no six pack.

 

After a while I finally came to grips that these guys have the upper hand when it comes to all the “vitamins” they take. Yes, they have excellent genetics but all the extra help is what gives them that monstrous look with low body fat. I also accepted the fact that the pictures in the magazines were only a small snapshot of what they look like throughout the year. They plan those photo shoots around contests they prep for. Most of the year they look huge but without all the cuts and thin skin.

Now I lift weights to stay healthy and get stronger. Father time is catching up with me and lifting weight not only keeps me healthy, it also forces my body to 1) keep my bones strong 2) keep as much muscle as I can and 3) keep my testosterone high. All these things decline the older you get. I also keep my competitive spirit alive my participating in powerlifting meets. It gives me a goal to train for at different parts of the year.

 

As people age the one issue that everybody has is that you start to lose muscle and bone density. This is what causes older people to get hurt easily. Lifting weights before this sets in is a great way to help stop this. Even if you have no aspirations to step on the powerlifting platform or bodybuilding stage, putting on some quality muscle is necessary if you want to enjoy your golden years.  

So if you asked me when I started why I was lifting weights I would tell you it was because I wanted to get huge and shredded. If you asked me today I would tell you it was because I want to stay healthy and strong when I get older. The last thing you want to get is a preventable injury when you get older and not be able to recover because your body is in such bad shape. You want to put all the work in while you have the energy so you’re ahead of the game when you get in your 50’s and 60’s

 

If you want more reasons to start lifting weights, click here to signup for updates on the ebook, “BW Barbell’s Guide to Fitness Over 40”.  You’ll receive an email with a free download “10 Reasons Why You Should Lift Weights”. You’ll also get updates on the progress of my ebook and other tips that will help you stay healthy, both in the gym and out.

 

Thanks for reading and pass this along to a friend who might have an interest in getting healthier and stronger.

Andres

BW Barbell

Australian lady overdoses on protein???

Hello everybody and welcome to BW Barbell podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
We’ve all eaten so much that we thought we were going to die. Unfortunately for a lady in Australia, it was the real deal. 25-year-old bodybuilder Meegan Hefford, from West Australia, per the medical examiner, died from eating too much protein. She was preparing for a bodybuilding show and was getting close to the end of her prep when she decided to go on a super high protein diet. She didn’t eat anything else and was hitting the gym twice a day. She was also supplementing her diet with protein shakes.
The actual cause of her death was complications from Urea Cycle Disorder- which means you aren’t able to break down protein correctly and you have a build up of nitrogen in your system in the form of ammonia. This is toxic and causes many issues. Death being the most severe…obviously.
Now the lady’s mother is asking the government to impose tighter restrictions on supplements. It doesn’t help the industry when the Doctor lists “bodybuilding supplements” along side UCD as the cause of death.
If the lady didn’t have UCD, constipation would probably be the worst of her medical conditions. This is a perfect case of throwing the baby out with the bath water. 
She was training to be a paramedic so I assume she had some information on how the body worked and wouldn’t do something that she thought would kill her.
The biggest thing that we should all be worried about is that the government is waiting for things like this to use as ammunition to regulate the supplement industry. As we are learning, if you say something loud enough and are the only one saying it…it doesn’t matter if it’s true of not. There will be people who believe things a face value and don’t fact check to help you with your cause. If we aren’t careful and don’t correct things like this, it’ll just be a matter of time until you’ll need a prescription to get a jug of protein. 
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres@bwbarbell.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor. Thanks again for listening and I’ll talk to you next time.

What is the most important piece of gym equipment?

Hello everybody and welcome to BW Barbell podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
Can you guess what’s the most important piece of equipment in the gym? Most people would say the barbell or squat rack. Although both are very important, they aren’t the most important. In my opinion the most important piece of gym equipment is your training log. Without this, you’ll never where you should go because you don’t remember where you’ve been.
People that can make progress in the gym by doing everything by feel are few and far between. Most of us need something to keep us honest. Pushing yourself every week sucks. Training hard is painful, but it’s the only way to make progress. And if you rely on your memory to keep you on track, you’ll talk yourself into believing anything.
All you need is a regular spiral bound notebook and a pen. Before you got to the gym, write out your workout. When you’re at the gym, write down every weight and rep. You can add your weight, time, pre workout meal, post workout meal and how you felt if you want.
The next time you do the same workout, you can refer to your logbook and see what you have to do to make progress. This way there isn’t any guessing. It’s all written down in black and white. You repeat this every workout. No need to make big jumps in weight or reps. Just make some progress every workout.
As a bonus, once you fill up a few notebooks you can look back and feel good at all the progress you’ve made.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres@bwbarbell.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor. Thanks again for listening and I’ll talk to you next time.

How a certain gym is hurting people.

Hello everybody and welcome to BW Barbell podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.

What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of going to the gym? Pizza and bagels, right? Well if you attend a certain purple and gold gym, that’s exactly what comes to mind.

To me a gym is like honing a knife. You have to rub your knife against something hard enough so you can sharpen it. We can debate what really happens when you hone you knife and the difference between honing and sharpening, but for the sake of this podcast we’ll call them the same thing. Going to the pizza and bagel gym to workout is like using a Cashmere sweater to sharpen your blade. You’ll be doing a lot of work but make no progress.

Most of us that go to the gym are there because we’ve had too many bagels and slices of pizza. The gym is supposed to be a place where you focus on making your body better. It’s not a place where you go to be reminded of the things that make it worse. If you aren’t getting better, you’re doing something wrong and that has to change.

Pizza and bagels aren’t the only way that they undermine the gym experience. This gym is notorious for making their establishment a “no judgement zone” by passing judgement on people who put forth extra effort. If you make excessive noise, drop weights or make any other member feel intimidated (lots of stuff falls into this category) they sound an alarm and reserve the right to expel you from the gym. In shot, they pass judgement on you.

I completely understand that this business has found their niche clientele. I also understand that the clientele has found a place that they can feel comfortable. Unfortunately, I don’t think that this is a healthy relationship. They have made a place that is so comfortable that there is not motivation to make progress. They have made it so safe for everyone, that nobody has any reason to leave. They’ve made the gym equivalent to a Cashmere sweater.

So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres@bwbarbell.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor. Thanks again for listening and I’ll talk to you next time.

What time of day should you work out?

Hello everybody and welcome to BW Barbell podcast. Thanks for tuning in. I’m your host, Andres. This podcast is brought to you by Cafe Tres Estrellas. CTE is an small batch, craft-coffee roaster that specializes in fair trade organic coffee. If you need a good cup of coffee, visit them at cafetresestrellas.com. Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get on with the show.
What time of day is the best time for a work out? Many people have spent countless hours compiling data on when you get the most benefits from your workout. It seems like there are advocates for all times of day. Working out in the morning, afternoon or evening all have their pros and cons. Let’s take a look at each of them.
Morning:
     Pros: Start the day off right- Getting a good work out in first thing in the morning can invigorate you for the rest of the day.
     Cons: Hard to have high energy- Getting going in the morning is hard for some people. Coffee is a must.
Afternoon (lunch time):
     Pros: Fits into your day- You don’t have to make time or take time away from other parts of your day.
     Cons: Short amount of time- You have to rush to the gym, work out and rush back to work…and find some time to eat.
After work:
     Pros: Already out of the house- Some people find it hard to leave the house after they make it home from work.
     Cons: Crowded gym- Lots of people like to go after work. 3pm to 7pm is the busiest time of day at the gym
Evening:
     Pros: Gym isn’t crowded- Most people start to wind down around 8pm, which makes it a good time to get to the gym
     Cons: Might have to stay up late- I get to the gym after 9pm. that means I sometimes don’t get home until just before midnight on some nights.
In my opinion, the best time to work out is whatever time fits into your schedule. If I had my way, I would work out in the morning and again after work. Just like Arnold and Ronnie did. But for now, I’m only able to workout in the evening because my wife started working out again and she has to work out in the morning before I go to work. Before that I worked out at 5:30am before I went to work. 80% of the people that start working out don’t need to worry about the optimal time to train. Once you get out of that 80%, small details like workout time, meal timing, etc. might give you a small edge on others. Until then, focus on being consistent in the gym and in the kitchen.
So that’s the show for this week. Thanks for listening. If you  have any comments or questions on the things I spoke about today, please leave them in the comments below. You can email me at andres@bwbarbell.com if you want more information about the show or its sponsor. Thanks again for listening and I’ll talk to you next time.