Get fitness your program on track
My father (William Colescott) made a point of reading every article I have ever written. I recall on one occasion he took a keen interest in one of them (I could tell by the questions he asked), and he told me that he was thinking about starting some type of fitness program.
It has been said that the function of death is to remind us of the value of life and the opportunities we have in the time allotted us. Life becomes more precious because of its limited duration. As a reader of this publication it is doubtful that you need to be convinced of the benefits of the bodybuilding lifestyle. If you have been casually looking into it but have not begun the fitness lifestyle, or if you just need a kick in the butt to get started again, then this is the perfect article to get you started. Commit yourself to a fresh start. Begin living the life you have always wanted now!
The Entry-Level Muscle Express
- This program has three distinct parts:
- 1) time management,
- 2) the nutrition program, and 3) the workouts.
- We will now delve into each of these topics in detail.
Time Management: Design Your Life
When making a major adjustment to your life, the first step should be to take a few minutes to sit down and arrange your schedule. If you were to really look at how you spend your non-working hours you might be surprised at how easily it could be altered.
The average American spends nearly twenty hours a week watching television so you should be able to find time to pursue your fitness goals. If you are a TV junkie consider getting TiVo or DVR (services through your cable company that automatically record the programs you choose). This will allow you to fast forward over commercials (so you can watch a one-hour program in 43-minutes) and allow you to avoid mindless channel flipping. One trick I used when I had a treadmill at home was to only watch TV while doing my cardio. This both limited my TV time and turned it into time well spent.
You will need to allot roughly an hour a day for the workout (less in these early sessions) plus whatever travel time is required if you choose to train at a gym. You also will need to set aside two to three hours for food preparation. Having your food ready the night before is very important to eating healthy meals the following day. Consistency is key. For this reason, I suggest that you train at the same time every day. It doesn?t matter if it is early in the morning before work, on your lunch hour or in the evening. Just make the time and set aside that time for yourself.
We will be doing four strength-training workouts a week and they should only take 30-40 minutes to complete. In order to stay on track, I also recommend that you do a 20-30 minute cardio workout on your non-strength training days. This will make your 6:00AM (or whatever time you choose) appointment a regular thing and you will find, within a relatively short amount of time, that your body will respond to those consistent sessions by providing you with more energy for that time period. Where you may have needed a forklift to drag you butt from bed at the beginning, you may find yourself at your most energized and strongest within a week or two (provided you are consistent and follow the guidelines in the nutrition section).
You will also need to schedule time for food preparation. You will find it is well worth it to wake up fifteen to twenty minutes earlier so that you can eat a warm, wholesome breakfast rather than grabbing a coffee, doughnut and greasy breakfast burrito at the drive-thru on your way to work. Lastly, you will need to make time to sleep so that you regularly get seven to nine hours of restful sleep each night. If you are training hard and eating right you may find that your sleep improves since you will be more physically tired and able to better handle stress. A consistent schedule will be essential here, as a regular bedtime will train your body to slip into a restful state easily.
The Nutrition Program: Basic Eating Principles
- Here are the basics:
- 1) Eat five to six meals a day. This will stimulate your metabolism, provide a constant flow of protein and nutrients and create an environment that deters against bodyfat.
- 2) Two to three of your meals will consist of protein shakes.
- 3) Two to three of your meals are whole food.
- 4) Every meal contains a fairly high dose of quality protein, 30-50 grams (depending on your bodyweight).
- 5) Eat two to three servings of salad or fibrous veggies (broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, asparagus, etc.) daily.
6) Always drink a Muscle Provider shake immediately after a workout to encourage growth and recuperation.
- 7) Limit your carbs to slowly absorbed, low-sugar sources, such as rice, sweet potatoes and oatmeal.
- 8) Eliminate sweets, pastas, baked goods, sugary coffee drinks and sodas, saturated fats, trans fats and junk food. Concentrate on nutrient-rich foods that will enhance your physique.
Following just those basic rules would dramatically improve the diets of 99.5% of the population. While I am going to list an example diet below, the important thing is that you are able to incorporate those basic principles into your schedule. This will require some planning. I recommend you read my ?Grocery Shopping Guide? and ?Practical Food Prep? in order to learn about how to fit good nutrition into your lifestyle. (Email [email protected] with Food Prep in the subject line to receive advance copies of these two articles.)
Supplements are an important part of your daily nutrient intake but at this level it does not take much. We are going to be focusing on a few of Beverly?s most basic (but result-producing) products:
- Super-Pak: One of these taken with breakfast will cover your entire vitamin and mineral needs so that you are not held back by any deficiencies.
- Ultimate Muscle Protein: This blend of slow proteins (casein) and fast proteins (whey) is a great general-purpose protein powder, high in glutamine and branched-chain aminos. This means you will see maximum sustained muscle growth and recuperation with one or two shakes a day.
- Muscle Provider: This protein is specifically used immediately after a workout (a time when the body needs to replenish with a fast whey protein blend.)
- Ultra 40 ? Four tablets, taken with each of your whole food meals provides extra (high-quality) protein and is guaranteed to improve your energy levels.
- EFA Gold ? 3 capsules, once or twice daily.
Lifters with more disposable income can enhance their supplement program with Glutamine Select (2 scoops mixed into 18-24 ounces cold water) and 10-15 Muscle Mass BCAA capsules during your workout. This will help with recuperation but is not required. These two products are only optional because, at this level, the intensity of your workouts will not be extreme enough to make them a necessity.
Here is a sample diet for a man around 185-200 pounds. Adjust quantities based on your personal needs:
- Meal #1
- Six egg white omelet
- with diced chicken and spinach
- half cup oatmeal
- Ultra 40 (4 tablets)
- 3 EFA Gold
- [time for workout]
- Meal #2
- Muscle Provider Shake
- Meal #3
- 8 oz. chicken or turkey breast
- half cup brown rice or small sweet potato
- 2 cups salad or vegetable
- Ultra 40 (4 tablets)
- Meal #4
- Ultimate Muscle Protein Shake
- Meal #5
- 8 oz. lean beef or fish
- 2 cups vegetablesUltra 40 (4 tablets)
- Meal #5
- Fat-free cottage cheese w/ diced pineapple
- Ultra 40 (4 tablets)
- Meal #6
- Ultimate Muscle Protein Shake
- EFA Gold (3 caps)
It doesn’t matter where you train. The workout can be done anywhere with basic equipment. The exercises are simple to perform and will strengthen the basic functions of your body. We are going to be training four times a week, with a schedule similar to what you see below (two days in a row followed by one or two days off). The program is simple but works all of the basic functions of the body, creating a foundation for lifelong strength.
I recommend that you do a 20-30 minute cardio session (such as a fast walk) on the days that you are not strength training. This will build your endurance and your tolerance for the high-intense interval sessions that will be a part of your later training.
We need to perform a warm-up before every training session. For a warm-up, perform 8-10 minutes of aerobic exercise (fast walk/jogging, jumping rope, etc.), then do a series of the following exercises, each for 12 reps, with no rest in between: 1) Bodyweight Squats, 2) Push-ups, 3) Burpees (or alternate toe touches) and 4) Leg Raises. If that doesn?t leave you feeling warmed-up and limber, repeat the four exercises for a second series.
As you can see from the chart below, this is a six-week introductory program in which the set and rep scheme changes every two weeks in order to slowly break you in to higher volume and heavier poundages.
Good luck with the program. You should be very proud that you have made the commitment to make a positive change in your health and physique. You are beginning a journey that is among the most rewarding that life has to offer. I look forward to seeing some of you gracing the pages of this magazine with new, improved bodies and enriched lives. If you have any questions, send them to [email protected]. Train hard!
Phase (II) Training and Nutrition
Getting Ready for My First Figure Contest