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This is not health advice, but educational content.
I. The Gym
Ok, I am not an expert BY FAR, but after five years at the gym and mostly wasting time due to following bad advice, I have acquired a broad overview of the discipline.
Programs will depend on where you are in your training.
Beginners often start with a big 3 routine, going to the gym three days per week. That is:
- Squat, 5 X 5
- Bench press, 5 X 5
- Deadlift, 5 X 5
Take a coach, as you will likely get hurt doing deadlifts and squats (I did).
Do this for a month or so then you can move to the next step: upper/lower split.
The upper/lower split is a program where you work out the upper or lower part of the body per gym session, according to a routine of push/pull.
I am not gonna waste time copy/pasting stuff, just follow this program here, and don’t hesitate to tweak it according to your needs.
Try to do the 4-day one. I started getting results with this program when I began to really push myself at every workout. Lifting to failure, or lifting more than the previous workout is, in my experience, the most important.
A friend told me to always go heavier, even if it meant just doing one rep. Honestly, it worked for me.
Finally, pro-people often increase their range (from 5-6 to 10-12) and do programs like the bro split or a Push/Pull/Legs (PPL).
I am not there yet so I have no resources to tell you to check out, besides maybe a guy named Bowtiedox on Substack.
But any PPL program should be fine in general.
Mistakes to avoid
- Don’t go to the gym without a training plan
- Don’t go to the gym without watching Youtube videos on how to do the exercises well
- Don’t go to the gym without a diet plan
- Don’t go to the gym before understanding how hypertrophy works
- Don’t buy supplements without knowing what to buy and why
- Don’t go to the gym without knowing what a deloading week is
- Know why you are going to the gym: losing weight VS building muscles VS both
- Don’t pretend that you “don’t want any more muscles, I just want to be leaner”. That’s bs.
- Don’t hurt yourself doing deadlifts
- Don’t pay per month. Buy a one-year subscription.
- Don’t take steroids.
- Don’t forget to stretch after a workout (I often do and suffer as a result).
- Don’t forget to warm up before a workout.
How to go over the fear of training
I think one of the main reasons why people don’t go to the gym is that they feel ridiculous working out. They feel ashamed to be in a room with good-looking people while they’re not.
That mindset mistake cost me three years of training.
How did I go over it?
I went a first time to do the gym and did nothing but run.
I took this occasion to observe people and the different machines they were using.
I wanted to feel the vibe.
The next time, I went really late so there wouldn’t be too many people. I wanted to learn how to use the machines and weights and not made fun of.
The third time, I was already feeling much more comfortable.
By the fourth time, I had no problems working out.
Today, a gym is like a second home.
The Internet is full of resources when it comes to going to the gym.
I am not an expert, but I can share with you some websites and YouTube channels that have helped me.
- This article is the best article I have ever read on gaining muscles.
- Ripped Body
- The foundational fitness protocol from Andrew Huberman
- The Athlean X Youtube channel to learn how to do the exercises.
- Jeremy Ethier’s Youtube channel
- Jeff Nippard’s Youtube channel
- Buff Dudes’ Youtube channel
These are principles I have uncovered since I started the gym in 2018 and made pretty much every mistake one can make.
I am by no means an expert. Don’t forget to fact-check what follows.
I don’t think there is such a thing as “overtraining”.
New Aure: this was definitely wrong. After training like a mf for three months, I hurt myself due to muscle fatigue lol. There definitely is such a thing as “not training enough”.
- The advice that helped me the most came from a friend. He said “always carry as much as you can for the last set, even if you only do one rep. Always go heavier”. The reason is that growth comes from carrying weight your body is not yet built to carry.
- Genetics play a much bigger role than I thought. My friend is naturally ripped, and a few movements per week is enough for him to look like a Greek god. I am naturally “skinny-fat” and got shit genetics for growing muscles. I must make much more effort than my friend for much smaller results. He couldn’t believe how little I progressed despite all I ate and trained -> don’t compare your body to others.
- Body types are different. You won’t look like Chris Hemsworth even if you are doing his training.
- Both food and training are important. You can’t grow without either. And you also need plenty of rest and water.
- You are not getting any results for five reasons.
a. You don’t eat enough. Hollywood’s secret (besides steroids) is food.
b. You don’t train heavy enough.
c. You don’t sleep/rest enough.
d. You drink alcohol. Alcohol hinders muscle growth.
e. You don’t stretch. Do stretch.
- Stretching enables blood to flow more easily into your muscle which results in better hypertrophy. Stretch after each of your workouts.
- The number
onetwo thing for growing muscle is regularity. Don’t miss your workouts. (Number one is progressive overload).
- The Carnivore Diet, by Shawn Baker
- Why We Get Sick, by Benjamin Bickman: a book on how sugar destroys your body and life
- Carnivore Code, by Paul Saladino: a book on how and why plants aren’t healthy
- Carnivore Cure, by Judy Cho: I didn’t read it but heard good things about it. Judy has also one of the most informative Instagram accounts on nutrition. You can find her at @nutritionwithjudy.
- The Big Fat Surprise, by Nina Teicholz: a book about the history of how scientists got nutrition all wrong since WWII.
- Sacred Cow, by Robb Wolf and Diana Rogers: a book explaining the role of beef in your body and in the environment.
- Genius Foods, by Max Lugavere. Most people will find this book being best.
- Lies My Doctor Told Me, by Dr. Ken Berry. It explains all of the things mainstream medicine got wrong (and there are many).
- Healthy Rebellion
- Cutting Against the Grain Podcast
- Peak Human Podcast
- The Genius Life Podcast
- The Huberman Lab Podcast
- Shawn Baker
- Ken Berry
- Judy Cho
- Robb Wolf
- Mark Sisson
- Max Lugavere
- Andrew Huberman
III. Changes, Habits, and Tricks
- I stopped using deodorant in May 2019. The human race went for 350 000 years without using deodorant, so I don’t see why we should use some suddenly (it’s actually dangerous). To reduce smell, I shave my armpits, and that’s it. No one ever complained since. If you have problems though, I suggest you use baking soda (bicarbonate sodium). It works amazingly well, and there is no risk to your health.
- I am no longer using toothpaste since May 2019 either. I first manufactured my own toothpaste with baking soda and coconut oil, but I didn’t see the pros of coconut oil so I stopped. Since then, I use plain baking soda to brush my teeth. It’s much cheaper, much healthier, and my teeth are much whiter.
- I am no longer using body soap or shampoo when I take a shower. The reason is that we have a layer of bacteria on our skin that acts as a fence against other harmful agents. Soap merely kills this layer of bacteria, which decreases the strength of the immune system. The only activity I use soap for is washing my hands.
- I work out 2-4 times per week, depending on my program, and exercise at least one hour per day (biking or walking).
- I wear blue-light-blocking glasses when the sun disappears. They help me fall asleep.
- My bedroom is the coldest room in the house.
- No technology in bed or while eating.
- I try not to check crypto prices or notifications first thing in the morning (usually wait at least one hour).
- My bracelet rings at the same time every morning when I have to wake up, and at the same time at night when I have to go to sleep (respecting it is another story…)
- I wear a sleeping mask when I sleep.
- I make sure to respect the four pillars of health and happiness every day.
- I go to the sauna as much as I can. A complete sauna session lasts about 2 hours, where I intermittently go in and out of the sauna.
- I take cold showers (like, once or twice a year lol).
- I stretch when I wake up, and before going to sleep.
- I write my life, yearly, monthly, weekly, and daily goals every morning when I wake up.
- I think I figured out the cure for the common cold. It’s water. You are likely sick because you don’t drink enough.
- I once was advised to dive my feet in water mixed with mustard powder to cure the flu. I tried. It didn’t cure the flu, but my feet ended up being completely burned. Don’t do that.
- Don’t gargle with vodka to try to cure a throat infection. It’s also a myth.
- Wake up with natural light and try to go for a walk outside.
- Andrew Huberman on the importance of seeing sunlight in the morning.
- The foundational fitness protocol from Andrew Huberman
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