When I was 15, I weighed a whopping 125lbs. That wouldn’t be a problem if I was 5’4”, but unfortunately, I was already fully grown up, and stood at a massive 5’8” tall. As you can imagine, that’s pretty skinny. My family was always telling me “you need to eat more”, “you’re so thin!”, and my personal favorite “what, nobody feeds you?”. Not exactly encouraging stuff.
You see, in Arabic culture, we love to eat. A skinny person isn’t seen as being in shape or having a fast metabolism, but rather as someone who doesn’t eat enough. Thus I was constantly told to eat, and was regularly offered food by pretty much everyone around me. Ironically enough, this had the opposite effect on me: I never felt hungry. I was always too busy playing games, watching TV, or reading comics to waste time eating. In fact, whenever I DID actually eat, it was in front of a movie or TV show, and occasionally, with a sci-fi novel in hand.
Luckily for me, I began to gain weight as I got older. When I was 21, I weighed a very well rounded 135lbs. Pretty good eh? I didn’t think so either. So I decided to take some steps towards gaining weight, preferably muscle. I came up with the following simple stuff.
3 Easy Steps to Gaining Muscle
1. Eat Breakfast! I know it seems strange that this was actually a step I had to take, but you’d be surprised at how many people skip this meal. Most of us will sacrifice breakfast for the privilege of hitting that snooze button three extra times. I know I sure did. Unfortunately for me, this impacted my entire day. Breakfast is crucial, so have a good one.
For the record, a chocolate bar or piece of cake is NOT breakfast. A friend of mine is an Olympic athlete, and he recommends a bowl of Vector cereal and a fruit. I’m more hardcore, and usually have a chicken or turkey wrap with veggies and a fruit. Oh, and if you’re already eating breakfast and not satisfied,, you might wanna get cracking on an extra meal or two a day.
2. Get some exercise! I’ve always loved Kung Fu, and decided on a whim to sign up for classes. I ended up getting in really good shape, and learned to be a badass at the same time. About a year ago I wrecked my knees, and since then I’ve replaced martial arts with the gym.
Now, I know exercising is easier said than done, but I’ve found two tricks that have helped me be consistent.
- Have someone to train with, as it makes you accountable to a trainer or friend, and also makes the workouts more fun.
- Pay for your exercise: you’re much more likely to ditch a free kung fu class, than one you pay 90$ a month for.
3. Be consistent! If you’re gonna follow one rule, make it this one. It’s so easy to be motivated the first week, a little less the second week, then trail off into nothing on the third week. Don’t do it! To see results, you have to keep going until you’ve made it past the point where it becomes routine, and then still go forwards a couple of extra miles.
Did it work for you?
By following the three steps, I ended up going from 135lbs to about 144lbs over the course of a year. For someone whose body weight didn’t fluctuate for about 6 years, it was pretty good. It wasn’t enough though, so I turned to my gym trainer for advice.
Originally, I went to the gym with the intention of fixing my knees. Sometime in December 2010, I decided to be honest with myself, and asked myself what I really wanted out of my workouts. Answer? I wanted to get fucking BUFF! Having finally said it out loud, I decided then and there to stop half-assing it, and got myself in gear.
Enjoying my newfound motivation, my gym trainer Jonathan Lemieux put me on a strict eating regimen. He combined it with an intense workout program, wherein I hit the gym 3 times a week, 45mins at a time. Finally, like any good drill sergeant, he shoved me passed all of my mental limits, while respecting my physical ones. In other words, he made me do extra pushups when I said I couldn’t do any more, but held the weights when my body couldn’t lift them any longer (no injuries yet!).
The result? On the 4th January 2011, I weighed in at 144lbs with 14% body fat. On the 28th March 2011, I weighed in at 160lbs, with around 18% body fat. That’s an increase of 16lbs in just under 3 months! It was incredible. I’m still in awe at how good I look, and how much I enjoy my new and improved body. But it’s not over yet. I’m entering the toning part of our program, where I keep as much mass as possible, while losing a maximum amount of body fat.
Get off your lazy ass!
I know you’re lazy my fellow geek. I know this because I am lazy too. So, from one lazy geek to another, this is me telling you to get your lazy ass off the couch and insert it into some kind of exercise program. I can guarantee you’ll be in a lot of pain, and you’ll hate me at first, but eventually you will love your new body so much you’ll forgive me. In other words, GET CRACKING!
Do you have any cool exercise stories you’d like to share? Is there a particular workout that you really dig (yoga, martial arts, P90x) that’s helped you? Please share! I’m always open to new fitness routines and classes.