I was never the person who was just naturally skinny or naturally muscular. I’ve always had to put in effort to maintain a certain weight, and have tried many different ways to lose weight, and keep it off. I couldn’t eat doughnuts everyday, and still look like a muscular guy, or stay skinny like other people I know. (If you don’t know about body types, click here). I am able to put on muscle easy, but with that I can also gain fat easy. Here is the roller coaster that I rode for years.

Since I was 15, I have in this order:

   
Lost 25 lbs by simply eating less and being tired of feeling depressed about being overweight
Gained 25 lbs of lean mass lifting weights after reading about natural bodybuilding and supplements
Gained 35 lbs of mostly lean mass lifting weights in college because it was all about trying to be the biggest guy in the gym
Lost 25 lbs by lifting weights, doing cardio and eating less because I was moving to Vegas to pursue being a popper/hip hop dancer
Gained 20 lbs of mostly fat from eating bad and drinking because well..in short I met a girl
Gained 40 lbs of muscle and fat wanting to be a strong guy again
Got injured with a pectoral rupture (ripped my chest off the bone) and lost most of my muscle but kept the fat and ate like I still worked out
Lost 25 lbs by eating less and lifting minimal weights because I was busy with business but was tired of feeling depressed for being overweight
I gained 20 pounds with probably 70% being muscle
Then, finally a year and a half ago, I got really focused on what things had worked in the past, learned some hacks and tricks from people I knew, and got heavily into bio hacking and work out experimentation. I’ve found my favorite weight, size, shape and made the process to getting it a part of my lifestyle
So, what did I learn from all of this?

 

Consistency is key

When I first put on muscle, or anytime that I lost weight, I was very consistent with working out, with doing the right lifts, with eating certain things, and avoiding eating certain things. If you work out one week or one month and then take off two weeks, you’re never going to get any results. Also, if you eat sporadically, drink every weekend, or eat out at bad places during lunch every day, you are not going to get any results either. Gaining muscle or losing fat is very methodical. If you do certain things consistently over time, you will get results in a relatively quick time.

What you eat is 70% of the battle

Think about it, you can eat 5000 cal in five minutes. It would take a whole day with pretty intense working out to burn that off, and that is assuming you ate nothing that day, which is unlikely. For me personally, I would have a small bite of something sweet, and then wind up overeating sweets or wanting ice cream everyday the next few days. Things like "cheat days" never worked for me. The good part is that I noticed that the cravings for those things go away when you don’t eat them at all for about two weeks. I’ll be posting another time about how to eat and integrate healthy, but fulfilling eating into your lifestyle.

You don’t need to spend hours upon hours at the gym

You can get a great workout in just 30 minutes. Especially, if you’re lifting weights or doing resistance training. people that spend hours in the gym tend to overtrain, and you can also get injuries from that. I like to lift four days a week, but even if I only had two or three days I could get a lot out of it. I have had periods of life where that was all I had time for. Remember, being consistent with even two days working out is going to be better than never being consistent are never doing anything.

Weight and resistance training has many benefits

If you gain muscle, you gain shape and tone to your body. Also, muscle burns fat, so if you have it, you burn more calories than you would if you did no resistance training. Also, you don’t have to spend hours of time in the gym to get results. Now don’t worry, you’re not going to get "get too big." Being big like a bodybuilder takes a lot of time, effort, and typically steroids. I’ve found having strength is very practical too for any physical activities I want to try, lifting or moving things, or just carrying and taking care of my 4 kids and their backpacks and other things they have.

Supplements give you an edge, but do not work magically

If you have a good quality brand of supplements, that works well for what you’re trying to accomplish then you can get good results. However there is no magic pill alone that will help you get in shape. Supplements give you an edge. Maybe they give you a 5% increase on what you’re doing, but compounded over time that is a good effect. Also, not all supplements are created equal. Some do not have the same effect as others. If you take a pre-workout that has creatine and caffeine, for example, it’s very likely you’re going to feel that. If you take an herb that is supposed to promote testosterone or something, it’s a bit more theoretical.

This is really just the tip of the iceberg for what you can accomplish in "sculpting" your body and being in shape. I’m going to expand later on these subjects individually because so many people have asked.

Leave a comment below. What have you learned or struggled with in your own health and fitness endeavors?