The following is a guest post from Jason Maxwell. Last week, he posted article called Why Do You Workout? and really caught my eye (you’ll see why!). Enjoy my fellow Warriors. – DW
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Every day, I think about it more. Why do we workout?
Obviously, I’m not alone. Lately, I’ve been reading posts from John Romaniello, Mike Demeter, and Jason Ferruggia. They’re all with me on this one:
The #1 motivator for people to start working out is to Look Good Naked.
Throughout my life, there’ve been clues.
Let’s start at the beginning.
When I was 2 years old, I had a shirt that said “Muscle Man” and had a cartoon of a bodybuilder on it. There are tons of pictures of me wearing this shirt with me flexing (or trying to, at least). From a young age, I wanted to be a “muscle man”.
From Grade 1 to Grade 3 I went from stick thin to tree trunk chubby. I stayed chubby up until I hit puberty in Grade 5 or 6.
In Grade 6, I started working out again. Every other Friday, my friend Jack would come over and we’d workout in my basement. We did pushups, biceps curls, overhead presses, and situps for 15 minutes straight. After we got bored, we’d put a movie on and lay down in bed with 25lb weight plates on our stomachs. We thought that this would give us rock hard abs.
It didn’t work.
After Grade 7 or 8, I didn’t touch a weight again until Grade 11 gym class. At the time, my highschool didn’t have a weightroom, so for a few weeks out of the year we’d rent out a gym down the street tucked into the side of the Curling Club. They had a leg press, smith machine, preacher curl bench, cables, dumbbells and not much more.
During that class, we’d always have competitions to see who could do the most weight on the leg press and on the smith machine bench press. I did pretty well on the leg press but always got my ass kicked on the smith machine bench press.
In that gym class, there was a kid named Moe. He had a low IQ and was in the special education class, but he was ripped. He definitely had the best physique out of everyone in the class. Moe would workout everyday after school at home for a few house and then go for a run.
I used to think it was like Forrest Gump. We’d have to do long distance runs in gym class, and he would be able to run forever. I always thought his IQ was lower so he couldn’t feel the burn. Now, I realize that my theory may only be partly correct. It probably had something to do with the fact that he went for runs every single day.
Because of these gym class weight room shenanigans, I decided to get a membership at this gym. I payed $60 for the year and would workout 3 times per week. My workouts consisted of running on the treadmill for 20 minutes and then training my abs, biceps and whatnot. Afterwards, I’d go use the sauna (unless someone peed on the rocks that week; this was pretty common).
Thanks to Google, I found a workout program called “Westside for Skinny Bastards” written by some guy named Joe Defranco. I followed that plan for a few months and got decent results.
It wasn’t until I started playing football that my life changed. Thanks to Google (again), I was introduced to Robert Dos Remedios’ book, Power Training. This book rocked my world and taught me how to perform all the big compound lifts and even Olympic lifting, and taught me that isolation exercises are a no-no. Total game changer.
The only reason I found this book was because I was getting my ass kicked on the football field. During the preseason, I was doing the 300 workout from Men’s Health, and got my weight down to a 155lb skinny fat frame.
When I went to University, I stuck to Coach Dos’ workouts for a few years. It helped me get pretty lean and look pretty good, but I wanted to get bigger.
This brings us up to the past year. Now, my only goal is to Look Good Naked. Because of this, I will do isolation exercises and am willing to try anything. As long as it works and it doesn’t hurt, then it’s ok in my books.
Things need to change. First and foremost, we don’t exercise because it’s ”functional”, we exercise to Look Good Naked. Sure, a bicep curl isn’t functional, but it sure can help my arm development, and I want my arms to be swole.
So, if I wanted to give advice to someone just starting out, someone who wants to lift weights to Look Good Naked and look like a total badass, here’s my advice:
– Master the basic compound lifts with excellent form.
– Always aim to get stronger in all rep ranges.
– Workout every body part at least twice per week.
– Start experimenting with isolation exercises after the first 3 months, but don’t make them the backbone of your training. 80% of your workout should be getting stronger in the big compound movements and 20% of your training can be isolation exercises.
It’s cool to train whatever body parts you want, just be sure you balance pushing with pulling, and don’t skip the mobility work and foam rolling. If something hurts, then don’t do it.
This is how I workout now, and it’s helping me to Look Good Naked everyday. Now, I wonder if that Muscle Man shirt will still fit.
Have any tips on training to Look Good Naked? What else do you train for and how do you keep a balance?
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Jason Maxwell is a Certified Personal Trainer (CPT) under the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and is an FMS – Level 1. Helping people lose fat and gain muscle is his passion. Why? It’s just way too much fun helping people to LOOK GOOD NAKED. Check out his blog, Jmaxfitness.com or on facebook