Guest Blog: The First Month – Stick Your Butt Out!!!
Zach has been kind enough to allow me to write a monthly blog on the website. If you haven’t had a chance to meet me yet, I joined AST the day after Valentine’s Day – February 15th, 2012. There is no real significance to this date besides me wanting to come in as soon as possible (which happened to be Valentine’s Day eve), but Zach asking me to reschedule to the following day – smart man. So who am I, why are you reading this, and what the hell does the title of this article mean? Keep reading…
I had always been the “chubby” one the family. I have two older brothers, who surprisingly got the great family genes and yours truly was left with the not-so-great genes. After ballooning to 230lbs (at a very average height of 5’6) in 2006, I decided enough was enough. Like most people, I joined a franchised gym wanting to become the greatest hunk of muscle in the Chicagoland area. Not surprisingly, the weight started to come off…and slowly but surely I was obsessed with the gym. I got to my leanest point at 165lbs in the summer of 2007. I didn’t have a flat stomach or chiseled abs and it took me almost a year and a half, but I did it…by myself…without guidance…possibly the worst way I could get in “shape”. You see, I was working out like a mad man – 6 days a week (sometimes twice a day), 1 hour at the gym lifting weights, lots of cardio outside the gym, no real regimented diet…and most importantly I was obsessed with the weight scale. I had a big chest, big arms (the “glamour muscles”), and a big smile thinking that I am going to keep up with this schedule the rest of my life… I was wrong.
Now let’s fast forward to November 2011: Back to 206lbs, a few years older, and disheartened that the only way to get back to 165lbs was by following the same ridiculous aforementioned schedule. How does one get motivated to do so? Well, I tried…again…for three months…and it wasn’t working this time around.
A lucky Google search landed me at the AST website, and very quickly I made my first appointment. I had my reservations, but Zach told me I didn’t have to do cardio to get back in shape – SOLD! Then he showed me a before and after picture of a client – DOUBLE SOLD! Before signing up, I made the following comment to Zach: “Just like your client, I want to be to on the wall too”; and he very calmly responded: “If you want it, we will get you there, but compliance is key.”
So now it’s been a little over the month of coming to AST – five weeks to be exact (but we can discount the first week of assessments), and what have we accomplished so far? My body fat has dropped 4.1%, I’ve lost about 11.6lbs while keeping my lean mass fairly stable (meaning the weight loss has pretty much been all fat), I’ve notched my belt once, and the burning desire to be in the best shape possible has come back. This time though, the difference is that I am doing things the “right” way. Things I’ve learnt the last few weeks:
Eating the Right Way
I’m no expert on this matter, but I stick with the basics Zach tells me and it’s actually not that hard. Sure, temptations are all around, but at the end of the day it’s “mind over matter”. Put down the pizza, and pick up a chicken breast (and avocadoes)! Write EVERYTHING in your food journal, and carry it everywhere (I even have a pen affixed to my journal so I don’t have any excuses). Enjoy your cheat meal.
I try to come to sessions about 30-40 minutes ahead of time. I don’t like being rushed in life (I come straight from work), so this gives me ample time to stretch and warm up properly. Plus, it also helps me get in the zone before the “Sergio Hell” about to follow. Is it weird to warm up for 40 minutes for a 30 minute workout? Sure. Do I care? Nope.
How to PROPERLY Do a Squat
Sergio yelled at me the first few sessions: “Stick your butt out!” and I quietly thought to myself: “What the hell does this guy mean?? I don’t understand the words that are coming out of his mouth!!” Well, every time I heard that comment, I went home and practiced sticking my butt out in front of the mirror…and I’m proud to publicly share this information. My squats have become better (again, not an expert yet), and I’ve definitely noticed myself going deeper every time the coaches make me do a squat. The point I’m trying to make is that if you don’t understand something, just ask. I tend to ask a lot of questions and Zach, Sergio, Christine and Julie always have a detailed answer.
A mistake from a previous life.
Sure, it requires focus and mental strength (I’ve found myself watching Sergio’s “Alpha Male” video, as well as some other favorites of mine, over and over again), but the real credit goes to the staff: they are experts in their field. Listen to them, follow their guidance and the results will be in your next bio-sig.
See you at the workout station!