Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company. This blog is a unique perspective of one persons journey into fitness. Not all clients and participants at Parsons Training undergo the same training, and each person makes his or her own decisions regarding dietary discretions.
By Steve Sharpton, Parsons Training Center, Tucson, Arizona
April 30, 2017
One thing I am gonna level with you all about is jealousy. It is one of the worst and most disgusting emotions a person can have in this world. It fuels a lot of things in our current society, for the consumer mentality of America is driving us into an oblivion, and the electoral choices we make continue to force us into that void at a breakneck speed. People get jealous of others for good reason, for why should the soulless Kardashians make all the money they make and get the attention they get for the nonsense they perpetuate about their lives? Because they curbed the market and made themselves rich and famous for being who they are…attention seeking deplorables. Others have done this as well, such as the faux bearded yuppies-faux rednecks that is Duck Dynasty (that was sure a lot of faux’s). Or how about the “news” personalities who are so sold on their own egos that news is really the last thing on their mind (just follow the craziness of the Alex Jones divorce case…the magnanimous jerk had the gall to ask for privacy when he has conjured up so many fake conspiracies that people’s lives have been altered forever). So many people feel integrity is too hard to follow, and often times it can be. Just the other day a woman asked me for a legitimate opinion on why she should keep her iPhone 6S Plus or upgrade to the iPhone 7 Plus series. I told her not to, for her processor speed was comparable, her screen resolution was the same and with the exception of a slightly better camera and a difference in 120 dollars on the full retail price (she owned her 6S Plus outright as well), why should she upgrade? She thanked me for the advice and said she would wait for the specs on the next iPhone and then see if she would want to upgrade to that series. She made the quip that she wished more people like myself leveled with older people more often. She told me she was dead set on getting the 7 Plus until I talked her out of it. She was literally at a store ready to buy the device when she decided to get a last second opinion. I cost the company a sale, but helped someone save money for at least a year or two. In a lot of ways, I am jealous how people can turn off their integrity like that, people like our president and the sales people I have to apologize for on a regular basis. So much like John Doe from the movie “Se7en,” envy is my sin.
The biggest issue for me is the fact I see pictures of muscled up dudes quite often, and it leads to some rather negative thinking toward myself. Perhaps this is a reason why I hate action movies these days…..I’m jealous of the lead actors? It’s hard to say, but to get as jacked as some of these muscle bound behemoths you really have to explore just how rough their diet would have to be. You have to really learn just what is required. First of all, if you wanna look like Chris Evans from Captain America or Chris Hemsworth from Thor, you got to work out like crazy and drink gallons of protein shakes. Evans said it best in an interview for the first Captain America movie…. “It’s weird forcing yourself to eat when you are not hungry.” I remember the regimen Mickey Rourke had to put himself through to turn into the chiseled Randy “The Ram” Robbins. Breakfast, unpleasant protein shake two hours later. Lunch. Protein shake two hours later. Huge dinner for the evening. The biggest and craziest regimen that I have seen these days is Dwayne Johnson (does he even call himself “The Rock” anymore). http://people.com/bodies/the-rock-dwayne-johnson-food-diary-what-i-eat/ While the amount of meat would make a vegan like myself cringe, the fact he is eating so much is making me cringe even more. As a recovering food addict, it makes me sick to my stomach, even if the food he is eating is somewhat on the healthier scale. The amount of food is astronomical, for the number of ounces in his diet just keep stacking up. And to make matters even worse, his cheat meals are also the stuff of legends. I mean, when the amount of food you eat is an eating challenge that would make Adam Richman of “Man Vs. Food” tap out, you know you have some eating ability.
So why do I mention all of this when I clearly have an eating problem? Well, this sort of life does not appeal to me. There is a reason why I led off with the calorie restriction idea before the calorie addition. My goals in life are not to be the biggest and scariest looking guy in the room, I just want to be one of the healthiest in the room. So yes, enduring eating schedules like this can be taxing on me, for the cost would obviously get to me after a while and considering my job, and my life, trying to squeeze in extra eating time would be ridiculously hard to fit in. So I have to stuff my jealousy away, understanding my own goals and figuring out ways to make myself better under my own rules and desires. But while my own goals are much different than the movie star du jour, the idea of bulking up with a bigger eating regimen is based on some pretty sound ideas. This may not be the path I wish to take—mainly due to my desire to be lean—but some people could take this very seriously. Obviously a lot of men fall into this trap, investing in billions of dollars investing in bulking powders and pills. Bulking and getting the muscle you have always desired is not an easy task. Just look at the link to The Rock’s eating day…five meals!! And they were not small either, and throw in the fact he downed a protein shake and tons of water makes you wonder if even going out is possible…I mean you have to eat all day!
Now these are just some extreme examples, for there are some better ways to take advantage of advanced eating ideas. While the idea of bulking up always coincides with the joke about eating tons of pizza or ice cream, there is some actual strategy to the idea. http://www.mensfitness.com/nutrition/what-to-eat/how-eat-bulk Now this is a complex list just from one magazine, and other magazines and fitness experts say eat all the meat you can or eat everything in sight with the initial idea of working out profusely. There is a lot of possible ways of doing this, and all of them have some pretty good results. One person I admire is former body builder Robert Cheeke, a vegan advocate and is still in great shape as he pushes 40. He too eats plenty of food during the day, resulting in excessive calories…all derived form plants I might add. He also stays pretty active for much of the day, hiking, cycling and also weight lifting at various points of the day. He even has a pretty popular book that he brings to various vegan festivals called “Shred It!” From huge fruit smoothies to massive amounts of almond butter (I have the almond butter part down! hehe). The good thing about most of these people who sell their ideas for the mere mortals like myself to consume, many of these plans can be pretty easy to follow unless you have a definitive allergy to just about anything.
Let’s face it, there is a huge benefit to adding some muscle to your frame. While most of the “bros” will say the central reason is to score women and make themselves more appealing to the opposite sex, being stronger and more muscular can help with your actual health (in spite of the what the gym bros might say). http://www.med-health.net/Benefits-Of-Muscular-Strength.html Obviously, gaining muscle to the frame can make life easier for you if you work a physically demanding job. The main reason for this is the added ability to last longer on certain jobs, especially when your strength threshold can withstand the constant pounding of say…digging a ditch. Working as an electrician was difficult for me before I started going to Parsons Training. As I got stronger and leaner, being able to handle the physically demanding challenges that were brought onto me became easier over time. I no longer got outworked by my father at the work site, and I became more confident in getting myself around small and uncomfortable places that required me to utilize my entire body from flattened positions. Not to mention this…as you get stronger and more flexible, your bones also get stronger from the added benefit. Another obvious reason is the fact as you get stronger, you can also save yourself from potential injury made moments, like being able to catch yourself when you fall or being able to safely move objects better. And of course, there is a long term benefit. As we get older, the first thing that really starts disappearing from our lives is strength. So the longer you maintain a strength regimen in your life, the better you will be as you get older. Much like calorie restriction can help you in your aging, staying physically strong will benefit you as well when you age.
Here comes the hard part of this particular blog post….I had a dickens of a time trying to find the cons of too much eating in the effort of bulking up. I can only figure this is part of the societal pressure for men to be bigger, stronger and more powerful. If you cannot get respect through your physical strength, then do it through political and financial. So why is this? Personally, the hardest part about doing this sort of eating regimen is the cost, but you also have to factor in the time. I mean, first of all you have to make all of the food that you are trying to ingest in addition to finding the time to eat all of that food. For me, eating five meals a day would be pretty formidable, and I’m already getting tired of eating merely three meals a day. I must confess, there has been some instances these past couple weeks where I skipped breakfast! And let me put it to you this way. It took me nearly two hours the first couple of weeks I made my pre-made meals, which consisted of multiple ingredients. When I made my “slop” last week, it still took at least an hour and I only made rice, beans, lentils and quinoa for the meals. Just imagine the time constraints needed to account for potentially 35 meals—regardless of the size—to make. Not to mention the amount of time spent at the store getting the right stuff. I don’t know, I certainly sense a bias for this movement, mainly due to the difficulty of telling men you shouldn’t eat more to try and bulk up.
The only ill effects I could really research is the ida of body dysmorphia, which is more of a psychological condition. If you are eating healthier and eating more to try and get bigger, you can certainly run into some issues with your self image. I already have this problem on the negative spectrum, for I still have a deep dissatisfaction toward my body in regards to the weight I have lost and the weight I haven’t loss. One issue with a lot of men when they are trying to get bigger is they can fall into these mind traps, which may lead them into the arms of expensive products and performance enhancing drugs…many of which are illegal in this country. And then you have the other problem, where some men can start engaging in some extreme eating regimens, like eating 10 pounds of steak a day or eating nothing but capers and bull testicles. You will see the occasional throwing around of the term “dirty bulking,” which is just weight lifter slang for eating copious amounts of food to gain mass and then go through massive weight cuts to get shredded. The cons of gaining bulk are typically a joke, ranging in “I can’t find pants that fit my massive legs” or “I can’t chose with hottie to go out with when they all hit on me at the bar.” Yeah, real world stuff going on there.
Clearly, there are some pretty legitimate downsides, such as developing heavy eating habits. What happens when you stop working out so much? Trust me, when you have an extensive eating regimen it can lead you to keep eating the same way, and this could lead to negative weight gain rather than muscle weight gain. I don’t know, but maybe I am grasping at straws here. Maybe I should just say to hell with what I am seeking and just seek to gain weight and muscle. Or maybe I should just understand that I have an eating problem, and engaging in this type of lifestyle might just lead me to the same problems I had before. Either way, whether you engage in a low calorie intake or a high calorie, you have to remember one thing….eat the right foods. Ice cream and potato chips ain’t gonna cut it in either case, even if you reduce your calories or increase. And also just remember this…it takes a long time for either measure to really start showing up, so you better be patient with the results.
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Parsons Training is a Tucson leader in fitness and personal wellness training. Every personal trainer with this company designs and implements effective fitness programs for their clients; these programs serve as the foundation for good health, fitness, and wellness. Additional information about Parsons Training is available at http://www.parsonspersonaltraining.com
Any views or opinions presented in this blog are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of the company.
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Steve, a Parsons Training Client, went from 400 pounds to Running half-marathons, from lifting pizzas to lifting hundreds of pounds through training with us.
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