Trust me, I get it. You’ve found the perfect program and you’re ready to execute it. You’ve gone and got the new gym wear and water bottle, even bought a new pair of Bluetooth headphones that loop around the back so you don't have to faff with wires dangling. But hold on there cowboy, there are a few things you need to go through before start slapping weights on the bar. This is imperative to adherence to programs and it’s what I do with every new potential client that comes to see me, before I take their money.
Where Do You See Yourself 90 Days/6 Months/5 Years From Now?
What are your goals in regards to embarking on this journey? GET SPECIFIC AND GET EMOTIONAL. This is one of the single most important factors of fitness that you need to understand. Without anything inspiring you and driving you to become a better human, you’re more likely to fall off the wagon. For example, the new years resolutioners “I'm going to lose weight this year”. Technically it is a goal, but it’s very open ended.
How much do they want to lose?
How long do you want it to take?
What have you tried in the past?
Why didn’t it work
There are too many questions to ask! Bottom line is, they’re usually treadmill goers that give up after two weeks. They brave it alone and stop seeing results after the weight loss slows down. .
For me, when I started lifting, yes I wanted to be more health. But I wanted to be strong. I’m not one for abs and being shredded, I want to be an authority. So I told myself I will be an authority and the barbell, the weight on the bar, the feeling of “oh fuck i’m going to die” in the bottom of a heavy squat, will make me a better person than when I walked in the room. It makes me a better person for my clients and sets an example.
This is the driving force to my goal every time without fail.
If you’re reading this and you’re questioning whether you should join a gym/ hire a coach (me), one last note on this, is to imagine how it feels once you reach that goal. Feel it, taste it, smell it. Be with it, and feel the chills of it on you skin. If you can’t get excited about it, you need to dig deeper.
This will be the reason why you do it.
Fuck Your Macros, Find Your TDEE
Not entirely, you still need to know them depending where you are. It’s just not as important as you think or the typical media makes out.
The BIGGEST mistake you can make, is not preparing your mindset for the food apocalypse your face is about to endure. Since you’re here reading this on Gamers That Lift, I’ll assume you’re lifting weight or about to lift weights.
If there is one thing you need to understand, its this:
If you want to lose weight, you eat less. If you want to gain weight, you eat more.
CALORIES IN VS CALORIES OUT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT WHEN CHANGING BODY COMPOSITION. You’re not a special snowflake that has it different, it’s the same for everyone.
Don’t be an idiot like me and think you can squeeze your recomp out for 3 years and make little and laughable progress after the first.
By all means milk that first year of beginner gains, but be aware of what you need to eat more or less in accordance with the goal you set out to make before you walked in the gym.
What the hell is TDEE you might be asking now? Total Daily Energy Expenditure is the amount of calories per day that you need to either lose weight, maintain weight, gain weight.
It goes of calculations that will fry your brain if you don’t know what to do. Lucky, there are online calculators that have done it for you. I use them all the time, and I highly recommend them.
Here are two I like to cross reference when discussing with clients:
Hot Gym Tips For A Beginner
How lucky you are in this wonderful period of newbie gains.
Eat at your maintenance if you want to lose fat. Swap shit foods for whole foods and EAT your damn protein, do NOT drink it. Food protein is cheaper that the overpriced bag of protein that you do not need yet.
If you’re overweight, you need to look at reducing those calories, still eating whole foods.
If you’re underweight, personally i’ll be getting you to increase your calories weekly, not necessarily Mark Rippetoe GOMAD (gallon of milk a day), but something that is a bit more comfortable on you stomach (unless you want to the challenge).
“So when do I look at my macros”
Macros are fiddly as hell. The only time you really need to be aware of them on a daily basis, is when you’re cutting weight. I occasionally track one day when i’m in a bulking period. As long as my carbs are high, fats are low and protein is in the ballpark of where it needs to be, I'm fine.
Cutting weight is when you need to check them DAILY. Maintenance is only period of checking them, not daily, but often enough to check you’re gaining the weight you just lose, or losing the weight you just put on. When you’re a beginner losing weight, that's when you need to look at it.
You need your TDEE here.
* means refer to back to this
1g Protein = 4 cals
1g Carbs = 4 cals
1g Fat = 9 cals
Prot - 1.5 per lb of your body weight. Take that number and multiply by 4* = cals in protein
Fat - should be 20% of macros ((Target cals) x .20 = XXX / 9* = total grams of fat.
Fat cals + protein cals = XXXX
XXXX cals are your carbs in calories, divided by 4* = 352g
Again DO NOT cut if you’re underweight.
Abs are not worth it. You’re going to have to get over the fact that if you want to be successful in this, you need to start putting on weight.
If you're overweight and cutting, use this method. But don’t expect this to happen overnight. It took time to put the weight on, it’s going to take time to get it off
Don’t Just Go To The Gym When You Feel Like It
You read that right. You're trying to make this a new habit, so you have to schedule it into your day and then do the work required. Not just go when you feel like it. It’s not a case of “ill do it tomorrow” because you give in to the lazy side of you. Schedule a time in the day to go to the gym. Just like you would block out time to go to work.
You need to push through it and go at least warm up.
If you still aren't feeling it, then go home. But there's never been a time when I've been feeling like shit, gone and done my warm up, and then gone home. I can’t on my fingers how many times I’ve walked into a session feeling like i’m going to fall asleep, then to smash my workout and come out beaming with energy.
I've always found the energy to finish the workout. The pay off of pushing through will astonish you.
So schedule it in and put the work in.
Putting It All Together
Be clear on why you want to go to the gym in the first place. Find someone to go with or someone to keep you accountable. A coach, a friend or your partner.
Find your TDEE and track them. My fitness pal is the go to app for this. Get the calories on the app to match your calories on the TDEE. Ignore the macros in the app, they’re 100% all the time wrong. Do not input training done on the app, log that in a notebook.
Don't worry too much about your macros just yet concentrate on changing your food habits.
Block off time in your day to say you’re going to get this stuff done. Ask yourself “If not now, when?” Be honest.
I’ll leave it there for now as I could keep going and going. I’m passionate about this stuff and can talk about it for hours on end.
Thanks for reading