Shortcut to Size: Week 1

Starting Jim Stoppani’s program, Shortcut to Size, has been the absolute best fitness program I have ever been on.

For those of you who don’t know who Jim Stoppani is, let me give you the short summary: He has his doctorate in exercise physiology, and when you finally realize that all the workout ideas you get from Pinterest don’t work, you follow his proven system to get the results you want.

The Program:

The best part about this program, is that it is free to download (See: Here). There are absolutely zero tricks or gimmicks to this plan, and you can sign up for his free weekly newsletter, but only if you actually choose to. I would recommend signing up for the free newsletter from Jim only because: 1. It’s not spammy, you actually only get the e-mail once a week. 2. The videos in the newsletter help you understand what he’s asking you to do.

I won’t go into too much detail about the program, he can explain it better than I can.

My Personal Considerations:

For myself, I have upper crossed syndrome and lower crossed syndrome which is from years and years of writing and studying to get my college degree while sitting at a desk. Basically, my neck leans forward, which created a rounding out in my upper back and for my chest muscles to be shortened and tighter, and my lower back has an arch in it from my hips tilting forward.

Thankfully, this is all reversible, it’s just a matter of tightening and loosening some muscles.

So, I had to take this all into account with this program. I was determined to start this program, since I had seen on Jim Stoppani’s Twitter  how many people were seeing results, but I went through to make small tweaks here and there to get the program to work with my weak muscles. Essentially, for me it was important to not do as many chest exercises as the program has and include some mid-trapezious work along with lots and lots and lots of stretching for those tight muscles.

What works:

The biggest problem for so many females I meet when it comes to gaining muscle is simply this: They don’t eat enough.

I’ll be honest that for myself when I was younger (and ever before working as a trainer) I had the mindset of: If I only eat once, I will lose weight. At the time, I had no idea this would get me all of the exact opposite results I was looking for. It’s such a shame this is the biggest message that goes out to young girls (and boys) everywhere.

For my weight and height, my daily goal range of calories is between 1,800 and 2,000. If you’re a female new to building muscle, I know the first thought you have is that you’ll gain a ton of weight, but let me tell you, you won’t. All of the calories have gone right into my muscles and I have seen tremendous growth after just the first week alone. It’s also fun to be able to eat huge meals and not feel that sinking guilt that so many females have issues with.

The best part about this program is that when it’s shoulders day, Dr. Stoppani has you work every muscle in your shoulders. There are no major muscles that get away with being passed over, let me tell you.

The Results After Week 1:

I don’t know any other words besides: holy crap. I have never gained so many results in such a short amount of time.

Between eating enough calories and the rest-pause on the last set of each exercise, it has been amazing. My quads are starting to pop out (which is a huge deal for me because I have the tiniest upper legs compared to my calves… Thank you all those years of lacrosse), my triceps are definitely showing, my biceps are getting some little definition, and overall I just feel strong and healthy.

I’ve only wrapped up Week 1 and I can’t wait to see what next week will bring!

(Updated! I included a video!)

The Way to Success: Habits

Women trainers make me want to punch walls.

Why do they all talk to their clients like they’re babies?

“Feed your spirit.”
“Don’t exercise if you don’t feel like it.”
“It is important for your mind-body connection.”
“Reclaim your SEXY!”
“Repeat your mantras every day!”

And the number one worst offender is: “Oh, just make sure to try and do this program like two times a week.”

Two times a week is never going to form a habit. Habits are the building blocks of life. It is so easy to skip something if you only do it twice a week.

It doesn’t matter if you simply walk around your block, but do it every single damn day.

If you are serious about getting in shape and getting your health back, you have to focus on HABITS.

But your pseudo-trainers don’t want to tell you that because god forbid you may have to work your ass off and not “honor your spirit” or whatever horseshit they feed you. Getting in shape requires hard work.

Here are some questions you need to ask yourself RIGHT NOW:

1. Have you been following one program for more than two months?

2. If you have been, are you getting the results you want?

If your answer is yes, keep going! If your answer is no, then why in the fuck are you still following that program?

90% of the time there is nothing wrong with YOU and everything wrong with the place you got the program.

Did you know it takes an average of six weeks to actually build muscle? So any program under that amount of time that preaches “toning” “muscle building” or anything along those lines is a lie. Sure, you can make the muscles swell, which is a vital part to the muscle-building process, but understand that illusion is swelling not actual muscle.

Not to mention, muscle is essential to the fat-burning process.

“See, every pound of muscle burns between 50 and 150 calories a day just to sustain itself, while every pound of fat only feeds on 1 to 3 calories.” –Dr. Oz

So if they’re telling you to simply only do cardio/yoga, that’s probably why you aren’t seeing the results you want. You need muscle. That’s that.

The only way you can succeed is to create a new habit. Study habit formation, it will change your life.

What Lifters Can Learn From Theodore Roosevelt

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat. -Theodore Roosevelt

Obviously if you’re following this website, you probably have an interest in getting smarter and also getting fit.

One of the greatest American Presidents throughout history is Theodore Roosevelt.

His list of accomplishments is one that would make even the most successful people in our current generation feel unaccomplished.

Not only was he a President, but he also was a police commissioner, owned a ranch, was a governor in New York, fought in wars, wrote 35 books, explored the rain forests, could read several books a day, survived his wife and mother dying on the same day, went to Harvard and graduated magna cum laude, rowed and boxed throughout college, and not to mention, he also took a bullet to the chest during one of his speeches and still delivered his speech before going to the hospital.

Thinking about this on my days when I complain about being sore after working out makes me feel incredibly lazy.

As a child, Theodore was born with severe asthma. He never slept well, he hurt often, and wasn’t determined to have an active life.

While sick, he developed a natural inclination toward studying zoology. Many hours were spent reading and learning. After observing his son for quite some time, Theodore’s father came to him and said, “Theodore, you have the mind but you have not the body, and without the help of the body the mind cannot go as far as it should. You must make your body.”

That is exactly what he set out to do.

He exercised every single day, continuing all through college.

During a physical after college, a doctor told him that his heart was weak and it was best for him to avoid exercise at all costs.

He did exactly the opposite.

Staying fit was the exact reason he was able to accomplish the rest of the big goals he did.

The goal of Writers Lift Too is to help people get in shape so they have the strength to build the life they have always imagined. You can’t build your dream life when you feel weak.

There is a lot to learn from some of our great leaders in history, and I know there are so many people out there with incredible minds that simply do not have the body to create the energy they need. Building resilience isn’t something that happens overnight. Many people would LOVE to write one book, much less 35.

Theodore Roosevelt called it the strenuous life, and I invite you to think about how you can live the strenuous life.

I wish to preach, not the doctrine of ignoble ease, but the doctrine of the strenuous life, the life of toil and effort, of labor and strife; to preach that highest form of success which comes, not to the man who desires mere easy peace, but to the man who does not shrink from danger, from hardship, or from bitter toil, and who out of these wins the splendid ultimate triumph. -Theodore Roosevelt

Here is also a great comic you can share with others summarizing this story for some motivation: Click here.

 

Care About Your Health Now or Pay Later

You have two options:

1. You can pay attention to your health now
2. Or you can regret not paying attention to it later.

“But I have great genetics. My grandparents lived into their 90s.” Yeah, well your grandparents didn’t have delivery pizza, fast food, or any of the other horrific choices out there people call nutrition.

Most people don’t care about their health until they have their first brush with death.

When I worked as a personal trainer, I’d have to say at least 99% of my clients came in because they were facing horrible health problems. Blown out knees due to weight, heart attacks, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, couldn’t get pregnant due to their weight… Most preventable.

Why do we wait to do this?

In our 20s, we go through college packing on the pounds and as soon as we graduate, we get a job that keeps us busy and then pack the weekends with friends/family instead of finding time to go to the gym. Who cares? We’re young and life is about having fun, right? YOLO.

Studies show time and time again that what you do in your 20s sets up the rest of your life. Your money, your career, your relationships, your children, your health… the blueprint is laid in this defining decade.

You just simply need to start.

Which, I understand, isn’t easy. There is a lot of psychology behind starting a new habit, but if you don’t make the choice now, you will be one of those 40-year-old parents who sit on the sidelines of the playground watching your children play because you are far too out of shape to play with them.

I’d estimate about 99% of fitness blogs out there focus on one thing: Getting in shape so you can have “the bikini body”/”the six-pack” type of idea. It doesn’t focus on your actual health. Do you have a good resting heart rate? Could you run to save your life if you had to? Can you pick your children up without risking throwing out your back?

Most people will not die from their horrible health choices in their 20s, but don’t think it ever just “goes away”. You have to face the consequences eventually.

Vanity is great, and I am aware that is the single reason most people in their 20s do exercise, but the bigger goal is:

Build your dream body so you have the strength to build your dream life.

Anyone who is serious about their health knows that the reason is deeper than what they see in the mirror. It’s having the energy at the end of a workday to work on your side business, it is having the energy to take your family out and be able to keep up with them, it is about feeling confident so you have the mentality to go after that dream job. I put in my time at the gym so I won’t have to be hindered later on in life by my poor health choices.

It took me having an ulcer to finally get me on the path to health, and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. I see friends now who are in their 30s and want children but their bodies won’t do it because they have too much weight on them. I see women who never lifted who end up in wheelchairs at 60 because they don’t have enough muscle to hold up their own body. I see dads die in their 40s from heart attacks and leave a wife and kids behind. This is the state of health in America.

But, I can’t want health for you. You have to want it for yourself.

My goal, and the goal of this site, is to help you get there.

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