Update: Jim Stoppani’s No Limits Challenge

If you’ve been around this blog for any amount of time, you’ll know I’m a big fan of challenges.

There’s something to staying accountable, sending in pictures every week, and staying on schedule. That’s also why a lot of people hire trainers, so they can have that kind of accountability.

This isn’t going to be a long post, just an update. Some people have messaged me like “R U ALIVE?” and to be honest, some says I’m not sure. I quit coffee for a day last week (lololol, I know, a day) and regretted it immediately. (If you do want to stay updated, come say hi on Instagram!)

If you have a problem staying consistent (a problem most people have), few things beat a challenge to stay focused.

Fitness is the things that keeps my entire life on track. When I’m lifting, things are going well. When I’m not, I’ve noticed I seem to struggle to stay organized and focused. I’m not sure if it’s the consistency or the stress relief that comes from lifting every morning, but it’s just one of the to-do’s that’s part of the foundation of a happy life for me.

I’m not sure if I’ll be updating the challenge weekly or just do a wrap-up at the end, but either way, you’re welcome to join me!

How to Make Time For A Fitness Routine

I have a confession to make: I’ve been a little sissy face throughout the past two months.

I’ve left working out up to when I “felt” like it, which is pretty much poison for anyone trying to get in shape.

As I mentioned in my last post, my 26th birthday passed, and I realized it is just simply time to quit being a little sissy.

There’s no doubt that I’m healthy. My blood tests always come back phenomenal, my body fat percentage is way below average, and I moderately exercise.

That’s great and all, however, I can do better. Nothing feels worse than living below my potential. When you know you could do better and it is right within your reach, but you choose to pick the easier route, that is hell.

I can do better, so I’m going to.

Let’s break it down:

1. Write what your “best” looks like.

If you know you are living below your potential, you have to accurately describe what living above it looks like.

What time do you wake up?
What do you do with your day?
What do you do at work?
How do you feel?
When do you workout?
How do you treat the person around you?
What does your body look like?

2. Decide what is in your way and how you will beat it.

Although I prefer evening workouts, they are far too easy to skip, so I moved them to the mid-morning.

The problem with the mid-morning for me is not feeling that energized, so I ordered a pre-workout (Pre Jym. I’ll do a review soon!).

I also have the problem of going to the gym and saying, “Ugh, IDK what to do, so I’ll just do these 3 easy things and leave.” So, I went through Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut to Shred program I’ve been meaning to start for, like, ever, and plugged it into my planner so I know exactly what I’m going to do when I get there.

I also put money on it so I have to donate it to a group I really can’t stand if I don’t follow through.

3. Start saying “no” to non-priority items.

Do whatever it takes to get rid of things that are not a priority. If fitness is truly a priority, you have to make room for it. That means sacrificing time at the bar/playing videos/surfing the internet.

This doesn’t have to be forever, just stick with these priorities for a few weeks until you hit your goal. Everyone and everything else can wait, but you don’t have to cut out fun things for the rest of your life.

Trying to make excuses is one of the common pitfalls for starting new habits. “Oh you mean I can’t ever drink again?!” No, it just means you have to stop having seven beers every night after work.

It’s much easier to keep something in motion once it’s started than to start. Just focus on building the habit and the rest will come.

Staying on Track After Finishing A Fitness Program

Finishing a fitness program is no small feat.

To stay consistent over weeks, when your body is sore and simply over the abuse, builds not only your body, but your character.

Finishing a program is a huge accomplishment, and one that easily weeds out the strong from the weak.

Once the program is over, however, people stumble.

They get to the end of the finish line, look around, and go, “Now what?”

I saw this in my past personal training clients along with my own fitness goals.

So, I thought I’d sit down and address the three biggest reasons people fall back off the fitness routine after finishing a program, and how to fix it:

  1. You’re a goal oriented person.

    There are a lot of people who finally get in shape, look around, and go “now what?” This is easily fixed with setting a new goal: competing in something, trying a new sport, aiming for a new PR.

    Need a new goal? Some ideas:

    Gain muscle.
    Lose weight and get shredded.
    Run a race.
    Find a new workout partner.
    Hire a personal trainer.
    Hit a new PR.
    Climb a mountain.
    Take up a new sport (boxing, baseball, football, swimming).

  2. Accountability.

    A lot of people who get in shape don’t always change their friends. Sometimes just having one or two fitness-oriented friends helps you stay accountable and you two can workout together/share meal ideas/etc.

    It’s easy to slip back into old habits being around the same environment/people/etc. I know, I know, some of your current friends will get upset thinking you’ve become “obsessed” with the gym, but if they are not supportive, are they that good of friends anyway?

    You need someone in your life who cares about your goals and wants you to succeed.

    Start talking to people in your gym, find new friends online, and start reaching out to people you want to be around. Having a group of like-minded friends will do wonders for staying accountable.

  3. On a deeper, more philosophical and woo-woo level: you’re still personally identified with your past self.

    It’s hard for your subconscious to accept you’re a fit person who does fit things. This sets you up for self-sabotage because your outer appearance conflicts with your inner feelings. Super woo-woo, I know, but an incredibly real phenomenon.

    To combat this:
    Stop referring to your past self.

Of course, there might be other reasons, but those were the ones I almost always encountered with clients and even myself.

Want a 10 page free guide on sticking to your fitness goals? Sign up by clicking: here.

My Lifting Plan – End of 2014

Screen Shot 2014-10-27 at 3.03.23 PM
I’m keeping the rest of my plan pretty simple for the rest of 2013.

All the sets will follow the same general drop sets/rest pause similar to Shortcut to Size. The main difference I’ll be adjusting is that I have to include my shoulder rehab into my program and also an extra cardio day.

(Week 1 is 12-15 reps, week 2 is 8-10 reps, week 3 is 6-8 reps and week 4 is 2-4, then start back at the beginning with week 5)

I also decided to split my leg day into two days because I want my little chicken nugget legs to grow.

Noted: My gym doesn’t have a barbell. It’s actually really small. So, this program is accommodating for that. For yourself, feel free to add in barbell exercises where it is appropriate.

Monday – Chest/Triceps/Shoulder rehab
Chest press 3×15
Rope pulldown 3×15
Dumbbell kickbacks 3×15
Shoulder rehab plan

Tuesday: Back/Hamstrings
Lat pulldown 3×15
Bent over rows 3×15
Face-pulls 3×15
Romanian lifts 3×15
Shoulder rehab

Wednesday: Cardio and abs
Shoulder rehab

Thursday: Biceps/shoulders/shoulder rehab
Rope curl 3×15
Bent over dumbbell reverse fly 3×15
Dumbbell front raise 3×15
Hammer curls 3×15
Shoulder rehab

Friday: Quads/abs
Wide-leg squats 3×15
Narrow stance squats 3×15
Dumbbell Step-ups 3×15
Shoulder rehab