Welp! Boys (and girls?…hopefully) it’s getting to be that time of the year when you start double taking when you look at yourself in the mirror and say “Wow, I am disgusting!” After this you have your annual epiphany of how you’re going to get in shape for the summer so you can be that guy at the beach that girls literally attack on sight like an AXE Body Spray commercial. To find info on how to get shredded like Derek Rose’s knee tendons you will probably consult the almighty power, Google, and find yourself on some Men’s Fitness or Bodybuilding.com type website. Unfortunately a lot of that advice is about as reliable as a Malaysian Airlines flight.
You could hire a personal trainer, but more than likely you’ll turn to “BroScience,” a pseudoscience based on rumors and false ideas propagated by semi-retarted meatheads (read: Dom Mazzetti) which has spread like wildfire. Fortunately for you, your dude here knows way too much about the gym and fitness and is here to give you a better guide.
***This advice is mildly based in science, however take at your own risk. I’m probably smarter than you though, so you should be good ***
Myth #1 – Curls for the Girls
With every youth large Vineyard Vines t-shirt that is swiped off the racks of TJ Max across this great land comes a desire by some skinny kid to look huge in it. Pretty much every guy in America wants that, heck Bernie Sanders should add 18” biceps to all the other free shit we deserve. It might help him get the elusive meathead vote. Anyway, in the search for dope pipes that would make Whitney Houston’s mouth water, the old adage “Curls for the girls” often comes into play. Now while doing curls or other bicep exercises will help, your bicep is actually the smallest muscle in your arms. Your triceps are nearly double the size so working on them is a much more efficient strategy to grow those arms. Try exercises like pull-downs, dips (the tricep variety, not Skoal) and close grip bench to really work them. Say yes to killer tricep exercises now and you’ll be saying no to sleeves and ugly chicks this summer.
“The Lifting Class is Taking All the Lean Gainzz”
Myth 2 – Lean Mean Machines
When you walk into a modern gym there are more options than one of those annoying build your own burger places. Your typical Planet Fitness has rows and rows of various machines and contraptions for its overweight customers to sweat all over. Now knowing that you read this blog, I know that you are the type who likes the path of least resistance. So you probably spend a lot less time “Pumping Iron” and a lot more sitting on a padded machine doing some weird movement that allegedly works some muscle you have never heard of. Well unless you are looking to pull off a Chris Christie costume next Halloween, this is not a good strategy. Multi-joint exercises like Bench Press, Squats, Rows, Deadlifts and Overhead Press are most effective as they use multiple muscles at a time which helps gain strength and also burns more calories. While definitely harder and much more intimidating at first, basing your workout around these lifts is the best way if you really want to see progress. A few months following this rule and you will be looking SWOLE in your sweet tanktop while you stroll down Thames Ave. in Newport looking for girls to lie to about having a yacht.
“I work in Business Finance” = “I cash out registers at Staples”
Myth 3: Run that Gut Away
Every single out of shape person you meet will tell you something like “Man, I just gotta start running to get back in shape.” While not completely wrong, running is not the best idea for anyone who takes full advantage of bottomless appetizers. The problem with running is that it is a high impact exercise and that if you are not used to it or do it improperly you can really hurt your knees, back, ankles etc. Combine that with the 5 + 5 + 5 extra pounds you put on from all those Domino’s 555 specials and you have a recipe for getting injured. Not to mention, if the last time you ran, Mitt Romney was running for president you probably are not going to be very good at it and you’ll look like one of those “Extreme Makeover Weightloss Edition” montages. This will probably stop your “get fit” resolution dead in its tracks and send you back to den of inactivity like the Dockers wearing bear you are.
A much better idea is to ease into a workout program after long periods of inactivity. A few days at the gym a week, some pushups in the morning or even a walk around the block every day are much better than thinking you can Usain Bolt away that beer gut. Start with this philosophy and you may look good enough to pull yourself a Kennedy during your annual summer trip to the Cape.
Myth 4 -Tone It Down
Somewhere, someone on the internet propagated the idea that a magical switch for “Toned vs Big” existed in your muscles. Well just like that time you thought the former Playboy Bunny wanted to date you, the internet let you down. You can work out to be “toned” like all the other bi-curious guys who would definitely blow Cristiano Ronaldo if given the chance or to get “big” to look like the guy at the country concert in the JJ Watt jersey trying to start fights over beer pong. The idea that simply working out differently will allow you to control whether you are lean and defined or ballooned up like Lou Ferrigno is about as true and when The Donald says he will make America great again.
The difference between being toned and getting big is strictly dependent on your body fat. If you are looking to get as lean as beef jerky, do things to reduce your body fat to expose what muscles you have. If you are looking for more GAINZ than a laundry room consider eating A LOT and lifting frequently. Follow this lead if you want to avoid being “shirt on in the pool guy.”
At the end of the day most things you read on the World Wide Web that aren’t from EntryRevel.com are probably B.S, and even that might not be true. However, I can promise if you follow the steps above instead of the advice by that 28 year old in the TAPOUT shirt at the gym, you will get in shape. Soon you will be emasculating your friends about the size of their arms and will be the guy with his shirt off at Pattie’s in Misquamicut. That guy is REALLY cool, you wana be him.