It’s just about the end of the first week of my bodybuilding training. In my previous post, I gave some details about how I invested in my first fitness coach, how it’s going, and all the lessons I learned. A lot of those lessons still hold true.
I wanted to round out the week by giving you some more updates and interesting lessons learned:
- I have more respect for anyone who has maintained an incredible physique or gone from skinny or overweight to jacked. It’s a part-time job that takes up most of your free time every week. This literally took up almost all my time after work. After work, I am cooking, grocery shopping, or working out / showering. I’m hoping things get easier and it frees up a little time as I get more used to this. I’ve been trying out a lot of different recipes and snacks to hit my 160 grams of protein per day, which is difficult. I’ve tried protein chips, fruit smoothies, dumplings, breaded chicken breasts air fried, protein pasta, and much more. It’s racked up my grocery bill for the week a bit, but it’s worth the experimentation because this is an investment for my life to figure out what’s healthy and sustainable. I was eating more fast food before this, so it’s good for me. That said, it’s a lot of time dedicated to this, which I don’t know if I can commit to forever. You realize how little time someone who is successful at the gym has for other things, like partying, meeting others, socializing, having fun given their commitment to the gym. At least so far, my day is more or less done after the work. I do have a couple hours at home to catch up and do other stuff at the end of the night, like write this blog post.
- If I had to sum it up, it’s about 10 to 20 hours a week of commitment beyond work. In theory, that’s doable if you’re smart with your time. Perhaps, once I get more used to this, I can be more efficient and cut down that time by bulk cooking. I assume someone rich could just pay for a chef or pre-made meals that fit your macros, like through Territory Foods. When you have kids to take care of or run a business, I imagine that gets harder.
- A lot of jacked, muscular guys who get girls are probably spending a lot less time than you think meeting and talking to new girls. I mean, think about it. If they have full-time jobs and have any reasonable workout and cooking routine similar to mine, that’ll eat up most of their time. And they still do well, which means it’s not all about maximizing the amount of people you meet, it’s sometimes better to invest in yourself, spend time away from others, and become a better you. (If you’re thinking, well, you can meet women at the gym. Nope. I’ve been to a lot of gyms, and it’s a horrible ratio. It’s not even close to an ideal opportunity).
- Many men, arguably most men, have no idea what serious commitment to the gym is if they want to see real gains. I’m sure some of them hit the gym this consistently too. That said, many men I’ve interacted with behave, think, and act in ways that tell me their free time after work is devoted to whatever they want and not going to the gym at all, let alone five days a week. So, part of it speaks to their lack of understanding of the commitment needed to see gains. And part of it speaks to the various things that hold them back: not feeling like it would be enjoyable and running away from discomfort, laziness, believing they can get results just going two times a week, completely forgetting to work out, other interests, and so on.
- For any loyal readers, you may be thinking, didn’t you do this before with CrossFit? Yes, technically, that’s true. When I was younger, I would go to work every, and then spend an hour and a half at my CrossFit gym, then take my time eating out or cooking, and then go home to relax. Back then, it didn’t seem as stressful. In fact, I got used to it and kind of relaxed into it, and I would even have a couple hours after for TV. I’m hoping that will happen with this bodybuilding / commercial gym training I’m doing eventually. That said, some things were different. I was living in a slow, suburb with not much to do. Except for the usual boring chain stores and restaurants, the town basically shut down when it got dark. There wasn’t anything exciting to do or people to meet. Hence, I kind of resigned myself to making the most of it, kind of like a paralyzed person resigns himself to his fate and still is able to live a happy life haha, so I didn’t feel like there was an opportunity cost. I was also a young bachelor who finished work at 5, and the CrossFit gym was occasionally a fun place to socialize a bit, so I didn’t mind taking my time or staying a bit later. And I didn’t care as much about nutrition then, so I didn’t fuss about hitting my macros, would more or less eat what I want or what’s convenient, which would save time, and would probably hit about 100 grams of protein a day rather than 160.
- The final 40 to 60 grams of protein are the hardest and can be time-consuming. Those are tough to hit especially when you’re already feeling full or when the sources of protein seem kind of bland or dry. I did find one trick though…
- It’s okay to fit in a unhealthy and delicious treat as long as it hits your macros! :) For most of the start of this week, I had a fairly strict, dry diet since I was more focused on hitting the protein goal and getting in any foods that were tolerable with the best protein to fat ratio. Then, I started to realize that I would have 20 to 40 grams of fat left towards the end of the day that I could use. So, sometimes, I was able to fit in an Ice Dream cone or sandwich or two from Chick Fil A. That made me feel a lot better! :) The Ice Dream is a great choice since it’s a lot of delicious, real ice cream but only 4 grams of fat! Sometimes, you just have to be creative with what works and look up the numbers. And then, tracking all the numbers through MyFitnessPal and doing the math makes it clear.
I feel accomplished. There’s a lot ahead though. And I don’t know if I will be able to sustain it for the program and after the program. Regardless, I will learn a lot and come out better than before with my health and training habits. It does give me hope reflecting back on my CrossFit days and realizing I did accomplish something similar back then. Let me know if you like these fitness challenge reports. Do you want more or less of these?