to “worth” it, or to “worth” it not !

from the endomorph:

it’s pouring in cape-town.
the rain is coming down with the kind of effort that i have been trying to achieve at gym.
it’s only 3.36 in the afternoon but the charcoal grey of the sky has kissed the day with darkness.
the wind outside cutting from all sides.
even though it’s gloomy and cold with that real “twilight” glampire’s gonna jump you at any moment feel,
i am feeling kind of chipper and toasty inside, though even typing is a sore story as my arms are completely fatigued after today’s workout.

who am i to say what is “worth” it and what is not?
“worth” is something that only becomes sensible when an individual attributes value to the factor.
i am not able to tell you if pushing yourself in the gym will be “worth” it to you or anyone else for that matter.
i have only recently been able to attribute “worth” to gym-ing myself.
this may be because in general i felt completely “worthless” as a person.
no, not because i was severely overweight, that was merely the product of my emotional state.
i felt worthless because i stopped attributing “worth” to myself in comparison to others.
that was the nr.1 probable cause to a lot of my thinking, attitude and behaviour towards food, excersize, business and individual creativity.
i have had this illness since childhood.
roots so deep you need a forklift to just get through the first 100 layers of dirt.
so whats the endomorphic point to the babble ….
well just this, even though it is a pain in the ass and most of the rest of my body to keep on going, i have made the smallest connection to a very disconnected relationship with my body.
discomforting as it may sound to the sane of mind, … stretching your muscles to a place where you have never ventured to take your body, muscles or mind before, awakens a link between the physical and spiritual bodies.
it is as if small electrical currents are being blasted between the two whilst experiencing pain or extreme physical effort.
sounds very S&M i know, but for myself personally i cannot imagine separating the two whilst at gym.
for fek sakes it sounds all very fungi … but ja … it really is a reality shock.
as numb as i have felt as a living humanoid amoeba over the past year, so detached from my body that it was as if i was in a permanent state of astral projection, so connected i feel when i am aching like crap after gym.
so for me, i attribute “worth” to gym because one is forced to count on yourself for a result.
i have been forced into connecting with my physical body, drawing from the mental and spiritual at the same time, some days just to make it through the door.
i would not have been able to persist if i could not attribute any “worth” to the experience.
i don’t think it’s worth it to do anything if one is not able to attribute “worth” to the action as the reaction will be “worthless” and i would dare to say even damaging in the end.

for anyone who ever reads my babble please know that this is not a blog about trying to convince anyone that going to gym will save you from anything in particular, or that it is life changing or even that you need to ever go at all !
this is a blog about changing a life, using gym as the only thing i could think of at the time.
and it is also a way to tell myself the things many a lost friend had spent countless breaths trying to tell me before.
sometimes when we say it to ourselves, only then do we start listening and paying attention.

if it is skydiving that works for you or swimming naked in the arctic, then may all the gods poor their blessings on you, as long as you know that it is better to try something than it is to give up on everything.
i would love to say happiness can be found watching porn and jerking all day, but it seems like sometimes you need to get out there in the real world and kick the bastard in the face.

good luck to you …
and
good luck to me!

IMG_4960 IMG_4965 IMG_4964 latest pics taken at gym on the 3d july – tights and orange shoes …. now that takes a real man #LOL
IMG_4963

 

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the sunshine state of mind

from the endomorph:

keeping up a strict routine at gym is about as hard as walking on eggs …
no one will ever be able to tell me any different.
even on days i absolutely love going, the mission of going home, getting dressed and going back out can be an obstacle, especially when it is that cold outside and for some reason you seem to own a lot more gym shorts than sweat pants.
yet i have managed to bite down on the complaints and stepped up to stepping out.

i have dropped two pants sizes and lost about 15kg now with 20%BF – thats body fat … not boyfriend … as i am not sure
how one accurately measures that.
all of a sudden people here and there are saying … oh my you’ve lost weight … thank God … means it’s working i guess.
but oh the little sins in the kitchen … i am still battling with those a bit.
i can kill off a block of cheese faster than a possessed mouse of steroids.
and the late night craving for sommit sweet, why always at 11pm ??
i think there is an invisible fairy in my house that comes out at night sprinkling sweet fairy dust all over my senses.
how stupid we are to tell ourselves it’s ok to cheat a little here and there because tomorrow we will be back at gym working up a sweat and working out the chocolate of the night before.

this is just another vicious cycle that i like to create for myself.
investing in something that is hard work to obtain something that i really want without the effort of sticking to the rules.
a good body starts when you are not at gym …. thats what “they” all say.
and i know in my deepest lindt chocolate tormented heart that it is the truth.
it probably also isn’t as hard as the walk from my car in em shorties through the wind and rain to the very confusing revolving door of my gym.
(i always seem to make it stop when i am on the inside momentarily turning me into living art – tis the blond of my nature)

how to break the cycle … i don’t know yet … and will keep you up to date if i find something that works, a method or a spell.
perhaps it will just be admitting to myself that it is pointless to do one and not the other, perhaps i will acknowledge that now is probably the time to start, to try even a little harder than i have done before.
that saying no is not as much effort as an hour on the treadmill, and that an hour on the treadmill will be better spent loosing another kg than keeping off on that may have been gained the night before.

i would like to loose another 10kg’s before the summer. i have about 3 months to achieve this goal and the one thing i am very proud of is the fact that i still have a goal.
the other thing that i am very proud of is the fact that lately i am starting to do these things for myself, the focus has shifted from making someone else happy to finding a little warm place in the sun where i can just stretch out and be a little more of what there is behind the veil of a person i have been pretending to be.
there is nothing wrong with pretending for a while, if we have to do this to survive. i would have to guess one just needs to know when the time has come to lift the veil so that we won’t find ourselves lost in an act that just is to hard to turn back on.

i am guessing  that my time has come.
to keep looking back is going to make going forward a lot harder.
even if the sun is in your eyes, it will eventually be above you in the perfect place, merely shining down on you.
for now it might be good to squint a little, to walk straight into it, leaving the shadows behind.

the best part of this is that the sun comes out everyday and that it is never to late for any endomorph to start crawling, walking, running.
we are all champions to ourselves and being our own super-hero might just be the best rescuing act of our lives.

good luck .
to all
and
good luck … to me.

“Hair Fitness”

Have your hair professionally cut

Have your hair professionally cut

the "one" I chose !

the “one” I chose !

"short sides high top, thin face!"

“short sides high top, thin face!”

"sharp and business like!"

“sharp and business like!”

"ruggedly sporty but still neat"

“ruggedly sporty but still neat”

"casual and strong"

“casual and strong”

from the “Endomorph”

I have lost a few cm’s around the waist over the past month, but as for some “Endomorphs” I loos weight at a particularly
slow rate.
So one of the deepest pot-holes in the road to fitness freedom for an endomorph is that change is sometimes visually slow.
That is why I have suggested in a previous post that it could help to spruce up ones wardrobe as an added motivational tool.
I fall into potholes like this quite easily depending on my energy levels and mood.
So it is not surprising that after enduring an extremely stressful weekend at work (I am a retailer) I felt the onset of bad temperament and despondency , actually I was just plain tired.
I had to work pretty much around the clock as we had staff issues and I had to fill the gap. The result was that I couldn’t get to gym for a couple of days and a couple became 4 very quickly.
The only saving grace that I had by this point is I maintained a healthy diet as regimentally as possible, and managed not to meet a burger along the way, which would have been a very convenient dietary solution.
A friend suggested I get a haircut to jump start the engines, and just to pamper myself.
I have never spent much time on “hair fashion” and pretty much kept it manageable and that was about it.
So I thought I’d give it a go and sauntered down to a local professional hair salon.
…enter Bianca…
The first thing my stylist called Bianca wanted to know from me is if I had any pictures of the style and colour I wanted.
My expression blanked…
I was used to just getting a “whatever is quick” haircut and had not much worried about the colour.
Bianca pointed out that since I was not 22 anymore a lot of fine grey hair had sprouted … somehow.
She also pointed out that since I had spent very little time in the sun of late that my hair was void of any natural highlights that the natural dark blond was even darker and that with the grey I was looking quit bland and tired… I agreed.
So we decided to rejuvenate the colour to a much lighter blond with darker tones and while the foils were being done and we waited for the colour to take, I hit up google for some styles. I found just by typing “top mens hairstyles for 2013” you’d easily get to pages filled with  the latest trends and best styles.
I particularly liked GQ’s advice on mens hairstyles and chose on that I thought I could pull off.
Now this is tricky for the reason that GQ models all seem to have squarely etched jaw lines and high cheekbones, and great hair, which mean that they could pretty much put a flowerpot on their head and spray paint it yellow and still look hot.
I have thick wavy hair and an oval face that is still working hard to produce the lack of a double chin and the appearance of cheek bones.
Sooooo, even though I find that most of the men’s hair styles for 2013 are actually quite nice and sharp looking, a lot sport an extremely short side and high top or sleeked back look.
The “endomorph” who is still loosing weight needs to be careful not to go too short as to overexpose the face, it is good to keep some focus on the length and try to visually slim down the face.
I chose a style with this in mind, as to be in keeping with the trend but a little longer on the fringe and sides with a sporty all over feel more rugby than footy as “Bianca” called it which I thought was quite funny.
I also received a quick lesson “free” of the difference between professional hair care products and the “off the shelf” itchy scalp kind. If you can invest in professional products a little at a time goes a long way and for the older “endomorph” has great advantages like a reduction in hair-loss and proper protection against dandruff (always gross, your not a Zamboni) as well as keeping hair shiny for longer.
Google products or ask your stylist, they are hair doctors after all !
When my hair was all done and “GHD’d” I was actually speechless. I looked years younger and …slimmer !!
I felt better about life.
I felt better about my body.
I felt motivated to get back to gym so that I would look even better the next time round and …
I am a visual delight !
My conclusion and the point to writing an entire “blab” about hair is that fitness is not simply about the body and loosing wight.
It is also an “AWARENESS”.
It is important to be aware that fitness touches the psyche, that by paying  attention to something left to chance you can inspire a whole new beginning.
Fitness is about pampering the body and the spirit. Rest when you are tired but keep focused.
I have learned that even if your face is not a chiselled marvel of design, you can still pay attention to the appearance of your hair, and this
has another kind of kickback…. PEOPLE NOTICE , and all of a sudden they notice you look a little more fit and then your mind interprets this as …. wait for it ……
I AM DOING SOMETHING RIGHT !!!
There is no better motivation for persistence than a mind that BELIEVES what it is doing is right !!

We are all GQ men just waiting to happen to the world and ourselves.
And Ima gonna get back to gym today !

from Men’s Fitness.com

from the Endomorph:
great article for the impatient, the overcharged and the undercharged from www.mensfitness.com
10 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle

Building muscle and packing on the pounds isn’t just about “picking things up and putting them down.” What’s holding you back?

Building muscle and packing on the pounds isn’t just about “picking things up and putting them down.” What’s holding you back?

Jon-Erik Kawamoto, M.Sc.Kin.(c), C.S.C.S., C.E.P.
Flexing muscles

Packing on muscle is no easy feat regardless of whether you’re a string bean or a husky guy. And why you’re missing out on gains is typically caused by a number of reasons that can be easily avoided. So if you’re frustrated about being stuck in the place and at the same weight, it’s time to assess what you’re doing and make a change.

1. YOU’RE IMPATIENT

If you’re a true beginner, the first phase of your training program results in changes that you can’t see – typically, your coordination improves with each exercise and the amount of co-contraction between muscles decreases. Your brain gets better at communicating with your muscles and can actually activate a higher percentage of your muscle fibers, commonly referred to as neuromuscular efficiency. Don’t look in the mirror after two weeks and wonder why you’re not getting bigger. Be patient and put in the work, the results will come.

2. YOU DON’T KEEP TRACK

Training logs are just as important as the program. How are you supposed to know what to do today or what you did last week without keeping track of it? To maximize muscle hypertrophy, keep track of all your workouts, weight used, repetitions performed, the tempo of the exercise and the breaks between sets. Keeping a training log will allow you to track your progress and your energy levels. Logs are also a great way to look back to see how (hopefully not) you got injured or over-trained.

3. YOU’VE GOT NO STRUCTURE

Remove the randomness from your workouts and stick to a plan. This is the best way to improve strength and increase muscle size. Random training might make you strong (for a beginner), but it’s inferior to a planned periodized training program. A linear periodized plan can look like this: week 1: 3×12-15; week 2: 3×10-12; and week 3: 3×8-10. A non-periodized plan can look like this: weeks 1-3: 1st set 10-12 reps; 2nd set 6-8 reps, 3rd set 3-5 reps. Pick a plan and stick to it for maximum gains.

4. YOU’RE DOING TOO MUCH CARDIO

If your goals are size and strength, cardio workouts should not dominate your program. HIIT workouts and easy cardio sessions can be slotted into your program, but your 1st priority is getting in the 3-4 weight training days. If you can recover well between workouts, feel free to add in a cardio session here or there, but not at the expense of your recovery.

5. YOU’RE A HEADCASE

Having too much negative stress in your life can wreck havoc on your body’s chemistry and your overall health. It’s easier said than done, but you need to chill out man. Find a job you enjoy and a non-drama-filled girlfriend. Eat fresh whole foods and drink plenty of water. Try to get 8-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. Learn how to meditate. The lower the stress, the better you recover. The better you recover, the better your progress. Make it happen.

10 Reasons You’re Not Building Muscle

Building muscle and packing on the pounds isn’t just about “picking things up and putting them down.” What’s holding you back?

Jon-Erik Kawamoto, M.Sc.Kin.(c), C.S.C.S., C.E.P.

Arm Muscles

6. YOU’RE EATING LIKE A BIRD

To put on size, you can’t eat salads all day. You need to have a slight calorie surplus to support muscle growth. This includes all energy expended from physical activity and internal processes. As mentioned earlier, eat whole fresh foods. Put time into planning your meals so you don’t have to resort to eating junk. Avoid sugary drinks and all fast food. Try to eat organic meats and drink organic milk. Eat healthy fats such as avocados and coconut oil. If you’re inclined, diets such as the “Paleo Diet” or “Perfect Health Diet” work really well for putting on size while staying lean. Ensure your growing body receives the nutrients and building blocks it needs and remember that eating junk equals junk results.

7. YOU CHEAT YOUR REPS

Half or quarter reps are commonly seen in the gym. Don’t be that guy. Half reps are going to get you half-assed results. Learn how to perform the full range of motion for each exercise. Leave your ego at the door because the weight you’ll use will be less. In the long run, you’ll maximize your gains when progressing full range of motion exercises with lighter weights than you would when using heavy weights for half reps. Half and quarter reps have their place though – they are great when used as assistance exercises to the main lifts, but only when the main lifts can be performed with full range of motion.

8. YOU’RE AFRAID OF COMPOUND MOVEMENTS

Curls, front raises, lateral raises, and calf raises are all good exercises but are normally performed at the wrong time. Focus on big compound lifts at the beginning of your workouts while you’re fresh and not fatigued. Exercises such as deadlifts, squats, cleans, presses and/or pulls should make up the first half of your workout. Save the isolation exercises for the last half.

9. YOU’RE A GYM ADDICT

Spending hours in the gym isn’t going to do you any favors. Related to the “you need to chill out” tip, doing too much in the gym will result in a tougher time recovering between workouts while adding to your already high levels of stress. Beginners can get plenty of work in a 45-min to 60-min workout, if the proper breaks are taken between sets and if they’re not checking their Facebook. Too many sets and hours in the gym can result in diminishing returns. Go to the gym, get focused, do the work and go home.

10. YOU’RE AVOIDING DROP-SETS

Drop-sets involve sub-maximal weights performed to failure over several mini-sets. Arnold referred to this type of training as training for “the pump.” For example, grab a weight you can curl for 8-10 reps. Following that set, grab another pair of dumbbells 10lbs lighter and immediately perform reps to failure. Perform this drop for one more set. Take a minute break and do it again. Constant muscle tension created with these 3 mini-sets induces hypertrophic mechanisms within the muscle. Add in drop-sets to your isolation exercises to maximize your gains in size.

Being Human … and Fitness

from the Endomorph :

Being human means that some days will be filled with buckets full of motivation, and eagerness to
achieve the perfect body, and some days probably won’t.
If you are anything like me ( slightly less confident about personal success ) you may actually have
those kind of days pop their dark, negative, little heads up from the fitness trenches more often than not.
I read over the past week about a guy so obsessed with muscle that he went from one extreme to the next during the past 10 years
to achieve physical perfection. I call guys like this “superhero’s” !

Personally that hasn’t happened to me yet , here’s to hoping.
What has happened to me though, is that over the past 3 weeks I have been doing just about everything right.
I have worked out regularly and eaten portions equating to such small amounts that my Yorkie has taken it upon herself
to drop tiny dog pellets at my feet, or so it seems.
Then I go and look for a pair of pants, and nothing … same fat ass sized waist as before, and I cry in a chain store fitting room.
Yes thats right, I cried.
Point, laugh, pull a face, I don’t care.
I felt completely defeated, I felt alone, and frustrated with a waistline that felt as if it were cast in cement.
I know that an Endomorphs change is a slow an gruelling process, but how did I end up in this place of suspended animation, where it felt like no matter what I had done to better myself, it was useless and I was still …. fat.
I have bigger boobs than Kate Moss.
And I was still a size 36.

Eventually I ended up buying the 36, cause you gotta wear pants in public where I live.
And also didn’t buy the most horrible pair, just because I had to buy something. I forced myself to look for something nice.
The reason for this is …
I still had hope after recovering from my little breakdown.
And I believe that if nothing else, we must be kind to ourselves as much as we would to others.
I took a days break, from the scale and from the gym and from the supplements and shakes.
And for one day, I was human again I could always try for “superhero” status again tomorrow.

Tomorrow came,
and went to gym.

Endomorph's front profile

Endomorph’s front profile

Endomorphs side profile - right hand

Endomorphs side profile – right hand

Endomorphs side profile - left hand

Endomorphs side profile – left hand

Endomorphs back profile, full body

Endomorphs back profile, full body

Metamorphosis – the missing fitness mag link … ?

metamorphosis – wikipedia:
Metamorphosis is a biological process by which an animal develops after birth or hatching,
involving a conspicuous and abrupt change in the animals body structure through cell growth and differentiation .
Some insects, cnidarians, amphibians, molluscs, and tunicates undergo metamorphosis,
which is usually accompanied by a change of habitat or behaviour.

from the Endomorph:

I bought my first fitness mag when I was still googly-eyed and at school.
I was picked on for being arty and different and thought that if I went to gym to gain some muscle,
I would be able to swing things in my favour a little.
The first magazine I ever purchased was a “Mens Workout” mag, and there it was, page after page of shiny genetically amplified muscle.
My first thoughts about the guy on the inside middle page was…
“ain’t no one gonna get up in your face !” and
“whoa, them are some short, shorts ya all wearing!”
Unfortunately for me I never quite understood that most of the guys in fitness mags where “metamorphosed” creatures belonging to a select group of only perhaps a few thousand on this great big turning ball of a planet inhabited by 5.99988887777666 billion other
people.
It was a pity that the particular magazine I had bought only sported images of super-humans and didn’t come with a content warning!

After reading about weight-lifting and supplements, I ran to gym, joined (for the first of a million times) and nearly pitched a tent the first week from not wanting to leave.
By week two my enthusiasm decreased, and by week three, I was ready to move back home.
And for f**k sake I still didn’t look anything like anyone in those mags – not possible !
(I did however look half anorexic as I ate barely anything and dropped weight like a good habit . FYI this don’t happen after 30 no more.)
I had the same routine throughout my 20’s.
Each time I would catch the fever – I would run to gym and want it to happen overnight.
I wanted to be a magazine boy !
I would have also probably achieved more if I started selling them on street corners.
My weight yo-yoed out of control – I added and lost muscle like Hue lost Bunnies and I became despondent and depressed.

There were a couple of things missing from my “routine”:
1) actually having a routine
2)doing my homework regarding fitness
3)figuring out what a proper diet consisted of = 80% of what working out is about.
4)learning not to waste my time if I thought it was a waste of time
5)what my body type was,
6)”magazine boys” didn’t rock the pages after working out for 12 weeks.

Fact is, “magazine guys” are great motivation for fitness and weight training. Fitness magazines also wouldn’t sell if say, you put me on the cover without a shirt on. Fact is that fitness is a huge business and all about the selling products, equipment and beauty.
Thats ok , it creates employment and gives us something to look at.
It would however just be really great for once just to add a dash of reality, and by looking at all the reality crap they kill television with, there must be a market.
I would have been a lot more grateful if somewhere along the line they included an average guy , who didn’t get the chance to spend his life in the gym, who had a lot of stress and a big old fat belly and said, “right lets see if any of this works”.
And then make him write an article about it, so that we could learn about the absolute hell it is to go through a metamorphosis of the body and more importantly the mind.
How to keep going at it when real things happen like,
your company is in trouble,
your boss is an asshole,
your business is not breaking even,
your drive by 2000 fast food holes on your way home
your partner doesn’t want to touch you with a broom in the basement
your cost of living spirals into orbit each day.

I find it hard to train when bad things are happening, or when I am sad.
This is the most important time to train because of the whole endorphin thing blah, blah.
But you know what?…
It’s hard to drive to gym, when you can go home and loose yourself in another crap episode of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” (those people need Jesus)
It’s easy to say, later, tomorrow and not now.
It’s hard to say ok, 45mins and burnout.
Ripping your muscles apart and drowning in sweat – sucks, it really does, and what sucks even more is squats and that you look like you
have pooped yourself the day after because you can’t climb the stairs to your office.
The biggest suck-fest is that it all happens quite slowly if you have the body type that was put together when God was not in character that particular day and your DNA spiral is a little bent.

We can only ever do our best.
Sometimes doing our best means doing something out of character.
Sometimes we have to change the habitat that we are comfortable in, displace ourselves to such and extent that we are uncomfortable and even in pain.
I cannot guarantee it, but I am almost certain that this will initiate a change of energy, and to be honest at this point in time I pray that I am right, because right now I am in that uncomfortable place.

Today I have poop-legs and an extremely stressful reality weighing down on my life, that makes lifting more weight look like such an insignificant part of the process.
I am uncomfortable in my personal life,
but I am going to go to gym anyway, because I would really LIKE to loose some inches off this 43 inch belly and because it’s uncomfortable and I can still choose to do it,
makes me a little more free today than I was a week ago.