It’s tax refund season! You know what that means, the government took your money that you earned for a whole year, and now has decided to let you have it back, interest free! Wow they really are looking out for us aren’t they… Not really.
YES IT IS A REFUND
Everyone gets so excited every year to get THEIR money back, it blows my mind when people come up to me asking how much I got back. Then we compare amounts, and when they find out that most of the time I had to pay the government money they look at me like I’ve made a horrible mistake. But let’s think about this, I changed my withholdings to keep the maximum amounts. That means that I can put what I would have had taken out in taxes into a fund of some kind, then when it comes time to pay uncle sam the NECESSARY AMOUNT (no more no less!), I take it out of the fund and use the interest gained as a cushion to be compounded every year. So in the end this person fought tooth and nail to get whatever money they could back, looking in every loophole and tax bracket they could. While I literally made money on the money every year, and never had to worry about paying too much. Sounds like a win to me…
WHAT TO DO WITH THE REFUND?
Well you can go out and get that new tv you’ve been wanting, that new gaming system or a down payment on a car you can barely afford. But what do all of these things have in common, they’re liabilities! A liability is something that you spend money on, then you spend money on and keep spending money on it, the liability never yields anything of value to you! Instead how about you take time on the internet to invest in something that will actually help, go to a seminar on how to start a business online, look into real-estate. I wouldn’t recommend buying stocks though, I did that one year and it was a lesson well learned, it takes much more thought and consideration than buying something that will give you knowledge or income.
START A NEW HABBIT
Look at things you buy from now on as an asset (money maker) or a liability (money taker). Learning and applying these two words will yield incredible returns in most areas of your life! And the sooner you can fix your taxes to change the withholdings to keep the money that’s YOURS, the better. Just go to your HR person and ask to have your withholdings done so that you keep the maximum, this is easiest if you’re on a salary because you can look at your taxes from last year and just invest that amount monthly. Then just sit back and enjoy the interest earned and knowledge applied 🙂
Have a great day!
If you want to see true LEAN GAINZZZ, you need to apply a few of the techniques we are going too look at that I did for about 4 months and saw some pretty awesome results. None of these are life altering, and if anything you’re going to shorten your time at the gym as well as the dinner table! Even for the “HARD GAINER” these rules still apply, so enough chatting and let’s get into this!
BIS AND TRIS LATS AND PECS QUADS AND GLUTES…ABS
If you have picked up a fitness magazine in the last 15 years you have seen this structure for your workout. And as we all know, Monday is national chest day (this is one of those universal laws that spans continents and cultures). But where did this start and why is it still held as the norm if most people who follow it aren’t all jacked and swole? Well because it was most likely based off of an IFBB bodybuilders workout 90% of the time, and they aren’t exactly known for testing. So if you are on a cycle of your favorite steroid cocktail, then this will be a fantastic workout for you! However if you chose the natural (and longevity oriented) route, we need to re-design this mold.
So if you’re a natural lifter and want to know how to get the most out of your body and time in the gym, we need to look at what’s going to get you the most bang for your buck. The answer is COMPOUND MOVEMENTS. Sure it feels great to curl those 40s for reps, but unless your on a cycle(steroids), there really isn’t much use. However if you do pullups with 3 different grips, now you’re on the road to gainz! Let’s think about it, if you do an ISOLATION move you’re hitting one muscle and destroying it, but if you do a compound move like a pullup, you’re getting most of the body involved while hitting the necessities(bis and lats). Same goes for bench, squats and deadlifts, you’re going to get an over all better result and hormonal response.
THE REASON STEROIDS WORK SO WELL
Steroids increase testosterone and natural hormone levels to increase the speed at which your body can recover and apply force. So naturally if you destroy your bis and tris in the gym breaking up the muscle tissue, and you are taking steroids, your body will work many times faster and efficiently to repair the damage and have you back to normal(with improvements due to the stimulus of stress from the weights) in about 24-48 hrs.. Where as if you are a natural lifter doing the same exact routine, you’ll leave the gym with the same broken down tissue, but will need about 8 DAYS to recover and get a fraction of the results. Now that might have painted a case for you to take steroids, and that’s your choice, just know what your getting into before you start.
SO HERE’S HOW YOU DO IT NATURALLY
LIFT HEAVY (80%-90% 5×5 or whatever HEAVY program you follow), at least 4 days per week. As a natural lifter your body needs a strong stimulus to create enough of a “need” to build and keep new weight. So CONSISTENT heavy weight applied over time will spark this response. And to build the size of the muscle I recommend choosing two COMPOUND complimentary moves, for example, shoulder press super set with a row. Rep scheme will look like this for muscle building, 2-3 sets to failure of first move and 15 reps of second…THAT’S IT! Don’t push past this, because there’s something called the law of diminishing returns, meaning it’s all useless after this point. Your muscles are broken down (and should feel it) and your body has a reason to NEED to grow stronger and bigger, now focus on recovery. Weights for the muscle building portion should be 40%-60% of one rep max in first lift(In this example if your shoulder press 1rm is 180, you use 105).
Wow this thing is long…(that’s what she said), but it’s all proven on myself and others, so take it or leave it!
It’s Time to Experiment
Along with living a perceived extreme diet in the form of the Paleo Diet, I like to experiment on myself with what other successful people are doing, whether it is business or fitness, I love to find my limits. And so begins the newest experiment.
THE COLD THEORY
The name is pretty much self explanitory, what we are doing is modifying our environment as much as possible (within reason), to make it as cold as possible all the time. I’m not gonna lie, this is not the most comfortable thing I’ve ever done.
WHAT IS INVOLVED
Let’s start with what I perceived to be the easiest to the most difficult. First all water that is taken in needs to be ICE COLD, not room temperature but ice cold. Whenever possible when time permits, take a 30 minute nap with an ice pack on the back of your neck. Now things get a little rougher, when you go to bed at night don’t sleep under the covers at all, not even a sheet, and keep a fan on to circulate the air in the room. Now for the hardest thing in my opinion, the cold shower twice per day. Yep I said it, cold shower, one of the most uncomfortable and longest 15 minutes of my day.
I won’t lie, I started this chanllenge to gain a more asthetic physique. The way this cold theory (I call it a theory still because I haven’t seen the results) works is the result of studying Michael Phelps’ diet of 12,000 calories while training for the Olympics. If it were as simple as calories in and calories out he would have had to have butterfly stroked for 23 hours per day to reach 8,000 calories. So what was the factor that allowed him to consume those calories while maintaining his weight??
In lamence terms, being in a colder environment forces our bodies to work harder to maintane our core temperature of 98.6 degrees. This can allow the average person to burn many times more calories. Wish me luck!
If you’ve been alive for more than a year you’ve heard of the paleo diet I’m sure. So why in the world do you need to bother with it, and what could it benefit you?
WELL FOR ONE, IT’S NOT A “NEW” THING
We are a society that has only been removed from an agricultural lifestyle for about two generations (200 years). Which in the grand scheme of our history as a species is equivalent to a few months in the average persons life. But in this short time we have replaced the hunter gatherer lifestyle that our bodies have come to know and thrive on, with a man-made highly processed garbage diet.
WHAT’S WRONG WITH HOW WE EAT?
The shorter answer to this question is “What’s right?”. Let’s start with what our bodies need to thrive; our bodies need glucose (sugar), protein and fats as macro-nutrients, along with the micro-nutrients from most plants and fruits. Now the marketing geniuses that are in charge have manipulated the minds of people into being scared of things that have any sort of fat content, so they put labels like “fat free” or “low fat” on all sorts of products. But what they don’t tell us is that what it lacks in fat it makes up for in sugar, which when broken down is generally stored in the body as…you guessed it, FAT. So technically you could slap a 0% fat label on a sack of sugar and it would be completely true (I’m actually surprised I haven’t seen this yet)
SO WHY THE PALEO DIET?
Why not? It’s only you giving your body everything it has been used to for the past 1,800 years, and cutting out all the junk that our bodies are still trying to figure out how to process. The Paleo diet is the only way that the body is able to take care of itself the way that God intended. Have you heard the stories of people who had stage 4 cancer and were on deaths doorstep, then decided to go the whole foods route as a last ditch effort. And most of the time they have a full recovery and beat the pants off cancer! Take that science!
PALEO IS ONLY FOR SKINNY PEOPLE, I WANNA BE JACKED!
I held this belief as well, for about ten minutes. I can tell you from my personal experience that I cut down from a fluffy 174 lbs. to a lean 163 lbs. with the Paleo diet. AND THEN JUMPED TO 178 LBS.! That’s right, I GAINED weight on a 85% Paleo diet! (Yes 85%, no person should punish themselves or deprive themselves of what they enjoy for the sake of “Paleo Glory” I’m no exception) But we can talk about all of this later, for now I just want to shed some light on the Paleo life. Till next time.
IT FEELS SO GOOD TO BE BAAAAACK!!
So it’s been a while huh, I had to take a little personal time to do a little “soul searching” to find out what I want for my families future as well as my own. (job wise, hobbies and DUN DUN DUNNNN….kids)
We don’t have kids yet!
Thankfully that much is true, not that I don’t want kids at all, but I’m only 25 so I want to grind as hard as I can now without taking time from family to build a life that supports my family with time and money. So that is what’s been going on with me!
What do we do now?
Well I’m eager and excited to hit some new goals that I have set for myself and providing the best quality content that I can! One thing that I have been working on recently I have picked up the habit of cooking! My dad has always been an amazing cook, and until recently I thought that the gene might have skipped a generation. UNTIL I merged my love of fitness and cooking to begin the new family tradition of…
PALEO MEAL PREP
I’m not sure if there are that many athletes that read these posts, but if you are, then you know the struggle with balancing healthy eating with fitness and life. It seems like the world wakes up before us 10 minutes earlier every day to find new ways to get us off track when it comes to a healthy athletic diet! Also when we go out with friends it’s not always the most convenient (or cheapest) option to keep on the paleo train.
MEAL PREP SAVES ME DAILY
Just having the right options pre prepared in the house limits the “slip ups” to virtually NONE! Any other time I was home and knew I needed something to fuel me for a few more hours till the next meal, I would see cookies and cake and justify the “benefits” of the fast acting glycimic index of that “food”. Needless to say it never worked out in my favor long term… BUT having the right options through the meal prep is an insane blessing!
SO HERE’S TO THE FUTURE
I’ll be talking more about food along with the success and uplifting material I have before, but I wanted to share this with you all in case there are some people out there who know this struggle as well!
There was never a more impacting quote on my life than this one by Ralph Waldo Emerson. I’m sure you are nothing like me, and find yourself thinking “once I have or do _____ I’ll be able to get started.”
Waiting to act is simply another form of death
The truth is that we will never be fully prepared to do anything in our lives. Whether it’s myself sitting here in Shreveport waiting for all the lights from here to Dallas to turn green to make a trip, or someone waiting to get married until they have “a sufficient income.” It’s not the recourses that give us the power, but it’s our resourcefulness to make things happen in the face of opposition that makes us great.
I waited for the stars to align once
I had just graduated college with a degree in Graphic Design (which I will be putting to use on the headings of these blogs), and I had been dating my wife to be for about 4 years. And to preface this I’ll say that the longest relationship I had before this was about 6 months, so I knew I had a keeper ;). And upon graduating I quickly found a job making significantly more than I had at my previous occupation. So in keeping with the obsolete habit of waiting to act until I have the recourses, I asked her to marry me now that we had “a sufficient income.” But what really changed? She was the same person and so was I before we made the decision to wed, and if money only corrupts why would I wait until we had more of it? Well because I was young and foolish and willing to tempt God’s sense of humor, that’s why.
Then the stars crashed
I had been at this job for about 2 months when the manager came up to me and said “we love having you and you’re doing a great job, but we don’t have the recourses to keep you on, so we have to let you go.” So just like that the “sufficient income” was gone, and with it about two thirds of my morale and faith in the American Dream. Yet somehow even making a lot less somewhere else (basically what I was making before I graduated), we got married and have thrived two years on that income (plus about $3 raises).
All of this to say is that
We had the power to make it all along, but chose not to realize it and wait for someone to “give”(and then take) the “power” to us. You may be in a different situation in life, but I can almost garauntee you that you have the power within you to make the decisions and sacrifices to get the ball rolling. Whether it be a business venture (and you need at least a few in your life to be worth your salt at all), family, relationships, mission trips or any of the hosts of other things you could be facing, you have the power now to do it. You are the same person now as you will be when you finally get XYZ so why not just do it now, get a few bumps and bruises to learn what not to do next time, and get after this thing??
WHAT’S LIFE WITHOUT ADVENTURE?
I can hear the trolls now sharpening their comment spears and lighting their keyboard torches as I type this. But take a second and hear me out on this one.
I am not saying that money is the most important thing in the world.
In fact we see in scripture 1 Timothy 6:10 New International Version (NIV)10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. I whole heartedly agree with this, my love for my God and willingness to serve him has higher priority over ataining wealth. However, my desire for bringing honor and glory to God is not found in poverty and living in below comfortable positions for the sake of maintaning “holiness.”
There are many who say “You can’t be wealthy and spiritual”
I know for a fact that that’s a false statement, and it has been proven false time and time again. This type of thinking was started by those who wanted an excuse and “scriptural evidence” for not stretching themselves and growing to the potential that God encourages us to. How about this for “scriptural evidence” John 10:10 New International Verion (NIV) “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. Christ came so that we may have ABUNDANT life, not just survive. So the next time someone asks how your day was, and you respond, “well I survived,” examine your life in Christ. As Christians we are called to be the light of the world, and to be set apart. And I know this scripture of abundant life isn’t geared just towards material wealth, but for me personally, I want to bring glory to God in every way I can, whether it be business, relationships, my marriage, community service and misionally. I want to do it all to show how great God is and what He can do through us, just as I’m sure you do. But there’s a problem here, there are these things called bills and notes that tend to tie up our recources that could be going to Kingdom business.
So enters the need for wealth
Let me take a moment here in the beginning of this section
to address those who are not of the Christian faith.
We have different motives for what we do,
but the desire to help and contribute to others,
for reasons that are greater than ourselves,
is in all of us.
And though you may not subscribe to my belief (Christianity),
I believe we all have something in us that wants to give more of ourselves to others.
If you want to be able to give to the best of your ability we need to face one thing, the person who makes 300k per year can give and do more for others than the person who makes 30k per year. This doesn’t devalue the gift or the giver, but if you are like me and want to give the most and be the best for your family, you will need to up the resources just a bit. There’s a saying that I have heard tossed around and it struck me as truth “prayer is great, but prayer with a check is better.” And how much more of yourself mentally can you give to your family, friends and God if you have the stress of money taken off your mind? If you have a situation in life now that is anything like mine, you want to change it, no matter what it takes.
What about your family?
I don’t know about you, but I look forward to the day when I can give my kids what they need (and some of what they want). I also want to be able to give them a vision of what it looks like to work hard for a life that is able to contribute to others. When your family is in dire straights and needs someone who is able to give out of their excess will you be the person they call? It has been told to me many many times “There are people in this world who will have abundant spiritual lives, great families, amazing relationships and material wealth with which to bless others; why shouldn’t that be you?”
The need for wealth extends past the material benefits
Like I said in my last post, it’s not having money that makes life better, but what the money is able to do for others. I know this is a controversial topic for some, but I believe it needs to be addressed. And I could spin off on a book of ways to get more money and why you need to dump the job and work for yourself, but then this blog might not last that long ;). So until next time I invite you to consider what you would be able to do for others if you had just 10k more per year. Don’t think about your situation and how you can improve your life, think of others and the services they require. Bless others and you will be blessed (most importantly, not just monetarily)