Im posting these pictures for an important reason I need everyone to digest.
Im showing you a picture of me relaxed and then one of me flexing. The reason I'm doing this is because people at all points in their fitness journey follow fitness pros on social media and 99% of images are of them flexing, mine are too.
This can and will easily discourage people by setting unrealistic standards in their own minds. This isnt the fault of the images, this is a result of being ignorant to the reality of what's a normal every day look for a fit pro vs one fresh after a pump or shred.
Don't ever be discouraged when you see someone in amazing shape. Flexing, lighting, shadowing, position, hydration, pump, all factors in 1 single photo that takes 1 second out of the 24 hours of the day. Nobody looks perfect, PLEASE REMEMBER THAT.
Also realize, some people will have years of experience over you, learning, lifting, better genetics, more prone to muscle building or fat loss. YOU CANNOT COMPARE YOURSELF TO ANOTHER.
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From the dirt
Heaviest/strongest I’ve been in a long time. I forget sometimes that health & fitness is more than just having abs or if my arms feel pumped (as dumb as that sounds, I know for a fact a lot of people feel it)
One fact that is hard for most of the people I talk to to understand is that carbohydrates are essential to health and performance. I will say this: I believe that it is impossible to build a good physique with a chronically low-carb diet. You need carbohydrates to grow, to replenish glycogen so that you can lift, run, walk, literally to move your body. If you struggle with bloat from carbs, I would say to add in dry carbs like fiber granola bars, dry oats, beans, high fiber cereals. Carbs that I truly enjoy and that have done really well for me: Beans (pinto/black refried baked), sweet potato, bran cereal, and cereal in general (the more fiber the better but I still have Reese’s puffs, my favorite, lucky charms, Frosted Flakes, etc) Carbohydrates are essential to gaining muscle and getting stronger. .
So much of building a physique is just trying, failing, trying differently, failing again, and never stopping learning. I’ve found that beans are a carbohydrate source that my body responds ridiculously well to, from an aesthetic, strength, digestive, (and financial lol) standpoint. .
My body has never done well with protein powders. They just seem like a marketing scam to me and I’ve just never seen substantial gains from them. I stick to real whole food, and a variety of, protein sources. I love fish, (tilapia cooked in a little coconut oil with bell peppers and onions is my favorite). .
I’ve been keeping my fats lower than I should, and have experienced fatigue, lack of good mood, and poor sleep. Added almonds (raw, milk, butters), eggs, bacon, and some little treats like Reese’s (my fav candy) back into my diet and feel world’s better.
I have veggies/fruits at literally every meal. Tons of lettuce and spinach and peppers and onions anywhere I can fit them in. I add fruit to all my cereal and oatmeal and a lot of it and I have an apple as my Preworkout for most of my heavy lifting sessions
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The worst thing I could do is to be someone else. We all have role models we look up to, but they should not be the standard of who we are. Those models are people you want to be like, but not completely like. We begin to deflate our accomplished actions or diminish our own persona when we hold ourselves up to the standards of others. In actuality, your standards should be set by you and not by the the accomplishments or perception of others. When I do this, my success from day to day is underwhelming because I compare it to others. I give up more easily and my mood is in a negative place. I want to become the best version of me and not have it dictated by others. No one knows except for you what you are going through so believe in yourself more and listen to yourself.
I wouldn’t be walking the path I am today without the initial guidance from a man I would gladly give my life for. From humble yet ambitious beginnings, we set out, to the day, 4 years ago with our sights set on something literally bigger. We stuck the finger up to the notion of normal and average and instead elected a sense of purpose and savagery. At one point in this journey we even shared the same home when things got to their roughest point. To this day we are still a constant reminder to one another that only we, ourselves, are capable of breaking us. Absolute, unquestioning, undeniable loyalty between you and I. We are not blood, but everyday I question if somehow we were supposed to be. Til the end, no bullshit, my brother and soon to be Sergeant of Marines.