The 10 Commandments — for Workouts (to Work Out)
The Ten Commandments are ten laws that are meant to guide us through life — and prevent ache. Workouts performed with purpose, will not only serve you, they provide visible results. There are guidelines, however:
Before using a gym machine, curling a dumbbell or lifting a barbell, you need to know how to use a gym machine, curl a dumbbell and lift a barbell. Proper form builds confidence during exercises (and in life). It’s called posture and posture automatically puts your body in alignment for a workout that effectively targets the appropriate muscle.Did you know, shoulder injuries involving the rotator cuff are the most common workout injury and can be attributed to poor form?
2. Thou shall make an attainable and practical goal
“We want to set the goals that our heart conceives, that our mind believes and that our bodies will carry out,” said rags-to-riches, American entrepreneur, Jim Rohn. A goal is a destination. How you get there requires a plan. Attaining a goal involves writing down your intentions, developing sound ways to achieve them and assigning a practical deadline. It should be specific -: Bad goal: I want abs. Good goal: I want to lose 60lbs by next summer by changing my eating habits and exercising daily. However, a goal should not be confused with a dream; they are ambitions that are planned and progressively worked towards.
3. Thou shall not misuse supplements, elixirs and organic compounds with the hope of increasing their efficacy
Ingesting anything other than the recommended daily allowance is akin to overdosing. This dangerous practice taxes our liver and kidneys; critical, blood cleansing organs, without which we could suffer incapacitating setbacks and possibly even death (not to mention missing the gym altogether). Supplements are meant to enhance something else when added to it, i.e.: food. According to Joe Cannon, fitness and sports nutrition trainer to the trainers, “the supplement should not only be protein. Carbs help to absorb protein. Research shows protein and carbs are better than protein alone at building muscle.”
4. Thou shall take a day off
Exercise causes muscle tissue breakdown and depletes muscle glycogen. Rest allows for replenished glycogen and muscle repair. How much rest varies from the individual to the workout, to the goal; different levels require different rest periods. Keep in mind, resting between specific exercises to resting between total workouts are two completely different things. Ideal rest times are mutually decided following the consultation of a personal trainer or a doctor.
5. Thou shall honor a personal trainer
Find someone (preferably in the fitness industry) that you admire and do everything he does or did, within your capability (mine was Gregg Avedon). Eat his (or her) diet, follow their workouts, read about them. If this person is someone you know (or could easily know by way of introduction), ask them questions. Heck, ask them to train you. As you grow (inside and out), your avatar will inevitably change.
6. Thou shall not endlessly punish oneself for failure
Most of the time we create impossible scenarios that do nothing to help your present state of mind. If you have a practical goal, then it is easier to achieve success. If you eat a hearty meal, maybe mom’s delicious home cooking, that’s okay. You know you will make up for it. Remember, fall down seven times, get up eight. And, don’t ever turn down (a) mom’s home cooking.
7. Thou shall not commit to implants
Aside from the unnecessary and easily avoidable expense, implants are often obvious to everyone and possibly dangerous to the owner. Saline, notwithstanding, calf, chest, butt and biceps implants can be rejected by our bodies and cause shockingly horrific abnormalities. If you must pay, pay with patience. The results look better, anyway. Besides, patience not only builds muscle, it builds character.
8. Thou shall not cheat
There are no shortcuts to building a better body, properly losing weight, gaining strength or becoming a better person. It all comes from the inside and popping a pill for the sake of quickly achieving your goals is the wide road to big disappointment.
9. Thou shall not lie to oneself
Self doubt will cripple you. Avoid and refrain at all costs. Most often, this originates from conditioning (remember high school?) that we are bringing into our adult lives. You are stronger than you think and there are probably more people who believe in you than you realize.
10. Thou shall not dress affectedly
Showing off one’s muscles, assets or other parts in an eager or gratuitous manner outside of a health facility is forbidden. This includes exposed armpits in tank tops during dinner, short pants at the theater and excessively tight clothes on an interview. It is best to be considered mysterious than desperate. Even better, imagine the delight when that special someone does see what’s beneath those well-pressed, perfectly fit attire.