Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Majoring in the Minors

Ok, I am back to gaining weight. For those of you who don't know - I got bored with my training last year. I was 157lbs and could run like the wind. Unfortunately, I looked like Christian Bale in "The Machinist" . . . so I figured it was time to amp it up. My idea was to see how much weight I could gain in 6 months. I didn't care if some of it was fat, I just wanted to be bigger. My initial goal was another 25lbs. So, with the help of my Costco membership and their abundance of steaks, I put on the 25 lbs in about 3 months. Why stop there? So, I gained another 25 in another 3 months. I called it hibernating - everyone else called me fat. :) I hit 205lbs in January of 2011. That's almost 50 lbs! None of my clients understood what I was doing, and frankly, neither did I. I was stronger than ever, but couldn't navigate a flight of stairs without taking 6 breaks.

Now, it was time to cut weight. I knew I had put on some muscle, but I guessed about half of it was fat. So, what to do now? Count calories? Figure out my lean body mass, add in my daily activity expenditure, and figure out all of my macros? No. I just started eating better. I cut down on the bad fats I was eating, reduced simple sugars and ate more complex carbs. The result? I lost about 29 lbs in 3 months. I am now 176 and quite comfortable.
Why am I telling you this? Because I have seen it time and time again. I don't know where the term came from initially, but I love the phrase, "Majoring in the Minors". It can be applied to almost everything you see. Whether it be nutrition, exercise or relationships, society feels the need to make things more complicated than they really are.

Take my situation. I wanted to gain weight, so I ate more and lifted. Then, I wanted to lose weight, so I ate more supportively, and increased my cardio. I did no calculations. I knew what I had to do and I did it. I get questions all the time from clients and friends that are way beyond where they need to be. Not that I don't like the questions, but they usually aren't too impressed with the answer I give them. It's basic.

I see it in commercial gyms quite a bit. People flailing their limbs, trying to do this inane exercise that they saw on t.v last week - because they saw a celebrity doing it and it was supposed to get them "rock hard abz.." Meanwhile, that same person can't get on the ground and give me 1 full range push up with good form. Don't get too advanced with your training or nutrition. Take a step back and just try to figure out if you are over complicating things. Normally the solution is right there in front of your face. Our minds are very smart, but don't over-think. Simplify.

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