Friday, 15 July 2011

Mens health/fitness magazines are a waste of money!

Hi all,

I have been thinking of a new approach for the blog. Im trying to post as many original ideas as i can. A short while back i read Mens Health and couldn't help but feel like i'd wasted money because i had read all the same articles before.

- Eat quinoa for better carbs
- The best chest workout ever
- How to get Abs this summer

And so on... It never changes. So firstly i will plug the E-zine i write for as i genuinely believe its as good a fitness read as you'll find today. Simply, because its 'in the trenches' PTs writing about contemporary gym issues. We all know by now that quinoa is good for us!

Anyway the real blog title is 'Man in the mirror'.

Heee Heee! Shamon mutha-fucka!

But its (unfortunately) nothing to do with Leigh Francis' amazing "Bo Selecta" MJ puppet! Its about training goals.

What are you training for?

Not really sure, General fitness, Weight gain, Fat loss.

All standard answers but how do you decide on this? How do you genuinely know. Im gonna introduce a new way of goal setting called 'man in the mirror'. (told you i was making up new shit didn't I?)

Now if you have answered the above question with:

"Im only training for performance, i dont care what i look like"

I would say thats great, but i would also not believe you. Everyone (to some degree) would love to look at themselves and see a great physique. Everyone.

If you disagree, make a comment. But before you do, ask yourself this - If you don't get paid to compete/perform... what the hell are you spending that much time training/dieting for? Dont answer 'my health' because i don't believe that one either!

Its just my opinion but i think 99% people train to look good, the other 1% are professional competitors or taking the moral high road for no apparent reason - just admit it. Personal confession 1:

I started training when i was 14 (in my garage) to get girls attention...

Thats right Monkey man, deal with that.

But I digress...

Man in the mirror exercise

Step 1: Stand in front of a full length mirror with just underwear on. Obviously, at home and not in Debenhams! They dont like that too much.

Step 2: Be brutally honest with what you like/dont like.

- This can be a great way to choose a goal for all sorts of people from Bodybuilders, Women, Overweight, underweight, etc.

If you cant be brutally honest, then get a friend/*spouse who will have an impartial opinion.

*Spouse opinions do carry a severe health warning, probably best a friend does it!

"I meant your ass looks 'nice' and big"

What to expect/What to do?

Think your too thin? Have a look at adding 500-1500 calories of quality food to your daily menu.

Think your too fat? Add in extra cardio sessions and/or change your training to a more metabolic nature

Legs too small? Construct a training program that emphasises lower body.

Upper body too small? Construct a training program the emphasises upper body.

Look like shit? analyse your diet/work/sleep/lifestyle patterns. Make changes for improved health

You can be as specific as you want, only YOU truly know what you want to look like. Identify it and train accordingly.

Personal confession 2: Last week i tried this out and my honest assessment on myself was:

(Ultimate training goal: to get back to single digit BF% and stay there).

Mirror exercise showed:

1) Legs are good size possibly too big for the rest of the body, need to lean out if anything

Include seated bike in training program

2) Bodyfat ok but needs to go down again - *Major Goal*

Add in metabolic/cardio sessions, also 'wind-in' the diet to more strict - little or no alcohol for next month.

3) Shoulders need more work

Include some direct shoulder work

4) Triceps dominate biceps

More direct bicep work, less tricep work - possibly stay away from presses for next month, include flyes for chest?

5) Calves too small against upper legs

Include calf work into each session - heavy/low rep & light/high rep

6) Looking pale! (seriously)

Need to get in sunbathing time on day off!

Step 3: Make your own list and include solutions in a training plan

From my list, you can tell im training for summer - but thats where my head is at right now. My training plan will look different but its what i've identified as being my current visual weaknesses. My current training program has metabolic circuits with core & biceps included. I have calf/shoulder supersets in every session and perform some form of cardio before and after. All around some staple lifts (Push, pull, Lunge) to create some pretty good training sessions.

Performance has been put aside as im not really hitting big calories (see fat loss) so i have no real set numbers in terms of rowing/bike/run/skip sessions - just RPE scale on how im feeling that day.

What are you training for?

Does your current training plan focus on your specific goals? if not - change it today :)


  1. Fantastic article Nathan. Spot on. Now to figure out how I even up all my lumps and bumps - I know a PT is the answer but unfortunately it's not easy to tell a bum PT from an excellent one (another article?!)

  2. The abdominal muscles play a important role in core workout. The deep abdominal muscles contract to stabilize the spine before the arms and legs can move. The drawing-in maneuver and also the plank are good exercises to activate the deep abdominal muscles.


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