Lay two photos side by side in front of someone (anyone) and ask them who they would rather look like: the fitness model with a lean, hard, athletic physique that exudes confidence, health, and sex appeal; or the fat guy with a round, soft, I-just-polished-off-a-quart-of-Brigham’s-ice-cream-in-one-sitting belly that brings to mind greasy cheeseburgers, loaded potato skins, and triple-bypass surgery? Survey says…
Most men would like to look athletic but they haven’t got a clue how to get there. First of all, to look like an athlete, you need to train like an athlete. To train like an athlete, you need to eat like one. Those guys with the ripped midsections who tell you that abs are made in the kitchen are feeding you the truth, whether you like the taste or not.
For now, don’t even worry about the training part. Just focus on eating well for a few days and take note of the increased energy and overall feeling of well-being that comes with taking good care of your body. Before you do anything, though, take a moment to open up your cupboards and fridge and make note of the food items you find there. Take a long hard look at your Pepperidge Farm cookies and your bag of Doritos because you won’t be seeing those guys around much once you dive into a training program. You’ll be surprised to discover that you won’t miss them at all once you see how great your body feels when it is being fed healthful foods like bananas, walnuts, and grilled chicken strips.
Once you’ve gotten yourself acclimated to eating well, and you feel ready to begin training, start out by walking a few minutes each day and maybe doing some light jogging so you can build up the endurance you’re going to need if you want to look like an athlete down the road. Don’t overdo it in the beginning; just be sure to progress a little bit each time out. When you begin strength training, stick to body-weight exercises like pushups (start out on your knees if you cannot perform a standard pushup), squats (no need to use weights until you master correct form and build up strength), and sit-ups (good form is absolutely critical). Later on, you can add in some other compound exercises, like pull-ups, to make sure you are working all of the major muscle groups.
Work out harder as you get stronger, continue to eat well, and you will notice a big change in your body composition. It may take some time for you to look like the stud in picture #1, but for the time being, take satisfaction in knowing that at least you won’t look like the doughy dude in the other photo. Live well, friend. Your fitness journey is about to begin.