What Have I Been Up To?

Hi my loyal blog readers. I appreciate those that have kept me followed for the last few weeks as I’ve been pretty busy and I thought I’d write a blog post about what I’ve been up to.

Just to put things in perspective, I’m a pretty busy adult these days. I work full time as an IT tech at a school. I’m also a full time parent with my wife for two kids including a beautiful and cute 11 month old baby girl. Also we have our adopted nephew who’s 11 years old and just finishing 6th grade in his schooling. So probably the main reason I choose to wake up early to workout everyday is because the early morning is the most open time for me to use for myself. My whole day goes from working full time to being a parent and husband when I get home. It’s quite a balance, but long ago this is the life that I wanted to build for myself so I’m more then motivated to work hard at it everyday.

My Fitness Training

After finishing the The Work back last month, I started a new program known as Muscle Burns Fat (MBF). I’ve really been loving the work I’ve been doing the last 4 weeks on this program. I’m in month 8 of my fitness training with the Beachbody programs and with MBF I’m seriously seeing my results accelerate. This program focuses on doing a high amount of reps to the point where my arms, legs and abs are getting seriously sore in this program. Megan Davies, the creator of this program, has the right energy to bring you to pump you up every workout. I’m also enjoying the indoor jump rope known as the BOD ropes which allow you to work on your jump roping indoors. I’m currently in the Advanced round of MBF which extends the workouts by about 10 minutes and also adds some more difficulty. Check out this MBF page for more info about this program.

IG Live Workouts Weekly

So I’ve decided to go live at least once a week and show you my full workout so you guys can all see me die and get these reps in. Haha. So far I’ve been having them on Tuesdays and Mondays at 6AM PST. I will try to get some workouts in during more active hours, but for now this is what I can do. I hope everyone gets motivated by my work ethic. I talk during the workout and continue to pass on tips that I’m getting from the Beachbody Super trainers that I’m working with. Hope you guys enjoy and find these IG live workouts helpful.

What are my Goals for 2021?

I’ve been consistent with my fitness training and routine now since April 2020. I’ve successfully been working out at least 3 times a week for over a year now and I’m at my strongest I’ve ever been in my life. As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to improve and the protection of having the vaccine allows things to get back to normal, I’m looking ahead on where to test my strength. I’ve joined two virtual 10K races with the Giant Race . In April, I came in 10th place out of 141 entries and in May I came in 9th place out of 181 entries. So I’m really happy with where I’m competing with others. I have a Spartan night time 10K trail run in September that I’m excited for. I’m considering joining the Spartan races with obstacles later this year and go for a Spartan Trifecta, which is a medal earned by completing three types of obstacle races in the Spartan races. In 2022, I plan to join my first Spartan Elite race which is a race only for the competitive that want to really test their skill in a Spartan race. This is what I’ve been training for the last year which is why 2021 is a key year to continue to grow strength in order to really compete effectively. This has been a long term goal of mine and I’m looking to achieve this goal and see how I do.

Thanks for following my blog. I’m sorry I’ve been absent and not as active lately. I will try to get back to adding more useful fitness and lifestyle entries. I wish everyone that follows and reads my blogs the best. I enjoy giving others inspiration. I strive to lift others up through life. Life is not easy for anyone and we all have our personal struggles and hardships that we have to deal with, but I strongly believe that whatever life throws at us is an opportunity to face it and become stronger. Stay well my fitness and running friends and have a great week.

Staying Active Over 40 Is Key – Overweight Muscular vs. Underweight Low Muscle Mass

Is My Weight Gain Caused by Slowed Metabolism While Aging?

Metabolism is the process through which your body converts food into energy. Even when at rest, you need some energy to aid in breathing, repairing cells, and circulating blood.

You’ve probably heard that when you hit 40, it’s downhill for your weight. The inexplicable force on the metabolism rate begins to grind slower each year from 30 years onwards. Is slowed metabolism the cause of weight gain at old age?

Here’s what you should know: studies show that the rate of metabolism slowdown in older age is rather minimal. Additionally, weight gain in midlife is not due to slower metabolism. The reality is that, as we age, we get less active.

Regardless of whether you have a slow or fast metabolic rate, our bodies are synchronized to store excess energy in fat cells. Taking in more calories with reduced body activity (older people are lesser active) expands your body for weight gain.

Generally, you don’t have any control over your body’s metabolism. However, to keep a healthy weight, you should reduce and control your calorie intake. Additionally, you need to be more active. Engage in regular physical activity to burn your calories. In fact, people with fast metabolism are more active.

Metabolic Adaptation: The Undiagnosed Epidemic

The weight loss formula is simple: burn calories as much as you can consume, and you will probably drop pounds in no time. Metabolism is the energy-producing force that runs faster than Usain Bolt!

Metabolic adaptation is the slowing of the metabolism rate despite several efforts exerted for one to lose weight. This slowing of metabolism causes people to regain weight if they fail to keep up with high levels of exercise and restrictions of major calorie intake.

Metabolic adaptation is a biological response process to starvation. For example, in the availability of plentiful food, the body doesn’t see it necessary to store calories in the form of fat. However, in times of famine, the body’s metabolism process uses the minimum number of calories to maintain the biological homeostasis. The rest is stored as fat for later use to avoid starvation.

Ultimately, metabolic adaptation is one part of dieting and metabolism. Weight loss or weight gain depend on the collection of metabolic adaptation traits.

The takeaway: your body metabolism will adapt to weight loss; however, that doesn’t mean that you will gain it all back or stop shedding pounds. Getting enough sleep, upgrading cardio workouts, and managing stress will help you in overcoming metabolic adaptation.

Overweight and Muscular Rather Than Thin and With Low Muscle Mass

“There are two certainties in life: taxes and death.” However, people should also add loss of muscle mass to that list.

Don’t get worried about sarcopenia. It’s an age-related muscle loss condition, a natural part of aging. Remember that you should rather become overweight and muscular than thin and low in muscle weight.

The reason being, low muscle weight means that you’ve less mobility and greater weakness. These two results of low muscle weight increase your risk of falls and fractures. Research by the American Society showed that people with sarcopenia are 2.3 times more prone to low-trauma fractures from a slight fall (broken hip, leg, arm, collarbone or wrist).

However, losing your muscle mass doesn’t mean that it’s all gone forever. You can still increase your muscle mass despite the aging consequences. It takes work, planning and dedication to rebuild the muscles and maintain them.

To lose weight and also maintain your muscles mass at the same time, you need the right type of exercise and the appropriate diet. Muscle mass is the biggest contributor to resting metabolism. It helps in burning more calories than fat.

Being underweight presents more health concerns as you age than being overweight with muscle suprisingly!

Goal Setting And Creating Motivation

Getting motivation or having motivation to do things is what we all need to get things done in life. However after years of trying to figure out how motivation can be a factor long term, I’ve learned at this point in my life that action is how you will get the most motivation in life. While motivation will push you to get things done and keep you on a workout grind for a bit, that motivation that’s driving you will fade mentally unless you replace it with another piece of motivation to take its place. Last year I didn’t plan to run 483 miles (Which is the most I’ve ever ran in 1 year), but because of the action I kept taking by running and racking up the miles I got super motivated by my action and kept running. Before running used to be something I dreaded doing beforehand. Now it’s a simple thing to go running and know how much I’m going to benefit from the action I take go running. Here is some simple steps to take on setting goals that I wanted to break down for you guys.

Goal Setting ABC

A dream turns into a goal when actions are taken to achieve it. Successful ABC’s of goal setting strengthen your self-trust as well as self-esteem. You need a perspective with a positive mind.

The ABC’s of goal setting are simple if you can think SMART: Be Specific with a Measurable goal that is Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound.

Goal-setting tips:

Start with what you want: “I want to be with my family for more hours this year.”

Figure out the measurable proofs that will help you reach your goal: “We will have fun activity and family meetings each week.”

What you have to do to achieve your goal: “Selected family member nominates family activity every week; all should be ready and able to get involved.”

Goal setting typically starts with wishful thinking. You have to turn the thinking into a concrete action plan, and that’s what makes it a goal!

Make your goal right. In addition to being specific and achievable, a good goal ought to hit a certain sweet spot. Success and motivation tie back to goal setting.

“The first law of success is concentration- to blend all energies to one point and go directly to the exact point, looking neither right nor left.” William Mathews.

Motivation Is Like a Muscle, It Needs Repeated Training

Empowered motivation has a positive contribution in helping you achieve what you really want. How hard do you push yourself to get motivated? Aiming to do something and motivating yourself are two different forces of upkeeps.

Motivation is what keeps us going despite hurdles and obstruction coming our way. It’s the internal drive to develop, produce, achieve and keep moving forward. When you are close to quitting your aim, you just need some motivation. Motivation is like a muscle; you need regular exercise to strengthen it.

How well motivated are you now? Motivation increases your productivity. It guarantees a path of success. Here are seven steps to maintain your motivation. It simplifies the ambiguous task of regular self-motivation.

Let’s follow:

Step 1: Set small and measurable goals (small goals are achieved within a short period, therefore offering a strong motivation itself)

Step 2:  Develop a mantra (statement that resonates you)

Step 3: Commit publicly (share with your friends for increased support)

Step 4: Create your own routine and rituals

Step 5: Be a good mental debater

Step 6: See your goals literally as a way of a

Step 7: Face your fears

Motivation is an objective, and mental will power is a muscle that requires an exercise just like the body muscles do.

Let’s Talk Stretching And Post Workout

How To Know If You Are Stretching Wrong?

You’re stretching, which is excellent, but are you doing it correctly? Peek below to learn how to do it and if you’re stretching wrong.

Common Ways You May Be Stretching Wrong

-You Might Be Only Stretching Post-Workout.

Many people stretch at the end of their workout but forget to do it at the beginning. You shouldn’t only limit stretching exercises to after weights or a run. Do it beforehand to loosen your muscles and increase your range of motion.

-You Don’t Warm Up First.

Jumping (literally) into the pre-workout stretches without a proper warm-up can set you up for more pain than gain. Before you get into your mini stretch set, always include a warm-up.

-You’re doing the Wrong Type of Stretch

Doing the wrong stretch at the wrong time can result in injury during either your stretch or workout.

-You Hold Your Stretches Too Long (Or Not Long Enough).

Not holding a stretch long enough can render it ineffective, but too long can actually make you stiffer, putting you at risk of injury. The safest bet is 30 seconds per stretch, which will work to lengthen your tissue and muscle fibers.

Recap: Warm-up and do dynamic stretching before your workout, and prepare your mind and body for the exercise ahead. After you’ve finished and cooled down, implement some static or moving stretching to jump-start muscle recovery. Doing both will do you big favors by making you less stiff and prone to injury. Ready, set, stretch!

Afterburn effect

The afterburn effect is also known as the oxygen debt. Its scientific name is excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.  By definition, the afterburn effect is the amount of oxygen required to bring the body functions back to a resting state.

During intense exercises projected to burn body calories and keep the body fit, the metabolic rate increases. After the exercise, your metabolism rate doesn’t go back to resting phase immediately, however, it remains elevated for some time. This in turn causes an increase in calorie burn, even after you’ve done some stretching, showered and eaten post-workout snacks.

To be specific, the additional energy expenditure occurring after the workout is called afterburn effect.

Its important to be mindful of this and make sure you supplement yourself after a workout. Consuming too little will lead to cravings to overeat later in the day due to your body burning more calories then normal. 20 grams of protein with one serving of carbs is recommended after a workout.

When and how does the afterburn effect occur?

Increased physical activity makes the muscles increase demand for oxygen that oxidizes the carbohydrates and the fats, producing some significant energy required for movement.

Oxygen debt occurs during an intense exercise, the body will require more oxygen than breathing could provide. The gap in demand for oxygen by the muscles and the actual available oxygen delivered stimulates the afterburn effect.

The advantage of the afterburn effect is that this fascinating activity by the body burns extra calories in your body the right way. How to do this? Train hard and intensely (not forgetting proper technique obviously), and incorporate high intensity aerobic exercise and/or HIIT into your program.

Fat And Depressed At 16 to Being Passionate And Fit at 34

Imagine going through grade school being the fat kid that everyone picks on and makes jokes about. Where everyone around you is skinny and able to eat whatever they want, but you’re the one that is overweight and opting to wear 2XL just to make your clothes look baggy. To be so out of shape that going up and down a flight of stairs got you out of breath or not being able to keep up with the baseball team because your body is just not able to handle the workouts like all the other fit jocks are able to. This was my reality growing up in High School. I wasn’t driven and worst of all the depression I had made me feel even more unmotivated while many around me were enjoying the benefits of being in their teen years.  These are supposed to be the years that you’re supposed to be in the best shape because of youth. That was not the reality for me and it never was all the way through High School. So how did I end up being in the best shape of my life 19 years later?

Me at 16 Years Old

Most people I know look back at their High School years and talk about how exciting life was back then.  They talk about how amazing their sports days were or how amazing all the School dances were. I\’ve heard also how much people talk about how they were so skinny back then. Unfortunately I’m unable to really relate to these conversations as I was overweight at 320lbs for most of high school and had zero confidence in myself. I did try to ask some girls out to dances, but got rejected. I really had no game at all in that department. Haha. As much as I loved Baseball, I unfortunately wasn’t driven enough to push myself to do well.  In my sophomore year, my baseball coach used to make us run so much and being mentally weak back then, I regrettably faked an injury to avoid having to run.  As a result this didn’t get me into games too much. The few at bats I did get in games, I didn’t really do much to give my coaches a vote of confidence in me. While being out of shape was one thing, I was even more disappointed in myself because I knew I was a good hitter in my little league years. However I didn’t practice or push myself enough to handle High School ball overall. So the one year I did play High School Baseball, I pretty much failed myself and didn’t end up trying again at Baseball in my Junior and Senior years. Doing this self inflicting behavior to myself only lowered my confidence and self esteem even more as High School dragged on.

By the end of High School the realization that my time in grade school started to hit me and my automatic reaction was to do a review of my years in grade school. All the regret I had about never going to a dance or participating in High School events, not trying hard enough at baseball, struggling to fit in, or just not having much to be happy about really affected me. However it was a different feeling.  It wasn’t the brooding negative feelings I had been feeling that suppressed my confidence over the years. It was a feeling where I was tired of being the person I was during grade school. I had had enough. By the time I graduated, I was ready to leave my school years behind and reinvent a new Richard that would take on life much better then I have in my first 17 years. I decided first and foremost that I would get real serious about my overweight problem and start actually pushing myself to lose weight. I wanted to make some serious changes in my life and really be a better version of myself. At 17, this is where my real transformation started.

At 19 and half years old, I made a lot of amazing strides toward reinventing myself.  I had lost 100lbs after dieting, running, and starting to do workouts for the first time in my life. This was the beginning of me being a runner as I realized that running isn’t that hard once you stay consistent. However the dieting part was and still is the hardest part, but I was determined to make a change back then. I had restricted myself to as simple less then 2,000 calories a day and stuck to it while exercising 3-4 times a week. Back then Slim Fast was all the rage and I really had used that drink to my advantage and actually used it to substitute meals (This would not be a diet I’d recommend now as my whole outlook on dieting has changed drastically). The confidence I built from doing this physical transformation really affected my personality in a positive way. My family has always been supportive of me losing weight and they were all extremely happy for me about making my big change to being more fit. I was so much happier with myself and being more confident I was able to build an IT career.  I went into my 20’s and lived my life with a much more positive perception then I did in my High School years. I really learned that how you view the world and your attitude of your view of the world really made a difference in how you tackle everyday life.

From my 20’s to my 30’s, the transformation hasn’t really stopped. I’ve become a person that has always strived towards improvement. I made a lot of mistakes in my 20’s as many of us do and learned to do things better. I ran into ups and downs still in my life.  Life isn’t as simple as the Disney movies where “You live Happily Ever After” when all the problems and conflicts in life have been taken care of.  Life continues to always throw curveballs at you every step of the way.  I found the love of my life in my late 20’s and married her at 30 years old. We adopted Leia our Husky in 2015 and she’s now my running partner on my No_B.S._Rich Fitness Instagram page. In 2016 we adopted our nephew in order to give him a better home and education. Last year we had our first baby, who’s now changed our lives forever as parents.  Life will always be full of personal struggles, but I’m extremely grateful that I turned things around after High School and became someone that can face the hard parts of life.  I’m now 34 years old and I’m the most driven and passionate I’ve ever been in my life.  I’m driven by my own little family that my wife and I have been building the last few years. The Covid 19 pandemic may have took me away from the gym, but it didn’t stop me from finding a a new way to do fitness training. I’m in the best shape of my life physically and mentally. I still believe I have so much upside still in my fitness life.  Going through my early life struggles in grade school really prepared me for adulthood. While back then I hated life and didn’t expect much out of myself for my future. I would say my 16 year old self would be completely surprised at how well 34 year old Richard is doing now. I hope this story of myself inspires others that are in High School or College that your future is not determined and hasn’t been written yet. You have a lot of time to really turn things around and live the fulfilling life that you want. I’m surprising myself everyday on what I’m doing in my life compared to what I used to think I wasn’t capable of doing. Stay positive about the future and don’t let your mind cheat yourself out of a positive future.

Me at 34 Years Old Stronger Physically And Mentally

Be sure to follow all my latest Fitness content on my Instagram: no_b.s._rich_fitness

Fitness Is A Lifestyle! Key Facts To Make It A Sustainable One!

For many fitness is a struggle and a subject of difficulty. Its not easy figuring out how to build a healthy body and I can honestly say I struggled for over a decade to figure out the true meaning of what it means to work towards your fitness. My Fitness journey started when I was 17 and I was convinced that drinking slim fast was actually going to make me lose weight and get me the strong body that I or anyone else desires. However after dropping 100lbs to 220lbs by the time I was 20, I realized over the years into my 20’s that fitness isn’t just something you do for a certain point in your life and stop all together. Its a lifestyle that needs to be adopted. As a result of not understanding this at first, my weight fluctuated between 240 to 260lbs for some years in my 20’s. I stopped working out at some points and then kept coming back to it. As I mentioned in another blog post, I had a perception in my early 20’s that just going to the gym and doing cardio was working out. So while I worked out here and there, I wasn’t working out as passionate as I am now which affected my weight. I didn’t consider fitness an important lifestyle in my 20’s and that is the reason I never got my body and muscle toned the way I wanted. I was missing a key part of working out and I want to share some key facts that can help set your mind in the right direction for success.

The Key to Lasting Change/Results

Focusing on and being consistent with healthy habits is the absolute best action you can take, right now, to attain the results you’re after and achieve lasting change. Simple yet specific dietary and physical activity habits like drinking enough water each day, including colorful vegetables on your plates each day or getting in at least 10,000 steps, are all great places to start. You don’t have to do them all at once, either. Pick one or two healthy habits to work on for a few weeks; make it so easy at first that you physically can’t fail. You’ll distract yourself from the constant worrying about the scale, and when you focus on these things, lasting and meaningful change will follow. Consistency is found in those small, repetitive, seemingly unimportant decisions you make each and every day. Slow it down, stop putting so much pressure on yourself and make the decisions that allow you to feel your best. Whether that means losing weight, getting stronger or faster, or simply trying to make better dietary choices for yourself each day, your success on this journey will depend on your consistency over the long-haul.

How to deal with setbacks?

In the world of health and fitness, setbacks happen to everyone. The most important thing is how you choose to deal with and respond to those setbacks. Real progress is made when you accept that health and fitness isn’t linear and that perfection isn’t possible. Accept responsibility for your actions, take a deep breath, and vow to get back on track. Nothing is as black and white as we make it seem, and you are not good or bad if you made poor food choices or skipped a workout. Acknowledge your shortcomings and take the time to figure out how you might avoid a particular setback in the future. Have a plan: create a workout schedule, make time in your week to shop for and prep whole and healthy meals ahead of time, set aside time in your workday to get in some extra steps, movement or stretching– whatever it may be. Make the commitment to yourself to keep moving forward and not let setbacks be the reason you give up on your health and fitness journey.

Why You Can’t Fail (Cause It’s a Learning Experience, Everything You Do Gets You a Little Closer to Your Goal)

Overcome the fear of failure: you CAN’T fail! We all learn from our errors, and no one is perfect enough not to commit any mistakes. Learning from failures is important. However, it doesn’t necessarily mean that it has to be your own failures; learn also from the mistakes and errors of the people who went before you.

You should be proud of your mistakes. Don’t feel horrible because of mere errors. Mistakes help us gain knowledge in our fields. Any successful individual will tell you for free that without some failures along the way, the journey wouldn’t be what it is today.

Here are some of the reasons why failures and everything you do will get you closer to your goal:

·         Failures trigger creativity and enable us to think outside the box.

·         Mistakes and errors make us resilient; we can understand the adversity of overcoming challenges.

·         Failure teaches us humanity; we are all humans and mistakes are inevitable.

·         Every failure provides references; we are always better each day when we try something

·         Failure offers us new ideas; they push our limits in addition to offering new things that inspire us

Ultimately, everything we do should add courage. Failure makes us wiser. Thomas Edison said that, “I’ve not failed. I’ve found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” Mistakes are true references!

And as John Powell said, “The only real mistake is one we learn nothing from.”