Breakfast: it’s the most important meal of the day, so start off on a good, healthy note!
Since the age of ten, health and fitness greatly concerned me; however, as a child, I was a little chubby growing up. Growing up in Ukraine, I often spent my summers in the home country. Coming back to Chervonograd, I was seen as “the American boy” by my fellow friends and neighbors. The kids were fitness buffs who were much older than me and often liked to have pull-up and dip contests in recreational spaces outside the apartment complexes. Let me tell you something, chubby 4th graders who love chocolate and ice cream can’t do pull-ups or dips. Trust me. I know. I was seen as a weak, unhealthy boy who had money because he came from America. As a fourth grader, I was picked on by the 14 year and 15 year olds, coming home with bruises on my arms. There was this one kid in particular who constantly picked on me thinking I was a chubby American boy who ate McDonalds constantly. That very next year I made it a mission to get toned and disprove his ideological image of an “American.”
When I came back the very next year, I was unrecognizable. I was fit, I was healthy, and I enjoyed sports and competition, basketball in particular (see my routine below). From that point on, I became accepted because I fit the aesthetic mold of my community. Today, I live that new lifestyle which promotes a long, happy, and healthy living. My mission now is not only to encourage a healthy living, but also to stop kids from getting bullied like I did. With a healthy, toned looking body comes a sense of confidence, which many kids lack today. Confident, happy, and healthy children rarely face problems with bullying and this is what this new lifestyle can promote. So, here is an example of how I spend my days (Monday in particular) at the gym and my eating habits that are a model for people to get a kickstart to a new living.
I go to the gym at least 4-6 times a week. If you can, try to go at least twice a week to get started.
Don’t forget to greet the person at the front desk with a smile to make his or her day!
And we’re off! I usually warm-up with pull ups. I got this from the Navy man himself, Andrew Phillips (pictured above). It’s a personal preference, just do an exercise that’ll get your blood flowing and get you moving. You don’t wanna pull a muscle at the beginning of your workout. That’s dangerous.
Having a workout buddy will keep you motivated and help you improve at a much faster rate; make sure you pick someone who will keep you on track and vice-versa.
Ok, here we go! First exercise: The Ego Booster, aka the Bench Press.
So once you’re done boosting your ego and getting in the zone, it’s time to focus and SQUEEZE your muscle. This will help it grow.
While we let the first muscle we trained (the chest) recover, we’re going to hit another muscle so we don’t waste time (the triceps; pictured above).
This may look like the previous exercise, but it feels way different and hits the muscle a different way. Keep your body guessing and keep it interesting!
Once you feel recovered, it’s time to go right back with another chest exercise. This slight incline will work a whole different part of your chest! It’s all about switching the angles and varying the way you do exercises.
Using the same bench, same angle, now we can go back and work our triceps. It’s that easy!
After we single out each muscle group, I like to incorporate exercises at the end of the workout that target BOTH the muscles that we’re working on. Still, same bench, same angle, just a different way of doing an exercise.
Again, same concept, this exercise works BOTH the triceps and chest. I usually finish off with a bodyweight exercise so I can fully exhaust my muscles and burn out.
Post-workout meal: Eat immediately after your workout. Make sure there’s a good source of protein to get your body to start recovering so you’re not as sore in the morning.
Last but not least, dinner. A heavy meal that has all the vitamins and minerals you need to keep your body full and happy throughout the night.