Start Your Mission

What is it to have purpose? What motivates you each day to stand up and take on the challenges life throws at you daily? It has to be something that burns deep within you to give you an edge over everyone else. The things that separate you from your peers must be the drive within you to better yourself each and every day. This life can’t be a compilation of hobbies to pass the time and “amuse” you. You have to find something, anything you deeply enjoy, love, or just something you’re good at and let it take over your time. Make it an obsession. Make your thoughts and actions be a part of your goal(s). when it is all said and done we all have a limited amount of time to pursue our dreams, as morbid and crazy as that may sound. You can’t be so passive that you let all the opportunities life throws at you pass you by because you’re scared, uncertain or unwilling to push. Each day should be an improvement from the last no matter how small and no matter what it is. Obviously, all I write about is gym life related stuff, but that isn’t all life is about. For me, it is a large portion of what I do, but you can take whatever dream you have and turn it into reality if you put in the work. Life isn’t easy, it will knock you back and put you in your place a lot, believe me it will a lot, but it is how you persevere, endure and brave the challenges that really mark your chances of success. Not everyone will succeed, and that is where heart, determination, work ethic, skill, talent, drive, persistence, motivation and courage come in to separate the dedicated from the wannabees. People will drag you down, tell you how dumb your goals are and how you should be “realistic”, but honestly the hell with those kind of people. They are the ones that are too afraid to push and pursue any real mission, or goal because they are too afraid to fail. Failures happen, and it isn’t the end of the road. People don’t have perfectly paved roads to their goals. Hardship will come and go like the night sky, and I mean that as they appear and disappear often. You have to have a drive to succeed and accomplish each milestone or daily mission to truly make it wherever you aspire to be and to build character. When it comes down to it, I’m not successful either. I’m not where I want to be at all in life, but I have the determination and vision to continue along my path that I have traveled long and hard down to do what I set out to do. As clichéd as it may sound it really isn’t how you start but how you finish. I would like to think it isn’t where you start, but where you finish. Everyone has a past, and some may be prettier than others, but in the end it is what you do in the now, today, this very second that will propel you past the New Year’s Resolutioners, naysayers, and cowards to have a more legitimate shot at your goal, mission, or dream.

This week has been a pretty great week for my 120 goal. As promised I will release my Day 7 Leg day, just in case anyone wants to attempt a new workout, or just to view my reps and weight used, either is fine. Logging each workout has been extremely beneficial for creating new workouts in the future. I decided to label it strictly and each entry includes “Day: Number, muscle group being worked, each exercise being performed with weights and reps to be filled out as you go along, a cardio section that includes Calories burned and duration, Calories consumed for the day, Protein consumed, Fats consumed, Carbs consumed, and an “overall Comment” section I use to describe anything noteworthy to improve on, or if the weight moved well, or just anything really” for this posts purpose and to keep ot relatively short I will post on my workout with the exercise, weight used, and reps performed.

Be sure to follow me on IG: _absher_, snap: absher97, and twitter @_absher_97 for details, daily posts and blog previews.

Leg Day:

Squats: 8X8 at 225

Leg extension/curl: 130/100×10 other 5 sets 180/140x 10

Straight leg Deadlifts: 205x8x2 and 225×8

Leg Press: 545×10, 565×10, 585×10, 585×10, 585×10

Lunges: 4 sets of body weight for a distance of 20 yards each

Front squats: 135×6, 185×6, 185×6, 185×6

Cardio: 25 minutes of a stair stepper that burned 512 Calories

Announcements and New Recommendations

Hey guys!! Once again, it’s been a week or so since I have last posted, and I have a few new announcements to make.

First off, instead of free lancing my cut I decided to add some pressure by limiting it to a 120 day cycle, which will be fun. It helps me push harder each day, and value them as they are from a workout and dietary point of view. The point of it is to push myself on a daily basis, and it helps me keep intensity instead of having a “get there whenever” mentality. At the end of the day it is still a “you vs you” system regardless of how you organize it, but this way helps me, and I highly recommend you all to give it a shot. Those 120, 16 weeks, or 4 months (however you want to classify it” can propel you to your goals with outstanding results and a new outlook on time. When you consider it four months isn’t a long time, but it can give you results that will last a long time. To make this cut even more intense and rewarding I will completely cut the weekly cheat meal out until it is complete. Cheat meals are fine and great, but they do hinder results to some degree and I want the best results possible. I will do a follow up on how cutting out the cheat meal worked for me and if I noticed any difference without it.

I have also decided to start logging my workouts for the rest of my 120 cycle. Logging your workouts is a great way to observe your progression and to visually see where your weaknesses are. I recommend it to anyone, and if you have a Calorie tracking app you could even log it into your workout log. That way if you aren’t on your desired pace you can look back on your previous work, and make adjustments where they are necessary, instead of “winging it.” I am on day 7 right now, but I still have a ton to go so I will start adding my work out of the day on the end of each new post, just to benefit anyone looking to try a new work out.

On top of all this I am going to incorporate more variations to my routine. My lifting routine will vary week to week, but the rep range will stay consistent, and the same for my cardio routine. It will still be 30 minutes to an hour but I will do different things just to keep it interesting and challenging at the same time.  The variations are a way to get out of a strict routine. Routines that are repetitive eventually get boring, and nothing ruins results and progress like a boring routine. You must enjoy what you are doing to get the most out of it. If you don’t enjoy it then you will eventually give up. Enjoyment doesn’t mean easy, it should always be a challenge. If you aren’t challenged, then you are wasting your time.

To give credit where it is due the idea comes from one of my favorite youtubers, Nava the Beast, I would highly recommend anyone looking to get fit, watch motivational videos, or enjoy military related content to give him a subscribe.   

That is pretty much it for the announcements. I will do weekly updates on how this cut is going and how the anti-cheat meal benefits me, until then make sure to give me a follow on snap, Instagram and twitter for updates on motivation.

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Fitness Blog 5: Updates, tips, and motivation.

Hey guys! It has been a while since I’ve posted with school and workouts I don’t have too much free time. This is just sort of an update on me and how I’ve managed to succeed thus far into my cut.

Time: I spend on average two and a half hours in the gym per day. I usually warm-up, lift high volume for my muscle group of the day and do an ab routine within the first hour and a half, and as you all know I spend a solid hour doing high intensity cardio every day that I work out.

Style of Lifting: as mentioned above I tend to do high volume now. It is different than my strength workouts, but it is more beneficial to my goals. I do sets ranging from 8-12 reps with a 30 second break in between sets. On chest day for example I will do Bench press, Incline barbell press, Cable Flies, decline Dumbbell press, and dumbbell pull overs. A workout that short would only take 45 minutes tops, but I like to add some machine work in there for the added benefit.

Cardio: my cardio is pretty straight forward I just go at it for an hour. It doesn’t really matter what machine, or cardio workout you do as long as you push through it. I recently read that doing sprints, and other fast twitch exercises before your distance runs is more beneficial for fat burning. I will try it out and see how I like it and give a follow up on it in the upcoming weeks.

Diet: the hardest part for me so far is maintaining a strict diet and not falling to temptations. I have done a solid job so far. To be completely honest I wouldn’t have made it as far as I have if it wasn’t for my Calorie tracking app, called “My Fitness Pal.” I’m telling you it is a great tool for anyone looking to enhance their diet. I also decided to check into some simple concepts that make dieting even easier. Going relatively low on Calorie intake can make you feel empty and fatigued because most of the time people continue to eat their everyday meals. If you eat a 12oz Ribeye steak that will generally cost you around 750 Calories on average, and if you consider a cup of Broccoli it only contains around 31 Calories. I went ahead and did the math and with those numbers you could consume 24.19 Cups of Broccoli instead of that steak. Now obviously, we are assuming a perfect world and ignoring Macronutrients for a moment, but just given those numbers one could see how eating carelessly could make you feel hungry. I’m 100% positive that 24 cups (if you could eat that many) would be way more filling and a higher volume than the steak. So, just choose foods that aren’t so Calorically dense when dieting, it will save your day from my experience.

I have managed to increase my number of pull-ups by nearly double, cut time off of my mile and somehow increased my bench press while managing to cut around 35 pounds since my last weigh in. my mindset has been pretty fixed. I just continue to think of the long term and not allow lazy thoughts to creep into my mind. I continue to think that today is the day now is the time, because you aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. You might as well make the most out of your day that you have, and make it something special. Each day is a blessing and opportunity given to us by God to better ourselves, and maybe even help someone else along the way. Remember, losers wait for the right moment, but winners make the moment right.

Be sure to follow me on Instagram, twitter, and snapchat to stay updated on new posts and to ask me any questions you may have. Go out and make today great, and make the moment right.

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Your Dreams and Goals: a motivational rant.

Hey guys, sorry for the long break in between posts. I’ve been extremely busy lately but this post will be unique to the other ones.

One thing that I hear amongst people that really bothers me is that they believe all the negativity. They believe that they can’t get fit, join that sports team, make the cheer squad, go to college, join the military or countless other things that people aspire to do. They believe that they cannot succeed because people tell them they can’t, but think about the people that have found success. Do you think they listened to the people that told them they couldn’t? Do you believe they sat down, and gave up on their dreams and goals? No. you can’t allow the negativity of someone to weigh you down and hinder you from your dreams. You only have one life to live and you might as well live it how you want. Without regrets and missed opportunities. When people are spitting on your dreams and aspirations just respond how anyone successful has responded. They used what these naysayers said as a fuel to propel them even closer to their goals. It’s a mindset that you have to adopt in order to truly find success. Another thing is that people talk about their goals, but always wait until New Years, the Spring or whatever date to begin their journey. Well, to be honest, there is no right time to start your journey. No matter what it is going to be grueling and mentally challenging, and you will endure it if you want success. The best day to start any journey, any passion is now. Today. Don’t wait until New Years and watch as you let life pass you by, and then realize that you have nothing to show for time wasted. Each day is an opportunity, in this precious life we live. So, if it is worth going after and it keeps you up at night go for it. go out there and earn what you want that will make your life meaningful and happy. And if you’re at a low point in your life and feel like there’s no where to go just go up. Don’t make an irrational decision that will cause everyone pain because you are in a rough patch. Talk to people, and tough it out. It will get better. For me personally I’m not where I want to be, not even close. I realize that to get to my life goals I have a journey ahead of me, but the journey I have made so far makes the rest of the path seem small, and it pales in comparison. We have all hit lows in our life I’m sure. It is how you respond that truly makes the difference, and gives you new perspectives on life.

Anyways, I hope you all enjoyed my little rant. Just go out there and live your life. As always be sure to follow me on Instagram and twitter for questions and updates on my newest blogs.

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Fitness Blog 4: Activities Outside of the Gym

Hey Guys! Once again, this series has been extremely fun and successful so here is the fourth part of this series.

 

In the gym and fitness world it is very easy to get overwhelmed or discouraged, but the thing to remember is that everyone starts somewhere. As a person that literally started as far away from “ideal” as possible, it will all improve as time goes on. You will, with hard work and determination, reach your goals. It will obviously be a difficult and enduring journey that, to be honest, will never end. The thing is you want to reach goal, but you don’t want to just reach it. You want to maintain it, improve it even more and live with it if your body allows. Therefore, the journey isn’t a month, two month, a year, or any set amount of time, it is forever, or if you are willing to uphold it. The motivation will continue, with each step or milestone you will feel accomplished and want the next one, and so on. The initial process of going out and starting your journey is typically the most difficult time. You generally have no idea how to diet, how to begin a workout, what kind of workouts will benefit you, or how to approach your issues from a logical standpoint. After you figure out what works from either a nutritionist or trial and error it just becomes routine and that is easily followed with slight variations. But here are a few different routes you may consider for fun Calorie burning when all else fails, or if you want a day away from the gym.

Hiking- one of my personal favorite things to do when I’m not in the gym, and still wanting to burn a few extra Calories.  It is an effective way to burn a significant number of Calories. Generally, an average person will burn around 500 Calories hiking, but a lot of this depends on terrain, and body composition.

Cycling- not personally one of my favorite pass times, but still a very productive use of spare time is cycling. If you have a safe route, and the essential materials to have a safe ride, then cycling is a great use of your time away from the gym. As a rough estimate, you can count on burning at least 500 Calories an hour assuming you upheld a pace that is quick.

Jogging/walking- In an event that you can’t make it to the gym, or if you just want to enjoy the day jogging or walking are the tried and tested of at home fitness. Jogging is great alternative to a gym workout when you are rushed for time. Walking is a great exercise for those that are beginning to enter the fitness lifestyle, or if you have a minor injury that prohibits strenuous movements, but allows walking and light exercise. When jogging there are a few things to consider to gauge your workout results. Your weight, and intensity are to be considered, but an average pace of five miles per hour for an hour can usually burn approximately 450 Calories. Walking however, must be considered slightly differently, but as a general rule think 100 Calories per mile if you weigh 180 and 65 Calories if you weigh 120. The more you weigh the more you will burn, and the less you weigh the less you will burn generally.

Body weight resistance- I mentioned that hiking was one of my favorite things to do while away from the gym, but this is my favorite hands down. This is broader of a category than the others but it has a plethora of exercises. You can do standard push-ups, diamond push-ups, pull-ups, chin ups, sit ups, crunches, plank, c-sits, twists, dips and muscle ups if you are capable (I’m not). You can have a great workout just from a few of these options, and I have a day once a week that focuses on body weight resistance instead of weights, because it is that effective. I am all for the gym, but if you wanted to avoid the gym scene then I would highly recommend doing body weight exercises with high intensity.

As promised I will reveal another workout, but this time instead of my own I will refer you to a workout that I found online for beginners that looks promising. It is a workout from “Muscle & Fitness.” I will leave a link at the end for anyone willing to attempt it. it is four week long, but once again looks promising and can get you on the right track.

That’s it for this blog, remember to send Q&A’s for the next post and don’t forget to follow me on Instagram, twitter and snapchat for previews of my new blogs, a means to send questions and a shout out. As promised the link will be below for the Muscle & Fitness four-week beginner workout.

Workout: http://www.muscleandfitness.com/workouts/workout-routines/complete-mf-beginners-training-guide-0

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Fitness blog 3: Misconceptions

Hey guys!! These last two posts have been pretty successful, so as promised I will continue to do this fitness series. In this one we will discuss a few aspects that no one really considers, where I am in my cut cycle, and a VERY small Q&A at the end.

Exercise: guys, the number of things that qualify as exercise are impossible for me to list, there’s that many. You don’t have to stick to the traditional Lift, Run, and repeat method, which I prefer. You can change your life doing the things that you like, and fitness should be fun for everyone. If you like to play tennis, then play tennis, that will get you looking good for the summer and change your life in a positive way. If you enjoy dancing, bowling, walking, backpacking(hiking), or whatever that involves physical exertion then do that to help you along the journey. Not to knock lifting and running, that is my preferred method but that is just because I enjoy it and the results are there for me. So, it helps me stay motivated. Whatever makes you happy and healthy, do it. You should enjoy what you do, but keep in mind you should still push yourself, that isn’t a signal to slack off and expect results.

Consistency- I know I hit this topic last post, but I can’t stress how important consistency is when you have goals set. If you run once a week, but disregard all the other six days, then you can’t expect to be achieving your goals extremely quickly. Consistency is key; you must get after it every day if you really want to get to your end goal.

Comparisons- when you are on Instagram or social media in general and you see this extremely lean aesthetic huge body builder, or ladies when you see that woman that has the “perfect” body, please realize they are extremely rare. They aren’t the minimum standard of fit, so if you aren’t close to them it’s okay, not many people are. Social media can be amazing for fitness, but at the same time it can lead to discouragement and unnecessary comparisons. Just be a better you than you were yesterday.

Flexibility- Flexibility is a really neglected aspect of the fitness world. Many people just pawn it off as a waste of twenty or so minutes, but the results can be rewarding. Flexibility helps you maintain a proper posture. Also, it helps you go through greater ranges of motion with less energy expended. It’s a major point that should not be left out, and stretching before and after a lift or physical activity in general greatly reduces your chance of injury. You don’t have to do yoga or anything but it is still a great idea to at least work on your flexibility everyday with some basic stretches.

Hydration- Staying hydrated is also another neglected part of exercise and fitness. Staying hydrated will reduce your fatigue, leading to a better and more efficient workout. It also has many cosmetic benefits as well, it gives life to your hair, and teeth. Staying hydrated will help reduce joint pain and lead to more efficient movements. Personally, I drink one gallon, or 128 ounces of water per day, but I think the minimum is 64 ounces. If you meet your personal requirements, then you should be fine. Just don’t forget to sip on water throughout the day. Staying hydrated also helps with weight loss, so keep that in mind.

As far as my workouts I am right now in the most challenging part of my cut cycle. As I mentioned in my previous post it is important to slowly lower yourself down to your Caloric intake goal, and I have done just that at 1900 per day. It is difficult because the cardio portion of my workouts have also gotten slightly longer. If you want to see results you must be willing to sacrifice. These next few week will be challenging, and having this cold won’t make it any easier for me, but you have to overcome obstacles to get to your goals. So, this will just be a small bump in the road for me.

As promised guys, I will reveal one of my workouts, and I will answer a couple questions that were sent in. remember to give me a follow-on twitter and Instagram for sneak peeks of newer posts and a way to send in questions.

Q&A session

Q: Where are you from?

A: I am from Norton, Va. I small city located in the southwest region of Virginia.

Q: what supplements do you take, and what should I take to gain weight?

A: I personally don’t take any supplements, but if you want to gain weight I would consider a mass gainer. It isn’t a bad idea to talk to your local GNC employees to see what they have in stock for you, and what they may recommend.

Workout reveal

Leg day:

Cardio warm up: 10 minutes

Squats: 5×10

Leg extension & curls: 5×10

Lunges: 3×10

Leg press: 3×12

Smith machine squats: 4×6-8

Calf raises: 5×12

Ab session: your preference

Cardio: one hour of your choice, I recommend an elliptical or some relative of it for knee comfort.

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Fitness Blog1: Beginning of Something Great

Hey guys, I know it has been awhile since I’ve posted, but I’m finally back after getting organized again. Anyways, I planned on posting a blog condemning resolutions for their lack of success and to question the timing, but I refrained. So, I decided to take another approach to it. Usually, resolutions are for people to get into the gym life, get fit, diet and become a better them. Which is absolutely great by the way; we all start somewhere. But, after a few years of observations, the gyms are packed to their max in January and maybe mid-February but after that they return to normal, and it is always the new ones that end up leaving. The reason for this isn’t because you (maybe you but just generally speaking) lack the will to change, but you set your goals too high and did nothing to prepare yourself for the challenges of dieting and self-discipline. Most people I talk to when they first sign up usually talk about their diet “Yeah bro, I just started my cut cycle. I only eat like 1800 Calories a day now” which also is fine and effective if you have worked your way down, but just going from 3,000+ to 1,800 isn’t going to work, because your body won’t properly function from that kind of deficit. You can’t go low Calorie on a whim and that is people’s largest discouragement in their new fitness life. From my experience and the experience of others it is essential to ease your way down. Maybe like 2900 every day for a week, then 2700 every day for a week, and so on until you reach your desired consumption per day or whatever rate you feel comfortable with. Another thing about New Year’s resolutions that are upsetting is that people will actually have goals for the New Year far before January 1st, and I don’t understand why you can’t legitimize your success by starting ahead of time. Why wait? There is nothing special about the New Year as far as effort and results are concerned. It is always best to start ahead of time, because this will get you to your goals faster, and you will have experience by the time New Year’s rolls around. For anyone considering a lifestyle change I highly recommend it. It honestly is just like anything else that is challenging, because the results are based on your mental fortitude and will power to succeed in whatever you choose. It gets challenging when your friends are having pizza, wanting to go out to eat or go out for the night, but you have to be able to deny yourself of these small luxuries if you want to succeed. You can always enjoy your time with your friends and if you go out to eat you can always order a healthy alternative, instead of the heaping plates of chili cheese fries that everyone else is indulging on. I will continue this series with a few more suggestions and maybe a Q&A session for anyone that wants any recommendations or my own personal experiences. I may even attach my own workout routines to the bottom of my upcoming blogs. If you have any question be sure to ask them on my snap, or Instagram and be sure to give me a follow to show your support.

 

 

 

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