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TL/DR: As a beginner, ignore all the “gym hacks” about how to lose weight faster, build a six-pack, put on more muscle, how much protein to eat, etc. Instead, convert that energy to a consistent routine. Start with one day per week. Anything you do will work at the beginner levels. You’re not doing enough weight to be worried about injuries. Towards the end, I cover some strategies that have remained in my routine since forever.

This guide is for you if you:

  • Just started going to the gym
  • Are considering going to the gym
  • Are willing to lift weights as the main component to transforming your body
  • Are confused about all the available information about working out

Last month in Colombia, I’m going to the gym with my friend. She’s 96lbs (44kg). She gets out her bag of colorful powder. I recognize this stuff: BCAAs. I ask her why she’s taking it? She tells me her trainer said it will help her gain muscle. Ignoring what BCAAs actually do (which is not to gain muscle), if you get one thing from this article, it’s to ignore everything about the “hacks” of the fitness industry. As a beginner there is one hack: consistency and making weight lifting the main component of your workouts.

Here's the only 'gym hack' that works always and for everyone: a consistent routine with weight lifting. Click To Tweet

I get questions all the time about ridiculous stuff that makes no difference except to the advanced level lifters. And some things make zero different at all (ie promotional only).

“I heard if you take caffeine before a workout it helps me lose fat. Is that true?”

“Is lower or higher intensity training better for muscle building?”

“I saw this fitness celebrity wearing some ridiculous thing on her abs and her abs look great! Mine’s in the mail. How often should I wear it?”

“How much protein should I eat?”

Like BCAAs and everything above, totally and fully forget about them at the beginner stage.


Step One Of Weight Lifting: Consistency

We’re at step one: forming a habit and creating a consistent routine.

You’re not, not maximizing your gains with BCAAs and all the “hacks”, you’re overcomplicating things which makes the decision to “pause” (ie stop for months or years) much easier than continuing.

If you’re going to the gym, you should be including weights as a large part of your routine no matter who you are (that includes women of all ages who avoid weights like the plague). It’s the most efficient way to transform your body. Cardio….is….not.

Any efficiency-minded individual should make weights the core of their fitness routine, regardless if their goal is to gain muscle. Click To Tweet

I believe that lifting weight, particularly heavy weights, is the single greatest thing you can do for your body, your mind, and your overall health. You sleep better, you are more productive, you have better and more sex, better personal and romantic relationships, more confidence, higher earning potential, and more. The more is for another article..

I admit it. Most things in life I’m mostly clueless about. However, there are a few things in life I am an expert in. Lifting weights is one of them.

Says who? Says me and the people who stare while I’m in the gym lifting. Here’s why:

  • I’ve been doing it consistently (3+ times per week) for 15+ years
  • I’ve experienced no major injuries, ever
  • As an adult, I’ve bulked to 205 pounds (93kg) from 155 pounds (70kg) while maintaining 13% or lower body fat
  • My 4-rep max is 385lbs for squat, 455lbs for deadlift, and 305lbs for bench press (175kg, 205kg, 140kg, respectively)

As an aside, one of the very first memories in life I have was in my garage with my three brothers using a bench press. It was my turn. I must’ve been 8 year old, maybe. They removed the weights, leaving just the 45lb bar. I couldn’t even lift it! Hah! But I was inspired and fasinated with iron ever since.

Let me get straight to the point: Why are there so many different strategies out there all of which have plenty of success stories?

The reason is that they all work. It’s all very simple. Believe it or not, the guys in the gym are not brain surgeons.

It’s very easy to make gains in the gym whether that’s gaining weight in the form of muscle or losing fat.

If there is only one correct solution (a healthy body), there are infinite ways to get there.

However, there is one thing that all of these different strategies have in common…

The user was consistent in applying the strategy to their workout routine. Why was the user consistent? First, the strategy fit into the user’s lifestyle allowing it to stick around for the long-term until they saw results (which doesn’t take long). Second is the internal motivation that will be addressed below.

Consistency X (internal) Motivation = Success Click To Tweet

To demonstrate how truly amazing this is, see the list below of opposite strategies, all of which work due to the consistency formula above. I’ve seen extremely fit guys and gals applying the below strategies with a high degree of success:

  • Seven (7) days in the gym versus three (3)
  • High protein (60%) versus a vegetarian diet
  • HIIT cardio versus no cardio versus steady-state cardio
  • Counting versus not counting calories
  • Following the same, consistent set of lifts year after year versus ‘tricking’ the muscles with constant variation
  • High volume (10 exercises) versus low volume (3 exercises) workouts
  • Two hours in the gym versus 45 minutes
  • High rep (15+) versus low rep (3-5) ranges
  • Full body workouts versus training one muscle group per workout
  • Fasted training versus eating a pre-workout meal versus drinking pre-workout supplement
  • Compound exercises versus isolation exercises only
  • Supersets with zero rest versus 5 minutes rest in between sets
  • Eating nothing but protein and fats (ie the Ketogenic diet or no carbs) versus by people eating 60%+ carbs (a typical diet)
  • Religiously strict with dieting versus an entire cheat day equivalent of one-weeks worth of calories
  • Pyramid versus reverse pyramid style training

The catch is that some strategies work better for some people. Partly due to genetics and partly due to lifestyle.

If you work a rigorous job with a 6-month old child, deciding to go to the gym for 2 hours per day from one day to the next is NOT going to work. Start slow. Start with one day per week. I recommend this in all cases. Start slow.

New to the gym? Do the opposite. Start with one day per week until you're looking forward to the second. Click To Tweet

If you want quick results, going to the gym is not what you need.* You need a doctor.

*If you know what to measure, you can actually measure success from one week to the next which will have a profound effect on your motivation and eventual success. Imagine wanting to go to the gym each week to see how much more weight you can lift or how your weight changed (up or down).

If you want quick results, going to the gym is not what you need. You need a doctor. Click To Tweet

There is one question you need to ask yourself to find out if you are setup for success or failure before you even begin.


Step Two Of Weight Lifting: Internal Motivation

Ask yourself: Is this a lifestyle or a passing fad?

Why do you want to go to the gym? Why now?

  • Recent breakup?
  • Envy?
  • Upcoming vacation?

None of these will work for the same reason why hiring a gym trainer fails 100% of the time (more on this later).

Before starting at the gym, ask yourself this one question to predict your success: why? Click for more. Click To Tweet

When I was living in San Francisco, I had a close friend who decided it was time for him to change his body by going to the gym. And, he did. He went from zero to 100 from one day to the next (more on this strategy later). He started eating more eggs, like, a lot more. He started drinking BCAAs. I even went to the gym with him one Friday night after we drank a couple of beers. He really wanted to go. I had never been to the gym buzzed before. I agreed. Honestly, it was pretty fun. Interesting folks at the gym on a Friday at 930pm. But, his dedication didn’t last. It didn’t come from the right place.

If the above sounds like you, you are not ready for the gym.

How do you know that you are ready for the gym?

  1. The motivation has to come from within. (In other words, it’s not related to an external event like an upcoming vacation).
  2. Consistency (You will make this a consistent part of your life, more on this below)

Either you want to look good for your own well-being or you will fail.

Recently, I was walking down the street in Mumbai, India when a fat guy stopped me, complimented my physique, and asked me for advice.

He started: “Hey, tell me, what should I do if I want to look like you?”

I thought: Ugh. Where do I start…?

Let’s ignore the fact that this question is insulting to someone who takes health seriously and dedicates lots of time and resources to it as if there’s some magic trick that I do to be healthy and look good.

Without wasting too much of my time telling this person (who will make zero changes to his life because he’s not ready), I told him to start lifting heavy weights.

That was the best advice I could’ve given him.

The reason this is a wasted conversation is that he is letting outside stimuli change his behavior.

He doesn’t actually want to get fit. His motivation for stopping me did not come from within, it came from an external source. He thought about being fit for a passing moment, then forgot and continued his lifestyle.

In his case, what I really should have said is that he is not yet ready for the gym. And, that’s ok.


So, What Works?

Above I told you that everything works and I still mean that. The main thing you need to do is create a schedule and stick to it. Consistency. Do not go from zero to a hundred like my friend in San Francisco.

Start with one day per week. I want you to get to a point where you are looking forward to going to the gym. If you make the gym a task rather than a point of inspiration and energy, you will fail.

With that said, there are a few strategies that have remained constant in my routines no matter what system I am using. Here they are:

  • Always, always, always preference compound exercises (squat, deadlift, bench, shoulder press)
  • At least one rest day per week (a minimum)
  • Count your calories (no matter if you’re trying to gain or lose weight)
  • Time your rest in between sets (removes a variable to better track your progress)
  • Record your reps, sets, and exercises (added motivation when you measure success or identify a gym plateau)
  • Lift heavy to gain size and strength, between 4-6 reps, but never more than 8 reps with the exception of calves up to 12 reps
  • To gain size and strength, eat above maintenance. To lose body fat, eat below maintenance. Search’ maintenance calories calculator’ to find countless results

Now that you know what works, DO NOT DO THE ABOVE**. At least not yet. You don’t need to. Keep it simple, remember. You are going to experience gains no matter what you do. It’s a beautiful thing to be a beginner so no need to overcomplicate it.

As you are a beginner, you want to start with light weight for at least a few months. You need to slowly build strength into your joints and ligaments.

You’re not going to have two rest days, you will have five or six rest days. Remember, start with one gym day per week.

Definitely don’t count your calories (though it’s super easy nowadays).

**There is one thing from this list you want to do. Record your exercises, reps, and sets. Do this as it will be a source of continued motivation as you see the increase from one week to the next.


How To Measure Your Success

An important part of success is being able to maintain your motivation. To do this, you need to measure your progress so that you feel the want to go to the gym and see how much you’ve improved.

There are only two things I want you to measure.

First, measure your weight. A prior roommate of mine was incessant over his weight.

“I gained two pounds last night!”

She would weigh herself every day and notice these changes when in reality, nothing changed from one day to the next. However, this would demotivate her from any health aspirations.

Instead, measure once or twice per week at the same time every day on the same scale. Then compare the weeks, not the days. I promise you will notice a trend. Focus on the weekly change, not the daily change.

Second, measure your exercises (repetitions and sets). Just to be clear, if you’re going to the gym, you should be lifting weights for maximum efficiency and to look the best. That means you, too, women.***

Either bring a notepad to the gym or create a digital record on your phone. Record the day, the exercise, the number of sets, and the number of repetitions completed with proper form. (Don’t know what proper form is? Look it up.)

It should look something like this:

June 12, 2023

Bench Press: 135:7:120:6:105:6

Ab Leg Raises: 12:11:7

Standing Calf Raise: 20:11:18:9:16:8

You will develop your own system, but in the above example, the first number (135 for bench press) represents the weight (135 pounds) followed by the number of repetitions (7 then 6 then 6). That means I did the following per set:

  • Set 1: Seven (7) repetitions with 135 pounds
  • Set 2: Six (6) repetitions with 120 pounds
  • Set 3: Six (6) repetitions with 105 pounds

I did not use weight for the Ab Leg Raises so the numbers are only the number of repetitions.


What Doesn’t Matter So Much?

There are a few areas that I believe don’t actually matter all that much:

  • Macro nutrient makeup
  • When you eat
  • How much time you rest between sets (as long as you are consistent and measure it)
  • Cardio
  • Amount of rest between workouts

Personally, I’ve eaten 60% protein and 20% protein in my meals with no noticeable difference. I’ve eaten constantly from waking up at 6am until going to bed at 10pm with no noticeable difference. I’ve went to the gym 6 days per week versus three with no noticeable difference. And, I’ve done intense HIIT cardio versus none with no noticeable difference.

Again, that’s no noticeable difference. If I was doing this professionally, I would measure more variables to notice a change and identify the better option. But that’s not even important to me, an advanced weight lifter.

I hesitate to put this section in here as this can be a longer discussion and there are subtle differences depending on your goals, but as you’re a beginner, the above will not matter.

Buy me a coffee ⇒


Two Ways To Kill Your Motivation

First up and most common is going from zero to a hundred. If you are not used to going to the gym, then you should ease into it. It takes 21-days to form habits. Why not take it slow for those first 21 days?

To the contrary, most people go from zero days per week to five days per week in the gym. That’s a HUGE shock to your routine.

Just chill, dude or dudette.

Start with one-day per week.

“But I WANT to go more. I’m so excited to get fit!”

That’s awesome. But my instructions remain identical and are of extreme importance: Still go one day per week for the first month and you’ll look forward to your one day the following week even more.

I can see no reason where it makes sense to start to train intensely from the start. You’re going to be doing this for the rest of your life so there’s no rush.

Where does this thinking come from? I think it’s mostly innate. We want quick results. So it makes sense to train more. It’s also encouraged by trainers.

I have a friend in Manila, Philippines who is a trainer. She has an amazing body and is very sexy. When we talked about this, she disagreed with me. She told me that you have to start the client off right. To her, that meant giving them a 5-day per week training plan plus a nutrition plan.

Then they complain about the high turnover rate of clients.

It’s the direct result of going from zero to one-hundred. The client feels overwhelmed. The measurements are not happening for motivation.

This brings me to the second way to kill your motivation: hiring a trainer.

If you’re hiring a trainer for motivation which seems to be why most people hire trainers, consider giving me your money instead (donation button at top). It’ll accomplish the same thing for you: nothing.

(Some people hire trainers to show them what to do. This is another popular reason, but come on, people. This is not brain science. Far from it. It’s super easy. Lift and put back. LOL. You do not need a trainer for this.)

As discussed above, motivation must come from within.

“But I don’t know what I’m doing.”

Well, neither does the trainer most of the time. Figure it out for yourself. If you have zero desire to go online and research proper form for a squat or even do a simple ‘beginner’s guide to the gym’ google search then you’re not yet ready. It’s ok. Start going to the gym when you are ready.


***A Note To Women From Women – “Don’t Be Afraid Of Lifting Heavy”

I asked some of my most fit female friends some questions about weight lifitng. Their answers are below.

But first I must admit that this section is very selfish of me. I think the most attractive women, by far, are gym girls. It’s the body that separates the superficially attractive from the full package attractive. Maybe I should clarify now that this is an article about going to the gym so, yes, I’m speaking exclusively about physical traits when I say attractive.

The most attractive women, by far, are gym girls. It's the body that separates the superficially attractive from the full package attractive. Click To Tweet

Most all women have the presentation – makeup and flattering clothes – figured out. I see a cute face and an attractive slim figure almost everywhere I turn. But what separates the superficially attractive from the full package attractive is when we’re wearing our birthday suits. Do you have sex with the lights on or the lights off?

If you put twins next to each other where one goes to the gym and lifts weights and the other doesn’t or uses cardio exclusively as a fitness tool, the girl who lifts weights will look better 100% of the time. She’ll have a sexier stomach, a bigger butt, a slimmer waist, toned arms, and curvy legs. But, it’s more than that. It’s the mindset. The girl who lifts weights is different from the 99% of females who are scared of weights. It takes an especially attractive mindset to shed the existing status quo and shoulder press impressively sized dumbbells. It takes a huge amount of mental fortitude to enter a male-dominated gym and lift heavy weights. Show me an unsuccessful (at life) gym girl or go to jail and you’d go to jail.

Show me an unsuccessful (at life) gym girl or go to jail and you'd go to jail. Click To Tweet

Women, let me be frank: you avoid weights like the plague. You say you like your fluffy figure (but you like it less and less as the years go by). You say you don’t want muscles (but you also don’t want saggy arms…). You say you want a big butt (but you don’t do the one and only thing that will give you a big butt, lifting heavy weights…see Angie below). You say you want a defined stomach (but you don’t…use weights with your ab exercises).

Or maybe you’re saying to yourself “why would I lift weight? I’m young and attractive and get plenty of attention just the way I am!” It’s true. Women get a ton of attention. I think one woman gets attention from 100 men at any given time while that woman gives only one man attention. (Women, tell me in the comments if you think this is true?)

It’s not fair, dammit! Jokes aside, this is a huge demotivator to changing your physical appearance. And, understandably so. But let me ask: what kind of attention are you getting? Does the attention from the same man last for the long-term or dimmish after sex? Maybe you’ve never been denied sex by a man, but does he come back for more? Have you ever said you have problems attracting and holding on to a desirable man? If only there was something women could leverage to set them apart from 99% of their peers…

But, I get it. It’s not as easy as putting on running shoes. Lifting weight (and changes to your body) is more a mental game than a physical one. Women, the same way you think you gain noticeable muscle after only a week in the gym by lifting weight is the same feeling I get after not going to the gym for a week…I think I’m shriveling up after only 7 measly days away from the gym! It’s only in our minds.

I’ve heard this more than once: I gain muscle really easily so I don’t lift weights. Hah! We need scientists to examine you. You will be an overnight billionaire once we map your DNA and find this universally desired mutation. Muscle is incredibly hard to gain and keep, especially for women. All you have to do is look around you. How many people (men and women) do you see with and without muscle?

Muscle is incredibly hard to gain and keep. All you have to do is look around you. How many people do you see with and without muscle? Click To Tweet

The key, though, is diet. If you start lifting heavy and do not change your diet, you will look big because you will have some muscle plus all the extra fat surrounding the muscle. I’m 180lbs (80kg). If I gain weight (fat) up to 190lbs (85kg) which I can do quite easily, I look much bigger. I have the same amount of muscle, I can’t gain 10lbs of muscle in a month. Fat makes you look bigger (fat weighs less than dense muscle). People think I’m 200lbs (95kg) when I’ve only added 10lbs (5kg) fat onto my body.

You’ve seen those before and after pictures of girls who weigh the same weight before and after going to the gym yet they look thinner with a more toned body. This is the reason. So, when you start going to the gym, you’ll have to watch your diet even more. You’ll have a bigger appetite, but appetite is a funny thing. Make a change, deal with the discomfort for 5 days, and your body adapts. I don’t eat until noon each day and only on very rare occasions do I feel hungry before this time.

I digress. I wanted to include a section that features my most full package attractive and sexy from head-to-toe female friends. I asked, they answered. These are all real girls who have lives and jobs outside of the gym and looking physically attractive.

Angie Alvarez (Instagram @angieaz_) “…with weights you can achieve many things…”

bigger butt for girls who lift weights
Left (2009) Angie is skinny and cute; Right (2019) Angie is sexy and toned

Why Did You Decide To Lift Heavy?

To gain muscle, of course. I have a thin build and nothing worked for me to gain weight. The only thing that worked was actually lifting weights.

What Changes Did You Notice To Your Physique That You Attribute To Lifting Heavy?

My body looks better, my self-esteem increased, I feel more resistant to sickness, I feel more active.

Hannah Solorzano (Instagram @hannahsolorzano) “My waist appeared smaller…”

women who lift weights get toned abs are accomplished with lifting weights women

Were You Afraid Of Gaining Too Much Muscle?

At first, I was afraid of getting too muscular because of the things you hear from (not knowledgable) people. It was when I tried to gain muscle that I realized it’s HARD to gain muscle. You have to eat the right foods, the right amount, the right timing, patience, etc. Not to mention, it is physically impossible for women to gain THAT much muscle NATURALLY.

What Changes Did You Notice To Your Physique That You Attribute To Lifting Heavy?

My endurance went up, my strength went up, and my body composition changed completely. My waist appeared smaller because I built a good amount of muscle on my shoulders and glutes which made my body appear more feminine (thanks to “murves”: muscle curves).

Why Should Women Lift Heavy?

First, you are able to build your dream body without doing copious hours of cardio (cardio isn’t the answer). Second, your metabolism goes through the roof when you lift heavy (you can eat more!). Third, seeing progress (setting new PRs, seeing results, improved performance, getting stronger) is an amazing feeling!

Kissy Caballero (Instagram @missfitkissy) “I used to go running every morning for an hour and do some crunches…”

fit filipina woman lady biceps

Were You Afraid Of Gaining Too Much Muscle?

Yes, of course. Many of my friends make fun of me that I am addicted to working out and might end up looking like a ladyboy or Female Manny Pacquiao.

Why Did You Decide To Lift Heavy?

When I first sign up for my first gym my primary goal was to make friends since I just move out to a new city and making friends for me is really difficult since I don’t go out to where most people my age go to mingle like bars and clubbing and I am a vegetarian so as much as possible I want to make friends with people who share the same interests and hobbies. Regarding my training, I used to go running every morning for an hour and do some crunches after which I saw from Youtube videos. I was getting bored with working out alone and wanted new challenges hence I get a gym membership. For the first week I was doing my own thing with no coach to help and almost no clue what to do inside the gym other than using the treadmill and doing some cores exercise as at home. I was hesitant to get a coach since all of the coaches are guys that kind of look like hulk but fluffier so I was thinking maybe they will make me do exercises that will make me look like them. This changed when I saw a girl in my gym who is in really good shape. She was lifting weights! I observed her session which was mostly resistant training. I wanted to be friends with her but it turns out she was a tourist but I end up starting with resistance training and that’s how my lifting journey began.

Additional Tips From Kissy

Ladies, really, don’t be afraid to channel the inner Wonderwoman in you and lift weights. Like in any other aspects of our life it’s just the beginning that is kind of scary and difficult but eventually, you will get used to it and be stronger. I know the weights area is mostly full of guys but don’t worry: half are gays and the other half don’t have a clue of what really they are doing.

Here are some tips as well I would like to share and I wish I know before I started my fitness journey.

  1. Get a coach/friend whom you trust and just really asked them the proper form of the exercises and what not to do and what is it for. In such a way you can really maximize the effect of the exercise while avoiding possible injuries and it will make you more confident knowing you know what and why you are doing what exercise you are doing.
  2. Don’t forget to do dynamic (moving) stretches before lifting so you can avoid injury.
  3. Form over weight. Don’t be conscious or feel pressure if other people are lifting or doing more around you but rather just focus on good and proper form execution
  4. Never ever SKIP the stretching after a workout
  5. Be patient but consistent. Don’t rush things. Being healthy is not a sprint but a marathon. It’s not about how fast you get there but how long can you sustain it.

Jay Usarawee (Instagram @usarawee.ls) “…it’s not easy for women to get big muscles like a man.”

asian girls looks great with a little bit of muscle and toneness

Were You Afraid Of Gaining Too Much Muscle?

Never because it’s not easy for women to get big muscles like a man. I read something on google!

Nairelys Gonzalez (@nayg22) “Let’s dare to change the way we train …”

sexy toned muscular venezuelan girl

Were You Afraid Of Gaining Too Much Muscle?

At the beginning, due to my lack of knowledge on the subject, I felt a little scared, but as I was learning more information (and advice from my coaches), I realized that all I heard were just myths. Women have more limitations to gain muscle mass compared to men.

What Changes Did You Notice To Your Physique That You Attribute To Lifting Heavy?

The reduction of the percentage of fat and the increase of lean mass, followed by a toned body. In addition, weightlifting has helped me a lot to reduce my measurements such as a smaller waist.

Why Should Women Lift Heavy?

I think every woman should forget the myths that they have long wanted us to believe and go for more. This type of training will help us mold our curves. We all dream of a very defined and aesthetically attractive body, so what do we expect? Let’s dare to change the way we train to achieve those results.

I want to stress that every one of these girls takes the gym seriously. What that doesn’t mean is buying a sexy gym outfit, going to the gym once or twice per month, snapping an Instagram story, grabbing the 5lb weights, jumping around on the treadmill, and calling it a workout. Oh, no. They’re consistent. My challenge to you: even if you think any one of these girls has too much muscle, I challenge you to try. 99.9% will fail to reach their level and will still be extremely satisfied with your body transformation. I’ve been to gyms around the world, they’re really in the 0.1% of all females I’ve ever seen. Good luck!

The Difference Between A Fat Person And A Skinny Person

Hear me out. I am going to attempt to make an important point. I’ll start with a story.

Yesterday, I was hiking at Tamgaly, Kazakhstan. When we took a break, one of my friends got out some chocolate and offered it to the group.

One of the girls asked if I was going to have any and then answered her own question out loud by making the assumption that because I’m so healthy I must not eat chocolate.

Her assumption is that because I am healthy and look good, I must be making all these extreme and consistent sacrifices.

When in reality, I do eat sweets. I do eat McDonald’s. I do the same things she does, just a little bit less.

We’re both consistent, just in opposite directions. I am mostly healthy and sometimes unhealthy. She is mostly unhealthy and sometimes healthy.

The very interesting fact is that if you were to compare the eating and health habits of any fat and skinny person over a few years, you probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference.

So why is one person fat and the other skinny****? The difference probably comes down to a few extra calories here and there eaten every day, day after day, year after year.

The difference between a fat and skinny person comes down to a few extra calories here and there eaten every day, day after day, year after year. Click To Tweet

In other words, the extra weight came slowly, year after year, unnoticeable pound after pound, unhealthy decision after unhealthy decision. After 10 years, the fat person has an extra 35 pounds. 3.5 added pounds per year. One-third of an added pound every month. For my metric readers, that’s 0.13 kilograms per month. It’s unnoticeable.

The skinny person probably takes the stairs over the elevator just a little more often. The fat person probably adds an extra packet of sugar into their coffee. The skinny person probably eats a consistent amount of calories every day. The fat person probably actively participates in the yo-yo diet (gorging one week and severely limiting calories the next).

The point is, the skinny person likely is not living an extraordinarily healthy lifestyle. Just mildly more healthy. If you’re the fat person in this story, I hope you’re seeing the bright side. To be skinny, you do not have to eat salad and carrots every day. You don’t have to eliminate ice cream from your diet. Just eat it slightly less often.

****I’m attributing health to skinny here, but it’s not true. In fact, I have met many skinny people who are just as unhealthy as an obese person. I hope you’ll focus on the overall point I’m making, not the minutiae.



Throw away the BCAAs and the protein powder. Fire the trainer. Cancel the fitness magazine subscription. Stop reading the online fitness articles. Simplify. Minimalize. Be consistent. As a beginner, all you need to do is go to the gym once per week for the first couple of months. Experiment. Learn about proper weight-lifting form as injuries are always going to be your enemy (“I used to workout until I got injured” is something I’ve heard with shocking frequency).

Advice for beginner weight lifters: simplify, minimalize, and be consistent. Click To Tweet

If you’ve made it this far, then you’re ready for my next recommendation. I attribute a lot of my success in the gym to Mike Matthew’s book Bigger, Leaner, Stronger and I recommend you read it early on in your weight lifting career. It’s science-based weight lifting and diet advice. His website is also highly recommended as a source for anything around diet and exercise.

Happy lifting!

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A list of common proverbs and their opposites, and why they are complementary. I need you help with a few!

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