From the Buff Dude in Your Gym:
How to Never Stop Eating and Training
How to Never Stop Eating and Training
by Paul Johnson
Paul Johnson, the author of From the Buff Dude in Your Gym: How to Never Stop Eating and Training, stops by today to share an excerpt from his book.
Not the book you want, but the book you probably need.
Tell me your vision of bodybuilding, and I’ll tell you whether or not you’re bound to fail.
Surfing the Internet, one might think that bodybuilding is something fun, easy and, most importantly, that significant amounts of muscle can be grown fast if you’ve got enough motivation. That is simply not true. Building muscle tissue is a very, very slow process, and requires an adequate approach.
Growing your muscle base is a huge project. It will require years of consistent work, both in and outside the gym, and the progress will be so continuous that it will be almost invisible. That’s why the better prepared you are from the very beginning, the less likely you are to quit somewhere along the way.
How many of your friends have had gym memberships? Out of those people, how many have trained long enough to reach their dream physique?
Of course, everyone who quits has a valid reason. Usually it’s lack of time due to work, school or kids. Sometimes people quit for other reasons. But most of the time, the real reason why people stop building their body is that they expected something else. They expected more, sooner.
And I can’t blame them. We’re all eager to see results, and we get discouraged when we don’t. The problem with bodybuilding is that it is such a slow process that it’s extremely hard to notice any results. That’s why the best approach is not to look for evidence of muscle growth every now and then, and rather set up your mind for a long journey with an undefined arrival date.
In this book, I’ll try to show you what bodybuilding is truly all about. I won’t go into specific exercises or nutrition plans. I will talk about realistic expectations and tuning your mind for long-term success rather than jumping into bodybuilding after a spike of motivation. I will also cover basic nutritional principles which will provide you with tools to make your own bodybuilding diets. Lastly, I will illustrate how bodybuilding diets integrate into our daily lives, talk what are the sacrifices and compromises we have to make to eat properly, and share a couple of practical tips that will soften the impact of said sacrifices.
It is very hard to build realistic expectations about bodybuilding, just because there's so much misleading information out there. People use the quick result promise as a main selling point for bodybuilding products - the quicker, the better. Let's face it - a "2 Month Intensive Fitness and Weightlifting Program" sounds a lot more fun and easy than building habits for a lifetime. It sounds like something that you can do for a couple of months, reach your results, build the physique you want and then go back to watching TV. Building muscle is not very fun, and it's definitely not easy. Muscle tissue needs a lot of time to grow - that's why hard work and dedication is not enough - you also need to be able to do it consistently. In fact, nobody knows how long it will take for you to build a physique you're seeking. We're all unique, we all have different genetics, metabolism, prior lifting experience (in order to grow muscles and become stronger, your whole body will need to adapt, including your joints and heart), and all of these factors come into play. One thing for sure - it will take long enough that it's not worth counting days and checking yourself out in the mirror after each workout, looking for evidence of muscle growth.
Ironically, the best way to pursue a long-term goal is not to think about it very much. Growing muscles is very much like growing a plant - if you measure it every day, checking how much it grew overnight, you'll eventually go crazy because you'll never see any change. But if you completely forget about your final vision of the plant, and simply take good care of it (water, trim) day by day without much thinking about it, a day will come when you'll find some old photo of the plant made a year ago and only at that moment you'll see how much it grew. In this example, you can replace the plant with a puppy, or your kid. The dynamic behind muscle building is very similar to that.
[Want more? Click below to read a different excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"Author/health advocate realist Paul Johnson extends a wake-up call to all those who pick up this book as yet another quick start to becoming a lean mean muscle defined Adonis. His manner of ‘instruction’ is coaching in a realistic and grounded manner that should encourage those buff up/sludge down that there is hops – and work ahead. As he states early on, ‘Building muscle is a very, very slow process. So slow that most of the people who try doing it, quit after a few weeks or months, labeling themselves as hardgainers. They're not, the majority of them. They're perfectly normal, it's just that muscle growth is a much slower process than the bodybuilding industry portrays it. The "Get Ripped Quick" philosophy just doesn't cut it here. That's why the first chapter of this book is devoted to finding the right Mindset for the job.’ ‘But most bodybuilders who have achieved results do not need to fuel themselves with inspirational quotes or videos to work out or keep to their diet. They just do it. It's a part of who they are, a part of who they have become: working out and eating properly has become to them like second nature. Habits, just like brushing teeth, drinking coffee or playing video games.’
"One of the motivators in sticking with Paul’s stern advice is the fact that he places his perfectly defined hunky body in workout images as if to say ‘this is what I mean’. The issues Paul addresses are all concerned with diet – but not the fad diets that usually eventually tire us out. ‘In reality, you absolutely don't have to follow any of the sophisticated, specific diets that you find online. It's much better to understand the core principles of bodybuilding nutrition and make your own diets with products that you have access to and/ or are familiar with. And the ground rules of a good muscle building diet are: Eat lean meats. Chicken, turkey and low-fat fish are your best friends; Eat lots of vegetables and fruit. 1-2 bowls per day; Moderate sugar, alcohol, processed foods, snacks; Eat lots of fiber rich grain, like brown rice. 2-4 oz. + daily. And that's it! If your only goal is to build muscle mass, you can simply stick to these principles without thinking too much, and you'll experience progress for years.’ But as he quickly notes, ‘A diet with this level of strictness will not work if you're looking to lose fat and gain muscle at the same time. If that's what you're after, you'll have to adopt a much stricter diet, which is beyond the scope of this book.’
"In essence, Paul keeps his advice reality oriented, feasible to utilize, and condenses this first book into four chapters: Slow. Down; The Bodybuilder's Mindset; The Bodybuilder's Routine; and The Bodybuilder's Diet.
"More sensible constructive realistic advice you’ll not find. Paul Johnson gives us the feeling that he cares, wants to dispel myths, and motivate us in a reality oriented - and lasting! – way."
~ Grady Harp
About the Author
Paul Johnson is a passionate fitness writer, spreading common sense, encouraging people to build long-term motivation and dispelling some of the popular bodybuilding/fitness beliefs.