“I only eat fish – no chicken, no turkey, just fish. I get all my protein from fish and egg whites.”
– Jack LaLanne
You don’t need protein powder
Most people go to gyms that are filled with dorky dudes. Guys who hum Maroon 5 songs as they curl in the squat rack, dorks in silly outfits who worry about over training. Stuff like that. The gym I go to has the opposite problem. It’s basically just filled with guys who want to lift as much as possible without any regard to their form or safety. Sometimes you’ll see comical things like a dude leg pressing 600 pounds while his two buddies help push the weight for him. Other times people will injure themselves as they try to out deadlift one another.*
I’m not the safety troll and don’t care if other guys want to risk their health by trying to move weights they shouldn’t be touching. With the exception of bench press all of my main lifts are over 315. Despite being able to move some heavy weights I didn’t see a lot of progress in my body’s development. While I got bigger I ended up stagnating around December. No matter how much I tried to lift, or how many stupid lifts I tried to incorporate into my routine, I didn’t see a lot of change. I was basically just stuck at the low end of 180.
Because of this I decided to fall back on taking some advice from the dreaded “muscle comics” that a lot of guys hate on. I did an insanely tiring routine that took almost two hours a night. I also ate overpriced protein powder and experimented with some stupid diet.
The results were terrible. I actually looked worse than I had before and I lost muscle mass. Additionally, my face looked bloated and I felt tired all the time. Doing 5 sets of 10 with compound lifts and isolation exercises was way too much for me. While I switched over to a simpler routine, I still looked pretty terrible. Doing nonsensical lifts and eating “like a pro bodybuilder” only works if you have the secret ingredient, steroids. As such I looked like a weak dude.
About a month ago I went to workout with Matt and Nate in Des Moines. I was shocked to discover that they did a simple yet brutal workout that was unlike anything I had ever seen before. Instead of trying to lift huge weights using their momentum, they worked their actual muscles. After my first set I couldn’t even keep up with them.
I liked their style of lifting a lot and decided to try it out on my own. In addition I threw some static holds in at the end of my sets. When I first started doing this I caught a lot of flack. Other guys kept making fun of the fact that I wasn’t lifting “real weights” and was repeatedly told that my plan wouldn’t work.
Since I have my own special key to the gym that allows me to go at any time, I decided to start lifting in the afternoons. I didn’t have to deal with any criticism and I figured that lifting at 1pm would be a nice way to break up my day. It ended up being an awesome decision. I had the gym to myself and was able to workout the way I wanted. Going during the day also allowed me to have more energy since I wasn’t burnt out from a full day of work.
Lastly, I decided to stop using any supplements like protein powder. Instead I started eating stuff like cottage cheese and burger patties. For breakfast this morning I had kale salad with an orange juiced on top of it, picnic roast which is like ham, and a glass of carrot juice. Aside from saving money, protein powder was costing me an extra $100 a month while cottage cheese costs $40 and gives me the same amount of protein, I also lost my bloated look.
By actually working my muscles and eating right I look better than I did when I tried to imitate the professionals. While I did lose a some weight, the last time I weighed myself I was about 177 pounds, I actually look bigger and more defined. My arms look more muscular, my legs are better defined, and I have my six-pack back.
*Side note: I’m the only member of my gym to actually lift for a full year simply because I’ve avoided any injuries. Also most of the big lifters aren’t ripped or even in very good shape.