All posts by thegymbuff

How to make eating healthy FUN!


Hello readers,

I hope everyone’s resolutions are holding up well thus far, no matter what they are. Personally, I’ve only lost three pounds since the new year started, but even slow progress is still progress. As the first half of January gets further in the rear view mirror, remember your goals and stick to them; consistency is key, which begs the question: how can I make eating healthy FUN?

The answer to the questions has many forms, but the main ways I try to make eating healthy fun are 1) switch it up and 2) CHEAT MEALS.

Firstly, eating “healthy” can be a drag if all you know how to make is the classic chicken and rice meal (I personally love to eat chicken and rice); the trick to making it fun is by expanding your menu, if you are not one of the people who can live on the formerly mentioned meal. If you food prep to save time during the week, make every week a different theme: mexican food, Italian, vegetarian…etc. Although most of the mentioned foods have a rep for being carb-cities, there are still ways to modify it. Make your own noodles/tortillas/shells out of vegetables, instead of beef, eat chicken or fish, instead of dressing, try using more seasoning for more flavor. Play with the food you eat and try to make something new; or slightly modify foods from the “Tasty” or “CookingPanda” channels.

Furthermore are the things that keep a lot of people on their fit train throughout the week: cheat meals! Look, unless you are a competitive bodybuilder or elite athlete, chances are that you don’t NEED to eat “clean” 100% of the time. It all depends on your goals; if you don’t mind slow progressions to your goal, don’t be afraid to indulge yourself a little every now and then; don’t be afraid to take a cupcake or two or three, don’t be afraid to go out with friends and live a little at fast food restaurants. Life is short, and to waste  precious time being tedious about the food you eat is absurd; barring health issues or competitions for athletes, there are few reasons to reject your family or friends from enjoying your company. The table is where majority of relationships are made and built. And the reason I say “reject” is because for a large MAJORITY of people, going out with people to restaurants is an almost absolute certainty that some sort of unhealthy food will be eaten and result in a snowball effect on the rest of the night.

If you are someone who wants fast progress towards your goal, set a cheat meal schedule and stick to it; aside from changing your meals throughout the week, knowing that your favorite food is waiting for you at the end of the work week will keep you focused and committed. Just remember to schedule your cheat meal for the evening, so that you can keep track of your eating all day and save most of your calories for the evening; I find that whenever I eat a cheat meal in the morning, the effects ripple into the rest of the day, and my cheat meal turns into a cheat DAY.


Thank you for reading fitties; remember to comment below and subscribe to the page. Share share share! Have a great week and stay strong with your resolutions!

Getting Motivated and Staying Motivated

Hello readers, as the first few days of the new year pass by, we need to keep in mind that there is only one muscle that truly matters: our mind. It’s disappointing to see many people quit on their goals within a week or two of setting them because of a loss of motivation; what started off as a promising journey for many, finishes as a crash and burn derailment. It is critical to remember to find ways to keep yourself motivated throughout the days, weeks, and months, because fitness, no matter your body composition, is supposed to be a life-long adventure. Here is how to keep yourself motivated:

  1. Write down your goal: Anything you say or think is only a wish until you write it down. Once your vision is written down somewhere where you can always see it (bathroom mirror, refrigerator, front door, screensaver!), it is a goal. All time greats have said to have written down their goals and used that as a reminder of where they wanted to be; it motivated them to continue grinding when the going go tough; these people include Emmitt Smith, Muhammad Ali, Michael Phelps, Ronda Rousey, Dan Gable, and Kyle Dake. Although they had different methods of training and competed in various sports, they all had one thing in common: they wrote their goals down. I write my goals down and it has personally never let me down; I still hit goal weights, PR’s, work goals, and win jiujitsu tournaments that I have marked down on my whiteboard calendar in my kitchen!

2.  Do what you LOVE: Look, no one wants to do something they loathe. If running is something you detest, don’t commit to waking up at 4-5 A.M. to run; it might be healthy for your body, but if it is making you hate your day, don’t do it. This type of behavior will only make you hate your fitness regime and convince you to give it up. Try finding a physical hobby you love doing; for example, swimming, walking, jiujitsu, lifting weights, plyometrics, rockclimbing, dancing, tennis, golf, and even carpentry can be considered aerobic exercise. There are more than way to lose weight; it doesn’t have to be solely with the treadmill. If none of what you do appeals to you, KEEP LOOKING. There is something out there for everyone, you just have to find yours.

3. Watch youtube videos: I know when I feel like not doing anything, it helps if I watch a motivational video on youtube. My mood will go from lethargic to one of eagerness. I find that after watching the videos that are compilations of inspirational scenes from classic movies like Rocky, I want to do nothing more than tying up my shoes and going to the gym. There are tons of channels on youtube devoted to workout out; whether it is a vlogger like Connor Murphy or Elliot Hulse, weight loss journeys such as Fit2Fat2Fit or Overweight2Great, there is always something for someone to get hooked on.

4. Ignore the Haters: You can’t please everyone in life; there is always going to be someone who thinks you aren’t making the right choices or try and make you feel inferior to them. Although it is difficult to ignore 100% of everyone who fits into this, try and focus on the people who support you and your ambitions. This isn’t only exclusive to fitness, but in life.  Let your support system be your pillar of strength; they are the people who should have your focus and energy, not the ones who want to bring you down. There is nothing wrong with cutting out the people in your life who bring you no positivity. Don’t be afraid to delete them from your life or ignore them; doors close in life so that others may open.

5. Fear Not Failure: I firmly believe in one of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s rules of success, “Don’t be afraid to fail.” It’s a simple fact, growth doesn’t occur in your comfort zone. Now, there is nothing wrong with being in your comfort zone, but if you want to grow as a person (physically and mentally), you have to reach out of it. Try and hit those PR’s in the gym, track, pool, or wherever you choose to workout; break through your ceiling and be the best you can be. By taking risks and putting ourselves in a place of vulnerability, we see how strong we really are; we see exactly how far we can go. So don’t be afraid to push the boundaries; test yourself and see what you are really made of. The sky is not the limit; shoot for the moon; if you miss, you will land among the stars.


Thanks for reading everyone, comment and subscribe. Don’t forget to share share share! Have a great day! Believe in yourselves. Keep the resolutions going!


“New Year, New Me!” It’s never too late to start.

Hello readers, welcome back and Happy New Year! Today’s post will be relatively brief, but hopefully insightful. With that being said, let’s get buffed out!

With the beginning of the new yearn people will set out to achieve one of the most cliché goals known to society: to lose weight. Over time, I have noticed that there seems to be a very negative stigma with regards to New Year resolutioners who aspire to lose weight. Whether it is memes depicting the emptiness of gyms after a couple of weeks post-new year’s day or blatant ridiculing of these goal-setters, people can’t seem to be positive towards them. Whether you have been one of the few who yell “Shame! Shame!” at the resolutioners is irrelevant (I know I have); now is the time to make a change and help those tip toeing into the waters of fitness.

The truth is that estimates that only about 8% of people who resolve to lose weight will have success after 2 months of setting their goal. With that alarming statistic in mind, it is important to remember that we should remain positive with the people who do choose to chase this goal. Remember, out of the next 100 people you see, only 8 of them will be able to succeed. These rare 8% represent the population who are able to overcome the mental obstacles thrown by us; it is not them who needs our encouragement and support, it is the remaining 92%. Although people are largely responsible for their own success and failures, a strong support system goes a long way. Remain positive and aid those who you need it; give tips on workouts, techniques, food choices, and motivation.

For those of you who resolved to lose x amount of weight this year, eat healthier, get fitter, or commit to a new workout regime, awesome! Keep up your can-do attitude and your “New Year, New Me” motto! Although the phrase is overused and very cliché, it is never too late to start a new journey. There is nothing wrong with your beginning on January 1st, 2017. There will be days where you fail or feel like calling t quits while saying “2018 will be my year!”, but consistency is key. What you have chosen to do is something that you need to chip at, little by little. The best things in life are not free, they require work and sacrifice, and the best things in life do not come easy. Stick to your goal, and you will be able to achieve it. Good luck! Happy New Year #FitFam!


5 Benefits of Having A Workout Partner

Hello readers! Let’s get buffed out! With the Christmas holiday coming to a closing and the New Year about to begin, I would like to discuss with you why working out with a partner would benefit you. This would definitely become relevant when deciding to commit to your Fitness Resolution with a friend or relative. Some of you may prefer to workout solo, keeping the focus and intensity at a level that you want (which is perfectly reasonable), but for others, working out with a partner is almost a necessity. With that being said, here are some reasons to workout with a buddy.

  1. EXTRA MOTIVATION/ACCOUNTABILITY: As previously stated, some prefer to workout alone, but for a large amount of people, that is simply not an option. For those who need that extra push or vote of confidence, this will come in abundance when you have a good workout partner. They will be the ones telling you “one more rep!” as you are beginning to feel like racking the weight and calling it a set or “one more lap” as your run at the track is coming to a finish. They will be the ones who compliment you the most on your progress and help you see the small changes that your mind will not allow you to. They will be the ones who help you break through your ceiling.  Also, having a gym buddy will mean that you MUST meet your friend at the gym at the agreed time (morning or afternoon) otherwise, that would make you the friend who stands people up. This accountability will be what drives you to stay focused on making it to workouts and maintaining discipline with your eating, because to have a good partner, you also need to BE a good workout partner.

2. SPOT ME BRO!: Of course, when we are pushing ourselves (particularly with weightlifting) it is best to have a reliable spotter. With a partner, you will no longer have to worry about not completing that extra rep that you feel would be a significant challenge at the end of your set. Your partner will be there to aid you if your muscles begin to exhaust mid-rep. You will also be able to return the favor. By spotting each other, you and your partner will be able to tear those muscle fibers even more by completing those few force-reps. “The difference between being good and great is one more rep!”

3. GAP IN KNOWLEDGE: If you happen to be a beginner in your workout of choice, having someone who has experience accompany you will be invaluable as you progress towards your goals. If your partner is knowledgeable, they will be able to give you tips on improving technique, maximizing workouts for muscle growth and conditioning, and how to use alternative workouts to utilize the same muscle groups. Although this type of knowledge can be gained on your own (via youtube), the feedback and input from a “coach”, so to speak, is something that you can’t put a price on. For example, when I first began lifting in 7th grade, the only exercise I knew (from watching workout scenes in movies) were the bench press and isolated dumbbell curl, albeit my technique was sloppy. Through the help of my workout partner (family member), who was a senior in HS, I was able to learn new techniques and workout routines for when I was alone.

4. PARALLEL LEVEL OF FITNESS: Having a workout partner whose knowledge and fitness level mirror your own, will give you someone to grow and compare yourself with. Whether it is you and your partner’s first day on the grind, or your one-thousandth the comparison will always be able to be mad. The mirrored fitness level will also make it easy to push each other’s limits in a friendly competition, if you are the competitive type. This type of competition makes use that extra gear during and at the end of a workout, because no one wants to be the “loser”.

5. “COUPLES THAT WORKOUT TOGETHER, STAY TOGETHER”: The old adage may not be scientifically proven, but it can be assumed that by working out together, people in relationships can strengthen not only their bodies, but also their relationship. If you choose to have your SO be your workout partner, you will know that your support system at home will be rock solid. Your foundation will be strong; with both of you on the same page and chasing your own respective fitness goals together, the only thing stopping you from achieving them is yourselves.

So there you have it; 5 reasons to workout with a partner! I hope everyone’s Christmas holiday went amazingly. Comment what you think of the post, other reasons to workout with a partner, and don’t forget to share! Share! Share! Share! Thanks for reading and have a great day!


How to make working out FUN!

MERRY CHRISTMAS #FitFam! Let’s get buffed out!

I’ve heard many people say that they would love to begin living a lifestyle of wellness and health to chase down the ever-elusive six-pack, but ultimately don’t because of their hate for physical activity. By focusing on what they hate, they neglect the most important part of anything that we do: the fun part. You see, keeping the “I hate exercise” thought in our head while working out is counter-productive; personally, I have always loved working out, but only committed to it when I enjoyed what I was doing. I quit sport after sport throughout early childhood. It wasn’t until I found wrestling, weightlifting, and jiujitsu that I found my niche. Now there is nowhere else I’d rather be! With that being said, here are a few ways to make working out fun:

  1. WORKOUT WITH A PARTNER: If you hate working out, doing it alone is definitely not going to do you any favors. It’s like getting a tattoo or going out to eat; it’s always better to have someone there with you. Your workout partner (friend) will keep a conversation going with you, make jokes, and hopefully push you to do better, making the endeavor fly by without you noticing a single drop of sweat being dropped.
  2. FIND SOMETHING YOU LOVE TO DO: It is the spirit of competition that  I love, and the accountability that I have to hold myself to; I love the fact that success came to the personal effort put in by me. Now, I’m not saying that everyone should join wrestling (although that’s what I think), but the same concept can be applied to everyone. Find a sport or physical hobby you like, whether it’s walking your dog, biking, golf (without a cart), swimming, or even my personal favorite: jiu-jitsu! You will only do something long-term if you enjoy doing it.
  3. HAVE A GREAT PLAYLIST: In case you didn’t get the memo, music enhances anyone’s mood during a workout. Whether you perform better angry, happy, or energized, there is always music that will fuel your inner flame. Just put on your headphones and let your inner flame burn baby burn!!
  4. MAKE IT A GAME: My workout partner and I occasionally use workout dice to switch up our routine; if you have the extra cash laying around, you should invest in some. They change up your workout and make you feel anxious as you are thinking of what the die will issue out to you. If that isn’t enough risk for you, make BETS with your partner or with yourself. I know that when I bet a free trip to the sushi-buffet that I can do more reps than he or run a little longer than him, it definitely makes me WANT to do it.

Merry Christmas readers! Don’t forget to start making some New YEAR’S resolutions! Make at least 5 so that you have a chance to complete at least 1! Resolutions post is coming soon!

Back to Back problems! Working out with a bad back.

Back Pain

Hello readers! Let’s get buffed out!

First and foremost, I am not a personal trainer, doctor, or chiropractor, nor have I ever claimed to be one; I am only a workout and nutrition enthusiast who loves to share ideas and information pulled from experiences and articles/books. Please take my perspective on this matter with a grain of salt and consult with your physician before pushing your body in an unsafe manner.

We have all heard people say something along the lines of, “I can’t workout. I have a bad back.” Not to take anything away from these people; they may very well have serious back issues that prevent them from committing to physical exercise, but I have learned that when there is a will, there is a way. The fact is that there is always a way to work AROUND any kind of injury. There is always an alternative to exercises that cause discomfort to someone who has these types of issues. So, good news! If you are someone who struggles with chronic back pain or other back issues, here are some tips to working through it.

  1. WORKOUT IN A POOL: If you’re someone who enjoys being in the water, awesome! Being in a pool decreases the pressure that you put on your joints, especially on your back, since you are floating and not putting the full weight of your body on your spine. By signing up for a water aerobics class or going to the local rec pool and completing a good swimming workout, you’ll still be building muscle, increasing your lung capacity, and burning a TON of calories.
  2.  USE LIFTING MACHINES: If you are an avid lifter who just doesn’t want to put the weights down to give your back a rest, try to keep your workouts exclusive to the machines. Although they aren’t as fun as free weights, sitting machines allow you to isolate muscle groups without forcing your core to keep proper posture throughout the workout. Sure, many people loves the deadlift, powerclean, bench press, and back squat, but when you have back issues, utilizing these lifts in your workout is not very beneficial, especially if you are lacking in the proper technique. Again, stick to the machines, and your back should be free from pain.
  3. SPINNING!: Personally, I don’t like spinning classes; to me they are boring, monotonous, and kind of uncomfortable (looking at you tiny seats!), but some people love spinning, and more power to them! Spinning allows you to get the biking experience without putting your body in harms way on trails or the roads, where potholes and such would cause your back discs to shift suddenly. Instead, stationary biking keeps you in one safe location with a (hopefully) certified instructor. As long as you keep correct posture on the bike and take breaks when needed, you should be able to do this without any hiccups.
  4. CARDIO MACHINE!: For all you cardio bunnies out there with back issues, running on pavements, grass, and even treadmills puts much unnecessary pressure on your spine, so does jumping rope and aerobics! Instead of doing something that requires you to “bounce”, use stationary machines such as the elliptical, stair-master, or Jacob’s ladder (if it’s available). These machines allow you to get that aerobic exercise that you love so dearly, without the risks of further ruining your back!
  5. BASIC YOGA: Because of the stress that more advanced yoga positions can put on one’s back, it is best to stick with basic yoga positions such as the mountain pose, warrior, child’s pose, triangle pose, half-moon, and legs-up-the-wall! As you strengthen your back, you could consult with your physician and (hopefully) certified yoga instructor about attempting more advanced poses!

Thanks for reading everyone! Please remember to share and comment on anything you would like to know or see in the future.

5 Reasons to workout in the AM!



Hello Readers! Let’s get buffed out!

Today let us ponder 5 significant reasons to consider moving our workout sessions to the early morning! Although many of us may already have a set schedule, trying new things never hurt anyone.

  1. YOU GET IT OUT OF THE WAY: Although many fitness  enthusiasts enjoy working out in the evening to relieve stress after a long day of work or school, not everyone has the guaranteed time to workout in the evening. Whether it’s unscheduled family gatherings that you’re invited to, staying late for work, or catching up with some Grey’s Anatomy/Supernatural, there is always something that seems to get in the way of your exercise regime. Working out in the AM ensures that your workout of the day is finished and anything else to do during the day won’t be such a burden.
  2. IT ENERGIZES YOU: Say goodbye to morning blues! Working out in the morning jumpstarts your day with some activity, and you don’t show up to work sluggish, still dog-tired from just waking up less than an hour ago. Waking up an hour or two earlier may seem like a drag, but after lugging yourself out of bed and taking the first few steps into your workout (run, gym, etc.), you instantly feel more energetic and ready to go!
  3. YOUR MOOD WILL INCREASE: We’ve all heard the old expression “working out releases endorphins…” Well, the fact is that this it is true. Endorphins, the feel good hormone in the brain, are released when you put your body through a workout; therefore, every time you workout promptly after waking up, you are setting yourself up for a pleasant day. Would you rather go to work as the same Mr./Ms. Grumpy, or be the life of the office, the person who exclaims “Good morning!” with a smile?   Like Elle Woods in Legally Blonde says, “exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy, and happy people just don’t shoot their husbands!”
  4. LESS PEOPLE STEALING YOUR SPACE: Have you ever walked into a gym/track/park ready to bust out some sets, but someone is taking up the equipment/lane you need? Well, by working out in the morning, you will be able to bypass all of these gym hogs and get first dibs on all of the things you want. Sure, sharing is caring but when time is limited after work, because you have to get home to your family, pets, take-home work, or SO, there isn’t time to halt your workout to wait for other people. You COULD interchange alternate exercises, but why do that when you can just wake up a little earlier and use whatever you want?
  5. ONE MORE REASON TO EAT HEALTHY: Who wants to ruin a good thing? Hopefully, not you! By working out in the morning, you will already have a healthy start to your day; you will have that thought in your mind as you open your refrigerator to grab some breakfast. Instead of grabbing a bagel with cream cheese, your conscience will implore you to heat up some oatmeal instead… maybe throw some fruit in the mix for that sweet flavor! This behavior will definitely carry on in the afternoon, since you won’t want to ruin your health streak of the day.

Start your day off correctly! Workout in the AM and enjoy the grind; take solace in the fact that you are doing what many won’t. The only person stopping you from being great is YOU!

Thanks for reading everyone! Comment, share, and let me know what other reasons there are that you thought should have made the cut. There could be a part two!