Achieving Your Fitness Body: Exercise and Nutrition Tips to Get Your Dream Body and Actually Enjoy Doing It

Want to get the body you have always dreamed of? Being that skinny guy is no fun when you want to have a ripped physique

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Achieving Your Fitness Body: Exercise and Nutrition Tips to Get Your Dream Body and Actually Enjoy Doing It

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  • Achieving Your Fitness Body, Exercise and Nutrition Tips

Table of contents :
Chapter 1: A Balanced Lifestyle Is Key
The Four Areas of Your Life That Contribute to Balance in Fitness
Tips to Keep the Balance
Chapter 2: Getting the Right Nutrients
The Same Diet Won’t Work for Everyone
Protein Is Key to Weight Loss and Muscle Gain
Listening to Your Body
Building Your Ideal Diet
Tips to Stick To Your Healthy Eating Plan
Chapter 3: Start Exercising, but Make It Fun
Choose an Exercise You Actually Enjoy Doing
How to Make Your Workouts Enjoyable
Chapter 4: The Right Support System Is the Secret Ingredient
The Importance of a Support System
How to Build a Support System
Markers of People You Want in Your Support System
Chapter 5: Calisthenics—the Ultimate Workout
What Is Calisthenics?
The Benefits of Calisthenics
A Sample Calisthenics Workout

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Book Description Want to get the body you have always dreamed of? Being that skinny guy is no fun when you want to have a ripped physique. I have been there and have actually achieved it. If I can do it, so can you. All you need is the right direction and the right tools to get you going. That is what is going to be provided in this book. I want to teach you all the tips and tricks you will ever need to build your dream body and maintain it for the long term. This is not a diet book or a book on the perfect workout. This is a book on building a lifestyle that will facilitate you getting the muscular physique you have always wanted. There is more than one area that needs to be considered when it comes to working on improving your body. If you are able to find balance and pay attention to all the key areas, you will be able to do it. That information and much more are all in these pages.

Achieving Your Fitness Body Exercise and Nutrition Tips to Get Your Dream Body and Actually Enjoy Doing It

Dennis Reece Gutierrez

© Copyright 2021 - All rights reserved. The content contained within this book may not be reproduced, duplicated or transmitted without direct written permission from the author or the publisher. Under no circumstances will any blame or legal responsibility be held against the publisher, or author, for any damages, reparation, or monetary loss due to the information contained within this book, either directly or indirectly. Legal Notice: This book is copyright protected. It is only for personal use. You cannot amend, distribute, sell, use, quote or paraphrase any part, or the content within this book, without the consent of the author or publisher. Disclaimer Notice: Please note the information contained within this document is for educational and entertainment purposes only. All effort has been executed to present accurate, up to date, reliable, complete information. No warranties of any kind are declared or implied. Readers acknowledge that the author is not engaged in the rendering of legal, financial, medical or professional advice. The content within this book has been derived from various sources. Please consult a licensed professional before attempting any techniques outlined in this book. By reading this document, the reader agrees that under no circumstances is the author responsible for any losses, direct or indirect, that are incurred as a result of the use of the information contained within this document, including, but not limited to, errors, omissions, or inaccuracies.

Table of Contents Introduction Chapter 1: A Balanced Lifestyle Is Key The Four Areas of Your Life That Contribute to Balance in Fitness Tips to Keep the Balance Chapter 2: Getting the Right Nutrients The Same Diet Won’t Work for Everyone Protein Is Key to Weight Loss and Muscle Gain Listening to Your Body Building Your Ideal Diet Tips to Stick To Your Healthy Eating Plan Chapter 3: Start Exercising, but Make It Fun Choose an Exercise You Actually Enjoy Doing How to Make Your Workouts Enjoyable Chapter 4: The Right Support System Is the Secret Ingredient The Importance of a Support System How to Build a Support System Markers of People You Want in Your Support System Chapter 5: Calisthenics—the Ultimate Workout What Is Calisthenics? The Benefits of Calisthenics A Sample Calisthenics Workout Conclusion References

Introduction I was that skinny kid—the one in school that was always trying to put on a bit of muscle but never seemed to get anywhere. My actual fitness journey started when I was 15. That is when I started hitting the gym with my cousin Angel. I wished I was the kid that could go to the gym for a few weeks and suddenly start putting on muscle. Everyone seemed to be much bigger than me and that can be demotivating. At some point, I even believed that it would be nearly impossible to ever reach my dream body. I know it sounds a bit dramatic, but what 15-year-old isn’t? One thing that I am proud of myself for is never giving up on my dream. I put a lot of work in and tried many strategies before hitting my stride. I can barely believe that I was that skinny kid when I look at myself in the mirror now. If you don’t believe how much of a transformation I made, just take a look at this picture.

It is quite a transformation and something that I am quite proud of. Now, I get asked all the time how I managed to get to this point. People are often looking for a magic formula or a perfect workout regimen. Something that I have learned along the way is that there is no perfect, step-by-step process. I hit many roadblocks because I kept trying to follow someone else’s guide to bulking up. Now I know that someone else’s blueprint could never help me build my body. Every person is different and that means that there will need to be a variation in the way you do things and the way I do. The fundamentals should always

be the same, but the way you implement them can be different. I know now that fitness is a lifestyle. It is something that you will always be working toward and building on. I am very happy with my body and I was able to reach all of my goals, but that doesn’t mean that I have to stop here. Building your dream body is a 24/7 thing. It is not something that you can do a few times a week and go back to your old lifestyle the rest of the time. It takes commitment, but when you make it into a lifestyle, you will wonder how you ever did it any other way. This book is not written to give you the perfect diet and the perfect workout plan. It is designed to give you the proper tools you need to make fitness a lifestyle so that you can build your dream body. The problem with a step-bystep plan is that life is unpredictable, and things change. Sometimes, you can’t follow a marked-out path, and you have to be able to adapt. The only way you can correctly do this is if you understand the fundamentals. In my case, I never really followed a set diet, as those things never seemed to work out for me. I know there are many others out there who are the same. Instead, I learned to listen to my body and give it what it needed. First, I understood nutrition and then I was able to make smart choices when it was time to eat, but I never followed a set plan. Even my exercise journey was not an exact plan. I found something I loved doing, and I stuck with it until I started seeing results. I loved the gym, and I used to go all the time, but then life got in the way of how I trained. When COVID-19 hit, there were no more gyms. If I was following an exact workout plan, I would have not known what to do, but because I understood my body and knew how important exercise was, I was able to make a plan. I didn’t lose any muscle mass while we were all stuck at home during the pandemic. I was able to maintain the muscle mass I had gained from the gym, plus work on my strength and other skills. I did this with the help of calisthenics, which we will be talking about later on in the book. Everything I have put into this book has come from my personal experiences and those of others that have gone through similar journeys. I know the journey to a dream body is not one that I have taken alone. There are many people who aim to get the same results that I archived. Through all my experience, mistakes, and triumphs, I have learned a lot and want to share that with you. Being unhappy with your body is something that I truly

resonate with, but I also know how it feels on the other side. The freedom and confidence you experience when you are proud of your body is something that is unmatched. If I could do it, then so can you. If you have ever felt unhappy with your body, then it is time to make a change. It is not a goal that is too far off or a dream that can never become a reality. Achieving your fitness body is something that is attainable if you are willing to put in the work to get there. I am not going to lie to you and say that it was a walk in the park, but it definitely is achievable. Throughout this book, you will learn many key skills that will help you to get the body of your dreams. I will touch on achieving balance, nutrition, exercise, and having a support system for success. These are all key areas that work together to get you the body of your dreams. Too many people only focus on what they do at the gym and do not consider the other aspects of developing a fitness lifestyle. Sure, going hard at the gym will get you some sort of results, but they won’t be long lasting or sustainable. Now that you know my story and what to expect throughout these pages, I think it is time to dive in. Be ready to learn the tips and tricks to getting and maintaining your dream body.

Chapter 1: A Balanced Lifestyle Is Key

There are a lot of people that jump into a fitness journey and just go all in.

They also only focus on one area of fitness and give their all to that. It might seem like a great plan at the beginning, but soon, they all burn out and give up on their fitness journeys because they don’t see any long-term results. This is why finding balance is so important. I have always strived to create balance in the way I do things. This allowed me to make progress but enjoy the journey. Going all in can only last a short time because the motivation runs out as time passes. If you do not have balance, you cannot enjoy what you are doing. Humans have many needs, and each one needs to be met in order to be happy and successful.

The Four Areas of Your Life That Contribute to Balance in Fitness There are many areas in life that will contribute to a balanced lifestyle. I will just be focusing on the aspects that lead to fitness balance. Understanding these aspects will help you to develop a balanced fitness lifestyle of your own. This is what will be sustainable for the long term.

What You Eat The first aspect of balance is your nutrition, which comprises the food you eat. When people think about getting their dream body, they focus solely on what they do at the gym. Exercise is extremely important, but if you do not eat the right foods, then you will be fighting a losing battle. No matter how good your workouts are, you cannot undo a bad diet. If you want to see progress, then you will need to eat the right foods. Not every diet will work for everyone—it also depends on your goals. We will go more into detail about this in a later chapter, but for now, you should know the basics. The first thing you need to do when you are on a fitness journey is look at the foods you are eating. If there are a lot of highly processed foods, they need to go. These foods do not offer the nutrients your body needs to get stronger and fitter. You should replace all of this with whole foods that are packed with the nutrients your body needs. You do not

need to be on a specific diet in order to lose weight or gain muscle, but you do have to make smart food choices to accelerate your results.

Exercise Exercise is how you tone your body and get it to look the way you want it to. Many people focus on trying to find the perfect exercise routine so that they can get their dream body. There is no magic formula. Instead of trying to crack the code to work out for your dream body, first find something that you actually enjoy doing. If you do not enjoy your workouts, there is no way you will stick with it. Any exercise will have benefits, so start by just doing something. One of the worst things you can do is to go all in with your workouts and make them so long and intense that you cannot keep up with it long term. Instead, try and ease yourself into it in a way that is suitable. If you can only do 15 minutes for now, then that is what you should do. The goal is to eventually build onto this and get better over time. At the beginning of your journey, you just need to focus on starting and being consistent. Balance is all about doing what you can and not trying to do the most just because it looks like what everyone else is doing.

The Social Aspect When people are on a fitness journey, they do not consider the social aspect of it. Who we surround ourselves with will play a big part in how far we go. If you have the wrong circle around you, they will end up demotivating you and might lead you into bad habits. If you have the right people around you, they will push you to be better and keep going. Having the right support system was a big game changer for me. My family and girlfriend were there for me every single step of the way. When I needed an extra push, they were there to give it to me. I shared my goals with them, and they kept me accountable to those goals so that I could achieve them. They also did their best to support me in any way they could. If I didn’t have this support system, I don’t think I would have achieved my dream body. If you do not have those kinds of people around you for support then I would

highly suggest you find some. Not all of your friends will understand why you are pushing hard to achieve these goals. This does not make them bad people; it just means you won't be able to rely on them in that area. It also means that you have to make an extra effort to find people that you can count on and who will push you. The best places to find a good support circle will be in places where people who have these goals hang out. You could consider joining a club or class and see if you can make connections this way. You could also join social media groups and see if you can connect with others in this way. Let me be very clear here: I am not saying that you need to cut out all of your friends and get new ones. We can have friends for different areas in our lives. However, if your friends and family are causing you to constantly fail at your healthy eating plan or your workout regimen then you need to be very firm with them or try and spend less time with them until you have developed a stronger willpower. When you first start out, you will not have a strong willpower because it is something that needs to be built up. This is why you should surround yourself with the right people right at the start. You don’t want to keep slipping up at the beginning because this can be very demotivating and might cause you to give up prematurely. Once you find your circle, you will see that your journey will go a lot more smoothly.


This is an overlooked part of a fitness journey, but it is so important. It will be the difference between you seeing sustainable progress and burning out. Rest is not a popular topic because it is not something that actually makes you feel like you are making progress. However, the rest phase is when your muscles recover from a workout and build themselves up. If you do not take regular rest days, you will end up stunting your progress. Apart from resting from exercise, you also need to take time to rest and relax in general. You cannot be constantly going at full speed. Your body and mind need to have a break every now and then. You will feel much more capable for your workouts and much more motivated to make healthier choices if you have had a good amount of rest.

Tips to Keep the Balance Having a balanced lifestyle is not something that comes naturally. Many people find it really difficult to find balance, but it is definitely not impossible. If you take the right steps, you will be able to lead a balanced

lifestyle, and it will be much easier to reach your goals. I would suggest choosing one or two of the tips below and implementing them. Don’t try and do them all because that might overwhelm you. Rather, take it slow and implement them one at a time. Not all of these tips will work for every person, but I wanted to give a variety to cater to as many people as possible. Try out one or two, and if they don’t work, you can move to the next one. Eventually you, will find your rhythm and what works for you.

Create a Schedule Daily schedules can be a big game changer for those that are trying to fit multiple things into their day. Most of us go through the day and just do whatever is right in front of us. As soon as the day draws to a close, we will remember all of the things that we were supposed to get done but forgot about. At this point, it is too late, and we are too tired to do what we wanted in the first place. Making a schedule for the day solves this problem. Writing down everything you need to get done or remember is going to give you a clear picture of the day ahead. You know what is a priority so you can make sure that gets done and all the other things that pop up won’t distract you. Scheduling out your tasks also makes it feel like a commitment. You are less likely to skip something if you feel like you have made a commitment to it. If you say that you are going to go to work out from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. and you write it down, you will be more likely to wake up and get it done. If you just say that you just tell yourself that you want to work out in the morning, there is no structure and no commitment. If you wake up late, you will not have the time to work out so you will just end up skipping it. This is why adding a set time to your schedule is so important. It is all about being committed to making the right changes. Workouts are not the only things you can add to your schedule. It is actually better to schedule out your entire day so that you know how much time you have allocated to each thing. There should be time for work, exercise, eating, relaxing, and doing something you enjoy doing. When everything has a time and a place, you will be less likely to let things spill over. You will also be able to finish what you need to in the time you have set for yourself.

Do Something You Enjoy Each Day Balance results in you enjoying your day and your fitness journey. If you do not enjoy it, then you will not stick to it. This is why you must make it a priority to do something you enjoy each day. Some people do not like to eat healthy, and others do not like to work out, but if you want to lose weight or build muscle, these are the two most crucial steps. However, this does not mean that the whole journey has to be a miserable one. Choose to do something that you really enjoy doing each day and use that as a reward for doing the things that might not be as pleasant. If you really like to watch movies then make that into a reward for a job well done. If you are able to eat healthy and you get your workout in, then you can reward yourself with a good movie at the end of the day. This will motivate you to do the harder things and will make it enjoyable. Creating rewards for yourself is one of the most effective things you can do to keep motivated. It will help you have a short-term goal and work to get it. The end goal of this fitness journey is to have the body you have always dreamed of, but this is not going to happen overnight. This is a long-term goal, and when goals can only be reached over time, it can be difficult to stick to the plan. This is why creating short-term goals and rewards will help you to stay on track. It will help you to feel like you are getting somewhere, and you will feel good when you get the reward and do something you really like doing.

Know When Your Energy Peaks and Dips When you are planning out your day and your tasks, you must have your energy levels in mind. This is not a trick that many people know but it is one that will help you achieve balance. Throughout the day, we have energy peaks and dips. This means that our energy levels are never a constant thing. When our energy levels are low, it becomes difficult to motivate ourselves, and when our energy is high, it is much easier to get ourselves to do the hard things. For most people, their energy is highest in the morning. In the first few hours of the day, you will be full of energy. As the day wears on, your energy will

start to dip. This is known as the afternoon slump. You may have never noticed this before, but take a look at your energy levels after lunch, and you will see that there is a big dip. Most people feel pretty sluggish at this point, and it becomes difficult to concentrate and be as productive as possible. This is why many people choose to do their easy tasks in the afternoon and the harder ones in the morning. Toward the late afternoon, energy picks up a little. It is not as much as the morning but it is definitely better than what you would have had in the afternoon. For each person, this might be a little bit different, but for the most part, our energy levels work like this. That is why it is always better to do the hard things when your energy is at its highest. It is easier to motivate yourself when you are feeling good and your energy is high. For most people, the best time to work out will be in the morning. Not only do you have more energy in the morning but exercise will give you a boost. This will be carried out throughout the day. The second best time to work out would be in the late afternoon or evening. However, it is important to not exercise too late, as exercise does give you a bit of an energy boost, and this can make it much harder to sleep at night. Some people also prefer to work out in the afternoon when their energy is low to give themselves a boost. However, if you do not like to work out, it will be difficult to get yourself to exercise at this point. The bottom line is that you need to find out how to make this work for you. Understanding your energy levels will help you to choose the right times to get certain things done in the day.

Don’t Cancel One Thing to Make Time for Another Most of us would agree that we prioritize certain things over others. It is not that these things actually hold more value, but in the moment, we hold more weight to one thing over another. An example of this would be if you are busy with a project for work, and it is taking longer than you thought it would; you would immediately make finishing it the most important thing. This project could cut into your meal prep time or your workout time. In that moment, the project is the most important thing to you, and you would then cancel the other things in your schedule to get it done. Now, there are times when there will be important things that come up, and this means you will need to cancel other things in your schedule. The

problem comes in when you are doing this all the time. If you are always reshuffling your schedule and skipping on these things that are going to get you the body you really want, then you will never be able to reach your goals. You will also create an off-balance lifestyle. When you put something down on your schedule, you should not move it unless there is an actual emergency. In the above example, the project only seems more important because you are busy with it at the moment. If it is only due in a few days, then you will have the time to do it at a later stage. It is also okay for you to take a break from the project and fulfill your other commitments. If you stop working on the project for an hour and work out, you can always come back to it. It is very important to create time in your schedule for unexpected things. I call this the overflow time. Some things just take longer than you expected, and this is why you cannot fill up every single minute of your schedule. This overflow time will allow you to have some space to handle things that are taking longer than expected or deal with some unexpected tasks. It will also allow you to keep your important commitments like exercising and preparing healthy meals.

Be Realistic With Your Time and Abilities It is far too easy to get carried away at the beginning of your fitness journey. You might feel that you need to just go all in and work out for hours. Some people also make huge dietary changes like removing carbs completely from their diet or only eating really small meals each day. This approach is unsustainable because you will not be able to keep up the motivation to do this for the long term. Eventually, it will get to be too much, and then, you will end up quitting. Being realistic about what you can handle is the most important thing. Someone who has a lot of commitments during the day may not be able to carve out an hour each day to hit the gym. Being realistic will allow you to create realistic expectations and make your plan a lot more sustainable. Starting a fitness journey is a long-term commitment. You should not go in with the mindset that you are just going to do this for a few months so that you can build up your muscle, and then, you can just go back to your normal

way of living. Fitness is a lifestyle. Even if you are able to get your desired results in a few months, you will still need to maintain that. As soon as you stop working out and stop eating right, you will start taking steps back in your progress, and you do not want to start all the way from the beginning. Understand that you are changing your lifestyle and building one that will allow you to get and keep the body you have always dreamed of. It will also change your mindset from getting quick results to getting sustainable results. It is much better to have a slow journey to your dream body and be able to maintain that body for the long term than just try and get quick results and end up back at square one in a few months. If you are only able to give 20 minutes of your day to exercise, then that's where you should start. You will be able to build on it eventually. The most important thing is that you start somewhere and make it a habit. Habit building is an important part of creating a sustainable lifestyle. Once you have made a habit of exercising 20 minutes a day, you can add on an extra five minutes and then continue on like this until you have reached your goal amount of exercise. This way, you are working on creating a habit first instead of just jumping in and overwhelming yourself.

Chapter 2: Getting the Right Nutrients

I generally don’t like using the word diet because it sounds so restrictive, and it can lead to you feeling like you won’t be able to eat the foods that you like. However, the word diet does encompass controlled and healthy eating— which is what we are aiming for. When you read the word diet in this book, I don’t want to think of a strict and restricted way of eating. Instead, I want you to think of an eating plan that is going to help you reach all of your health and fitness goals. This chapter is going to be all about developing a diet that is going to work for you. Many people struggle with creating a plan that will give them the results they want. It seems to be a common stumbling block, and I don’t want you to get stuck there. Your body needs to be fueled in the right way so that you have the energy to perform the best in your workouts. The right food will also help you to recover quicker and will help you reach your goals in a shorter time frame.

The Same Diet Won’t Work for Everyone I see so many people just following the next new diet on the market. In the past few years, I have seen so many diets come and go. Many people that I know personally have been on and off all sorts of diets—there’s keto, vegan, carnivore, Mediterranean, intermittent fasting, and a whole lot more. It is no wonder that people are confused about what diet they need to follow in order to see the results they want. Your diet is going to be a significant part of achieving your dream body. If you choose to eat badly, then no amount of exercise will be able to reverse that. They say abs are made in the kitchen, and the opposite is also true: Abs can be ruined in the kitchen. With all that being said, there is no right way to eat. You cannot follow your friend's meal plan and expect to get the exact same results. That is why there are people who succeed at certain diets and others that fail at them. It is not necessarily that the diet is wrong, but it’s that not every person is built to follow it. If you really want to see results, you need to find what works for you. I didn’t follow any specific diet, and that is what worked for me. I was able to listen to my body and give it what it needed. This should be the goal of every person. You need to know your body's needs and meet it there. This is how you will see long-term results. If you just try and follow a diet that you found online, there is a high chance you will end up giving up on it if it doesn’t meet your body's needs. It might be difficult to start recognizing what your body needs, but if you give it time, you will be able to build an eating plan that will work for you. Some people need to be a little stricter, while others can just go with the flow. As we progress through this chapter, I will show you ways to find out what you need and how to build a diet that will be optimal for you.

Protein Is Key to Weight Loss and Muscle Gain

A high-protein diet is very important to metabolic function, weight loss, and muscle gain. Focusing on getting enough protein in your diet will be crucial to reaching any of your body goals regardless of what they are. Lean protein is always best because it has less calories and less fat. Fat is not bad, but it is the most calorie dense of the macronutrients, and that means you should be careful when you are eating it. It is very easy to overdo it on the fat, and even if you have a very intense workout routine, too many calories could set your back. If you have weight to lose and you want to gain muscle, you will need to be at a calorie deficit in order to get rid of the fat. I was very skinny, so I did have room to be a bit more lenient with my diet. However, I did choose to eat the right foods and ate a lot of protein. It is much easier to stay within your calories for the day if you are filled up on protein. You do not necessarily have to calorie count when you are trying to lose weight or build muscle. As long as your diet is one that is filled with healthy, whole foods, you will be able keep your calories under control without obsessing over them. All of our muscles are made out of protein. We need to have ample protein in our bodies to build muscle when we exercise. If you are a skinny guy, like I was, protein will be extremely important in your journey to your dream body. Ample protein in your diet will help you retain the muscle you already have and build new muscle. This is why bodybuilders and strength trainers focus on getting a lot of protein in their diet. If you have some weight to lose, having enough protein in your diet will allow you to lose the weight and retain muscle mass. When we work out, we are putting strain on the muscles. This strain creates little microtears in the muscles. When they repair themselves, the muscle grows in strength and size. In order for the muscle to repair itself, it needs protein since that is what muscles are made from. If there is not enough protein in the body, the muscles will not be able to repair themselves, and that hinders the growth of the muscle. It also leads to a slower recovery time. If you have sore muscles, it will be hard to give it your best at your next workout. Eating a high-protein meal after your workout will help you to recover quicker and be ready for the next workout.

Listening to Your Body

Our bodies are much more intelligent than we give it credit for. The truth is that the body knows what it needs and it does try to communicate this to you. The problem is that we are not always listening to it and this is why we end up making bad food choices. I built up the skill of listening to my body and its hunger cues; it changed the way I ate and actually helped me reach my fitness goals. If you are aware of what your body wants, you will be able to provide it with the right nutrients. This will limit the amount of unnecessary foods you eat, and it will help you to feel satisfied after every meal. The main reason we overeat or eat foods that are not good for us is to fill a craving. Cravings are hard to ignore, but they do come from a place of actual need. If you are craving something sweet, it could mean that your blood sugar is low and your body is asking you to help it out. If you know this, you can make better decisions about the food you give your body. Instead of reaching for a candy bar, you can eat some fruit. It will give your body the energy kick it is asking for, but you will not be eating something that is not good for you. This is the importance of listening to your body. It is so important to fill your diet with healthy foods because the nutrients from these foods are what your body needs to function properly. Processed foods and foods that are filled with saturated fats and sugars do more harm than good. It is hard to just stop at one cookie because the sugar and fat that is in there is slightly addictive, so you just want to keep going back for more. When it comes to healthy foods that are made from natural ingredients, it does not have the same effect. You are able to stop when you are full, and it is easier to control yourself. It is also very important to listen to your body's hunger and fullness cues. Many people just eat out of habit. They eat breakfast at a certain time even when they are not that hungry. It is more of a habit than a response to hunger. The only reason we should be eating is as a response to hunger. Any other reason means that there is another problem that we are trying to fill with food. If we are bored, we eat. If it is a certain time, we eat out of habit or comfort. If someone offers us food, we feel compelled to eat to not be rude. All of these reasons are not because of hunger, and they have to be addressed in a different way. This is also the reason it is so important to be in tune with your body's hunger cues. When you are able to tell when you are really hungry or not, you will be able to pick the right responses.

When you are hungry, you will feel it. Some signals your body sends you are your stomach grumbling, headaches or lightheadedness, shakiness, fatigue, or cloudy thinking. Not everyone experiences hunger in the same way. Even if your stomach doesn't growl, it does not necessarily mean you are not hungry. See if you are experiencing some of the other symptoms of hunger. If you listen to your body, you will be able to pick up when you are truly hungry. This is the time to eat, and you should eat something that is going to satisfy you.

Building Your Ideal Diet Building your own diet is going to be the most sustainable way to go about getting the nutrients you need and still enjoying what you eat. If you are going to be forcing yourself to eat food that you do not like, your healthy eating plan will end up failing. It is also important to note that when you're building your own diet and eating plan, it will take some trial and error. You need to learn what your body likes and what doesn’t agree with you. You will also have to learn what the right amount of food to eat is. It is all about finding the right balance. The first thing you should consider is your needs. If you have preexisting conditions or are at risk for certain illnesses, then you need to take that into consideration. For example, if you have high cholesterol, it may not be a good idea to fill up on fats. You need to take into account allergies and foods that your body doesn’t agree with as well. If you have a sensitivity to gluten, then you won’t be able to have a lot of bread in your diet. Giving your body foods that it doesn’t agree with will not make you feel your best. This will impact your mood, productivity, and your workout capabilities. The next thing you need to consider is your activity levels. Someone who works out intensely five to six times a week will have different needs to someone who does moderate workouts two to three times a week. If you eat too much and don't exercise enough, you will gain weight. If you work out a lot but do not eat enough, you will tire yourself out, and your body will not be able to recover efficiently. As you increase the intensity, frequency, and length of your workouts, you will need to increase the amount of food you eat.

You should also consider the foods that you enjoy eating at those that make you feel good. Some foods just don't agree with everyone. There are some people who can eat a whole tub of yogurt and not feel anything; others will just eat a small amount and feel horrible. If you decide to follow a specific diet, don’t be afraid to tweak certain things. It’s okay to make changes to diets so that they suit you better. Consider the types of fresh foods that are available in your area, what you can afford, and what you enjoy eating. Customizing a diet to your needs and wants will help you stick to it for a long time. It will make dieting more enjoyable, and you won’t feel restricted. The main thing about eating a healthy and balanced diet is to make sure that you add in a lot of fruits, vegetables, and lean protein. These foods are low in calories and will fill you up. The bulk of your meals should contain these things. You will find that you have a lot more energy, and your body will feel better overall. The point of eating is to fuel your body. Foods that are highly nutritious are the right kind of fuel you should be giving your body each day. There is always room for a treat even when you are trying to bulk up. A lot of the foods that we really enjoy eating are those that are not the best for us. Some examples are ice cream, fries, pizza, and soda. These foods are high in calories, saturated fats, and sugar. It is okay to have them once in a while, but make sure they are not a normal part of your diet. These foods have little to no nutritional value. However, you should not cut them out completely. Being too restrictive with your diet will make it hard to stick to. Plan out your treats and make sure that you do not overdo it.

Tips to Stick To Your Healthy Eating Plan If sticking to a healthy eating plan were that easy, everyone would be able to do it with no problems. The reality is that sometimes, we need a little extra help to stay on the right path. What we eat is a really important step in reaching our body goals so we have to make it a priority. If you are struggling, consider using the following tips to help you along the journey.

Keep Healthy Food Accessible

A mistake many different people make when they are on a healthy eating journey is to not have healthy food available to them when they need it. If you do not have healthy food available when you're hungry, you will just eat whatever is quickest. Usually, the food that is available quickly is not the best choice. If you are at work, and you feel like a snack or a meal, the easiest thing would be to get takeout or run to the vending machine to get something. These quick foods are not nutritious and will most likely make you feel sluggish throughout the day. Another scenario would be if you come home from work and you do not have any healthy ingredients to make a meal; the easiest thing to do would be to order in or make an easy meal that does not have a high nutrient profile. Instead, you should make sure that you have snacks and meals available. Pack and keep healthy snacks available at all times. You can leave them in the car, in your desk drawer, or in the office kitchen. Things like fruit, nuts, vegetable sticks, and popcorn are all great options for healthy snacks. Doing grocery shopping once a week and making sure you purchase healthy ingredients will allow you to have things available to make lunches and dinners that are highly nutritious. This should lessen the need to eat out or make unhealthy meals for convenience sake.

Throw Out All the Unhealthy Foods

If you have unhealthy foods around you, you will want to eat them. Most people think that they will be able to resist unhealthy food if they try to, but the truth is, most of us do not have that kind of willpower. If there is a candy bar in the kitchen cupboard, the chances are high that you will grab it. You never know when a craving will strike or even when you will just be bored enough to grab that unhealthy snack. If you see something delicious, you will want to eat it. This is true for most people, so it is nothing to be ashamed of. Instead, a plan must be made to make sure that you are not in the face of temptation. When you resolve to eat healthier, one of the first things you should do is clean out your kitchen. Pull out all the food you have and see what will fit into your new healthy lifestyle or what foods will cause you to stumble. You might be surprised at all the food you have lying around that is not good for you. The choices you make when you are grocery shopping can almost be subconscious. You see things that you think you would like and then just throw it into the cart. That is how you end up with lots of unhealthy food even if you did not plan to buy them. Many of us would have grown up in homes where wasting food was not an option. This is why people struggle to throw food away and to leave food on their plate. This mindset makes it difficult to move forward with healthy eating and portion control. I am not saying that you should just waste your

food all the time, but it is okay to throw out food that is not going to help you. If you keep it, you will be setting yourself back. You don’t have to throw the food in the garbage; rather, give it away or donate it to the less fortunate. There are tons of food banks around, and there might be homeless people you can pass on this food to. The point of this is not to waste—it is to remove anything that is not going to be of benefit to you on your fitness journey. Cleaning out your kitchen also creates a shift in your mind. It is creating a good starting point for your new lifestyle. You will have the space to add in new food that will be better for your body. You can take control of the food you eat and prioritize nutrition. Once you have purged your kitchen, it will be time to go grocery shopping for foods that are going to add nutritional value to your meals. The best way to do this is to make a list of all the things you need from the store. Do not deviate from the list. Grocery stores are set up to make things look attractive. This makes it easy to just pick up items that just look nice. Do not fall into this trap. Sit down and decide what you need, and then just go shopping for that. If you didn’t think about it when you were at home, you probably don’t need to get it right away. A great trick to make sure that you do not buy anything unnecessary from the store is to eat before you go shopping. If you go grocery shopping when you are hungry, you will just pick up everything that you are craving, and it will be harder to make good food choices. When you are full, you will be less likely to pick up things based on a feeling. You will have a clear head and will be able to stick to your list. It will also save you a ton of money because you are not just shopping for unnecessary food.

Try Meal Planning Planning out your meals for the day and even the week will make sticking to a healthy diet much easier. It will also make grocery shopping easier and you will be less likely to pick up food that you are not going to use. This will reduce food waste. You will only be buying the things that you need because you know what you will be making throughout the week. If you are on a budget, this will also end up saving you money because you will only buy what you need and what you know you are going to use. When you are buying fresh fruit and vegetables, it is always best to have a plan of how to

use them so that they do not go rotten before you use them. Meal planning does not have to be a complicated process. It should only take you a few minutes to outline what you will be making for the week. You can also plan your lunches based on what you had for dinner the night before. This will reduce prep and cooking since you will be multitasking. You can also use the same elements in your meals throughout the week. Then, you only have to cook them once and store them away for easy access throughout the week. For example, if you are going to be using brown rice for a few meals in the week, you can cook enough for the whole week. Then, every time you need some brown rice, you can just take it out of the fridge and warm it up. This works extremely well for those who are extremely busy and do not have a lot of time to cook in the week. Meal planning will also help you to get a balanced diet. Since you will have a wider view of what you will be waiting for, you can make sure that you are getting a balanced diet. It can be hard to get in all the right nutrients throughout the day, so if you know what your week will look like, you can make sure that your weekly diet gets you everything you need. It also works if you have different dietary needs for different days. On days when you are doing intense workouts, you will need to eat more and have a high-protein diet. The rest of the week, you can prioritize nutrients from fruit and vegetables. This is just an example so you can customize it to your lifestyle and needs.

Change Your Diet and Start Exercising at the Same Time In general, changing too many things at once is a bad idea. It can overwhelm you, and you won’t be able to stick to your changes if you do too many things at once. The exception to this rule is when it comes to changing your diet and starting to exercise. Making both of these changes at the same time actually makes it more likely for you to stick to it. When you make dietary changes and start to add exercise at the same time, these two actions start to reinforce each other. A study done in 2013 found that people were more likely to maintain both behaviors when they added to their life at the same time (King et al., 2013). People who just did one of them and added the other at a later time found it difficult to stick to it.

When you exercise, you feel like eating healthy because exercise automatically makes you feel healthier. When you eat healthy, you have the energy to work out, and you actually want to do it. Both of these things are the pillars to a healthy lifestyle and to getting the body you desire. They work together to help you reach your goals. If you have been struggling to eat healthy or start exercising, the key might be to both of these simultaneously.

Eat a Filling and Healthy Breakfast

The common saying goes that breakfast is always the most important meal of the day. No, it isn’t just something your mom said to you to make you eat your oatmeal in the morning. Breakfast is actually really important. The way

you start your day off will be indicative to the way the rest of the day plays out. If you start off on the right foot, you will keep running in the right direction. Even though breakfast is really important, it seems to be the meal that is the easiest to skip. If you have a busy morning and have to run out of the door, it can be easy to just miss breakfast. The problem with this is that when it comes time for lunch, you are more likely to overeat because you are so hungry. The chances are that you will not be overeating on a healthy chicken salad. When we are starving, we reach for anything we can get. Our willpower is down because our bodies are focused on getting some food in. You will find that it is easy to scarf down that chicken and rice you packed for lunch, a packet of chips, and a sandwich from the work cafeteria. When you overeat for lunch, you'll end up feeling sluggish. That afternoon slump will be even worse, and if you were planning on going to the gym after work, it will be difficult to get motivated for that. Skipping breakfast can affect your whole day—that is why it should not be taken lightly. You do not want to have your energy levels and your workouts affected by something that is a simple fix. For those who work out in the morning, eating breakfast is crucial. You need to fuel your workouts in the right way so that you can perform at your best. Even if you have something small before your workout and then have a nice, filling breakfast after, you will be satisfied. Some people like to work out before they eat, and that is perfectly fine—as long as you fill up after. You will never be able to perform at your best if you do not get the right nutrients in. When it’s time to wake up in the morning, you have not eaten for many hours. While you might not feel like you are starving when you wake up, your body does need a kick start. Eating breakfast will get your metabolism going and wake your digestive system up. This will make you ready for the rest of the day. You will find that you are a lot more awake and that you can function better once you have had a good breakfast. It is important to note that not all breakfasts are created equal. You need to pick a breakfast that is going to keep you full and fuel your activity. While a bowl of Froot Loops might sound like a good breakfast, it has no nutritional value, and it will definitely not keep you full. Cereals in general are not the

best choice because they are typically filled with sugar and not much else. A good breakfast is going to be one that is high in protein and that is going to keep you full until your next meal. If you are looking for some great breakfast options take a look at the list below: ● Scrambled eggs and your choice of meat ● Oats, Greek yogurt, and some fruit ● Smoothie made with fruit and Greek yogurt ● Breakfast wrap with eggs, tuna, and lettuce ● Cottage cheese on whole wheat toast and sausage All of these are high in protein which will keep you full. Some of them have some healthy carbs and fats as well which are all good options. If you struggle to eat your breakfast in the morning because you are always in a rush, consider making your breakfast the night before. All of these can be prepared in advance and left in the fridge to be warmed up in the morning or when you get to work, if need be. You will feel the difference when you start making breakfast a priority.

Start With a Few Small Changes Changing your diet can be really difficult if you have never done it before— especially if your diet is nowhere near being healthy. Some people are able to make a huge change and stick to it, while others will find it more difficult. It is important to know where you fall on the scale; choose a strategy that will work for you and will help you to make this a long-term change. Eating the right foods is not only for those who want to lose weight. If you are skinny and trying to bulk up, you also need to be aware of your food choices and make ones that are going to be beneficial to you. No matter what your goals are, eating burgers and drinking milkshakes every day is not good for anyone. If you struggle to put down the unhealthy food, you need to start with small changes. Remember that building your dream body is a marathon—not a sprint. If you try to change too much too quickly, you might end up giving

up. Even if you just start with only eating out twice a week instead of three times a week, it is still progress. Pick something that you know is unhealthy and make a change in that area. Once you have mastered it, you can move to the next. For example, you can choose to start your day off with a healthy breakfast but eat normal for the rest of your meals. Eventually, you will be able to start making changes to the rest of the meals as well

Chapter 3: Start Exercising, but Make It Fun

Do you remember being a kid and your parents would ask you to do a chore? Did you enjoy it? I, for one, did not. It was inconvenient and not fun. If I had a choice, I would have definitely not done the chore. Now that we are adults, our feelings about certain obligations are the same as it was when we had to do a chore. The only difference is that there is no one forcing us to do those unpleasant things. If we treat exercise like a chore, we won’t do it. When I started out on my fitness journey, I decided that I was not going to make exercise feel like an obligation. Now that I have accomplished many of my fitness goals, I can look back on the journey, and I know that I enjoyed myself. To this day, I still enjoy working out, and that is why I am able to maintain my results. If you are someone that looks at exercise as an obstacle that you have to overcome in order to get your dream body, then you will never want to do it. You will always have to force yourself to work out. This makes it more likely

that you will skip exercising on certain days just because you don’t feel like it. There is nobody that is going to force you to go to the gym because it is ultimately your choice whether you exercise or not. The only way to make exercise a constant thing in your life is if you enjoy it and look forward to doing it. Now, there will be days where you will not want to work out even if you enjoy it. This is normal. Even if you really love your job, there will still be days when you rather stay at home in bed. These are the days when you will need to pull out a bit more motivation from willpower. The good thing is that these days are not going to be the majority. If you only have these days once in a while, you will be able to find the motivation to do it because the rest of the time, you really do enjoy working out. You will find it so much easier to exercise when you look at it as a hobby instead of an obstacle.

Choose an Exercise You Actually Enjoy Doing The most common reason people do not like exercising is because they chose a form of exercise that they do not like. Everyone has a different personality, so it would make sense that not every type of exercise would suit every person. I really enjoy doing calisthenics. This is the type of exercise that helped me get my fitness body. I will go more into detail about calisthenics and why I think it is amazing in a later chapter. For now, I want you to be able to really enjoy your workouts and be able to choose an exercise you love. Most people copy someone else's exact workout plan because they want a body similar to that person. Every person is different, so trying to copy and paste someone else’s lifestyle is not going to work. This is actually setting yourself up for failure. Instead, you should use other people for inspiration and try to build something that will work for you. When you first start out on your fitness journey, the goal is going to be creating the right habits and making sustainable choices. There are so many people that are really motivated at the beginning of the journey. They will start doing the hardest form of exercise because they think that is what is going to help them reach their goals the quickest. The problem with this is

that it is difficult to keep going with this sort of training regimen. Going all in at the beginning may sound like a good idea, but this often ends up in failure. When you choose something that is fun for you to do, you will look forward to it. Exercising consistently is a habit that needs to be built. Once that habit is built, you will be able to change up the types of exercises you do. You will actually start to really enjoy exercising when it is fully integrated into your routine. When you don’t do it, you will feel the difference in your body, and that will be motivation to get back on track. The main goal at the beginning is to do something that will help you make exercising a habit. You don't even have to do something strenuous at first. If you like going for walks or jogs, you can do that as a start. Cardio isn’t great for gaining muscles, but the point is to get you active, so don’t think too much about it. Once your body is used to being physically active, you can change it up or do something different. You will already be used to carving out a chunk of time to exercise, so it won’t be a stretch when you choose to do something a bit more strenuous. It will also help if you start off only doing a small amount of exercise. If you don’t exercise at all, then it will be difficult to do a 45 to 60-minute training session. It might seem too much; instead, start with 20 minutes. Most people have an extra 20 minutes somewhere in their day. Each week, you can add another five minutes until you are at your goal. When it comes to how long you work out for, you need to ease into it so that it is more manageable for you. Combining everything, finding an exercise that you like, and easing into the harder workouts will help you to get used to working out on a regular basis. It gets you started the right way so that you will be motivated for the rest of the journey. Becoming fit is a lifestyle choice. It isn’t going to be something that you can just do for a few months and then revert back to your old lifestyle. This is why you need to be thinking about making it stick for the future. The only way to do that is to start off right and actually enjoy what you are doing.

How to Make Your Workouts Enjoyable Exercise is hard on the body and it does take some effort. There will be days

when you are ready to go and other days where you just don’t feel it. There will also come a time when you will have to challenge yourself and maybe start doing a type of exercise that is not something you like. Perhaps you are the type of person who just doesn’t like exercising no matter what you have tried. This does not mean that you can't make your workouts enjoyable. Exercise can be a great experience if you know how to make it work for you. There are lots of little things that you can do to help you enjoy working out. Whether you are doing calisthenics or something as simple as going for a brisk walk, these are tips that you can implement to help you enjoy your exercise.

Work Out With Friends

There is something about being around people you like that can make almost any situation more fun. If you are a social person, then this will really help you out. You can easily make a workout feel like a social activity rather than a type of exercise when you have the right people around you. This is why group classes have become so popular. The other people keep you motivated

and accountable as well as making it a more enjoyable exercise. If you are a competitive person, you could also add an element of competition to push you even further. You don’t even have to exercise with people you already have relationships with. If you do not have any friends that will provide a positive exercise experience, then you should go to places where the right types of people are. These are sporting clubs, gyms, and classes. This will help you to find people who are going to want to exercise and who enjoy doing it. You could find social media groups that focus on exercise. You will be able to see events and meetups where you could meet other people. You might even connect with someone in your area over the Internet and form a relationship in real life.

Make Your Workouts Rewarding We all like to be rewarded for the things we do. When we go to work, we are rewarded with money. This is how people can do something they don’t like but find the motivation for it. Of course, you shouldn’t make your rewards too costly or anything that will reverse the progress you made by actually working out. Rewarding yourself with an ice cream after you worked out is going to be counterproductive. Instead, you can reward yourself with healthy things or things that are not related to food. Some ideas are a fruit smoothie, watching an episode of your favorite series, going out with friends, or working on a hobby. Choose your rewards smartly so that they are something that you will really look forward to. Even if they are things that you will do on any normal day, you can turn them into a reward. If you always watch a movie in the evening; tell yourself that you can’t watch the movie unless you work out. This way, the movie becomes the reward even though it is something that you always do. Your desire to watch the movie and the knowledge that you might not be able to will motivate you to do your workout. You could also make exercise the reward. If you look at exercise as a reward for a hard day's work, you will look forward to doing it. Exercise is a great stress reliever, and it gets your endorphins going. Endorphins make you feel good, and they are released when you are enjoying yourself. Exercise automatically releases them because you are doing something good for your

body. If you notice how good you feel after a workout, you can use this to your advantage. When you see exercise as a reward or even as an escape from the busyness of life, you will look forward to that time.

Listen to Music or Podcasts Listening to the right kind of music can really keep you motivated when you work out. It can also keep you focused and block out the distraction so that you are able to work out optimally. Podcasts are also a great option because they allow you to learn something or just be entertained while you are working out. Both of these are great ways to make exercise more fun. Everyone can easily get a pair of wireless headphones, so there is no excuse to not be able to do this. If you choose to listen to music, choose something that will keep you motivated. There are lots of playlists that have already been created for workouts. You can find them on almost all music streaming apps. Most workout playlists have very upbeat and vibey music that will get you pumped for the workout. The most important thing is that you enjoy the music that you are listening to. There is a trick called habit bundling. This is where you take something you are trying to make a habit and something that is already a habit out that you enjoy doing and combine them. One of the best ways to try and do this is with listening to music or a podcast. If you tell yourself that you can only listen to your favorite podcast when you work out, the motivation for listening to the podcast will become motivation to workout. You get to do something you enjoy, and you will work out. This makes working out a whole lot more enjoyable.

Change up Your Routine or Workout If you keep doing the same routine over and over again, it will become monotonous. It is difficult to truly enjoy something that you find boring, even if you really love a certain type of exercise. If you do it every single day, it will become a bore. This is why it is good to mix things up every once in a while. If you feel yourself starting to get bored or demotivated for exercise, it is a sign that you need to try something new.

Changing up your workouts actually has a lot of benefits. Our bodies are highly adaptable. This means that after a few weeks of doing the same workout, the body will get used to it. The results you saw when you started will not continue on, and you will hit a plateau. This is often very demotivating for people, but it really is an easy fix. All you have to do is change up your workout or make it more challenging. You will start seeing results again because your body is not used to the new way of working out. In order for your workouts to be effective, they have to put some strain on the body. You should look into changing something about your workout every four to six weeks. Sometimes, it is just as simple as adding more weight or learning a new calisthenics move. You could add in more cardio or start using resistance bands if you never have. Adding these new aspects to your workout will give you something new to learn and experience. You could also try to do something completely different like join a boxing class once a week or take up yoga every now and then. You will have to decide what will work for you, but change is needed to help you really enjoy working out.

Choose an Active Hobby

When it comes to building the body of your dreams, it is a lifestyle. Everything you do will either pull you away from your goals or take you closer to it. Having an active hobby can be a great way to get some exercise when you are not really exercising. It gives you a chance to break up your workouts but still be physically active. You can’t let the only physical activity you do be going to the gym. Always be looking for opportunities to be active. This has such a huge benefit on your lifestyle, and it will help you to make better and healthier choices overall. There are tons of active things you could do that could supplement your workouts. These things are fun activities, and if you really enjoy it, you won’t even feel like you are exercising. Boxing, water sports, hiking, rock climbing, biking, or any similar sport are all great options. These things will keep you fit, but they are also fun. These activities are also great places to meet other people who are also making physical activity a priority. You also don’t have to just stick to one type of hobby. Try out a lot of different things. One thing may stick with you, and you want to continue on with that, or you could just enjoy jumping around from hobby to hobby. The important thing is that you choose to be active every opportunity you get.

Set Goals and Crush Them One of the most motivating things in life is to crush your goals. It makes you even more motivated for the next goal you have. Setting goals allows you to feel like you are progressing, and you actually end up enjoying the process more. Chances are you do have a goal in mind. The problem is that most of the time, our goals are too big or too far off to keep us motivated. We should have those big goals, but they shouldn't be the only goals we have. Big goals usually take a long time to reach. It is hard to track your progress with them, and that can leave you feeling like you are not doing enough or not going anywhere. This is incredibly demotivating and is actually a big reason for people giving up on their goals. If your main goal is to gain 20 pounds of muscle, just gaining one is not going to feel like a huge accomplishment. It will take a while to accomplish the big goals, and this leaves you feeling like you aren’t moving fast enough. The best way to set goals is to have your big goal and then work backward to create smaller goals. These will be little milestones on the way to reaching your big goals, and it will give you something to celebrate throughout the journey. Every time you reach one of your smaller goals, it is a chance to celebrate yourself and see how far you have come. This keeps you motivated to keep going and it makes it feel like you are moving in the right direction. If your big goal is to gain 20 pounds of muscle, you can break it up into more manageable goals. Every time you gain one pound of muscle, you can count that as a mini goal. Each time you reach a mini goal, you can reward yourself with something. It doesn’t have to be a big reward but it should feel like a celebration. You can buy yourself an item of clothing from your favorite brand, have lunch at your favorite restaurant, or do an activity that you really enjoy. You should also have celebration moments for the slightly bigger goals. For example, every time you reach five pounds of extra muscle mass, you can celebrate with a slightly bigger reward—perhaps a day out, a weekend away, or purchasing something that you have wanted for a long time. When you are setting goals, the most important thing is that you make them measurable and attainable. Your goals need to be measurable so that you can track your progress. If your goal is just to have the body of your dreams, to

lose weight, or to feel fit, there is no way to measure that. It makes it difficult to create celebration markers and to break down your big goal. Put numbers to any of your goals so that you can measure them. It doesn’t have to be a weight-related number. You could take the measurements of your body or aim to do more reps than you currently do. These are also great ways to measure your progress, and they provide other ways to see how far you have come. Sometimes, the number on the scale won’t move up or down, but that doesn’t mean you aren’t progressing. Measure your progress in multiple ways to get a clear idea of much progress you are making. When you measure your progress, remember to do so consistently and under the same conditions. This means that when you take your measurements, they should be done at the same time each week. When you do this, your measurements will be accurate and consistent. If you take your measurements on Monday at 7 a.m. before you have breakfast, you should do this every Monday at the same time. The same goes for taking pictures of your progress, as this will give you the most accurate results. Being attainable is the other thing I mentioned because if your goals are too big, then you will not be able to reach them—this will be demotivating. You have to look at where you are now and build your goals from there. If you can only do one push-up now, your goal can’t be to do 50 by the end of the week. Being realistic with your abilities will help you to set goals you can reach, and eventually, you can scale up. Creating goals gives you lots of opportunity to celebrate yourself, and this makes the whole experience more enjoyable. You will have something to look forward to, and this is one of the biggest motivators. No matter how far along you are on your fitness journey, always be setting goals. Push yourself to be able to do more pull-ups, swim farther, or run faster. Whatever you do and whatever type of exercise you take part in, you should always have a goal in mind. You will go much farther when you have a clear vision of where you want to end up.

Chapter 4: The Right Support System Is the Secret Ingredient

Looking back on my fitness journey, I know having the right support system is the thing that gave me the push to get fit and achieve the physique I have always wanted. Now, when anyone asks me for advice, this is always high up on the list. I could never have accomplished my fitness goals if I didn't have my girlfriend and my family with me the whole way. Many people focus on all the other aspects of getting fit, but this one is just as important as the rest. The people you have around you could be the thing that pushes you to reach your goals or be the thing that drives you off track.

The Importance of a Support System There are very few things in life we can accomplish all on our own. Many people think that because fitness is all about them and how they will change their own body, it shouldn’t involve anyone else. This is definitely not the

case. You need people around you on this fitness journey. The truth is that changing your body and pushing yourself to reach your goals when it comes to your physique is hard. Having the right people around you makes everything a little bit easier because it gives you the support and motivation when you need it. When you are making these huge changes to your body, it can feel like a lonely journey. Everyone else will be going about their life as normal, and you have to have different priorities. You might have to say no to certain social events so that you can focus on your workouts. You will have to make different nutritional choices which other people might not understand. There will be things that you have to say no to so that you can say yes to getting in the best shape of your life. Having a good support system behind you will make it a lot more manageable, and they will be able to help you navigate the challenges. If you are always around people who do not know about or care about your journey, they will make it harder for you. They may not do it on purpose, but some people do put extra stumbling blocks in our path. If you live with someone who does not know about your fitness journey, they might bring home donuts every evening which would be very tempting for you. This is a struggle you will have to go through all the time because someone is putting this temptation in front of you. If you have good people around you, they will be more conscious of things like this. They might decide not to bring home the temptation or enjoy it away from you. These small things help out a great deal when you are trying to make a drastic change. A support system can also keep you accountable and offer you encouragement when you need it, plus they can celebrate with you when you start reaching your goals. Celebrating with others is always better than on your own. The people you have around you need to be those that will be excited about the things you are excited about. Even if the goal you have reached is small, they should want to celebrate that small victory. This makes the journey more enjoyable and actually makes it more sustainable as well.

How to Build a Support System

If you don’t already have a good group of people around you, building a support system could seem quite challenging. In most cases, you should have one or two people somewhere in your life that could offer you support if you communicate to them what you need. If you don’t have anyone that you can think of, the first step will be to find some people. I am going to cover all of that in this section to make sure that you can build a great support system.

Find People From Every Area in Your Life We don’t all live in bubbles where we only have one group of people around us at all times. We have many areas in our life like work, home, friend groups, extended family, and other social groups and clubs. Your journey to build your dream physique will be evident in all of these groups in some way. When you are working, you can’t go out for happy hour because you are hitting the gym. At home, you may not be able to eat the exact meals that everyone else is eating for dinner since you are making healthier choices. With your friend group, you may not be able to go out to your favorite spot and eat the way you used to. The same thing would apply to every other social area of your life. The best-case scenario would be that you have someone from each of these social spheres to form part of your support group. They will be able to keep you accountable, and they will understand why you are doing what you are doing. You should not feel like you cannot go to social events or that you have to avoid a certain group of people just because you are trying to reach a fitness goal. This becomes much easier when you have someone from each group who is cheering you on.

Look for an Accountability Partner An accountability partner is someone who you will share everything about your journey. You will tell them when you feel demotivated, if you ate something you shouldn't have, when you skipped a workout, or anything else in between. We often think that we can be our own accountability partner because we don’t want to tell anyone else about our failures. The thing is that we are much more likely to let something slip if there isn’t an outside source of accountability. Basically, we don’t want to embarrass ourselves by telling

someone else that we skipped a workout, so we are less likely to slip it in the first place. Unfortunately, when there is no accountability, we let our feelings get the better of us. If we feel like eating an extra slice of pizza, we just will. If we rather go out with friends for some drinks rather than going to the gym, we will. All of this because we know that there isn’t anyone checking in on us. If you think about how different an office is when the boss or manager is not there, you will see my point. When the boss is there, everyone is on their best behavior, and they put their heads down and work. As soon as the boss steps out, it seems like everyone is talking to each other, and the whole office has a more chilled out atmosphere. There is no accountability and nobody checking in on the staff, so everyone just does whatever they like even if they know they should be doing their work. Slacking off when there is no accountability seems to just be human nature. We fear letting someone else down more than we fear not reaching our own goals. Adding an accountability partner in your life will make you more likely to succeed, but you must choose wisely. Your accountability partner is going to have a more involved role in your fitness journey than the rest of your support system. Your support system will support you where they can, and they will be there for you, but your accountability partner is going to be checking in on you all the time. When choosing an accountability partner, it needs to be someone you trust and someone who you know will be consistent. This person doesn’t necessarily have to be on the same journey as you; however, that could be very helpful. If your accountability partner is also on some kind of fitness journey or has successfully done so in the past, they will take it more seriously and be able to really understand where you are coming from. If not, then you will have to explain your journey to them and make sure they are willing to keep you accountable even if it means checking on you every single day. Once you have chosen your accountability partner, you will find that it is much easier to stay on track with your goals.

Be Open About Your Goals The people around you will only be able to support you to the extent that you

let them in. If you do not share what your goals are, no one will be able to offer you the support you need, and they won’t understand why you are doing what you are doing. It might feel uncomfortable at the moment, but once you tell them where you are at and where you want to be, the whole process will be much easier. Your support system needs you to be honest with them if they are going to offer you support. Many people fear doing this because they are afraid to let others down if they are not able to reach their fitness goals. Being open about your goals actually cements them in your mind and makes you more motivated to go after them. The people you choose to be your support system do not have to be as involved as your accountability partner, but knowing where you are will help them to make better choices to help you along your journey.

Ask for Their Input and Help Your support system is there to do just that. In order to support you, you need to trust them to an extent. Involving them in your journey will help them to feel like they are walking with you. It gives them the chance to celebrate with you and to offer their help when needed. If the people around you feel like they do not have the platform to offer input, they will not be a very effective support system. Other people might notice something that you don’t or they may have learned something that will help you along your journey. It is completely normal to ask for help along the way. Opening up will make them feel like they are important to the journey. This will make them more invested and in turn be able to support you better. Even if you don’t need any hectic advice, just opening up that pathway of communication will be valuable in the future.

Be Open to Meeting New People You may not have a group of people around you right now that can function as your support group but that doesn’t mean you’ll never be able to find one. Perhaps the people around you are not as supportive as you would like, or maybe you have moved to a new city and don’t have that many close

relationships. Whatever the case may be, just because you cannot think of anyone to be in your support system right now does not mean that you are doomed to do this alone. There are plenty of ways you can meet new people who could potentially go with you along this journey. A common misconception is that you have to know someone for a very long time to include them in a support system of any kind. The length of time that you have known someone actually has no bearing on how well they will be able to support you. You could meet someone, and the next day, they could be a great member of your team. What matters is that they are willing and that you can trust them to be there for you. Even if you already have some sort of support system, you can still grow your circle. The more people you have on your side, the better. People can be there for you in different ways. Maybe you have emotional support but do not have someone who can go with you to the gym. There are different kinds of support that you can have. As you move forward with your fitness journey, you will realize what you are missing. You should always be open to meeting new people because you never know what they could add to your fitness journey. You really don’t know where you could meet someone that will grow into a great relationship. However, it does help to frequent places that attract the kind of people you are looking for. If you are looking for people who are interested in improving their bodies, then you should know where they hang out. You will probably not find fitness conscious people at Dunkin’ Donuts but you would find them at health food stores, gyms, sports clubs, and healthy restaurants. Go to these places, and you will be far more likely to meet people who are on the same or a similar journey to you that you can add to your support system.

Be Available to Support Someone Else The best relationships are those that are mutually beneficial. If you have the opportunity to support someone else, you should jump on it. If you see someone else making the effort to make healthier choices and work on their body, don’t be shy to connect with them. I’m sure you would appreciate it if someone noticed you and did the same. It is important to be able to give the

same support that you want to receive. When you have someone to walk alongside with you, it is a lot more fun and fulfilling, There are tons of people out there who want to get their dream body, but they might be embarrassed to ask for support. If you notice that person, you should not feel shy to go up to them and start a conversation. You never know where it might lead. You two might end up becoming really good friends who offer each other advice and become the buddy that the other needs. These types of relationships are rewarding because you know that you are getting something but are also able to give back to someone else.

Markers of People You Want in Your Support System Not every person around you will be good to add to your support system. In fact, some people will be pretty terrible. You should be able to tell the difference between the two so you can ultimately surround yourself with the right kinds of people.

They Are Willing It is really important that the people you add to your support system are willing to be there. If they are not, then they will not be effective and both of you might end up getting frustrated. It is not a bad thing if certain people just do not care as much. You do not need everyone to be on your team and want to support you. You just need a few people who really want to be there for you. Before you add someone to your support system, you should always ask them if they are willing to do so. Tell them about your plans and goals, and ask them if they think that they would be able to support you in the way that you need. This would mean that you need to tell them the kind of support you require. If you need someone to check in on you every single day and they are just not able to do that, you should respect their decision. This process will help you to see who you can really count on and who you do not need to

include on this journey. The people that are not able to give you the support that you need are not bad people. They just might not be in the space to offer you the time or the possible sacrifices that you need along the way. This is perfectly fine—at least you will be able to see who you will be able to rely on.

They Are Excited About This The people in your support system should be excited about your goals and the changes you are going to make. There will be people who are negative or even skeptical about what you are going after. These are the types of people that should not be in your close circle. Some people just do not see the value in being healthy and working toward making your body look and feel better. If they don’t understand, then they will not be able to provide you with the encouragement you need to keep going when things get hard. These are the types of people that will tell you to go back to your old lifestyle because it was easier. It is so easy to give in when these are the types of people that surround you because it would be easier to go back, but it won’t be worth it. When thinking about people that you want to include in your journey, think about the people who would have the same kinds of mindset as you—people that value health and well-being and what to see you succeed. These are the types of people that can get behind you and who will be able to celebrate with you. A support system is not just to pick you up and push you farther, but they are also there to celebrate with you and make the experience enjoyable. This is why you need people who are going to be positive and who will be just as excited as you are with your goals and progress.

They Check up on You Not everyone in your support system will have to be as involved as an accountability partner, but they should still check in every now and then. The first point I spoke about in the section about building your support system is having people in every area of your life. This means that the people you choose would be those that see you quite often. This would make it easy for them to ask you how it’s going and where you are at with your progress.

When people do this, it shows you that they are interested and willing to go with you along the journey. If the people you have asked to support you never bother to ask where you are at or how it's going with you, they might just not be in the space to offer you support. It does go both ways, so you also need to be willing to share your journey. However, if you are not being reciprocated and the other person never comes to the party, then it is safe to assume that they are not very interested. You can find someone else in that social sphere. Having a support system is not about being mushy and baring your soul to your whole social circle when you skipped a workout. Having a support system is a very practical step in achieving your goals. It creates accountability and community—which you need if you want to go far. Many people miss this step, and that is why you see so many people make progress at the beginning and then suddenly lose it all. It might seem easy at the beginning of the journey, but you are going to need people to give you a push as things get harder. You will need people who are willing to go to the gym with you, who will make sure that there is a healthy option for you at their events, and who are willing to walk with you along this journey.

Chapter 5: Calisthenics—the Ultimate Workout

I mentioned that calisthenics is my workout of choice. During the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020, going to the gym was not an option. I could have just put my goals on hold until all the craziness was done, but I decided to find an alternate way to do things. This is where calisthenics came into my life. It would have been so easy to just accept that I would lose muscle mass when there was no access to the gym. Many people used this as an excuse, and it would seem like a valid excuse, but when you are serious about your goals and your physique, you aim to make a plan. There is always something that can be done. In fact, during this crazy time, I was actually able to make progress. If you take a look at the picture below, you will see that I was able to maintain and grow my muscles. Calisthenics is a powerful tool that you can use to get results and improve many other areas of your body.

What Is Calisthenics? Calisthenics just means body weight workouts. This is when you do not use weights to gain your workouts but instead just use the weight of your own body to create resistance. It is an incredibly effective way to work out. If you do a quick image search for calisthenics, images of ripped men and women will show up on the screen. Many say that it is a more effective way to gain muscle than anything else. After trying it for myself, I would have to agree.

It is not that other forms of exercise are not good, but the results I achieved and maintained doing this is definitely worth noting. It is a form of exercise that eliminates all the excuses. You do not need a large space or a lot of equipment; all you need is your body and the motivation to get going. Everyone has access to this, and that is why this is a great way to work out. For those who do not have access to a gym or do not have a lot of time to work out, calisthenics is the perfect fit. If you travel a lot but still want to build your dream body, you can use calisthenics as the tool to do just that. You can do it in your hotel room or wherever you are staying. You have the option of just doing a quick 20-minute workout wherever you are. Calisthenics is anything that you use your body weight for. Push-ups, pullups, squats, and lunges are all calisthenics exercises. These are just the basic ones, but as you improve, you will start doing harder moves. Handstands, one-armed pull-ups, and even something called the human flag are some of these. You need a lot of strength to do these moves, and the only way to get it is through calisthenic training. When people weight train, they know that they are getting stronger because they can add more weight to their workouts. Since you are only using your body weight in calisthenics, you will not be able to add any extra weight. Instead, you increase the amount of reps you do in a set. This will allow you to keep getting stronger. As people get stronger, they usually invest in some tools to help them. Resistance bands are one of the most popular calisthenics tools because they add resistance to the workout and make it tougher. These tools are not necessary, but if you are looking to get very serious with calisthenics, you can definitely invest in them. The goal of calisthenics is not just muscle growth. It helps with balance, flexibility, mobility, and strength. Regular weight training does not target all of this. It is quite remarkable that such a simple form of exercise can hold this many benefits. It just goes to show you that you do not have to have all the fancy equipment or training to get the body of your dreams. The most important thing is that you are committed to work for it. I am not advocating for abandoning all other forms of exercise just to focus on calisthenics. There are lots of great exercises out there and sometimes, you do need some variety. I am just highlighting all the positive aspects of calisthenics because this is what helped me. Many people do not even know

this is an option and that is why they feel stuck when life gets in the way, and they can’t get to the gym or workout class. Once you get started, you will also find that it is really fun and challenging. Many people go on and start learning different tricks, and it is so rewarding to push your body to do things you were never able to do. Calisthenics will help you get ripped if you add it to your workout routine.

The Benefits of Calisthenics There are so many benefits to calisthenics. It is important to know what they are so that you are aware of the changes you will experience in your body. Exercise has gotten really complicated with all the tools and machines needed to get an effective workout. It’s good to bring it back to basics and see how beneficial it can really be.

The World Is Your Gym

We are all looking for convenience in our lives, and there is nothing more convenient than being able to work out wherever you are. I am a person that loves the gym. I really do enjoy weight training and being in an environment where everyone is working toward bettering themselves, but I also enjoy a bit of variety. This is what calisthenics gives me. You are not limited by equipment or where you can exercise, and that adds something to the normal workout routine. Exercising wherever you want and whenever you want gives you a feeling of pure freedom. It allows you to stretch yourself and really be in tune with your own body. There is definitely a freedom to work out outdoors. One of the best places to do this is a park. The monkey bars, parallettes, and other bars you can find there are perfect for calisthenics. You can do dips, pull-ups, and leg raises with this kind of equipment. The bonus is that it won't cost you a thing. If you have never done a workout in the park or in any other outdoor venue, give it a try; you might be surprised at how much you enjoy it. Just that small change will allow you to add something different to your workout

so that it doesn’t become boring or mundane. We all need a change every now and then.

You Build a Lot of Strength

The strength you build when you do calisthenics is functional strength. This is the type of strength that you need to perform everyday activities. It helps your body function better overall. It is difficult to isolate one muscle when you are doing a calisthenics workout since you are using your body as a weight. Let’s take an exercise like the move in the picture above. It might seem like this is an arm workout but he has to engage his core through the whole movement as well as his leg muscles. In one movement, he has engaged most of his body. There are many calisthenic exercises that do this. You are not just working out one muscle as you would when you weight train, but you are working on many different muscle groups at the same time. Almost all of our daily activities engage more than one muscle at a time. When we train this way, we are helping our body to function together as a unit. If you really want to build strength, you need to focus on using big muscle groups rather than just working with isolated muscles. You will end up getting faster results from calisthenics because you are

targeting the whole body. When you are in the gym, each machine works out a specific muscle. You head to the dumbbells to do arm curls. Then, you use the leg press for your quads. After that, you may use the pull down bar for your arms and back. Finally, you do a few deadlifts with a bar. This will take you about 20 to 30 minutes depending on how many reps you do, and you have only worked out each muscle group once. If you do a calisthenics exercise you will have worked out all of these muscles in one movement. In the 20 to 30 minute time block you will be able to get a much more effective workout. Essentially, you are spending your whole workout on all of these muscle groups. This speeds up the results you will see. If you are looking to get abs, then calisthenics will do that for you. In most gyms, there is a lot of equipment to isolate certain muscle groups, but the one that seems to be forgotten is the abs. There is definitely equipment and ways to work out your abs when you are at the gym, but it does seem to take a backseat to things like arms, back, and legs. When it comes to calisthenics, abs are integrated into every workout and every movement. You need core strength in order to perform most of the moves. This is why you see so many people who practice calisthenics with abs. The functional and overall strength that you will be able to get from calisthenics is amazing. Functional strength is important because it is the kind of strength that you will feel each day. It is one thing to just have big muscles, but it is another to really feel strong. It is important to not prioritize your muscles over your overall strength. You need to have both, and both of them are important. You want to be able to do the things that your muscles make people think you can do.

It’s Easier to Maintain Better Form One of the biggest problems people seem to face when it comes to lifting free weights is keeping the correct form. Form refers to the way you execute the exercise. It is very easy to mess up on form when you are using external resistance. Many people will lift up a weight that is too big for them, and this will lead to compensation. When you compensate, you are just trying to lift the weight but are not using the muscles you are supposed to. For example, if you are doing a deadlift, you could start using your lower back to take some of the weight instead of the legs when you are squatting. If you do not have

enough strength in the legs, your body will try to compensate for that, so you can perform the move. This can easily lead to injury. When you start using the wrong muscle groups for specific moves, you are putting yourself at risk, but it is hard to tell when you are doing this. When you work out, you will be mostly focused on performing the movements, so form becomes secondary. At the end of the day, if you cannot do a pull-up with your own body weight, then you should not try and lift a weight heavier than that. Calisthenics prevents you from using weights that are too heavy for you, and it is easier to keep perfect form. You can’t use more or less weight than what you already have on your body, and this means that there will be no compensation. You have to work on your overall strength and then move to the harder moves, You don’t get to skip steps when it comes to calisthenics. This makes it a lot safer, and it will reduce the risk of injury.

Improves the Stability of the Joints When you are performing a calisthenics exercise, you are not just working your major muscles but the minor ones and the joints as well. In normal, everyday activity, we use all of these muscle groups and joints. It is important to keep them strong. With free weights and gym machines, you do not get the opportunity to work on these areas since the main muscle groups are the focus. Joint pains and injuries are pretty common when working out because we do not pay attention to them. Most of the movements we do in the gym do not stretch out the joints, and this means that they are not strengthened. When you do a calisthenic movement, you have to have an extremity of your body on a static surface. Either your hand or foot will hold on to or be planted on something that will not move. This is what allows you to perform a body weight exercise. When you do this, you are stretching out your tendons and joints to accommodate the movements. This strengthens them and reduces the risk of any future injuries. A lot of these movements call for you to be constantly fixing your hand or foot positions to accommodate the movement. Think about doing a handstand. Your hands are planted on the ground, but you will keep having to

adjust to keep your body upright. This constant movement will engage the wrist and strengthen them. The same thing will take place for any other kind of calisthenic exercise. Calisthenics has many benefits, and I think that every person should include it in their workout routine to some capacity. Weight training does have its benefits, but there is a lot that is not being targeted when you weight train. Even if the goal is to get your dream body, you should also be focused on building up your strength. Calisthenics is one the best things you can do for strength. Not to mention that the moves are pretty awesome, and you will definitely want to show off when you master some of the advanced ones like the human flag and the planche.

A Sample Calisthenics Workout It can be difficult to know where exactly to start with this, but don’t worry: I’ve got you covered. I have put together a few sample workouts that will get you started on the right track. These are beginner workouts, so if you need something a little more challenging, you can add on more reps and sets, or you can look up challenging calisthenics exercises and try one of those. I would definitely not suggest you move on to anything advanced until you are able to do one of these sample workouts with ease. The first one of these does not require any equipment, so you can actually get up and do them right now. The second one does need a pull-up bar and a push-up bar. If you do not have this or something similar, you can just go to your local park and use the equipment they have there. Feel free to change it up as you see fit and add more or less reps. This is just an example, so don’t feel like you are stuck by it. You can customize it however you would like.

Workout 1 This is a very simple beginner workout. It has all the basic calisthenics exercises that will put you on the right path. I have indicated how many reps you need to do for each one of the exercises, but you can add to this if you want to. You are also welcome to do more than one set if you want to

challenge yourself. 25 Jump Squats 1. Start off with your feet shoulder-width apart, and bring your hands in front of you. 2. Come down into a squat, and make sure you keep your back straight. 3. Keep your chest and your head upright while bending your knees 4. Once you have gone as low as you can, push into your feet and jump into the air. 5. As soon as you land, lower yourself back into a squat and repeat. 20 Push-ups 1. Lie down on the floor with your stomach to the ground. 2. Bring your palms beside your chest and keep your elbows bent back. 3. Separate your legs so that they are hip-width apart, and come up on the tips of your toes. 4. Push up your chest by driving your palms into the ground. 5. Once your body is up and your arms are straight, lower yourself down until your chest almost touches the floor. 6. Push back up and repeat. 50 Crunches 1. Lie down on the floor with your back to the ground. 2. Place your feet on the ground, and make sure your knees point up at the ceiling. 3. Place your hands in a crossed position on your chest. 4. Engage your core, and sit up until your chest touches your knees. 5. Slowly lower yourself back down and repeat.

*It is important to really engage your core with this exercise. Many people strain their necks when they do this exercise because they are not focusing the movement on the abs. 10 Burpees 1. Stand straight up with your feet hip-width apart. 2. Lower yourself into a squat. 3. Put your palms onto the floor in front of you, and kick your feet back so that you land in a plank position. 4. Jump your feet forward so that they land near your hands. 5. Stand back up in starting positions and repeat. One Minute of Jumping Jacks 1. Start by standing upright with your arms by your side. 2. Jump and separate your feet, and at the same time, lift your arms up above your head. 3. Jump again and bring your feet and arms back to starting position. 4. Repeat this for the next minute.

Workout 2 This workout does require a bit more equipment, and it is slightly more challenging than the previous one. You can do both of them together for a more well-rounded workout. This workout will target all the major muscle groups as the minor ones. You are free to add more reps if you feel it is necessary. When it comes to these exercises, slow and controlled movements are the way to go. Don’t try and do them too quickly; otherwise, you might risk not receiving all the benefits from them. One Minute of Jump Rope 1. Grab your jump rope and hold it at the center line of your body. 2. Rotate the rope using your wrists.

3. When the rope comes to your feet, jump up and over the rope. 4. Repeat this for one minute. 20 Dips 1. Stand in the middle of the dip bars or between any two horizontal poles that are just wider than your hips. 2. Place one hand on each of the bars, and use your arms and shoulders to lift your body off the ground. 3. Bend your knees behind you so that they don’t touch the ground when you dip down. 4. Bend your elbows behind you, and lower your body down until your arms are at a 90-degree angle. 5. Lift yourself back up and repeat. 10 Pull-ups 1. Stand facing the pull-up bar. 2. Grab the bar, making sure your palms are facing away from you. 3. Move your hands so that they are slightly more than shoulderwidth apart. 4. Engage your core, and use your shoulder muscles to pull you up until your head goes over the bar. 5. Slowly lower yourself down, but do not let your feet touch the floor again. Repeat. 10 Chin-ups 1. Stand facing the pull-up bar. 2. Place your hands on the bar so that your palms are facing you. 3. Slide your hands so that they are shoulder-width apart. 4. Engage your core and use your bicep muscles to pull you up until your head is over the bar. 5. Slowly lower yourself down without letting your feet touch the

ground. Repeat.

Conclusion Achieving your dream physique is all about balance and paying attention to the right areas in your life. There are so many people who just focus on one area and hope to see results, but it just doesn’t work that way. I actually think it is better that it doesn’t work that way because it would make it very difficult to enjoy the journey. It also doesn’t happen overnight. It takes time to achieve the physique you really want. I certainly did not end up looking like the way I do in the picture below in a short amount of time. It takes consistency and effort; now, I can say I am proud of my body.

When you start seeing the results from the work you are putting in, everything becomes worth it. You start feeling proud of yourself and your confidence starts ticking up. Building your dream physique is not just a physical thing—it will affect how you feel about yourself and how you interact with the world. I remember when I was skinny and had no confidence. I didn’t believe in myself the way I do now. Every time I look in the mirror, I know that I can go after what I want and get it because I have

already done so. This is a confidence that cannot be bought, and it is something that I hope every person gets the chance to experience. Throughout this journey, I have leaned on my girlfriend, my friends, and my family for support. That has made our relationships stronger, and I know that I can trust them to give me a push when I need it. That is a part of the journey that I never expected to happen, but it is something that I am truly grateful for. There will be so many unexpected things that come out of this, and you have the opportunity to enjoy each one. When you do something for yourself and choose to become a better person, your world changes. If you are to take one thing away from this book, it is that you need to have balance if you want to succeed. Don’t just focus on the things that will give you the quickest results. Focus on building a sustainable lifestyle. The thing with your body is that it can quickly go back to where you started if you do not maintain it. This is not something that you can do for a year and then fall back into old habits. I cannot stress enough that this is a lifestyle change and something you will always be working to maintain or improve on. This is why you need to make sure that you are doing it in a way that you enjoy. If you make the most of this lifestyle change, you will always enjoy it. You will be able to find the motivation when you need it, and you will be willing to push yourself. That is the goal: to really enjoy the journey. Working out shouldn't feel like a chore, and having a healthy lifestyle shouldn’t feel like a burden. Take it slow; start implementing a few things you have learned, and you will be well on your way to long-term success. I can’t wait to see your before and after photos.

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