Superheroes don’t always just come from comic books and Hollywood movies. Ironically, like the comic books and Hollywood movies, they typically blend in with everyone else when they’re not being called upon. Undoubtedly they have some pretty awesome outfits, but what makes them stand out more than that is what they’re capable of doing. The key word here is capable; and what your body and mind are capable of is the ability to train and build the strength and physique of your favorite superhero. From dull to dynamite, more and more people are learning that you don’t have to be great to start, you just have to start to be great and are making the most amazing transformations in health and fitness across America, without the need of a sword or shield.
Set Goals & Prioritize
Just because you grow up and land a career doesn’t mean you have to put your dreams on hold. Becoming your own superhero involves a lot of evaluation, steps, goals, and of course the realization that flying or having magic powers is not in your cards—just the magic in your eyes and believing in yourself, because if you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. When approaching the starting line to your journey of training, your mind is the most important factor because knowledge is power. More importantly, don’t let your mind bully your body. Aside from your kids if you have any, identify your lifestyle. What do you routinely make time for? Bar-hopping and drinking or going to clubs? Staying up late? How about going online or gaming, are you sedentary? Take a look in your fridge and pantry, like a woman’s purse; it will say a lot about you and your eating habits because ultimately what you eat privately, you wear publicly. Do you mainly eat prepackaged meals for the sake of saving 5 minutes and 5 bucks? Asking yourself these questions is not only the process of evaluation, but also the process of elimination.
Taking the step of prioritizing your free time is an example of setting a goal. It may feel miniscule, but it is very important and indeed very big to some people considering the lack of change is what gets many into a slump. Sometimes simple math helps because everyone knows that there are 24 hours in a day, but hardly anybody realizes if you sacrifice just one of those hours, it’s only equivalent to 4%; a low figure a lot of people wish would be their sitting-in-traffic time. Other goals include learning to eat properly, ditching the misleading snack boxes and bags, buying local and/or fresh as possible, prepping food for the week and those on-the-go moments to stay in control. These habits in the long run, are key to a healthy diet which holds most of the responsibility of obtaining your new body. We all remember the classic cartoon Popeye, but unfortunately, unlike the fact when he eats his spinach, you won’t get instant results. Although it does send a terrific message that with good habits comes good health and the ability to “tackle your challenges.”
Now-a-days in the fitness industry, one of the most popular misconceptions especially for the females is that if they start to strength train, it will give them a dreaded, manly-look. Most do not consider the ridiculous opposing theory that if men don’t work out they’ll look feminine. The unspoken conclusion is that the ladies just don’t want to get comfortable with being uncomfortable, therefore diagnosing themselves with an unrealistic outcome and every bodybuilders dream of “getting too bulky really fast.” Our society has become convinced that being skinny and frail demonstrates femininity when in reality; it can surely indicate weakness and poor health, just as being overweight. Strong is the new sexy and another reason that a superhero will never have that mindset in common with the general public.
Weight loss and muscle gain do not happen overnight and although many sources claim to have a “breakthrough” that make doctors and dietitians furious, your breakthrough is your superhero transformation based off of hard work, knowledge, discipline, and from eating your spinach, too. These OTC products only fuel the fire of laziness and do not teach the foundation of tip-top health that can fight genetics, the appearance of aging, and boost your energy and metabolism levels that give you maximum performance while you train.
Exercising in general can be very dangerous if not taken seriously but by taking extra caution, you will succeed, especially in strength training. Your body has to be gently awakened to get the feel of what is happening, or the term of waking a sleeping monster can have some significance when it comes to feeling the excessive soreness and pain, even injury from not properly exercising at an appropriate level. Although there are various forms of training such as muscle endurance and power lifting, the most common format most fitness enthusiasts and bodybuilders follow is what is known as muscle hypertrophy and/or chronic muscle hypertrophy. Sounds complicated? It really isn’t as it is defined by many Exercise Science professionals and institutions such as American Council on Exercise (ACE) as “the result of an increase in the size of individual muscle cells due to a proliferation of actin and myosin myofilaments within the myofibrils.” Basically, neuromuscular adaptations in response to chronic exercise. Muscle growth, or chronic hypertrophy is responsible for gains experienced after a prolonged period of resistance training.
Given this, even though you feel you have the strength to lift something heavier than usual, your body will respond otherwise reminding you that sufficient oxygen levels are also necessary to train which can be associated with the off-balance of on-hand and stored energy that can ultimately cause irregular heartbeat and painful muscle soreness. This surely will not get you the results you’re working so hard for and will eventually be categorized into overtraining, a subject that is capable of jeopardizing your health and immune system, your sleep, strength, appetite, including your mood. However, to obtain muscle/chronic hypertrophy, you must constantly confuse your muscle memory by performing various exercises, even if they are within the same muscle group.
For example, bicep curls should not only be done with free weights or dumbbells. They should also be practiced with cables, barbells, standing, seated, both hands, single handed, underhand grip, overhand grip, even other body-weight exercises such as TRX straps and/or chin-ups to reap the full benefit due to various resistances and positions. Keep in mind, if it doesn’t challenge you, it doesn’t change you. This simply means doing 25 reps of light weights is not considered strength training. To paint a clearer picture, in the end you’ll only burn roughly the same amount of calories and expend as much energy fanning your nail polish dry to put it modestly. The weight must challenge your form, your pace, your breathing, of course your muscles and how soon you come to failure. Successful training also involves proper rest and recovery, at least a 48-hour period between muscle groups and a solid 7-8 hours of sleep nightly along with adequate hydration. Most people assume all the wearing and tearing in the gym is what gives them their gains, but your body actually does the building and repairing effortlessly in your sleep!
In The End…
So now that you have the fundamentals of what it takes to train to be a superhero and you’re eyes a now more glowing with excitement, you’ll see that everything involves little changes. From evaluating yourself, identifying problems, taking steps, setting realistic goals, learning and understanding your body and various levels of performance, even recognizing and appreciating the differences in your confidence levels. Just think of it as nickel-and-diming yourself to a more positive lifestyle, a killer body, and strength that you never knew you had before, body and mind. Having made this transformation is now an inspiration to others the way your superhero is always an inspiration to you. The best part is that you’re a fact, not a fiction.