NotYourAverageNerd - Everything I know about fat loss & gaining muscle

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Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:27 am
Name: John
Age: 24
Location: South Bay (LA)

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:08 am

Not sure if I'm really in a position to do this, but fuck it here goes.

In my "365 days of Tinder" thread, a bunch of people have complemented my body (thanks guys! I needed the ego stroke a little :) ), and asked what I'm doing to cut fat and build muscle. I don't really feel like I'm any kind of authority on this (nor do I know what level of knowledge anyone here has, so I may be preaching to the choir here :) ), but there's definitely a couple of things that I wish someone had told me when a long time ago.

I started writing out "what I do" in a reply on that thread, but it ended up being kind of just a list of everything I've learned (because I don't know exactly what anyone who asked already does or doesn't know). It grew out of control and ended up being like halfway to a guide to getting started dieting and weightlifting, so I leaned into that and made it exactly that. So if you're already intermediate and just want to know what I do, skim through it, literally everything I'm doing is somewhere in here. If you're a newbie, let me know if this helps at all (or if it's useless and you think I'm an idiot :) )! I don't really write much so any feedback would be awesome.

So, the short answer to the question "what am I doing to cut fat and build muscle" is: mainly suffering

That's not very helpful though, so here's the long answer.

First off, my proof to anyone else that I do have some idea what I'm doing (again, I am NOT an authority or expert on this, and am FULLY AWARE that I am NOT some "greek god" or perfect 10. I've only been at it for a couple years, and still have a LONG way to go before I'd really consider my body "done"):
So the quick breakdown of how I got here (and what I'm doing now) is:

80%: eating less and moving more
19.9%: lifting heavy things and putting them back down
0.1%: other

One thing before we start: if you have a medical kind of problem, that throws a wrench in this. Depending on the problem, it may not matter at all, it may matter more than everything else. I was hypogonadic until I was 22 and never realized it. If you suspect your testosterone is low, GET IT CHECKED. Good looking loser (who knows WAY more about this than I ever will) has a whole series on testosterone and TRT/HRT at ... terone-hrt If YOU are hypogonadic (fancy term for "balls dont work right") the ONLY SHAME is in knowing it and being too afraid to fix it. My family was legitimately against the idea at first because they were worried it would "change me" (YEAH THATS THE WHOLE FUCKING IDEA), and that "I'm fine the way I am". They acted like the problem was insecurity about having low test and NOT THAT IT WAS ACTUALLY LOW. If you are low, I GIVE YOU PERMISSION to ignore your family or friends or anyone who's against you fixing it. Same with your thyroid and IGF-1. You're not going to make much progress without these in order. If you even suspect this is a problem you have, stop reading this RIGHT NOW, go read the articles on GLL and GET TESTED. You don't even need to go to a doctor to get a test, the tests can be ordered online for about $60, and mail-in tests can even be purchased at some big-box stores like target.
If you are low, go to an endocrinologist NOT a regular doctor, most regular doctors will just check you against a range, and won't do anything unless you're bordering on transgender. Healthy test should be >=700 ng/dl for guys who are under about 25. If you're older it will fall off, but keeping it around this will help you a ton. I would also be up-front when you go into the endocrinologist that you don't just want to be "fine" you're trying to get to OPTIMAL testosterone for losing fat and building/retaining muscle. If they're not OK with that, then find a new one. also has a number of articles about testosterone.
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Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
User avatar
Posts: 230 | Thanks: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:27 am
Name: John
Age: 24
Location: South Bay (LA)

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:14 am


Section 1: NOT EATING.

If you haven't heard the expression "abs are made in the kitchen", now you have. It's true. Eating is more important than everything else combined, BY FAR.
cooking up some abs

If you're not eating well, you will not look good. If you are eating well, you'll look at least pretty good even if you're not doing much in the gym. The first thing with food is that HEALTHY IS NOT THE SAME AS GOOD FOR FAT LOSS. These are SEPARATE THINGS. ENTIRELY. Some foods that are healty are GREAT for fat loss (looking at you, spinnach), some SUCK at one and are GREAT for the other, in both directions, some suck for both. The bottom line is: to lose fat (I'll talk about adding muscle later) you need to BURN more calories than you EAT.

Thats pretty much all there is to it.

This is also sometimes referred to as "calories in = calories out" (though that really should be "calories in + fat/muscle lost = calories out + fat/muscle gained" but whatever, that's nerd shit).

Unfortunately, a lot of people who talk about "calories in = calories out" are idiots.

Many people IGNORE that the right side of that equation ENTIRELY and say that "if you want to lost weight JUST EAT LESS. Duh Doy".
Most of the complexity of this is in the "calories OUT" side. Calories in is fairly easy, add up EVERYTHING you shove into your face. This includes
-"leafy greens"
-"Healthy" foods
-alcohol even pure alcohol has calories, and a lot of mixed drinks have a TON of sugar too
-things you eat on the weekend
-things you eat when you're hangin' with your homies at the bar
-cheat meals
-cheat days
-"low carb" food
-"gluten free" food
-"organic" food
-"grass fed" food
-anything marketed as "guilt free"
-food eaten after a certain time
-food eaten before a certain time
-"refeed" days/meals

Add those up and you've got calories in
(or close, not matter HOW "accurate" you are, you won't get closer than +- 100 calories or so per day. That doesn't turn out to matter that much though).

Calories out is harder. You CANNOT ESTIMATE YOUR CALORIES OUT WITH EQUATIONS. It will also CHANGE based on your calories IN. In engineering we call this a "control system" - fancy way of saying that your body will FIGHT YOU to keep at whatever your "natural" bodyfat is (where you sit if you just eat whatever you feel like eating). It does this by trying to change your calories OUT to match your calories IN.
Math is not how you get ripped

When you start to restrict calories, your energy will drop and the ammount of energy you spend moving around (walking, moving to music, fidgeting, standing instead of sitting, everything you DO thats not "excercie") will drop. This is referred to as NEAT. There's not much you can do about this, even if you try to keep your NEAT up, your body will subconsciously change what you do when you're not paying attention. You can do things like walking or biking more instead of driving (I do this for grocery shopping for example - I bike to the store most weeks), using the stairs instead of the elevator, getting a standing desk, etc to recover some of it, but it WILL drop pretty much no matter what you do.

So, what do you need to do?
For 1~3 weeks, depends on how much your weeks vary. If your life is realy stable, then 1 week is probably enough to get started. If you go out sparadically (pretty sure I spelled that wrong. Don't care.) then 3 (or more) weeks will probably give a better idea. Then, after that, add up EVERYTHING for the entire couple weeks and divide by the number of days.(so if you ate 30,352 calories in two weeks, that means you averaged 2168 calories per day). Exact daily numbers don't matter. Some days will be higher, some lower, what matters is the total, over the course of weeks or months.

I use a google sheet with all of the foods I commonly eat, that automatically adds up calories and macros every day, as well as my weight every day (which I average over several days). Google sheets is nice because it syncs between my phone and computer automatically, and I can add foods at any time and it remebers them. At this point it takes me only a couple minutes total to track my calories for the day. If I can't get exact nutrition facts for something (like restaurant food) I just take my best guess. This is not a precision science, no matter HOW much you try to make it one.
So what you do is, figure out how much you averaged per day, eating normally (i.e. "at maintinence", how much you need to eat to maintain your current physique), then subtract about 15% or so (so if your "maintinence" was 2168, that's 2168 * 0.85 = 1842). Target eating that much ON AVERAGE for the next couple weeks. Use your weight lost/gained to fine-tune exaclty how many calories you're eating OR your activity level. If you are losing weight too slow, EAT LESS or MOVE MORE (more on cardio and "suppliments" later). If you are losting weight too fast EAT MORE or MOVE LESS.

Exactly WHAT you eat is up to you (but more on that later), if you LIKE doing keto or paleo or carnivore or fat free or sugar free or WHATEVER, and it HELPS YOU STICK TO YOUR CALORIES FOR THE DAY then DO THAT. If it DOESN'T then DONT DO IT. If you nail your calories and its all pizza and ice cream, you'll lose weight. If you go over every day but it's all salads and broccoli and lean chicken, you'll still get fat. Most diets that don't track calories only work because they make you WANT to eat fewer calories.
Tracking calories will let you figure out what diets you LIKE, and will work FASTER than trying it for six months and seeing if you get skinny. So if you try, say, carnivore for a week, and you can stick to your calories without even trying and you feel good, then that's a good diet FOR YOU. If you try it and feel like absolute shit and want to binge every other day, then that's NOT a good diet FOR YOU so stop doing it. There is NO PERFECT DIET PLAN, not only in general, but even just FOR YOU. Some will work better than others, you just need to find something that works for you, whatever that ends up being.
you don't necessarily need to track calories forever, the end goal of all of this is to get to a point where you can just eat intuitively and feel good and still reach your goals, but that is the END GOAL not something you're likely to be able to just jump to. It's like jazz; it's supposed to just be intuitive and felt, but if you just picked up a trombone and tried to play jazz, you would just make weird annoying noises. You FIRST have to learn HOW TO PLAY THE DAMN TROMBONE and you do that by playing NORMAL MUSIC FIRST, THEN you can start to just "feel" it. Same thing for dieting, learn HOW to eat to hit your goals, THEN you can start to LEARN how to continue to hit those goals WITHOUT having to strictly control everything.

Section 2: goals and timeframe

Track your weight every day, weigh yourself AT THE SAME TIME EVERY DAY. I do it first thing when I get up, after peeing but before drinking water. Your weight will change by sometimes up to 10 pounds PER DAY, based on eating, drinking, peeing, pooping, excercising, etc. This is NOT FAT it is FOOD in your stomach/gut/colon and WATER. Weighing yourself at the same time/state minimizes this to some degree, BUT it still depends on what/how much you ate and drank for several days before. Make a graph of your weight, and look for treneds over the course of WEEKS or MONTHS, do NOT look for day-to-day changes. Here's an actual graph of my weight over the last couple weeks.
Blue is my daily weight, orange is a running average of the previous week
Notice that it's all over the place BUT slowly going down.
Also notice the timescale: I've only lost about two pounds in the last MONTH.
Now I'm already pretty lean, but this should give you an idea of what you can shoot for. YOU WILL NOT LOOK LIKE A MODEL IN SIX WEEKS.
If you are really obese (good rule of thumb: if you cant see all of your abs when NOT flexing, you're fat. If you can't see abs even when you ARE flexing you're probably obese) then you can lose faster, I wouldn't advise much above 1~1.5% of your total body weight per week though. So if you're three hundred pounds, that's 300 * 0.015 = 4.5 pounds per week MAX. If you're 200, that's 3 pounds per week. You're smart, you get the idea.

For people who are NOT currently fat/obese (below about 20%, visible but not very well defined abs) you can probably lose 0.5~1% body fat per week. For people who are already lean, its probably below 0.5%. I'm targeting 0.3% currently. That's just 1/2 pound per week at my weight. That's not very much.
So for a fairly average guy, something around 175 pounds, a little under 20% body fat, should plan on losing NO MORE THAN ABOUT A POUND A WEEK TO START. And this will go DOWN as you get leaner and closer to your target.
Won't bore you with the math, but following a reasonable decrease (tapering off rate of weight loss as you get leaner) it should take around 37 weeks for our 175 pound, 20% guy (which is about my setpoint) to get down to around 8% bodyfat. If you don't understand how I got to that, that doesn't matter, if you just do this, you'll end up following it:
Every two weeks, check your running average weight. If you're obese, multiply it by 0.015, if you're fat, multiply it by 0.01, if you're lean multiply it by 0.005. Try to lose that much weight NEXT WEEK. Again, your weight WILL vary a bit, just aim to get the trend to be about that fast. If you're losing weight too low, EAT LESS or MOVE MORE. If you're too fast, EAT MORE or MOVE LESS. Repeat until women start sucking your dick.
I think we're done with math now. Thank God.

Notice that the 37 weeks from a minute ago is NOT a short period of time, that's over 9 months, and that's IF HE DOES EVERYTHING RIGHT.


A more realistic goal would be getting to just under 10% in a YEAR.
That doesn't mean you have to wait a year to see results.
That means that every day you will look just a little better than you did the day before FOR AN ENTIRE YEAR.
I started getting compliments from people who knew me within a few months of starting to work out and diet (though I started with a bulk, more on that later). After about 9 months I was getting compliments from people I didn't know. After about a year I had ATTRACTIVE GIRLS I barely know HITTING ON ME (occasionally). And I'm not even where I want to be yet. I did stupid shit and fell off the wagon a couple times. If you are even MARGINALLY less stupid than I am (you probably are, I'm a FUCKING IDIOT) then you can do better than that.
The glasses only make me LOOK smarter

Unless there is a SINGLE EVENT you want to look good for and NEVER LOOK GOOD AGAIN, then a long term eating and excercise plan (on the scale of YEARS) will work 10,000 times better than a crash diet. If you crash diet you'll be so miserable at the end of it that you'll rebound and go right back to where you were. You'll also strip off a TON of muscle in the process. Guys with big muscles are hot. Skinny guys with no muscle are not as hot (to most girls).

Quick note: The first 2~5 days of your diet you will likely "lose" several pounds (typically 2 or 3, but depending on your body chemistry and size it may be up to 8 or 10). This is NOT fat, it is WATER that was being stored throughout your body. Only start worrying or cutting back if you continue losing MORE than what you planned for maybe 3 weeks in a row. Most people lose too slow (i.e. not at all), VERY few lose too fast.

At higher body fats, this is a fairly continuous process, you'll lose like a pound and a half a week for a couple weeks, then like a pound a week, then like half a pound. But, once you start getting pretty lean, you'll find yourself "running into walls" every couple pounds, you'll stop losing weight entirely. You basically have to start thinking of your different options as "cards" that you can play against these walls. Dropping 100~200 calories is a card, adding 10 minutes of cardio a day is a card (more on cardio in section 4), taking a fat burner (I'll get to this more later) is a card, walking somewhere every day (say to work, if you're close, or to get groceries or something) instead of driving is a card. You play them by doing that thing regularly. Most of these you can only play once, some you can a few times (at some point you'll literally run out of calories to restrict, suppliments/drugs to take, or time in the day for cardio). At that point: you're done (or you need to find new "cards" to play). If you play all your cards at once RIGHT when you start, you'll make great progress for a little bit, but you'll stop making progress within a couple weeks/months, and then you're stuck, theres nothing more you can do. If you get AS MUCH as you can possibly get out of every single "card" (play it, and WAIT until you STOP making progress to play the next one. Not being impatient with slow progress, literally STOPPED progress), that will let you get as lean as possible. I'll mention this idea a few times. Basic takeaway is, when you start out JUST drop your calories a LITTLE and do nothing else. You're not doing "better" by dropping to half your starting calories AND doing an hour of cardio every day AND taking a fat burner on day one. You're going to get WORSE results for your impatience. Be patient. This is a slow process.

The other thing your body does to fight you (to try to increase your calories in AND decrease your calories out) is it makes you REALLY HUNGRY - ALL THE TIME and makes you feel like SHIT. CONSTANTLY.

Section 3: Feeling like shit. Constantly.

Heads up: if you want to get lean you WILL BE MISERABLE. A LOT.
This is what I meant by "mainly suffering". Most of the actual actions you need to take are pretsty simple. Eat less than you use. Lift heavy things.

Having the willpower to force yourself to keep doing them is the hard part.

Most people who say you don't have to are:
a) lying to get you to buy something
b) just naturally thin/lean and don't have to work for it like the rest of us
c) out of shape themselves
or d) using a truly amazing ammount of drugs to stave off feeling like shit (more on this later)


There is some good news though.
Most people do not have the drive to do it.
Most people are too comfortable.
Most people live UNBELIEVABLY comfortable lives, even compared to just a few decades ago.
Most people are more concerted with looking like they made an effort and failed for reasons beyond their control, than actually getting anywhere.

Two hundred years ago, being able to sit in a bed and have any food you desire delivered to your door within minutes would have been a luxary beyond the dreams of kings. Now we call it uber eats. And we're pised off if they're even a little bit late or it's a bit cold.
We have INFINITE light entertainment (netflix, youtube, Disney+, etc) right at our fingertips, any time, any day.
We have homes heated and cooled to exactly the temperature we desire.
We have cars to take us where we want to go.

Most people, when they have to leave this bubble of constant, perfect comfort get scared and run back. Real work is hard. Its new. It sucks.

They don't make any progress on any of their goals, if they have any at all, because once it gets even a LITTLE bit difficult, they make exceuses and run back to their little bubble.

If you've gotten to this though, that means SOMETHING brought you here.
Whatever that is, that's why YOU will succeed.
Maybe its depression. Maybe its insecurity about women. Maybe you're just horny as fuck. Maybe you just want to be really hot.
Whatever it is USE IT. LET IT DRIVE YOU. Remember WHY you started down this path in the first place. Whatever it is, it made your little bubble of comfort not quite comfortable enough. It must have or you wouldn't be here. This is a weird, deep part of the internet. You had to look for it.

Whatever drove you to find this, remember it. Embrace the discomfort it causes. You'll need to remember that to drive you to KEEP AT IT when you feel like shit. When its not fun. When your motiviation is gone. Motivation is not your friend. It's great if it lines up with what you want, it makes you feel good, might even push you a little bit harder. But when the chips are down it's remembering that the alternative isn't any better that will really drive you.
I'm hyping the fuck out of this because this is really the only reason I've gotten anywere. I remember sitting in my room, alone and feeling unloved, and no ammount of food or videos or porn or fucking temperature control was doing shit for me.

I was ... uncomfortable.

Most people will never REALLY be uncomfortable, in their entire life.
The good thing is, that makes it easy to push harder, and do better than "most people".
When you're more driven to succeed, more willing to actually put in the GOD DAMN WORK than most people, then you will EASILY stand out in whatever you do before too long.
Ask anyone around here who has already succeeded, I guarantee you almost all them will have had something like this that drove them. Their own, personal rock bottom.

I know that sitting in my little bubble sucks. I know that no matter how bad I'm suffering right now, the alternative is worse. If this is the case for you, you'll be able to push through. If it's not, you'll give up and go back to eating pizza and jerking off like the other 95% of people who "try". You don't have to hit "rock bottom", simply being aware that giving up is going to make you suffer far more in the long run than whatever discomfort you're feeling now is enough.

When you try, you'll fail occasionally. This won't give you infinite motivation. You won't be perfect just because you're driven. The difference is, if you'll take failure as an exceuse to give up, "oh crap I ate a bunch of shit when I was drunk yesterday. My diet is ruined. Might as well just order a pizza tonight".

"Oh crap I ate a bunch of shit when I was drunk yesterday. Well that's going to set me back a little. I'll drop my daily calories for the next four days to help get me back on track".

One of those is the comfortable option. One is going to be uncomfortable. But which of those people do you think will succeed?

Fun fact: this literally happened YESTERDAY. Went on an unsuccessful date (I always drink a bunch before dates, people like me WAY better when I'm at least a little tipsy) and binged afterward. It's happened before, and it will happen again. When it does, I don't give up. I dust myself off and get back to work.

If you want more on this, check out GLLs article on being uncomfortable: ... sexed-male

I'm emphasizing this so much because almost no one talks about it (I haven't read all of the stuff on kyil yet, I'm sure Andy has whole articles on this, but in any case, it bears repeating), but actually going through trying to be successful at ANYTHING, this is the hardest part BY FAR.

Section 4: Calories out: cardio

Okay so now that you know what you're in for (and why you'll push through) and have a REALISTIC GOAL (6+ months if you've got a ways to go), we can get to less important things.
So when your body starts to make you feel like shit, it's doing that to make you MOVE LESS so you burn fewer calories. You can fight this by moving more. This is commonly referred to as "excercise". It's good for you.
As far as calories in = calories out, excercise is pretty much equivalent to cutting calories. If I add on 15 minutes of cardio per day, and I'm burning 400 calories/hour doing my cardio, then I could (potentially) get the same results by instead removing 100 calories of food every day. For the most part this DOES WORK, but there's some nuance.

For one, you can't really cut calories forever AND STAY HEALTHY. People aren't magic, you can't get energy from the air. Look at anyone who has TRULY faced starvation (holocaust survivors, unfortunate homeless people, severe aneorexics), you CAN just cut calories and you'll lose fat, but it takes either severse circumstances or literally giving yourself an eating disorder to force you beyond a certain point. This is generally a few % above 10% body fat. If you're content with 12~15%, which most people will be, most people will look pretty good at this point if they have a decent ammount of muscle it's likely you can get there by just eating less. Getting below this point (and to get as attractive as possible) will almsot always involve cardio, or else you'll probably start to have some serious problems. Derek from More Plates More Dates actually recently did a podcast explaining this exact topic, so I won't cover it here more, go listen to that.
The second main problem with JUST cutting calories forever is that your body will start to pretty much shut down (sometimes referred to as "starvation mode") where it will try to conserve as much energy as possible by making you feel like shit, making you sleeply more, and will start burning more muscle in addition to fat (this is a sliding scale though, it's not like a switch where you're either burning muscle OR fat. You're doing both all the time, you'll just burn more). You will also become more and more obsessed with food. At some point, your willpower WILL give out.

If it doesn't, then congrats! You've just given yourself an eating disorder!
This is NOT A GOOD THING. Not only will it ruin your health, it won't even give you actual results (remember, we're trying to become MORE ATTRACTIVE NOT JUST LOSE WEIGHT). See a doctor if you think you may be aneorexic. Don't keep reading. Go. Now.

At that point, you'll binge and rebound, or, you will "hit a wall". The way to get past this is to do more cardio INSTEAD of just cutting calories.
Particularly when you're very lean already, cardio ends up being significantly different from just cutting calories.
What form of cardio is best? Whichever one you'll do. I HATE running, but I love biking. So I don't run. Ever. I bike a ton though. Some people love jogging. Some people like rowing. Some people hate all of those and can only put up with walking. That's fine. Do WHATEVER CARDIO YOU WANT. Just do SOMETHING THAT GETS YOU MOVING. Do more of it if you're not losing enough weight. Do less if you're losing too fast (or eat more).

Cardio should be done steady-state if your only goal is weight loss (i.e. you are going the same speed/intensity the whole time). I actually prefer sprinting (which is a form of "High Intensity Interval Training" or HIIT) simply because it's fun, BUT it's worse for weight loss so I don't do it very often. I bike VERY often, almost daily, sometimes for HOURS. If you've never heard of HIIT, then just skip this paragraph and ignore it:

You'll burn FEWER calories doing HIIT than regular cardio. So in, say, 15 minutes of running sprints every couple minutes and walking the rest of the time, you'll burn less than you would if you just jogged or biked or something for 15 minutes. Also HIIT can't really scale up, you can't do more than maybe 20 minutes of ACTUAL HIIT without fucking dying, you can easily do HOURS of moderate seady-state cardio once you're used to it. Yes, HIIT may have a any number of benefits, can be fun, AND can do other things for you (like building muscle) BUT for FAT LOSS it's not the best. You'd also be better off from a muscle-building perspective doing normal cardio and hitting the weights harder.

For any dorks who are going to argue about the "afterburn effect" or some shit, that's a TINY effect. Like 40 calories total AT BEST, TOTAL. If you even push hard enough to get it at all. Most people are pussies and won't push hard enough to get ANYTHING from it. It doesn't matter.
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Last edited by NotYourAverageNerd on Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
User avatar
Posts: 230 | Thanks: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:27 am
Name: John
Age: 24
Location: South Bay (LA)

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:17 am

Section 5: Food choices - healthy food vs good for fat loss

So after teasing this in section 1, I'm actually going to start talking about choices of food now. I waited until now because ... it doesn't really matter that much for your results. The bottom line IS calories in = calories out, if you're eating LESS than you BURN you'll lose weight. If you're eating MORE than you BURN you'll gain weight. End of story.
Aside: for pretty much everything in this section (really all, but this one especially) what works FOR YOU matters more than anything else. If a diet of cookies and ice cream gets you shredded and you feel good and are healthy, DO THAT. More realistically, if you like some particular diet or food or whatever AND ITS WORKING, then keep doing that, even if it goes against anything here. Everyone's differnt, so there are NO RULES on what you can and can't do.

So, does food choice matter at all?


If you eat nothing but doughnuts, you'll probably die. Not from not eating enough, but because doughnuts literally don't contain the nutrients to support a human body. Also a diet of only doughnuts would, surprisingly, be MISERABLE BEYOND BELIEF and would pretty much destroy any muscle you have.

The first thing I'll say about choosing food is that it is FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND times easier to say "no" once in the grocery store than it is to say "no" EVERY TIME YOU WALK INTO THE KITCHEN. If there's something you DONT want to eat (for me, ice cream is TERRIBLE in this way), then DONT KEEP IT IN THE HOUSE. Dont buy it in the first place. It's NOT THAT FUCKING HARD. If you live in a house where you don't do the grocery shopping, then tell whoever DOES not to buy that shit in the first place. If they refuse, throw it away as soon as you see it. Or burn it. Whatever. If you're a parent and your kids want it BE A FUCKING PARENT instead of their god damn serveant and say NO. THEY DONT NEED THIS SHIT EITHER. (my parents are TERRIBLE at this, my brother, that lives at home, chugs like five or six cans of soda a DAY, they keep TELLING him to stop drinking it but also keep buying the shit EVERY FUCKING TIME THEY GO TO THE STORE). If you just can't get it out of the house for some reason then I guess give up and just sit in your room and jerk off and be depressed and fat for the rest of your life because you literally can't figure out how to keep there from being cookies in your house.

Stop acting like a helpless pussy.

Get rid of the fucking cookies.

Use that brain of yours and figure out how.

Self-control (or willpower) is a limited resource, use it on the things that matter like training and when you're IN the grocery store or going out to eat or something. Not every god damn time you walk through the kitchen, you'll waste all your self control just not eating an entire bag of chips every five minutes, and by the end of the DAY you'll give in and binge.

The best balance I've usaully found is to allow myself to buy the ammount of junk food I'm okay with eating in one sitting, and NOT feel bad about eating it. So I might buy a single-serving thing of ice cream every week or two (the dollar store near me has these TINY things of name-brand ice cream that are only like 200 calories of it for a dollar). Thing is I'll only ever have a weeks worth of things like this in my kitchen at any given time, and NO other junk, AND I'll only replace it every week or two, NOT as soon as its eaten. Simple rule I follow is, DONT keep more junk IN THE ENTIRE HOUSE than you are okay with eating in a SINGLE SITTING. I also keep it somewhere out of sight. Back of the bottom shelf of the pantry, back of the freezer, top shelf of the cabinets, the fucking basement, wherever you DONT look very often, so it's not staring you in the face all the time.

Also, eating 1000 calories over your diet one day won't derail you. Doing that every day will make you fat in no time. WHEN you give in and break your diet (it will happen. It always does), THAT IS WHEN TENACITY IS MOST IMPORTANT. Everyone will have moments of weakness, its whether you give up AFTER them that will decide if you succeed or not. WHEN you binge, do your best to estimate the damage, figure out how much you ate, how much its going to set you back, and what you need to do to get back on track, then do that. DONT beat yourself up over it or think that you failed or that you're "weak" or a bad person or you just need to try harder or some shit. You're only a weak pathetic failure if one day of overeating makes you GIVE UP. Don't. Acknowlege what happened, and GET BACK TO WORK. As Andy's said over and over on the site, you WILL succeed if you JUST DONT GIVE UP.

Okay, so what foods *should* you eat?

A lot of people stress out A TON about EXACTLY what macro breakdown to have. It doesn't matter. If you are getting some of everything (DONT cut out a whole macro groups), enough protien, and some cholesterol (fat from meats, eggs, or dairy) before bed then you're fine. Cholesterol before bed is there because your body needs cholesterol to produce testosterone. You don't need, or want, a ton in your diet though. I eat two strips of bacon every night. For my health :)
This guy. Dont be this guy. There are no "perfect" macro percentages.

If you don't know already, macronutrients or "macros" are the three basic "things" that food is made of: protien, carbohydrates, and fat. These are listed on the nutrition label on the back of all foods (or can be found online for common things like apples or butchered meats).

You can think about macros by function and how it makes you feel, generally. Protiens are the building blocks of human bodies, you need it to build muscle. Generally aim to get at least around half a gram per pound of bodyweight (so, if you're 160 pounds, aim to get at least 80 grams of protien per day), one gram if you REALLY want to be sure you're getting all that you could possibly use. Anything beyond that isn't going to hurt you, but is pretty much unnecessary. Protien is also very satiating, it will make you the most SATISFIED, calorie for calorie, than the other macros, even if you don't feel super FULL.

Fat is essentail for a variety of body functions, and is important for your health, in moderation. Having too much CAN cause problems (through not necessarily, like most things it depends on the specific person, type of fat, and phase of the moon). Aim to get "enough" of this and not much more. What enough menas for you, you'll have to experiment and find out. I'd say don't go much below 25~30g/day on average, for an average size person. Fats are also the most calorie dense of the macros, at 9 calories per gram (carbs and protien are both 4, less than HALF). This also makes it not very filling OR satiating. You can eat a LOT of calories from fat very easily.

Carbs are fast fuel, AND in the form of fruits and vegetables, they have a TON of micronutrients ("vitamins and minerals") and fiber. You should be eating more fruits and vegetables. Many fruits and vegetables (looking at you, spinnach) are also not very "calorie dense", so you can eat a TON of them without getting many calories. This will make you more FULL, though they tend to not be very satiating (opposite of protien). Carbs also includes sugars, grains (and anything derived from grains), and rice. These tend to NOT very filling or satiating (you can eat a lot of them without feeling full or wanting to stop).

Combinations of these tend to
Your goal with choosing foods is essentially to pick whatever foods will make you the least miserable during your diet. This means picking foods FOR A PURSPOSE. This will usually be how it makes you FEEL or just because you LIKE IT.
For me, I FUCKING LOVE peanut butter-bacon-siracha burgers (all of those things, plus barbecue sauce, on a burger). they're fucking amazing and I will never go on a diet where I "can't have them" That said, they're pretty calorie dense and not very filling, so I don't get that many, or very often. Usually once or twice a week, for dinner. That usually means that those nighgts, I go to bed hungry and on an empty stomach (they're a half-pound of ground beef each BUT I have an enormous appetite and stomach, I can EASILY eat four of them plus sides. While dieting, I'll only eat one). For you this could be ice cream, doughnuts, whatever you REALLY LOVE there's good news, you don't have to stop eating it.
You just have to eat less of it.

As far as how foods make you feel, the first thing you'll be looking for is to feel full and satisfied. These are two different things. If you don't get the difference, eat an entire head of lettuce before dinner. You'll be completley FULL but you'll still WANT to eat more food. You'll probably be on the verge of throwing up (if not, eat more lettuce until you are) BUT will want to eat!. The next day try eating a dozen scrambled eggs (with no sides or anything). By halfway through the eggs, you'll want to stop, you wont want more food, even though the actual ammount of food you've eaten is pretty small. You'll be completely SATIATED and wont want to eat more, even though your stomach isn't completely full.
These are extreme examples, but give the basic idea. What you'll be looking for is to maximize both of these feelings whenever you eat, which will make it easier to STOP eating.
Eating good food on a diet is easy.
The hard part is STOPPING eating.

Salads are fantasitic for this purpose. Even if they're not your favorie thing to eat, they let you feel full WITHOUT eating all that many calories. Thing is, a lot of people do salads VERY WRONG. They have a TINY ammount of lettuce, and a lot of meat, and a ton of fucking CRUTONS, and DRESSING. Almost all salad dressings are basically pure fat (olive oil, though "healthy" is TERRIBLE for losing weight, it is PURE FAT). Instead do salads the right way. If anyone refers to it as "just a salad" then it's not big enough. For me, a normal dinner will be 200~300 calories of meat (or more depending on how many I have left at the end of the day), a little under a hundred calories of fruits and vegetables, an entire bag of spinnach (6oz) and half a head of lettuce.
Look at the size of that thing. It's only like 500 calories. Most people probably couldn't even finish it if they tried

The meat is generally a very VERY lean beef (like 96%), pork, or chicken. Sometimes I'll mix whole eggs or egg whites in as well, for some extra protien and/or cholesterol. The protien in these is satiating. The MASSIVE ammount of leafy greens only total about 60 calories, but is super filling, (even for me).

Notably missing from the ingredients is dressing, crutons, and other fatty, dense shit. You can use something light a sugar-free barbecue sauce or light mayo (I have a TON of these low-calorie condiments) to make it taste better. These should all be low in FAT and SUGAR. Both of those are very calorie dense, but not at all FILLING or SATIATING.
My fridge. Almost all of the sauces are sugar free, and have no fat

Few quick words on diet condiments, and diet foods in general: THESE ARE LIFESAVERS, you can get almost anything in a sugar free version nowadays, syrup, barbecue sauce, mayo, and just about anything else you want. Some things like steak sauce, siracha, mustard (and a few others) are naturally low or even zero calories. Read the label and look not just at the big calorie number, but the SERVING SIZE. A good condiment is usually 15 calories per TWO TABLESPOONS or below. Some manufactuers try to BS you into thinking they're lower calorie than they are by listing a serving size of ONE tablespoon instead of two (which is more common). You're smarter than that. Read the label. This is actually a pretty common trick for a lot of different foods marketed as healthy. Especially things that mention "protien" on the packaging. A common trick is to have somthing like "12g of Protien!" and "100 calories!" on the front of a protien bar or something, but if you read carefully, they list the serving size as HALF A FUCKING BAR (what psychopath eats half a protien bar?!), and to trick you because they're assholes, the 12g of protien is referring to THE ENTIRE BAR but the 100 calories only referes to HALF A BAR. So really it's 12g of protien and 200 calories PER BAR. This is the kind of BS you have to look out for. Don't even look at the front of the packaging of things, JUST read the label and ACTUALLY READ THE WHOLE THING.

Also, artifucial sweeteners are your friend. I won't go into too much detail on this, but the "studies" that "show" that they make you fat DONT ACTUALLY SAY THAT. They say that people who tend to eat a lot of artifical sweeteners, also tend to be fat. That COULD mean that artificial sweeteners make people fat if we're living in some magical fairy tale land where fat just appears out of nowhere OR, if we're living the in the REAL WORLD, the correlation is the OTHER WAY AROUND. It's not that eating artifical sweeteners causes people to be fat, it's that BEING FAT MAKES PEOPLE EAT MORE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. Why? BECAUSE DIET FOODS HAVE ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS. WHO EATS DIET FOODS? SKINNY PEOPOLE? NO!!! FAT PEOPLE WHO ARE TRYING TO NOT BE FAT ANYMORE.

I'll rant more about "studies" later.

So don't be scared of artificial sweeteners. If you're REALLY worried about it, stevia extract is a "natural" sweetener taken from the leaf of a plant instead of being mixed from "chemicals". So use that. Whatever. Really they're all fine.

Whew, long rant on that.

You may have heard some myths about carbs and fat together causing you to gain weight. This isn't really true. There's nothing magic about carbs and fat together that makes you put on more fat, though these is some truth to it: most carbs are NOT FILLING or SATIATING, and they let you eat a TON of fat, which means a ton of CALORIES. If you eat a steak, you'll probably feel full for a couple hours. If you eat a couple pieces of heavily buttered toast, you'll probably still be hungry (ever been to a restaurant and eaten bread with butter or olive oil before the meal? It's literally called an appetizer. As in increases your appetite). Most foods that are carbs and fat together tend to do this. They feel very "light", they go well with salt and sugar and make you want to eat MORE of them, but have a TON of calories. Most junk food falls into this category; cookies, french fries, chips, pizza, ice cream, most candy, and doughnuts, just to name a few. Most people can eat one (or several) of those little ben and jerry's cups without even trying. Thing is they're like 1200 calories EACH. That's more than half a days worth of food in like five minutes. The point is these foods are ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS so you can (and will if you aren't paying attention) eat a TON of them.

Protiens and fats, on the other hand, are VERY satiating though not very filling. Think whole eggs, steak, bacon, ground beef. They are calorie dense, especially as you increase the fat content, so these are generally kind of middle-of-the-road as far as weight loss. Aim for more calories from protien than fat in these.

Carbs and protien are not super common in individual foods, but very common in dishes. If you choose a lean protien and low calorie-dense carb (like lettuce, spinnach, carrots, watermelon, apples, etc) this combination will generally be the most filling AND satiating, per calorie.

The second thing that you will want to use foods for (other than feeling full and satiated) is for performance, both for cardio and lifting.
This is where carbs are really important. Carbs are like high-performance racing fuel for your body - it can "burn" them pretty much directly into energy to fuel your workout. On the other hand, this means that you really don't need them if you're NOT working out. Generally these should be used when you need short (less than an hour) bursts of energy. Protiens and fats also supply energy, but it comes on more slowly and lasts longer.

So generally, if I'm working out, I'll eat 20~30g of carbs and protien at least half an hour before my workout, and another 10~20g of carbs during my workout (my workouts last around two hours, typically. I'll take a few minute break to eat about halfway through). Fruit is a GREAT way to get these carbs. Whatever fruit you like, just get the nutiriton facts for it, and figure out how much of it to eat to get about that many carbs. Play with it, see what works best for you, those are good numbers to start with.
The numbers, times, and everything don't really matter though, don't worry about it too much.

Finally, you will want to eat some food that is "healthy". You know what foods these are, dont overcomplicate it. Fruits are healthy, candy is not. Vegetables are healthy, chips are not. Nuts are healthy, ice cream is not. Fish is healthy, doughnuts are not. Chicken is healthy, pizza is not. Potatoes are healthy, fries are not (including sweet potato fries. They're not ANY better you dipshit, it's that they're fried, not the fucking potato that makes them unhealthy). You don't need to be a saint here or anything though, a lot of people (myself included) find that keeping a decent ammount (maybe 5~20%) of your calories from total junk is good for sticking to your diet - you can still HAVE the foods you want, just less of them, and keep most of the food either good for your goals, or healthy.

You want to make sure you're hitting all the food groups, have a variety of different fruits and vegetables, have some grains (though that shouldn't be most of your calories, that's a recipie for NOT being satiated, and eating too much), have some healthy fats (fish like salmon is a PHENOMEONAL way to get these, also things like walnuts or olive oil, though those are not AT ALL satiating or filling, so make sure to keep the ammount of those LOW and MEASURE IT CAREFULLY. Don't just grab a handful of nuts or drizzle olive oil on your salad), and again for your test, have a little bit of cholesterol right before bed. Don't cut out food groups or macros or anything like that. Keep your sugars down but don't freak out about it.

Not all healthy foods are good for weight loss though, as I said, those are DIFFERENT THINGS. Nuts (including peanut butter!) are REALLY good for you, and you should have *some* in your diet, BUT a TINY ammount of nuts has a TON of calories. 1 oz of walnuts has about 200 CALORIES. That's only a small handfull, you could eat that in ONE BITE. To get 200 Caloriesfrom something like chicken, you'd have to eat HALF A POUND. That's more than most people will eat in an entire meal! For something that's not calorie dense like spinnach, it would take TWO POUNDS to get 200 calories! I dare you to try to eat two pounds of spinnach in one sitting. The point is, even though the nuts are "healthy" you'd get less CALORIES, and therefore LOSE MORE FAT if you ate something more equally or more filling with fewer calories even if it's "less healthy". So like a 150 calorie frozen burrito or something might be way less "healthy" but will do way more for your weight loss goals.
Similarly, things that are "unhealthy" can be very good for weight loss. Diet soda is a great example of this, you're definitely NOT better off for putting it in your body BUT it's going to way BETTER for you that drinking the real deal (and all the calories that come with it!). It's a great way to keep from having cravings for things like soda WITHOUT getting all the calories.

You don't need to (nor should you, for your sanity) eat only "healthy" OR foods that are good for weight loss though. Eat junk occasionally. I ate pizza last night. Just keep your balance MOSTLY towards good food and MOSTLY away from the shit. 80/20 is probably fine early in a diet (so if you're eating 2000 calories, that means 400 of those being from junk food is TOTALLY FINE), I usually end up closer to 90/10 later in a diet (usually in the form of pretty "clean" eating most of the time, with a big dinner one night a week that's mostly crap). That said, this is JUST A GUIDELINE, if you find you feel really good AND can stick to a diet that's mostly or entirely junk food, then ABSOLUTELY do that. If you're getting results, then keep doing that thing. If you're NOT getting results, change something. That goes both ways. If you're eating all junk now, but keep finding yourself binging and feeling like crap, try putting some steaks and salads and smoothies in your day. If you're eating like a saint most of the time but binge and eat ten thousand calories in a day on the weekends, try adding some junk regularly and see if it helps your self control. Right when I started trying to diet, I did the latter of these for about a 2 months, I would eat 1700 calories of super "clean", super healthy food every day, and every couple weeks just snap and just eat like fucking crazy. I even tracked some of the binges, on one I hit 12,000 calories (and about half of that was "clean" food, too!) in less than 24 hours.
Nowadays I eat more junk (and WAY more processed/"diet" food) and just don't feel as much of a need to binge, even when I'm leaner and in a stepper deficit.

Some good resources on diet and nutrition:
I like information in video-form, there's probably a number of similarly good articles on this stuff, but I'm not as familar with them. 99.9% of the information you find is crap though (ESPECIALLY stuff based on "studies". See section C (other, yet to be written) for my rant on that). : TONS of good stuff on nutrition, especially. His "anabolic kitchen" series has a bunch of recipies for amazing diet foods, his stuff literally changed the way I eat on a diet. His video style involves a LOT of yelling though. It's not for everybody and he sounds like the parrot from Aladin, but give it a chance, watch 5 or 10 of his videos and you'll start to get used to it. Also tons of awesome stuff on training, with very minimal BS. : probably the best of the popular guys in the fitness industry. Aims more for healthy, balanced approach (which is probably a good idea in general!) rather than absolute maximum possible performance. Also sometimes gets a little too down-in-the-weeds, but generally really good stuff. More focused on weightlifting than nutrition though, also has some good stuff other bodybuilding-related topics. ... -Ria7257EA : The way he talks annoys the ABSOLUTE FUCKING HELL out of me, BUT, he's got a ton of really good recipies for weight loss, and generally good information about eating. Most of them are on making low-calorie alternatives to high-calorie junk foods (he has videos on brownies, doughnuts, cake, cookies, pizza and burritos, just to name a few). I've tried a bunch of them, every one was REALLY good, though the prep is non-trivial. : Ex-professional bodybuilder John Meadows, tons of good stuff though he ends up getting WAY overly technical sometimes (if he's using words you don't know, it probably doesn't really matter), but good stuff overall. Probably about 50/50 mix of videos between diet and training. : Smart guy, knows what he's doing but ends up getting a little too into "studies" and technical stuff. Probably just because he is INTERESTED in this and enjoys the "science" side since he already got all of his basics down years ago. If you're still a beginner, I WOULDN'T watch these, just focus on the simple stuff, eating and lifting, not trying to optimize every little tiny thing. : Not a ton of info and pretty basic, but minimal BS. ... 0z6S8t25Lw : Mainly calls out BS from OTHER youtubers, he's a pretty good reference for who to and who NOT to listen to, generally. Not 100%, but better than most. Has some information of his own as well, which again, minimal BS.
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Last edited by NotYourAverageNerd on Tue Oct 06, 2020 12:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current goal:
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:22 am



So there's not really that much to say about this, but I'm trying to make sections that matter longer because there's a lot of tenancy to focus on things that don't really matter. When you're weightlifting, actually putting in the FUCKING WORK is more important than EVERYTHING else.
Most people lift like pussies.
I do sometimes.
Not always.
I probably only actually FUCKING WORK like 10% of the time. On a good day.
That's better than 95% of people though.

pussies NOT meaning women. A lot of women who are serious lift like fucking beasts. The ratio of people who lift like pussies is probably actually about the same between the genders, but there's usually more guys in the gym, so there's a lot more guys who are fucking pussies in the gym at any time than women. Pussies just meaning people who give up the instant it gets hard

This is one of the harder things to learn how to do though, there's no direct path to it.

Generally though, the way to do it is to STOP trying to make lifting complicated. "How many reps and sets? what percent of my one rep max? Should I do preacher curls or spider curls? What preworkout should I take?" whatever else really doesn't matter if you're not putting in the effort. If you don't feel like you're fucking FIGHTING FOR YOUR LIFE TO MOVE THE GOD DAMN WEIGHT then pick up something heavier. Or pick it up more times.

This is a little different if you're literally JUST starting at lifting for the first time, you'll hurt yourself if you go all-out from the start. More on if you're just starting in the gym later.

The point is that lifting is only 20% of your results to BEGIN with, and 95% of THAT is how much EFFORT you put in, regardless of what you're doing. If you walk into a weight room and just make wild guesses at what to do, as long as you're MOVING HEAVY THINGS and PUSHING YOURSELF AS FAR AS YOU CAN GO you'll do ten bajillion times better than the guy who has picked the "perfect" exercises and does the "perfect" weight and reps and sets with "perfect" form and "perfectly" jerks himself off at night about how "perfect" his workout is.

Have I convinced you to SHUT UP AND JUST PICK UP HEAVY SHIT yet?
Don't be this guy. Use your repressed anger to pick up heavier shit, not to make graphs or workout plans or write comments about how someone else is picking up heavy shit wrong.

You're still reading so apparently not.

Section 2: dictionary

When you first get into this there's a TON of terms thrown around. Some you probably know, some probably not. DONT read all of these now, and you don't need to memorize all of these! Just look back at them as needed. Listed in whatever random order they popped into my head.

"Reps": Repetitions, the term for both the number of repetitions (how many times you lift a given weight in a "set") AND the actual process of lifting the weight itself, one time. So if someone says "do five reps" it means lift the weight five times. If someone says "I did a rep at 225" they mean they lifted 225 pounds, and set it back down, one time.

"Sets": Groups of a number of reps. Typically people will talk about sets and reps together, they might say "3 sets of 10", meaning three groups (sets) of ten reps, typically separated by a "rest period" of a minute or two (so, lift the weight 10 times (set one), wait a minute, lift it ANOTHER ten times (set two), wait another minute, lift it another ten times(set three)).

Rest/Interval/"x seconds/minutes between sets": how long you rest between your sets (one minute in the example given in "sets").

Interval training/"Time under Tension"/TUT: Training by lifting for a certain amount of time instead of a certain number of reps. So you might lift the weight as many times as you can (with good form) for 45 seconds, and rest two minutes, and repeat a couple times.

Form : How your body is positioned during a rep, how fast you move the weight, and the path it takes. For most exercises there is a generally accepted "good form" to minimize injury and maximize muscle growth. This usually means moving the weight relatively slowly (under control, NOT "cheating" by "throwing" or "swinging" it and using momentum instead of muscle power). IF YOU"RE JUST STARTING, YOUR FORM WILL SUCK. That's fine, focus on getting that good FIRST and THEN worry about heavy weights LATER. If you don't have good form you'll hurt yourself, and hurting yourself means you can't lift anymore, which means everything you gained will disappear.

cheating : Using "bad" form to make it easier to move the weight. For example if you're doing curls (curlz for girlz!) and you swing the weight behind you and pull it up while its swinging forward to make it easier to get up. This is often a side effect of using weights that are too heavy, your body is smart and if you're just trying to move the weight (and NOT paying attention to your form) then your "body" will instinctually "figure out" how to cheat effectively, and get the weight up. Often dangerous because it makes you more likely to get injured though, AND doesn't get you good muscle growth

"to failure" : lifting the weight until you physically give out. As in, gun to your head, (or, offered a billion dollars if you can do it) you could not lift it one more time with good form. Most people will not do this even once in their life. They might THINK they have, but really they could do more.

"beyond failure" : using one of a couple techniques (such as specific, "safe" ways of cheating, assistance from a spotter, removing weight, or something else) to do additional reps AFTER you're just gone to failure. So you might do curls until you cannot finish another rep (to failure) and then immediately switch to a lighter dumbell (not resting between the two), and do more reps at that weight until you hit failure with that new, lighter weight. Or, you might to bench press until you can't do another one, then have your spotter help you lift the bar for another couple of reps. Arm muscles tend to respond well to this sort of training.

Superset : Doing a set of one exercise, then, without resting, doing a set of ANOTHER exercise (so you might do ten curls, THEN ten pullups).

Split : putting different exercises on different days. Usually (but not always) these follow a weekly schedule. So a simple example of a "split" would be doing deadlifts on Mondays and squats on Wednesdays. Common types include "bro splits", "push-pull-legs", "upper body - lower body". I could write a whole other post just about splits, but it doesn't really matter, so just google it. They all pretty much work fine.

"Compound movement" / "Compound <whatever>" : exercises that involve a whole bunch of different body parts moving together. These tend to be exercises using a barbell, where you can move a lot of weight. So bench and deadlift and farmers carry ARE compound movements, curls and calf raises are NOT (curls pretty much only work only your biceps).

"The big three" : the three most common compound movements: Bench press, Squat and Deadlift. I put farmers carry in this group (so big four), but most people don't.

"accessory lifts"/"accessory <whatevers>" : everything that's NOT a compound movement, curls, anything that ends with "raise", most machine exercises and too many other things to list here.

"Corrective exercises" : Not as common as compound and accessory lifts, these are generally a subset of accessory lifts done for joint/tendon/muscle health reasons, such as doing neck exercises to try to undo "nerd neck" or correct lower back posture.

Bench Press : (google it if you don't already know this by name) I'm sure you've seen this one before, this is THE exercise that most people think when they think weightlifting. Works your chest and the front of your shoulders, mainly, also hits your triceps, core, and basically everything else in your body, to a lesser degree.

Deadlift : (also google it if you don't know what it looks like) One of the heaviest lifts you can do, this works pretty much your entire body, with a little emphasis on your lower back and legs. Can be VERY dangerous to your lower back if done with bad form though. There are many variations of this, sumo, romanian, etc. but they are all some variation of "just pick up the barbell and stand up"

Squat : putting the barbell across your shoulder blades, and squatting down. Requires a special "squat rack" to get the barbell up to that height. Targets your legs mainly, but also your core, back, and entire body to a lesser degree.

Farmers Carry / farmers walk: A fourth compound movement, which I think is really underrated, I actually like BETTER than any of the others for full-body training. Basically you just pick up something heavy and power walk with it for some distance or amount time.

Olympic lifts : generally slightly more complicated, dynamic lifts, (pretty much) any variation of a clean, snatch, deadlift, or standing press. Generally NOT a good idea for people trying to look good. They're AWESOME for sports and general fitness, but especially just starting out, they're REALLY easy to hurt yourself doing and don't really build muscle SIZE that well (strength and power are not the same as size! We care about size here)

Barbell : Big metal bar you put weights on. This thing : ... 10x541.jpg (NOT including the big black weights on either end. The barbell is just the metal bar itself). A typical barbell weighs 45 pounds (15kg for the fucking commies out there), but a lot of gyms also have aluminum barbells that weigh 15 pounds.

Weight plates / "plates": Generic term for these things : ... muscle.jpg Common sizes are 45lb, 25lb, 10lb, 5lb, 2.5lb, and less commonly, 35lb and 1.25lb . If you're in a communist dystopia, 45lb = 20kg, and generally there's 20kg, 15kg, 10kg, 5kg and 2.5kg weights. Metric weights are common for olympic lifts and squat, imperial weights are more common for dumbells, machines and benches (in the US). Also generally when someone refers to "plates" without specifying a weight they mean a 45lb plate per side of the barbell (so a "two plate" bench is two, 45lb plates per side, so a total of 225 pounds (2 sides * 2 plates * 45 lb/plate + 45lb bar). Two plates on bench is a pretty common milestone for the threshold of someone who is pretty serious about lifting. It's not elite level, but certainly above average.

"Standard" plates / barbells / dumbells : plates and barbells with a 1" hole in the middle (or 1" threaded bar for bar/dumbells) These are more common for home gyms, but almost nonexistent in commercial gyms. ... nBg=ffffff

"Olympic" plates/barbells : bars/plates with a 2.5" hole, and smooth shafts on the bars: ... kkQAvD_BwE Almost all weights and plates you'll run into in a gym will be this type. This (vs standard) really only matters if you're buying stuff for your home.

"EZ curl" bar : a bar that's not straight, a la ... /372969119 Used for, unsurprisingly, curling! It's easier on your wrists and forearms. I almost never curl straight bars anymore. I bought one of these for my home gym before I bought a straight bar too, most accessory lifts are doable, and often easier on your joints, on an ez-curl bar.

Concentric: the portion of a rep where the weight is moving UP and your muscle is contracting. This is the hard part (usually)

Isometric: holding a weight in place. So not moving, but still exerting force (if you pick up a heavy book and hold it all the way out, at arms length, in front of you for a full minute, that's an isometric exercise). Also the part of a rep at the top or bottom where you stop for a split second while reversing directions.

Eccentric: the part of a rep where you're lowering the weight, but UNDER CONTROL. So if you do the thing above with the book, and instead of just dropping the book the second you hit one minute, you spend 15 seconds SLOWLY lowering it, that is an "eccentric" exercise. You're about 30% stronger doing an eccentric movement than a concentric (if someone just handed you a really heavy rock, you could probably lower it under control, even if it's heavier than one you could just pick up off the ground). Often when a set is taken "beyond failure", the CONcentric part of the additional reps will be cheated or assisted, but the eccentric will not. Arm muscles (biceps, triceps, shoulders) tend to respond well to training that emphasizes this part of the movement more than the concentric (so, "cheating" a really heavy weight up with momentum or something, and lowering it under control. This kind of training is also burns and hurts WAY more than more "normal" training because you can push way beyond failure doing this.

"Mind-Muscle Connection": Your ability to flex and "target" muscles. It's kind of abstract at first, but you'll start to understand this the more you actually lift. Its the term for the skill of doing shit like this: (he's not magic, it's not even a muscularity thing, you just literally don't know how to flex your pecs and ONLY your pecs) Also: that's now in my youtube history. Great. Now Im getting a ton of weird videos like that in my feed. Awesome. Just what I wanted.

"Warmup"" and "Working" sets : Often the best way to warm up for an exercise is to DO that exercise, just with a light weight. These are warmup sets, and the sets where you're actually pushing yourself and makin' gains are the working sets. So if you can bench 135lb, you might do a set at 45lb (the bar), then a set at 95lb (those two being your warmup sets), then five sets at 135lb (those being your working sets).

1 rep max / 1rm / orm: How much can you lift if you go to failure in just a SINGLE rep. This has VERY little practical application when it comes to getting jacked but is a FANTASTIC way to hurt yourself. You SHOULD NOT BE TRYING TO SET 1 REP MAXES, ESPECIALLY WHEN STARTING OUT. For one, your numbers are going to SUCK for a long time and no one's going to be impressed. For two, you're going to hurt yourself doing that, going for a 1 rep max is how almost all gym injuries happen. For three, it's going to take energy/recovery away from the rest of your workout without giving you much in the way of results.

Cues : Related to form, this is the generic term for things like "point your feet out" or "squeeze your butt" or something during an exercise. They're specific things to focus on in order to keep good form.

Bulking : intentionally gaining weight, with the intention of building muscle

Clean/lean bulk : eating healthy foods, and gaining weight slowly, in order to gain as much muscle as possible while minimizing fat gained.

Dirty bulk : eating junk food, gaining weight too fast, and/or putting on a ton of fat during a bulk.

Cutting : the opposite of bulking, losing fat (and usually some muscle, but the goal is to lose fat while keeping as much muscle as possible). Many people will do alternating phases of cutting and bulking to build muscle, then get lean, then build muscle, then get lean. This works to some degree, but isn't optimal for gettin' chicks.

Maintaining/maintenance : staying at the same weight, essentially neither cutting nor bulking.

"maingaining" : uncommon term, didn't hear this one until recently, basically refers to maintaining some level of body fat (say 10%) while gaining muscle slowly. This is probably the best strategy for getting girls, it will keep you lean (which usually matters more than muscle), while constantly, albeit slowly, getting hotter over time. Similar to clean/lean bulking, but that generally refers to a faster process, and gaining a little more fat.

"Genetics" : How inclined your body naturally is to put on muscle and keep off fat. Some people are naturally jacked and lean, some are skinny-fat, most somewhere in between. This is THE most important characteristics in determining how much muscle you'll ultimately have, you can go a little above where you would naturally sit, but not all that much, no matter how much you train. This is referred to as your "genetic ceiling" or "genetic limit".

"Natural"/"Natty" : Someone who has never taken steroids in their life. Similar to virginity, this doesn't "come back" if someone stops using steroids.

(note: I'm not really an expert on anything, but ESPECIALLY not the following terms. In the context of professional sports I'd be considered "doped"/"enhanced" from getting my test fixed, but to most bodybuilders, I'd still be considered natty. Point being, I haven't used these things, but you'll likely hear about them when getting into body building. I won't go in depth on any of this, go to for a everything you could ever want to know about enhancement)

"Enhanced" : Someone who has, at any point in their life, used steroids.

HRT/TRT : Hormone/Testosterone Replacement Therapy, using injected testosterone to keep your levels at a normal human level, generally somewhere in the neighborhood of 700~1100 ng/dl This is generally considered to be a form of enhancement, as it allows you to maintain normal (or even above what you would naturally have) test levels, even when you would naturally have much lower levels, such as when you get older, or deep in a diet.

Steroids : Some variation of artificial testosterone. Test itself is the "OG" steroid, it's just injecting MORE of it than any normal human person would have that makes it enhancement. There are many, many different steroids developed in recent years though, all of which are substances that mimic testosterone as far as building muscle, but aimed at minimizing side effects like hair loss and gyno.

SARMS : Selective Androgen Receptor ModulatorS. Basically a "softer" class of steroid that came out more recently. Most are currently legal to purchase (usually online), though like most of these kinds of substances, they're likely to be banned at some point. Most of these can also be taken orally instead of injected.

GH/Growth Hormone : A different kind of substance from a steroid, this is a hormone that, unsurprisingly, makes you grow! Including your muscles. It acts in a totally different way from, and has very little effect/interaction with testosterone. There is also a SARM-like substance, MK-677, which stimulates your body's natural production of GH. In very high doses, some people get slightly (only up to maybe an inch) taller as well when taking growth hormone.

Gyno : The development of certain female characteristics resulting from steroid use. Testosterone can break down and convert to estrogen in your body (men naturally have estrogen as well, just less than women), so when your body has a ton of extra test (i.e. you're using steroids), that will convert to a ton of extra estrogen as well. This can cause things like the development of breasts among other things.

PCT : post cycle therapy. When you go on steroids, they drop your natural test production, so you have to take some OTHER drugs and stuff for a couple weeks to get your natural test production back up. Clomid (which I take, legally and by prescription) is common for this purpose.
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Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
User avatar
Posts: 230 | Thanks: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:27 am
Name: John
Age: 24
Location: South Bay (LA)

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:27 am

Section 3: setting REALISTIC goals

There's a lot of ABSOLUTE BS out there on what to expect.
The bottom line is, if you thought the timelines for fat loss were long, you ain't seen nothing yet.

Muscle growth takes time.

Again, though, you'll get a little bit better every day.
You'll have to wait to be DONE, but you don't have to wait to start SEEING RESULTS. I had a girl say I was "pretty built" when she saw me naked within about four months of starting to really hit the gym seriously.

I had a girl I didn't know tell me I was hot and muscular after about a year and a half.

I had a girl tell me that she masturbated while thinking about me after a little more than two years.
(not just like out of nowhere, she only told me after we had been fucking for a couple months. But still)

And I STARTED OUT pretty muscular (did karate since I was SIX and rock climbed seriously for years before) and lean AND got my test fixed during this time, and it STILL took a long time to see really serious results.

The point is you will SLOWLY get more and more attractive OVER TIME.

Also, the most important thing that will determine HOW FAST you can gain muscle (and lose fat) AND how much total muscle you CAN build (your "genetic ceiling") is ALMOST ENTIRELY determined by your "genetics". Some people will just add a protein shake to their diet and half-ass it twice a week at the gym and look like fucking greek gods, some people can diet like saints and train like fucking ANIMALS every day and barely look like they work out.

It's not fair.
Life isn't fair.

That said, MOST (average) guys are going to be pretty average, if you put in hard work, you'll be able to look better than 95% of guys.
This is ESPECIALLY true as you get older, and one of very few categories where older guys have an advantage. Everyone looks good when they're 20, its hard to stand out. Most give up and start to look like shit by the time they're 40 though, so if you can stay ANY bit lean with ANY muscle you'll EASILY be elite, top 1%.

What you can ALWAYS expect is get BETTER THAN YOU ARE RIGHT NOW.

So enough with vague demotivational stuff, what can you actually expect?
Generally if you're cutting fat at the same time (which I would advise unless you're already super lean, being low fat is WAY more important to your appearance than putting on muscle), you can EXPECT to put on 5 pounds of muscle in your entire first YEAR. Your scale weight will probably go DOWN though, if you're doing it right.

"What, just five pounds?! You must be an idiot! I saw this thing on the internet that said I can put on twenty!"

There's a TON of people on the internet making absolutely outrageous claims about how much muscle you can gain when you start working out really there's people on the internet making outrageous claims about literally EVERYTHING, but thats beside the point. There's a few possible reasons for these:

1) They are an idiot. This one is really common.
Usually this will be from someone who "gained 30 pounds in a year", i.e. the smallest number they ever saw, and the highest number they ever saw on the scale were 30 pounds apart, and they've convinced themselves that its all muscle. Really, they put on maybe 5 pounds of muscle, 5 pounds of water (in a bulk, the reverse of what happens the first couple days of a diet happens, your body stores a bunch more water quickly), 15 pounds of fat, and the last 5 pounds was just normal day-to-day variation.

2) They are trying to sell you something
Also really common, especially on fitness websites. Typically they'll say something along the lines of that you should expect to gain anywhere from 15 to 30 pounds of muscle in your first year BUT that you won't gain this if your training isn't in order. Then they'll have a training guide or personal coaching available for purchase. Basically they try to make you unhappy with your progress, even if you're making FANTASTIC gains, by dangling the carrot of EVEN MORE GAINS so they can sell you whatever guides/training/supplements they're selling.
These are absolute BS.
Some of them actually even believe it, too (see #1).

3) They are trying to cover their OWN ass.
This is more common for public figures, movie stars, youtubers, fitness "influencers", really anyone who's had a fast, dramatic "body transformation".

Here's the thing:

Almost any actor who has to put on a ton of muscle fast for a role is going to have a HUGE financial incentive to get as big as possible as fast as possible, and lets be honest, they're actors, they're not going to be too worried about doing a few more drugs :)
They just have to cover their own ass when they go on TV and everyone asks them how they put on 20 pounds of muscle in three months. They're on national TV, of course they have to 'claim' that they were natural the whole time, but pretty much none of the bigger dudes are (anyone who plays a superhero, for example, is going to be on steroids. Except maybe the guy who played the new spiderman. He's probably not EDIT from April '21: aaaaaand it looks like EVEN HE IS, now. He wasn't when I wrote this.). Point is, we get an inflated sense of what's possible in what kind of time period from people lying about being on gear all the time.

4)They get it from "studies"
This one is a little less common, AND is devilish because it makes whoever claimed it LOOK like they're smart and oh-so-sciencey because they CITED STUDIES.
Thing is (again, detailed rant on studies later), most of these don't really show what the person summarizing them WANTS them to show. The main problem with these "studies" is that they have to pick some NUMERICAL indicator of whatever they're testing, and there is NO perfect way to estimate how much muscle someone has. Even fancy scans will be off by several percent based on eating, glycogen storage, fat content, water retention, stress, and the alignment of the planets. They can easily give numbers that are off by several pounds of muscle one way or another. So someone who REALLY only gained five pounds of muscle in the real world, in real life, may have gained a few pounds of water, a few pounds of fat AND be more or less stressed (muscles being more tight or relaxed during the test). Any or all of these can increase an estimate of lean body mass (or decrease it), so a study might be off by like ten pounds or something, no matter HOW accurately they try to measure. Also a lot of studies are too "down in the weeds" looking at tiny things that aren't REALLY going to really make a big difference. Or they rely on people answering questions honestly, which is NEVER a good thing to rely on.

Now while you can EXPECT to gain about five pounds in your first year, you MIGHT be able to gain a significant amount more, maybe up to 10 or so, if you have:
a) Really good genetics
b) On-point nutrition
c) You train like a MOTHERFUCKING BEAST
d) A good workout plan

Generally you're only going to have the last two of these if you hire a GOOD personal trainer or have a good friend who is experienced and can help you.
The first one is just luck of the draw, the second is entirely up to you.

Get all of these, and you can MAYBE hope to put on around ten pounds of muscle, and again I cannot stress this enough, in the ENTIRE FIRST YEAR.
The second year will probably be about half that.
By the third, probably half that again (1/4 of your first year)
Total, you should only maybe plan on being able to gain 20 or 25 pounds of muscle IN YOUR LIFE.
That's really good though!
You + 20 pounds of muscle - 20 pounds of fat is WAY WAY hotter than current you.
Probably hot enough for almost any girl.
You dont NEED to put on fifty pounds of muscle to look like a movie star.
You don't even need to look like a movie star to get girls.
So this should NOT be disappointing news, just realistic.
So a reasonable overall plan, for someone who is say 20% body fat and 170 pounds might be to drop to something like 152~155 pounds over the first six months of training, to get down below 10% bodyfat. If you're just starting out in the gym, you'll be building muscle even as you lose fat. Then SLOWLY climb up in weight, by about 3~5 pounds over the next six months. At the end of the year, they'll only have put on around 5~8 pounds of muscle BUT be a VERY impressive ~9~10% bodyfat.
For the next couple years, just keep slowly creeping up in weight, just a couple pounds a year, and you'll just keep looking better and better.

Many people (I made this mistake myself) are going to be tempted to lead in by bulking instead of cutting. It's exciting to look in the mirror every day and look bigger, and get compliments from girls (and guys) on how big your muscles are and all, BUT, if your goal is to GET LAID, I would NOT DO THIS. Especially if you're starting off NOT particularly lean (do you have abs when you're NOT flexing? If not, sorry, but you are fat right now. Fix that first), bulking is just going to put a bunch of fat on you, which is going to make your cuts later on MUCH harder, AND you're going to look WORSE before you start looking BETTER.

Take the slow and steady route, cut your fat down to around 10% over a few months (6 is probably a good baseline for most people, 3 if you're already really lean, maybe a year if you're a big boi), then SLOWLY put on weight (again, just a couple pounds a YEAR), while staying at that ~10% bodyfat, for as long as you want to look good. Never do a "true" bulk where you're gaining several pounds a month, that's just a recipe for gaining a shit ton of fat.

People like powerlifters or football players CAN get away with much less clean bulks, but they have DIFFERENT GOALS than you and me, they don't CARE if they put on a bunch of fat, they want to be as STRONG as possible, not as ATTRACTIVE as possible. This kind of plan optimizes your attractiveness, both the end result AND how you look along the way of getting there.

This all assumes you're staying natty, more on the alternative to that later.
Last edited by NotYourAverageNerd on Sun May 02, 2021 1:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
User avatar
Posts: 230 | Thanks: 41
Joined: Sat Aug 29, 2020 4:27 am
Name: John
Age: 24
Location: South Bay (LA)

Mon Oct 05, 2020 2:32 am

(for total newbies)

As I said above, really all you need to do is SOMETHING, there is NO perfect set of exercises, as long as you're doing something reasonable, you'll be getting 90% of the results. If you're just starting out, there's a TON of beginner plans out there (some are great, some suck, most are OK) so I won't give a full excercise plan, but what you should be doing is mainly hitting the "big three" (Bench press, Squat, and Deadlift). I would also add farmers carry to this list, but it's a less popular exercise and most gyms do not have equipment for it.

When you're just starting out, these will get you 90% of your results, it's only after a few months or years that the other exercises are going to start being MORE important. Other things will still HELP, but most of the RESULTS to BEGIN WITH will come from these.

Also when you're starting out, there's a huge temptation to go all out on the first day. This actually ISN'T going to help, I know I jerked off effort above, but really the first couple weeks/months your body isn't used to lifting heavy things. You're practically going to see results if you even so much as LOOK at a weight, but you will be MUCH more likely to injure yourself if you push it. So work up slowly, don't worry about showing off day one with how much you can lift. No one cares how much you can lift unless you're literally the biggest guy at the gym who's benching 500 pounds. Benching 80 pounds instead of 70 is not going to impress anyone but if it injures you, that's going to keep you OUT of the gym for weeks and you're NOT going to impress people with how much more swole you are if you're not going to the gym, now are you? Point is you don't get a gold medal for going hard for the first month.
Point is, go pretty light at first. Take it easy the first day, just go through the motions with the bar. Seriously. No weights. Just the bar. Just DO the excercises, that will be more than you did before.
If you're particularly out of shape (admit it to yourself if you are! NO ONE ELSE CARES if you're just starting out. Actually most people are EXCITED to help newbies), most gyms have extra-light bars for just that purpose (it's 15 pounds instead of 45).
Also, don't go to the gym TOO often right off the bat. Twice a week is probably THE MOST you'll want to do when starting out.
Or even if you don't, your body won't be fully recovered from the earlier session when you go the next time. Start out slow, you can always ramp UP, you can't reverse an injury.

After a day or two lifting just the bar, start looking back at videos/explanations on form and cues, they'll make a LOT more sense once you've tried the lifts a couple times.
Also after a couple gym sessions doing JUST THE BAR, start adding weight SLOWLY. Maybe only put on an extra 5 pounds every time you go to the gym.

THIS IS THE ONLY TIME IN YOUR LIFTING CAREER THAT YOU WILL GET TO ADD WEIGHT EVERY TIME YOU GO TO THE GYM. It will start getting hard and your progress will stall before too long. If you started with the bar, but can lift 100 pounds, that's only a difference of 11 gym sessions at 5 pounds per session. Going twice a week, going up five pounds each time, that's only going to take about a month and a half for you to get up to the point where it's getting hard. That's really not very long.
No ones going to give you a gold star for trying to go harder than you CAN and hurting yourself.

This starts to change after 2~3 months though. At that point, your body will be more used to the workload, and you can start going harder.
After maybe 4~6 months, you can REALLY start to push yourself.

By this time, you should have been lifting enough that you have a pretty good idea what you're capable of lifitng and can set up your sets so you're actually working hard on all of them. You should also start incorperating accessory excercises at this point to target more specific muscle groups than the "big 3"( or big 4). This, like most of these things, should be a fairly gradual process, start out with one or two fairly easy sets of something like preacher curls, and work your way up over a number of weeks until you start to approach failure.

Here's a quick example program, just because I know that when I was starting out, I saw a lot of people say the same thing I did above, that it doesn't really matter, but didn't know which one to pick! So here's a quick one just to get you started IF you need a concrete plan. I'd jump OFF this plan once you start to get a hang of what excercises you like, and what works well for you:

"First time in the gym" type of program:

Pick two days a week you're going to go to the gym, call one A, and one B (so for me for example, "A" is Tuesdays, "B" is Fridays). DO NOT PICK DAYS THAT ARE NEXT TO EACH OTHER. Monday & Thursday is good. Wednesday & Friday is fine. Friday & Saturday is not. Do the "A" workout on A days, and the B workout on B days. This is your "split" (see dictionary), program is roughly a push-pull split with a set of legs both days. Once you get further along, if you like this plan you can ramp up to 3 or 4 days a week by just repeating days (so like Monday is A, Wednesday is B, Thursday A again, Saturday do B again). Once you get above 3 days/wk you inevitably have two days back-to-back, skip the legs on the second back-to-back day. So in the example above, skip deadlifts on Thursday. This doesn't matter until you're hitting the gym 4 days a week though, which you SHOULD NOT DO FOR AT LEAST TWO MONTHS.

"A" days:

1 : Walk on a treadmill with the highest incline it goes to, for about 5 minutes to warm up a little. Don't need to go fast, you shouldn't be sweating at the end of this (no gold star for pushing youself here!!!!)

2 : Bench press. 3 working sets, lift for 45 seconds each set (however many reps that ends up being doesn't really matter), 2:15 breaks between sets. Go fairly slow, keep it under CONTROL. No bonus points for doing 100 reps here. Focus on how the bar is moving, keeping it moving straight up and down, NOT bouncing off your chest or snapping your arms at the top. Look up good form and try to keep track of all that. Again, start with THE BAR and go from there. Roughly, 1st week stick with just the bar. ONLY. Use the light bar if you have to. Second week go up 5lb (yes, that is two 2.5lb plates. Yes you'll feel silly putting them on. I give you permission to feel silly. It will be better for you to go slow than to push too hard). Third week, another 5 pounds. You're smart, you get the idea. Like 5lb per week. At some point it will start to get hard. At some point you won't be able to actually finish your sets. Enjoy the build-up to that point, you're being responsible AND setting a new personal record EVERY time you go to the gym. This will never happen again, the rest of your life your lifts will be up AND down, and noticable progress will take months. Take the small wins instead of trying to go balls to the wall out the gate.

2.5 : 3~5 minute break. Shorter when you're just starting, longer as you start putting on weight and actually having to push yourself. Walk around during this, go to the bathroom, hit on that hot girl over there, get some water, whatever. Keep standing and moving though, don't just sit hunched over your phone, you want to stay (kind of) warmed up.

3 : Squats. Same reamit as bench, 3 working sets, 45s on, 2:15 off, start with THE BAR or if that's hard, NOTHING. As in, just squat your body. I promise you won't look stupid. Seriously, if you're worried people will think you look lame or stupid or whatever, realize that they probably assume you're just warming up. I WARM UP WITH THE BAR. That probably won't make you STOP feeling silly, but you need to push through the feeling and just DO IT ANYWAY.. You can add more weight every week than bench, maybe up to 10lb if you're feeling pretty good, but NO SHAME in going with 5. I will be ashamed of you. Personally. If you hurt yourself. I will not be if you go slightly[/y] too slow. Once you start getting heavier, start adding more sets, slowly, up to about 8 total (do the same for bench). The first couple should be warmups with lighter weights. So if you're 4 weeks in (squatting up to 85lb), maybe do 5 sets, with the first STILL just the bar, then halfway to your working weight, then three sets at the full 85. So 45, 65, 85, 85, 85. By like 10 weeks in, and so squatting UP TO 145lb, maybe do 8 sets, something like 45, 80, 120 (as a warmup) then 5 sets of 145. Note that the warmup ALWAYS starts with the bar. Exactly how many sets of what weight are really up to what feels best TO YOU. Play around with it, do what feels best. Same with times, if after the first month you start to feel 45 seconds isn't enough, add 5 seconds and see how that feels. I wouldn't add more than 5 seconds per week, generally. My one big injury in the gym came from ramping up my working set time on squats too fast (went from 35s sets to 45s to 1 mintue in 3 days. Not smart.) Don't go above about a minute though, you're not going to get better results much past 1 minute working sets.

4 : Cable crossovers, 5 working sets 1 minute on, 2 minutes off. This should be fairly light, but should be almost immovable by the end of the minute. Drop the weight each time if you failed before the end of the minute. Bring it up or stay the same if you didn't. Go easy when for the first couple weeks, but you can start to turn up the intensity on this one within a couple weeks, the long duration (1 minute) means you're really not going to hurt yourself as long as you DONT try to ramp up the weight so fast that you're giving out within ten seconds. You should be able to just BARELY finish one last rep just before time runs out. Just do the 5 working sets right when starting out, and add EASY (i.e. light) warmups sets as you start really pushing yourself.

5 : side laterals, 5 working sets, 1 minute on, 2 off.
There's a TON of different SIDEWAYS-based excercises for your shoulders, pick whichever you want, really. Except standing upright row. Never do that. You're going to get hurt even if you do it "right" (watch some athlean-x videos if you want an in-depth on this). Can do machines, bands, dumbells, whatever, goal here is *something* where your arms are going up TO THE SIDE like you're doing jumping jacks, but with weight. And not jumping. So really nothing like jumping jacks. You get the idea. For these, you should be pushing PAST failure, delts (like biceps and triceps) often get the best results going PAST failure. (Only AFTER a month or so, first month ignore the rest of this paragraph and just focus on keeping GOOD form and feeling your muscles move, the "mind-muslce connection"). So do your reps with "good form" until you cant do any more, then cheat the weights/machine UP with momentum or using other muscles, then lower it UNDER CONTROL (a good check on this, stop halfway down on every rep and hold it there for about a second before continuing). I do standing dumbells AND bands, to cheat I bring my arms in, lift UP close to my chest, then extend my arms OUT and control the weight down. AT FIRST use good form, THEN start incorperating this sort of thing. So this is for your shoulders, you want them boulder sholders! Wide shoulders gives you more of that "V" taper that's super hot. There's three muscles in your delts, in the front, side, and back. The SIDE is the most important for this, and THAT muscle works when your arms go up to the side. If you have some extra time, doing a REAR delt excercise is also great for your posture/shoulder health, but not going to really make you LOOK better. Reverse pec deck is good for this.

So short version:
1 : Walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes
2 : Bench press, 3 sets, 45s on, 2:15 breaks, ramp up to 5 working sets + 3 warmups, 1m on, 3m off over the course of a couple months. Start light go up 5lb/wk at most.
2.5 : short, standing/moving/walking break
3 : Squat, same deal as bench for reps/sets, but add UP TO 10lb/wk.
4 : cable crossovers, 5 sets, 1m on, 2m off, ramp up to getting right up to failure at the end of every set.
5 : side laterals 5 sets, 1m on, 2m off, ramp up to going PAST failure, cheating the concentric (up) and really working the eccemtric (down) by lowering SLOWLY.

"B" Days:

1 : walk on treadmill, same as A days.

2 : Deadlift OR farmers walk, 3 working sets, 45s on, 2:30 breaks (plus 2-3 warmup sets at a lighter weight). You've heard it before, you'll hear it again, start LIGHT on these and work your way up. Add less than 10lb/wk. Go slow, ESPECIALLY on deadlift. I don't care HOW smart you are or HOW much research you do, your form is going to SUCK the first couple months you deadlift, and you're GOING to hurt yourself if you go heavy/hard with bad form. For this reason I VASTLY prefer farmers walk, deadlift is the "next best thing" if your gym doesnt have equipment IMO. Hex bar is a good variation too if you have access to one. When starting out though, you can just grab some kettlebells and walk around the gym, most gyms have kettlebells up to like 50lb, that will get you like a month and a half in before they're not heavy enough. You can also make your own with anything vaguely sticklike and some concrete blocks. Right at the start of quarantine I did this, and it was my main exercise for like three months. I used some thick steel conduit cut down to 5' long, and two cinder blocks tie-strapped to each end.
Same basic reamit as squats here, ramp UP the number of sets, weight, and time as you get more comfortable with the exercise, up to about 5 working sets (+ 3 warmup) for 1m each, with rests somewhere between 3 and 5 minutes (more as you go heavier). Your first warmup set shouldn't really get heavier over time, add more warmup sets and more weight per set (so a warmup for 100lb might be 45 then 75, for 155 it might be 45-95-135).

2.5 : Break. Same as the A plan.

3 : Standing overhead press, 5 working sets, 1m on 3m off. Go up in weight SLOWER than bench press (target like 2.5lb/wk, but its hard to find 1.25lb plates). Another fairly bread-and-butter excercise, this doesn't really hit your shoulders too hard, even through it seems like it should. For building overall muscularity, it's pretty solid though. If there's another excercise you really want to try out and still have enough left in the tank to go hard on, I'd replace this with that, rather than any of the "big 3"/"big 4". In general when selecting excercises, put your biggest, heaviest, hardest ones FIRST (here that's bench and deadlift) and then work your way down to lighter and less taxing excercises. This and squat are still big compound lifts, but we're putting more emphasis on bench and deadlift. Point being, don't put a cool/fun excercise BEFORE your big compound lifts, you'll just tire yourself out and won't be able to do them as well.

4 : Standing barbell cheat curls, 5 working sets, 1m on, 2m off. Finally! We're getting to curls! Curlz for girlz. You'll notice that this ISN'T concentration curls, where you're like hunched over a dumbell. Those work too, obviously, but it's not really the best way to do it. Biceps respond really well to (relatively) high rep low weight movements, taken past failure. High weight with few reps is a FANTASTICALLY efficient way to fuck up just about every joint in your arms. So, you're going to want to pick a relatively light weight, that you can do maybe 10 reps with perfect form when you're fresh. Then you're going to lift that until you can't do any more, THEN, you're going to let yourself cheat a little bit. Use momentum or whatever (don't throw your back out by leaning backward or anything though) to get the weight UP, then focus on controlling it slowly on the DOWN (eccentric). Look up barbell cheat curls on youtube, there's a ton of videos that do a good job explaining this already, so I won't go into more detail. I'd use an EZ-curl bar here, my wrists always hurt if I use a straight bar. You do you though, if you like the straight bar, go with it.

5 : tricep pushdowns, 5 working sets, 1m on 2m off. Rounding out the program, pretty basic tricep excercise. Done on a cable machine or with bands, it's one of the best excercises to really hit your triceps hard without as much danger of hurting yourself. See the notes on cable crossovers above, this is going to be pretty similar.

So short version:
1 : Walk on a treadmill for 5 minutes
2 : Deadlift, 3 sets, 45s on, 2:30 breaks, ramp up to 5 working sets + 3 warmups, 1m on, 3~5m off. Start light go up 10lb/wk at most.
2.5 : short, standing/moving/walking break
3 : Overhead press, 5 working sets, 1m on 3m off (or replace this one if you want), Weight should increase extra-slowly.
4 : Standing cheat curls, 5 sets, 1m on, 2m off, ramp up to going PAST failure, cheating the concentric (up) and really working the eccemtric (down) by lowering SLOWLY.
5 : tricep pushdowns 5 sets, 1m on, 2m off, ramp up to failure right at the end of every set.

You'll notice that all of these are TIMED rather than being a number of reps. I find that especially when just starting out, it's WAY easier to push yourself when you're operating on a timer rather than a set number of reps. Like if I do 5 sets of 5 reps, the first set will be way too easy, but I might hit failure by the 2nd or 3rd rep of the last set and not even finish! If you do timed, you can go faster in early sets and slower in later ones (and actually, you'll do this without even thinking about it) so ALL your sets can be hard.
I use the "Interval Timer" app ... r&hl=en_US which works pretty well. I used to just watch the song times on spotify and time it so I would be done at some point in the song. Point is, use whatever app/method works for you.

Sidenote on calculating weights in your head for those who are bad at headmath like me: to get what weights to put on a barbell from a number (like, what plates do I put on for 155?), first subtract 45 for the bar (so 155 goes to 110) then divide by 2 (so 55), then ask: what's the biggest plate that's smaller than or equal to that? Usually you'll have 45s, and 45 is less than 55, so put a 45 on the bar, and subtract 45 from 55. Now you're left with 55-45=10m what's the biggest plate that's <= 10? Well 10 is a standard plate, and 10 is less than or equal to 10, so just put a 10 on the bar and you're left with 0 so you're done. Sounds a little complicated when I describe it like that but just run through it a few times for realzies and it will make sense pretty quickly.

Final sidenote, what am I doing right now?
Not much, really. I'm pretty much just trying to keep what I've got while the gyms are closed. I got some weights and bands at home though. My current excercise routine is:
Tuesday :
-Deadlifts with every weight I've got (buying more as often as I can) Currently only have about 140lb worth. 1 minute on 3 minutes off for 5 sets, + 3 warmup sets
-cheat curls (past failure), 5 sets + 3 warmups, 1 m on, 2m breaks
-Shoulders, 1m of side lateral raises, then 1m of the same movement but with a band between my hands (which puts tension at the bottom instead of the top), 1m rests. Also past failure, as described above.
-lying tricep extensions/pin press superset, 5 sets, to failure on both (extensions to failure, THEN switch to pin press and do THAT to failure). Usually some banded pushdowns and ~2 sets not to failure to warm up

Friday :
-Even lighter deadlifts to warm up (I bike extra far Saturday, so my legs need to be pretty fresh tomorrow)
-curls, lying extensions, shoulders (same stuff as tuesday)
-ab routine, just pick like 6~7 different ab excercises and do each for a minute, with breaks every 2 or 3. Finish with situps where I arch my back and pause at the bottom without actually touching the ground, to absolute failure.
And that's it. It's REALLY nothing special, pretty much just picked based on what I can do with what I've got and can do in my TINY apartment.
At the start of quarantine, when I had those cinder block bars, my workout was pretty much just some half assed clean-and-press or light deadlifts to warm up, then hard as fuck farmers carries, usually 1 minute on with 5 minute breaks, around 5 sets, depending on how I felt. Then whatever other lifts I could do with what I had, usually curls, deadlifts, clean-and-press, and band excercises.

Section 4.1: GOING TO THE GYM
(for people who ARENT new but arent getting results)

Generally if you've already been hitting the gym but just aren't getting anywhere, there may be two basic reasons. One is you've got something that's NOT "in order" (your test is low (see above), you're not eating enough (or are eating TOO much), you've doing absolutely shitty, worthless excercises, etc), the other is that you're not going hard enough.

Very few are in the first group.

If you THINK you're in that group (with the exception of having low test, GET THAT CHECKED), you're probably NOT. A lot of people OBSESS over EXACTLY what the best of everything is, and think they have to pick the exact optimal sets and reps and meal timing and macros and shit that makes 0.01% difference at MOST and they IGNORE what's going to get 99% of the results. Don't be one of these people.
If I read more studies I will get more girls

I already said this briefly in section 1, but fuck it here's more.

Put away the charts and shit and just lift heavy shit. That matters WAY THE FUCK MORE than how "fast" your intra-workout carbs are or whatever other shit you're worried about.
Usually this ISN'T because they don't have any motivation, they just hold themselves back because they're super fucking worried about getting everything perfectly perfect.
This usually comes in the form of picking something like, say, 5 sets of 5 with a constant weight, so the first two sets are SUPER easy, the middle ones kind of hard, and then then can't finish the last sets with perfect form so they stop short. At the end of it they've only done MAYBE 1 or 2 actually hard REPS the entire time.
Problem ISN'T that they're doing 5 sets of 5 or constant weight or whatever, it's that THEY'RE SO STUCK TO THAT, THEY IGNORE EFFORT.

If you CAN go harder, then DO IT, even if it breaks your program. Your body is not a machine, you cannot predict your performance perfectly. I remember early on trying to figure out EXACTLY what weight to do for machine rows so that I would hit failure exactly at the end of my last set.

I NEVER got it. It was always too easy, or I just gave out too fast.

I was sticking to 5x5, and the same weight for every set.

I didn't give myself the freedom to BREAK that (because somebody said 5x5 is the best! Any they must be right in every conceivable situation! Because they were used a STUDY!).

I was half assing it and I knew it.

What you SHOULD be doing is ADJUSTING everything all the time to LET YOU PUT IN EFFORT. Then you have to FUCKING DO IT.
There are NO RULES on what excercises or reps or sets or whatever you HAVE to do. Actually come to think of it, dieting is pretty similar, you pick WHATEVER works best FOR YOU; there is no "right" or "perfect" diet
Screw the perfect excercises, or the perfect rep range, or the perfect time under tension, or the perfect rest interval or WHATEVER and look into your god damn heart for two seconds and see if you're ACTUALLY putting your entire fucking life on the line when you get under that barbell.
DON'T plan it. You need to STOP acting like a fucking control freak trying to control everything perfectly and let yourself do what you FEEL you need to do. Your body is smart, it will DREAD doing the things that are actually going to be good for you. When you feel youself yearning to give up, THATS AWESOME that means you're going in the RIGHT DIRECTION. KEEP GOING.

Your body DOESN'T WANT to have a ton of muscle. Your body evolved to be as fat and wimpy as it possibly could without dying. Being jacked and lean would kill a caveman if he ran out of food for a couple weeks. Being fat and lazy would keep him alive. Your body is basically the same as his, AND IS REALLY SMART. It will make you WANT to do things that will make you fat and wimpy, and NOT want to do things that will get you muscle. So LISTEN TO YOUR BODY then IGNORE EVERYTHING IT SAYS. You might feel tired. Don't try to just fight that directly. Acknowledge it. Maybe even say to yourself "My body feels tired". Don't say "I AM tired". You, as a person, are NOT the manifestation of tiredness. Your body feels tired right now. Think about it. "Well, I'm lifting weights. Of course I'm going to get tired, that's the point. I need to keep going and get MORE tired so I start getting delicious delicious pussy". Rather than "Oh god I'm so fucking tired and I've still got three reps left. Auuugh God I want to stop." One of those people is going to make progress. Guess which one.
This isn't going to give you superhero motivation overnight, the point is get FEEDBACK from your body and ADJUST to make it have to WORK HARDER.
Your brain can just make your body do anything it physically can.
Your body fights back by making the brain feel bad.
That doesn't matter. Same way you know a diet is working because you FEEL HUNGRY you know your workout is working when you FEEL LIKE YOU WANT TO STOP.

Get the point? Ditch the charts and graphs and lift heavy shit until you feel like you might die.
Then keep going until you're SURE you're going to die.
Then go a little further.

Anything worth doing takes work.

None of us are perfect, I half ass my workouts all the fucking time, and probably don't push as hard as I possibly could even when I AM going hard.

But I do better than most.

That's not saying take EVERY set all the way to failure, that's not the only way to work hard, especially with heavier weights. But you should be pushed to your limit in one way or another. That might be in the form of keeping perfect form even though you WANT to break form because you're tired, or moving the weight SLOWLY and IN CONTROL when you want to just move it fast and get the set over with, or just about anything else you DONT want to do. Pushing really ANY of your limits is working hard.

Yeah that's pretty much everything I can think of right now.

I'm sure I'll think of more things later, I'll post updates. I also still have to write the "Other" section even though none of it REALLY matters that much. Still good to address, mainly to point out WHAT doesn't really matter, a lot of people think things that DONT matter DO and worry too much abou them.

Big points:
Eat less or move more to lose weight
Plan to go slowly (take 6 months or more)
Eat good most of the time

Lift heavy things
Start lifting them
Lift them harder than you are right now
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Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:22 am

This could (and probably should) be an ebook. Even if you give it away for free or something - the content here is way too good to be buried in a thread on my forums.

Hell, I'll post it as a guest article (or 5-part series) on my site. But it deserves to have eyes on it.
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:29 am

Fukkin dude! This is solid shit thanks a ton. You should make this an eBook or something.
Pussy 25% focus:
2-3 fwb. Sex 4+ nights/week. 1 3some/week

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Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:27 am

KillYourInnerLoser wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 3:22 am
This could (and probably should) be an ebook. Even if you give it away for free or something - the content here is way too good to be buried in a thread on my forums.

Hell, I'll post it as a guest article (or 5-part series) on my site. But it deserves to have eyes on it.
Thanks dude!
I think I've got a little more to do on it (the "other" section and getting to that rant on studies I teased :) ), but yeah, if you want to post it as an article that would be dope!
Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:15 am

Wtf this is a goldmine. I just read the 1st part, but I just bookmarked the whole thing.
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Personal Habits:
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 5:33 am

NotYourAverageNerd wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 4:27 am
if you want to post it as an article that would be dope!
I'll hit you up in a month or 3 when I have a bit of time. I'll pay you in exchange for putting it on my site. This really is solid gold content, and deserves to be paid for. Please promise me you won't delete this thread in the meantime or something.
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:12 pm

Its really good. I knew it will be when you wrote that 'eating healthy does not equal geting lean'. Its something Ive never really seen anyone notice. And its fucking true. Damn, I even know a person whos like "I eat healthy, no idea why I cannot lose weight".

Anyway: one thing about the rule of the thumb ('no abs when you flex - you obese etc') I cannot agree with that. I mean, that's true for 90% of men. But the remaining 10% will get confused.
You can be absolutely lean to the point you can count your ribs, yet never see you core muscle even when flexing. I was this guy. I've had so weak core muscle I could not see it even when flexing. And the same will be true for the guys who never did use their muscle through their life.

Apart from that: amazing job writing it!
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Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:51 pm

Lostcause wrote:
Mon Oct 05, 2020 1:12 pm
Its really good. I knew it will be when you wrote that 'eating healthy does not equal geting lean'. Its something Ive never really seen anyone notice. And its fucking true. Damn, I even know a person whos like "I eat healthy, no idea why I cannot lose weight".

Anyway: one thing about the rule of the thumb ('no abs when you flex - you obese etc') I cannot agree with that. I mean, that's true for 90% of men. But the remaining 10% will get confused.
You can be absolutely lean to the point you can count your ribs, yet never see you core muscle even when flexing. I was this guy. I've had so weak core muscle I could not see it even when flexing. And the same will be true for the guys who never did use their muscle through their life.

Apart from that: amazing job writing it!
Thanks dude!
That's a good point with the abs - I'll add a not that this isn't universal soon.
That's kind of what I was trying to get at by pointing out it's a rule of thumb not a hard and fast rule.
Only problem is that with a lot of these kinds of things, people who ARE part of the 90% will THINK they're part of the 10% because they don't want to admit to themselves that they're way fatter than they think they are, and want to be "special" (I am the MOTHERFUCKING KING of doing this, I always want to be special and different in like everything and lie to myself constantly).

Also, I don't know you very well, may be punching WAY above my weight class here :) but it's also *possible* that you weren't quite as lean as you thought, depends on exactly what you mean by "count your ribs" :). Like, I can see most of my ribs even around ~20% bodyfat. I'm *guessing* this isn't the case for you, you probably ARE in that 10% that the rule of thumb doesn't apply to, but still something to consider

I'll have to think about exactly how to phrase it, but either way you're right, and thanks for the feedback!
Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
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Thu Oct 08, 2020 6:27 am

This is crazy detailed. I can sense your passion n determination.
Read the first part.
God I love KYIL :lol:
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Thu Oct 08, 2020 5:19 pm

Started moving this to a google doc this morning. Didnt realize just how long this is (40 pages!) Might actually make this an e-book or smth.
Also spell-checked it, and holy shit my spelling is bad, lol.
I'll post a link or pdf or smth for that soon!
Current goal:
-Sex with at least 1 new girl per month for the next 6 months, on average, due by the end of each month
- Feb: Completed 2 / 18 / 21
-Mar: Completed 3 / 2 / 21

Past goals:
-Pre-pandemic bench, deadlift by 02 / 15 / 21 - Completed 2/15/21
-8% bodyfat or 145lb by 01 / 15 / 21 - Failed: 151lb
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