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Beyond the Gym: A Guide to Lifelong Men's Fitness

Written by Strong Dad Protocol

When people tell you that staying fit and healthy is a lifelong process I do believe a lot of them perceive this as a big mountain to face.

A person may think about how hard their body transformation was in the first place and look at how long they'll have to keep at it.

While you'll have to keep at it indefinitely, once you get to the health standard or body type you're truly looking for, it becomes about checks and balances rather than the all-out effort.

This is something trainers don't want to tell you because it's their job to keep Lifelong customers. 

You should not be a lifelong customer of fitness education.

Supplements, gear, etc. are occurrences where consumerism matters.

If we are truly trying to make you better men, we want you to be prepared to walk this path knowledgeably, yourself.

Let's! get into it

Take Care of your Foundation

There are a few things I personally consider as foundational Concepts that no matter what should be adhered to.

  1. Learn to track your food. Adhere to a caloric surplus, deficit, or maintenance.

  2. Seek whole-natural foods. Stay hydrated. Consider quality natural supplements.

  3. Practice fatigue management / SELF-CARE. Epsom salt baths, massages, yoga, Sunlight, Sleep, Laughter!! Whatever you do, please take care of yourself. Manage your stress levels. These practices directly carry over to fitness goals and a healthy body.

You should be getting stronger overtime

Getting stronger over time is not about becoming a power-lifter. It's not about becoming a Cross Fit athlete.

The concept of getting stronger is more about steady practices that can be measured over time and cited for improvement.

  1. Keep a record of your progression. I've talked about this a lot. The importance can never not be stressed.  The human memory is flawed. Over time you will forget. A logbook is a secret tool for a seasoned lifter.

  2. Tailor your exercises based on weaknesses and strengths. Prioritize weak points by structuring them first in your workouts.

    For example, if it's your shoulder day and your rear delts are your weakest part of the shoulder hit the rear delts first.

    If you have two back workouts in a week and your struggle points are your lower lats it might be better to throw your lower back workout at the beginning of your schedule.

    Give time to the body parts that need it the most but do not neglect the rest.

  3. Implement Heavy Compound and Body weight exercises.

    Like I said before this is not about becoming a power-lifter, but you should want to be stronger; you should want to know that at a moment's notice, you can perform.

    If you're in the gym for a good-looking body remember: You don't have to chase aesthetics. Proper training will amount to a great physique over time. 

You should be improving your rep quality over time

Many of us can tell you from experience that you can be doing all of the right exercises hitting all of the parameters correctly and still not be seeing true progress.

Many times this can come down to the quality of your sets and reps. Improving repetition quality will ensure that an exercise is providing a return on investment.

Don't be the guy mindlessly swinging heavy weights around with zero technique.

  1. Movement education and Implementation: Actively seek to improve your lifting patterns. Don't accept that an exercise doesn't provide a good stimulus for you and move on to another.

    Before we remove exercises from our program we must understand how to properly execute them. It may be the execution itself that is to blame for the lack of stimulus; this may be a favorable movement for you.

  2. Practice in all ranges of movement: Full ROM partial ROM etc.

    Mechanical tension, a concept you'll learn through movement education and implementation, is the primary drive for hypertrophy. 

    As long as you apply this concept to your range of motion, you'll be fine.

  3. Take longer rest periods: Unless you are an endurance athlete specifically, the carryover benefits of taking rest times less than a minute are slim to none.

    Most people are trying to build muscle and become stronger in general. The CNS (Central Nervous System) response triggered by an intense set takes longer than 60 seconds.

    It can take up to 4 minutes for your body to be back in the position it was for your next set. Some people believe that muscle damage should be the goal and this is another reason they take short breaks.

    However, through education, you'll come to understand that Mechanical Tension is the goal. 2-5 minute rests depending on set intensity will ensure that you are truly fresh and ready for each upcoming set ensuring you get the most out of each rep.   

Maintenance volume for your desired look

This lifestyle results article is about shipping away to achieving your final form. Once you reach your final form, employ these tactics to nurture it and maintain it for the rest of your life.

  1. Practice time management. Split your efforts between cardio and lifting. A 3 to 4-day lifting split is more than adequate to put on additional size but more importantly will allow you to keep the look you have attained with minimal effort.

    In some cases, two days can work, although your training should be very attentive and you should be well-versed in lifting techniques.

    Your cardio, if possible, should be activities such as mountain climbing, bike riding, boxing, etc. You want to do things that get you outside.

    Let the time you spend in the gym be devoted to getting STRONG AF!

  2. Stretch two times a week at the very least. I would prefer it if you stretched more, however, two times is adequate.

    Sprinkle in mobility and rehab exercises that you could do bi-weekly or one day out of your lifting program. 

    A man's quality of life, and in many cases its duration, can also depend on how healthy his hips, shoulders, and knees are.

    Do not ignore nagging issues. If you wish to truly avoid them or recurring injuries the best practice is to stay limber and stay mobile do not just rely on lifting and eating right.

  3. Muscle diminishes over time. That's the main point. Three extra points to sustaining it as a natural lifter getting older are: 
  • KEEP BULKING: Your bulk obviously should get leaner as you get older But you should never stop. You can put on muscle well into your later years but you can't do without a sufficient surplus, especially in your later stages of life.
  •  KEEP LIFTING HEAVY: For the sheer reason that zombies can't catch people who lift heavy things and run fast! 

  • MONITOR TESTOSTERONE LEVELS: If you're able get your testosterone levels checked. There are also rudimentary ways to gauge your testosterone levels primarily with grip strength calculators which can be bought online. 

Go the natural route before ever considering TRT.  Before you even consider going to the clinic to inject yourself, think about if you have maximized every natural facet of your life.

Are you doing everything we talked about in this article?

And did you stop by Men of Order™ and pick up APEX (tap this link to SAVE 30%), their natural testosterone support supplement?

I'm personally using it and I stand by the results. 

How do my Genetics determine my progress?

I'm only answering this because someone asked me and not just one time but many times. The answer is: it doesn't matter. Your genetics don't matter!

I made a video on it. You can watch it on my channel Strong Dad Protocol, but at the end of the day what matters is the time and effort you put in and how much care and attention you put into that effort.

Next topic..

My next series of articles will be focused on my favorite rehab exercises.

These are movements that I and other professionals recommend that can be inserted into your program to ensure good joint health and keep nagging issues from coming back or existing in the first place.

For more context, our main issues will be your Shoulders, Elbows, Back, Hips, Knees, and Ankles.

I will organize them based on the highest problem areas in men to the lowest.

Any requests or suggestions can be sent to me directly.  

Much love Family and as always...

Stay Strong Stay Healthy Stay Humble…STAY HOTEP!

Strong Dad Out!

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