Ok, so my family has been giving me lots and lots of grief over my so-called ‘gym obsession’. Apparently, going to the gym and lifting heavy weights 3 or 4 times a week is excessive and an obsession despite the fact that it takes less than 6 hours a week total. And yet I’ve seen them binge watch TV shows for six hours straight on a single weekend! So who’s the obsessed one now!
Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself; after all, this is my inaugural blog post and I should explain the title a little. Over The Top is one of two post categories I will have for my site, the other being Under The Hill; and I think you all are sufficiently intelligent to deduce the meaning of these two categories. And yes, my first post will be a bit of a rant, but hey, that’s the benefit of having a personal blog! Keyword: personal.
So basically for the last 6 months I’ve decided to stop being such a skinny twink and to instead become more of a golden god; Greek style. After having grown up being skinny fat all my life, I decided one day that enough is enough and that as a man, it was time to get real manly hobbies, and thus began my iron journey. After having never touched a weight in my life, besides the obligatory dumbbell curls using the laughably light dumbbells I have stashed under my bed, plus some pushups in my room before heading out for the night, I decided to suck it up and join my local 24 Hour Fitness.
Not knowing anything about lifting weights, I turned to my trusty friend Google, and purchased a copy of the excellently reviewed Starting Strength by Mark Rippetoe. Shout out to the r/fitness subreddit for leading me to this book via their most excellent beginner FAQ. I must say the results have been excellent so far; here are my beginning stats for comparison: on May 5 2016 I stepped into the gym and tried out my strength at the various barbell exercises and my results were a dismally pathetic 145lbs squat, 175lbs deadlift, 115lbs bench press and a 85lbs overhead press. As of this writing my current best lifts are a 215lbs squat, 245lbs deadlift, 165lbs bench press and a 115lbs overhead press. My weight also increased from 140lbs to 150lbs. Not bad if I say so myself!
Anyway, with all that lifting I’ve been doing, I’ve also been supplementing heavily with whey protein. While I am well aware that whole food protein sources are better, unfortunately at the moment I am still living at home with my family and let’s just say that the food that my mom cooks isn’t the healthiest or the most protein heavy. So in order to meet my daily protein intake of 150g, I have resorted to using whey protein, something I used to make fun of the ‘jocks’ at school for doing. Now I’ve become what I used to hate I guess. Fortunately, and rather surprising to me is that the whey protein hasn’t been breaking my budget at all, quite the opposite in fact, as I cut out all those sugary foods and replaced them with more protein, I’ve actually saved money! Of course, this is all because I managed to find a great resource for finding the best cheap whey protein brands. What a money saver!
Unfortunately, my family is basically completely uneducated when it comes to the topic of nutrition so I’m thinking of giving them a summary fact sheet on the benefits of whey protein supplementation. Just in a little flash cards format or something just to counter their soundbite ignorance. Here’s what I’m thinking of:
Builds muscle – I’m not sure if this is a good one to use because I feel my family have some sort of inherent bias against muscular people. Actually since I’ve noticeably become more muscular since beginning my lifting and whey protein regime, they’ve been constantly making snide comments in my direction. Haters!
- Lowered Blood Pressure – This is an interesting one that I had never heard of before but I think will hold weight with my parents who both suffer from high blood pressure. Apparently whey protein has compounds that can help with relaxing blood vessels and thus lowering blood pressure.
- Osteoporosis Prevention – Stronger bones! I know my mom in particular could use this one. Apparently, bones are nothing more than collagen protein and whey protein contains ingredients than can help with reducing bone loss and promoting bone formation. I guess I know what I’ll be getting grandma for Christmas!
- Suppresses Appetite – I think this might work on my sister; she’s always skipping meals trying to lose weight and just being miserable all the time. Apparently the leucine in whey protein signals the brain to release the ‘appetite satiation’ hormones, leading to a feeling of fullness. Plus, pure protein is very low in calories. I think this might be the winner here.
On a final note, I apologize if this blog post was all over the place; I promise to try to be more coherent in the future. In the meantime: get out the whey!