Cultivating Muscles, Mentality & Cannabis w/ Giovannina Wise

As discussed in Episode 18 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

Do you struggle to lose weight and keep it off? Feel like you can’t make progress because of stress, peer pressure, or lack of motivation? Well, this article is for you, because my wife, Giovannina, lived that life for 10 years but finally broke free and made a permanent change to her physical and mental health.

Gio lost 39lbs in 2019 and has since fallen in love with weight lifting as an outlet for stress and building the body she’s wanted her whole life. In Episode 18, we discussed her weight loss journey and the factors that were most critical to her success.

Major change in 2019-2020

I inadvertently became Gio’s coach through leading by example. She has struggled with weight loss for 10 years, saw the success I had with my fitness, and wanted me to put her on a regimen. So, I finally did, and she took the ball and ran with it. Although I introduced her to some tactics that helped make her successful, the work she put in is what got her the results.

Gio finally made a choice to show up for herself every day, and when you do that, it will change your life and inspire others. I’m so proud of her for making the time to get her health in order and achieve her goals. And she didn’t use any diet fads, weight loss gimmicks, or tortuous cardio regimens to get there.

The Biggest Weight Loss Factor: Saying No

Wes: “What has been the biggest factor for your weight loss in 2019?”

Gio: “Several things I think. One of them would be saying no. That’s probably one of my biggest weight loss factors because that helped me stick to my routine. Stick to the things that I know I should be doing to keep myself healthy mentally and physically. Learning how to say no and not feeling bad about it is hard. I still don’t know how to do that, but saying no might be the biggest factor”.

Wes: “Saying no to?”…

Gio: “Saying no to food, saying no to people, different relationships. Saying no to routines that I used to think we’re healthy for me that are not. Saying no to some of my favorite stuff, you know, but saying no to some things that I thought I’d never have to say no to but it’s worth it in the end”.

The Importance of Weight Lifting

When I met Gio, she was not a weight lifter and had no desire to do it. She thought it was just a guy thing and wasn’t anything that would play a part in her life.

Well, times have changed.

After years of watching me lift weights, she finally decided it was something she wanted to try. “If you can beat em, join em”, she says in episode 18. Once she gave it a shot, it didn’t take long to start feeling and seeing results from it, and she ultimately fell in love. Today, she will tell you herself that she gets really mad if she doesn’t get her weightlifting session in.

Her favorite forms of exercise currently are walking and lifting weights. She ran into the same trap I did where she thought she had to run constantly in order to lose weight. Running is great if that’s what you love to do, but lifting weights and walking are far more effective. She would much rather do a fasted walk first thing in the morning and lift in the afternoon than ever go on a long run, and the results speak for themselves.

Struggles with Weight Loss Over the Years

Gio falling in love with deadlifts

This is not the first time Gio has lost a significant amount of weight. She had a major wake up call in 2011 when she stepped on the scale and saw 259lbs. She felt unhealthy and would often be in pain due to her lifestyle. Since then, it’s been a struggle to lose weight and keep it off. Over the past decade, she’s lost the same 20-40lbs several times by trying different regimens and diet fads, but this time, it’s much different. Finally, the weight loss feels permanent because the lifestyle she’s living is something she can sustain forever. She’s eating whole foods, staying hydrated, getting good rest, reducing stress, and resistance training.

Eliminating Stress

Walter, Marley, Cohen

Reducing stress has been one of, if not the single biggest, factor in making this lifestyle change. Here are several ways in which Gio reduced stress in her life:

  • Limiting toxic relationships
  • Using cannabis (Follow her @WiseGalsGrow on Instagram)
  • Exercise (Primarily fasted walks and weight lifting)
  • Spending time with our dogs every day
  • Creating more time for herself by learning to say no

I’m proud of the physical change, but more importantly, I’m thrilled with the mental shift. I’m the happiest I’ve ever been and it’s coming from the inside out. Muscles are just a byproduct of the happiness that is growing inside me as a result of taking care of my physical and emotional health.

Biggest Motivating Factor

Gio: “I want to be the best version of myself for me and for others. I really love giving to others and trying to figure out how I can do that has always been one of my main goals in life. The best way I can do that right now is to be an example to them and be the best version of me. I can’t give to others with my cup empty”.

“I want to see actual permanent change and to break the cycle of “this is hereditary”. Also, pregnancy may be a thing for me in the future, so I want to be the best version of myself so I can have the best delivery and be the best mom that I possibly could be”.

Consistency is Key – Developing a Routine for Life

In the beginning, Gio lifted 1-3 days per week. Some weeks she didn’t work out as many days as she wanted to or would even skip altogether, but ultimately, she stayed consistent and always got back to it. She wanted to start with a comfortable workload because she needed a routine she could stick to for the rest of her life. Now that she’s used to it, it’s much easier to show up because she’s actually enjoying the workouts more. Currently, she lifts between 2-5 days per week, which is perfect! Beginners and intermediates can make progress on very little time spent at the gym, which is why weight lifting offers such a big bang for the buck. The hard part is scheduling workouts and sticking to them.

Inspiration from Rachel Hollis

Gio: “That’s the hard part is learning that you can be in control and it’s not a selfish thing. That you’re controlling you and doing the best you can. Rachel Hollis got in my head this year so hard when she said that she stayed committed to a workout after going out with her girlfriends. She wanted to work out but put it off and went out with their girlfriends instead. But afterward, she came home and still got on the treadmill. One of her girlfriends asked, “really? why couldn’t you wait until the next day?” and Rachel’s like “because I told myself I would do it today”.

“Wouldn’t you hate it if someone said they were gonna show up for you and didn’t? What if someone said they were gonna show up every day at a certain time and never did? What would your relationship be like with that person? Yeah, so I gotta quit saying no to me. Taking care of myself is most important but to not think of that as a selfish thing was a huge mental struggle”.

“But I’ve done way better with it because I think of it as breaking a promise to myself and I don’t want to do that. I was two and a half hours late to myself the other day at the gym. Two and a half hours late? There’s no way I would have stayed waiting around for a person who was late like that. And I did that to myself. I wouldn’t do that to anybody else. I’m gonna do that to me every day? No, it’s not nice. So, learning to be better. Not just to others but also to myself”.

Diet Lesson Learned from Cannabis

Gio: “One of the biggest things I’ve learned through this process is about measuring your food. I’ve done the kitchen scale thing before but the reason why that really stuck with me this year came from taking care of my cannabis plants. When I realized how important it was to measure their food and how significant that was for their life and vitality, why wouldn’t I be doing that for myself? Why wouldn’t I give myself the exact amount of food and water and nutrients that I need? How about doing it for myself and not just my plants?”

Quick Bites with Mrs. Wise Eats

Favorite Specific Lift?: Deadlifts
Second Favorite?: Incline Dumbbell Chest Press
Favorite Workout Music?: Post Malone
Your Current Exercise Routine?: I try to do at least 3 days per week and the program is called Thinner, Leaner, Stronger by Mike Matthews
Cardio Routine?: Walking every day. Fasted walks and walking in between sets.
Favorite Wise Eats Recipe?: Chicken Wise Rice & Sharpshooter Breakfast Salad
Favorite Un-Wise Choice?: Wally’s Frozen Custard
Favorite Healthy Food?: Apples. I love them and share with our dogs.
Biggest Lifestyle Change Surprise?: That I love lifting weights now more than shopping.
One Food You Love That You Never Thought You Would?: Breakfast salads with eggs in them!
Favorite Source of Inspiration?: Worship music and Rachel Hollis
Current Goals?: Lose another 20lbs and deadlift 200lbs in 2020.

Watch the full interview on YouTube at Wise-Eats.com/Episode18

Weight Loss Advice for Beginners?

I truly understand the struggle. Everyone’s journey is unique. I’m still learning every day, but for me, sustained weight loss required a complete mindset change and environment shift. As far as activity, walk as much as you can and lift weights. Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day, especially first thing in the morning. It sucks carrying water everywhere you go but do it anyway if you have to. Honestly, water, walking, and weed have been my favorite overall health-building tools.

Gio’s Quick Tips for Weight Loss

Here are some of Gio’s favorite weight-loss strategies:

  • Make healthy smoothies in the morning for breakfast
  • Drink at least half your body weight in ounces of water each day
  • Go for fasted walks
  • Lift weights! (She’s usually in the 6-10 rep range for most exercises)
  • Keep track of your progress and continue to make “gains”, even if it’s just one more rep (she never thought she would EVER say gains). When you see on paper that you’re making progress, it’s a huge motivator to keep going.
  • Get extra steps wherever possible. Park further away, walk the dogs, talk short walks in between weight lifting sets. Walk, walk, walk!
  • If you have the patience for it, measure your food to know you’re getting exactly the right portion sizes. You can really have anything you want if you eat the serving size and move your butt!

Thanks for reading and, until next time, make wise choices!

Building Muscle, Fitness & Business w/ Bryan Parady

As discussed in Episode 19 of the Wise Eats Podcast:

Back in 2009, I was 90lbs overweight and decided to make a change to improve my health.

Over the course of the next year, I lost the weight and changed my life forever.

The only problem was, now I was just skinny with disordered eating patterns and problem drinking.

Took many years to get here but I did it! And you can do it too!

I was lighter and somewhat healthier, but sick all the time and feeling miserable.

It wasn’t until I improved my nutrition and developed a consistent weight training program that I began to optimize my health and finally get the athletic body I wanted.

Today, not only do I maintain a healthy weight, but I’m in great physical shape also.

So, what I’m trying to get at here is that I went from being big and fat, to sick and skinny, to athletic and fit.

I suppose you could say that I went from skin and bones….to….bulk.

Our guest in Episode 19 is Bryan Parady, creator of BonesToBulk.com. He has an incredible story of going from “skin and bones” to muscular and fit, just like I did. We dish up exactly what inspired him to take control of his health and eventually launch Bones to Bulk along with plenty of other diet/fitness tips!

How Bryan Became Passionate About Health & Fitness

Bryan: “I was about 21 years old and not into fitness or health at all. I weighed 118 pounds. I was a tiny dude and somebody recommended I watch the Rocky movies. I’d never seen them and so I watched and absolutely loved them. I think I binged them all in one week. By the time I was done watching I was like I want to be buff. I want to look like Sylvester Stallone. So, the very next day, I went out to a sporting goods store, bought a bench and some weights and set it up in my house and just went at it!”

“I did every single thing wrong you can imagine from lifting to nutrition to everything I just had no clue what I was doing. It was probably about six months in where I had been consecutively lifting four or five days a week and saw just absolutely no progress. That’s when it kind of came to a head I was like okay I can either stop and figure out what in the world I’m doing or I can give up and so I was like let’s go all in let’s try to figure this out. That’s when I really started researching and getting into the nutrition side and how to properly lift and it was from that point that I began to start seeing change over the long term”.

Personal Training Experience

Bryan has been personal training for about 4 years and initially got into it because it’s something he loves and wanted to get some credentials behind his name. He’s coached around 50 clients one-on-one and countless more through group settings. He also offers a personalized coaching and regimens on his website, BonestoBulk.com.

Check out the Bones to Bulk podcast! Highly recommended!

Biggest Mistake Among Fitness Clients?

Nutrition is by far the biggest mistake, especially when you’re trying to gain muscle. There’s a lot of misinformation in the weight loss realm, as well, but especially in muscle building. Most people think you just need to start drinking more protein shakes and get in the gym and that’s simply not enough.

Advice for Aspiring Personal Trainers?

Bryan: “Go into it open-minded and ready to learn everything you can. Usually, the agencies provide really good study material as far as getting certified and passing the exam. From there, it’s really a matter of taking what you know personally and applying it. It’s not so much having a lot of the head knowledge as having that personal touch. You know what you’ve been through and that’s really gonna draw people to you. You can google just about anything out there but having someone who’s actually lived the journey and walked through what you’re trying to teach others that adds so much. So, really dive into that aspect of it and offer yourself because people are gonna be drawn to your story and your personality and what you have to offer”.

Advice for Beginners?

A common misconception I see is that to build muscle you just need to eat as many calories as possible regardless of the source. I used to have a bad sweet tooth and would just eat sleeves of Oreos at a time. Trying to break the mindset of “dirty bulking” is what I find most often with beginners. It’s not about just how much you eat but you’ve got to be eating the right things along with the right quantities.

Advice for Intermediate/Advanced?

Once you’ve lifted for a while your muscle building progress begins to slow a bit. Similar with weight loss. Learning how to figure out those fine tweaks to continue making progress is what I do most often with intermediate to advanced weight lifters. It ends up being small things like adding extra healthy snacks, focusing more on form, and slowing down on repetitions to increase time under tension.

Another tool for intermediate-advanced is known as the squeeze method where you squeeze the weights as hard as possible to increase blood flow and increase the muscle stretch. As we get more advanced, we focus too much on numbers and hitting a new personal record. Sometimes it’s better to lower the weight and pump out 10 really good, slow form reps.

Your Current Training Regimen?

Bryan: “I’m currently doing a push-pull leg split. So, I do six days a week push-pull-legs push-pull-legs and I vary my exercises from the first half of the week to the last half. Some exercises stay the same and some I switch up. I found it to be really good overall and it’s hitting all your muscle groups twice a week which makes a huge difference. It’s early on but so far I’ve really likes the results I’ve gotten from it”.

Your Current Fitness Goals?

2019 was rough. I suffered a pulled bicep tendon and then got really sick toward the end of the year. This year, I want to focus more on my overall health, avoid injury, and re-build my strength. I think listening to my body will make a huge difference. Being really in tune with each workout and how my body feels and responds.

What is Your WHY for Bones to Bulk?

I want to be a good example to my audience and represent what I preach. I also want to be a good example to two daughters, they’re seven and three. I have a home gym that I work out in sometimes they’ll come out there and lift dumbbells and I’ll show them some things. My older daughter is already very conscious of what she eats. So, I want to be a good example to them and try not to force anything because it’s important for them to make their own decisions at this age. Also, I always say that I want to be one of those 80 year old guys who’s still crushing it in the gym.

Balancing Work, Family & Passion for Fitness

Balancing Work, Family, Passion

Strict time management and team work with my wife are crucial! We both work full-time and take care of the kids. Physical health is important to both of us which is critical to be able to handle the load. Each week, we have a meeting where we discuss everything we have going on for the week and plan it out. Then, usually on Saturday nights, we put the kids to bed and go to town working on our businesses. We find that time to be more rewarding than going out or watching Netflix.

Daily Routine?

Bryan and his wife

My day usually starts at 4am. We’re not always perfect with that! My wife goes to the gym while I spend some time reading and having some personal development time. If that’s not done first thing in the morning it’s not going to happen. As soon as she gets home, I leave for work. Come home from work then hit the gym with the kids. Home from gym, have dinner, family time, work on our businesses, then go to bed pretty early.

A Normal Diet Day for You?

Who does that?

It’s a little different right now because I decided to go vegan for the month of January! But here is a typical day:

Breakfast: Oatmeal or granola with some fruit like a banana. Mid-morning I’ll have some berries and tree nuts.

Lunch: Pasta, chicken, homemade tomato sauce made with olive oil. Lunches are usually pretty calorie heavy. One of my favorite pastas is made out of soy beans which adds extra protein.

Snack: This varies quite a bit. Sometimes a protein bar or sometimes dates with peanut butter spread on them.

Post-Workout: Protein Shake.

Dinner: Lots of variety here. We do lots of stir fries. Chicken and veggies over rice or quinoa. We love to do turkey chili. Also tacos with beans, corn, chicken, or turkey with whole wheat tortillas and lots of veggies.

Snack: Toast with peanut butter and banana slices or a protein shake.

Quick Bites!

Biggest Factor Holding You Back from Getting Healthy?: My mindset. Lots of self-doubt and self-esteem issues.

Favorite Exercise Routine or Program?: Push-Pull Split and Chest/Triceps Day.

Favorite Specific Lift?: Bench Press or Standing Overhead Press

Favorite Healthy Recipe?: A chicken-pasta-hummus recipe:

  • Cook spaghetti and chicken separately. Have those ready to go.
  • In a big frying pan, mix some pasta sauce with a cup of hummus
  • Dice grape tomatoes, spinach, garlic, mushrooms and add to pan
  • Mix in pasta and chicken
  • Sounds kind of weird with the hummus but it’s delicious!

Favorite Un-Wise Choice?: Either pizza or soft baked chocolate chip cookies.

Favorite Recipe for Success?: Consistency. Breaking a habit for just one or two days can easily turn into weeks or months. So, whatever your goal is, just stay consistent with it.

One Item in Your Kitchen You Can’t Live Without?: Food-wise it would be whole wheat pasta. Tool-wise it would be T-Fal pans. Nothing sticks to them and they’re not too expensive.

Favorite Source of Inspiration?: Gary Vaynerchuk. I also love audiobooks. I really enjoyed Bear Grylls’ book called “Mud, Sweat and Tears”.

Favorite Workout Music?: There’s so many. Imagine Dragons, Red, Skillet are a few.

One Song You Refuse to Take Off Your Playlist?: Spaz Out by Army of the Pharaohs.

Food You Recommend to Clients Most Often?: Quinoa. Very underrated health food. Great source of complex carbs and protein.

One Last Piece of Advice?: Don’t feel like you need to have everything together before you start. When I start a project, I want everything figured out before I ever start it. That’s usually so detrimental because we’re never gonna have it all figured out before we start. We learn so much as we go, so take what you already know and get going. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how things begin to snowball and you’ll begin to learn new things and it will also give you the confidence to just keep growing and learning.

Also, don’t ever think you’ve arrived or “made it”. There’s always more to learn, not only in fitness but in anything.

Your New Year’s Resolution?: I have lots of things I want to accomplish with my family and finances, but for fitness I want to be in the best shape of my life at the end of 2020.

You can follow Bryan Parady @BonestoBulk on Instagram or at BonestoBulk.com.

“No matter what obstacles are in your mind, what things are stressing you out or you feel like you just can’t overcome…you CAN accomplish ANY goal that you set your mind to. You’ve got this!” – Bryan Parady

Submit questions, comments, feedback to WiseEatsPodcast@gmail.com or to @weswisefitness on Instagram. Thanks for watching, listening, reviewing, liking, subscribing, and sharing. Be good to yourself, be good to others, and make wise choices!

SHRED Your Body Fat with These 12 Strategies

As discussed in Episode 9 of the Wise Eats Podcast

Any time I set a goal to lose weight, the method I use to achieve it can be broken into 7 general steps:

Step 1: Establish a goal to lose body fat.

Step 2: Estimate my daily calorie needs based on activity level.

Step 3: Eating 300-500 calories less than my needs in order to create a deficit.

Step 4: Eat real, whole foods and drink plenty of water. Also avoid toxins and refined sugar as much as possible.

Step 5: Track every meal and stay as close to my calorie and macronutrient requirements as possible.

Step 6: Lift weights 3-6 days per week to grow and retain muscle and doing 20-30 minutes of cardio a couple times per week

Step 7: Rest fully, minimize stress, and recover actively

Effective weight loss all comes down to energy balance. How many calories does your body burn on a daily basis? How many additional calories does it burn based on your activity level? When you combine those two numbers to get your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE), you have a pretty accurate estimate of the calories you need in a day to maintain your current weight. From there, it’s simply a matter of taking in slightly less calories to lose weight, or taking in slightly more to build your body up. After that, it’s just dedication and consistency. Also, keep in mind that as your body changes, so do your daily needs. As my bodyweight decreased during this weight cut, I eventually had to drop a few hundred calories per day in order to keep the weight loss going. After the cut was over, I slowly increased calories to maintain weight and build some strength.

Here are 12 tips to help you along in your fat loss journey:

  1. If I Can Do It, You Can Do It. I’m not a certified trainer or nutritionist, yet. I’m not a bodybuilder or training for a competition. I’ve never even played sports. I used to be 90lbs overweight, smoking a pack of cigarettes a day, living solely on fast food, and bordering on alcoholism. I abused my body with no regard for my health or longevity. But, I turned it all around, and today I’m in the best shape of my life. If I can start from the bottom and work my way up, you can too. I promise.
  2. No Fad Diets Necessary. I didn’t use Paleo, keto, Atkins, or any other secret formula to lose weight during this time. Essentially, the strategy I use to lose weight in 2019 is the is the same I used back in 2009. Eat based on energy requirements, exercise consistently, stop poisoning yourself, and try to have healthy foods in wide variety as much as possible.
  3. You Have to Meal Prep. Honestly, I spend quite a bit of time in the kitchen, but cut corners everywhere I can. Making large batches of food to have for several meals is key. At the start of the week, I’ll make enough of the breakfast energy bowl to have for multiple days. I’ll prep salads two at a time to have for today and tomorrow’s lunch. I’ll bake large portions of chicken, potatoes, and steamed rice all at once to have on hand for quick and easy meals. Accountability and preparation are key in your ability to improve your health.
  4. Think of Food as Fuel. On average, I had around 6 meals per day and ate every 2-3 hours based on activity levels during this weight loss. Most meals were designed to either fuel up for or recover from a workout, nothing more. Try to think of food as fuel rather than just for pleasure or satisfaction. Of course, I absolutely love the healthy meals I eat on a regular basis, but the primary goal is to always keep my body and mind performing at its best. If you can’t get up and go for a quick jog around the block because of what you just ate, then you done messed up.
  5. Treat Yourself in Moderation. Discipline will help you see results much faster,but treating yourself can also help keep you motivated and avoid burning out. Throughout the 13 week cut, I had about one cheat meal every week. Sometimes, it was eating out, sometimes it was home cooked. Sure, I could’ve lost weight faster without cheating, but I’m pretty proud of the shape I got in despite going off the rails here and there. The trick is not allowing yourself to spiral out of control. I didn’t let one meal turn into an entire day or weekend or full week of bad eating like I used to. Enjoy just that one meal, don’t lose sight of your goal, and get right back on track.
  6. Lose Fat Faster with Cardio. I know I said in Episode 8 that cardio is not required, and I stand by that statement, but after losing an average of 1lb per week in the first half, I was able to lose an average of nearly 1.5lbs per week in the second half. The biggest change I made was increasing cardio through walking, biking, and a few high intensity kettlebell routines. Cardio does not need to exceed 20-30mins a couple days per week to get results, so don’t overdo it. You don’t even have to do it at all, but it might get you to your fat loss goal faster. Plus, it feels amazing and is really good for your overall health, so if you love doing it, more power to you.
  7. You Gotta Lift Some Weight to Lose Some Weight. Weight training is my favorite form of exercise, and offers the best bang for your buck when it comes to fat loss and improving your body composition. During this weight cut, I gained strength consistently during the first half and felt great despite being in a calorie deficit. It wasn’t until the last few weeks where I experienced a noticeable drop-off in gains and energy levels. At that point, I knew it was time to call an end to the weight loss challenge and give my body some much needed rest. Lifting weights is the best way to build or retain muscle while getting lean and losing body fat, so I can’t recommend it enough.
  8. Avoid the Clean Eating Trap. Prior to this weight loss, I spent years trying to gain as much muscle as possible, but got to the point where I was easily eating up to 5,000 calories a day, including excessive amounts of dietary fat. I figured since I was lifting weights and building muscle, I could just eat as much nutrient dense food as I wanted. Wrong. Just because food is healthy doesn’t mean you can eat as much of it as you want and not gain extra weight. Bummer, I know.
  9. Be More Mindful of What You Eat. Specific ingredients, total calories, and macronutrient amounts. Once you control these things and understand them, changing your physique becomes a matter of routine, math, and proper dietary choices. Some experts debunk calorie counting, but I can say for sure that it’s worked wonders for me, both in my original 90lb weight loss and this 15lb weight cut. Calorie counting or not, you need to take control of what you put in your body.
  10. Reverse Dieting. After a period of sustained weight loss, your body is highly susceptible to gaining fat very quickly if overfed. It’s important to “reverse diet” by slowly increasing your calorie intake to avoid putting the body fat right back on. If you just call an end to your diet and start eating like crazy, you can quickly undo any progress you’ve made. So, after this challenge, I slightly bumped up calories each week, which allowed my energy levels to return to normal and start building strength again.
  11. Get Hooked on Improvement. Tracking your meals and workouts takes some work, but the feeling of knowing you’re in control and making progress becomes addictive. Plus, it’s a lot harder to move forward when you’re not sure where you’ve been. Evaluate your performance and strive to keep getting better. Get more reps, lift heavier weight with good form, or increase your intensity. If you’re getting better each time, chances are you’re doing everything right. If you’re not making progress though, something is likely off with your training, diet, stress levels, or rest. Also, if you’re monitoring your weight, don’t get caught up in day-to-day fluctuations. I recommend weighing yourself each day and taking an average for the week, which is a more accurate indicator of progress than the day-to-day number. Stay focused and, over time, the scale will move in the direction you want.
  12. Keep Exercise Simple. If you’re just beginning a workout routine, don’t make it too complicated. Start with some light activities that you can do safely and comfortably then build yourself up from there. Go for walks and focus on quality bodyweight movements like squats, burpees, jumping jacks, lunges, and core routines. If you can’t even do a push-up or pull-up, it’s probably too early to start throwing weights around. Just get out there and get your body moving. You don’t have to break yourself down for an hour in the gym to get an effective workout. You just gotta start somewhere.

I got into the best shape of my life using these strategies. Summer is coming, so it’s time wise up. Make one positive change today and it will add up to major benefits in the future! Thanks a lot for reading this article. Now, get out there, get ready for summer, and start making some wise choices!

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Why Every Human Should Lift Weights

As discussed on Episode 6 of the Wise Eats Podcast

There’s something I wish someone had told me when I first started working out: Stop doing so much cardio and start lifting heavy weights more consistently. Resistance training is the most effective way to lose body fat, build muscle, and achieve that healthy physique most of us desire. Don’t get me wrong: I love cardio. I lost 90lbs mostly by running my butt off. Eventually, I got into the best shape of my life by doing high intensity cardio at home with bodyweight movements. I used P90X, Insanity, Body Beast, UFC Fit, whatever I could get my hands on. Those kinds of routines are convenient to do at home and far better than doing nothing. But if you want to make the biggest change in the shortest amount of time, resistance training is your best option, especially if you’re not currently lifting weights regularly. If you’re a newbie, you have the added benefit of making significant progress very quickly. You can also burn fat and build muscle at the same time, which is the perfect recipe for achieving the body of your dreams.

Find Your Exercise Passion

So, what actually is the best workout program for you? In short, it’s whatever you’re able and willing to do, and do consistently. Any exercise program is better than no exercise program. If you’re currently doing nothing, you better stop what you’re doing right now and go for a walk around the block. Seriously, walking is one of easiest and very best things you can do for your body. I actually used to believe walking was pointless. It’s so natural and easy, how could it really be good for you? Well, turns out it’s extremely good for you, and you can do it anytime, anywhere. So, why not start there? Walk for at least a mile. If it takes you 25 minutes to do, fine. Just do it again tomorrow, and get it done one minute faster. A little bit better every time is the key with all forms of exercise.

Weight Lifting is a GAME CHANGER

Now, if you’re looking for something a bit more intense than walking, I believe weight lifting is the answer. I can’t recommend any form of exercise more passionately. Sure, I love biking, swimming, running, kettlebells, stretching, foam rolling, and yoga. They all play a part in optimization, but nothing beats moving heavy weights. No matter what exercise routine you’re following or fitness goal you have, resistance training can help you get there faster. Even if you want to run a marathon, you can incorporate high intensity training with dumbbells or circuit training with a variety of resistance movements. I once trained for a 5k almost exclusively by doing dumbbell cardio workouts in my living room. I just did it for fun, and finished top 5 for my age group! Obviously, a 5k is no marathon, but you get the idea.

Lifting weights not only can improve your cardiovascular fitness, but it will also help you burn more body fat because the benefits last for hours beyond just the actual work out. I’m going to get more into cardio in future episodes, but if you want to know what I think the best workout program is for you, it’s definitely one that incorporates resistance training. If you only have 30 minutes for a workout, you’re going to get much more accomplished by using that time for lifting weights than you would with any other exercise.

So, we’ve established that I love weight lifting and believe it’s the best way to get fit, but the perfect exercise routine for you depends entirely upon your goals. If your goal is to get a lean, sculpted body, then you want to lift weights regularly to build strength and muscle. If your goal is to run a race in the fastest time, you want to be doing high intensity cardio workouts. If you’re into just general wellness and want to be more functional, then go with full body movements, stretching routines, and yoga. Like I said, it’s all part of the puzzle, you just have to identify what your primary goal is and find your passion. Let me know what YOUR goal is by e-mailing wiseeatspodcast@gmail.com or leaving a comment on this YouTube video.

 

Weight Lifting Routines & Tips

Alright, let’s say you’re ready to buy into the whole weight lifting thing. Awesome. What should your routine look like? Although there are countless ways to go about it, you can make significant progress by lifting weights at least 3 days a week and focusing the bulk of your energy on the four major compound lifts: squat, bench press, deadlift, and overhead shoulder press. I recommend doing at least 3 heavy sets of 3 different full body movements per workout. That’s 9 sets all together and can be accomplished in 30-60 minutes. That’s really all you need. For example, on leg day, you would do 3 sets of barbell squats, followed by 3 sets of walking lunges, followed by 3 sets of split squats or leg presses. 9 total sets is very doable and you can make huge progress doing just that. For each set, the 4-6 rep range is great for men and the 8-10 rep range is ideal for women. And for those of you who don’t know, a set is just the number of times you perform the same exercise at any one time. No matter how many reps you’re doing in each set, the key is that on your last rep you can just barely get one more without your form breaking down. So, say you’re doing bench press at 4-6 reps. You want the weight to be light enough so that your performing the movement correctly but also heavy enough so you’re coming close to technical failure on the 4th, 5th, or 6th rep. If you can go beyond 6 reps, it’s time to increase the weight.

If you’re just starting out, it will only take a couple workouts to get your baseline numbers down and then you can increase weight and progress from there. Remember, proper form is essential. As soon as your form is starting to break down, you’re done. I work in the 4-6 rep range most of the time, but also throw in extra sets of 8-10 reps later in the workout, or if I feel like I wanna change things up. So, by the time I hit that 6th rep, my muscles are fatigued to the point where I can’t go anymore and have a rest until the next set of 4-6 reps. As I mentioned, 3 sets on 3 different compound movements is really all you need, but do as much as you can depending on your fitness level, goals, and available time. I’m typically doing 9-15 total sets in any workout and am done in about an hour.

A couple other quick things. Rest time between sets should be anywhere from 1-3 minutes, which is about how much time your muscles need to recover and get ready for the next lift. If you’re looking for some nutrition tips and supplements I recommend, head over to Wise-Eats.com/approvedfoods, and you’ll see a list there. The thing about supplements though is that you don’t need them. You can get strong and in excellent shape without taking any supplements. Good nutrition, proper rest, regular training, and hydration are all you need to make progress.

Finally, if lifting weights makes you nervous or you’re intimidated, I get it, we’ve all been there. You just gotta know that everyone is there to do their own thing and they’re not paying attention to you nearly as much as you’re paying attention to yourself. So stay focused, train hard, and you’ll get over that real quick. Finally, if you’re worried that lifting weights is going to make you look big and bulky, think again. That’s a myth. The only way you get that bulging muscle look is if you’re on steroids.

How to Get Started

So, how do I get started you might be asking? If you head over to Wise-Eats.com/Workout, you’ll see a list of workouts that I currently follow and recommend for most humans looking to build a stronger physique and better overall body. It is a 5-day lifting program that is based on Mike Matthews’ Bigger Leaner Stronger Program. If you can’t lift weights 5 days a week, that’s fine, you can combine some of the exercises to accommodate 2, 3, or 4 days per week. Just make sure you’re hitting those big lifts: squat, deadlift, bench, overhead press. There are videos outlining each of the workouts, including exactly the number of reps you should be doing. This is not meant to be the epitome of good form, it’s just to give you an idea of what the workouts look like. If you’re a newbie, search videos on the exercises and start with light enough weights.

Are You Ready for Weight Lifting?

Actually, depending on your fitness level, you may not need any weights yet. Bodyweight movements may only be appropriate for you. If you can’t do a proper bodyweight squat or pushup, you need to start there before you start throwing weights around. The goal is not to lift the heaviest weight you can. The goal is to perform the movements as close to perfect as possible while challenging yourself and getting better every time. Progression and safety are the most important aspects of training in my opinion. Evaluate your form with a trainer, a friend, or by videotaping yourself and comparing to other videos. Finally, make sure you track the exercises you’re doing and the number of reps you get, and try to improve on those numbers every time. If you’re able to lift heavier weight or do more reps with good form, that’s a great sign that your diet, training, and rest are on point.

Do You Even Lift?

So basically, there are two types of people in this world. Those who lift weights and those who don’t. Obviously, it’s the form of exercise I believe will help you achieve results the fastest. But what do I know? You’re probably saying Wes what makes you so smart? Why should I listen to you? You’re not even a personal trainer! Well you’re right, I’m not, so don’t just take my word for it. I only know what I know because, for years, I’ve followed amazing coaches like Mike Dolce, Ben Greenfield, Mike Matthews, and Shawn Stevenson. Take my advice, but also do your own research and seek knowledge for yourself.

At the end of the day, only you can decide what the best workout program is for you based on your goals and fitness level. But I think the majority of people looking to build a better body and improve overall health need to be doing some sort of resistance training several days per week because it’s by far the best way to lose body fat, build muscle, and achieve that healthy physique most of us desire. Outside of weight lifting, another strategy I recommend is getting movement throughout the entire day. I love randomly going for a quick walk or doing some push-ups, pull-ups, or bodyweight squats to get an energy boost. I also love foam rolling or stretching first thing in the morning to loosen up. You don’t have to confine your workout to a ½ hour or hour in the gym. You can incorporate exercises throughout the whole day no matter where you are.

Take Action!

Some say the best workout program is the one you’re not currently doing, and I couldn’t agree more. If you already exercise regularly, it’s time to step up your game and take it to the next level. If you’re sitting on the couch every day doing nothing, it’s time to wise up and get to work. Stop wishing you were in better shape, take ownership of your body, and get into action. Whether it’s lifting weights, P90X, a group gym class, a YouTube video, or walking the dog, it’s time to find something you’re capable of doing that you love and will keep doing no matter what. Exercise is never a chore when you’re doing something that motivates you and makes you feel great.

That’s gonna do it for today’s article. This was just a quick rundown of a simple but effective workout program that I believe may be the most beneficial for you, if you’re up for the challenge. I’ve gone from being obese, to super thin, to super fit, trying many things along the way, and can say from experience that having a consistent weight lifting regimen made the most impact by far. Regardless of what you end up developing a passion for, a lifestyle centered on physical movement should be a non-negotiable element of your life. So, find that thing, get good at it, then get great at it, and become a better version of yourself through it every time.

Contact Me!

So, let me know what you think and any questions you may have. What did I leave out? What can I help YOU with? What workout programs get YOU fired up? I’d love to know more about them. Again, if you want to see some weight lifting programs mapped out for you, head over to Wise-Eats.com/Workout. This is the exact program I currently follow, and it’s a great one for beginners also. Let me know what you think in the comments or via e-mail. There’s a million ways to contact me. Facebook.com/WiseEatsPodcast, wiseeatspodcast@gmail.com, and WesFitness.com. Before I go, just a quick reminder to please subscribe wherever you’re hearing or seeing this show. If it’s on YouTube, click the thumbs up and subscribe buttons. If it’s on apple podcasts, make sure you’re subscribed there also, and if you have a second, leave a 5-star iTunes review so other people know this is a cool show. You can also find all my fitness articles, recipe videos, and more over at Wise-Eats.com. Thanks a lot for tuning in. Now get out there, find your workout, get moving, and of course, make wise choices!

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How I Lost 90lbs – My Weight Loss Story – Video

If you’re tired of all the fitness and nutrition gimmicks and want to know how to lose weight for real, you’ve come to the right place. Welcome to Wise Eats.

Read my full 90lb weight loss story at Wise-Eats.com/MyStory

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Like this video by clicking the thumbs up and subscribe to my channel!

I’m Wes Wise from WesFitness.com. Back in 2009 I lost 90lbs and in this video I tell you exactly how I did it.

At that time, my lifestyle was the worst of the worst. I barely exercised. I ate junk food every single day. I drank soda with every meal, smoked a pack of cigarettes a day, and drank alcohol multiple times a week. I was on a one-way path to nowhere fast.
Finally, I woke up one day and realized it was time to WISE UP. I was 270lbs and ready to make a change. So, I set a goal to lose weight, and was determined not to fail. So, how did I do it?

Step 1 was starting a diet journal. I wrote down all of my meals and calories. I used a calorie calculator to figure out my daily needs and ate 2-500 calories below that number. This created a calorie deficit, which is essential for weight loss. To lose weight, you need to take in less calories than your body burns. Tracking your meals is a great way to accomplish this, and it can be tedious, but I promise you it works. I still do it to this day in order to accomplish my fitness goals more quickly.

Step 2 was exercise. I did a lot of running mixed with some weight training. Today, I lift weights 5-6 days per week and believe it’s the most effective form of exercise for burning body fat and achieving a lean physique.

Step 3 was changing my diet. Throughout the weight loss I was still having lots of processed diet foods, junk food, alcohol, and cheat meals several times a week. As long as I restricted calorie intake during the week, I allowed myself to fly off the rails on the weekend. Not a very healthy way to go about losing weight, but it worked. Overall, I was taking in less calories than my body needed, so I lost weight. Eventually, I started to prepare more meals at home and quit drinking pop, but still ate very poorly throughout the initial weight loss.

Through calorie counting I lost 1-2lbs per week. I would weigh myself at the same time every Monday and record my weight each week. Over time, the weight loss was consistent. I dropped from 270 to 180lbs over the course of 1 year. You can see many before and after pictures in the YouTube video.

There was no rocket science involved in my weight loss experience. Losing weight comes down to discipline, a little effort, and eating below your daily calorie requirements. Assuming you have no pre-existing health conditions, calories in vs calories out works. The more disciplined you are with your calorie intake, the faster you will see results.

If you think you need some magical diet fad, or a pill, or a bunch of expensive supplements, it’s time to WAKE UP. If weight loss is what you truly want, make it a goal and get after it!

I’m no nutritionist or fitness expert. I’m just a normal guy who decided it was time to get healthy and lost 90lbs. If I can do it, you can do it. It’s time to start caring about your health. If weight loss is your goal, I can say from experience that calorie restriction will get the job done. Now, if your goal is to build an athletic physique and achieve optimal levels of health, that’s a whole different story that goes far beyond calorie counting and weight loss. I will get more into that in future videos, so make sure you subscribe and turn on notifications so you never miss an opportunity to Wise Up.
For now, you can find more details of my 90lb weight loss along with recipes, exercise regimens, fat loss tips, and more over at WesFitness.com.

If you liked this video, please click the thumbs up also leave a comment or question on the YouTube page. You can also message me over at Wise-Eats.com or WesFitness.com (Both links get you to the same place). I’m eager to help and respond to all messages.

It is within you to take control of your health. Start today with one wise choice. Small changes now add up to major benefits in the future. Thanks for watching!

My 90lb Weight Loss Video