Going to the gym is not for everyone. In fact, only a small portion of the population can face it down. Do you wonder why you don't go to the gym? Are you tired of not being overly confident? Would you be unable to lift a car off a small child? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then this article is right for you. Follow these five simple tips and pretty soon you'll be so jacked that it'll be an affront to God (full disclosure: this article is targeted to men).
1. Substances: Protein, Pre-Workout, Post-Workout
First off, you're going to want to supplement your routine with some supplements. Protein, of course, is a must. This is the foundation of your entire physique. The trick with protein powders, bars, etc is to balance the crucial servings-weight-price. Servings is the amount of protein per serving; this number should be high, around 20-30 grams. There should be little to no stuff that isn't protein, such as fats, sugars, and horse testosterone. Weight is the amount of servings in the box or bar; too few and you're probably paying too much per unit of weight. Carbohydrates are okay. Lastly, price is self explanatory, but don't be fooled - a low number can be deceiving - you must calculate how much you're paying for your dose of protein. So take the price and divide by servings times the fraction of a serving that is protein. Once all that's taken care of, remember to consume at least your body weight in protein every day. It's not that hard.
Once that's taken care of it's time to buy some pre-workout. This is the stuff that will keep you going for four of five hours at the gym. Don't look at the label, that way you won't see the warning telling you to only use it for eight weeks at a time. If you do happen to glance at the label, you might also see a horrifying least of seemingly industrial chemicals. Don't worry about that either. All you need to know is that caffeine is in the list, and caffeine is in coffee so how bad could it really be? The most important thing when it comes to pre-workout is to test your limits. The recommended serving is one scoop? To hell with that, take five. That will make you stronger even more effectively.
2. Accessories: Shaker cups and the like
Accessories are crucial to success in the gym. Not only do they help you work out, they also help you look like you work out. A shaker cup is the first thing you'll need. While it may be used for private protein consumption, a shaker cup is best in public. Carry it around with you during your work out, sloshing the pee-colored (or white, or brown, but never red or pink) liquid around. This will establish just how seriously you take your routine. Another item you will need are some sick headphones so you can deafen yourself with music. This will allow everyone to admire your headphones, and the music will block out all the things that could get in the way of your workout, like human interaction, proper technique, or agonizing pain.
Never ever wear gloves. No one needs hands that buttery soft, and almost no one needs that much wrist support. Also never wear those strange, oxygen depriving masks. If you want to cut off the flow of life-giving oxygen to your muscles, try working out underwater, or in the vacuum of space, or maybe just move to Nepal - it'll be worth it when you return with your sweet gains. If you must, you can wear a lifting belt, but only if you don't wear it throughout - then everyone will know that you're only using it to hold in your gut.
3. Clothes: Time to make a statement
Shoes are undoubtedly the most important element of this category. Boat shoes, Vans, Converse, flip flops, the dreaded toe shoe - the gym is not the place for any of these. Frankly, just wearing socks would be better. This is no place for experimentation and improvisation. A nice standard gym shoe (preferably not filthy) is the best and only option. Invest in a pair; maybe one day your kids will inherit them and carry on your name.
As for the rest of your gym attire, the possibilities are less limited, but not quite endless. With shirts you can pretty much go wild: long sleeve, short sleeve, sleeveless t-shirt, tank, under armor, all are fine -though under armor does have gains as a prerequisite. Then you can have either shorts (knee length please) or, a more controversial move, pants. Though you may never have seen or refuse to believe in the idea of a man wearing spandex, trust me, they are out there, and you don't want to be one of them.
4. The Gym: Welcome to the temple
Surprisingly enough, the gym itself is actually the least important part. Really you could do all the actual working out at home if you would just man up and buy a Bowflex. So just make sure that it has a sauna and a steam room. Heated towels are nice too.
5. The Workout: Not for the faint of heart
Okay, so you're finally at the gym. You're filled to the gills with protein and pre-workout, you've got your shaker cup and you left your toe shoes at home. You're ready. All eyes are on you. This is your first day, the evaluation starts now. Immediately start doing your best exercise with way to much weight. Half-rep like a champion. Continue doing this with weaker and weaker exercises until you either hurt yourself, your pre-workout high ends, or you become so disillusioned that you quit. If someone offers some unsolicited advice, stand there silently and let the humiliation of being recognized as incompetent wash over you.
If you make it through all this, pause and look your pump. For forty minutes you consider yourself a deity among men. Then it fades and you set to wondering. Perhaps one day you'll be lucky enough to be one of those guys who just stands in front of the mirror admiring his triceps for hours at a time. You're far from his level, but you can already imagine it. There's a long, lonely road ahead, but you've taken the first step. Thanks to this article.
Bonus tip: do not speak ill of Crossfit; those people have the right to live their ideologies in peace. Have you even seen Rich Froning? There's no arguing with those results.