Hey Fitties! Sorry for the lame title. I actually do say “yo” a lot. I don’t know why.
I was just about to bitch about how cold my feet are and how I need new slippers cuz these ones obviously suck if my feet are this cold, then I realized I wasn’t actually wearing my slippers. So it could actually be my fault my feet are cold and not some sort of slipper malfunction.
A little girl told me yesterday that she was 5. “That’s the WHOLE HAND,” she said. Yeah, talk to me when you’re both hands, a foot and you’re working on the last phalangeal appendage (ooh bonus points for “phalangeal”). What’s going to happen when I’m out of hands and both feet? Will I have to start pointing to other things? I’m both hands, both feet, and one eye? Both eyes and a nipple? Golly.
So hey I wanted to talk about something called “newbie gains.” There’s probably like some fancy graph or bell curve that I could use to demonstrate the issue. But it works in fitness just like anything else. You start out at level 0 and with relatively little effort you make huge gains. Right? Anyone here play the piano?
Day 1: You suck.
Day 10: You can play Mary had a little Lamb.
Day 10,001: Moonlight Sonata breaks you like a wild pony and you never play again (true story. Moonlight Sonata was my Waterloo. Teach your kids to read music people, the by ear thing doesn’t work for Beethoven).
So like… to get from really shitty to actually okay takes not much effort. To get from actually okay to freakin’ AWESOME takes a lot of effort. This is why I don’t recommend newbies start out with CRAZY ROUGH HARDCORE SWEATING DOWN YOUR BUTT CRACK fitness programs. Sure, you can. But why? If you’re a beginner you can get crazy awesome results with… not a lot of effort. And when you need to ratchet up your training to get to level AWESOME, what’s next? If you’ve already trained your body at level 11… you have to go to a level 20 of training? No thanks. Sounds hard. I want best results for least amount of effort. 😉
hate not hate, resent is a better word, “newbie gains” (by the way, this is usually used in the context of like Bodybuilding, so the “gains” they are talking about are being jacked and shredded. For the rest of us non-shredders, we really mean “newbie losses.” That’s the girl who gets of the couch and walks around the block for 20 mintues a day and loses 20 pounds in a month while you’re sweating YOUR ass off in the gym and losing .5 pounds during that same month. Follow me? No, I’m really not drunk. I think I’ve just been associating with people who use bad language. I have to go back and edit this later).
Let’s let the king of muscle building and fat loss, Tom Venuto, explain it, shall we?
The less trained your body is and the further you are from your genetic potential, the easier it is to gain muscle. The reverse is also true – an advanced bodybuilder with 20 years experience would be thrilled just to gain a few pounds of solid dry muscle in a year!
So part of it is how untrained you are and part of it has to do with what you are genetically disposed to look like. This is why some people do the exact same program I’ve done and lose 10 pounds in a month (glare!!) and I lost… uh, 2. In 6 months. Part of it is I’d already done a lot of weight lifting (not like… a lot… not like… Arnold Schwarzenneger, but I’d done my share of rows and cleans). And some of it is I’m just pretty close to as good as my body is gonna get.
I’ve also noticed this with nutrition. People who have a storied history with junk food and give it up see HUGE improvements right away. People who have been eating pretty healthy all along and clean it up just a little bit more… they see just a little improvement.
So here’s the take away message: If you haven’t been training or eating well and you’re a “newbie,” then CONGRATULATIONS. Get started, hit it hard and you’ll see HUGE improvements right away. Lucky bastards.
Here’s the trick: You gotta stay consistent. Eventually, your body gets wise to you. We all know that one person who says “Oh, I can lose 20 pounds on the South Beach Diet.” And they do. A bunch of times. Each time they gain back the weight, they re-lose the 20 pounds on South Beach and then… it stops working. And they walk around proclaiming how they can lose 20 pounds on South Beach carrying said 20 pounds while you’re shaking your head thinking, “Dude, it’s not working, it’s time to try something else.”
Newbie gains don’t last forever. Do it once, do it right, don’t gain it back.
For those who aren’t newbies, gah. Just… gah. I know. It’s a pisser. It’s discouraging. I had a coach just lalalaaaa drop 10 pounds. WHAT? I do the same FREAKING PROGRAM AND THAT’S NOT FAIR!!! I know, I know… shhhh… it’s all right. Just keep making your incremental gains. Every little bit makes you healthier and stronger.
xo Fitties, catch ya later.