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How to (re) start your body transformation after a long lay-off.

This article is for those that has been off gym for 6 months or longer due to a severe injury or health issues and who need to resume training. How do you know if your body is fit/healthy enough to return to gym?

Click here to play video “STARTING A TRANSFORMATION AFTER A LONG LAY-OFF”

 

Before one can officially resume training one must first establish if the body is in a state to deal with the training resumption. In other words, is it healed enough to have the required stamina to start? If not, believe me you can do serious, serious harm.

So how do you determine if the body is ready or not?

First let’s look at the reason for your off-time from training

First you need to analyse your situation. Was it medical or non-medical?

Non-medical: If it was due to a loss of a loved/divorce or something similar? Then you were right to take off from gym. Some things in life is so important and life altering that one need time to absorb and process everything. Me, I like doing that while I am lifting, but all of us have our own way in dealing with life issues.

If it was due to work pressure/other pressures in life, well then not good! This means it is going to happen again and again until you have made a change. Stress is NOT good for building up your body. The stress hormone cortisol is a powerful catabolic hormone that makes effective muscle growth very difficult. You need to find ways of dealing with stress effectively. Sometimes the change is simply changing your attitude towards stress/busy schedules and learn to love the buzz of the fast-moving pace. We have amazing power in ourselves to decide how we react and respond to our surroundings and situations. What has to change is that fact that gym time needs to be of a higher priority in such a busy schedule. Gym must be nonnegotiable. If this means you have to do it early mornings or late at night so be it. You need to learn to allocate and hour and a half space for yourself during the day and that is your gymtime. This must be of the same priority of eating & sleeping, it must be non-negotiable. It is not optional it is a given. Let this sink in…it is NOT optional! So the fact that you sometimes do not feel like gyming…that carries NO WEIGHT. It is like sleeping & eating, you go there no matter what and you simply JUST DO IT.

If it is medical related (sickness, organ problems, etc…) well then it is a different situation. You have little control over it. But somewhere along the line you need to resume again. Most doctors could not care less in telling you to stop gyming. I found this out the hard way. After my first near death hospital visit last year I had no clear instructions regarding when and with how much I could start training. After just a few very light gym sessions (which I struggled through greatly because of no stamina) I ended up again in hospital. Simply because my body which was not healed enough for me to apply any pressure to it. Luckily I ended up with a specialist that really know what he is doing and he then insisted that I need to be completely sedentary until certain important requirements was met with my health.  The key factor here is to be very mindful of your body. You must never train through pain or apply intensity when the body has extreme weakness. If the body is right for training you will not suffer from extreme weakness and easy exhaustion. This is a sure sign the body need more time to recover.

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Now the next step

For all of the above scenario’s, you will apply the same approach.

That approach is two-fold:

  1. First determine if your body is at all fit/healthy enough to resume training
  2. Secondly when above criteria met, then generally one is cleared to start slowly training again according to a specific system. Critical in all these to get your doctor’s clearance.

So let’s look at how to determine if your body is at all fit/healthy enough to resume training

Week one – brisk walking. This is to test your stamina levels and if you are ready to return to gym.

  • Day 1: 5 min brisk walking.
  • Day 2: 10 min brisk walking.
  • Day 3: 20 min brisk walking,
  • Day 4: 30 min brisk walking.
  • Day 5: 40 min brisk walking.

If you can do the above fairly easily without having serious stamina/exhaustion problems, your body is for all practical purposes healthy and fit enough to return to gym with a specific introduction system. However, if you struggle in any means to manage above, keep your brisk walking time per day at 15-20 min and repeat for week 2.

To test if your body is ready you must pass the test of being able to do brisk walking for 40 min without too much exhaustion/stamina problem. ONLY then should you return to gym with the system explained beneath.

Slowly start training

The program you should follow to introduce gym to the body is a slow and gradual process. Joints, tendons and muscles are weak and need to follow a gradual approach to strengthen otherwise it easily can result in a serious injury.

Here is the “STARTING FROM SCRATCH” gym program for the next 3-months: https://gertlouw.com/2014/06/02/how-do-i-start-a-body-transformation-from-scratch/

And if you want to watch the video, click here “STARTING FROM SCRATCH”

After the above is completed, then you are ready to move onto serious training ground…this is where you can start with the ADVANCED SYSTEM II to start shaping and building the body into your dream body (again):   https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

We have one life and it is much more fragile than you might think. Apply wisdom and the body will respond in kind. Apply ignorance and you could even die. Change inside and out and become a man with integrity like a rock and a body to match!

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

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DUDE talk


Click here to watch video “DUDE talk”
To all my friends, followers and subscribers…DUDE TALK is a video series where I chat about guy stuff and anything and everything, interacting with my website, Facebook and YouTube friends and followers. So if there is anything (fitness or otherwise) that you want me to chat about, just leave a comment and I will cover it in an upcoming video. If you want your name and photo included in the video (as reference to who posted the topic) just add your pic in the comment or email to me (gertlouwljc@hotmail.com) and you will featured in the video.

Have a great day all!

Remember to train hard!

Gert Louw

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Diet tricks for fat loss

I get many guys asking me about “intermittent fasting” and “carb cycling” and similar “tricks” in the search to drop body fat.

Let’s look at this objectively.

I am not going to shoot any of these methods down, I think there are enough counter-proof that at least for some it is working.

However the people contacting me is never advanced athletes but Joe average who plays around with bodybuilding and want to get a quick road to loosing fat.

This is where the problem comes in.

The advanced athletes employing these diet tricks are already at very low body fat and are preparing for a show or event. In their toolbox which they use constantly, are their fat-callipers, tape measure and weighing scale and caloric counter. They approach this very scientifically and got the whole process down to a tee. They hardly ever make a mistake. But even then some do make a mistake and the consequences are close to disastrous. The truth is that with these tricks they are walking a thin line and it is very easy to make a mistake. You really need to know what you are doing and monitor the body extremely closely. You need to be very scientific about it to the extreme!

But Joe average is not a guy who will put in the time and effort these guys do with these tricks. He will not daily pull out the fat calipers, the tape measurement and scale and double-check calories etc. He just wants a simple to follow solution that will allow him to shed fat. And this is NEVER a simple solution. This is a hardcore solution. And nearly 99% of Joe average who have tried these hardcore solutions have badly burned their fingers. By burned fingers I mean training derailed, getting sick (due to immune system dropping as a result of too much required from the body) or losing all the hard-earned muscle in the process.

If you want my complete training/diet/supps system customised specifically for your body and goals, have a look here: https://gertlouw.com/my-transformation-secrets/

The risks simply outweight the benefits for Joe average …by far.

It is not worth it.

For Joe average and most advanced athletes it makes sense to follow a proven sensible approach.

Such a sensible approach is to monitor the body every 14 days with fat calipers and a weighing scale. Then to interpret the results with wisdom and make the necessary caloric adjustments to reach your goal.

In the cutting phase you want to lose fat and keep muscles safe (not necessarily build muscle but definitely not losing muscle!).

In the building phase the goal is adding a little body fat (2%-4%) and built muscle. Whenever you have to adjust calories, never do it with more than 10% in 14 day period up or down. The body need time to adjust and by adjusting calories with more than 10% will throw the body’s normal responses off for up to 1 month which makes the 14 day monitoring very difficult to interpret correctly.

The type of diet to follow is simple.

For cutting: https://gertlouw.com/2014/08/16/cutting-diet-challenges/

For building: https://gertlouw.com/2014/10/27/muscle-building-phase-sample-diets/

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Now I hope this let’s you think twice about venturing these risky paths. If you want to use me as an example…I have never done these diet tricks, simply because they are too risky! I am not about to sacrifice my hard-worked by slipping up once.

Wish you all happy training!

Gert Louw

GUYS & GIRLS DREAM BODYc


Click here to view video “The 5 BIGGEST bodybuilding mistakes

My road to bodybuilding started after the age of 40. It took me nearly 6 years being older and wiser to learn from my mistakes. Now at over 50 I am in the best shape of my life. But very often I wish I had the knowledge I had now when I was in my 20’s.

For those who are prepared to listen to the people who have walked the path and put a lid on their ego’s, this info can be extremely valuable and can mean a serious reduction in time to reach a great body.

So here follows my list of the 5 biggest mistakes people (and me) made when you start out with bodybuilding:

Insufficient training intensity

The pro’s in any sport reach such a high limit because they do not just push their body to failure but they use their mind to force their body literally past it’s abilities.

If you think you are training to failure it is time to review. Use your focus and mind to force you further into the unknown to the very brink of your bodies and minds abilities. This is where serious growth occurs.

 Working through pain

If you think it is the “manly” thing to work through pain – WRONG! Especially in bodybuilding when pain is experienced it spells danger and you MUST listen to it and attend to solving or alleviating the problem. Tendon and joints issues do NOT disappear – it gets worse and can derail your efforts for months! The quicker you give attention to it the quicker it is solved and the quicker you grow.

 Bad technique or form

Many guys starting out think form is not that important and that you must just be able to lift or push the weight and all is good. This asks for injury but even worse than that you will find that you will struggle to isolate muscles and as such never achieve an aesthetic look. When you do an exercise focus to ONLY use the muscle exercised – keep your elbows / shoulders, etc, stable and prevent them from swinging to help lift weights. You MUST get a mind muscle connection and visualize just that muscle working with every rep.

 Not weighing food / counting calories

Your diet not in place you WILL fail. If you ever want to reach incredible shredded muscle heights you MUST weigh your food and count calories.

 Average standards

Do you for one moment think that any of the professional bodybuilders had mediocre standards driving them. You MUST reach for the stars and apply the highest standards possible. Arnold, Lou Ferrigno and Ryan Terry amongst others do not have magic genes. They did not accept average standards and simply MAKE IT HAPPEN.

I am over 50 now and my shape is better than most 20 y/o top bodybuilders. Simply because I refuse to employ average standards.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT!

 

Wish you Happy Training

Gert Louw

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