Strength By Sonny 2014 Physical Transformation Guide (Part V: Gym Superstitions and Weird Practices)
If it ain’t broke… don’t fix it!
By now you know my story. I’ve been hitting the gym for 8 years. I’ve stuck with what’s work. I’ve made adjustments when they were needed. Most importantly, I’ve committed myself to being a lifelong student of MYSELF.
Today, I wanted to share some of my gym superstitions with you so that you can see what has worked for me. Hopefully, you will adopt some of these because they have helped me out immensely throughout my bodybuilding career.
I do everything I can to train in the heat.
Walk into any gym and you see the same thing every time… gym bros lifting wearing shorts and tank tops.
Foolishness. In my mind, you average gym goer is already inhibiting his gains by doing that.
What they don’t realize is that the heat is your best friend.
The heat (and the sweating that results) is what will push your physique to the next level. Consider it a life hack for winning the muscle building game. There are numerous benefits to training in a heated environment, but here are the main ones:
– stimulates muscle fibers
– makes you sweat more (sweats out the toxins)
– makes your heart beat faster
– reduce muscular strains and fatigue
– mental edge
I have been training in layers since 2010. No matter what time of year… no matter what the outside temperature is… I start off my workout in layers. I peel off layers as I progress in the workout. That is what has worked for me since 2010.
It has enabled me to build a denser physique with greater fullness since then. Long Island, New York… Washington, DC… Winston-Salem, NC… Austin, TX…
All different environments with varying degrees of heat… I trained in layers with all of them.
*** Washington DC was the most brutal because that was most intense summer heat I have ever experienced (Summer 2011).
By layers, I am talking about long sleeved shirts (thermals), leggings, and sweatpants. Here are some suggestions I have for you:
Simple Long-sleeved thermal shirts
Very cheap. Very durable. I have used the same thermal shirts for training since 2010. A very good investment all around.
Spandex Leggings for men
I know what you are thinking. Spandex are for the cardio bunnies at the gym. Not true at all. They are for serious athletes and for those who are serious enough about their training to know the importance of keeping everything tight. This is especially important for the legs on leg day.
They keep the legs heated. This helps you sweat even more. Here are two particular brands I have used:
These are a solid option and a great for keep everything tight and heated.
I started using the Nike Combat Pro leggings just this past Spring and I really like them. In my opinion they keep everything just a little bit tighter than the Under Armour leggings. The bottoms also extend down to about mid calves. In my opinion, this makes it more efficient because you don’t necessarily need it to extend all the way down to the ankles. By coming down to just this calves, this keeps the calves tighter as well.
I strap it and wrap it.
I train like an animal but safety always comes first. That’s why it’s important to lift with proper form where you are controlling the weight. Most people get hurt because of improper form and incorrectly using a muscle.
People also wear down their body due to a lack of emphasis placed upon joint preservation.
It’s not really natural for people to be benching and squatting heavy weight. Our joints simply were not built for doing those kinds of lifts in the long run.
As a result, you need to take the necessary steps now to ensure that you can train intense and maintain joint health to the best of your ability.
I have been using straps and wraps since 2008. They help keep everything tight and help me feel the majority of the lift on the targeted muscle (instead of my joints). If I didn’t use these tools, I would have the joints of an old man. Thankfully, I have used them so the wear and tear on my joints has been minimal.
Here are my suggestions. They have been lifesavers for me:
Harbinger Wrist Wraps
Wrist wraps protect your wrists. They keep that area tight so that they do not get strained on heavy presses and curls.
They have been particularly useful for me on heavy presses because they keep the wrists in the neutral position, minimizing the chances of them suddenly snapping back.
I have also benefited from using them on heavy curls for biceps.
McDavid Elbow Wraps
This should make sense. If you spend years doing the right thing (training your ass off)… your elbows are going to take a pounding.
It is inevitable. The best way to prevent weak elbows (or at least hold it off for as long as possible) is to start taking the necessary steps NOW.
I have used elbow wraps since 2008 and they have been a lifesaver.
*** Also because they keep everything tight, they also make me feel stronger on my heaviest pressing movements.
Altus Knee Wraps
If anyone should have absolutely destroyed knees, it should be me. Up until college, I spent years playing sports and sprinting on hard surfaces.
I have also hammered my legs with heavy squats and leg presses over the years. As much as we would like it to be true, our bodies are not indestructible. We are not machines. Everyone has their brick wall that they eventually hit and things start to break down.
Your knees need to be protected at all costs. Once your knees are shot, they are pretty much shot. Just ask Dwyane Wade.
Don’t get it twisted… training legs like a bodybuilder will wear down your knees over time.
If you want to keep everything tight and preserve the knees, you wear knee wraps on those heavy leg movements. This will lessen some of the load on the knees and give you the best shot of feeling it on the targeted muscles.
*** Make sure you order two because they are sold individually.
I wear a mouth guard when I lift.
My best friend in college used to wear a mouth guard at the gym. I picked up the habit from him.
There are a lot of benefits to doing this.
1) Many people have a habit of grinding their teeth when they lift. My friend actually started wearing his mouth guard after he chipped a tooth on a set of deadlifts. If you have this habit, wearing a mouth guard should protect your teeth from grinding down on each other.
2) It strengthens the jaw muscles. Over time you can develop a more powerful jaw which improves facial aesthetics. I will get in to this at a later time as it is something I have actually spent a decent amount of time working on.
*** I think it also gives me a mental edge. I feel like a beast showing my fangs when people see the colored mouth guard I’m rocking.
One Weird Practice I do before a Vegas trip…
Get shredded. Bang tens. I’m not gonna bullshit you. I get shredded so I can go to Vegas in the summer and bang hot chicks. I like doing that at least once a year.
I put myself through an intense diet and training preparation so that I can take a break and do that.
I have long known about sexual transmutation and the reality of sexual magnetism.
I have self-control because I have eliminated pornography from my life.
As a result, I can willingly give up sex and orgasm whenever I want.
So that’s what I do. For about one month (roughly 30 days) before I go to Vegas, I give up busting a nut completely.
I just don’t do it. I focus on other things. I save up my energy and life force since they are already drained from the dieting. I do this so that by the time I get to Vegas, I am in the best shape of my life… my sexual magnetism is at its highest… my energy is through the roof.
Once I get to Vegas I go nuts 😉
This concludes our physical transformation series for 2014. I want to thank you guys for your patience. I know I have not been posting as often as you would like.
That’s going to change as I will be posting much more often now that I have a lot more free time.
Let me know any questions or comments you may have.
Also feel free to e-mail me.