Cut, Ripped, or Jacked?  Maybe You Just Need to be in Shape

Men’s Health uses the above terms to describe certain body types. Their article is informative, but sometimes I wonder if those terms might be overwhelming to the novice or even the intermediate workout person. We all want to be jacked, but what does it mean?

In a world where is it hard to get accurate information, I worry about people getting overloaded with too much data. Like a lot of fitness freaks, I look at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to get fitness ideas. I see a lot that is good, but I also see so much…well…hmmm…CRAP!!!!!! Stuff that is so dumb it makes my head hurt.

First and foremost, your workout plan is just that…your workout plan! It should be tailored to you, for your goals. Yes, there are guidelines, like making sure it is a full-body workout, but it should be designed to make you healthy, happy, and fit. You should be careful not to fall into a pattern of only doing the stuff you like or find easy. You do have to push yourself. That is why I am always saying, “don’t miss leg day!” Because it appears people hate leg days, from what I have seen at the gym.

It is also important to remember that each of us has a different body type and different genetics. This should be ingrained in your mind. No matter how hard I work, I will never be six-feet tall.  Also, it is easy to look at a person in a magazine or video and get intimidated by how they look. That is natural.

But that is why, at 40 Plus and Fit, I stay away from those kinds of pictures and examples. First, many of you reading this article are lucky to have 30 minutes to work out. If you have an hour workout time, it is a blessing. I feel blessed that, at this stage of my life, I can work out two hours a day and, often, six days a week. However, when I am writing my articles, I always keep in mind that not everyone has the luxury of that much time.

Many people work full-time, take care of the housework and yardwork, and raise kids. Thirty minutes in the morning or late evening may be the extent of their available workout time and getting to the gym most days is not an option. So, they do what they can do. And I praise anyone who does that.  You are an inspiration. You are to be commended for all you do.

This fact is why diet is so important.  If the truth were known, you could make the argument that diet, is three-quarters of any fitness plan. And let’s keep it real. It is easier for me to deadlift 375lbs than it is to walk past anything chocolate. I am a chocoholic. It is a sad truth. I love chocolate and chips and anything else that is not good for me. I just love to eat.

So, make sure your diet is under control, even if you have to write down everything you eat in a journal. Stay conscience of the pitfalls of bad eating habits. This will also help you meet your fitness goals.

And finally, let me address the topic of viewing pictures of people who are so-called “fitness influencers.” Please take all those pictures with a “grain of salt.” I do not want to be disrespectful to anyone trying to help people with their fitness tips. I want everyone to succeed. But sometimes you must face the ugly truth. Many of these folks are not better workout people than you. They are not more motivated than you. They don’t have more discipline than you. They don’t have a better plan, purpose, or drive than you. They don’t have better genetics than you. What they do have, that you don’t have is the willingness to stick a needle in their ass!!!

There, I said it. I never have and never will use performance-enhancing drugs. I encourage everyone I talk to not to use drugs. Why??? They are too dangerous. End of story.

I want everyone to be healthy, happy, and fit. But don’t get lost in the hype. Do your workout, modify your diet, and stay focused on your body. It is the only body you have, so make it last for as long as you can. Make your body beautiful for you; you deserve it.

Joseph St John