It is a time of troubles. The Empire has taken over the Galaxy and you are the only one who can stop them. First however, you have to fight the demons within, in order to become the person you want to be.
You are embarking on an epic quest. One that will change your life for the better. You can take inspiration from the characters of Star Wars (the original trilogy) to conquer the universe, or at least be the master of your own domain. Luke Skywalker went from skinny moisture farmer to a powerful Jedi knight who brought down the Empire. You too can rise up from being a skinny nerf herder to a guy the size of Chewbacca (but not as hairy though 🙂 ). You too can use the wisdom of Yoda, Obi Wan Kenobi and other wise men (or wise guys 🙂 ) to guide your quest for getting bigger and gaining weight and lean muscle. However remember that this quest to gain weight will only be a side quest on the entire journey of transforming your life to become the master of the galaxy.
“May the Force be with you!”
Old Jedi saying
The Force is supposed to be an invisible energy field created by all living beings. It is similar to the concept of ch’i (or ki) in East Asian cultures. The Jedi use it to do incredible things. Unfortunately I cannot teach you how to use the Force, but I can give you some pointers on how to apply the principles behind it. In the Star Wars Universe, some beings are born with a natural sensibility to the Force, while others have to work hard to develop this sensibility. However for all beings, training is necessary in order to be able to harness the Force. In order to be able to use it, you need to train.
It is similar with training your muscles. Some people are born naturally big and have great genetics, so for them it doesn’t take too much effort to train and get big and muscular. For others, the ones that were not born big and have shitty genetics, it takes a lot more effort. You can get there too however.
Every journey begins with a first step. Whether it’s a long journey or a short journey, it doesn’t matter. You still need to take the first step. Many people hesitate on taking this first step and end up never taking it. You need to be strong and have faith. Whether you carefully prepare that first step, or plunge head first without thinking much, you are way ahead of most people already by actually having the courage to take it.
The journey will be difficult, but hopefully you will have luck on your side. We cannot escape from it, luck is a big part of our lives. However luck will never come, if you don’t give it a reason to come. And sometimes hard work can make luck happen. Hopefully luck, just like the Force, will be on your side.
Do not get discouraged on your journey. It will be hard and full of obstacles. Some people might start off later than you and surpass you, but you need to keep on going. Luke Skywalker also had to overcome many challenges in order to become a Jedi Master. He had to face his own fears by battling what he thought was Darth Vader, but ended up being himself. He failed that test. However he got back up and continued on the journey. You too may fail a few times, or suffer a few setbacks, the important thing is to get back up and continue in the same direction.
If you feel that the direction that you were heading in was not the right one, then it is ok to change it, as long as you continue moving forward. After all we all have different needs and goals and we cannot all be heading the same direction. However we do need to be heading in some direction, a direction that will fulfill us. For example if you decide one day that you don’t want to focus on size and getting bigger, but instead want to focus on strength and getting stronger, it is ok, you changed the direction you were heading in, but you are still continuing on your journey.
“You must unlearn what you have learned.”
Unfortunately for many of us, our previous lifestyles have come with a bunch of baggage. This baggage weights down on us and prevents us from growing. One of the major obstacles here are our habits. We have developed many habits, which quite frankly are not very good. We might scrounge at our desks with a bad posture, we might have the habit of eating potato chips while watching the television or maybe we go a bit too wild and drink too much.
You need to unlearn all the bad habits that you have acquired. This is a very hard part of our journey, maybe even the hardest. We feel comfortable in our habits and don’t want to let go of them. However it is a necessary part of our journey, one that will be one of the pillars of success at the end. The strategy on doing this depends on what type of a person you are and what your preferences are. Some people may change from one day to another and do a complete turn around of their life really quickly. For some people it might take longer. They might need to take small steps. For example starting a few beneficial habits first, going with them and then piling a few more new beneficial habits on top of those.
The quote above also signifies a need for a new way of thinking about things. Sometimes we have negative perceptions of things. Some of these can be based on bad experiences. Sometimes we just make excuses why something cannot be done. So you need to change that. Instead of seeing the cup half empty, you might start seeing it half full. Instead of complaining how skinny and unhealthy you are, look at all the opportunities that are out there that will help you change that.
You also need to learn to do things differently. Try to be more efficient and effective. Experimenting is good, but you should observe carefully and note what works and what doesn’t. Then you should actually apply what you learned.
“Do…or do not! There is no try.”
In order to achieve something you need to be committed to it. A half-assed effort won’t help you achieve your goal. In every gym, you can see those guys BSing around, going from one machine to another haphazardly, and then pushing out a few puny reps with bad form. If you see them at the gym a year later, you will notice that they have progressed very little and still look puny. Of course it’s better to do something than nothing, however that something needs to be done correctly. These guys have taken the first step, but have not followed up on it. They are trying, but not getting anywhere.
Yoda told Luke to use the Force to lift the X-Wing out of the swamp. Luke thought it was going to be impossible, but said that he was going to try. He tried, but was not committed, and ultimately failed. With Luke agitated, Yoda, with a calm demeanor, set out to work. Through the power of his mind and the use of the Force, he achieved something that Luke a few minutes ago thought was impossible.
You need to be smart about training and nutrition. It doesn’t really matter what type of a workout program you choose, as long as it respects a few basic principles and you adhere to it religiously without slacking off. The few basic principles that any training program for gaining weight and muscle needs to adhere to are:
- lifting with correct form
- progressive overload
- cut down on the cardio
- shorter workouts
- plenty of rest
The number one advice is to lift with correct form. If you don’t, then you might get injured and your journey will end right there. In order to grow, you also need to keep on lifting heavier and heavier things. That’s how you will grow in size and strength. You should also cut down on the cardio and do shorter workouts in order not expend too much energy. You also need to get plenty of rest, as it is during resting that your body grows.
Also do not forget that eating is actually more important than exercise. In order for your body to grow, it needs the necessary nutrients to do so. Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are the building blocks for your body and you need to ingest a lot of them.
“Never tell me the odds!”
Some people might tell you to give up on your goals, because you are not built for it or some other reason. Don’t listen to them. Even scruffy looking nerf herders like Han Solo knew that the odds are just numbers and they can be overcome. You might have the odds stacked against you, but with hard (and especially smart) work, you can overcome them. The sense of achievement will give you ultimate confidence. At the end of that journey you can also become a master of witty remarks, just like Han Solo. Wisdom and wittiness can sometimes just be the opposite sides of the same coin. 🙂
“You will find that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view.”
Don’t get caught up in all the fitness battles that are happening out there. Many fitness gurus have their wisdoms that they try to preach, but often preach it in a way as if it was the only “truth”. Learn from them, but always keep an open mind. There is no such thing as the “truth” in fitness. Every person is different and what works for one person, does not work for another one. Everything depends on the point of view you take. Just like Obi-Wan Kenobi was both right and wrong at the same time, when explaining to Luke the story of his father, so are the people on this planet. Each person has their own experiences, beliefs and agendas, and all those have an influence on their actions. Remember this, when reading about the latest greatest workout, diet or supplement.
“Don’t give into the Dark Side!”
Old Jedi saying
And seriously don’t give into the Dark Side. Without pain, there is no gain. Don’t take steroids or similar things, just to get big muscles and gain weight fast. There will be negative side-effects and they can possibly mess you up bad. So stay away! Just like Obi-Wan and Yoda tried to instill in Luke the discipline needed in order to succeed, by taking the longer way, you should too. They could have taught him all the tips and tricks straight away, but that would have just made him cocky and would have led to the Dark Side and his own downfall. Instead he learned the hard way and had many “aha” moments on the way. That made him a stronger person and at the end was the key towards him defeating the Emperor.
So take from this what you will. You don’t need an Imperial Stormtrooper telling you that yellow is yellow or green is green, or Yoda looking over you. You just need to apply a few common sense things and develop a plan to achieve what you want to achieve. Actually, on second thought, I think George Lucas was probably high when he came up with all those quotes above. 🙂 However it is of no importance of how all this came about, it is the message that matters, or rather how you interpret the message. If you interpret the message positively and apply its lesson, then you can be on your way to achieving great things. Maybe even bringing balance to the galaxy. However it all begins with a single first step.