We all know the old adage “looks aren’t everything”, and it’s true. However, there is much to be said about the physical and mental benefits that come with maintaining a fitness and nutritional routine that consequently leaves you looking spectacular.
Looking and feeling your best means confidence, better mental health and quality of life. Today, I feel very blessed to be in the best shape I’ve ever been in, for my physical and mental health to be at the best its ever been, and to be able to look in the mirror and feel happy with what I see.
I remember my lowest point, when the mere thought of walking past a mirror would give me anxiety. Every time I caught my reflection, I would wordlessly pick apart ever inch of my skinny frame. Time spent in front of the mirror was a moment of stress, anxiety and depression that left me in a place both mentally and physically that each day I wasn’t living my life to the fullest or even close.
I would see other guys with broad shoulders and sturdy frames and wonder what I was doing wrong. Why couldn’t I look like that? No matter how many pushups I did, or weights I curled, or protein products consumed, nothing seemed to work. After a myriad of “trial and error” experiences, I’d quickly get frustrated and give up.
When I Started Training
One day, something changed. I guess you could call it my “lightbulb” moment. I couldn’t tell you exactly why, but there came a point when flip switched and I realized it was time to take back control of my life and stop being miserable with the guy in the mirror. It was that day that I discovered bodybuilding, and this began a long journey where everything would change for the better.
I had no nutritional or fitness knowledge beyond what I’d been handed by a smattering of friends and acquaintances at the gym (who, in all honestly, didn’t know all that much either). I did a ton of research online, asked personnel at the gym and other fitness centers/stores and was able to come up with my first routine. A trainer also let me in on some important nutritional advice that was integral to bodybuilders and included a litany of do’s and don’ts.
I didn’t see results immediately, and at times the influx of information I was receiving each day was overwhelming. Still, I persevered and things became easier and easier as each day passed. I looked in the mirror and saw the subtle changes appearing and as I became more comfortable with my routine and diet regimen, these subtle changes took the form of a full-blown transformation.
Gone was the skinny guy with no confidence, who was pained every time he caught his reflection. My arms became a network of ripples and indentations as biceps and triceps would bulge at every lift and flex. My abdomen which was once referred to as a “skinny keg” by a so-called friend who will remain unnamed was taut and ladder-like. Broad shoulders, led-solid calfs and an overall athletic frame made a shadow of my former self.
Girls I had never dreamt would give me a second look were suddenly eyeing me up every time I walked by, and I quickly accumulated a rolodex of hot dates. Alongside that, I’m not shy in admitting I looked pretty darn good at the beach and didn’t mind the attention I got from all the other attractive female beach-goers.
Dating and looks aside, all of that wasn’t the best part for me, or even something I considered all that important in the grand scheme of things. Introducing bodybuilding and a diet regimen that coincided with this form of exercise made me feel better and healthier than I had ever felt in my life. I had more energy, better doctor’s visits and my overall mood did a 360.
The Competitions & Career
My life was further changed when I began entering bodybuilding competitions. The workouts were grueling but more rewarding than anything I’d ever experienced. It was mind-blowing to have my hard work recognized by so many people when I went on to win several competitions in 4 years. At that point, bodybuilding became more than an activity or chance for recognition for me it became a way of life.
I turned my passion into a career by starting my own gym and this website to inform and educate. It’s rewarding for me to be able to give back by serving the community and helping those that were once like me, when I had so many ambitions to build (pun intended) a better life for myself, but no clue where to start.
One of the biggest benefits I’ve enjoyed in educating myself is learning the pros and cons on different fitness supplements. In a time where gym memberships are considered as essential as credit cards, and our magazines, tv screens and online media are constantly bombarded with the latest fad in supplements and a rotation of celebrities promising results from this or that, how do you decipher which brand is right for you?
I have a wealth of experience and knowledge understanding all the intricacies of the industry of fitness supplements. To select the right fitness supplement, you have to take into account various factors, such as:
- Specific brand
- Specific routines, needs and/or the fitness supplement is catered toward
- An understanding of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients and how these things effect the body
- Unique genetics and body chemistry
- Age: Supplements can have profoundly different effects depending on your age, even if it is only a difference of 10 years
- Gender: Because men and women have different types of body chemistry that are specific to the functions of their genders, different types of nutrients and fitness supplements are required based on gender. What may work exceptionally for a man could actually be harmful to a woman and vice versa
- Short-term and long-term goals
- Current diet and how the fitness supplement will work with that diet
It seems like a lot, because it is. Don’t fret, though. By utilizing this website, I will help you become educated on all of these topics and more in order to ensure that you are choosing a fitness supplement that is most beneficial to you and can help you look and feel great.
The aim of this website is to take the mystery out of fitness supplements by offering easy to understand education and presenting all the pros and cons you would need to have at your disposal before making a decision.
I remember how overwhelming it was for me when I was first building my knowledge base on the world on bodybuilding and fitness supplements. This website is my way of giving back, by ensuring you don’t have to waste time scouring a slew of resources that may or may not be legitimate, and second-guessing your decisions.
I look forward to hearing your stories, and seeing your development in the world of health and fitness.
– Allen Hicks
Co-founder of Supplements Watch
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