Beginner’s Fitness Guide

Burn fat. Gain strength.
And learn the truth about popular fitness myths.

Beginner's Guide

Beginner’s Fitness Guide


By Mike Vacanti

My grandpa was curiously prying at my future plans. I was somewhat of a degenerate floating between “respected professional” and “start my own company” – but I didn’t want to divulge anything at the time.

“MJ, I’m not gonna be around forever. I care about you and I love you, and I just want to know what you’ll do next.”

Wow, I’m selfish. I gotta tell him.

I explained my plans to my grandpa while sitting in his living room down in Naples, FL.

Apparently I was talking over him at times with some of my word choices and concepts.

He retorted.

“99% of people don’t think like you. They don’t know the difference between egg whites  and egg yolks, and they don’t eat all that chicken everyday.”

I was just starting a “cut”, so I deserved that.

I told him people are idiots. I said most people are lazy, and they don’t want it bad enough. I told him anyone who can use google can figure out how to achieve their fitness goals.

It was condescending. It was ignorant. And it was wrong.

I did it.

I googled “how to lose weight.” Every hit on the first four pages was terrible – inefficient, unhelpful and unsubstantiated weight loss advice.

“Why are there so many ‘experts’ out there confidently spewing abhorrent advice?” I remember thinking.

Later that day I was contemplating what kind of the tone I would use in my writing. I didn’t want you guys to ever feel like I was belittling your intelligence by breaching “beginner” topics.

That is when I decided that a Beginner’s Fitness Guide would be the perfect solution.

If you aren’t new to this game and have been around the block, you can cruise through this bad boy. For the rest of you, pour a cup of coffee and settle in. Consider this required reading before you even think about picking up another dumbbell or reading another blog post.

Why should I read this?

You should read this if you want a better physique.

If you want to be leaner or stronger, more “toned” or muscular – if you want to lose fat and/or gain muscle you should read this. All physique changes are made through a combination of fat loss and muscle gain.

This knowledge can also help you get fatter and weaker, but those requests are more rare.

This isn’t a power lifting guide. This isn’t a fitness model guide. This is a guide for anyone who wants to improve their physique.

Six Common Myths and Mistakes 

1.I want six pack abs. Crunches, right?

Back in high school, we used to do crunches and planks every night for the month leading up to spring break. We all wanted defined abs of steel for the beach. Every year we were sorely disappointed and not quite sure why we failed.

We failed because we thought crunches would reduce stomach fat and build ab muscle. They don’t.

First, stomach fat reduction is not possible via exercise. You actually can’t “spot-reduce” fat from any individual part of the body. Whether you seek “toned” arms, smaller thighs or a flatter stomach, the solution is fat loss from your entire body.

People think performing 20-30+ repetitions on a body part will “tone” it. It doesn’t work like that. If you want to “tone” a body part, you need to focus on losing fat. Having less arm fat, for example, will make your upper arm more “toned”. And the only way to lose fat is to eat fewer calories than you burn (more on this to come).

Second, crunches and other ab exercises are not necessary for building ab muscle. Everyone has abdominal muscles; they are just hidden by varying amounts of fat. The exercises recommended in best beginner training programs will hit all major muscle groups and give your abs more than enough work to show when your body fat is low enough.

2.“Burning off” fast food with a workout

You hear people say it all the time, “Ah, I worked out today, so I earned this [big bite of cheeseburger]”

We overestimate the number of calories burnt through exercise. We also underestimate the number of calories we eat.

This is a dangerous combination.

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