One reoccurring topic I would like to have on this blog will be “Feature Friday.” On every Friday, I will post a small bio and some pictures of the people I have looked up to in order to reach my fitness goals. I thought I would start with a mini bio of myself today and on this upcoming Friday, March 8th, I will post my first Feature Friday Inspiration.
First name: Alec
Last name: Varcas
Weight: 166 lbs
Profession: Dancer/Actor/Singer and hopefully a Certified Personal Trainer in the near future.
When did you start working out?:
Around 2009, but I didn’t start seriously working out until the summer of 2011.
How many days a week do you work out?:
When I am home, about 6 days a week. Right now I am on tour with ‘Monty Python’s Spamalot’, so I work out as often as I can, which is usually around 3-4 days of cardio and 2-3 days of lifting.
How long is your average workout?:
My average workout is usually around an hour and a half. I try to focus on about 2 muscle groups per workout. I like to superset exercises switching between the muscle groups to keep my body moving and my heart rate up, but not totally exhausting my muscles and giving them proper rest time between each set. (Example: I may do a day of Triceps and Chest. One example of a workout would be doing a dumbbell fly chest workout, then waiting about 10-15 seconds and going into a tricep pull down exercise. Once I finish that, I will wait about one minute and repeat the superset 2-3 more times.)
Favorite muscles to exercise:
My Chest. I love working out my chest because I never had one when I was younger. I have seen decent growth in my chest since I have started working out, but I still see a lot of room for improvement. Any time I get a chance to pound out a good chest exercise, I feel great because I know I am really working toward reaching my fitness goals.
Least favorite muscles to exercise:
Shoulders. I have a bad rotator cuff that tends to hurt when I lift weights, so I have to be careful when doing shoulder exercises. Because I don’t want to injure it further, I usually am too afraid to really push my limits with my shoulder exercises. I would must rather be safe than sorry because I would not want to do any permanent damage, but because I sometimes bother my rotator cuff when lifting, I believe my shoulders are not progressing as well as the rest of my body.
Do you have any fitness goals? If so, what are they?:
I have a ton of fitness goals. I have already reached some of my old fitness goals, but now I have many more. Before, my fitness goals were to be able to bench my body weight, see my pecs, get a six pack, be able to run a 5K in under 30 minutes, and a few other things. I have already reached all of those goals, but now I have improved on my old ones. My new goals are to be able to bench press 1.5 times my body weight, get obliques, get an even larger chest (specifically an inner chest), increase my leg press to over 700lbs, run a 5K in under 24 minutes, increase my flexibility, try new forms of exercise such as Crossfit and Yoga, and many others!
Do you have any fitness inspirations? If so, who are they?:
I have many fitness inspirations. You will get to see many of them each Friday for my ‘Feature Friday’ topic, so keep an eye out for them.
What supplements do you take or recommend?:
I usually take 2 scoops of whey protein and mix it with skim milk and water after I workout. Also, when I am home and I am on a more steady workout plan, I take casein protein before I go to bed. Right now I am tossing around with different pre-workouts to find out which one I like the best. So far, I really enjoy using 1 scoop of Jack3d before I work out. It does not give me the jitters and it gives me more energy before I train. I have heard that it is not that good for you though, so I am definitely interested in trying some other pre-workouts as well.
Can you give a brief overview of your diet?:
I usually start my morning with a cup of Greek yogurt, some fruit, and granola. I also may make some whole grain toast with organic peanut butter, or even some scrambled egg whites if I am hungry. Before I go to the gym, I have about two handfuls of almonds and maybe a small snack if I need some more energy. After the gym I have a protein shake and then a small meal to help refuel my body (example:Tuna Avocado Sandwich). For dinner I try to have a lean protein (chicken or fish), vegetables, and usually a sweet potato. Later on in the night, I will have some more vegetables and dip them in hummus, and I may have some more nuts. I try to eat steadily throughout the day when I am home, and I try to eat about 3000-4000 calories a day… usually more if I am trying to put on weight. Now that I am on the road however, I try to eat about 2500-3500 calories and I really eat whenever I can… and I try to eat as healthy as I can, which unfortunately is not very easy.
Do you have any workouts that you specifically like, that you believe are very affective?:
I really love some of my core workouts that I do. I have experimented with different workouts people have showed me and have even altered them to make them work a little better with my body. I will show them to you over time on this blog so stay tuned.
How much cardio do you do? (Per day or per week):
I usually do at least 15 minutes of cardio a day to warm up before I exercise, but about 3-4 days a week I do a 30-45 minutes of cardio when I am trying to stay trim. If I am really trying to bulk, I just stick with my cardio warmup.
Do you have any tips for people who are trying to reach their fitness goals?:
Do your research! I am creating this blog to really help people reach their fitness goals, but the more research you do, the better. Also, just working out will not help you reach your fitness goals, DIET is just as, if not more, important than going to the gym. Lastly, stay motivated! Many people have a hard time staying motivated because they don’t see their beach ready body in the first few weeks they exercise. It does not happen over night. Losing weight and building muscle takes a lot of hard work and time, but staying motivated is the most important thing. Find something that will help you stay as motivated as possible. For some people it is having a workout buddy that will drag them to the gym. For others it is posting pictures of the body they want around the house or even on the boxes of foods they know they shouldn’t be eating. For others it is putting a trip to the gym in their daily planners, that way they know they will have the time to go to the gym. Find what works for you!
Do you have any other things you would like to say? (Comments, suggestions, etc)?:
Do not be scared to try something new. Remember that everyone starts somewhere. I have talked to many people that are not happy with their bodies and the main reason they don’t go to the gym is because they are scared. They are scared people will judge them and they are scared of trying something new. DONT BE! There is nothing but respect for people at the gym, because by being there and putting in the effort, we all know that we are working toward a common goal of bettering ourselves. Also, don’t be scared of trying new types of workouts either. Recently I started going to gymnastics classes to help my tumbling for an audition, and now I go just for the amazing workout. I have never had a better whole body workout then the one I get after a 45min-hour gymnastics lesson (I usually cant walk for days). Have you ever wanted to try Yoga, Pilates, Karate, Swimming? DO IT!!! You will regret it if you never tried. My mom started Karate in her 40’s and got up to a second degree Black Belt! It is never too late to try something new and get in shape!
Hope you liked this mini bio I put together. Keep an eye out every Friday starting this Friday, March 8th, for my ‘Feature Friday’ topics. Do you have any questions for me? Do you want to be considered as a ‘Feature Friday’ Candidate? Email me at email@example.com and I will get back to you as soon as possible.