Getting F**king Huge: Deep Chats with A Special Guest (Mini-Assignment #2)

Words of weightlifting wisdom from Guest Star Noel Deyzel!

In this week’s post, we have a very unexpected and exciting guest!

When mapping out jellylift, I never would have expected to guest feature one of the most successful, aesthetic, inspirational and funny content creators in my feed – Noel Deyzel. An icon in the gym community, nicknamed by the fandom as “Daddy Noel,” is known across social media for sharing fitness tips, making silly and entertaining gym-related content, as well as being jacked and an absolute beast of a man. This week, he shares some insightful discussion on chasing those gains and staying motivated. Below is a snippet of an informal interview I had the pleasure of conducting with him, as well as a post which he so kindly offered to write for my blog. 

Noel Deyzel on the mental struggle of hitting training blocks

JL: “You know, something that myself and I think a handful of intermediate level weightlifters struggle with is hitting a plateau.”

DN: “I’m glad you brought this up, because I think hitting a plateau is something that just about everyone needs to go through in order to test their own limits.”

JL: “Really? Hm, I’ve never thought about it that way. See, the plateau, I think, really gets in our heads sometimes. It’s difficult to stay motivated when you aren’t, like, seeing that same sort of, consistent progress as you might have been when you first started or even just from a different period of your training. How are we meant to test our limits when our bodies seem to be holding us back?”

DN: “Often, you’ll find it is, very much, a mental game. Let me explain. We are capable of pushing ourselves further than we may think, and we are often the biggest thing holding us back. Your progress is not going to be linear. Your training is something that will take patience and discipline, and often, we cannot rely on the validating feeling of hitting a new PR every training session to keep us going. Setting your goals, reaching blocks in your training, should be frightening. It should be difficult. If it is too easy, you are not tapping into your full potential.”

JL: “So, let’s say I’ve been stuck squatting the same weight for a couple months and physically, I just can’t increase the weight without risking injury. What would you recommend I do in that case?”

DN: “Something a lot of weightlifters find to be effective is implementing a deload. Decrease the weight to something you are more than comfortable doing, and work your way back up. If that doesn’t seem to be helping, consider making some changes in your program. Also, make sure you are eating like a f**king whale.”

JL: “*taking notes* Eat… like… a f**king… whale. Noted. Thank you, Daddy Noel. Very cool.”

Daddy Noel’s Guide to Getting F**king Huge

Daddy Noel sitting strong and sturdy

If you’re here then that means you wish to get f**king huge. So read on, and I hope to you inspire you in your journey.

Getting to the Gym

I’m tired, I don’t feel like going gym. Sometimes, getting to the gym is the hardest part in itself. I get it. But I also don’t. You made a commitment to yourself, and you are responsible for holding to that commitment. If you are struggling to find motivation to get yourself there, try some of these:

  1. Have a friend

Keeping a gym bro on call is a great way to stay motivated and ensure you get yourself to the gym. They can hold you accountable, and you can do the same for them. But Daddy Noel! I don’t have any friends that go gym! Then make some. Meeting people at the gym can be frightening, but by putting yourself out there and initiating simple conversation, you can start to develop bonds that may grow into lifelong friendships. It can be as simple as asking someone for a spot… just see where it goes!

  1. Pack your bag, and be prepared

Prepare all of your things in a bag the day or morning before. Pack some snacks, gym clothes, a water bottle – all of your gym essentials. This way, everything is ready and prepared for you, and you can get up and go.

  1. Just go

The longer you whine and complain about not wanting to go to the gym, the longer that you are not at the gym. Just get up and go. Tell yourself that you will only go for five minutes, and I can guarantee that by the time you are there, you will get in the zone and forget about not wanting to come at all.

Taking Responsibility

When talking about accountability, a huge part of staying motivated is keeping your head up. It’s easy to slip into bad habits of complaining and slacking off. But as you move forward, it is very important that you begin taking responsibility, and quit complaining and placing the blame on other factors. Complaining only pushes us further into negativity, and limits our learning. This is something which not only applies to moving forward in the gym, but moving forward in life. Life becomes beautiful when you start to see hardships as a tool for growth. 

Staying Motivated

So you’re not seeing growth, you feel like giving up, and you’re tired of what feels like you’re moving backward in your progress. Have you been eating enough? Pushing yourself? Giving it your all? If you’re able to answer yes to each of these questions, then take a moment to look back. Every day there are minute changes taking place… think about where you started. Think how far you have come, and how the troubles which once occupied your mind are now distant thoughts. Think about one month ago. Three months ago. Six months ago. Haven’t you changed? Remember that anything worthwhile in life takes sacrifice, determination, and time.

If you’re going through hell…
Keep going.

Eating and Living Healthy

Your diet is going to play a very important role in your training. Let me explain. Learning to have a healthy and balanced diet is one of the hardest parts about getting stronger. Despite all the gym rats telling you to live off of chicken and rice, it is very important to incorporate lots of different vegetables into your diet. I actually really enjoy eating vegetables now… f**k brussel sprouts though.

If you’re in a rush and looking for some quick and nutritious pre-workout snacks, try pairing beef jerky and fruit, or a protein shake and some nuts. It’s convenient, good for you, and will give you the energy you need.

Daddy Noel! I’m sorry, I cheated on you! So you had a Big Mac meal this week. Big Mac, big deal. Let me explain. Every once in a while, treating yourself to a controlled cheat meal can be a good way to reward yourself, and in the long run, is not going to do you much harm. Just remember, it is a cheat meal, and not a cheat weekend. Your relationship with your diet should be like any relationship, if you feel the need to cheat… maybe you shouldn’t be with that diet anymore (Or maybe you need some time to work on yourself buddy…)

On top of it all, more than eating well, it is important to be living well. Getting an adequate amount of sleep at night is going to be essential in giving your muscles time to recover and grow.

Chasing Gains

When going to the gym, make sure that you target each muscle group 2-3 times per week. Your program should be evenly split between all the muscle groups and while you may gravitate towards your favourite exercises, staying well-rounded is what will make you stronger, and give you the aesthetic and balanced physique that you want. And I don’t want to catch you skipping legs. You can’t spell LEGENDARY without LEG DAY. And if you do, you’re left with: ENR. And that doesn’t make sense. Just like not training legs.

While you’re training, it can be very easy to attempt loading as much weight onto your muscles as possible while sacrificing your form and technique. While you are encouraged to lift heavy and push yourself, you don’t want to be putting yourself at risk for injury. Lessening the weight will give you better muscle activation and better results, and will help you prioritizie technique over numbers.

Your training is not a path that has a final destination. You are going to continue learning each day that you show up and put in the work. Learn to love the process and every day you will learn something new, and all that knowledge is only going to help you and make you stronger.

Remember to work hard in silence, and let success be your noise.
Keep training to make Daddy Noel proud.