Thursday, December 4, 2008

Beware of bullshit dancehall reggae dancers online!

So I'm going through youtube today, one of my sources to stay up to date in dancehall reggae and other dances and tweak my techniques, and I come across this bs tutorial video. This dude is really thinking he's doing something....and he thinks it helps that he's wearing Jamaica apparel (despite not having a lick of an accent).

For a real laugh, read the comments below the video.

This is just hilarious and sad. Hands down THE WORSE DANCE TUTORIAL EVER!!!! They are completely off! Not to mention any dancer will tell you you need to stay on your toes (whether hip hop, dancehall, tap, ballet, modern whatever) NOT YOUR HEALS! Unless you wanna break your ankles.

To see how the dance is really supposed to look (you'd think after 2 yrs ppl would have this down by now) check out this tutorial, or even better the Mr. Vegas video for the song about the kiss-me-ass dance. HMPH!!

Sidenote: If youtube is your only source for dancehall or any other dances, you'll always be at least 6-12 months behind. The average dancehall reggae song takes about 3 months to get to the US DJ's, about another 3 months for it to get big in the clubs or make it to radio... hence why radio is notorious for playing 6-12 month old reggae and calling it new music (and thats only big tunes bc the average reggae song takes 1-2 yrs to make it on the radio in the US). My suggestion, keep a host of Jamaican and dj's as friends. It's kind like having a Korean friend who sends you designer clothes from back home.

Beware of this fool. I'm sure he's probably an excellent dancer, but dude, know your genre and area of expertise, just as well as your area of suckspertise.

"Everyone can dance, but not everyone who dance is a dancer."

Monday, December 1, 2008

PEAK PERFORMANCE SEASON - gettin ready for Carnival!

Last year I became a health nut for a number of reasons: health concerns, a "medical situation," high cholesterol, hereditary traits, trips to Miami, Jamaica & Trinidad, 300 - just to name a few. I realized that I've been in my "Off Season" for too long and have fallen TERRIBLY out of shape (to each his own, everyone has their own standards). I lost a total of 15 lbs of body mass. Time to get back peak performance. Winter and Summer is the death of fitness to even the most die hard fitness junkies and gym rats. Everyone runs to the gym in the spring, but its harder to stay there when you'd rather be doing something out in the sun. And as the weather gets colder, unless the gym is in your job, school or building, it takes olympic gold medal discipline to keep it up............or really huge goals....

In less than three months I'll be going back to Trinidad to play mass in Carnival 2k9. There is no font nor exclamation in english, arabic, hebrew, mandarin or germaic that can express my level of excitement. I went last year and I must say it was arguably the BEST week of my life. I only say arguably bc I'm leaving some room for error in the event that I'm forgetting some super phenom that happened to have slipped my mind. I mean, sure graduation is ahsum.....weddings.....relationship things..... maybe for a day or two......BUT SUN!!!!! This whole backside week was just pure and unadulterated fun!

I mean seriously! (did I say that already...nope) Every single day was paradise and bliss. We ate like vikings on some of the most exotic tasty cuisines, drank until we were no longer capable of intoxication (btw, STAG- "A man's beer"- is the greatest beer ever brewed...and I loathe beer) , danced, partied and limed all day - "lime" is a West Indian term for "chill" but more carefree if you can imagine.

Here are a few tips for optimum fun if you go. Now I can't guarantee that everyone who goes will have as much a blast (although I can't imagine how you can possibly noz that up) but the key for me were the ppl we went down with. Nothing was planned until we got there, but we had two locals with us who knew where and what everything was (note to self....for optimum fun, travel with at least 2 locals who know the place, not just someone who lived there 8 yrs ago). Here was the basic planning process...."hey wanna do this? Sure why not? Aiigh, coo!" SEEMLESS!! (note to self.... for optimum fun, travel with drama free, attitude free easy-going ppl)

"OKAY. So Raphael, why is there a half nekked guy on your page lookin like a black ass spartan?"


SO this is the costume of the section that I'm playing with with the band TRIBE!! The name of the section is "Pheasant" and this is the male costume....I'll post the female costume later for future motivation. So on Carnival Tuesday, I'll be jumping down the road dressed like this... but with shoes on.

Now last year I played with Tribe as well, in a section called "Black Magic"

<------------------------and this was the costume, photo courtesy of TRIBE. I made this my facebook profile on September 5th, and from that date I never missed a week in the gym for over a year. My goal was to TRUMP this dude's physique in the photo and look way sexier than he did. And that was a very good motivator, as I said in Staying Motivated in the Gym....Part 1,
"1: get a clear mental image of what you want your body to look like.."

.........but this year.............

I don't know if the ppl at TRIBE watched "300" as often as I did, but these models this year?............. Talk about dangling a carrot [PAUSE]. Looks like I got my work cut out for me this year, bc this dude has more lean and definition than mass......... Me grimlock need new strategy. I'm working on a plan to combat this. Stay tuned and I'll keep yall posted on my 90 day regimen.........

Friday, November 28, 2008

Killer savings on VCR's, the best darn vinyl records ever and other antiquated technologies going down the tubes.....PART II

Anyhow, so today (actually yesterday), I hear a commercial on the radio for HIGHER RESOLUTION DVD PLAYERS! Not blue ray or hd-dvd, DV fricken D aka the VCR killer.

Sidenote - I have two vcr's, both underneath something in some nooks of my home collecting dust. I have a theory that anyone who still has a vcr thats still connected and not dusty and under the age of 40 (some over) keep it for the sole purpose of porn. Imagine letting go of your 10-20 year stash? Thats quite the collection... but thats another conversation...

The commercial boasts that the player boosts the resolution on your dvd's to match your hd tv. Talk about playing with the band on the titanic! Why would some companies remains so stubborn, oblivious and practice corporate suicide??? And for that matter, why the fragglerock are dvd's still $15-$25!!!??? A cd cost approx. 47 cents to burn back in the late 90's (I'll never forget hearing that on 20/20). Why do cd's still cost $12-$20!?!? Especially when most of the publishing, art and production comes out of the artists pocket....some $3-$8 per cd sold. HD-DVD accepted their fate and are selling movies for $4 :) No wonder so many companies are failing. GREED and no one's watching the trends!!!!

Sidenote - I changed my stance from my previous post! Save DETROIT!! I need to do some more homework bc I'm still not understanding how you rimjob some of the biggest American based companies in the world and the next week bailout a company with trillions in liquid assets that bought out smaller companies that went on sale during first wave of companies failings..... but thats another conversation.

We're actually only a few years out before blue ray is obsolete as well and we're all digital with digital downloads leading the way and I'll prove it. Since the proliferation of ipods, flash drive and portable 120 gig hard drives that fit in the palm of your hand, when was the last time you used a re-writeable cd? Or even burned a cd for anything but music? When was the last time you purchased film? We have websites where you can basically send someone an entire movie or photo album, or music album via websites, email and a link. To truly understand the applications you need to use an xbox 360 or a ps3 beyond the gaming features. Netflix even has a gadget where you can order movies straight through your tv. On demand, tivo...need I go on?

Sidenote - Why does America suck at all the things we invented? You'd figure Kodak would rule and be a leader in digital cameras and Ford would make the best cars on earth.......but thats another conversation.

Physical mediums are tanking in sales. These may one day become only relics or tools of the trade used only and specifically by ppl within certain industries and not daily consumption of the general public. For example, I cant think of anyone who buys film other than photographers. The music and film industry is feeling it heavily. However, they'll survive. Question is, on what level of survival.....but that's another conversation...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Killer savings on VCR's, the best darn vinyl records ever and other antiquated technologies going down the tubes.....

So a year a go (like how i start mid convo right? Ya do. You know it!) I started a convo/email thread that still goes till today discussing the pros n cons of ps3 vs xbox 360, blue ray vs hddvd. I learned a lot and just as predicted, I was on the winning side that called it for blue ray in a 9th round knock out. Blue ray is hands down the better medium so why were so many industry leaders supporting hd-dvd? According to Michael Bay (who can blow things up on screen like nobodies business like no other):

"What you don't understand is corporate politics. Microsoft wants both formats to fail so they can be heroes and make the world move to digital downloads. That is the dirty secret no one is talking about. That is why Microsoft is handing out $100 million dollar checks to studios just embrace the HD DVD and not the leading, and superior Blu Ray. They want confusion in the market until they perfect the digital downloads. Time will tell and you will see the truth."

Granted that digital download is waaaaay down the line in terms of everyday application, it is our inevitable norm. If you don't believe me, take a trip back to 1992, while we were celebrating our technological marvels such as a "megahert" (you know, that unit that seemed so high and mighty before they created...) a "gigahert" (yes! the answer to all your storage needs. today we just call em G's or gigs and take em for granted because ppl will give away billions of em for ad revenue - THANKS GOOGLE!!), with roooaring 52k dial up download speed (if numbers mean nothing to you, imagine using your computer at home or school and your profile picture taking as much time to download as... The "Ten Commandments" in HD) .....that disconnected anytime you had a phone call or would block your calls if you had call waiting. And ppl ran out the rooms whenever you turned on a microwave or got mad at you for not warning them first and feared cell phones bc they both had radiation. AAAAAAAnd if anyone did have one, it looked no different than the one in your house, with ya Zack Morris ass.

Sidenote - ppl who didn't have call waiting got on my nerves.
Side-er sidenote - Zack and Slater were in the closet. Watch that show a little closer now that you're older...but thats another conversation

Now if you could manage to find someone......aaaaand they even had a pc in thier home....aaaaaand it did more than just type (remember word processors?) and it had a color screen, not a black screen with green letters........and they even knew what the internet was........and they had internet in their homes, you had to wait until "internet time" (remember, you couldnt be online during certain hours bc you were expecting calls and you couldnt be online and on the phone at the same time) just to even check. I can do more from my phone today than I could on a home computer in 92.....sad.

This post got too long... to be continued..............

Monday, November 24, 2008


Hey, I just won a contest and have now become the newest character in the "JUSTUS" comic strip by talented Singer/Artist rnb. Might I add that being a cartoon character has been a lifelong ambition of mine :)

"justus" is a comic strip I've followed since its inception ages ago and to see the maturity and growth of the publication makes this a tremendous honor to be added to the cast. Check out the character "Randeezee," and be on the look out for future re-occurring roles.

Justus comic - a conscious comic for the unconscious world.

Here's my debut roll!!!

Thursday, November 20, 2008


tHANKS for the wave of feedback you've been giving me.....on aim.......over email........on facebook.........on text messages...........

ya know whaaaaaaaaaaaaaat..............imma need you to ya see that little link beloooooooooooooooooooooow that saaaayssssssssssssssss "COMMENTS?" Ima need youuuuuuuuu ta go on right aheeeaaaaaaaaad AND LEAVE EM!!

Why's it called comments? For comments! So please, subscribe and share your feedback there. I love a good dialog so feel free to converse and expound!!

Best Regards,

BYE BYE Detroit!!!


I have some outstanding debt that's taking forever to clear (and yeah it is quite impressive)

Millions of ppl are being laid off
millions of ppl lost their homes
millions of ppl will be laid off
millions of ppl will lose their home

Soooooooooo, why are we bailing out companies that did poor jobs of running a business? Where's the bail out for the kid who doesn't go to class but wants to graduate in the last 2 weeks of school? Where's the bail out for the ppl who are declaring bankruptcy? I heard one of the execs say "ppl won't want to buy cars from a company declared bankrupt".................PEOPLE DONT WANT TO BUY YOUR CARS ANYWAY! THATS WHY YOU'RE GOING BANKRUPT!!

I looked into American cars. I was on some patriotic USA momentum early this year and decided to keep my money domestic....................until i began looking at emission and fuel consumptions. Granted, they were making a few pretty cool designs the last few years but let me reitterate FEW and I don't care how patriotic and cute i wanna be.................... then Japanese are even ze Germans are offering more miles per gallon aka more dollars per pocket.

Aren't the party of the fiscally conservative always advocating "smaller, less government?" So when did the "bailout" become the go to option? I never heard about the term bailout before 60 days ago. Does that mean I can call my credit card company for a bailout (actually, you can really settle for less than your outstanding debt, but I'm looking into that myself, but thats another conversation)? Where was the buyout when Tower Records, crumbled? Wheres the bailout for Leighman Brothers? Wakovia, Washington Mutual, Linens n things and Circuit City?

BTW, interesting note on the senate procedings, I'm sure everyone has heard by now that all those who went to washington to beg for money flew in on private multi-million dollar jets. What I find more fascinating is when asked as a sign of good faith how many would be willing to sell thier planes and fly back on a commercial airliner, NOT ONE PERSON RAISED THIER HANDS!!!!! Detroit has been going down for years. Why are they now asking for help? Is the half a million dollar company spa retreat coming up? If you didn't get that joke, you should check out what AIG did with thier bailout money after the US saved thier asses. These guys, I'm sure, are still making millions while they've been laying off thousands of ppl in the last few years. How about we have company wide paycuts? I wonder if we had the option of taking a company wide paycut or gamble being one of the 20,000 to be laid off if anyone would oppose it?

The ppl who really need a bail out or the ppl who are losing thier homes. A roof over your head is everyone's first priority....then a phone........that way you can at least call to find a way to get the money for everything else (seriously, how many ppl do we know that aren't working, or never worked, but always have a cellphone?). Banks aren't giving loans, no one is buying so the last thing they want to do right now is take more houses. Come on!! Lets make some deals! I think ima go down to washington to beg for some money..........but I'll take megabus :)

Monday, November 17, 2008

“I don’t believe in lying…….but if I did, here’s how I would do it…”

SIDENOTE: O.J. Simpson is a dick! (inside joke on the title)

I was actually writing my previous post but in doing so, my previous post slipped on a banana peel, got knocked up, and gave birth to this one. The first paragraph was actually started off as part of the previous, but it spawned on such a tangent it grew a mind of its own……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….

Why do we do this? Best answer I’ve been able to come up with so far,…”beats me.” Seriously, “Iono” is as profound as it gets. Maybe we can claim immaturity, irresponsibility, negligence, but I don’t lose sleep over it anymore. That’s why I’ve been preaching the mantra of honesty for years. I reached a point one day when I decided I’ve told my fare shares of lies. Let’s try this fabled truth thing…and ya know what? IT WORKS!!!!!

I dated a girl once who used to pick and choose what was important and decide what she thought was relevant to tell me and what was appropriate to lie about. Fair philosophy….but here is the fundamental flaw. When a witness lies on the stand, the court dismisses the ENTIRE testimony. Why? BC your credibility is now in question. “Well it was just one little lie,” well how are we supposed to know that now? Personally, I’d rather you hate me for who I truly am then like me, love me, adore me and relate to a lie. Not bc I’m captain noble or anything (I’m far more evil than I give off at first) but bc I’m lazy. Lying is too much damn work.

Recipe of a lie:
-First you gotta come up with the lie.
-It has to be vague and obscure enough that they can’t launch a full on investigation, but it has be, simultaneously, feasible and believable.
- It has to be complete enough not to warrant any additional questions (women love to ask questions, whether they think you’re lying or not)…..make that “complete enough to MINIMIZE questions.”
-In some cases you may need corroborators to back up the story and provide alibis.
- If it’s not a complete lie, you’ll have to come up with back up and supporting lies pre-established so you don’t stutter and pause when asked questions (which unless you’re an idiot or dating one, you will be asked). The stutter and pause are dead giveaways of lying whether you’re under suspicion or not…unless you’re Stuttering John or Barack Obama (MY PRESIDENT IS BLACK!!!!).
-Lastly AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, you have to remember the lie long after the incident and all its details.

A lie should be short and sweet. A good lie is like a bank heist. In, bang, grab, OUT! In that exact order. You more details you get into before you change the subject, the likelier you are to run into trouble, so you don’t want to linger around (NAAAAAAAAAAH LINGA). The structure, content and syntax are the most important parts………..Gosh damnit!! Why is lying so equivalent to writing a thesis paper?

Sample lie: “I went out with my friends last night.”

Here’s why.

-Too open ended: “Where did you go, what did you do?” See now you need back up and auxiliary lies to supplement the primary root lie. Two questions came off the bat that you invited.

-You invited accomplices. “Who did you go with?” Now usually, if you been with someone for a decent amount of time, they know your starting line-up, so make sure they’re on the same page (in this day n age with texts and technology it’s so much easier). Don’t wait either. Notify them before you get home….preferably before you even go out to begin with. I had a friend who had a habit of including me in his lies to his ex….the problem is, he neglected to fill me in on the latest intelligence briefings. “Hey Raphael, so you had a good time with ‘so n so’ last weekend?” Mean while I wasn’t even in the country last weekend. I can’t count how many times I had to be quick on my feet with the fumble recovery. That’s another thing. Women (most at least….that is if they care about you) remember everything. Even if they drop the subject at the moment, they’ll bring it up again. Better substitute is either your INFORMED starting line-up player, or “co-workers.” People rarely know your co-workers or have access to them.

-“WENT OUT LAST NIGHT??” “Where did you go, what did you do?” Let’s back up and look at these questions and where most ppl f up. If you pick a specific place or venue, you better have been there. I notice a trend in most major cities where photographers aka club paparazzi, photograph every major event that night, so please believe they will find ya ass on one of those sites. Next, do your homework on the spot. A dead giveaway is telling me you went to a club when I got an email saying that spot was closed yesterday. I know in NYC, the venue changes from day to day. One spot can be a restaurant in the week, the hottest hip hop/rnb/reggae club on Friday, and a gay club on Saturday……so you tell someone you went there on a Saturday….. Also, they have friends that go out too. “Oh really!?? Did you see Ney Ney, Qua Qua n nem? They were there too.” Lastly, I can’t tell you how many times I went to parties and a friend of mine ran into one of their girls at the place just randomly.

WORSE LIE EVER! Never lie about going to a movie, bc that requires more homework. You fuck around and tell that dumb ass lie in front of a whole group of ppl who just happen to have just seen the same damn movie, now they wanna play trivial pursuit or Siskel & Ebert with yo dumb ass. Personally, I believe that if you have to lie about where you’re going, that’s pink elephant you need to deal with, but if you must, my favorite alibi, “We went bar hopping, bowling, played pool, sportsbar,” bc there are millions of them out there, no one will care which one you went to.

-NO CAMERAS! I can’t tell you how many ppl were sold down a river bc some dumbass friend decided not only are they going to A: take pictures, but they’re going to B: post them on facebook, myspace, whatever AND C: tag your lying monkey ass in them. In that instance, shame on you bc you should have put your starting lineup on the same page in the locker room and not let bench players into the game.

DISCLAIMER: Raphael Charles is a retired Serial liar/damn near CIA agent and has lied to everyone from parents, bosses, professors and yes girlfriends. At the end of the day lying requires too much upkeep, stress and work and there are few joys of relief in life like telling the truth and being accepted for it. Now I’m not the first to cast stone, whereas I still lie from day to day….mostly to protect and help the innocent and guilty alike. There are two types of friends out there illustrated in the best example of friendship I ever heard, morbid as it is; “If I show up to your house with a body in the trunk, I don’t want a lecture in morality at the time, I want someone who’s going to help me get rid of the body.”

Do not in any way shape or form blame this post for any relationship problems you have or may incur. If you have relationship problems that are caused by something online or something one of you read NEWSFLASH, there are bigger issues at hand that you need to deal with……that reminds me…. I wrote something about that too.

The Two Great Fucks of a lifetime

I had brainfart #211 (aka too hunnid eleven) just now (actually yesterday but I typed this in word, got distracted and forgot to post it). A friend of mine has a really devoted gf. She’ll do anything for him, get anything for him and is always there for him. And he told me a number of times that the reason he’s with her, is bc he can trust her…………….but he cheats on her…………..A LOT!
This puts me in a bind bc I personally don’t believe in cheating and on the flipside, I don’t condone advise or telling ppl what they should or shouldn’t do.
Pitfalls of advice:
In my experience friends are the death of all relationships.
It’s annoying when someone asks for advice, doesn’t take it and continue to spiral downwards.
It’s equally annoying when someone takes your advice, messes up their lives and blames you
But I digress…..
So basically I see ppl like this as little babies playing with metal forks (red flag already waving) on the floor near an electrical outlet (now red lights are flashing) and crawling towards said outlet (alarms are blazing at this point). And I thought to myself “why would some people do this?” My conclusion is they have not yet experience both of “The great fucks of a lifetime.”
First great fuck: You get fucked over.
This is usually the most common and unfortunately for some, this is tends to happen far too often? Didn’t the wise G.W. once mess up the age ol quote and in doing so made the fisher price version of the quote that I actually prefer:
“Fool me once….shame on you…....YA FOOL ME, CAN’T GET FOOLED AGAIN!!”
I can speculate all day long, but I’m sure that there are a plethora of reasons why this happens, some of which I never even considered. Example: I once heard if you keep doing the same thing, anticipate the same results. We tend to preoccupy ourselves with such gridlocked “preferences” that they become “prejudices.” And can blind us from clear and obvious pitfalls (see my previous note titled “NEXT”). Some, however, learn from these experiences and either A: become better or B: become bitter………….far too often we see ppl choose the latter.
Second Great fuck: You fuck someone over.
This one is actually harder to register bc I honestly believe that MOST ppl are rudimental good at heart. Very few ppl wake up in the morning thinking “hmmmm, who can I fuck over today.” So typically when you f’s someone over, it’s not intentional. You most likely were looking out for your own best interest…as perverted as they may be. Ere go, when we act out of ignorance, oblivion or just selfishness, we may have a tendency to inadvertently hurt someone else. Most times, it doesn’t bother us bc we’re in our selfish zone. However, when it REALLY fucks with you is when you F over someone that A: you really REALLY care about and or B: you hurt someone who really didn’t deserve it. And when you care about someone, you feel it and it eats you up inside….especially if you so go far as make the other person cry. This causes a kind of pain and haunting, but in some rare cases, a much needed self evaluation and healing process. Some of us must go through this in order to become better ppl and be more selfless and considerate ppl.
These are two excruciating heartaches that I feel are necessary to become better people. I always wonder if and when ppl do cheat, have they experienced not one or the other, but both?

Monday, November 3, 2008

Letter to a friend in distress

Periodically, I'll post older thoughts from other it'll look like I have content [tee hee!]

Friday, May 25, 2007 at 11:54am
My honest reaction is, I'm happy for you. No I'm not some cold hearted sadistic menace, but I've found when ppl are going through the most traumatic turbulence, that’s the mark that something really great is right around the corner. In India they have monsoons where it rains for 2-3-4 months at a time straight. This causes flooding, damages villages, property and crops and many ppl die. BUT, it's that same rain that allows the harvest and life to go on throughout the rest of the year.
We must learn from, but not dwell only on what happens, bc "what happens" happens to us all. We can't shake our fist at the clouds and stop the rain. 90% of our life will be determined by what we do about it. Will this make you bitter or make you better? The only obstacle at hand is that you're knee deep into the storm with water in your eyes so you can't see that right now. You making it THROUGH the rain, not around it, is going to catapult you in the greatness that you are destined to become.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Staying Motivated in the Gym....Part 1

Anyone can diet for 3 weeks, hit the gym real hard when the weather starts warming up. But it takes waaaay more than getting ready for the beach party to keep you in the gym, year round, get the long term results you want, and still have a life. I get asked all the time on tips for staying in shape bc I tend to be very consistent....and over the last year really went into overdrive (profile pic is 2 yrs old). The two building blocks are DISCIPLINE and COMMITMENT. Without those two, consider your gym membership a charitable donation. Wrote a post about it a few months to hear it, here it go.

DISCLAIMER!!! I am not a certified personal trainer. These are tips that I have gathered through trial and error (prolly the best teacher), much professional consultation and research.

You replied April 21, 2008 at 3:19pm

A lot of ppl online love posting pics from 2-3-4 years ago when they were at their pique but shy away from taking current pics. The first step for me that has been the most successful is start with the camera. That's a HUGE one. A lot of ppl hate taking pictures bc they are ashamed of what they're going to see.

CONFRONT IT!!! If you keep running from your problem areas you'll never do anything about it and they get worse. Embrace your (insert body part your not happy with) and acknowledge that you need to do fix it and that will motivate you to do something about it.

My strategies;
1: get a clear mental image of what you want your body to look like....LITERALLY! I bookmark pages in mens health and watched "300" 4 times a week to get me started. You may laugh but when you feel like skipping out on the gym, that mental image will motivate you not to.
2: Set realistic goals. If you're skinny as hell, you're not going to have beyonce hips (someone actually told me that as her goal). You wont lose 30 pounds in a month unless your rich, unemployed and or have some terminal illness. BABY STEPS! On an extreme diet and work out plan, you can expect to lose or gain 1-3 lbs a week, and let me re-iterate EXTREME. Meaning you monitor everything you eat, and excercise 3-5 times a week.
3: Set a goal to underachieve. No matter what goals you have, most ppl wont stick to a plan unless its accessible and convenient. Personally I started out with 30 mins in the gym, 3x a week. Then as you develop the habit, push yourself harder. When picking a gym, doesn't matter if it has all the bells and whistles, if it's not on your way to and from work or 10 minutes from your home, the average person is not going to go. I should add that. Don't be average!
4: THROW OUT THE SCALE! Get some measuring tape. Scales are deceitful bc muscle weighs more than fat. A woman who weighs 160 with muscle tone will look a lot slimmer than a woman at 160 with higher fat %. Thats why ppl work out for weeks, see no difference in the scale, get discouraged and quit. Instead, measure your waist, legs and arms and keep a log of your growth or loss.
5: Take pictures. Since you see yourself all day everyday, you wont notice the result. I never notice any difference but when I see friends after 1,2,3 months ppl tell me I got bigger. Then i go back to photos from 3,2, 1 month ago and i can see the difference. Seeing results builds motivations, motivation makes you work harder, which causes more results. WARNING!! Do not take any photos that may come back to haunt you.
6:the biggest results happen in the kitchen, not the gym. Diets are the devil, you need to rethink and transform you eating and lifestyle habits. Consult a nutritionist, or even better, invest in a personal trainer. If not for the training at least on the nutrition. Once you learn that you can eat right and still enjoy all your favorite foods, your body will transform.
7: most important, ONLY TAKE ADVICE ONLY FROM PPL WHO ARE QUALIFIED AND COMPETENT TO GIVE IT!!! Diets are the devil and i see entirely too many ppl passing on bad advice and bad diet tips to other ppl. No two ppl are made the same and just bc you ate nothing but celery, tree bark, vinegar and lemon for 4 weeks, doesn't mean it will work for everyone else.

Finding what works for you is probably the best advice by far. Not everyone is gym pounder. I find the ppl with the best physiques are dancers and athletes. They tend to have firm cores with 6-8 packsand they don't do a single crunch. Its all about the activity. I'd recommend running, dance classes, swimming and cycling for ppl who don't necessarily like hard weights. But then again, wouldn't this be a wonderful utopic world if results and everything in the universe we wanted catered to what we liked and didn't like?

Side note: It's actually way more effective to spend 10-20 minutes doing light free weight training than it is to spend hours on cardio machines (elyptical machine is the devil). I don't like weights, i just like the results they give me.

I really didn't intend to make this that long but hopefully someone who's really serious about making some changes will find some value in it. I'm no expert, I just consult with quite a few. For the last 6 months I've maintained less than 10% body fat and in the last 3 months added 90lbs to my bench and 80 to my squats. I did nothing special, just consistency, never missed a week and kept my mind on the image of how i want myself to look and feel.

To be continued.... Stay tuned for.................Staying Motivated in the Gym.......Part 2