The number one thing holding most people back from reaching their goals….Fear of Failure.
For some reason many of us seem to get caught up in the fact that if we attempt something and fail, then we will be judged by everyone else as a failure or a loser, Well I am here to say fuck that. The only way you will be able to truly succeed is by overcoming failure and continuing to move forward. Failure is the greatest teacher when it comes to achieving success. The best example of this that I can recall is Michael Jordan. The guy has missed over 9000 shots, 26 game winners too, but as his career continued, and he worked his ass off, he was able to finally succeed and take his team to 6 Titles. Without that fire and work ethic, and his ability to drown out the nay sayers, Michael Jordan could have very well became irrelevant. He still would have been a good athlete no doubt, but he would not be remembered as the greatest of all time aka GOAT if he did not have the mental toughness to push through each of his struggles and failures. We could all learn something from his mindset to not stop when things get tough, or to understand that a set back is only minor, and the bigger picture is still ahead, you just have to keep going. This is why we see so many get into fitness and exercising and they stop and start every year, over and over like a broken record. They don’t see results in the first 20 days so they say screw it and give up for the next 6 months, or just accept the body they have without even considering that they may need to make some changes to there routine before they just throw in the towel. Listen I could go on and on with this subject because it is one I deal with in clients everyday, but simply put, fuck failure, and keep pushing forward. Even when you fuck up and eat bad, or miss a workout, do not throw the rest of the week out the window. Get back on the fucking horse and get to work because no one else is going to do it for you. It’s you vs you.
I hear people say this way too often at the local gyms so I thought this would be a great topic to bring up. Genetics, do they really matter at all? In my opinion, for the 99% of us average folks out there absolutely not. Now, if you are attempting to be an IFBB pro bodybuilder, or fitness professional of that caliper then okay yes genetics can give you that extra edge you need to get to the top. For example, I could lift daily, eat a perfect diet, and take a disproportionate amount of performance enhancing drugs and in five years I still would not stand a chance against him. So for that scenario genetics does make a difference. But in regards to the vast vast majority of us that are just chasing a better version of ourselves genetics will not matter at all. Sweat equity is what matters when you want to transform your body and get into better shape. I see so many people put these limitations on themselves and will use genetics as an excuse to not being able to achieve the look or goal they originally had. That’s bullshit. Have some discipline and self control to stick to your program and I guarantee in time you will start to see changes. NEVER limit yourself, always be pushing forward! Complacency is the killer of long term goals, so stay hungry and stay motivated my friends!
This time of year there will be a lot of people jumping on the new year’s resolution train with there weight loss goals. Before you get too wrapped up in all the noise that is coming in about ten days, let me share with you five simple reasons low carb diets work, and why I would recommend them as a place to start to get the body you want.
They Are Easy to Follow!– This has to be the number one reason by far to choose a low carb diet. No counting points, no subtracting certain nutrients to get the “net sum”. All you need to mainly focus on is keeping those carbs low. Staying consistent on a diet plan is hard enough without any extra nonsense to track.
They Increase Nutrient Density, While Decreasing Total Calories– In the simplest terms, low carb diets tend to cause things like this to happen. Instead of ordering the french fries, you order a salad. Or instead of having dessert at a restaurant you tough it out, go home, and eat celery and peanut butter for a snack. In these scenarios, by choosing a low carb alternative you are also simultaneously decreasing total calories consumed AND you are increasing your nutrient density.
They Work Fast– It is no mystery that low carb diets have a quick effect on us. Results begin to show in as little as a week of consistent meal planning. This can be important for those that need to “see” the results to keep them motivated.
They Reduce Sugar– Pretty simple, but important none the less. reducing sugar will keep your blood sugar and insulin levels more stable throughout the day, promoting more of a metabolic environment. From a health standpoint reducing sugar is beneficial for a multitude of reasons. If you consume excess sugar consistently, and the liver becomes full of glycogen, any excess sugar then being consumed will convert directly to body fat, and also contribute to a fatty liver.
They Increase Protein Intake– This last one is really by default because a low carb diet is going to be more rich in foods with less carbohydrates. Different types of meats all have little to no carbs per serving, and are rich in protein. The higher the protein intake is, the more satiation you will feel, helping prevent you from over eating. Also, eating more protein contributes to maintaining lean muscle mass while dieting, which in turn keeps your metabolism steady.
For someone just really breaking into weight training for the first time it can be overwhelming to say the least. You walk into a gym full of all walks of life, staring at you like you are the new kid in school. And the best part is, after about 10 minutes they realize you have no idea what you are doing. Sounds inviting right? Wrong, in fact these last few sentences are the reason most people never step foot in the gym and take control of their health. So this being said, having a solid plan put together before you blindly walk into the gym will help you get way ahead of the game compared to most.
Taking into consideration that you haven’t really ever exercised with weights I think the easiest way to get started would be to break down your workouts into a 2 day split. One day upper body, followed by a day of lower body. This way it makes the exercises you do easy to categorize. This 2 day split can be performed twice in a week. Monday and Thursday can be upper body, and Tuesday and Friday can be lower body. Then take Saturday and Sunday off for recovery. Also by flip flopping the days between upper and lower it allows you to recovery well between sessions. This can be done week to week for a long time before you would really need to switch anything up.
From here you need to put together a program for each day. For a beginner I would recommend doing moves that involve MORE than one muscle group. These types of moves are called compound movements such as the bench press, military press, or bent over rows. These moves will give you the best overall bang for your buck results wise. In fact, a great program for beginners that involves compound movements is the 5,3,1 program. For a great explanation and breakdown of the program check out the creator, Jim Wendler’s website. There is a lot of content out there written on this so I would highly recommend it. For a detailed exercise routine I myself can always lend a hand so if you would like any help with putting together your own customized routine feel free to contact us and I will help you as well. A custom routine would really focus more on the intricacies of your own personal goals. For example, say you were a former athlete and wanted to keep your legs strong and in good shape, well you would be doing a completely different routine from someone training to get a 400+lb bench press. So remember different goals will require a different focus.
Being ready to compete in a bodybuilding or fitness competition takes a ton of hard, work, consistency, and dedication to not only your lifting routine, but your diet as well. Week after week you will be on the grind, unable to stray from the contest prep diet to ensure you get the best results possible going into your show. These two basic principles will never go away if you desire to do shows. But, if you are questioning whether or not you should compete and you haven’t before here are a few questions you may want to ask yourself.
What are your reasons for wanting to compete?
Is it for the love of the sport? Is it because you want to be the best? Or is it simply a fun challenge? Well regardless, you need to have some strong reasons why you are doing this, because when you start getting closer to your competition, your depleted, and not able to eat certain foods, being able to justify your means can sometimes be tough. You start telling yourself, well who really cares if I do this or not, or i’m not going to place well anyway etc. People will justify anything when they are uncomfortable or when the going gets tough. So keep in mind that whatever reason you are deciding to do this better be a good one.
Who are you?
No really though….What I mean is who are you trying to be? There are a ton of different federations and divisions these days so you could go a bunch of different routes. You have regular bodybuilding, physique, classic physique etc. All of these carry with them a different look to achieve. For visual images I urge you to look up the difference in the builds of these competitors, and different body weights they carry for the show. Before starting any show prep, get a good grasp of who you really are and who you are not. Do not let someone talk you into doing a bodybuilding show when you clearly have the build of a physique guy.
Are you willing to do whatever it takes?
Bodybuilding and Fitness are extreme sports in that it takes a great deal to get your physique to a top level. So, if your goal is to not only compete, but to become a professional you gotta ask yourself are you willing to do whatever it takes to not only compete but to win? The bodybuilder of today has there competition schedule down to a science from there training, diet, sleep schedule, and supplementation, everything is planned out.
One last note
I want to leave all you future competitior’s with one last piece of advice moving forward. Do not get frustrated. There are a few things you need to keep in mind. For your first show you will not be ready. I don’t care how much prep you do you will not be ready for your first show. In fact there is a good chance you will not even make the top 10. But that’s okay. You are not expected to come out of the gates getting first or second. That will come with time. The first step is going through the prep the best you can and then moving forward from there.
This time of year brings about many ambitious individuals that have great intentions of starting there new year right. But did you know that by January 15th literally 95% of all resolutions made will be broken! Yes, 95% is what statistics show. This number is truly staggering so today I want to discuss how to not become one of these 95% and how to have a productive 2017.
Where to Start
With any resolution you may have the best place to start is by picking a goal that is realistic. For example, if your $200,000 dollars in debt and you make a resolution to be worth a million dollars within a year, this is most likely not the most feasible. But, if your goal is to reduce your debt by 50% or reduce debt completely that may be doable depending on your situation.
Relating to Fitness
Fitness and weight loss resolutions every year are one of the most popular. People always strive to look and feel better, but it seems that they are also the quickest resolutions to crumble. When the alarm clock goes off an hour too early, or when you leave work and planned on going to the gym but went straight home instead. These practices are all too common this time of year. Over 80% of actual gym memberships purchased are never even used one time! So what do we do initially to make sure we do not become just another statistic?
First of all, you need to set in your mind a clear goal. Not just I want to lose “some” weight, or I want to be healthier. These types of goals have no real meaning behind them and will not hold up when times get tough. Now, saying I want to lose 20 pounds by March 15th before I go on vacation would be much clearer and focused, with an actual deadline, which is just as important as the goal itself. Deadlines create urgency, and when you have some urgency behind you you will be more likely to take more action to make that change you have always wanted. One last thing I always tell people is go into a resolution with the end in mind. So in other words imagine yourself the way you want to look and feel, to remind yourself as to why you are doing what you are doing. Practicing this part is also important to remind you of how important your goal is
So when a fitness coach starts a blog post with how to cheat on your diet properly you may be wondering if they have lost their marbles….No I haven’t. Here is what I mean.
The 80/20 Rule
Often times I see clients that will start on their diet strong initially and then completely fall of the wagon to where no amount of exercise is going to make up for the daily damage being leashed on their bodies. I completely understand that when dieting you will have your ups and downs, moments where you want to just throw in the towel. But instead of just giving in completely try to use some balance to help keep you on the right path. This is where the old 80/20 approach can be helpful.
The 80/20 rule refers to sticking to your meal plan at a minimum 80% of the time, while the other 20% is left for “cheating” or cheat meals. Now, to be clear on this, a cheat meal is NOT a pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. A cheat meal may be that favorite pasta dish you haven’t had for a month because it hasn’t fit in your plan, or a couple slices of pizza. Sensible, enjoyable, but nothing too extreme. As a coach I always urge my clients to stick to their plans as close as possible so we can track their results with the most accuracy possible. But, I also understand that not every client is going to do this, so this is where the 80/20 approach can be helpful. Just always remember, a cheat meal is just that….One Meal! Secondly, it’s not just a plateful of candy but a favorite meal you haven’t had in a while. For all you current new years goal seekers, what is your favorite cheat meal? Leave your favorite in the comments below.
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