I’m in the list-making mood again. But instead of being a Negative Nancy and telling you what you should stop doing, I’m going to fill you in on things you might not be doing that will help reach your goals.
1) Setting Goals: Speaking of goals, do you have some? Are they tangible? Written down? Realistic? Have an end date? Posted in a manner that you’ll be forced to see them multiple times everyday?
If not, you better get on that. This is by far one of the easiest things you can do to get on track. The key here is to make it tangible. “Getting in better shape” might sound good, but it’s not tangible. “Losing 20 pounds by next week” isn’t realistic. You can try to drop that much weight, but with the exception of liposuction, 99.999999% of the people out there will not be able to do it in a healthy manner.
Goal setting is a balancing act. Make the goal lofty enough to motivate you, but not so much so that it is completely out of reach. Set an end date that you want to reach it by, but don’t set it so far out that you can half-ass it and still reach it. Challenge yourself, hold yourself accountable and become that competitive asshole who will do anything to achieve those goals.
2) Planning: Now that you have goals, how are you going to reach them? Most people cannot just wing-it and succeed. If you’ve been actively training for over 3 years you probably have enough knowledge to create a plan for that days training, but doing that everyday will not work in the long run. Find a program that falls within your goals and follow it through until completion. Take a few hours to create a plan for your training for the next 12-16 weeks (and stick with it) and when those 12-16 weeks is over do it again. If you don’t want to have to think about it too much check out Joe DeFranco’s “Westside for Skinny Bastards” series or Nate Green’s “Built for Show“.
3) Keep it Real: If you’re just starting out, you’re not going to be the next Ronnie Coleman. You’re also not going to put on 50 lbs of muscle and stay/get into single digit body fat percentages by spring break. If for some crazy reason you do think that this is possible you will hurt yourself. Either that or you’ll run to drugs to help you get there. Like I’ve already said, set lofty goals, but make them attainable.
4) Be the Worst: You’ve heard the expression that we become the people that we surround ourselves with right? If you’re already the “big dog” in your gym then it’s time to find a new gym where you are at that bottom of pecking order. It’s this magical little thing called competition and it makes you better in many ways. What’s that? You say you’re OK with where you’re at? Awesome, that just means there is going to be more room at the top for those of us who want to be the best there is. This is the reason bodybuilders flocked to Gold’s Gym in Venice Beach, power lifters flock to Westside and top athletes flock to DeFranco’s. To be around the best, learn from the best, and compete to be the best.
5) Taking Care of Your Body: You only have one, you better treat it right. You’re already doing something right by training; now keep it going by taking care of what you’ve worked for. Many people still think you build muscle when you workout…wrong. You break it down during the workout and your body re-builds as you rest as long as you provide it with the necessary nutrition to do so. The logical equation looks like this:
Training + Adequate Rest/Recovery = Progress
Training – Adequate Rest/Recovery = Regress
So what do you do? Get enough rest, 7-10 hours per night. Eat clean and eat often. Take care of nagging soreness with foam rolling and stretching. If you’re hurt don’t be “Billy Bad Ass” and try to work through it, rest the injury and make the necessary adjustments to your program so you’re not sitting idle while you recover.
So there you have it, get out there and make something happen.