Having spent the last 10+ years in the fitness industry you can imagine I’ve had my share of ups and downs.
I’ve been setback, held back and pushed back only to restart again and again.
I’ve fallen for all the traps and believed all the bullshit;
I’ve not eaten carbs after 6pm, not eaten carbs at all, only to then eat all of the carbs
I’ve tried to trick, confuse and befuddle my muscles in the hope of rapid muscle gain only to end up more clueless than ever
I’ve trained 6 times a week, twice a day and eat 6 small meals only to hate myself, my life and my lack of progress
Through this process I’ve accumulated a lot of experience, learning what does and doesn’t work by trying pretty much every conceivable method of training and every type of diet you can imagine;
I’ve done it all…
High carb diet
If it fits your macros
Super high protein
I’ve tried them all.
You might think I should regret this wasted time, but I don’t.
It taught me some valuable lessons and led me to develop the following 5 fitness rules that I now live by.
You see, I discovered that for average guys like us training is no longer just about workouts and nutrition, but that mindset is steadily being recognised as a vital component that contributes to your overall success when trying to improve or change your body.
More importantly, it gave me the courage to share what I know in the hope that I can help others, like you, avoid my fitness mistakes.
The following 5 rules are to me, the most important ones to understand and live by when trying to change your body.
Abs = Cool, But They Won't Solve Your Problems!
Often seen, rightly or wrongly, as the epitome of physical fitness, the goal of all goals to strive for and the holy grail of fitness industry you'd be mistaken for thinking that having abs gives you superhuman powers.
However, contrary to popular belief six pack abs won't, don't and can't solve all of your problems.
They're not a magic wand for all your woes.
Don't get me wrong, having visible abs can be cool but they're also not an essential component of being physically fit.
Rule #2 - Sustainability Above All Else!
A core tenant of my philosophy here at Lift Learn Grow is, if it's not sustainable then don't do it.
Above and beyond almost everything else, fitness comes down to what you can reasonably sustain over the long-term without risking your mental health or physical fitness.
This means no crash diets, no excluding food groups, liquid diets, 7 days a week training or any other unnecessary lifestyle changes that are detrimental to your well-being.
It means making decisions based on what you can realistically agree to stick to, it means if you have a full-time job and 2 kids then maybe you shouldn't be following the exact same schedule as someone who works night or someone who is still studying and has more free time.
It's about taking stock of your lifestyle as a whole to find the optimal approach for you.
Rule #3 - Journey > Destination!
It's so easy to get caught up in the destination.
It's so simple to close your eyes and imagine what it will feel like to finally get to your 'end point', to vividly feel what it will feel like to be there, how things will be different, how they'll be better...
You rush through the journey in a desperate attempt to get to your destination, all the while failing to take the time to appreciate the progress you're making and the beauty of each step towards your new body.
This is a big problem for two main reasons.
The first is this; once you reach your destination you'll still be you. If you have a shitty job and expensive apartment with a lack of holiday time and no social life, guess what?!
Even if you achieve your ideal body none of that will change.
Secondly, once you reach your initial destination you'll find that you're not done.
Chances are you'll want to lose more fat, build more muscle, fix an imbalance or one of a hundred other things.
At Lift Learn Grow the focus is on self-acceptance of your body as it currently is and a change of mindset, so you enjoy each step you take on this entirely unique journey…
Remember, if you don't enjoy it, what's the point!
Rule #4 - Progress Is King, Queen, God & The Chosen One!
It doesn't matter if you're just starting out or you're a seasoned lifter with years under your belt, you want to be striving to make gains every time step into the gym.
That's why at Lift Learn Grow I focus on the importance of applying 2 key principles; progressive overload and consistency.
This not only means adding weight or reps to the bar consistently over time, but also ensuring you work out regularly to give yourself the time and space to do this.
It's about creating an environment where you can not only push yourself to achieve more and more over time but also a space where you feel safe, without judgment and can enjoy your workouts.
This is what I strive for at Lift Learn Grow.
Rule #5 - Your 'Ideal' Body Is The One You're Happy With!
Okay, let's do this, let's rip it off like a band-aid...are you ready?
Here we go.
Your ideal body, the one you have in your head right now, it's not achievable and it's not achievable for one very simple reason...it's not yours.
Now before you go cursing at the screen calling me lying son of a bitch or whatever other word comes to mind, let me explain.
The reason it's not achievable is because no two people are alike so no matter how hard you try you'll never look like someone else, you'll only ever look like you!
We all have different responses to training, different genetics, different muscle insertions and origins and more.
All of this adds up to mean that no matter how hard you try the chances of actually looking the same as Arnold at his prime, Brad Pitt from fight club or one of the many Instagram fitness stars is slim to none.
Now, does this mean you can't build a body you can be damn proud or even one that would put some of these people to shame?
Of course not!
It just means that instead of comparing yourself to someone and wishing you had their physique you need to focus on creating the best body you can have, not trying to replicate someone else's.
This will have a two-fold effect in helping you accept your body as it is and enjoy your progress on your journey to your ideal body.
Now, that is awesome!
I firmly believe everyone should invest in their fitness, it is surely one of the best things you can do with your time.
Not only are the benefits (physical and mental) numerous but if you do it right it’s transformative in its ability to change you.
Over my years of experience, I have created 5 rules to live by which keep me true to my goals and constantly striving to learn.
Rule #1 - abs = cool, but they won't solve your problems!
Rule #2 - sustainability above all else!
Rule #3 - journey > destination!
Rule #4 - progress is king, queen, god & the chosen one!
Rule #5 - your 'ideal' body is the one you're happy with!
It’s my hope that you too will learn something from these rules and use them in your own life to see the progress you desire.