Now that the calendar has switched over another year, it’s safe to say we’ll be seeing a lot more people in the gym. By no means is this an attempt to downplay their attempt to get in shape. Far from it. In this post, I want to share some tidbits I’ve learned this past year. Here they are:
1. It doesn’t matter what training protocol you do. You can’t out-train a destructive lifestyle.
Perhaps the biggest perk of regularly working out is that you can afford to have higher allotment of indulgence. Meaning, you get to drink and eat more. To that end, it’s amazing how naive we are to think that progress is made in the gym. Regardless of the training method, all you’re doing is breaking your body down. What you do outside is going to dictate your results. If you live for the weekends, you’re not going to get anything in return. Yes — there are people who can get away with eating crap, and getting minimal rest. But there is a tipping point.
Good intentions and justifying yourself on social media doesn’t mean much. Consider the different elements in your lifestyle that are a hindrance. Work to gradually change them and in turn, you’ll maximize results in the gym.
2. Being busy doesn’t necessarily mean productivity.
When I first started out as a trainer in a commercial gym, I did everything and anything to fill up my time slots. Early in the morning, sure thing. Late afternoon, you got it. However, the more I advanced and grew, I realized that I had to be more efficient with my time — especially now that I’m a business owner. Greg McKeown, the author of Essentialism, refers to this as discerning the vital few from the trivial many. To give context, you have to recognize what’s important — and from there, you prioritize.
3. Prioritize single-leg work. You’re welcome.
Just to be clear, I’m not against lower body bilateral training. In fact, I love the squat and deadlift. I’ve achieved a 315lb Front Squat, and a 405 Deadlift. Your body, however, takes a beating. There’s only so much load that it can tolerate before it starts to breakdown. So, why not split that load in half and do it one leg at a time. You still get a comparable training effect without imposing a ton of sheer force on the spine. You’d be surprised at just how much value focusing on single-leg work can bring.
4. All the training won’t matter if your diet royally sucks. (Get this through your head)
This ties in with the first point above. It’s a clear observation that completely disregarding the importance of proper nutrition is foolish, to say the least. Look, I get it — it’s incredibly hard. But consider how many benefits have the potential to dramatically improve your physique and performance if your diet was on point. Understand that there is a trade-off and you have to exercise serious discipline (not restriction).
5. Being strong doesn’t mean jack sh** if you move like a tin-can.
If you’re as strong as an ox, good on ya’. But if you can’t move well, you’re not going to be able to perform at a high level. Don’t be like the traitor from 300. Maintain quality of movement by devoting at least 5-10 minutes on the foam roller in conjunction with your dynamic warm-up.
It’s much easier to maintain, than it is to regain it back.
6. If you don’t like the way you look, do something about it.
We can’t all look like a bikini competitor, model, or physique athlete. But that shouldn’t stop you from training to improve your appearance. How you look is a testament to your health and vitality — take pride in it.