One of the biggest mistakes in someone’s fitness journey is giving up too soon. Lack of perseverance. Great things don’t happen overnight and often people fall foul of their impatience. Social media, advertising campaigns and celebrities don’t help, making it seem as if getting a six pack and rippling pecs, or flat stomach and long thin limbs is a few weeks of hard work. Generally it isn’t. For a few people with good genes, at the right age, a lot of time and with a good training plan and philosophy, it is possible to achieve great things in a short time. For most of us however, its’ a little more complicated than that.
Many of the social media platforms have just turned into sales platforms, ways for people and companies to sell you products. Ironically, you actually choose to follow their feeds most of the time, which is even better for them as they have a direct feed to you to sell you what they want. Online transformations have become big business, so of course a trainer or company will put out their best transformations out. The ones which went very well and got good results in the shortest time. Was that all of them? No. The majority? Probably not.
Not an equal start point
Be aware that many transformations you might see will be the trainers/physique competitors themselves. They “bulk” (add muscle and fat) through their off season by eating more Calories that they need in an attempt to gain as much muscle as possible. They then cut by eating less Calories than they need with the aim of losing fat but keeping the muscle. Yes, this is a transformation, but the end result of a highly muscled and lean person is not the result of the 12weeks from fat to lean you see. Don’t forget the 2-10years of training before those 12 weeks to build the physique/figure that was hiding under a layer of fat.
Pay attention to the little voices
I’m not going to go into it here, but there’s also the use of drugs to grow muscles and get lean that is prevalent and so obviously lied about on social media. My advice: if it looks unrealistic, it most likely is. We have all become a little too good at ignoring our subconscious. Those little voices that try to warn us, listen to them, they are often correct! People who lack true grit and perseverance give in, they lose their moral compass and turn to drug route to obtain a better figure or physique. Don’t do this. There’s no point having a Ferrari exterior if the engine is rusted and decrepit. Think of your health and stick with the perseverance to do it properly.
Time and Effort
Why is a great figure or physique so sort after and why do we want it? This isn’t a new thing, the Romans and the Greeks had statues of Gods with six packs and biceps, just as our Marvel and DC superheroes have “perfect figures/physiques”. It’s in our psyche to want this and part of this allure is because, especially in this day and age, it’s not easy to have a lean/toned figure or physique. You can’t buy it. Even the best plastic surgery options are obvious and terrible. It takes hard work and dedication whoever you are. Even those people who use steroids to grow their muscles, still have to work at it. Yes their muscles growth is bigger and easier, but it’s not as if they just pop a pill and sit on the sofa.
Remember what this post is about? Perseverance, so take the time and effort to create a figure or physique you will be proud of. Not only does it taste so much sweeter if you do that, it will also make you feel more confident. Taking the time and effort will inspire you to put the same into other things that take time and effort to accomplish. The results are also likely to stay with you for longer, because if something takes time and effort on your part, you’ll respect it better and want to hold onto it. If it comes easy, you won’t value it and it’ll go just as easily.
Years not weeks
A young lad who had complemented my physique previously, approached me again and asked me how long I’d been training for. When I said 20years he looked gobsmacked. I couldn’t work out if he was unsure whether I was joking or whether that put him off. The bottom line is, a cover model physique, a real one, from training consistently without the use of drugs, takes years. Consistent week in, week out training for years.
Don’t let that put you off. No-one gets a degree in a matter of weeks or learns a language over night. No-one brings up a child in a month or learns a musical instrument or martial art in a week. All these great things, things to cherish and be proud of, take time. Relish the time. One day you’ll be able to inspire someone else to take the time to do what you’ve done because they will be inspired but what you’ve achieved.
If you want a good, solid, well structured programme to follow to help you create your desired figure or physique, try one of my programmes. Remember: perseverance will get you there. Don’t give up.
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Fight for your fitness. – There are so many things that will drag you away from your fitness goals. Be they work, family, friends, tiredness, lack of motivation, illness or simply laziness. You have to fight for your fitness if you want to reach your goal. – Some things like illness, family responsibilities and work cannot be avoided. They will sidetrack your progress, but that's why you must be strong when it comes to other distractions. Don't give into laziness. Be true to yourself and overcome tiredness. Tell your friends not to tempt you to skip the training for the pub, if they still do, are they really good friends? – If your goal is important to you, fight for it. Do what's necessary to make it a reality. Put your sessions into your diary. Plan your life and responsibilities sufficiently that they shouldn't impact on your set training time; save for situations of our your control. – One of the biggest issues I have when writing a programme for someone is fitting it in around their life, without impacting on them too much, which can often then lead to non-compliance. Look at your life and lifestyle. Where can you fit in your training with minimum disruption? Work that out, put it in the diary. Tell friends, family and even colleagues that that time is your time and then fight for your fitness time to ensure it happens. Photo: @jasonellisphoto Tracksuit bottoms: @maxinutritionuk