Have you seen these videos on Facebook of people doing these crazy workouts?
They’re ripped, more than likely really, really ridiculously good looking and they look bad-ass.
But for most of us, this isn’t reality. I know for me, getting kicked in the abs while doing hanging leg raises is not something I strive for.
It’s cool to watch people go to these extremes but will it make you get in shape faster?
I doubt it.
There is only one thing you need to do to get in shape. It’s the secret ingredient, the special sauce if you will, that every success story and current ripped person has in common.
The internet will promise you it has the “perfect fat loss diet” or the “perfect workout for building muscle” with impressive before and after pictures and client testimonials.
But you’ll find it doesn’t work for you because the wheels fall off. The wheels always fall off. You’ll get frustrated, say screw it and begin a cycle of:
- Jump “all in” with crazy workout and diet
- Feel excited for about 3 days, thinking it’s “the answer”
- Start to hate life and think you are the problem
- Rinse and repeat
And what do you have to show after 6 months of doing this? Frustration and hopelessness about changing your situation.
You still don’t have the body you want.
You still don’t have the energy you want.
You still don’t have the strength you want.
DON’T BE A DIET JUMPER
Fat loss, muscle gain [insert overly complicated thing here] is simple to achieve. You really only need to do one thing.
To be consistent.
Take a journey with me into my life for the past 4-5 months.
In January I set out for abs. Since I set the ego-tastic name of the site to Aesthetic Physiques, I feel like I should rep the part. I started out carb cycling but my results weren’t fast enough for me. Turns out my winter weight was more than I expected.
The weekends I would over overestimate my metabolism and overdo my cheat meal. I’d be drinking wine with a pasta dinner (Come on I’m Italian) get frustrated that my weight is not moving and my abs are still on the side of a milk carton.
If you read the post I did on alcohol, you know that alcohol gets first priority in getting metabolised and then everything else you eat. If alcohol fulfils your energy needs guess where that entire bowl of pasta goes?
You guessed it; it gets a nice home around my waist as fat.
So rather than thinking “Hey, maybe I should rope the diet in and stick to the plan.” I continued to get frustrated, think there is something wrong with me and jump to another diet. Sound familiar?
I’m a chronic diet jumper. It’s cool though, we have meetings.
In late April, I started the Get Fit for Summer Challenge on the Aesthetic Physiques Community Page and I made a commitment to myself to stick to the plan despite my constant inclination to diet jump or tinker.
I toned back my cheat meals, started Intermittent Fasting for convenience, have lost an inch off my waist, lost 3 pounds and gotten stronger in the process.
This was all due to consistency. No more tinkering. No more switching diets or workouts. Just a ruthless adherence to the basics.
Eating healthy and working out.
THE UNSEXY TRUTH
Those videos I mentioned earlier are a snapshot in time. A snapshot those people want you to see. What they didn’t show you was their journey to get to that point. That’s because the basics aren’t sexy.
The basics are not going to make you tag your friends or get you to share that post. You’re going to glaze over it and move on with your day. You don’t want to be know as the guy that shares boring stuff.
The basics get overlooked because it can’t honestly be that simple. Eating healthy and working out done consistently can’t be the answer to the question How do I get in shape? If it were, then everyone would be in shape.
Consistency is the failure point in every failed attempt at getting in shape.
HOW TO ENSURE CONSISTENCY
We all aim for the stars when starting something new.
I’m going to hit the gym 5 days a week. When you’ve never owned a gym membership before.
I’m going to go keto. When your entire diet is carb based.
I’ve mentioned this before but 92% of New Year’s Resolutions fail. 92%! Vegas can’t even claim those odds. I like the ambition of aiming but there is a better way.
Aim for the tree tops.
Commit to 3 days a week at the gym.
Slowly work a new diet into your life meal by meal.
When I started IF recently, going 16 hours without eating was going to be tough. So I started with a 12 hour fast. Then, pushed it back to 14 and now I’m at 16 without dying of hunger. I did this over the course of weeks because I knew I wouldn’t make it past the first day had I done it any other way.
The consistent adherence to IF has given me the desired results of weight loss and inches off the stomach without going from 0-60 right out of the gate.
I was able to see results doing 75% of the “standard” IF program. Why can’t you do the same with your goal?
Was it sexy? Nope.
Will I get any Facebook Shares because I’m badass? Nope.
Will I get my desired results? You bet.
See it’s all good in the hood.
MAKE A SCHEDULE
Plan a week of lunches and dinners and stick to it. Going into the week without a plan will leave room for bad choices. Print a calendar off and write in what you are going to eat each day and tape it to the fridge.
You’re more likely to abide by the plan if it’s in your face rather than keeping it in your head.
EAT SELECTIVE FOODS
Decision fatigue is real. Our days are filled with decision making at work, with the kids and what to wear in the morning. By the time dinner hits you’re more than likely going to have a “whatever” moment.
More than likely the diet you chose will have a list of foods to eat. Pick a few and repeat. Too much variety leads to too many decisions and too many whatever moments.
Chicken or beef.
Broccoli or carrots.
Sweet potato or rice.
Eating relatively the same things everyday is something you already do now. Eat it until you get sick of it and switch some foods out.
HAVE A SAFETY NET
Batch prepping your meals on a Sunday not only provides you with healthy food choices but also saves time during the week. Take a few hours on a Sunday to cook up some lunches and dinners.
Throw some chicken in a crock pot, cook up a few cups of rice and you’re ready to go.
Reduces decision fatigue
Plays on your inability to waste food
Gives you healthy fast food when you don’t feel like cooking
Another thing to have as a safety net, because life isn’t always planned, is snacks on hand or knowing what to order at restaurants.
Are all good things to keep with you when you are out and about.
When you forgot your snacks and are at a restaurant stick to:
Salads with chicken and the dressing on the side,
Burgers without fries,
Steak and veggies and/or sweet potato (potato) dry. Skip the butter, cinnamon and sugar.
Diet consistency is tough but if you can stick to your diet, minimize cheat meals and trust the process you’ll get a lot better results than being a diet jumper.
DO WHAT YOU LIKE
Working out is about as much fun as you make it. If you hate what you’re doing it’ll be as much fun as getting kicked in the shins. Find something you enjoy and do it.
There is no one right way to exercise. If you’re using your muscles, you’re burning calories and combined with a healthy diet, you’re losing weight.
GET GOOD AT THE FUNDAMENTALS
With any exercise avenue you choose there are fundamentals. It could be running, jumping, strength or basic flexibility. Get good at those and everything else becomes easier.
Find the basic movements your exercise uses and get good at those.
FORM ABOVE ALL
Specifically to weight lifting, form trumps everything – even strength. Form puts the stress on the right places; your muscles. Form also prevents injury which is probably pretty high on everyone’s list.
If you’re injured, consistency is going to be very hard.
There is always going to be a new “perfect fat loss diet”, some crazy people doing something insane in videos or a breakthrough supplement that melts fat off your ass. That’s what gets the clicks and generates revenue.
All you need is to hit the basics consistently. Eat right and exercise. I wish it was more complicated than that because I’d look a lot smarter than I actually am.
Like Eric Bach’s headline “Results from Ruthless Execution of the Basics.”
P.S. I’m going to be experimenting with different avenues of exercise and posting my thoughts and experience as a newbie in future articles. Right now here is the list I’m going to tackle:
I’m up for just about anything exercise related so if you want to seem me tackle something hit that giant blue button and let me know.