Before You Get Going, You Need To Know How to Get There
We are all part of the fitness community. Whether you have an expert trainer, just started P90X in your spare time, or just a regular gym-goer, you are to some degree a fitness enthusiast. Something great about being a part of this sport is there are so many amazing people
that are inspiring and helping others publicly, and it is available to anybody, at any time. It is a community that has such a broad range of goals that it seems that if you get into specifics with 100 people, chances are you will hear 100 different desired results, all walking the same path. Some people are looking to be leaner, to get bigger, to have more energy, to meet a health need from an ailment, to relieve stress, the list goes on and on. The one thing that brings the community together is the pursuit of building muscle. I am not talking about only becoming massive and the size of a professional bodybuilder, but to some extent, everyone is looking for more muscle.
One of the most common sources of information for how to gain muscle, is the internet. The ease of access to more information than one person could ever read is both a blessing and a curse. The more information you read, the better, of course, as learning about how the body works is just as much of a challenge as the actual weightlifting itself. However the more you read, the more contradicting and just plain wrong information you will come across, and therefore, you will be more confused than when you started. I partly blame this on the fact that most articles written, especially on the most popular site for exercise at this moment, are written by someone lifting less than one year, or who has not improved his physique even though he has “worked out” for 5 years. I believe that the internet is one of the sole causes of people seeing significantly fewer results, than if they didn’t read in the first place. It takes hours of reading every day for months, if not years, to understand a large portion of the functions of the body, how it works, and how to manipulate one of the factors properly to achieve a desired result.
So what typically happens when you follow the advice of one of these articles? You become the result of the advice given, of course, which typically is less than satisfactory. Think about it for a minute… You go to the gym, meet people, see them consistently, and continue going to the gym, and after one year, how do 90% of these people look? Most of them look exactly the same. Why can’t anyone seem to get results when they are following all the “right” programs!? How can we see better results in the gym without being so overwhelmed with all different routines, fad diets, friends’ advice, and advertisements?
The first step in getting the results you are looking for is to CLARIFY YOUR GOALS. Most people I speak with know what they vaguely want to achieve. Let’s use the common example of building muscle, as we said is the one common denominator between us all. When asked what their goals are, they are more likely than not, going to say “I want to get bigger.” This is not a goal. If you ask if they have written it down, know how much weight they want to gain, know what they are going to do to achieve the goal, know what they have changed to gear them toward this goal, etc. they most likely have not answered any of these questions. Please understand this important point… it is not a goal until there is a selected MEASURABLE KEY VARIABLE that can be accomplished undeniably, accompanied by a well thought out PLAN OF ACTION on how the goal is going to be accomplished in a SPECIFIC PERIOD OF TIME. Compare the previous example used, now to a more defined goal: “My goal is to gain 10lbs of muscle in 6 months, by changing my caloric intake by 400kcal/day, having 2 shakes in between meals consisting of 50g of protein, and weightlifting 5x a week with a single body part split routine.” Can you see how having a clearly defined goal can help you make consistent progress?
The benefits of having goals like this are enormous. You can go from not making results, to getting better results than you ever thought possible, by coming up with a well planned outline for how you will accomplish your goals. It instills a sense of responsibility when you plan specifically how you are going to get the end result. Writing down goals is much more effective than just coming up with the plan in your head. It solidifies what you plan to do, and makes it real.
Another great benefit from having a clear goal is having the information to be able to manipulate a variable, as mentioned earlier. This is so critical, since if you are consistently sticking to your plan, and you aren’t on track for whatever the goal may be, such as gaining weight. If you are eating 400kcal above maintenance each day, and you aren’t seeing the scale change, you can easily manipulate your carbohydrate or protein intake to where it should be. If you weren’t eating consistent according to your plan each day, how would you know you were increasing calories or changing your macronutrients at all? You wouldn’t, it’s impossible.
I hope this helps clarify how to clearly set a goal for yourself, and how to be one of the few who does make progress in the gym. You are already putting in the physical effort and exercise, do yourself a favor and make that gym time count towards something. Set a clear goal for yourself, in any area of your life, abide by these guidelines and you will see a significant difference with the amount you can accomplish in a short period of time, when your focus and actions are all putting momentum in the same direction. You become a much more powerful force when you aren’t pushing in all different directions at the same time. Set the goal, commit to achieving that goal, and keep pushing forward, and you will be amazed by how much you can do!
Owner of Superset Sports Nutrition
(This is what we do… If anyone is having trouble defining a goal or seeing results in fitness, come on in to Superset Sports Nutrition and we can figure out the areas that can be improved. There is always something that can be done better, and sometimes it just takes another pair of eyes to catch something you have been overlooking. Keep pushing everyone!)
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