I get asked the following questions on a frequent basis and I’m pretty sure that if you fall into any of these categories you will too. If you train, are in decent shape year around, or have a successful track record of diet and exercise, all of these questions will probably ring a bell.
· What is the best cardio for fat loss?
· What is the best diet?
· What is the best program to get strong and jacked?
· What is the fastest way to lose weight?
· What is the best thing to eat before or after exercise?
The honest truth?
Whatever is the purported to be the BEST way …You will fail at miserably!
And if there is success, it may end up with you spiralling down to binging on food, getting injured, getting sick or giving up.
A lot of the “best” and “fastest” methods are not sustainable.
P90x, Insanity, the latest “Get Ripped in 90 Days”, Hollywood diets…
6-days-a-week ninety minute workouts, crazy Tabata workouts 6 days a week, eating 500 calls a day …
Who the hell wants to do that forever? No one.
Well you won’t be able to either…how many people choosing the fast lane get hurt, give up or gain it all back?
I’ll give you some statistics – a mere 5% of crash dieters manage to keep the weight off that they lost.
Do you want to work your ass off with a success rate like that?
I certainly don’t and don’t expect you to either…
Our society is built on the fast-fix, efficient, and more is better…. Fast food, factory production lines, lose weight as fast as possible. Whatever happened to patience?
Remember the tortoise and the hare? Who won the race?
If I eat next to no calories, I’ll lose weight faster! Then what happens?
Many who diet on low calories, suffer the effects of starvation, inevitably leading to binging; and since their body has down regulated metabolism for survival (heart rate slows, basal temperature may drop …those are some examples) Fast weight loss inevitably leads to fast regaining.
For every up there is a down guys. Slow and steady wins the race.
People usually get in shape for 3 reasons:
For a Season
These are the guys or women at the gym that lost weight for X number of months for their Summer body and then spend all winter gaining it back. Don’t get me wrong, physique athletes and bodybuilders do this too, but they know they can’t maintain that body fat percentage year-round. I’m talking about the woman or guy that wants to get into that bikini. They quit drinking, go on a strict ass diet, and suffer all the way up to the start of the summer. And they will preach to themselves that they’ve made a LIFESTYLE CHANGE.
On reaching their goal they then want to celebrate with friends with food and alcohol, often with “cheat meals” of huge proportions. Dieting deprivation often leads to the craving of and over-indulgence in the very things that they denied themselves in the process of getting lean.
If you are that man or woman in this category, please contact me so I can give you some stability back in your life. It can be WAY easier and more enjoyable.
Getting in shape for a reason is a great way to get yourself out of a “stale” patch and get you back into staying in shape.
Find “good enough” with your training and diet. Drastic hard work (Think BEAST MODE, Go Hard or Go Home, ALL OR NOTHING) and drastic caloric/food deprivation will ultimately lead to long lay-offs, injuries, binging, and an unhealthy relationship with food.
For a reason
These guys and gals have something driving them to get into shape.
- Post pregnancy (women in this category are some of the most driven people I’ve ever trained)
- modelling/photo shoot/bodybuilding show/powerlifting competition
- Health related issue
The people who fall into this category bust their asses and get where they need to get, then after, become unmotivated, fall back into old habits, find another girlfriend/boyfriend, get their cholesterol, blood pressure down, reverse their type 2 diabetes. They meet their goal and then BAM! back to “normal”, fall off the diet-wagon and often gain back all the weight they lost.
Things to consider
After you’ve reached your goal, learn how to sustain it. Hire a coach if you need to. Having a coach to keep you accountable and on track is a great way to reduce the stress of managing your own diet and training. I personally have to programme others’ diets, training programmes, and progress. I am the type of person who can coach moderation, but coaching myself often leads me to take the very same drastic measures that I try to moderate in those I coach, often switching to a new method due to boredom, or changing directions too fast.
Working with the coaches at Propane Fitness has helped me to achieve sustainability and moderation. Coming from a previous bodybuilding mentality, I needed someone to help me put on the brakes and simplify things. They are great at keeping me accountable and they have helped me reverse diet and gain muscle and size while maintaining year-round abs. The have helped me to find stability in my training regime, and made it work for my lifestyle. I use them currently and encourage anyone to give their fat loss and strength mastery programme a go. It is just enough to keep me from going back to my extremist ways.
Everyone needs that someone to keep them in line. Your hard work doesn’t need to be thrown away. Being in shape isn’t always as hard as the industry wants you to think. Sometimes knowing too much can be your biggest issue. Let go and let someone else deal with your diet and training. YOU may be YOUR biggest hindrance to getting where you want to be.
If overthinking every aspect of your diet, training, and cardio is your issue, hire a coach to take care of it for you.
Think about where you have come from, and what great habits you have learned through your journey. Keep them, they’re yours. When it comes to getting in shape for a reason, you have to think about your journey. What did you learn about this journey and what habit shave you formed that have been beneficial? Whether it was bodybuilding /photoshoots/ powerlifting what habits did you pick up that you didn’t like? Write those off and change them.
If you took drastic measures to get there and have no idea how to get out, it’s better to learn how to get out than throw it all away. This is similar to a crash diet mentality. This will allow you to help others with their struggle in this area. That is a lot of people we’re talking about considering the whole dieting industry makes A LOT of money. Most Americans are dieting all the time. And the ones that aren’t skinny. So, learn from your reason and make it last a lifetime.
There is an easier way to get out of these situations, other than just stop what you’re doing and going back to normal
Anyone can lose weight, or gain weight. Who keeps it off?
For a lifetime
Ahh, the tortoise. Not looking for a quick fix. Knowing that nothing is going to happen over-night. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Neither should your new lifestyle be built fast.
These people create attainable goals and have small goals leading up to the big ones.
- They look at the big picture instead of the fad diets
- They are patient
- They accept failing as an amazing learning tool
- They find sustainability
- When they feel stale they insert a fitness “for a season or reason goal” knowing it’s just for accountability.
How many people can find this?
Anyone has the capability to find this, it really just comes down to one question…
Do you have what it takes??
Patience is probably one of the hardest things that we as Americans deal with. Patience and Pride. How can we change this pattern?
Let’s start with a life time and then find these “season and reasons” to hold us accountable when we are feeling stale.
Everyone needs a coach. Even Michael Jordan had a coach!
All of the talent and hard work in the world will go nowhere without an accountability factor.
Where we have been held accountable our entire lives without even knowing it.
In school, we had to wake up at a certain time, be on the bus at a certain time, do our homework, take tests. Did we want to do some of these things? No, but we had to because if not there were consequences.
There were certain times where a sport would create accountability for you as a child from doing stupid things. Example: “I can’t smoke cigarettes, I run cross country.”
You will remember a good coach for the rest of your life. They may hold you accountable in a situation 10 years after being coached by them. This is the beauty of having a coach. They are the most hated and loved people at the same time.
“If I do that my parents will kill me!” Enough said. Accountability at its finest.
This is a broad one, but it just goes to show you, we have been held accountable our whole lives.
AND IT WORKS.
Where is your fitness accountability? Is it for a season, reason, or lifetime? Are you going at it the wrong direction?
Don’t end up like the hare.
And the simpler and less complicated you try to make it, the better it is for your mind.
Lifetime sustainability rules
- Eat and workout to be a stronger, better you.
- Make it a lifestyle. Most people will work-out and diet to get somewhere. What happens when you get there?
- Make it fun and entertaining.
- Get others involved with you. Having friendships with people of the same interests will allow you to have someone to hold you accountable without even acknowledging it.
- When you’re feeling stale with exercise, switch it up or find a “season or reason” goal to help you find interest and motivation.
- A small layoff is not the end of the world: Olympic athletes and competitors take time off. It’s okay for an average Joe to do the same.
- Stop looking for perfection. Perfection is a happiness leech.
- Don’t over complicate things. Hiring a coach will help you stop overthinking and overcomplicating things. Think about the time and stress you can let go when you give your diet and exercise to someone else. That time can be given to a more productive area in your life.
Travis Avery CSCS CES
Travis is a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, corrective exercise specialist and owner of MORPH TSA LLC. He is a physique competitor and enjoys helping people meet their goals through moderation. Battling with weight at a young age and up into college years, he decided to drop the yo-yo all or nothing approach and find moderation. The name behind Travis’ business stands for learning to evolve. Cut out the black or white, good or bad, and simplify the process.
“Simplicity is the greatest sophistication”- Leonardo Da Vinci.