The “New Year, new me” epidemic is upon us once again. I’ve already written about that epidemic however. This particular piece is going to focus more on the most common New Year’s resolution; fitness. This isn’t going to be a bash-fest designed to dishearten those who are actually serious about trying to get into shape. If you are all about bettering yourself, I am always willing to support you. But having been submerged in the fitness world now for quite a few years, there are a few things I have to get off of my chest. Hopefully, for what it’s worth, you’ll find this useful no matter what level of fitness you’re at.
Discipline > Motivation
Many people are going to either call me wrong or cold-hearted for this one. But your motivation doesn’t mean a thing when it comes to getting what you want out of fitness. Motivation 9 times out of 10 is a cop-out for people who thought they were serious about fitness until they saw how much work actually goes into fitness. Even the greatest of the greats have had times where they had zero motivation to do anything, but they still made things happen. Why? Because they had the discipline to do so. Your motivation doesn’t determine your success with the barbell, your discipline does. It’s those days where I’ve worked for 12 hours, it’s raining and cold outside, and I did’t get much sleep last night. But I still force myself into that un-heated warehouse on base and I still force myself to stick to the prescribed routine. And that doesn’t happen by looking at cute and precious motivational quotes online. It happens because I have disciplined myself to have the hardiness to push through whatever I’m feeling to get things done.
Is that to say that motivation doesn’t exist? Absolutely not. Motivation fluctuates like many things. And if you are one of these online fitness guru’s who has the audacity to say that you remain motivated 100% of the time, you are full of shit. Discipline, once mastered, is a constant. And this philosophy goes for anything; finances, jobs, relationships, etc. So if you are new to the fitness industry, don’t let me discourage you, just know that your motivation will fluctuate…just have the discipline to not give up no matter how many times you stumble.
Fake and Flashy
If you’re new to the fitness world I must tell you to beware of the fake and the flashy. There are so many Instagram accounts that so many people (myself included) fall victim to. For legality reasons, I won’t list them here.
Let me put it to you this way, if the only things these profiles post are of perfect, ripped, tan, vascular individuals traveling all over the world….just don’t. Many times, these nutrition companies or these “online coaches” will tell you that you can look just like them in 12 weeks with their “transformation plan” or some stupid bullshit. Let me go ahead and tell you what happens; you pay $150+ for a cookie cutter workout program and diet plan. It doesn’t tailor to your needs or your budget. Why? Because these people are all about the money. You’ll see people like them at expo’s as well. Just say no. Chances are, those people didn’t get to where they are honestly and half of them aren’t certified to train others.
Being in sports for most of my life, I learned a long time ago that just because you have the best equipment and apparel money can buy…Doesn’t mean you’re good. My parents always worked very VERY hard to make sure we had what we needed. We didn’t always get top-of-the-line cleats and shorts, etc. But we didn’t care. Me and my brothers were just there to be better than everyone else and to win and to train. Fake and flashy doesn’t always mean great. Research the word “gilded” or research the Gilded Age and you’ll know what I mean.
Patience is a virtue
While we’re on the topic of earning your body the honest way, let me just tell you one lesson that is often times hard to learn and even harder to keep in mind. That lesson is that progress takes time. Being impatient leads to shortcuts, which leads to lack of form, which leads to injury. It’s pretty hard to make any progress when you’re injured. Things like this take some time, but like I said before, if you have the discipline to drive on then shit will happen.
One of my biggest pet peeves both as someone who lives and breathes fitness, and as someone who trains others occasionally, are the people who go to the gym for a week and expect to see drastic change immediately. And then when they don’t, they “lose motivation” and stop going just to repeat this rigmarole of horse shit next New Year’s. Things like this take time.
I love me my sups. It took me forever and a day to find the right ones for me though. But supplementation is something that I watch newbies struggle with every single time. My philosophy has always been that you get what you pay for. This holds true for almost anything. If you pay $50 for a tattoo that ends up turning your skin green and fester with infection…well, that’s what you paid for. When have you ever paid for anything cheap that has had superior quality? Please, for the love of God do not buy $20 Wal-Mart protein. I understand that not every one is able to afford the cream of the crop, but buying cheap shit or listening to the douche behind the counter at GNC will cost you more.
So furthermore, you need to educate yourself before you go buying anything. Before you know what to buy and what to research though you need to understand clearly in your mind what your goals are. And don’t trust everything you read on the internet either. If you need help researching, please consult someone who knows what they’re doing.
Nutrition, Nutrition, Nutrition
Many people think the hard part about having a fit lifestyle is finding time to go to the gym or having to work out. I wish that were true. The hardest part of this whole thing is the nutrition behind it. So many people neglect this aspect of everything and some don’t even count it in. But nutrition is vital to your fitness success. Nutrition is where more of that discipline I talked about earlier comes in. There are so many evenings after work where I want to shovel a whole box of Italian four cheese Cheez-Its down my throat and wallow in my own self pity. But I have to take a step back and remind myself “you’re not hungry, you’re just bored”.
Diets, like work-out routines shouldn’t be cookie cutter. Your diet should also revolve around what your fitness goals are. For example, I am on the Keto-diet. In short, the Keto diet is a low-carb diet designed to train my body to use (by use I mean burn) fat as it’s primary source of energy, also known as a process called “Ketosis”. This diet has many benefits; including fat loss, increased physical endurance, digestive regulation and mental focus. This diet may seem like the fix-all to everyone’s new year’s resolution — but it isn’t. I will always say this and it will always be true; everyone is different and different things work for different people. The Keto works for me. But there are other diets out there; the Paleo, Vegan, and intermittent fasting diets may work better for you. If you’re unsure or lost — PLEASE contact a fitness nutrition specialist or someone who knows what they’re talking about. Not some fake and flashy douchebag who only cares about money in his pocket who doesn’t care if you end up in the hospital with kidney failure.
Don’t get it twisted…
I will close with these little tidbits. Please don’t get it twisted…Fitness is a lifestyle, not a hobby. Like anything that you want to last, you can’t go into this with the mindset that “well if it doesn’t workout then….” because that mindset will make you fail. Every. Single. Time. You don’t go into relationships or jobs like that do you? I mean, if you do then you should probably go to counseling. I don’t get mad at “resolutioners” for coming to the gym. Sure, there are meme’s out there that I probably share and laugh at; but that’s not what I get mad at. People like me get mad at the people who use up space in the gym, who aren’t taking this whole thing serious. As a trainer, I get mad at people who waste my time. As someone who takes my fitness serious, I get mad watching other people enter my world and not take it serious. Quitting makes me mad.
Don’t get it twisted. Fitness is more about how you feel than it is about how you look when you’re naked. Sure, that’s one of the benefits that I enjoy, but I am more concerned with taking care of myself on the inside first. Recovering from Sepsis and three days in the ICU at my local hospital meant almost two weeks with no training. Did it drive me up the wall? Absolutely. But I needed to focus on recovering from a life-threatening infection. Can’t train if you’re dead. If you’re too focused on the exterior, the interior will begin to rot. This is why educating yourself on the proper diet and supplementation is so important.
Don’t get it twisted, there are douchebags out there who are going to scoff and laugh at you as a beginner. But 9 times out of 10 please know that they’re insecure about something themselves and they’re trying to over-compensate for their short comings. So if you want to enter the world of fitness, then I welcome you. Forget what other people may say or think. Take that from someone who started out at 93lbs soaking wet. It’s been almost five years and now I am a healthy 120lbs of lean muscle. Don’t give up. All aboard the gain train.
These are some of the places I go to for my research and information. Please note that I am not sponsored to share these, I am only sharing what I resources I use for a gee-whiz.
1st Phorm — Supplementation and Coaching
SOFlete Training Programs
Military Muscle Foundation