Learn from my mistakes
“A smart person learns from his mistakes, but a truly wise person learns from the mistakes of others.”-Ken Schamm
I have been training now for quite a while. I have never had a trainer and never really had much guidance with my training. I’d rather do the research myself and make it up as I go. So as you can imagine I’ve made quite a few mistakes along the way and I have learned from every single one of them. Here are some tips so you won’t make the same mistakes as I did.
Set realistic goals
Goal setting is hugely important. You can’t hit a target you can’t see. Set short term, medium term and long term goals. Take actionable steps daily to move them towards those goals. More importantly, be sure they are realistic. You’re not going to drop 20kg of excess fat in a month. Equally so you’re not going to gain 10kg of lean muscle mass in one month. Instead set SMART goals:
Find a plan and stick to it
Going to the gym without a plan is like sitting into your car and driving aimlessly around the countryside. You need to have a solid goal in mind and choose a plan that will help you achieve this goal. There is no such thing as a magical training plan. There are hundreds of thousands of different training plans out there that are all loosely based on the same principles. Remember the best training plan you can be on is the one you will stick to.
Learn the correct technique
Once you’ve found a plan you’ll be given a list of exercises to complete. Take the time to research how to complete each exercise correctly or alternatively invest in a coach. If you do not perform your exercises correctly it can lead to a big list of problems. For starters you run the risk of injury. Secondly if you do not perform the exercise correctly you will not be working the targeted muscles correctly. Building muscle is already a painfully slow process, don’t make it slower by lifting incorrectly.
Consistency is key
So I’ve been knocking around with barbells and dumbells from the age of fourteen. From this age there were a lot of spells of off again on again training. As in major inconsistencies. I’d train for two weeks then not train again for another month or two. I went almost two years without training at all. It wasn’t until January 2017 that I actually became consistent with my training and it wasn’t until then that I actually started to make some progress. Before then it was just a case of one step forward two steps backward.
Correct nutrition is paramount
I trained for years without having my nutrition dialed in and I paid the price for it. If you want to reap the maximum benefits of the efforts you put in when you’re in the gym then you need to have a good diet. Remember the progress you make will be 20% what you do in the gym, 80% what you do in the kitchen.
You can’t out train a bad diet
Again something I learned the hard way! Think of it like this, an average pizza is roughly 1000 calories. You would have to spend over an hour jogging at a decent pace on a treadmill before you would be anywhere near to burning 1000 calories. So if you have a good diet Monday to Thursday but the minute you leave work Friday evening it is a free for all until Monday morning you will not see the progress you desire. The weekend accounts for 42% of the week.
Motivation is bulls***!
If we were all to only train when we felt motivated we’d be lucky to get to the gym once a week or once every two weeks. Motivation is great when we have it but it comes and goes, which is completely natural. Do you feel motivated to go to work every day you go to work? Do you go anyway? It’s not about getting motivated. It’s about getting a new habit ingrained in your routine. Our habits dictate our results. Successful people do the things they know they need to do even when they can think up 100 reasons not to do it.
Comparison is the thief of joy
The only person you should compare yourself to is who you were yesterday. You can’t compare your chapter 1 to somebody else’s chapter 10. Everyone is at different stages of their fitness journey. But we are all in this for the exact same reason, to become a better version of ourselves. So if you have only been training for the last 6 months, don’t compare yourself to the lad on Instagram with washboard abs who has been training for the past 10 years and probably starved himself for 8-12 weeks to get into that condition for the sake of a photoshoot.