My fitness journey started many years ago. I was a very physically active kid growing up – always playing sports and other active games with my friends.
Exercise was just part of having fun, I didn’t actually think of it in terms of trying to be healthy or look good.
Then I got to high school and I was tired of being the super skinny guy, so I signed up for a weight lifting class. I haven’t stopped lifting weights since then.
While I have been working out for a while now, I wasn’t always as dedicated as I am today. In high school I was just trying to get some extra attention from girls and you know what – it worked.
Then in college I had grown to really enjoy working out, but it was still just a tool to offset my diet of fast food, energy drinks and weekend ragers. I actually managed to keep a 4-6 pack year round while eating shit and sleeping about 4 hours a night.
However, my strength and muscle mass hadn’t progressed much from high school.
When I graduated I finally had a little spare time on my hands and that’s when I decided to start over and take my training serious. You see, although I had put on some muscle I was still pretty skinny.
I was a self-prescribed “hardgainer” and didn’t take the nutrition aspect of training as serious as I should. That’s when I decided to re-learn the basics and I couldn’t have made a better decision.
Master the Basics
Take a look at yourself and a goal you’ve been working toward.
It could be anything.
Maybe you’re overweight (or underweight) and you’ve been struggling to lose it all for good. Maybe you’ve been chasing a certain job or promotion, or you’ve been trying to start a business on the side.
Now be honest, have you accomplished anything significant?
If you’ve been trying to lose that same 20-40lbs for several years now and you don’t look dramatically different than you did 3 years ago then you don’t know what you’re doing.
If you’ve actually been consistent and stuck to your plan, and you still haven’t made progress – your plan sucks.
It takes a mature person to admit when they’re wrong.
However, it’s just downright embarrassing to admit to yourself that you’ve been wrong for years. After nearly 10 years I looked like I didn’t even lift when my shirt was on.
Once I stopped making excuses and owned up to this, my mind was free to learn what I needed to.
The problem is that when we work on something consistently for so long we often see some results and we actually BELIEVE we know what we’re doing, even when it’s obvious to others that we don’t.
Be honest, would you ask yourself for advice on how to achieve your goal if you were trying to learn that task for the first time? No, you would look to someone who has actually accomplished that goal already.
“It is not the beauty of a building you should look at; it’s the construction of the foundation that will stand the test of time” – David Allan Coe
Never Settle For Good, When Great Only Takes a Little More Effort
To be a true master of any skill or art, you must be GREAT at the fundamentals.
Notice that I said “great” and not just “good.”
When we watch pro sports we get pissed when someone on our favorite team commits a stupid penalty, misses the easy layup, runs the wrong route, etc. Then we join the commentators in several minutes of shaming and disgust for a player at the professional level to fail at something taught in little league.
Yet we don’t seem to hold ourselves to the same standard. We always feel this urge to skim through the simple stuff and look for the advanced techniques that we think will give us the quickest results.
If you want to get in good shape, workout at least 3 days per week and eat healthy foods in moderate amounts. It’s that simple.
However, if you want to get into GREAT shape, you need to learn and master the basics. That means instead of just working out, you need a specific program aimed towards your goals. You need to take the time to understand the exercises and learn how to get in tune with your body to make the exercises more effective.
Then you’ll need to do a little more than eat healthy. You need to learn how to calculate your caloric intake, track your macros and make adjustments based on your goals and the feedback your body is giving you. Those are the essentials and anyone can do it.
The thing is, just “working out and eating healthy” is much easier than learning proper form, following a specific program, tracking your macros, developing the mind-muscle connection, dealing with mobility issues and progressing through stalled lifts.
As we know, the easy path in life is always the correct path right?
Of course not.
If you feel like you’re doing all the right things and getting nowhere, maybe it’s time to go revisit the fundamentals and see if you missed something. If you really believe you know it all, then prove yourself right – there’s no downside.
Look, none of this is breaking news. Sometimes we just need to hear it from someone else.
I want you to honestly think about your current situation and what you’re working on. Do your results reflect the time and effort you’ve put in?
Master the basics first. Let me know in the comments what steps you wish you hadn’t skipped and you’re now going to master.
Until Next Time,
What do you think? Do you agree, disagree or have any thoughts to add? Let me know in the comments below.
Never miss out on new posts like this by subscribing to my newsletter!