January is done, now what?
This can’t be truer: when the going gets tough, the tough get going. This is exactly the case when coming February and the new year’s resolutions. No one expects it to be as hard and they are now facing the hard decision.
Is this all worth it?
It all comes down to this: Are you willing to sacrifice what you are for what you would like to become? Are you willing to cut down every little treat and rewards you allowed yourself, a little too much out of convenience, to attain the shape and health you dreamed of?
You are probably doubting yourself right now. It is most certainly much harder than you thought. Most people do sell themselves short at this point and quit. Unfortunately, you may end up quitting while you’re on the edge of the true turning point towards the new better you.
The number one reason why people might be considering throwing the towel is that they don’t see the scale go down anymore, but the devil is in the detail. If only these people would have relied on more than the scale to set their goals, they might be seeing results the scale doesn’t show.
If you want to keep going and make it a lifestyle, which is what it should become and should have been in the first place, follow these tips and don’t look back anymore. The only way to go from now on is forward.
- Check yourself before you wreck yourself.
If you didn’t go through some type of body composition analysis when you started a few weeks ago, now’s the time to do it. Vague goals lead absolutely nowhere and leave you in so much uncertainty that you doubt yourself after a few weeks only.
- Defined goals
If you know precisely what your bodyfat percentage is at a given number, logic would dictate that losing 1 to 2 % a month is considered healthy. That means you are on the right track. Losing more than 2 % in a month might end up shocking your system if you push at it for too long.
Let your body ease into it. Even if you seem to be stuck on a plateau, stay calm and keep doing what you are doing. Do not scratch and change the plan or worse, quit. When the body hits a plateau, it means that hormones, energy levels, and stamina are readjusting to the new reality of input vs output balance. Think of opening a window when it is -20 degrees outside. Your heating system will kick in and work harder to bring the room back to its previous ambient temperature. However, the heating system wouldn’t be able to push that hard for too long. It would eventually overheat and shut down. This is the perfect example of someone that diets too hard. I’m sure you get the picture.
Small changes lead to long term benefits. You might not see it in a matter of days, but at least, you’ll keep losing fat slowly and your body won’t see it as additional stress.
- Train optimally, not maximally
The same example applies to weight lifting. Most hit the weights so hard and for too long that it becomes impossible for their body to heal properly. They also can’t match the caloric intake they need to be able to recover from those hard sessions.
You don’t have to leave the gym on all fours. Aim at being efficient in the gym. Train for your goals. Don’t just “go” to the gym. Have a purpose. Have a plan.
If you must do 10 to 12 reps, make sure you use a weight that doesn’t allow you to do more than 10 to 12 reps.
If you aim at burning fat, stop looking at your phone and cut the rest between your sets.
If you want to gain lean muscle mass, stop benching your one rep max every time you set foot on the gym floor.
Just textbook logic.
- Maximize rest
Most people think that you grow in the gym. If that would be the case, there would be monsters walking amongst us. You must rest as hard as you train. Your sleep must be optimal in order to train hard. Your nutrition must be optimal in order to train and be able to rest optimally. Everything you do is connected. The body needs balance.
Too much or too little calories…
Too much training or no training at all…
Too much or too little rest…
Balance is the key. Movement, nutrition and rest all feed on each other.
Don’t sit, get fit.