Building muscle should be as easy as going to the gym and smashing out great workouts a couple times a week! If only it was that easy…
But unfortunately, we get hit with a few roadblocks that need navigating around from time to time. And more often than not, success will ultimately boil down to how well we deal with life’s challenges. Being consistent to the iron game is more than if you can squat 4 plates or not.
Below, I have listed what I have termed the top 5 “progress killers”.
Based on years of personal and professional feedback, let’s see if we can avoid them completely and jump on the long-term Gain Train for awesome results!
The PERFECT Plan
“I can never find anything that will show me step by step what to do”
I would define the perfect plan as one that encompasses all aspects of your lifting lifestyle, with the end product being life-changing results.
STOP IT! The perfect plan doesn’t exist.
No matter how bad you have it, things could always be worse. And it doesn’t matter how great things are, they could probably be better too.
In reality, the best plan isn’t one that is the most technical or has the latest movements that the pros are doing.
The best plan is the one that is best for you.
It’s really a matter of HOW you play the game, rather than the game itself. A plan that lets you tackle your goals consistently, one that challenges you and one that you understand the variables behind. It’s the process behind the plan that is most important!
The PERFECT Diet
“Eating the same boring food has always been my challenge, and I am looking for variety that tastes good”
I have met more than my fair share of weight trainers and gym rats who live on standard bodybuilding food because they know of no other way.
Chicken and rice, chicken and broccoli, all day every day…
Eating for a contest may require certain decisions about food type to be made, but contests don’t imitate life. And life is a long time!
So the solution to finding the perfect diet, is to educate yourself on great nutrition. This way, you will be able to make the best decisions tailored to not only your personal preferences but also towards your end goals.
Nutrition is something that should be enjoyed (different tastes, textures, smells and experiences). This, in turn, will support a healthier environment to deliver the holistic (and physical of course) goals that you are after.
The PERFECT Program
“I am tired of getting injured trying to do my old free weight workouts”
The perfect program is the one that is best suited for you, the individual and allows for maximum intensity and consistency.
A program that looks the business on paper, but doesn’t take into consideration your personal particulars or circumstances (like injuries) will only be a short term solution until you need to take a break (again).
This is not the program for you.
We often hear arguments like “squats are bad for your knees”. No, squats are not bad for your knees. “Bad squats” are bad for your knees.
But let’s say you have a knee issue that doesn’t allow you to squat, and because you have read how essential they are, you continue to flog the dead horse only to end up worse than when you started. What do you do?
You do what you can do safely and is suited as an effective alternative and with trial and error, you may find that leg presses deliver all of the benefits (results) without the pain (injuries). Continue to focus on what you can do extremely well, and scrap what you cannot.
The PERFECT Lifestyle
“I don’t have much ME time and I’m stressed out by all the contradictory opinions”
There is no such thing as the perfect lifestyle. Maybe if you were in that 0.01% of professional athletes category that can afford to just sleep and train (I’d get bored personally). For the rest of us, we have the normal obligations of LIFE to also take care of.
Which demands our time, focus and finances.
School holidays, broken down cars, overdue bills, working overtime etc. They all have the potential to slow down our gains if we allow them.
So what do you do?
You just do the best you can!
When designing your program, design it to suit your lifestyle and plan for success. If you have trouble getting to the gym after work, then you would not design a program that has you training with a mate, 4 nights per week at 5:30pm. The stress and angst from missed sessions (for both of you) would be pointless when there is another way.
The best alternative would be to match what you wish to do, with your supporting lifestyle. When you can consistently get to the gym?
Shop when you can regularly make the time, select meal prep times where you are almost guaranteed to be in the kitchen etc.
And when things come up that are simply unavoidable. Roll with the punches and move on to the next day.
Losing a day is not the end of the world and there is always tomorrow…
The PERFECT Execution
“With everything in place, now what”?
Kick procrastination to the curb and just get it done! We can easily use any or all of the above as an excuse for NOT giving it a go. One thing we know for certain is fortune favours the brave.
If you have established some deep, personal goals that are important to you, have created a plan, understand the importance of nutrition, selected exercises suited to your requirements and understand the BIGGER picture, there is just one thing left to do…
Execute it as best you can but understand there will be hurdles along the way. And the great news is, a hurdle can be leapt over or walked around.
Instead of seeing a hurdle as a road block, see it as an opportunity to rise above a challenge you may otherwise have stopped at previously and continue moving forward.