For years I have been trying to figure out why I have seen some of the same people in the gym not making any progress -- yet, they are there religiously. Something just didn’t add up to me. They obviously show up everyday and get their sweat on, but why do they look the same as they always have? Then it hit me…because they have been doing the same sh*tty workout, following the same putrid excuse of a diet, and surrounding themselves with people who would rather see them look like a bag of pizza dough then achieve their fitness goals. So I headed to the lab (my 500 square-foot tuna can sized apartment) to test my hypothesis (my 7th grade science teacher would appreciate that) and see if I could offer some advice to help them out…
After some investigation I came up with a logical explanation while simultaneously figuring out the solution…
PERFECT the Basics
Contrary to what you may think, pal---you aren’t the exercise guru you think you are. (neither I am—I have OCEANS to learn and always will). Want me to prove it to ya? O.K.
Get down and give me 50 push-ups...9, 10...10…10...Nope, that doesn’t count…10…11, 12…12.
Twelve push-ups...if you want to call them that. Nice. Now maybe we can finish this warm up and start working out.
My point is: Before you start balancing on Bosu balls and hanging kettlebells from your penis…perfect the basics. Not one workout goes by where I don’t try and improve on a “basic” exercise such as the push up, squat, deadlift…whatever. And notice how I put the word basic in “quotes.” That’s because though these exercises may seem “basic,” they have been around since a barbell was a barbell and when you weren’t even a twinkle in your father’s eye.
PREPARATION in the Kitchen
Now, this doesn’t mean stocking Tupperware and carrying it around all day. If you want to, by all means, do so. It is one step further than most will take and it’s only going to help. But for those not willing to pack a G.I Joe lunchbox with 9 pieces of grilled chicken, bags of raw veggies and a note from your Mom--you should still be prepared in the kitchen.
You should be prepared to grocery shop, stock cupboards with healthy foods and cook. Yeah that’s right Guy Fieri--Cook! Though I am not sure Guy Fieri can quite cook or just talk me into thinking he can. Regardless, he has bleached tips and sweet sunglasses, which apparently signifies a good chef these days. Note the sarcasm.
So, though you may not bring your cooler to work, the majority of your meals should be made in the kitchen or found at the grocery store. It will not only make you more aware of what you eat, but it will hinder you from eating sodium infused, falsely advertised dogsh*t in disguise. The majority of what you get at a restaurant or find in the frozen food section is loaded with ‘extras’ that you don’t even know are there. Though you may think that piece of steak is lean—little do you know it was basted in garlic butter for ten minutes and marinated in a tub of bacon grease. Now, I am all for butter-infused steak, but when this happens more times than not, it’s going to effect your goal to a rippling six-pack.
Here is a STARTER grocery list that you can use as a foundation to build off:
- Free-range chicken
- Cage-free eggs
- 3 different types of green veggies (i.e. Broccoli, Asparagus, Spinach)
- Any kind of berries
- Whey Protein
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Cottage Cheese
As long as I have been involved in fitness, preaching the importance of diet and exercise is always the first thing that comes to mind.
Now, playing sports my whole life and always being competitive I found that being in a positive environment helped me perform at my best. It didn’t hit me until I began to teach others that placing yourself in a positive setting is just as important as what you put on the plate and as well as what you put on the bar.
Whether you’re trying to break a personal record on bench press, gain ten pounds of muscle or pick up that chick at the bar--besides changing your rhinestone covered t-shirt, being positive and having confidence is a major piece of the ‘fitness puzzle.’
When negativity comes along, learn how to embrace it and spin it into something positive. Most people want to bring you down, one-up you or make you feel like sh*t. Know this. Also know that the weak-willed will succumb to it, believe their bullsh*t and bring oneself into a slow demise.
The best thing you can do is go to the gym (work, home, etc) with a purpose and a goal. It doesn’t have to be something major, but something that will make you a little better off than when you came in.
Now, like I said, this is just my hypothesis…but I need YOU to put it to the test. Maybe you are making progress in the gym. You could probably use a little more right? Who couldn’t?
Use these 3 ‘Ps’ as a guideline to keep you one track whenever you feel you have hit a plateau.
Balance is the key to what makes this work. Following a kick ass program and a kick ass meal plan will get you two-thirds of the way there.
To get the rest of the way?
Well, growing a pair of balls and get your mind in the right place.