As of today my wife is five days past the due date of our daughter.
It will be our first child.
Why yes, I have heard that I have no idea what I am in for from every person with children that I have come in contact with. Thank you.
I seem to hear to it multiple times each week from clients just waiting to see me go through the sleepless agony and continual challenges. Perhaps it is some kind of karma for all the workouts I have put them through.
And you know what they say about karma.
I don’t claim to know all about raising kids. How could I?
If you don’t have a pet squirrel you probably don’t know how to raise one of those, right?
But, when I think about the tactics of raising my daughter I do have a few thoughts.
- Teach things slowly
- Try not to get too frustrated
- Have patience —good things take time
- Be consistent
- Don’t take advice from every person who wants to give it
- There are many different ways to do things, choose what is best for you
- Learn from your mistakes
Like I said, I am no parental expert. My wife and I have two dogs and although they are a handful, somehow I think a kid will be a little different.
These tactical ideas that I have go much further than raising a child however.
The truth is, these are the exact same approaches you should take for any new challenge that you face — including your health and fitness.
We are all babies, really.
It doesn’t matter if you have never stepped foot in a gym or have been training for years, we all have to practice the same traits that a child does.
Making progress with your health and fitness is like being a parent and teaching things to a kid. In this case you are the parent and the kid. Or if you have a fitness coach, then you are just the kid.
Let’s revisit the guidelines from above that my future parent self came up with.
Teach things slowly
No one ever became a health and fitness expert overnight. In fact anyone with any real knowledge has had years of experience under their belt.
Take your time learning exercises and the form associated with each one. Sometimes it takes people a few sessions to nail down form on an exercise and sometimes it takes a few months.
Learn to make the muscle-mind connection and understand why certain exercises are done not just how they are done.
Everyone is different and there is no prize for the person who learns the fastest. Do what needs to be done to do it correctly and not regret it later by hurting yourself and slowing progress even more.
Try not to get too frustrated
We live in an era where everything happens now.
Right this second you get what you want and if it takes any longer than what you envisioned in your mind you get mad.
This approach will not work if you want to be successful in fitness.
Why? Because at some point you will get frustrated.
Progression in your health does not happen in linear fashion. You have to get used to the ebbs and flows of the process. Some weeks you will feel like you are killing it and some weeks you will want to say screw this.
Keep thinking about the long haul.
Have patience — good things take time
Nothing good ever happens overnight. Unless you win the lottery, but in many cases that turns out to be a bad thing anyways.
Not a business, skill, sport, or your body can become great overnight.
It takes months or years to hone the process of greatness no matter what it is.
Fat loss, muscle gain, good form on an exercise, doing 15 pullups, 50 pushups, pushing the prowler without vomiting, it all takes time.
Learn patience and trust the process.
How many games of golf do you think Tiger Woods played before he competed at the level he did at his peak?
Do you think he took every day off that he didn’t feel like playing?
Do you think he kicked his feet up and watched Netflix on days that he felt tired?
Getting good and advancing at something takes day in and day out consistency. This doesn’t necessary mean that you are physically playing your sport, working on your business, or training at the gym.
But it does mean that every single day you are doing something to bolster the effectiveness of the thing you are trying to progress in.
Eating well, getting enough sleep, drinking enough water, doing things for stress relief, etc.
You should have zero days that you are not doing things that will move you towards your goals.
Don’t take advice from every person who wants to give it
Google some fitness terms: weight loss, fat loss, muscle gain, dieting, nutrition, and so on.
Be prepared to find 14,967 different opinions.
Health and fitness is like politics — everyone has an opinion and is happy to share it with you while telling you why they are right.
The kicker is most people are stupid and really have no clue what they are talking about.
Yes, we are back to talking about fitness. Although that probably applies to politics too, but let’s not go there.
There is nothing wrong with taking some people’s thought’s and ideas into consideration and seeing if they may work for you. However, be aware that fitness is a very opinionated field and often time those opinions are not based on fact.
My Grandmother took diet pills during the entire pregnancy of one of my uncles. She gained a grand total of 10 pounds during the pregnancy.
Did it happen? Yes.
Should you follow her lead. Probably not.
There are many different ways to do things, choose what is best for you
Regardless of what you are looking to do with your health and fitness, there are different routes that can be taken.
Just like you can travel to Florida via airplane, car, motorcycle, horse, bicycle, or rickshaw, there are many approaches to fitness that will work successfully.
The concept of the perfect workout and nutrition program is 100% contextual.
There are many ways to skin the fat loss or muscle gain cat.
Many of which will work. The question is what works best for you.
If you are in a fat loss phase and in a caloric deficit you may find that intermittent fasting works fantastic for you.
Conversely, if you are bulking you might find it hard to consume enough calories during the day by not eating until lunchtime.
Just because something works great for one person has little bearing on whether or not it is the right plan for you.
Learn from your mistakes
There are a million facets to health and fitness spanning from the training side to the nutritional side.
Throughout the process you are going to make mistakes. I don’t care if you are a newbie or a veteran, there will be times when you could have done things differently and achieved better results.
Big or small, mistakes will happen.
Maybe you dropped 50 pounds doing extreme calorie restriction and cardio and in turn lost a boat load of lean tissue in the process.
Perhaps you have been doing squats wrong for months and messed up your knee.
Regardless of the mistakes you made the best part about them is you learn. That goes for the whole process in general. It can be full of twists and turns, but you will learn more than you can imagine.
Use them to get better and progress smarter.
Now, do it
Practicing the above things is not easy.
It is actually really hard.
Patience? Who has that?
Consistency? That’s tough!
You must remember, there is a reason that the people who succeed in health and fitness do so. It is because they are doing the above things.
If it was easy you would see far more people healthy and in shape.
As for me and my daughter, I am going to cross my fingers. I have no clue what I am in for, but for now I can encourage you to use my guidelines to better your own health.
If you have any questions that I can answer I would be more than happy to. I would love to help you regardless of what point you are at in your fitness journey.
Email me at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com — I answer ALL emails 🙂