Have you ever known someone who had a not so nice car and did all kinds of things to it to make it cool and “high performance”?
Obnoxious sounding exhaust.
A giant wing on the back.
Perhaps some stickers on the side.
This person spent years buying all this stuff for 100 bucks here and 300 bucks there. Every purchase they were thinking that if they just bought that new thing it was going to take their car to the next level.
What these kids found out years later was that even with all the add-ons, their car was still not cool. No matter what they did to it, their modified machine would never be high performance.
Interestingly enough, that crappy car is very similar to many people’s model of their personal fitness.
“If I just find the one or two magic exercises, I will get strong”
“If I try just the right diet, I will lose weight”
“If I start using this supplement, I’m going to see results”
These individuals get on this merry go round for years and years.
I know people who have been doing this as long as I have known them. Always looking for that tiny piece that MUST be the lacking issue to their sub-par results.
The problem is, they never find it.
I don’t always blame the person though.
You see, I have met tons of people over the years who wholeheartedly believe they could never lose weight or gain muscle.
They are convinced without question that progress in their fitness is not possible. They believe it works for others, but they think they have been genetically screwed.
For those people who do not know any better, I get why you are always hoping for that one helpful thing that will finally give you results. No one has ever shown you the light of a great program. Not to mention, the fitness industry as a whole wants you to believe success is linked to one special supplement or workout.
But for the rest of you, who are you kidding?
You have been hitting the gym for years trying to change your physique with no results yet all of the sudden you are super pumped about this new program that you are so sure is going to work because The Rock does it.
But it isn’t one time for that crowd. It’s every single month when they come up with a new scheme whether it’s a new training program, diet, or supplement.
Time to be blunt.
When a person always worries about the minor details and having things be perfect in a program, it is almost always a sign of someone looking for excuses.
Instead of buckling down and doing the work day after day and week after week they want to get hung up on whether or not their sets of deadlifts should be to failure or one rep shy.
Or should they eat paleo or primal.
Or if they have a metabolic disorder.
Or if they have hormone issues.
Or if you can eat carbs and still lose weight.
While these people were so worried about these stupid details, the guy or gal just crushing the basics has long since passed them.
People LOVE to pretend training and nutrition should be a super cool cutting edge thing.
Here’s the industry secret. Are you ready?
There is nothing that exciting about it.
Smart simplistic eating and working hard in the gym while doing almost any training program will yield results over time.
In yet people feel like advanced strength programs that have you sprinting around the gym taking 15 second breaks as you are soaked in sweat are just SO much more cool.
Or telling everyone you meet how you are “paleo” and going into detail about how awesome your diet is. Yet again, sounds SO much cooler.
What’s more humorous is when these overly dogmatic lunatics that are dedicated to one diet think that it is impossible to eat too much food as long as it is healthy.
I have a friend who hired a girl to cook his meals for him.
He told her the macronutrients (protein, fats, carbohydrates) he wanted to hit and she told him that would be no problem.
Well, unfortunately little miss know-it-all thought she was a diet expert and that it is impossible to overeat on “healthy foods.”
She loaded up his meals with “healthy carbs” and “healthy fats” far beyond his chosen macros.
What happened to my buddy’s body fat?
He went from 10% to 14% within a couple of months.
Let’s be very clear about this.
You can overeat into a caloric surplus with ANY food, be it “healthy” or not.
That is another reason you have to be careful if you choose not to count macronutrients.
Example: You are trying to lose weight.
Think about if you ate very clean foods for a month straight. You didn’t go off plan one time in four weeks and at the end you lose one pound.
You never felt like you were overeating.
You never ate beyond being full.
And you worked out 4 days per week.
But, you lost one pound.
That’s enough to make a person say screw this noise, I’m done eating like this, it doesn’t work!
But, think about this.
Let’s say that you burn 1500 calories per day. It is reasonable to say that eating 1500 calories per day would feel “good”. You would feel content with food and feel like you were eating healthy just as we stated above.
The problem is, if you eat what you burn every day you will not lose weight.
Add in the calories burned in the workouts and you maybe drop a pound over the four week period.
My point is, do no put so much weight on doing the perfect training routine or worrying about what style your eating falls into.
Doing the basics correctly will always trump the new NFL workout you read about or any other new advanced trend.
Okay Jon, what SHOULD I worry about?
Glad you asked. I am going to make this really simplistic.
1. Hit your correct amount of calories. Figure out how many calories you burn in a day then decide what your goal is. If you want to lose weight take 20–40% off of that and hit it every day. If you want to gain weight, do the opposite, but lower the percent surplus initially as you assess progress so you avoid gaining fat. Make up all calories with primarily healthy foods.
2. Get enough sleep. Don’t skimp on this one, it matters. Plus, that episode of The Walking Dead will be there tomorrow.
3. Drink plenty of water. Relax, it isn’t that hard and will do wonders for your body.
4. Hit your workouts with intensity every time you are at the gym. Don’t come at it with 50% of yourself and expect awesome results. Bust your butt and work hard. You don’t have to be on the perfect program, but make sure you put in the work.
For now, that’s it.
Most people just love to complicate things. It makes them feel like it is cooler or will work better if it’s hard to understand or takes more effort.
They are wrong.
It’s time to stop majoring in the minors. Worry about your foundation and you will make progress.
If you have any questions or want some help getting setup, email me at: JwaltersPT@gmail.com — I respond to all emails 🙂