So, you want to build muscle or lose weight, huh?
What are you going to do to make it happen?
Go on a fad diet, listen to your favorite celebrity “success” story, or take endless supplies of nonsense supplements?
No. Of course, not.
Please avoid these things because they won’t give you the real results you’re looking for that you want to last.
What I want you to do, instead, is rewire your thinking and perspective on health and fitness by focusing 20% of your efforts that will give you 80% of your targeted results (i.e. building muscle, losing weight, increasing mobility, etc.).
What is this 20% idea you ask?
Well, it’s the idea that 80% of your results will come from only focusing on the 20% of the things you do with a particular endeavor that will lead to getting the majority of your results.
In regards to health and fitness, the 20% are only a few things — in my opinion — but they are the most important to practice since they will give you the majority of the results you’re looking for and allow you to form good habits, and ultimately lifestyle changes that lead to incredible results that last.
The first thing I want you to do is be committed to your change (i.e. building muscle or losing weight).
Without commitment you will fail because there is no connection with what you’re trying to achieve, which will cause poor effort and consistency, lack of motivation and will to keep going, especially when you don’t feel like doing anything more. Without commitment you won’t finish your goal and will ultimately feel discouraged and even go further in the direction that you are trying to go away from. We don’t want this to happen, so understand that it’s a long-term commitment to changing for the better and it will most likely take several months, maybe a couple of years, and not days and weeks. Don’t believe that 2-3 day or week nonsense blasted over the media.
Be committed for the long haul and you’ll encounter great success and wondrous things you didn’t think you could do.
Trust me…I’m a 100 pounds lighter because of it.
The second thing I want you want to do is audit your diet.
This means that you truly look at everything you eat to know where your calories are coming from, so you can physically see the sources of your macronutrients and make the appropriate change(s) (the MyFitness Pal app is a great start for this). For example, if you drink two sodas a day, that’s drinking close to 80 grams of sugar that supply you with empty — and what some may call toxic — calories that converts to fat if not used immediately once the body processes it through its liver.
If we break it down that’s 320 calories per day, 2,240 calories per week, which adds up to 33 pounds per year!!!
Isn’t that crazy!?
I think so, and that’s why an audit is so beneficial because it will tell you where you can easily cut out calories and make healthy dietary changes, which ultimately form good eating habits.
Now, I won’t debate whether or not sugar is toxic here — although I do think there’s is overwhelming evidence that it is — but the point is that those are calories that add up fast, especially when they are so easy to consume. This is 100% avoidable, so the goal is to find a healthy replacement to take you off the soda, such as replacing it with water or a healthy zero calorie beverage (like iced tea sweetened with stevia).
(If you want to find more about sugar and it’s effects, click here and/or watch Robert Lustig’s lecture on YouTube called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth” or more recently Sugar Coated on Netflix.)
Once you complete your audit of your diet, it will allow you to make the appropriate dietary changes, like the soda example, that will accelerate your weightloss and/or muscle building. This is what we want and ultimately forming good eating habits that support you in your ultimate goal/vision for yourself. Just like you formed unhealthy eating habits you can form healthy eating habits and a dietary audit will help this happen.
The third thing I want you to do is focus on the right exercise for you.
We’re all different and we all have different goals, so finding which exercises to do and not to do paramount to achieving them. For instance, if you’re a young dude, like myself, and trying to build lean muscle and strength a powerlifting program would be a great place to start. In contrast, if you’re 68 and want to lose some weight and have a firmer and more functional body, that’s probably not your best option. Doing lots of low intensity cardio (walking, especially on an empty stomach, for example), and doing yoga and pilates for a muscle hypertrophy and mobility program, is much better for that person.
This is because we’re all different, so that’s why we need to zero in on a few particular modes of exercises (walking, weights, flexibility, calisthenics/gymnastics, yoga, sport, outdoors, etc.) to achieve it. There’s no point in investing your time in an exercise mode and/or program that ultimately doesn’t support you accomplishing your specific goals.
I love lifting weights and that’s largely because that’s one of my primary modes to achieve my fitness level I’m seeking. I want to be strong, well-built, yet mobile and flexible at the same time. That’s why I incorporate it into my training regimen, in addition to lots of functional mobility exercises (kettlebells, calisthenics, etc.). For you, however, that may not be the case. That’s why you need to figure out which modes of exercises to invest yourself in.
A great place to start is coming up with a workout or training philosophy for yourself.
It will enable you to focus your efforts, time, and energy on the right things, which are priceless. This allows you to dig a little deeper into your why (click here to learn what I’m talking about) and you’ll uncover the right foods to eat, what types of exercises you should be doing, and, most importantly, learning the value of commitment.
This was my philosophy for my weightloss journey of 100 pounds (I’ve kept it off for over 4 years now), gain 30 pounds of lean muscle, and propelled me to become a personal trainer.
That’s why I encourage you to have the same mindset and philosophy of the 80/20 principle for your health and fitness.
And, that’s it guys!
Those are my three principles that enable you to make up the 20% that’ll give you the 80% of the results you’re looking for!
But, what do you think?
What are your experiences with achieving the health and fitness you want? What’s worked and what hasn’t with losing weight, gaining muscle, training for a Tough Mudder, or whatever else you’re trying to achieve?
Tell me by leaving a comment down below.
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Until next time, be strong and be you.