We have all been there, we want to get in shape and we want to get in shape fast. Well, if you consume a lot of fitness information, different workout programs, progression schemes, lots of different exercises this can be a problem.
If you want to know why, keep reading.
I remember going online for the first time back in 2010 for fitness advice, i already had a huge interest and was going to the gym regularly. When i saw all the information available i was really shocked to see the power of the internet. Well, unfortunately internet nowadays has better information that it used to have. Back in the days a lot of myths and fitness gurus still believed in a lot of nonsense like eating 2.5 grams of protein per pound of body weight and no eating after 6 pm. You are lucky to find sites like this one right now.
Online fitness has evolved and now we have a lot of great people giving advice. For me i jumped straight into a bro split consisting on higher reps and the same program required me to take fish oil, whey protein, casein protein, glutamine, CLA, Beta Alanine, Creatine and a lot more supplements. I did make a tiny bit of progress with that program thanks to the increased volume and newbie gains. At that point i started to change my program and the advice i took from someone every 2 weeks. It was crazy! One guy said the bench press was necessary, one said that dumbbell bench is better, some said that incline pressing is the only thing to do, others that you need to deadlift, some others said dead lifts weren’t necessary. Thanks to changing my exercises and programs every week i didn’t made progress like i should in 2 years. I ended up with little to no gains thanks to listening to too many gurus. This doesn’t mean you should do the same thing forever, but for me it was counterproductive.
If your program emphasizes compound lifts with progressive overload and a solid nutrition plan. Stick to that program or at least with the basic lifts that program has. You can still listen to a lot of people, but stick to your program until you have made solid gains and you are at least somewhat happy with how you look. My advise is focus on the compound lifts no matter what, you can still include accessory exercises and variety in those but if you progress in your compound lifts you won’t stop your gains.
Make sure that you stick to the plan you are following, you will always find a guy or a study that claims a better frequency, a better exercise selection or a better training volume.
Nowadays you will be tempted to buy the ultimate program that people are getting results in 30 days. Its BS, if it is real it does not mean that will happen to you. The only muscle building secret is to expose your muscles into a new training stimulus with progressive overload.
If you are still not an intermediate or advanced lifter, focus on increasing the weight in compound exercises, you can worry about chasing the pump, higher reps, exercise selection, mind muscle connection and fancy training techniques later. Follow this advice and you will be surprised how well it works to stick to a routine for a good period of time.
Sometimes we learn in the hard way
After making some mistakes you will finally see what works and what doesn’t. The great thing about us human beings is that we can make mistakes and learn from them. The problem comes when you make the same mistakes over and over again and expect a different result. What we can do to make it easier for us is to learn form people that have already made the potential mistakes you will make. In this case take advantage on all the knowledge in this blog! It has years of experimentation in it.
What it takes to have a successful fitness journey
A lot of people over-complicate fitness, and at the end of the day fitness is pretty simple. I understand that we get passionate and even i have a lot of articles with in depth information. I also know a lot of the scientific terms related to muscle growth, recovery and nutrition. But the best overall advice i have to people is very simple. If a newbie wants to get in shape and i need to make it as simple as possible i would say this:
- Lift weights a few times per week
- Add weight when you can
- Eat a high protein diet with fruits and vegetables and eat enough
- Sleep at least 7-9 hours per day
This is actually solid newbie-friendly advice, of course i would highly advice them too to read this blog! And that way the can learn a lot more. It is all about optimization and enjoying the process. So make sure that you enjoy whatever you are doing. When people ask me about adherence i often tell them that i enjoy a lot resistance training. You need to optimize your training in a way that you enjoy it, and see that as a privilege, a privilege that you have of being healthy enough to lift weights, be active and enjoy moving your body. Training is not a punishment, it is a privilege. Training your mind will pay dividends to you in all aspects of life. What you will learn in your fitness journey will also apply in a lot of areas of your life. Once you see the results of a process you have put on work to you can now apply that mindset at work, school, relationships and almost everything.
I know this post can seem like a motivational talk, and in some way it is. I hope that you can achieve your goals with my help and the help of others. Remember that we ALL learn from someone else and you should be humble enough to be willing to learn from people. This is some of the best advice you’ll ever read about a successful fitness journey!
Do you have any experiences with this? Let me know in the comments!