Your training frequency. Your training style. Your macronutrient (fats, carbs, and proteins) intake throughout the day. Your meal timing. Your primary sources of food. Your supplements. Your sleep.
And what's even crazier, is that fact that many of these variables are interconnected!
Related: Does Nutrient Timing and Meal Timing Matter?
For many fitness enthusiasts, it becomes a bit confusing to understand how to best structure their program for this very reason. There are just so many different things to consider. And this causes said trainees to fall off of their program and quit on themselves far before they have reached their true genetic potential.
But there is something that we should all understand before we throw in the towel so easily. There is something that is far more important than any of the variables that I've mentioned thus far, and that's consistency.
It's no secret that building up size and strength takes time. And you need to give yourself this time. You need to be willing to put in work consistently day after day, week after week, and year after year if you really want to test your body's limits. How can you give yourself this time? How can you stay consistent?
Let's review 3 tactics that will enable you to stay on track with your fitness program, so that you can make dem big gains!
Reach Your Fitness Goals
Tip #1 - Put Training in its Appropriate PlaceEver overhear a bodybuilder talk about how he trains two times a day? 30 hours per week? Hits every body part 3 times per week?
Heck, Arnold trained for 6 hours every single day! The Austrian Oak would even put these two-a-day trainees to shame in terms of training volume.
Well, I have some news for you. You do not need to train this frequently or for this long in order to realize the benefits of heavy weight training. Different training programs work for different people, and there is something to be said for the benefits of training with high volume, but the fact of the matter is that you do not need to turn training into a full-time job in order to maximize your genetic potential!
I for one, only work out for 1.5 hours per workout (this is all that I have time for) and take a day off every week. I know IFBB pro bodybuilders that only train 4 days per week.
Training does not need to be the only priority in your life. Some of you have jobs. Some of you are raising families. Some of you are in school and have homework to do. Whatever it may be, learn to strike a balance and put training in it's appropriate place.
Plan around your commitments. Figure out how many days per week it is feasible for you to train, how long you can train per session, and ensure that you maximize this time.
By feeling obliged to turn training into a full-time job, you may find that you lose enthusiasm for the sport. You may lose motivation. It may not even feel fun anymore at that point. And, if you're not in it mentally, you won't be into it physically either.
#2 - Find Your Sweet Spot on the "Bro Food"-IIIFYM SpectrumLet's define some things here.
"Bro Food" Food eaten primarily by members of the fitness community. They generally consist of high protein, high fiber, fats and carbs. These foods are mostly healthy foods that help the fitness person lose weight, gain muscle mass or both. Examples of bro foods include: chicken breast, white rice, sweet potato, raw almonds, tilapia, lean cuts of beef, spinach, etc.
IIFYM This is an acronym for "If It Fits Your Macros". This is a dieting methodology that enables a trainee to eat ANYTHING that they want, so long as it fits into their total macronutrient distribution (the grams of fats, carbs, and proteins that they consume) for the day.
The ideology reasons that the body will take a carb from a donut the same way that it will take a carb from white rice. This dieting methodology has gained traction as it enables trainees to eat yummy treats instead of resigning themselves to what would traditionally be considered "boring diets".
I should preface this by saying that I prefer to follow a mostly bro food diet. While I do not think that it will make a huge difference in terms of body composition whether you do bro foods or IIFYM, I do believe that there are long term health benefits to consuming bro foods, as they are often high in micronutrients (vitamins and minerals).
That being said, yummy foods are - well - yummy.
Shomo Das presents 3 tips to help you stay on track.
We've discussed that you don't want to burn out with regards to your training; and the same thing applies for dieting! Try to stick to nutrient dense foods when you can, but don't feel bad about yourself if you have a slice of your sister's wedding cake. You want your diet to be sustainable, and in order for it to be something that you can follow consistently, it needs to be shaped around your lifestyle.
Don't feel as though dieting is all or none, that you can only eat eggs, chicken, and spinach if you want to put on size and strength. There's a balance to strike between these two concepts, and you need to find where that balance falls for you!
#3 - Surround Yourself with Like-Minded IndividualsThey say that you're the average of the 5 people that you spend the most time around. So ensure that you are surrounding yourself with people who support your fitness journey, people who will continue to motivate and empower you to chase your fitness dreams.
If you surround yourself with negative energy, it can cause you to fall off of your programming. But if you surround yourself with positive influences and support, it'll be easy for you to do the things you need to do in order to get into the gym and hit your meals.
I know that a huge part of the reason that I have realized my success in fitness has been due to the fact that I thoughtfully choose to be around people that are behind me and my ambitions. I know that this is something that will be critical for you as well!
Well, there you have it; 3 tips to help you stay on track with your fitness program! Now spend some time to think through this. The question you need to be asking yourself is "how can I fit training into my life?", not "how can I shape my life around training?"
I hope this was a helpful read for you! If you want more tips, feel free to connect with me on social media.
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