You may not need better methods.
Tennis Grandmaster Martina Navratilova once said something profound:
"Most people already know what to do … the real problem is that they do not."
Well, methods play a role. It's just that for most of us, the sub-optimal methodology is not the bottleneck for further progress. What keeps most people from realizing their true potential is their lack of commitment to the methods they use.
If you examine the methods that are used by successful people in the gym, you can not help but notice that there is very little congruency with the exercise and nutrition programs they use.
Some lifts use full-body splits, while others prefer upper-lower-split, bro-split or even push-pull-leg plan. Some never fail, while others always do. Some use low repetitions, others high repetitions.
Nutritionally, many successful men swear by intermittent fasting, while other equally impressive guys eat 6-8 meals daily. Shawn Baker, the pioneer of the Carnivore diet, is over-occupied and may move 405
On the surface, the training and nutritional strategies used by high performers seem to have nothing in common, but if you dig a little deeper, you find the common thread. More about this soon.
Incidentally, science seems to confirm all these anecdotes. Recent research has shown that in terms of muscle growth, it does not matter how many repetitions you perform per set. Other research suggests that the type of workout you use is not very important as long as optimal weekly volume markers are achieved.
Nutritionally, the scientific consensus on fat loss is that any diet that allows you to achieve a diet calorie deficiency will work well. For some people that means IIFYM, for others, a bodybuilding inspired approach to clean eating is best. Hell, Iowa, Science Teacher, John Cisna, lost 37 pounds in 90 days and ate nothing but McDonalds, and his cholesterol struck.
Shift the guilt to yourself
A final thought about our obsession with finding optimal methods. The reason why we are endlessly searching for the "perfect" diet or exercise program is that it puts the blame for our lack of progress on something external. In other words, it is not our fault that we are not progressing; It is the fault of the program.
Here's an inconvenient reality: your program is not the problem – your inconsistent and lackluster commitment to the program is the problem. In other words, if you expect dramatic changes next year, you need to change your behavior.
Behavioral Change: The Ability to Delay Satisfaction
Sometimes in life, to absorb it and endure the hardships of making decisions immediately pays off; B. Discharge after three o'clock in the morning after waking up with severe pain and vomiting blood into the emergency department. When it comes to exercise and nutrition, however, you must postpone the instant gratification to receive greater rewards.
The ability to delay immediate gratification could be the textbook definition for lifelong success. In the test known as the "Marshmallow Test", researchers in the 1960s measured self-control in children. Preschoolers were told that they could either eat a marshmallow immediately or wait indefinitely and be rewarded with an extra marshmallow.
Thirty years later, these individuals completed a survey on their current body weight and, of course, the subjects. Those who were most likely to delay satisfaction as a preschooler were the most likely to maintain a healthy body weight as adults.
Making Future Rewards: 3 Strategies
It seems likely that the ability to do so may be somewhat genetic (and perhaps also marked by early childhood experiences); there are certain actions we take all can do to improve this vital skill.
1 – Find Your Flow Zone
In terms of exposure to difficulty, you must be in the "flow" zone, as described by psychologist and bestselling author Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. In terms of performance, if you do not work hard enough, there will be no change because the stimulus for the change is inadequate.
If you work too hard on the other hand, you will not be able to sustain your efforts long enough for meaningful change to take place. Between these two extremes lies the "Flow Zone" – the sweet spot where your efforts are both meaningful and sustainable.
2 – Reduce the friction between you and your targets
In an old Seinfeld episode while you're pouring a bowl of cereal Jerry remarked, "Why do we keep the bowls in the closet and the spoons in the drawer? 'We always use both together!'
What Jerry lamented was a kind of "friction." Every thing, person, mindset, or environment makes it harder than necessary to behave in ways that best support your goals. Common examples are:
- Optimal food is not always within reach.
- Often suboptimal food is within reach.
- Your gym is too expensive, too far away, poorly equipped and / or too full.
- Your sleep quality is unnecessarily poor for a variety of reasons. These include too much light or noise, a cramped bedroom, a crappy bed, conflicts with the person sleeping next to you, stress from untidy obligations you or other people and / or excessive stimulants.
- People who do not provide support in everyday life.
- Generalized stress and fatigue – you hate your job, your marriage fails, you are too much in debt. I have health problems … stuff like that.
Think of a time when you did not train or eat according to your goals. What special, unnecessary source of friction has deterred you? How could you prevent a similar derailment in the future? And how can you generally design your life to better support your goals?
Just like the success, a failure also leaves clues. Search and learn from them.
3 – Take Social Support
Social support is a key feature of successful behavioral programs such as Weight Watchers. If the people closest to you are not supportive, or even worse, run counter to your goals, you will probably get less.
The range of social support in your life can not range from any significant human in your life to most or all people in your life who are totally hostile to your fitness goals. Both are not optimal.
If you live in a social vacuum (indicating deeper problems, but this is T Nation, not Psychology Today), make friends with God and restore contact with your long-lost family. If there are people in your life, great … but take all necessary steps to get them on board, at least with your training goals.
If nothing else, take a coach (local or online) or yourself a workout partner. If this is not possible, you should at least participate in and participate in online training communities, which may be important in the absence of real relationships.
Although we consider lifting as a solo pursuit, the presence of supportive people in your life can make the difference between success and failure. It's worth taking the time to assess your social capital for potential improvements.
Delaying Immediate Satisfaction: The Mastery
There are times when the training provides immediate rewards – you get a pump, an endorphin boost, or a new PR. But for the most part (and the more experienced you are, the more so) when it comes to your training efforts, meaningful results take time.
If you look at the diet, good food offers absolutely no immediate reward. Every time I hear someone say, "Wow, I just had a kale smoothie and I feel incredible!" I know they are totally shitty because kale tastes like ass.
Do you know why you feel amazing (in the short term, mind you)? Pizza. Ice. Burger pancakes. I mean, please The goal is, of course, to forego these immediate pleasures, to later receive larger and more meaningful rewards.
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