If you’re training with enough consistency most people can make progress in the gym. Train a little harder, eat a little less (or more – depending on the goal) and MOST will see something change.
But after working with over 200 men looking to get in the best shape of their life, the willingness to work hard is certainly not the one thing holding them back.
I can’t tell you the number of guys I talk to that say “yeah things are going well, I just can’t seem to drop that last bit” or no matter how hard I work I feel stuck at X weight (either bodyweight or bar)”.
I have nothing against slinging some heavy weights around and/or knowing how many calories you are consuming, but both these things need to become a passenger rather than the DRIVER of your focus.
So today I want to pull back the curtains and dive into three aspects that I coach and teach that are crucial elements of mastering your own body and making the most of your training and efforts towards becoming MORE.
Secret #1 – Performance Second
I have done a TON of articles, talks, and videos on how this one shift alone will change your life and how society is conditioned into looking for the quick fix and masking the problem rather than actually fixing it. But today I want to focus not on why, but the WHAT to change.
To simplify this as much as possible we are going to use a high-performance car as an example. In order to get the most out of a sports car on the track, we are not going to leave old oil in it, leave it grubby and fill it with just regular 95 octane petrol are we?
We are going to strip it back after each track day, change the tires, add clean fluids, 98 octane (or something more special I’m not aware of) and make sure everything is in pristine order before we push its limits on the track again.
Sure we could probably get away with not doing this for a couple of rounds but our engine wear and performance will soon suffer, or the engine might just fully crap itself…
So, if we bring this back to you and your high-performance body (upgrade your standard of what you think of yourself first by thinking of it like this). Where do you think you might be masking the problem and just hopping back on the track and making sure everything doesn’t break?
You might say you have your shakes and supplements and that you’re all good… but here’s what I’ve seen.
What most people are doing without realizing that it is slowing them down or even STOPPING their progress:
- Pre-workouts and multiple coffees a day to keep up with the pace of their day-to-day commitments – if you need more than 100mcg to wake up, there’s an issue.
- You’ve been on the same program for more than 6 weeks or working the same training stimulus for more than 10-16 weeks (most people stick to what they like even if it’s different programs)
- The only exercise you do is in the gym, there is no intention to exercise, breath or move outside.
- You’re unaware of your breathing patterns and stress and of its implications on recovery, posture, focus, and PERFORMANCE.
- Locked into a set plan that says they MUST train on these days, you’re not able to bring AWARENESS to when to push and when to hold off.
- You’re unaware of how muscles move, how much range YOU can actually control rather than how an exercise “should” look.
These are just a few…
Awareness of the problem is always the biggest step, most people are blindly following the masses and the industries marketed messages without realizing that it is a very lucrative loop for them while keeping you stuck and from feeling great in your own skin.
So like I said this isn’t by any means a complete list but pay attention to these little things first and you’ll start to uncover how much an impact this has over time. Compounding can be a beautiful thing.
Secret #2 – Timing & Specificity
Any comedian knows that it’s ALL about the timing. You can’t just blurt out that slightly edgy joke at the start of the night, you need to build towards that.
If someone catches your eye at the bar (or at the gym more like… lol) you’re not going to walk right up to them and ask them to marry you.
So we know timing is important, and for guys and girls trying to maximize their performance, effectiveness and results, SPECIFICITY is key.
Now if you’re just happy being average, following an IIFYM diet and following free programs while you just “figure it out” will be just fine…
But if you’re all about living life to its fullest, feeling great in your own skin and having the drive to improve by 1% every day, these details matter.
So, one action step to highlight is nutritional timing. For the sedentary individual, this is unnecessary, for the individual that gets off his arse and is striving to be more, this is ESSENTIAL.
One phrase that comes to mind is: breakfast of champions
Unfortunately, this is usually followed by oats and protein shakes… and unless you’re 18 or under 10% body fat already this is likely a terrible option.
So one area I focus my attention on with clients will be, is this client metabolically flexible?
Meaning do they have the ability to use carbs OR fats as fuel to improve energy, recovery, and muscle-sparing?
If yes and at a reasonable body fat? Great we can probably add more carbs
If no? Higher fat and lower carbs in the first half of the day will likely be beneficial.
Now… obviously, I dive deeper than that and I work with my client to find the optimal ratio however this a great starting point.
Secret #3 – Holistic Integration
If you have read through the first two steps, by now you are starting to see how this puzzle fits together.
It’s not just macros and dumbbells, it’s not just working harder. It’s how can you bring more awareness and strategy to the adjustments you make so that you can be intentional in your actions.
So with this final stage, I want to bring it all together by helping you identify what is holding you back, because it’s likely different from what you thought at the start.
Most think its a training or diet problem, and it may be part of it. But the biggest thing holding you back is the habits you have fallen into, and ultimately WHY you fell into those habits.
I could write a whole other article on this WHY, and I likely will. But essentially this why is built around the standards you hold of yourself, your IDENTITY you hold for yourself.
This is something I have observed with so many people I get on a call with. The ones that respect their time and hold themselves to a high standard are intentional in moving forward with their goals and go a lot further simply because they quiet the mental chatter and focus on taking a step closer towards their desired outcome.
The ones that are stuck and CONTINUE to stay stuck, are the ones that would rather fluff around with free programs and e-books and try to “figure it out” rather than get clear on the steps needed to move forward.
This relates to EVERY aspect of your life, if you’re stuck in your old identity, you will find a story or an obstacle that will keep you in that rut. If you face the facts and upgrade that identity, you will upgrade your story, upgrade your habits, and you’ll find a way around that obstacle.
If you’ve upgraded the story you tell yourself and you’re ready to start making intentional steps in the right direction towards a more capable, lean, athletic and fulfilled human, let’s get on a call and construct your next steps!