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How Hard Do You Really Want to Train?

How Hard Do You Really Want to Train?

Toned arms! That’s what I want!

I really want my stomach to be flatter!

I want to lose 10 pounds!

No, you don’t. If you really WANTED any one of these, you would do what was necessary to achieve it. You merely WISH that these goals could be achieved.

However, it’s not your fault (it is, but I felt like being an asshole). Most of us grew up in a world where instant gratification is all we know. We enjoy our social media feeds being updated in less than a second. People shouldn’t have to wait on their food because they might miss an Instagram post by a person who will be famous for five minutes. Maybe you can’t get in that training session after work because watching someone get kicked off “The Real Housewives of…” (just name a city, there are probably 147 of these damn shows) makes you feel better about yourself. Perhaps, having more discipline is the answer to your problems Well, it’s not.

The Myth of Discipline

World-renowned strength coach Charles Poliquin introduced most coaches, trainers, and athletes to “The Myth of Discipline.” Coach Poliquin stated the following that I believe to be true:

“There is no such thing as discipline. There is only love. Love is the most powerful creative force in the universe. You are the result of what you love most.”

You either love finely-etched muscular abs more than donuts, or you love donuts more than washboard abs you could do your laundry on. It’s as simple as that. Don’t beat yourself up that you have no discipline or further drown yourself in a sea of refined carbs out of guilt. Admit that you like crappy food more than you love strength.

After 45 days of dieting down and training hard (only two cheat days), I had my first beignet ever on a three-day vacation eating binge. It could have spiraled out of control and I felt like shit. I planned to eat like that for those days and knew once I got back that the plan was to continue my training and improve my diet even more. I love my body and you should, too.

What Should You Do?

Achieving any fitness or health goal requires a few things:

  1. It must be one of your top priorities.
  2. You must train smart.
  3. You must train hard.
  4. Eat right.

It doesn’t mean that you should go to a CrossFit box five times a week and only eat chicken and broccoli. Your body would hate you. Seriously, I’m not a fan of CrossFit, but that’s a story for another day.

Make It One of Your Top Priorities

Can work and/or school get in the way? Yes. Do you need to spend time with loved ones? Absolutely. It doesn’t mean that you aren’t allowed to spend time making yourself better.

Train Smart

Training smart means training for your SPECIFIC goal. If you want to get stronger, lift heavy things (using good form, of course) often.

Train Hard

At least once a week in my FLEX Strength Development classes at CYB Training Studio in Atlanta, you’ll hear someone say, “Build tension!” I made it a point to the clients that this would be the number one focus in class. As time has passed, I haven’t had to say it nearly as much. Most of the time, you hear one client say it to another. It’s a beautiful thing to observe.

To train hard, you must be able to make a mental connection with the body part(s) being utilized in the exercise. The “Mind-Muscle Connection” is a real thing. Electromyography (EMG) studies completed on the activation of pecs and triceps during the bench press show that major muscle activity increased when subjects focused on using those specific muscles during the exercise. In other words, don’t lift weights haphazardly. Know the body parts being utilized and make sure you feel it there!

Eat Right

We all have different goals, food intolerances, and preferences. Therefore, no one should have the same nutrition plan. However, you should be eating according to your goals. Trying to lose weight? Find ways to consume fewer calories. I’m not a fan of counting calories, so incorporating different ways to eat less usually work. A couple of options are shortening your daily eating window (i.e. eating only from 8 am to 8 pm versus 6 am to 8 pm) or just staying away from processed foods.

References:

Poliquin, Charles. “The Myth of Discipline, Let Love Be Your Driving Force.” STRENGTH SENSEI, Charles Poliquin, 9 Mar. 2017, www.strengthsensei.com/discipline-myth/.

Calatayud, J., Vinstrup, J., Jakobsen, M. D., Sundstrup, E., Brandt, M., Jay, K., . . . Andersen, L. L. (2015, December 23). Importance of mind-muscle connection during progressive resistance training. Retrieved September 11, 2017, from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26700744

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