Diet and exercise, the two equal parts of any healthy lifestyle. So far I have mainly looked at diet so to change things up I have decided to look at the fitness side of my life. As I have mentioned before this has never been as much of an issue for me as following a healthy diet has been. For the most part I have always done some form of exercise and on top of that I have a very active job. This is partially the reason I have gotten away with such a bad diet for so many years. I balanced out my unhealthy eating by simply working out more. Not exactly the balance I was looking for but it was working to a certain degree. Generally it was giving me the desired aesthetic results that I wanted but it didn’t make me feel great on the inside and I could never achieve the optimum levels of fitness or appearance that I was aspiring for. I could get down to a low body fat that most people would be happy with but it would mean putting some serious hours of effort in at the gym to get there.
Why not make it easy
So why wouldn’t I just sort my diet out. Like a lot of people I have always loved the wrong foods. I still do now. I knew they were wrong but that didn’t stop me from wanting them. It was like an addiction to the sweet stuff and I had found that by working out hard I could get away with it. Well at least on the outside. The other aspect that wasn’t working was that I would go through cycles. Because I would be working out so hard I would soon lose interest or motivation especially as I wasn’t seeing the optimum results and soon my interest in the gym would slowly decrease. I would still go but a lot less frequently and spend most of my time when I was there wandering around pointlessly. It would stay like this until the man in the mirror started to look much more rounded or I watched a certain montage filled movie about a boxer that would kick me back in to high gear. And this is how it would go time and time again.
Following a programme
Things did change however one winter when I started to follow a set training plan. This gave me a regimented structure that I could follow and also as it was set by a friend some accountability if it wasn’t being done properly. It did get me in to quite possibly the best shape of my life but once I had finished the programme I didn’t bother to get a new one. I was content with my new physique and settled for not doing anything as though I would stay like this without any more effort and just like any yoyo I went back as far I had come. In fact I went back further. From being in the best shape of my life I slowly deteriorated in to the worst shape. Just like you don’t notice the small improvements in your body you also don’t notice the small amounts of degradation. It will come to a point where either someone will make a comment or you will see a photo of yourself and only then will you suddenly realise something has slipped. I was quite content to look in the mirror and see through rose tinted glasses what I had previously achieved and not give a moment’s thought to skipping the gym or half heartedly working out.
The other upside to this program was that I was training smarter. I wasn’t just turning up at the gym and then just picking the first machine that was free. I had a specific set of exercises that I needed to complete and a general focus for my session. I knew what I needed to do, when I needed to do it and also how much. I was logging everything from times and distances to weights and reps. I had a much better gauge of any progress I had made. I had decreased my volume of training and I was benefitting from it immensely. Focusing on technique and proper recovery opposed to lifting as much as I could as often as I could. What I was doing was giving my body time to properly recover. As I said above yes I did drop off the gym after the programme was completed but whilst I was on it I followed it to the letter. Like most things it comes down to structure and planning. I had clear goals and knew how to get to them. The problem was that I just didn’t reassess or set new ones once I had reached them. But I had learnt from the experience. I needed structure to be successful
So going from my best shape to my worst was one of the contributing factors in me trying to find my own healthy lifestyle. Trying to use all of the little bits I have learned over the years and piece them all together. So firstly I know I need structure, so my plan is to put together a training schedule that allows me to get the right amount of exercise in with adequate rest to allow my body to recover and develop. I will also look at training smarter by using more refined technique that focuses on the specific goals that I am looking to achieve. The final aspect that I am going to incorporate is maintaining the right mental attitude towards working out. Keeping my mind on what I am doing and why I am doing it, as opposed to using my workouts as just another time to socialize or play on my mobile phone.
So finally if you’re going to train properly your mind has to be in the right place. Know what you are there to do and execute it properly
I will post my proposed training schedule online in the coming weeks and also try my best to get a long over due progress shot.
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