Here’s a little animation I made to illustrate the hierarchy of importance of different elements and how when they are all stacked up together they lead to success in your training related goals.
Especially online, most people just like to debate, argue and bicker. When talking about what people need to do if they want to get into shape, lose weight, be healthy, or whatever… people will latch on to some idea that they read about, some thing that they personal found helpful, and make it out to be an all important necessity that everyone else seems to be missing because they’re just not quite smart enough to get it.
In reality these points are fine tuning at best, possibly beneficial if you have all of the more important bases covered already, but for new people looking to get started with a fitness goal or a healthier life style they only serve to over complicate things and take people’s focus away from what’s really important.
What’s really important is just simply establishing the habits of turning up to the gym and putting in your best effort, regularly. People like to throw around words like discipline, commitment, will power and so on, but enthusiasm is really what it takes to get people into training regularly and consistently, and to work to the best of their ability while they’re in there.
What people seem to miss is that you can’t guilt, shame, pressure or coerce someone into feeling enthusiastic. Sure, a lot of people will begrudgingly show up once in a while because people are on their back, making them feel bad about the shape they’re in, telling them they are lazy or whatever else. Consistently though? Is that sort of negative motivation likely to get people showing up regularly and really getting stuck into training? Absolutely not. People need to be enthusiastic. They need to actually want to train, want to see results, and have a good reason to believe that they will be successful.
As we talked about recently on facebook, when you consistently turn up and train enthusiastically to the best of your ability, the sky is the limit. Providing of course that you are actually working to an effective training and fueling strategy. This is the missing piece of the puzzle for most people, and it is the crucial foundation that everything else depends upon.
Many people will get enthusiastic, show up and try their best… but that enthusiasm soon wanes if they do not see progress in terms of their performance or condition. It goes without saying that turning up and putting in the effort is crucial, but how are we applying that effort? With an effective training strategy that we can expect to produce results, or is it just effort for effort’s sake? “Burning calories” and so forth?
You require both an effective training strategy, and the appropriate fueling strategy in order to see the benefits of training. On the fueling side we are really just talking about getting enough, but not too much of everything that we require, including total energy aka calorie intake.
Being enthusiastic and actually turning up regularly to train with a good program, while appropriately fueled to perform, recover and adapt… you will see results. These results mean your performance improves, your condition improves, and you’re all the more inspired. Having so much momentum at this point, this is where fine tuning can come into things on an individual level, as you find what works best for you in terms of exercise selection, meal timing and frequency, choices of foods that make it easier to hit more precise macronutrient targets, and so on.
Again, these “fine tuning” items are really down to what makes it easiest and most enjoyable for each individual to stay enthusiastic and consistent. Too often people will take those personal, individual preferences and try to make them out as all anyone else needs to be focused on, when in actual fact they might be the least suitable, least convenient things for someone else that only makes them less enthusiastic and less consistent as they struggle to put it all together.
Bottom line: being enthusiastic about showing up regularly to train to the best of your ability with any decent training program and a suitable fueling strategy to meet your individual requirements will take you a hell of a long way.