This is not going to be one of those articles that lets you into my “secret to six pack abs” or about some “secret diet ingredient” that will magically transform you into a 22 year old sex machine. This is going to be one of those articles where I figuratively grab you by the back of the neck and force you to take a good long hard look in the mirror because in that image you will truly see why you are not where you want to be. Short, simple, and to the point. Here ya go:
1. You listen to too many f*ckin people
There once was a time when we were living with a shortage of information. We used to have to go to these places called libraries, where we would find these rectangular objects called books. Then we would have to open them and decipher what they were saying by reading the symbols on the paper inside them. Ok, I’m being a dick. Sorry. Anyways, as you may have noticed, there are currently hundreds if not thousands of fitness professionals on the internet trying to sell you information. Much of this information is actually not different from one trainer to the next, but each has their own little spin or “secret” that they focus on to sell you their programs. Here’s the reality: most fitness programs will work in that they will give you some benefit over remaining sedentary all day long. So what’s the problem? Hardly anyone sticks with them for the long term. Programs are considered temporary periods of behavior rather than complete adaptations of lifestyle. As such, people jump from program to program searching for easier solutions. I’ve got news for you: none of this is meant to be easy, even if its an “easy” program, you have to stick with it in order for it to work. The bottom line is this: if you want to be fit, you have to live fit. That means picking a program and sticking with it for the long term.
What’s my solution? Unless you are a pro athlete that requires a team of trainers, stick with one. If you don’t have a trainer or can’t afford one, find a program, research it before you start it, and stick with it for one year. Regardless of the program, there is a high chance that you will come out of that year more advanced than you were when you started it.
2. You really aren’t dieting.
I hear so many people telling me that they “eat clean” or that they “follow a diet” and yet they complain that they haven’t made progress in months or years. The problem? The words “most of the time” often follow “eat clean” or “follow a diet.” Now, I’m not saying that you have to be 100% good 100% of the time, but most diets will not work unless you re on them at least 95% at least 5 or 6 days out of the week. That means those of you who follow a “gluten free” diet but have bread once or twice a week, or those of you who go high carb – low fat, but eat bacon several times a week are not really following any real diet. You are simply pretending and lying to yourselves. Regardless of what diet protocol you are following, whether it is vegan or Atkins, you need to be following it most of the time in order for it to work. If you are not, then you have no one to blame but yourselves.
3. You are putting no real effort into cardio
I will say this in no uncertain terms: regardless of who you are, you have no business skipping cardio altogether. All of us require some degree of general physical preparedness in order to train at optimal levels by increasing our work capacity. This is the ability to do more stuff to full intensity. This requirement will be greater for some than for others, but regardless of how easy or how little you do of it, you will need some form of cardiovascular exercise to burn fat, unless you are using performance enhancing substances. Cardio does not only burn fat – it improves blood flow, insulin sensitivity, and cardiovascular health. Being healthier each of these areas is a prerequisite for building more muscle. Stop complaining, and get it done.
4. You aren’t drinking enough water
Nothing will keep fat on you more than chronic dehydration. Ok, well maybe eating fast food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner might be more fat inducing, but hydration remains important. You cannot burn fat optimally during a workout unless you are primed with water. It fails my reasoning ability when I see people spending hundreds of dollars a month on supplements but drinking little water through their day. Here’s the real secret: hydration actually helps with fat burning (unlike many popular supplements, and its free! Drink at least half your body weight in fluid ounces, plus ten ounces if you are following a rigorous training program. Actually, you better be following a rigorous training program if you are reading this article – so that means every one of you should be doing this.
What’s the best part about everything I mentioned? Its all something you can easily can do, and its free! You don’t have to spend any money to do any of this! So get on with it!