I'm sorry if I step on toes with this one, but in this politically correct world where the truth is hard to come by, it's easy to get opinions that make you feel good about yourself. While I do want you to like who you are, I will not say what people want to hear if it's not the truth. I say what they need to hear. So if you have been working out for a few months and don't like what you see, there is a problem with what you are doing. Here are some of the things it could be.
1. You don't eat 5-6 times a day. I hear it all the time, "I can't eat that much or I will get fat". Well, you're already fat so why don't you try it my way. Eat 5-6 times a day to get the nutrients you need to build muscle and speed up your metabolic rate. You're not going to make it through result producing workouts on two twinkies and some fruit roll ups.
2. You're eating too many carbs in the evening. You should taper off your carbs towards the end of the day. Use these energy gems to fuel your workouts and get your day started. There is no need to eat lots of carbs if you're just going to bed. They will be stored as fat.
3. You chump out on your cardio. Don't think that just getting on the treadmill will do it. You need to sweat and you need to breath hard. If you do 30 minutes of cardio and your shirt isn't wet, you have been fooling yourself. Get your heart rate to at least 60% with the goal of 70% for some real results.
4. You don't drink a gallon of water a day. Lack of water decreases performance and reduces protein synthesis. Not to mention the multitude of other systems that need water to work at peak efficiency.
5. You think you can get away with eating junk. You can't. Have a cheat day, don't have a cheat week. You are not a special genetic phenomenon. What makes others fat will do the same to you in time.
6. Your workouts are pathetic. I see 80% of the gym just going through the motions. I also see 80% of the gym that never get any results. Work hard, it has to burn and pump. Don't back off when you feel tired, push through. You will only get out what you put in. That's not just a cliche, it's so true. Exceed your bests, push for new heights. The reward is there if you can put in the effort.
7. You are sporadic. You go some days and some days you don't. Sometimes you follow your diet, but not always. You like certain body parts and you only work hard on those. Do or do not. Halfhearted efforts will bring half assed gains.
8. You pick the easy exercises. You like cable curls but have never done a squat in your life. The seated row machine is comfy so you never do dead lifts. Harder is better. There are no short cuts.
9. You lie to yourself. This is the real reason. I hate the words "I must have a thyroid problem" and " I don't have the genetics, or I could be skinny too". Knock it off!! If you have a problem then go to the doctor and get it fixed. If you don't then you're just making excuses. Claim responsibility for your own lack of effort. The other reason is mock ignorance. People know what works. People know when they should or shouldn't be doing something. If you really don't, ask me, that's what I do. Don't however waste my time by not following the advice you asked for. There are enough books and mags out there that no one should be in the dark on the fundamentals. You know where you are slacking and until you fix that area, don't expect anything to change. If you keep doing what your doing now, you will always look the way you do.
10. You still use the words "if only". Lots of great things could have been accomplished in people's lives "if only".
Find out what's wrong and change it. Change it now. Time waits for no person and there is no time like the present. When you finally get really fed up with your current state and stop fooling yourself, you will get the body you want.
Important note: Sometimes people are sick and don't even know it. I had one client that despite some areas in motivation and diet that did need attention, he still didn't make the forward progress he should have. Upon closer inspection (because this was really bugging me!) his doctor found out he was borderline diabetic. So once we had explained away the poor energy levels and why he especially couldn't get away with the late night cheat meals, things are back on track. So if you feel something is wrong even though your pre-workout checkup came up clean, keep asking until you find an answer.
Copyright 2006 Raymond Burton
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