Why isn’t everyone in the gym in phenomenal shape already? How come despite our best efforts do we constantly seem to stall out and not get to where we want to be?
Well, if that’s happening to you, I’ve got 3 very-likely reason why. Read on.
1 You rev your engine way too much.
One reason, probably the biggest reason I see guys never make progress is because they get stuck in this seemingly endless loop.
It usually starts by trying to do too much, either to make up for lost time, or just because they don’t understand how long it really takes to get properly big and strong, or fit, or whatever. You see, the body is AMAZING at adapting.
Look at the shape of athletes in all sport, it’s pretty ridiculous what the human body is capable of. The thing with these adaptations is, they take TIME.
Think of the latest iPhone, its an extraordinary piece of kit, it’s so good I’m recording this video on it. Compare that to the original iPhone, that didn’t even have a camera, that by today’s standards is slow and awkward. It’s kinda crazy how much progress Apple have made with the iPhone – that progress happened over 15 years! And although the iPhone is a very complex system, it is NOTHING compared to living beings such as us… like, humans created iPhones!
Now don’t worry, you shouldn’t be looking at 15 years before you start seeing gains. But you should anticipate sticking at whichever program/routine you choose for at least 6-8 weeks, probably 3 months.
If you make that commitment you’ll start to see the exponential or marginal gains that start to come.
Gains that are usually missed out on when you’re stuck in that endless loop that I mentioned earlier. Starting by trying to do too much will only lead to you quitting, hurting yourself or getting burned out.
After a period of time being a wasteman, you’ll remember that you want to achieve something, so you’ll start again, but of course you know now what’ll end up happening.
Imagine if Apple only let their engineers work on the iPhone for a week or a month, before starting again. That would be ridiculous, but it’s what folks tend to do all the time.
You want to have the mindset of someone who’s racing one of those long-haul Top Gear type races. There’s no need to massively rev the engine at red lights. It might feel like what you’re supposed to be doing, but what’s much more important is the route you take, the state of your car and the less pit stops you have to make. Gunning it and redlining the engine at the start is only going to cost you. Get going, move efficiently, keep your vehicle well-maintained and you’ll be fine…
Make some long-term goals, and give yourself time to hit them. Go easy on week one and gradually progress yourself as the weeks go by. Before you know it, those weeks will have turned into months, and you will see the upgrades.
2 Not Focusing on the Physical Outcomes Of Training
This one actually scares me because it’s almost a completely ridiculous level of stupid. Actually, maybe I’m the one that’s stupid because I just cannot, for the life of me, wrap my head around this idea.
You see, it’s unfortunately common to see people do stuff “just because”. Like, there’s barely any actual consideration for why they’re even training in the first place outside of the fact that they’ve gotta get in shape. And there’s even less consideration for what they’re actually doing.
They just find a workout online and they do it.
Remember before I mentioned about how complex of an organism a human being is? It makes very specific adaptations to the demands you place upon it. Why a person would just place random demands on themselves is beyond me. It’s wasting precious time, effort and willpower on an outcome that is barely known or acknowledged.
Something has gone missing in the process here. Training, by definition, is pushing your body physically. It requires a good deal of effort. You should know exactly why you’re doing this effort. It should be a specific outcome you want.
If you just copy someone from social media, there’s a very good chance that their outcome is very different from yours. Here’s a super disappointing fact – a lot of these training sessions you’ll see these days are not actually targeting a physical outcome, they are there for “likes” and entertainment purposes.
The likes, I can understand, it’s just business. But the entertainment purpose is crazy. Save the entertainment for your actual performance, rugby, your sport.
Who would you rather be? The player who had “fun” in their training, but got pounded in the game on the weekend, or the guy who focused his training on the physical benefit and had fun doing the pounding.
This is not to say that there is no fun in training, it just shouldn’t really be the goal of training, at least not the primary goal for fuck sake.
If you focus on the physical outcomes you want from your training sessions, rather than just doing stuff, you’ll actually make real progress and hit your goals, which in turn is going to give you much more net fun.
If you simply want to have only fun and you don’t want to work hard, what are you doing in the gym? Go play video games or join your local 5 a side league or something. Training is a terrible method if your main outcome you’re looking for is fun.
Focus on the physical outcomes you want and train to get those
3 Distracted by The Noise
Another good reason for focusing on those physical outcomes is that it eliminates a lot of the b.s that is constantly trying to creep it’s way into your awareness thanks to social media. I’m talking about things like ice baths, massage guns, saunas, that weird exercise that guys do with the weight plate where they hold it out in front and make a quick turn each way in their Go-Kart…
It’s why it’s so important to focus on your physical outcome you want. Once you view things through this lens, you can see this stuff for what it truly is. A distraction.
If you’re standing on a wobbly board and you’re anything other than a beginner surfer – its a distraction.
If you cut your lifting short because you need to get in the sauna, you’ve been distracted.
If you’re doing a 5-10 minute metcon to get fitter in a sport that requires you to be strong and powerful for 80 minutes, you’re not focused on the physical outcomes you’re trying to achieve as a result of your training.
The thing is, on the surface this seems so bloody simple, but in practice it can be damn hard. Everywhere you look, there’s another distraction. These come about not because they are useful, but because
1 – they can be entertaining content
2 – the same message of focusing on the process doesn’t just get boring, it gets ignored.
Again, when you look at training for specific, personal, physical outcomes then you have a good chance of making sure your bases are covered with all 3 of these reasons.
With each exercises and additional thing you add into your training, ask yourself the question “what specific purpose does this particularly exercise for this amount of sets/reps/distance have towards getting me to my goal”
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to be Mr Functional here either, it’s absolutely fine if that specific purpose is “to get better arms”… just make sure that you’re not sacrificing more important goals for it, or doing 90 degree curls on a medicine ball.
For your training, less can absolutely be more if it is directed in the right way. I hope you found those 3 things useful. If you did, let me know in the comments below this post and share it with your teammates.
If you’re interested in coaching so that you can train and achieve the physique and performance you want, without the guesswork or the excessive thinking CLICK HERE and fill out the form.