What’s good family,
As any of you that follow my personal blog or have me on BBM know, I was a part of Tom Venuto’s BFFM inner circle summer fitness contest. It’s basically a 14 week contest where those who show the most change win prizes. You have to use principle’s he established in his books, but for the most part it’s a fitness and wellness contest. I attribute my health research, especially finding that e-book, with helping me change my body and get into better shape.
I joined the contest because 1) I wanted the free trip to Maui and 2) I wanted to challenge myself to get better. Throughout this time period, I had good weeks and bad weeks. I made significant progress and had weeks of setback. Real life set in, with work getting crazy and life overall getting hectic. I was able to overcome it at times, and succumbed to it at others. When the contest was all send and done, I got the following results:
As you can see, I gained lean muscle and lost body fat and fat lbs, while only losing 1.2 lbs overall. I got a little frustrated because my gains weren’t up to my impossible standards, but I took a lot away from this contest that will help me in my ongoing fitness journey:
Challenging yourself is the best way to stay motivated
There were many days where I had no more f*cks to give about fitness. I was tired in the morning, and just wanted to rest. I didn’t feel like going to the gym to see “The Africans” aka my home boys who lift boulders and runs cardio like a pride of lions mistook them for a gazelle. However I knew that I would need to motivate myself, so I set weekly fitness goals and tried my best to achieve them. I would normally treat myself to a snack, or buy something that isn’t within my budget (._.). When I would see that the goal was met, it only hyped me to keep going. I wanted to lift more than the previous week, run farther, and exceed expectations.
Record your progress
I can’t stress this enough. We don’t see results on a daily basis and this will cause us to get frustrated. The best way to track your progress is to record EVERYTHING! Keep a food journal, writing down everything you eat and drink, and its nutritional property. it will help you focus on eating right, and see where you need to cut or increase calories and nutrients.
Record your workouts. Write down the exercises you perform. For weights/calisthenics, write down your reps and weights used. This way, you know your threshold, and can accurately determine how much weight to use on the same exercise the following week. If you run, record the number of miles. Use Nike+ or one of those other apps to document the duration and length of your cardio workout. Write down your goals, and read them throughout the day. Mental focus is as important as physical effort. Take pictures and measurements weekly. I was shocked when I saw pics of me in 2010 and now. It’s like night and day! I made a lot of progress, but didn’t “see” it initially. Keeping tabs on all your progress invigorates you and motivates you to be your best!
Setbacks happen. Overcome them.
I emotionally eat when I’m under severe stress and don’t work out. I missed workouts. I had wack workouts. I was discouraged, but I didn’t quit. There’s no need to quit. No one wins all the time. No one reaches their goal on the first try all the time. Your fitness failures will serve as a blueprint on the pitfalls you may encounter, and how to overcome them in the future. If I know I had a bad workout, I make the next one better. If I eat like a pig for days on end, I scale back and refocus. No need to kill yourself for eating bad. Enjoy life! Just keep it all in perspective and keep the focus on your goals.
Enjoy the progress you do make
People don’t get the roses while they can still smell em – Kanye West. My homie Roxi broke this down and it made so much sense! I’ve made killer progress over the past year, but my mind is always focused on the next goal. I never sit back and say “hey this is excellent progress!”. I’m never satisfied, but this can be a negative too. If you always look for the next challenge, without enjoying the victories along the way, you will only get disappointed in the end. I read this in 48 Laws of Power (and I think Art of War too), where constant conquest can end in ruin. Think of the dictator who wants to constantly expand the empire. Eventually it becomes too much and it implodes. Think the same way about your fitness goals. Stop, smell the roses, say “I did good” and then go to the next challenge. Appreciate the small accomplishments to be better prepared for the challenges of the future.
So what lessons have you learned from fitness? any other great tips to share? Let us know, we’re always learning.
StreetZ alias P90 S
P.S. – if you want some more fitness information, or want to read about my random fitness efforts, check Streetztalk.net, my personal blog.