There are many great arguments for many different solutions. Let’s take a step back and remind ourselves of the foundation.
By Roger Lockridge
There is a lot of noise in the fitness industry nowadays about which training style is best, what nutrition plan you should follow, which supplements work and which don’t, etc. I’ve been following the fitness industry for almost 20 years. I’ve been working in it off and on over the last 15. I’ve seen and heard a lot which I know can be very confusing for someone who is just now taking fitness seriously.
Although there are trendy topics to cover and more popular discussions being had, let’s take a few moments to step back and remind ourselves of the facts. These are the common ground points that everyone needs to fully grasp before taking the next steps on their journeys to personal fitness success.
You Must Know What Your Goals Are
Would you travel somewhere you’ve never been without a GPS? Of course not. The main reason we start focusing on fitness is because we don’t like where we are and we need to change it. For some of us (like me) that meant getting bigger and stronger. For others, it’s about weight loss. For some people, it’s about performance for a sport or a career. Ask yourself why you are doing this. What’s your finish line? What will you consider success? This answer must be defined and approved by you. My opinion, anyone else’s opinion is irrelevant. However, you must know so you know where to go.
You Must Have a Nutrition Plan
Make sure you understand this one before you move on. There are several diets and nutrition plans out there and each have their own champions preaching why that is the correct way. The one fundamental principle they all agree on is that you must have a plan and strategy to follow. Whichever one you feel is best is the one you should go with. But don’t wing it and assume that the piece will magically fall in place. Read and get to know the plans that interest you and give it a solid chance to work.
You Must Perform Both Resistance Training and Cardio
The resistance training (with weights is most popular) is essential because it helps you break down muscle fibers and transport nutrient rich blood to the muscles. This creates an environment for recovery and growth which occurs when you eat and sleep. The cardiovascular training is important not only for fat loss but also for the cardiovascular and respiratory systems.
Doing one only will help but it won’t help you maximize your potential. Resistance training only won’t be the best way to improve endurance over the long term. Cardiovascular training on its own won’t serve your muscle building efforts very well. While there are arguments over training styles and how you should perform both, the common ground is you do in fact, need both.
Supplements Are NOT the Final Answer
There are many debates within the supplement industry about which ingredients work best and why you must take supplement “XYZ” to meet your goals. What you must understand going in is that the definition of “supplement” is in the name. They “supplement” your nutrition and training. While it matters which supplements you take to help you reach your goals, the simple fact is you can’t depend on them solely. They simply won’t replace your diet and training. So don’t think if you spend the most money on the biggest jugs you win. Supplements are like lottery tickets. Spend responsibly.
You Must Make a Mental Commitment
There is no point is doing any of this if you don’t feel you can achieve success. You must believe that the goals you want to reach are attainable and that you can make them your reality. No one would play a game if they knew they couldn’t win. You can win and you need to believe it before you play.
You also need to reinforce that mindset daily. Every day you must find a way to motivate yourself. Some days will be tougher than others. Like everything else we’ve covered, this is also individual. What has worked for me may not work for you and vice versa. What is similar is that we must do it, daily.