Everyone wants to know what the best way is to get a large and defined body. The ones who don't know always ask me what they can take. What is the best protein powder? What is the best prohormone? What is the best steroid cycle?
Who knows, I really couldn't tell you. However, I can tell you something that will yield far better results than anything you could take, and that is eliminating self-destructive behavior.
I will explain to you how to recognize self-destructive behaviors and give you 10 tips to achieve your best physique while avoiding those behaviors.
Self-destructive behavior is part of everyday life and it's everywhere around you. Things like internet porn, social media, and daily vices and habits. You probably don't even consider many of the things you do to be self-destructive. But when you recognize them you can really achieve your best physique.
Here are 12 tips to achieve your best physique by avoiding self-destruction and becoming more anabolic!
Tip #1 – Get proper sleep
Be in bed by a certain time to allow you to get a full and restful night of sleep. Whether you're tired or not, get in the bed and read a book or watch TV to get tired.
Let's start with sleep. Most people (myself included) just don't get enough sleep. One of my hangups is caffeine and it definitely disturbs sleeping patterns. Since I have cut my caffeine intake down to only 1.5 cups of coffee per day, I have noticed that I'm able to sleep much better.
Ask yourself why you're losing sleep. A lot of people lose sleep over bullshit like social media and internet surfing when they should be in bed. They are losing sleep over meaningless things and it's hurting progress in the gym. One of the biggest reasons for this is lack of social activity now. Everything has gone electronic and social media and text messaging have replaced actual human interaction, not to mention destroyed social skills among many people. That constant urge to check your facebook account just may be the need for social activity that has been replaced with technology.
Drinking alcohol can also inhibit good sleeping patterns, and so can nicotine. Not only is a 6 pack of beer bad for you on a regular basis, it certainly isn't helping you sleep restfully at night. I could drink a 6 pack of beer and then get a solid 8 hours of sleep but the next day I'm still dragging ass. Why is that? It's because alcohol may help you fall asleep but it doesn't keep you asleep in a restful state.
Tip #2 – Eat clean and healthy
When you eat, ask yourself if it's good food or bad food. (Of course cheat meals do not count, and everyone needs a reward once in awhile for hard work and dedication!)
Diet would be the next major factor. Most people eat a diet that is self-destructive in almost every way, shape, and form. Throwing your potassium to sodium ratio off on a regular basis is not healthy, and eating bullshit is a perfect way to do it.
Although I don't follow a Paleo-type diet year round, one of the first things I start to notice when I go back to Paleo eating is how much better I rest at night. And sometimes instinctive eating along with the Paleo diet can work wonders. By instinctive eating, I'm talking about forgetting the common 6-7 meals per day deal and eating only when you're hungry.
Allowing your body work the way it wants to and listening to those signals is a great way to not only get in shape fast but also improve your mental clarity. Sometimes worrying about what you're going to eat every 2-3 hrs can get old really fast, and it can become an obsessive compulsiveness that just isn't healthy.
Tip #3 – Use health supplements rather than those claiming quick results
Rather than dropping all of your extra money on common supplements, start by getting basic vitamins and supplements that promote health more than quick results. (fish oil, flaxseed oil, cranberry extract for kidney health, digestive enzymes, etc)
You would be surprised at how turning to health supplements may work far better than certain jugs of caffeine or powders claiming ridiculous % increases in 1 week. (Yes, some supplements have their place, but go with health supps before anything else.)
Tip #4 – Cut back on daily habits that hinder good results
Examples of daily habits that can hinder your results are things such as too much caffeine, over-reliance on protein powder over real food, alcohol, tobacco, internet porn, social media, procrastinating activities that promote laziness, and probably a huge list of others I can't think of off the top of my head right now. If you can avoid them then more power to you, but if not, then at the very least cut them back as much as you can!
This is when having a couple beers to unwind is not self-destructive. But drinking in excess is definitely destructive. The biggest way to combat this challenge is to allow yourself one small self-destructive thing per day. For me it would be cream in my coffee or the occasional wintergeen dip. Dipping is a horrible habit and I don't suggest it. I'm just being honest here.
I'm not perfect; I'm human just like you are. But if I can allow myself one dip per day then it helps to keep me on track. It's far better than eating bullshit or smoking and it knocks the edge off. Sometimes it may be a cigar, but at least with a good cigar I don't inhale it and it allows me to relax. But I'm not out there smoking a pack of Marlboro's and getting blitzed every night.
Yes, an occasional Michelob Ultra or a Miller Lite is something I do, but it's not enough to affect my progress. It keeps me sane and it allows me to continue on a diet without going off course. When you're eating so tight all the time it can get to a point where you just need something for you outside of the gym and health arena. If you can control this then great, if you cannot then you need to find something else.
Tip #5 – Get out of the gym to avoid monotony
Pick one day a week where you get outdoors and do some non-gym form of activity. Even if it's an activity that's not physically demanding such as fishing, it's far better for mental sanity than only going to the gym.
Last night for my cardio I hit the trails on my mountain bike for an hour. This gets me out of the gym and allows me to do something fun and active without getting burnt out on a stairmaster or a treadmill. Maybe try hiking or kayaking one day instead of going to the gym. I would pick 1 day per week where you get outside and do something active but different. This helps prevent a self-destructive behavior gym-wise and helps improve mental sanity.
Also, there is something else I want to mention about overtraining here. Sometimes what guys think is overtraining is actually the total opposite. They're tired because of day to day monotony, not the gym. You'd be amazed at how many times I felt tired and overtrained, but then went outside and did something different than the gym that day, and when I was done I felt recharged and fantastic.
Most of the time I will wake up the next day feeling more energetic than if I took the day off and did absolutely nothing. Yes, I believe in overtraining, but I also believe in day to day monotony and the mind occasionally plays tricks on us too. So get out of the gym here and there and you may be surprised at how much better you feel.
Tip #6 – Have a “therapy day”
Pick one day per week that is what I like to call “therapy day” where instead of bashing the weights you take a day to do nothing but stretch or take a yoga class, a deep tissue massage, pedicure (no, taking care of your body isn't “gay”), sit in sauna or hot tub, etc etc.
Tip #7 – Give your body a chance to detox
Pick one day a week where you try to drink more water that day. I'd also lower protein intake drastically that day. One day of low protein will not hurt you a bit and it'll give your body a chance to flush itself out and you may feel more energetic. Excessive protein can make you sluggish at times. It's good to back off and let your system catch up and flush itself out.
Tip #8 – Learn a new activity
This could be anything from taking a martial arts class to learning how to play the guitar. Learning something new can give you new excitement and motivation when things become null and mundane. Even I get burnt out with the gym sometimes.
When you're new to it all it's hard to get burnt out because results are coming much faster and it's new and exciting, but after several years of smashing iron it can often get to a point where it's harder to set goals and see yourself moving forward.
Tip #9 – Take a break from supplements or steroids altogether
I'm not talking about getting off testosterone replacement if you need it, but if you're someone who has always relied on something then it's a good idea to take a break from it. Sometimes coming off a cycle can make you feel like someone gave you your life back again.
The added stress on your body from changing or mental effects based on increased hormones are now gone. It can make you think a lot more clearly and it can give your body a much needed break. Another thing this does is it trains you once again to do the best you can with just food and proper training and rest.
A lot of guys become these paper tigers once they use steroids long enough. They would just assume give it up altogether if they had to quit using shit to do it. This is the biggest reason my articles focus more on nutrition and training rather than performance enhancement.
Yes, anabolics can certainly be a part of the game, but I never wanted to be one of those guys who solely relied on them for results. I started bodybuilding with practically nothing, and I can continue bodybuilding with practically nothing if I had to.
I don't want to become a paper tiger when it comes to building muscle. Even supplements can get old. Popping numerous pills on a day to day basis can get old really fast and sometimes you just need a break…FROM EVERYTHING.
Tip #10 – Set a realistic goal and a realistic gym time-frame
Let's be real here, you probably have a job, a heavy class schedule, or a family, or all three. No matter how bad you want to train like Arnold Schwarzenegger did and try to look like that, ask yourself if it's realistic.
Rather than spending a hard three weeks in the gym pounding it out for two hours a day, or doing twice a day workout routines, why not tell yourself that you will allot yourself one hour per day to smash it with your body and call it a day?
When you are in the gym and your hour is up, you call it a workout and go home. Someone who can make these kind of deals with himself is going to get far better results based on consistency alone. I've seen so many guys over the years who can dedicate themselves for periods of a couple months, but then completely fall off rather than doing something realistic.
Look at guys like Dorian Yates if you need motivation. Dorian trained 3-4 days a week and was probably in the gym for no more than 45 minutes a shot, and that was good enough to make him Mr. Olympia six times! (Of course other things were in the mix too, but you cannot discredit his training and certainly can't discredit his intensity!)
Tip #11 – Don't overtrain
Now, here is where the confusion can set in. Believe it or not, working out too much or being too obsessed with it can be self-destructive in its own way.
You can get to a point where you stop enjoying life and you become this drone. Sure, comments keep coming in about how good you look, but what does it matter if you feel like shit all the time?
Tip #12 – Take responsibility
I have trained so many people who refuse to accept their own accountability and want to blame it on the routine or what they're using and it actually has very little to do with it. They continue to live a destructive lifestyle. Sure, throwing in workouts definitely helps, but as long as they continue to self-destruct it will never happen for them.
The quickest way to get in the best shape of your life is to take responsibility for your own actions on a daily basis. Your body is like a bank account and every day you can make deposits or withdrawals. When you start taking more withdrawals than making deposits, your body gets worse. If it really was money we were talking about, you'd go broke.
An average body is one that operates like an average checking account. There are deposits and withdrawals made but the balance is always nearing zero from paycheck to paycheck. The guy who saves his money and takes responsibility for his own financial well-being will get ahead. The human body is no different.
So there is a quick list of 12 things you could start doing right now to get on the right track to getting a bangin' body! I bet if you did those 12 things for a period of 10-12 weeks you'd look like a totally different person.
Stop worrying about what you are going to use or racking your brain over stupid things and start taking some personal accountability. I understand it's hard, especially in the world we live in.
Everyone is trying to keep up with the rat race and it can be distracting at times. Find your path and stick to it!