Anywhere you find success you're likely to find one pattern and that is a set schedule.
How successful would employers be if they didn't expect employees to have a set work schedule?
How successful would actors/actresses be if they weren't negotiating other roles while shooting a current movie?
How successful would an NFL football team be without summer camps?
In almost any successful practice there is, you can bet there is a routine that comes along with it.
Well my friends, bodybuilding is no different!
When I use the word “bodybuilding” I'm talking about anybody who is trying to strengthen, build, or better their body. You do not have to be a competitor to be a bodybuilder, and it's limited to no age category.
Can you be 75 years old and be a bodybuilder? Absolutely!
Can you be 15 years old and be a bodybuilder? You sure can!
Can you be someone who is overweight and trying to build muscle while losing body fat and be a bodybuilder? Yep!
In my book bodybuilding is an individual endeavor with individual goals. It's literally this open playing field and whichever route you choose to take is yours!
I think that is one reason the lifestyle is so appealing to me: there are no rules.
Now, lets get to the routine I'm talking about. You may be experienced or you may be brand new at this, but what I want you to do is come up with a set routine.
And trust me when I say that nobody is perfect because I stray from the routine sometimes too! But I certainly wouldn't be where I'm at if I didn't have a routine.
Right now I want you to get almost everything you've ever heard about dieting and fitness out of your head.
I want you to forget about 6 small meals/day or X amount of protein shakes per day, and I want you to figure out a routine that is realistic for you. As long as you have some guidelines here then it's going to work if you're consistent at it!
For starters, you aren't dumb; you know the difference between good and bad foods. Most of us have learned this back in grade school or middle school.
So stop acting like you just don't know!
You should also know that most places you can eat out at probably aren't the best choices. However, there are decent options if you absolutely have to!
You see, I'm a realist as well as a bodybuilder. There are people in certain professions who have to go take clients out to dinner or lunch if they want to make any money.
Telling someone to stop eating out is like saying, “Stop making money.”
But you have to be disciplined enough to make proper menu choices.
And let me tell you something, if you do this then your clients are going to notice it and respect it!
The other day I went to meet a training client who was visiting from California. I drove 90 minutes to meet him because #1) I like to travel places #2) It was near the beach and #3) I just truly enjoy helping people, and if a workout together helped him out then I was all for it.
I had no food with me at all. We met at a coffee shop first and they had nothing healthy to eat so I didn't eat there.
Aside from 3 eggs and a couple pieces of bacon for breakfast, my next meal was my post workout meal around 2 pm (5 1/2 hrs after meal #1) My post workout meal was 3 Amstel Light beers, a salad, and a shrimp burger with cheese, but no bread and no fries.
Basically my post workout meal was protein, fats, and very little carbs from a few light beers.
Hey, you want me to be honest here right? I'm being honest!
Now, I could have chalked this up as a total cheat meal since I was eating out but I didn't do that. I showed SOME self restraint. A few low carb beers? Yea, not the best thing for me, but certainly not as bad as most everything else on the menu. I'm not a fan of carb deprivation but when it comes to eating out most carbs aren't good, so you'll frequently see me going without them if I'm eating on the run.
I'm sorry, I tend to get sidetracked easily. I was supposed to be talking about a set routine right? Okay, well normally my routine isn't eating out, but I do have a life just like everyone else.
MOST DAYS I'm plugging away, disciplined, and doing certain things around the same time.
I wake up every day at 5:50 am, coffee is right after I get up, breakfast by 8:30 am at the latest (I'm usually awake a couple hours before I eat), gym time is almost always around 10 am (although it used to be 5:30 am), next meal is almost always right at 12 pm, and the next meal is some time in the late afternoon.
It's almost always this way every single day up until dinner time. After dinner I may eat just once more or maybe twice if I'm still really hungry.
Do you know how many days I go without hitting the standard 6 meals/day?
There are days I only do 4 meals/day, but it's consistently clean food.
Yes, I have a cheat meal or maybe even a free day, but it's consistent! If my cheat meal is on Sunday then I try to make the following one next Sunday.
But I wasn't always this committed. There was a time when I felt like I had to cheat twice a week.
I could see myself going 2-3 days at a time eating clean, but not an entire week. I cheated twice/wk training for a bodybuilding contest before, and still managed to come into the competition looking shredded!
The point to everything I'm talking about here is that you need to develop a routine that works for you. As you get accustomed to the routine then it's easier to push it further.
But if you went all-or-none right from the start you would probably fail and give up.
So what I'm saying is the hell with what everyone else is doing and develop your own routine that works for you! If there is any more effort than what you've been doing then how can you not get results?
It's time and it's consistency! This won't happen overnight but eventually it's going to happen.
Maybe part of your routine is a salad and a protein drink for lunch instead of McDonald's. Sure, it may not be the same thing as a perfectly weighed 6 ounces of meat and 3/4 cup of prepared brown rice at home, but if this is realistic for you then it's better than McDonald's right?
Maybe after you get used to this for awhile, you'll move on and try to eat a prepared lunch you made the night before at home.
It's this mentality right here that you need to have in order to develop a body that stands out from the rest!
So what I would do is plug in your workout time, then your meals. If three clean meals a day is where you need to start in order to be consistent, then start there.
Even a 30 minute weight routine 3x/wk is a realistic starting point. Hey, it's better than what you were doing before right?
The will to change has to overpower the comfort level of staying the same. For myself, if I'm too inconsistent with working out and/or eating, then it's easier to totally fall off the wagon altogether.
So a lot of my discipline comes from the routine itself. I guess what I'm saying is the routine itself makes it harder to fall off, rather than falling off constantly and trying to jump back on the routine.
I'm sure you may know someone who was in the military a long time ago, and to this day still wakes up at 4 or 5 am every morning.
This is a perfect example of a routine that became developed and carried on throughout life. Working out is sort of like that as well.
I laugh when people always ask me, “What are you going to do one day when you stop going to the gym?”
Like I'll ever have an answer for that!
Train hard and happy new year to everyone.
I have a lot to bring you guys in 2016 so stay focused!