You've got a new gym membership. Excellent! What's your reason for signing up?
If it's to gain muscle, you need a plan. If it's to lose fat, you should probably also have a plan. Even if you want to maintain your health through cardio and weight training, a plan will keep you on track and make the most of your time in the gym. We may start in the gym with a goal to lose 10 lbs. or increase our bench press, but how do we get there? How long will it take?
Once we have a plan we need to break that plan up into smaller pieces we can focus on daily. Those chunks are the process and the outcome can be our goal. The end result may take months or years, but those months and years are made up of days, hours and minutes. How you spend your time now will result in your goal 3 months or more from now. No one got shredded in a week. Of course, there will be bumps, days off and vacations, but the real work is done day to day in real life between work and family obligations. Seem overwhelming? I hope not. That time will pass anyway, and if you start a new habit, you can reap the rewards in time. Even committing to one workout per week or tracking your food starting today will lead to change if you are consistent with it. That is the groundwork for achieving your goals.
Doing the work
If you want to get stronger, move better or add muscle, a plan is a must. The plans usually will allow for an increase in reps, weight or even improvement in the quality of reps. The plans may also move to more challenging exercises. I like using a spreadsheet to enter each and every workout for myself and clients. I'll often take notes as well about how I'm feeling and if maybe I need to scale back a bit. This is "the work."
We have to “do the work” to achieve a goal, whether that’s to lose fat or pack on some muscle. Doing the work can come in the form of eating a little less every day, tracking our steps, or adhering to an evidence-based program for hypertrophy for muscle gain. No doubt about it, those require you to engage in a bit of a grind on a regular basis. We have to know that to get to our goal, we need to focus on the process on a regular basis. That is not to say we can’t take a break from the process along the way. It’s all work, and you can’t fake it or shortcut it to get to what you want to do.
(This picture is relevant because this guy helps me get in all my steps.)
We begin at point A and want to get to point B. How are we going to go from where we are to ______________ (insert goal here)? If it's fat loss, you need a plan to maintain a caloric deficit and make sure your nutritional needs are met. If it's to get stronger or add muscle, you need a plan to get you stronger over time. I prefer to track all of these things, and if you aren't making progress, we revisit those things and make changes.
What goals do you want to achieve? Have you tried before and failed? Hit me up and let me know what roadblocks you’ve faced. We can all use a hand.