The Constitution of the United States is wrong; all men are NOT created equal. If that were the case, I’d be cast for Bond in his next movie, swim like Phelps, and ball like Tebow. Sadly, this isn’t the case. While I may never be a movie star, Olympian, or Heisman winner, I can choose the workout that’s right for me.
Above all else, know thyself.
You know you. Your desires, your current state, your likes and dislikes. We need to take that data and cross check it against what you want to be.
Step 1. – Physically Measure yourself.
This comes in 2 shades; A) What you are that will not change (age, height, physical limitations, etc) and B) What you are that you’d like to change (gain muscle, lose fat, gain endurance or speed or flexibility)
Questions to ask yourself:
- What is your current state?
- What’s your bodyfat?
- What are your measurements?
- What is the end state?
- What do you want to look like?
- What is success?
Step 2. – The Mental Equation
Fitness may be physical but attaining it is an entirely mental exercise. Quoting Cubicle Warrior fav ‘Boondock Saints’
“The question isn’t whether ; it is whether or not you posses the constitution necessary to see it through”
You and your habits are the limiting factor in getting in shape or not. No system in the world will work if you don’t make the necessary life-style changes to enable it.
If you are a procrastinator (like me), like to get up early (like me), have a demanding office job that prevents you from eating properly and getting to the gym regularly (again, like me), YOU must account for it.
Take stock in yourself, examine what has caused you to fail in the past, and create a strategy that works for you.
Step 3. What Do You Like to Do?
No workout plan will work if you hate doing it. If you hate working out at a gym in front of people, getting a membership won’t help. You’ll find every excuse not to be there. If you hate biking, don’t bother signing up for spinning classes, you will never be Lance Armstrong.
Instead, make a list of what you like to do. Personally, I love lifting weights. But that gets repetitive – especially on clear and sunny Carolina days like today! Martial Arts was also a passion of mine, but that is also indoors. I have a love of everything aquatic so long distance swimming is a natural complement to any other workout I do.
Step 4. – Match Like Terms
Remember in step 1 where you identified what you wanted to be? Now you have to find someone who looks exactly like it. You should find a group of athletes that have the same constraints as you (age, bone structure, physical constraints). This is another way of saying if you’re built like a sumo wrestler, running marathons may not be for you. If, however, you are constructed in the mold (albeit much less muscular and flabbier!) running back – those kind of workouts may work for you.
Try to find a mentor that matches your likes (step 3) with your constraints (step 1) but also comes out like your ideal image (also, step 1). If you are 6′ plus with wide shoulders and a thick bone structure, you can look like Arnold Schwarzenegger. If you’re a bit narrower in physique, check out Tony Horton.
Step 5. – Make the plan and go.
Follow Cubicle Warrior’s guide to everything else. Make a plan, make a habit, and reward success. Find training that coincides with what that mentor does. Do that training, follow those recommendations, and achieve your dream.
Complete these 5 steps and you’ll know where you are, where you need to be, what challenges you have, what success looks like , and a fun plan that you can stick to to get there.