SUCCESS TAKES WORK
My workout structure and dieting was very hit and miss. By hit and miss I mean a total train wreck that consisted of a tub of cookies, garlic bread, and pushups every now and then.
To a sane person, that sounds like nonsense. To me, it sounds like the jagged beginnings of my workout adventure.
Why the Tub of Cookies?
That’s not a joke; I really had a tub of cookie dough that I ate through the course of a month (best birthday present ever). Cookie dough, garlic bread and fried chicken were the epitome of my diet back then. I’m not saying I ate bad all the time, but I had no idea how to eat right and what foods would work best to aid me in reaching my goals.
Honestly, I would stray away from the fried foods every now and then. However, school and work would take its toll on constantly, and I would find myself buried in a tub of triple-chocolate chip.
Sad but delicious.
You Only Did Pushups?
No way! I did pushups AND crunches. I wasn’t going to try another curl after that horrifying adventure (laugh at my pain here). Pushups just seemed like the next viable course of action for a guy like me. Tiny arms, flabby chest, big stomach, I was all about those crunches and pushups!
There was only one problem: not only could I not find the time to perform my “workout routine”, but I didn’t consistently workout. I would always make the same excuses:
- I’m tired.
- I’ve been working all day.
- I haven’t eaten enough cookie dough for energy.
Same old excuses got me the same old result: I saw no changes…and I felt miserable.
As funny as it seems, my solution was found in the most cliché way. As a New Year’s resolution, I decided I was finally going to take charge of my life and push myself to become healthier and stronger. From there, well…I actually stuck to it. I challenged myself to a new healthy lifestyle that I would consistently work on and not stray from.
I’m not going to say it was pretty, but I did quit eating tubs of cookies and instead started running on the treadmill. I did it all in baby-step increments: running 15 minutes, then 30, then an hour. I didn’t necessarily know what foods were the best to eat or how much of it to eat, so I did my research and started to consistently keep up with my diet.
I Started Noticing Changes
The title explains it all. I was in the gym 6 days a week just running and tracking my diet 7 days a week. From here I started to notice that I wasn’t just losing weight, but I was also getting more tone. My runs started to improve, my flab was no longer as flabby, and I gained a workout partner in the process.
Consistently running on the treadmill got me thinking, “What if I wanted to put on muscle?” I had never considered it a possibility before. In fact, I had never been put on muscle before so I had always had a stigma against it. However, I knew this was a new goal that I wanted to accomplish.
What did I do next?
I Conducted Research
I was a mad scientist behind my computer screen. I started my lifting journey with absolutely zero knowledge of how. So I hit up the internet, the library, and even some workout buddies. After what seemed like days of pure head banging (you try learning something from scratch) I finally came up with a workout and diet plan that I thought would work best for me.
From there, the rest is essentially history. It took a decent amount of trial and error for me to figure out what diet plans worked best for my body and what workouts worked best for my muscle groups. This process took a while because:
- My muscles were not actually used to a weight training workout routine.
- I had never put my diet to a strict lifting diet.
*All of this is natural for first timers, although I did get a couple of laughs when used a barbell the wrong way (don’t ask).
Putting myself in the gym consistently, and constantly testing out diet plans, helped me train myself and learn which avenues of health and fitness would work best for me. It was hard work, but putting in that constant time and effort was well worth it.
So what do I believe is the key to success? Consistency, hands down.
Sure, it wasn’t always the most glamorous thing to watch (definitely not for the other people in the gym). But consistency is the only way to actually succeed in your fitness goals.
If you don’t consistently stick to your workout routine, your muscles are never going to grow. If you don’t consistently stick to your diet plan, you’re never going to see results with your body and health. Improving your life takes time, commitment and hard work. If you don’t put in the consistent time and effort, you’re not going to see the results.
And news flash: you only have yourself to blame.
So, what do I always say?
Do your research, get prepared, and get lifting!