Not much time ago I wrote a post called "Your Worst Enemy". You can find it here. So this article is sequel. Or better to say work on mistakes. I was talking with one of my clients recently and he pointed out that it would be cool if I write more articles on psychological aspects of training and dieting. So aforementioned article came up to my mind right away. But after chatting for a little bit longer I realized the biggest flaw of that post. I touched the problem and defined it well but forgot the most obvious thing: ways to solve it. And today my goal is to fix my mistake and concentrate on possible solutions. Time to defeat your worst enemy.
So Who's Your Worst Enemy Again?
You. Your worst enemy is nobody else but you. You may disagree. You may deny. You may get angry and pissed off. But this won't change the fact that your worst enemy is you. Not me, not that guy in the gym, not lunar phase, not government, not genetics, not anything else. It's all you. I can go on and on but you can check out the previous article for that. Why you? Well, if you think long enough on subject you will inevitably find out that your poor strength/performance/look/insert your weak area is the consequence of your bad decisions. They are poor habits, poor diet choices, lack of sleep etc.
So what's now? Let's try to solve the problem. First of all we'll need to explore why do we make bad decisions?
Why Do We Make Bad Decisions?
It's impossible for me to analyze everyone on planet Earth so I will use my own example. Why do I make bad decisions? In my experience there can be several answers for this question. To be clear they are:
- Lack of discipline;
- Lack of planning;
- Bad circumstances;
- High life pressure.
I think that most of the people make bad decisions due to the same reasons. Let's take a look at all of them more closely.
Lack of Discipline
I already wrote about lack of discipline in this article. But, anyway, let's recap. This is the most widespread reason of bad decisions, in my opinion. People today live comfortable lives. We have access to anything we want. Just look at stores, it seems that there is a special gadget for anything. Machines wash dishes, machines wash clothes, machines slice bread etc. You can find any food you want in the supermarket. We become so lazy that we order food home. We live in the age of ultra-high comfort. What's bad about it? All that comfort makes us weaker. People now can't even open the bottle of beer without special gadget. I miss the times when people just put that bottle next to the table and hit hard to open it. Fuck, I can open a bottle of beer in at least 5 different ways without any gadget. It is considered awesome here in Ukraine if person can open bottle of beer only with his/her eye. But I digress. Of course, it's not true for everybody but I see the trend. What's my point? This weakness because of "overcomfort" leads exactly to lack of discipline. In old times if you wanted something you needed to work hard and long for it. You required discipline to get something. Now people are used to instant access to what they want. They want everything and now. Well, this clearly leads to poor decisions in life. As experience shows instant approach doesn't work in real life. If you want something valuable (strength/performance/look) you need discipline. You need to work hard and long. Just like in old days.
Lack of Planning
Again, I wrote about this before. It seems that when people don't have a clear plan they are more likely make wrong decisions. For example, if you don't have solid training program you'll be doing everything you like (bench press, curls and abz, right?) every training session (possibly everyday). Obviously such approach won't give you results other than frustration. Why this problem appears? Because very few people realize that plan is one of the biggest requirements for success.
Ah, bad circumstances. Before you rant how bad your circumstances are I'd like to define what can be considered as bad circumstances. It can be death, some huge accident, bad injury, for some people break-up with boyfriend/girlfriend, stuff like this. In other words, some event that can break you easily. Anyway, bad circumstances tend to not last long. So it's important to get back on track as soon as possible. Arnold told in "Pumping Iron" that he hadn't flew to his father's funeral because he was preparing for some bodybuilding contest. Of course, he acted and that was part of the script (not real life) but it was taken from real story of some boxer. I respect such dedication (not saying that it's right thing to do) and this example just confirms that your worst enemy is you. That boxer overcame bad circumstances to be successful in what he did. Talking about necessary sacrifice.
High Life Pressure
Again, what is high life pressure? Kids, high-demanding work, high-stress work, some chronic disease etc. It's easy to understand bad decisions made by people with high life pressure but it would be wrong to justify them. Well, yes, you have hard life, so what? There are plenty of stories about old-time strongmen that worked 12-hour shifts and worked out for 2 hours afterwards. Almost everyday. And had families and kids. So deal with it.
So How to Defeat Your Worst Enemy?
My best advice would be: defeat your worst enemy one battle at a time. Of course, it's hard to be consistent with training and diet if you have lots of other stress in life. But you can always divide and conquer. Any problem can be broken down into several manageable parts. And your goal should be to deal with them one step at a time.
What should you do? Firstly, deal with the reasons of your bad decisions. Work on your discipline, get a good plan, prioritize your goals. It all starts in your head. Training and diet don't need to take much time. 3 workouts per week is within access of anybody. All you need are 3 hours per week. You can train at home. Read Rough Strength Blog on how to do it. Read these articles for more info:
If you need more routines check out these articles:
As for diet it doesn't have to be complicated to work (at least before you get to extreme stage (when you'll have visible abs but will need to lose some more fat to become shredded)). Read this stuff:
As for sleep, my advice would be to get as much as possible. As you can see from my articles training and nutrition shouldn't be complicated to work. It shouldn't take much of your time but on the other hand it SHOULD take lots of effort and hard work.
What you must clearly understand is that your decisions today affect how long will be the distance to your goals tomorrow. The more right decisions you'll make the closer you'll be to your goal. There's one good habit I'd like to share with you. If you care about something then do at least one thing everyday to get closer to your goal. Start slow. Start with putting one spoon of sugar into your tea instead of two. Start with 1 workset per exercise but workout 3 times per week. Start with drinking 1 glass of water per day. And then gradually work your way up from that point. This way chances that you will stay in the game will be much higher. And stop watching TV or surfing the internet till 3 AM. Sleep is essential.
Learn some time management skills if you need. You know, Einstein and Arnold also had 24 hours in the day. So there are no excuses for you not to get results. Yes, it can be very hard but it is possible. One problem at a time.
Remember, only you are responsible for your strength, performance, look, endurance etc., as well as your life. If some people stop you from making progress (your boss that thinks that you are lazy piece of shit that should get much less money, your retarded friend who gives you cigarette when you are trying to quit smoking, your colleague or spouse that doesn't understand why do you want to improve) kick their ass, leave them behind and NEVER look back. There will be people that will grow and improve with you. You can always find such people reading this blog.
So you got it. The only way to defeat your worst enemy is one battle at a time. And time for battle is now. Thanks for reading. Use the knowledge. And don't forget to share with friends.
I'm always ready to help you.
P.S. What are your experience with fighting that dude/dudette in the mirror?
So you've been training for a decent time. You've made some gains. In strength, in muscle, in fat loss. But after a few weeks you stopped progressing. No amount of bench pressing, curls and crunches can make you progress again. You blame everyone for your fail. Bad genetics, crappy gym environment, wrong lunar phase, politics etc. But reality is quite opposite. You just suck. And suck hard. And your program sucks. And, of course, your diet sucks too. As well as your overall approach to everything in life.
Guess Who Is Your Worst Enemy?
You and only you. Never blame anyone except yourself for your fails. You are the the only one person who can take action over your life (or take no action at all) and that's the person you should blame. There's a good proverb: "If you want to change something start with yourself". So start. You can use help if you need. That's nothing wrong with it. But there's no such personal trainer that will do everything for you. I'm big believer in hard work. If you want to get something valuable out of any endeavor then you should put some serious work into it. As my experience shows this rule can be applied to any situation in life. If you can get something without any effort then you won't understand its value. There are tons of people with better than average genetics but they don't appreciate what they have because they don't pay the price of hard work. Ask any successful businessman about hard work and he will tell you what hard work is.
And if you think that you don't need to put in hard work to get results think again. I had a conversation recently about diet. After my tips on the right diet approach the person who I was consulting said to me: "You know, holidays are coming and I won't be doing all the stuff you told me". So I replied: "No big deal. You'll just remain fat and ugly". I don't care whether it's holidays or not. Holidays are 2-3 days out of the month. You have at least 26 days to eat right so don't fool yourself or anybody else. You are fat because of you. You are weak because of you. You have no muscle also because of you.
The Importance of Understanding...
...that processes in your body don't get any better with time and never will. Your metabolism gets worse and worse with every day. You'll get fatter and fatter with age (if you're not lucky ripped bastard). You need to understand that if you're not happy with your health/strength/look then you're doing something wrong. You need to cultivate the habit of exercising and eating right in you. And yes, you'll need to exercise and eat healthy till your death. There's no way around this. If you think that you'll just exercise and eat right for 3 months or so and then get back to your old sitting-and-eat-all-the-cakes routine then you are totally wrong. It's not a quick fix. Bring back the bad habit and you'll get back to where you started in no time. It may sound pretty rough but the truth is what important. I guess it's time to wrap up. I think, you got my point. Thanks for reading. Share and comment.
As you all can read I decided to devote today's post to excuses. It's like a plague. Like a disease. It seems like more and more people today get infected. You can see and hear it everywhere. "I'm too old", "I'm too tall", "I'm too skinny", "I'm too fat", "I have wide bones", "I have long limbs", "I have bad genetics", "It's wrong lunar phase", "I don't have time for training", "I can't afford good diet", "I can't sleep 8 hours per day", well, enough. You got my point. Sometimes it seems that people spend more time on creating excuses than on actually doing something. I'd like to repeat myself one more time.
Stop Making Excuses
Again, stop making excuses once and for all. If you want your life to change then do something, give it pretty good reason to change. If you are tired of being weak skinny fat maggot then change it. Your situation won't change by itself. Life doesn't work that way. You need to demand things from life. In other case you risk to wait for things to change forever. Just imagine, you're going to die in couple of days and you've just understood that all your life was just a wait for nothing. Pretty dark picture, right? How to avoid this situation? Do something, right now.
So Are You Too Old for Strength Training?
No. Period. Dave Draper (pictured above) doesn't care about his age. He trains and looks awesome as well as performs. And so should you. It's never too late to exercise, as well as it's never too late to change your life. Start training. You need not much except the strong burning desire. Thanks to Rough Strength you have all the "keys", all the information you'll ever need on how to train and eat. You can train strength just with your bodyweight. No gym memberships, almost no equipment (except some floor space, wall and sturdy tree branch or overhead pipe), just your body. Do some push-ups right now. Of course, you won't break world records, but you'll be able to gain decent amount of strength (remember John Grimek?), build some muscle, lose fat, stay healthy, live longer and be awesome. It's definitely better than what you are now. Just watch the video of this guy:
I think, muscle-ups in his age are nothing but awesome.
Fuck excuses! Make things happen. Start right now. How much time do you have? The answer is much less than you expect. Don't waste your most precious resource. Go reach your dreams. Thanks for reading. If you're awesome then like and share. Spread the knowledge.
I'm sick and tired of what I see. Take a look around. I don't know what situation is in your country/city but chances are that you see the same picture. I'll tell you what I see here in Ukraine. Almost everyone drinks alcohol in excessive amounts and daily. I won't be far from truth if I say that every 2 out of 3 people here are alcoholics. Almost everyone smokes cigarettes daily. Almost everyone smokes weed. Almost everyone drinks energy-drinks daily. And it's considered normal here. I see weak fat people everywhere. Everyone who tells you otherwise about this country is fucking hypocrite. But I wrote 'almost'. When people get reality check and realize that they are weak fat maggots they decide to start 'healthy' eating. They believe all the marketing hype, they don't eat after 6PM, they don't eat fried food, they don't eat fats or carbs etc, but at the same time they still drink alcohol, energy drinks, smoke and sleep for 3-4 hours per day because all their time is devoted to social networks surfing. Of course, this approach doesn't work and they decide to go to gym. Sales managers sell them gym memberships they don't really need. These people are full of motivation. They think that if they destroy themselves in the gym for 2-3 hours per day (which in reality is low-intensity machine shit and endless treadmill crap) they will get 'in shape' in several weeks. Of course they get another reality check. Most of them create excuses for themselves. They say: "I've tried it all. It doesn't work for me!" after couple of weeks. Smarter ones understand that they are wasting their time. They buy personal training services. The first right decision. But here comes another problem: not every personal trainer is good. Intelligent trainer that knows what he's doing, 'practices what he preaches', educates himself daily is one in a million. But that's not all. Even when these weak fat people get to such trainer chances are that they won't get results because of lack of discipline and laziness. They think if they got brilliant trainer results will follow by themselves. You need to put in HARD WORK if you want results! Seems like noone understands this nowadays. That is why I see women that are stronger than men. People that sell themselves for ultra-convenience they don't need. Ignorance, stupidity, immaturity and idleness. That is what I see.
Get a Warrior Attitude
What I mean by warrior attitude? I mean not being a weak fat pussy. Take charge of your life. Remember, you (and only you, not anyone else) are the one who is responsible for your current strength, look and life. You probably don't posess the worst genetics in the world and you are not doomed to be fat and weak. Get a warrior attitude to life, training and nutrition! Don't like your job? Quit. Find something you like to do. Don't like your relationship? Make it better. Can't? Don't waste another person's life. Want to look awesome? Get to the gym. Don't have time or money for the gym? Fuck that, get your own! Buy a pair of kettlebells. Pricy? Make a sandbag. I've got my recent sandbag for under $5. Don't have sand? Fill it with something else. Fill it with rice, peas whatever. Don't have time to make it. Train with your bodyweight. Don't know how? Get help from an expert. Don't have money? Read RoughStrength.com, educate yourself, read books. But will I get results just from training? Yes. Want more? Get a diet. You can get pretty cheap decent diet with some planning and calculating. But I can't sleep 8+ hours a day? Make time. Still don't have? Fuck it. Go with it. I've seen people get results on 5 hours of sleep per day. And I mean results in strength, muscle and fat loss. Of course, results will come at much slower pace but if you make everything right you'll get them. This is what matters. Be a man. Don't be afraid to make decisions and go against the grain.
Why I Like Calisthenics?
Because they cultivate this warrior attitude in you unintentionally. I'll describe to you what I mean. When I train my bodyweight exercises mastery it's like battle with myself. Everything around doesn't matter anymore. Everything that matters at this time is my mind, my body and resistance. The place where I train becomes my sacred cave. The place where I get stronger. And the beauty of bodyweight strength training is in fact that this place can be anywhere. Every time I get one more rep or one more set is a victory. Every time I don't get stronger just makes me hungrier to obtain this strength. And with every little victory I get more mental strength and stability, more understanding of my body, more control on life. You get the idea. Calisthenics are actually a little bit harder at visualisation of resistance. With weights everything is simple. Here's 180 kg. You need to pick it up from the floor. With bodyweight everything is a little trickier. But once you get understanding of how your body moves through space you get something more than just ability to lift heavy weights. Calisthenics give you freedom in training and movement. But don't be afraid to mix them with weights.
Why I Like Intermittent Fasting?
Again because of warrior attitude cultivation. You need warrior discipline to go without eating. You need warrior discipline to deal with hunger. You need warrior discipline to say no to everyone who tries to break your fast without your desire. Intermittent fasting gives you freedom from constant worrying about food and meals. Yes, you'll still need to make your diet work but with intermittent fasting it will be a lot easier. You can eat like a king even on calorie restricted diet. Intermittent fasting gives you mental strength to move through obstacles.
We live in tough times. We can have all the information we want through the internet but we are too lazy to read, we can fly to another continent in less than 24 hours but we are too lazy to take stairs instead of elevator, we can get strength and body we want but we are too lazy to start. Don't be one of such pity majority. Be a warrior, take from life what you deserve and nothing less. Thanks for reading. Subscribe, like, share and enjoy!
Why people fail to get results? Well, there could be several reasons for that but the most common are lack of plan and lack of discipline. I see this all the time and it's really frustrating. My intention here is to help you not repeating those mistakes.
Lack of Plan
Ask any serious businessman to help you start a new business. He'll most likely ask you for a business-plan. Why? If you have no plan then you have no predictable results. The same goes for training and nutrition. Yes, there are several other factors (like genetics that give you the unique opportunity to perform bullshit on your training sessions, eat total crap and still grow and lose fat) but no plan still transfers in lack of results. Well, you don't need to be TOO precise. Be prepared that some workouts will go wrong, some workouts will differ from plan, some days you won't have a chance not to eat crap. But general strategy should remain stable. Believe me or not, training log is the best thing you can do to your training, as well as food log is the best thing you can do to your nutrition. If you really want results you need a right program and nutrition plan that suits your individual needs, goals and restrictions. You may train spontaneously and get results but it's really a matter of luck. What will you rely on more: luck or plan? Well, I think that the answer is obvious.
Take-home point: if you've been training for some time and still get no measurable results maybe it's time to invest in training and food log. Get a plan!
Lack of Discipline
This is big. Even huge. I see this every day in others. I see it everywhere. Motivational pictures, motivational videos. Give me a break! While there are some videos that really motivate you to act, most of them are useless. You just need discipline to do something right on and on and on. If you want to be strong and/or look awesome you will need to follow some rules till the end of your days. Deal with it! Terrified? Well, then you're weak and you will remain weak forever. Discipline is strength. I'm sick and tired of people that want to get strong and muscular but don't have the discipline to train hard and especially eat right amounts of food and protein. I'm sick and tired of people that want to loose fat and don't have the discipline to stick to simple diet plan. Train for strength, eat a bit less if you want to loose fat, eat a bit more if you want to build muscle, eat high-protein, repeat. Is that so difficult?
Take a look around. Weak people are everywhere surrounding you. They all look for magic pill to solve their problems. The truth is that there is no such pill. Don't be one of them. Be strong. Have the plan of attack. Have the discipline to follow your plan till you die. And you will be strong and muscular forever. It is that simple. Thanks for reading.