October 24, 2011

Achieving Legendary Results

As a writer for several fitness and bodybuilding forums the question I’m asked most often is, “What is the secret to a great physique?” Many will put in the necessary time with cardiovascular exercise and resistance training, but few will attack the nutritional end of the spectrum with the same fervor.

As a result of a partial commitment to a great physique, little or no progress is made. Time and hard work at the gym is looked upon with a questioning eye because those efforts are not producing the desired results.

Rather than examine only the areas in which we excel, explore and improve upon the areas that lag in commitment levels. It’s time to stop searching for the magic bullet and realize hard work in all areas of training and nutrition will propel you towards the desired end results.

Truly great physiques can only be achieved through 100% commitment towards the end goal.

Take a now or never approach towards fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Why now or never? Open any newspaper, magazine or turn on the TV to see the latest hot media topic, the obesity epidemic.

In reality the media isn’t needed to show that Americans are getter fatter. Look around in restaurants, the mall and movie theatres. As a nation we grow larger with each passing day.

Self-control is greatly needed in terms of caloric intake, with emphasis placed on regaining the concept of portion size. With obesity driven Type II Diabetes at epidemic proportions in this country, the time is now to re-examine the food pyramid and understand the meaning of whole grains.

The luxury of laziness can no longer be afforded as obesity-related diseases are on the rise. Don’t become another statistic! Lead by example. Set goals along the path to your dream physique, desire a fit and healthy body to last a lifetime, and let NOTHING stand in your way.

Commit to ALL elements of the puzzle and you will find yourself achieving legendary results.

Great physiques require the commitment to resistance training. Muscle is the key to creating an environment in the body where it works efficiently with regard to the metabolic process. Build muscles and burn more calories each day as a result of those muscles.

Weight lifting should be approached with intensity and focus. Gym time is not social time, but rather an opportunity to bring you closer to your desired physique. Walk into each and every training session with a plan of exercises that includes goals for the number of pounds lifted and the number of reps achieved.

Keep track of your time in the gym. Get in there, complete your workout in an efficient manner, then allow the recovery process to take over. Training journals are indispensable aids for planning purposes and goal setting.

Use a training journal to track successes and failures in the gym. Having trouble with the form of a particular exercise? Be sure to jot that notation in the training journal. This is a critical step for all, but especially those babyboomer and older lifters that tend to develop nagging injuries seemingly out of the blue.

Some of those injuries can be eliminated through this type of note taking. Look back in the training journal to determine which exercises exacerbate a particular injury.

For those with pounds to lose, cardiovascular exercise will be necessary to burn more calories. Cardio work should also be approached with focus and intensity.

Set goals for time and distance covered. Once again, look to the training journal for results of the last run, stairmaster session, aerobics class or bike ride and set a goal to improve the results for this current session.

Setting goals for cardio work increases short and long-term motivation levels which in turn yields better overall results.

Nutrition tends to be the obstacle that few are able to overcome in the pursuit of a great physique. Sticking to a nutrition program while others eat in celebration of an event or to fill a void can lead to uncomfortable feelings of isolation.

Anticipate these feelings. Gain strength from the control. Taking a proactive stance makes it easy to overcome any obstacle. Saying, “no thank you,” to dessert and alcoholic beverages are often looked upon with a skeptical eye. But, don’t let other people’s hang-ups stand in your way!

Removing the last layers of fat that reveal your abdominal muscles will test your willpower. A long-term clean diet with plenty of protein, moderate complex carbohydrates and relatively low fat levels will be necessary to produce the desired end result.

 Place emphasis on long-term commitment to a nutrition program. Achieve the goal and then stay committed to that goal. Or create a new goal to remain in peak shape.

Binging and gorging oneself upon goal achievement will undo all the hard work very quickly. In addition, the vicious cycle of sugary carbohydrate binges will produce cravings for more carbohydrates, making it difficult to put an end to the cycle.

A small victory celebration of recreational eating can quickly turn into a week-long or month-long cycle of out-of-control eating.

The training journal will also be a great reference in regard to nutritional intake. Track everything eaten and break down the percentages of total protein, carbohydrates and fat intake on a daily basis. Are you getting enough protein to maintain your current levels of muscle mass? Are you providing your body with enough fuel from carbohydrates?

Enter the food intake into the nutritional diary at the time the meals are eaten. Don’t wait until the end of the day, as it is easy to forget a snack or small meal. Write down EVERYTHING you put in your mouth. This strategy will really make you think twice about straying from your nutritional plan when you need to make the entry into your journal. You’ve made yourself accountable using this approach.

Dream a legendary physique and set goals. Work hard towards the end goal through resistance training, cardiovascular exercise and proper nutrition on a long-term basis. Set short-term goals for each and every workout and each day’s nutritional breakdown. Be accountable to yourself through a training and nutritional journal.

Is it possible to achieve a great physique? YES! And it is within the reach of everyone. Just remember hard work and commitment to a goal produces legendary results.

Diane Fields, www.legendaryfitness.com



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