Time

That’s the first thing.

Just like it took time for you get out of shape, it’s going to take time for you to get in shape.

It might have taken 5 years to wind up in the mess you’re in right now – feeling unhealthy, overweight and out of shape – what makes you think you can fix that and turn it all around in just a few months?

It doesn’t work that way.

But don’t let that put you off, just take it one step at a time ‘cos anything you want to achieve in life starts with a baby step, one move in the right direction.

Coach John once described getting results as “filling up a bucket of water one teaspoon at a time”, you’re not going to see a massive impact from one tea spoon or two teaspoons or even ten or twenty but 500 or 1000 or 20,000 teaspoons?

Yeah, you’re going to notice a big change.

If you’re trying to lose three stone of body fat it still happens just one pound at a time, in the same way that you don’t add 30kg to your squat personal best by just throwing another two 15kg plates on the bar.

You have to add those 1.25kg’s first . . . then the 2.5’s and so on.

Small steps, small increments, small improvements week after week.

The journey, if you’re doing it right, will take some time and that’s okay ‘cos as time passes and you progress baby step by baby step you learn, you create new behaviours, you instil new habits, you become proud of your achievements and eventually astounded by your results.

Hitting big targets isn’t a sprint, it’s not even a marathon, it’s an iron man and even an iron man starts with one simple step.

Effort

You can have the best coach or training program in the world but unless you get off your arse and put the work in nothing will happen.

This ties in with my favourite quote…

“Nothing happens until something moves”.

Which is true in every aspect of life not least your strength, health and fitness.

If you want to see the results you have to take ownership and realise that you’re in control of everything.

What you eat, how you train, who you take advice from, how active you are each day, keeping track of your food, it’s all totally within your control.

So own it.

Another motivational quote that fits in here is this…

“I believe it’s true that the difference between great people and everyone else is that great people create their lives actively, while everyone else is created by their lives, passively waiting to see where life takes them next”.

That’s probably not even a “motivational” quote really but it makes sense.

The people who succeed are the ones who go out there and actively create success for themselves, in essence – they do the work but the people who don’t succeed just sit back and see where life takes them, never fully grabbing the bull by the horns or taking control.

So if you want to make impressive progress you need to purposefully (and consistently) do the work required to build muscle, get strong, lose fat etc.

Precision

Here’s something most gyms and personal trainers won’t tell you.

Losing fat actually gets harder not easier.

When you first start training and tidying up your nutrition your progress will move pretty quickly even if what you’re doing is only about 50% right.

It works simply because going to the gym and doing something is better than doing nothing (like you might have been doing before) and tracking your food intake sometimes is better than never tracking it and eating whatever you want all day.

So that approach will work . . . for while, and it works for two reasons;

1. You’ve increased your daily activity levels from zero to “a bit” which means you’re burning more calories

And…

2. You’ve reduced your food intake from ALL the food to just some of the food which means you’re consuming less calories.

It’s not very precise but it certainly does the trick for a while ‘cos like I keep saying it’s better than what you were doing before but this lulls you into a false sense of security ‘cos what most people don’t realise is there comes a point where more precision is needed.

It might take 6 months or even a year to get to this point but it will happen and you’ll know it’s happened because your progress will slow right down or come to a complete halt even though your still doing all the same stuff that you were doing 6 or 12 months ago.

So guess what?

This is when you need to up the ante a bit.

Tracking your food for just a few days a week and getting in to the gym when you can be arsed is no longer good enough.

If you’re really serious about getting results now you actually have to start doing the work that’ll help those results materialise.

This is where people often make a big mistake…

They go hunting for a quick fix, something new that they think will solve all of their problems instead of taking an honest look at themselves and realising that they’re actually only doing about 50% of what they need to do to get the results they’re after.

The solution is not to find the latest fad or celebrity workout DVD but rather to simply start being more precise with everything that you do – train more consistently, eat better, track your food EVERYDAY, be more active, stop with the excuses . . . basically, bump that 50% up to 80 or 90%.

Consistency

When someone who’s trying to get in shape comes to me and says…

“I’ve been trying but it’s not working for me”

I usually ask them these four questions.

For the last 6 months, have you consistently been…

1. Lifting weights 3-4 times a week every single week?

2. Tracking your food intake and hitting your nutrition targets near enough every single day?

3. Working on de-stressing and making sure you’re getting at least 6 hours sleep pretty much every night?

4. Making a conscious effort to live a more active lifestyle (walking more, doing active social events instead of sitting on the couch etc.)?

The answer is usually no to at least two of those questions which means it’s not “it” not working it’s them not doing the work consistently enough.

Getting in shape takes time, effort, precision and consistency.

Consistency is the big one.

You can’t half arse it or only put the work in when it suits you and expect to make big progress ‘cos it won’t happen.

You can’t just track Monday to Friday then go nuts every weekend and expect your results to be exceptional ‘cos they won’t be.

You can’t train three times this week, then once next week then have a week off and expect to get stronger, leaner and more toned ‘cos you won’t.

I know it’s not sexy but you simply have to do the basics week in, week out for months and years at a time, that’s how you get results and the basics you need to consistently do are in the questions I asked earlier.

You need to lift weights 3-4 times a week.

You need to track your food intake and hit your targets every day.

You need to de-stress, have fun and make sure you sleep well.

You need to lead an active lifestyle (get up and move around more).

It doesn’t matter who you are if you do those things consistently for 12 months and beyond you will get some seriously impressive results.