Make 2015 Your Best Training Year Yet:
A Five-Step Plan.
The partying is over and now it’s time to get serious. The Christmas period, for many, comes with a built in excuse to spurge on a delectable array of off-limits foods and beverages. After a year of clean eating, assiduous attention to dietary detail, and regimented training, the holidays signal a time to unwind and recharge. However, for many otherwise devoted trainees, and thanks to the dreaded rebound effect (or dieting-induced weight gain), this also means a propensity to bulk in all the wrong places.
Indeed, the past 4-6 weeks has again, for many ‘partaking’ bodybuilders, provided a glimpse of the health dilemma facing much of the industrialized world, all year round: feelings of lethargy, permanent stomach distension, mood swings, and a loss of strength brought about by a steady diet of traveling, limited training, convenience foods and poor sleep. Gone are the vitality, energy and tight, ripped midsection.
Newly acquired are shortness of breath, love handles and constant tiredness.
Tying one’s shoes has never been so difficult.
As any dedicated fitness adherent knows, what goes up will, if left unchecked, inevitably come crashing down. Being in great shape is both a blessing and a curse. The harder we work to cultivate abs of steel the harder we must strive to maintain our enviable shape.
This means that the leaner and more disciplined we are with respect to sound nutrition, the faster the reversal of results will be should we choose to relax our high standards and partake in a gluttony-fest of fatty, sugary foods – the very fare that is on offer in large amounts over the Christmas holidays. Again, such nutritional sabotage is par for the course for a great many people.
For those who have managed to stay focused and unyielding in their commitment to remaining lean and muscular over the holidays (in other words, those who took to heart the insights of my last article installment – holiday-fitness, you are to be commended. However, for many us it is time to carve the excess. As a new year begins, we must start strong as we endeavor to build a bigger, better physique in 2015. The following five tips will give you the wakeup call you need to be, and stay, at your best.
Take it slow
To progressively and aggressively achieve all of our bodybuilding goals while staying injury free and continually motivated to succeed we must gradually increase our training intensity from workout to workout. Any period of inactivity, no matter how long, and the concomitant mental and physical de-conditioning that rapidly occurs for those at an advanced training level, places the body in a vulnerable position whereby there is a greater susceptibility to injury and over training.
So in recommencing your training after the holiday period and in acknowledging you are not going to be at your best physically and mentally at this time, it is always wise to take it slow. Gradually adjust to the demands of intensive training; do not rush the process. Before you know it you will be back in your best shape and ready to blitz those weights once again.
Expect the best
Without having high expectations as to how far we as serious bodybuilders truly believe we can progress physically, there is little to be achieved by lifting anything heavier than a can of soda or TV remote.
To be at our best we must expect the best.
By raising our expectations we positively program the subconscious mind – that storehouse for information, experiences, insights and knowledge that cannot be held in our conscious focal awareness and which informs our actions and facilitates change – to bring about change on a conscious level.
By forming our expectations based upon the goals we have set for ourselves we become more focused on doing whatever is necessary to succeed. Whenever we expect something to happen, the law of attraction will attune us to opportunities which, in light of the subconscious seeds of success we have planted, we will more readily act upon.
Indeed, the simple act of believing in an outcome will vastly improve our chances of securing whatever it is we wish to achieve.
Although an entirely conscious experience that we must give our full awareness to, intensive training must also become habitual – an accustomed process; a routine part our lives. Let’s face it, hardcore training can be extremely repetitive and boring. Though we may mix it up and engage different methods and protocols, training for bodybuilding, if approached correctly, should be both painful and mentally and physically taxing.
To truly challenge your existing capabilities to realize your full potential you must ensure that bad habits are broken and good habits are established; specifically in relation to building maximum muscle via intensive training this means being organized: plan your sessions, do not miss workouts, and avoid negative influences
including people who do not support your commitment to excellence.
To reap all associated rewards we must become habitually focused on doing all that is within our power to complete all workouts to the highest possible standard. No excuses.
Working out should be no enjoyable excursion. Thus, barring injury or extreme illness, we must, whether we feel like it or not, seek to embrace the pain and extend our mental and physical capabilities from the first rep to the last of a grueling workout. There is no other way: training is a necessarily draining and oftentimes unpleasant experience.
The good news is, the more we hit the iron with good intentions, the more adept we become at rising to the occasion when we are least open to doing so.
To optimize our ability to engage the largest possible concentration of muscle fibers we must learn to apply the utmost pressure. Forget all notions of overtraining; the human body is remarkably adaptive and resilient. Provided rest, recovery, nutrition, and supplementation are properly addressed, your main goal should be to destroy a maximum number of muscle fibers each time you enter the gym.
Through the articles on this site you will have learned that training, nutrition, supplementation and a positive mental attitude are critical variable factors when it comes to cloaking one’s physique in massive amounts of quality muscle. However, knowing and applying are two entirely separate propositions.
Applying sound insights consistently is yet another and the most important of the three.
By consistently doing all that is necessary to stimulate, recover, grow and repeat we not only condition ourselves to be mentally stronger and more committed to achieving all training outcomes. We also progressively overload our muscles to a greater degree while routinely providing the raw materials needed to recover and grow. Forget specific percentages: we must apply 100 percent effort to all training factors. And consistency is what allows us to do just that.
A new you in 2015
Now that it is again time for you to consistently apply the insights you have gleaned from this site there can be no holding back. Bodybuilding is not a part time deal; you are either fully committed or you are not. You either choose to become one of the few who have the intelligence and fortitude to regularly train with unbridled ferocity or you opt to become one of the overweight masses for whom willpower and self respect are as unfamiliar as a diet heavy on glazed donuts is to a seasoned physique champion. By following the five steps outlined above, failure will not be an option.
So let’s commit to making 2015 the best year yet!