Minutia In The Fitness Industry

 

It seems like people are getting more and more confused by the number of fitness and nutrition programs on the market. Getting in shape and improving performance isn’t new, but there are always improvements that can be made to traditional programs.  This is one of the reasons that people like to discuss all the details related to diet and training.

This desire for new diet and training strategies creates a market for new products.  While this is good for variety sake, it creates a problem when people start to feel that they need a “cutting edge” program.

All the new programs that are on the market begin to confuse people.  For example, one training guru might tell people to only do low reps.  The next guy might say that you need high reps.  While either of these might work in a specific context, it is easy to look at these conflicting recommendations and get confused.

For this reason I feel that people need to focus less on the details and start to focus more on the principles of diet and training that are timeless.  If your waking up every day and measuring out exactly 2450 calories with the perfect ratio of carbs fat and protein, you might eventually burn yourself out.

Some of the most important aspects of fitness can be had at little cost to your overall lifestyle.  For example, training with weights consistently and eating a balanced diet will get you most of the results you will ever be able to achieve as a natural trainee.

If you feel that being exacting is the only way to make any gains you will loose out on the low cost benefits of fitness.  If your stretching yourself too thin you might not have the energy or focus you need to excel at everything you need to be doing in your life.  I use the example of measuring out all your food because it is a common practice that is not realistic for the majority of people that attempt it.

Regardless of your specific fitness practice, if it is not sustainable you will not get the same level of results that your otherwise would.

Another reason you might not want to focus on the minutia of diet and training is the potential stress you might be causing yourself.  It’s important to keep in mid that every other part of your diet and training you micromanage is another thing to potentially worry about. The last thing most people need when trying to get in shape is an additional issue that might potentially cause them stress.

Focus on one specific goal rather than a specific tool. While it is important to have a plan, it is equally important to realize that your goals can be reached in a number of ways.

So having a definite goal is important.  Coupling that definite goal with a flexible mindset toward tactics and implementation is equally important.

When you are constantly evaluating every single variable your focus starts to split. This starts to make maintaining your lifestyle much more difficult.

For example: When you have a battery powering one light bulb, it gives all of it’s energy to that one bulb. Add two more and it still works fine. If you where to add another five or six, you will notice the lights are much dimmer than if you only had one bulb.

This is exactly how life can dim you down by focusing too much energy on too many things. You will start to feel like nothing is moving in the right direction.  For example, if you are trying to increase your weight on 10 different lifts simultaneously, you will feel like you are failing if you are only increasing on 3 or 4 of those lifts.

Realistically those might be 3-4 of your main lifts and could indicate serious progress.  Unfortunately it looks pretty bad from the point of view you have created as you are not progressing on the majority of what you are tracking.

Similarly, If you are trying to increase your ability to do a max effort back squat while trying to decrease your 5k time, these extremely disparate goals will most likely make achieving either one individually much more difficult.  This extremely split focus and subsequent lack of results might make you loose confidence in your ability to progress.

In order to see true gains, and achieve your goals you need to make up your mind and decide what you want.  Once you choose a limited number of goals, the potential routes to get there are many.  Be flexible and test methods to discover a sustainable approach that you can commit to for the long term.  Let go of the idea of doing everything at once.

 

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Christopher Walker

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