The biggest lie in the fitness industry
The biggest lie in the fitness industry is that you can have your ideal body in [insert period of time].
The truth is, everyone is different. Whether it’s body type, fat percentage, age, or simply discipline, we won’t all see the same results in the same amount of time. The idea you’ll “rapidly build muscle” is horseshit. Be overjoyed with a growth rate of a pound of muscle per month on a great program—and that is only if your nutrition is on point.
The same is true about “rapid fat loss.” Rapid fat loss can only occur … if you are fat. If you are of average health you can expect an average rate of weight loss.
The honest truth that no one has ever told you is that it takes years.
Do you want to gain 10 pounds of muscle? Realistically, it’s going to take 9–13 months.
Do you want to drop 20 pounds? Four to eight months.
Do you want to look like you were cut from marble in 12 weeks? That’s just probably not going to happen.
If you want to truly become shredded like a Greek god, it will take years. For most people, it happens in phases:
Phase 1: Start strength training
This phase will be filled with regaining lost mobility. You’ll become capable of doing a squat with some depth and a deadlift from the floor.
In this phase you’ll learn a few things:
1. The exercises you should be doing can be counted on your fingers, and everything else is gravy.
2. Cardiovascular exercise is great, but when it comes to changing your body composition, strength training is king.
3. Strength training alone will not give you the results you want. You have to adjust your diet, too.
This phase can last six months or six years. Epiphanies happen at different times for different people. I am just hoping to expedite the process.
Phase 2: Nutrition
After an extended period of time spent lifting weights and drinking protein powder, you realize that if you are ever going to get your ideal body, you better eat like you want it. No more pints of Ben & Jerry’s because “I went to the gym today.” After some trial and error with paleo, Whole30, and maybe even Jenny Craig, it becomes apparent that in order to look super awesome you’ll have to eat more vegetables, more protein, and a reasonable amount of calories for someone of your stature.
This is by far the hardest phase.
Phase 3: Achievement/acceptance
Once your nutrition and strength training are on point, the only thing left is to continue to work hard and wait. It will take time to build the muscles you want and shed the pounds of excess body fat. The good news is with a great strength and nutrition program, the wait won’t be very long.
Lastly, even if you work your ass off with strength training and nutrition for years, there is still a little bit of acceptance about the reality of your best possible body vs. the ideal body. People may tell you differently, but no matter how hard Danny DeVito tries, he’ll never look like Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Genetics plays as much of a role in body composition as it does in hair color, but with that said, you still have quite a bit of room to work with. Anybody can get a six-pack, and anybody can get bigger muscles, but almost nobody will look like this:
Now let’s set some realistic goals and not worry if it takes 12 weeks or 12 months.
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