28 Aug Part 2 | 6 Key Principles To Build Lean Muscle, Improve Performance & Develop Sustainable Results
#2 - Consistency
If you’re a resident of planet Earth, you’re probably familiar with New Year’s resolutions. The New Year tends to inspire many of us each year to declare “THIS IS THE YEAR! This is the year I get in the best shape of my life”. Yet after just 40 days, those same individuals give up on themselves and stop going to the gym – resulting in the 2nd Thursday in February to be called “Fall Off The Wagon Day.”
Although there are several contributing factors as to why many of us stop going to the gym just 40 days after the New Year, I can tell you that lack of consistency plays a pivotal role in ones inability to possess the result they desire.
I’ve been in public gyms since I was 14 years old and have observed countless individuals who show up to the gym with a “Gung-ho” attitude, working out twice a day, 5 days a week for the first 2 weeks. Weeks 3-4 those same individuals will walk through the gym doors 4 days out of the week, with no two-a-day’s. By weeks 5-6 they are down to 1-2 days, if at all.
Now, I don’t have peer reviewed studies on these numbers. All I can tell you is that this is what I’ve observed over the years and I’ve also been guilty of it myself.
Hiring a coach was the best thing I could’ve done. It’s what has allowed me to learn this lesson and apply the principle to everything else in life I aim to be successful at.
When I first started training with my coach at the time, who is now a great friend of mine, I committed to training with him just 3 times a week.
To me that was nothing. I’ve been an athlete my whole life so training everyday on top of games and tournaments was what I perceived as normal. 3 training sessions a week was all I could afford to do at that time so I put everything I had into those 3 training sessions. In just 14 months training with my coach 3 days a week, I put on 50 pounds of muscle and was in the best shape of my life.
So what was the big shift?
Athletes are lazy creatures for the most part. I would train a few months leading up to the season, then maintenance during the season. Post season, I take time off and get comfortable.
After I stopped playing competitive basketball, I took that same method of training into the gym. 6 months on, 3-6 months off.
When I finally hired a coach to train and mentor me, I was training less throughout the week than I was used to but now I had got to a point where I was training more than ever simply by being more consistent over a longer period of time.
I’d rather you train 3 times a week for the next 5 years than for you to train 5 times a week for a few months, then disappear, come back in a few months to try and go hard again because you have a vacation coming up.
Of course, as time went on I increased my training frequency, but only after I had established a schedule I could stick to and I had got a taste of how to train and sustain that level of commitment.
Think back on the skillsets you’ve developed, your personal transformations and information that you applied that then became knowledge.
All of these things, whether good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, were accomplished with consistent habits.
You created the habit of going to the gym 3x/week and a year later you got into the best shape of your life.
You start ordering a pizza on your way home from work everyday, crack open a beer when you walk in the door, a year later you’re wondering how you put on 20 pounds.
This can be applied to every area of your life.
“Massive action creates massive change”
I don’t know who that quote is from but when I first stepped onto the path of personal development in my early 20’s this is something all the motivational guys said.
To some degree is true but consider that massive action is the result of subtle changes in your daily life over time.
Substitute the donut and latte you have every morning on your way to work with an apple and a protein shake. Not only will you feel better that day, but over the course of a year the compound effect that simple change made will be drastic when you reflect on the person you were a year prior.
So, a subtle change in your daily life executed with consistency leads to massive action which then creates massive change.
Once you’ve started on your path to your desired outcome, it’s imperative you identify the subtle changes you can make every day like the donut for an apple, or an energy drink for water.
Executed with consistency, in time you will have established a new habit which becomes your “default”, something you can fall back on in the process of implementing new habits to build on.
Like I mentioned in the first principle, create a game plan in which you identify a long term goal (preferably performance based), establish a training schedule you can commit to and track progress daily. Practice this framework with consistency and not only will you get to the result you want, you’ll be able to sustain it as a lifestyle so you’re ready for whatever you demand out of life.
This is arguably the most important principle. Without consistency, every other principle becomes irrelevant.