As I sit in the coffee shop today day thinking about one piece of advice I could give to help with your success in transforming your physique. I look back over the years of experimenting, reading, studying, dieting, competing, training clients, and everything that I have put into my work of finding the most efficient ways to Build Muscle and Lose Fat. Achievement really comes down to ONE concept.
One concept will eventually lead you to success.
One concept that will allow you to Build Maximum Muscle.
One concept that will guarantee achievement of fat loss.
One concept that will lead you to victory in any field, especially in physique development.
One concept that will allow you to discover the best ways to exercise program and diet.
One concept that will set you apart from the crowd, even if today you are miles from your goal.
So what is that one concept?
As I look back, I realize I have tried about every training and diet plan imaginable. Dieting, I have experimented with low carb, carb cycling, high carb, moderate carb, high protein, low fat, and on and on… Training I have exercised using high frequency, low frequency, low volume, high volume, high repetitions, low repetition, and on and on…
So what is the answer? What is the best method? I know you guys want answers right? 🙂 We all want to know the one magic routine or method? I know, I have been there and I still look. “Give me a strategy that will work forever or even just for a little while.” Surely there is one best way to train and diet? Or is there? What is this one concept, that will allow you to transform your physique.
Drum Roll Please…….
Don’t Look 🙂
CONSISTENCY. Is the one Concept that will propel you to your goal. Without consistency in applying your methods you will never be able to determine if a method is working for you. You must experiment at times with training and dieting to find the most efficient methods for your body and your goals. This experimenting will probably take weeks of consistent execution to access the effectiveness. For instance, I trained for 4 years doing high frequency training early in my career. This was before any real science was available, and in fact we don’t have much today anyway. I thought that the best way to train was to train 2 times per day, 6 days per week, and training each muscle group 3 times per week. As I think back, I was always exhausted and making very little progress. But, I was doing what I thought was best.
Then I met a competitor who encouraged me to train each muscle group once per week, cutting my training days to 4 days per week. I did not believe this could be effective and tried to find some research for or against any method. This led to a dead end as there was no real work in muscle recovery. I went in the gym and gave this method a try for a month or so. Like just 1 month was going to dramatically change my physique. Back then I thought a month was a long time but now I see that a month is not near the time necessary to really assess the effectiveness. So I only gave it about a month of effort and soon abandoned it to go back to my normal high frequency training (comfort). Many now would call this type of training “overtraining.” but I had never heard of overtraining.
I kept this high frequency training approach up a few more years and finally a friend encouraged me to give the one time per week approach another try. This time I committed to 6 months of consistent effort to the new program. Sure enough I did gain lean mass as evident by an increase in competition weight at the next show. If only I had given this approach a consistent effort for a number of months before passing judgement the first time. However, the experience was very valuable in my development both physically and mentally. I was so young with little experience and as I look back I realize I was drastically short circuiting my progress by such a high frequency, high volume, and unbalanced approach for at least 5 years.
I do believe higher frequency training can work and I see now that I was trying to do too many sets and too much total volume for it to be effective. The same could be said about nutrition. Though, I do believe a nutritional intervention can be assessed much quicker.
Give your best consistent effort to every training and dietary approach you attempt for a period of time. When we are dealing with training you should probably give a program at least 3 months. Do not change your program every week looking for something wrong with your current plan. Be consistent and take measurements. Eventually, the answers will come to you, but the time necessary is usually longer than you think.
One way to dramatically accelerate your progress is to get good coaching. Hire a coach who has built their body naturally, if that is your goal. Do not seek coaching from someone who has not walked the path you are on.
P.S. Even if you have the best training and nutritional strategies available, achievement will take Consistent effort for an extended period of time.