“Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” – The Wizard of Oz
I see half-naked men and women on a daily basis. It’s the unfortunate side effect of being a fitness enthusiast of any degree and having social media.
Whether you’re in the fitness industry as a coach and business owner, or you simply like working out, chances are you see the same thing no matter what app you’re using. I’m referencing Instagram at the moment, but the same can be said about any other social media service that includes photo and video content of your interests. What do you see when you scroll? My feed features almost exclusively completely shredded individuals performing workouts. The new trend these days is to point at a body part that you’re about to work while facing the camera, smile, and then do the set. Some of them have even gotten fancy and labeled the exercises and body parts on the video itself.
Why do people follow them?
It’s simple – they want to look like them. They want to do the exact workouts and “crack the code” of finally getting fit. If you do everything this jacked guy does, won’t you eventually look like him?
Well, no. Not at all.
Because you don’t see the whole picture. When you watch a band play or listen to an orchestra, you appreciate the musicians and their sheer talent. What you don’t see, or tend to appreciate, are the hours upon hours those individuals were locked away practicing alone and doing the work that others weren’t as committed to. In our society, we lavish the end product, but we don’t like the process. Wherever their is great success in someone’s life, what isn’t apparent is the behind-the-scenes preparation they were willing to do in order to get to their goal.
When you see these fitness “influencers”, trainers, coaches, and anyone that by your estimation has “made it”, you don’t see anything beyond the final results. You don’t see the hidden component of nutrition or the dedication they exhibited in following and tracking their protocols. But the pain of NOT doing it was worse than the pain of committing to it. That’s usually the only way someone that is clinically obese decides to get in shape. The pain of working out and watching their caloric intake is overshadowed by the pain of remaining lethargic, uncomfortable, overweight, and unhappy.
Note: I’m also not even referencing steroid/SARM/HGH individuals either in this take. But even then, you didn’t see the pain they went through to be willing to inject questionable compounds into their bodies, eating consistently and mostly healthily, and practically live in a gym. The fact is, you don’t know how long these people have been training, what they really ate, what they injected (if anything), how far they ran, how much they sweat, and how much they want what they have. You can’t see it. You just see the final product.
So what did the legit, non-steroid fitness gurus do? What were the qualities of these individuals?
- They showed up every day.
- They showed up no matter what, even if they didn’t feel like it or were tired.
- They didn’t do it for fun, they did it for results. They tracked and measured their results.
- They didn’t overidentify with the process, because overidentifying with fitness & health makes you afraid of failure.
- They mastered the techniques through being consistent.
What is the overly-simplified, overarching theme of successful individuals? They show up. They might not be externally excited, enthused, or even awake yet. But they show up because they’ve recognized how important putting themselves first is, and how interconnected a healthy body is to almost every facet of successful living.
So, if you show up every day, are you going to look like that shredded individual on Instagram? That depends on what you’re willing to do. What does going “all in” mean as far as getting fit is concerned?
- Tracking calories, macros, and weight daily
- Tracking workouts and measuring strength
- Recording progress through the scale, pictures, and body measurements
- Following an individualized workout, cardio, and nutrition plan
- Attempting an 80%+ success rate each day in your nutrition
- Skipping desserts and alcohol (for a time)
- Never missing workouts unless it’s an appropriated rest day or emergency
- Enjoying the process instead of watching the clock
If you’re willing to do the above, you can absolutely get in shape and achieve the body you want. Will it only take 4 weeks like the Men’s Health magazines like to market? Nope, it’s a longer process (obviously dependent on your current biometrics and where you’re at in your fitness journey), and it’s more of a lifestyle change than just a 12 week program. These programs are meant to help you quickly get in shape and get into a routine – they’re not a one stop shop for success. And without a nutrition component to follow them, an exercise program is almost useless except for building muscle. Whatever you were doing before is comfortable – this is not comfortable.
If you’re not willing to do the above and you’re waiting for that magical pill, supplement, or 12-day ab routine that will get you to your goal, you’re going to be spinning your wheels for a long time.
The mind is a powerful thing. When you say you don’t have time for working out, or you put it off, you’re subconsciously neglecting to make it a top priority. On a deeper level, it means you’re not prioritizing yourself, because fitness is about making yourself better. If you decide to prioritize yourself, don’t go halfway and just follow a workout program. Go ALL IN and commit to nutrition, the real powerhouse behind fit individuals.