7 MISTAKES MOST GUYS MAKE WHEN TRYING TO GET IN SHAPE
Getting into shape can be difficult. If it was easy we would all be shredded all of the time.
“In shape” can mean different things for different people but there is one thing most of us can agree on: we can be better.
This might mean less flab, more muscle, or more definition. Some of us would like to feel better and have more energy. Others might want to accomplish certain feats like running a marathon.
No matter the reason, here are 7 mistakes most guys make when trying to get in shape.
1. They simply aren’t putting in the effort
Let’s be straightforward: you are only going to put effort into the things that matter to you.
Unless you have a strong inner desire to reach your fitness and health goals, no amount of watching motivational videos or reading blog posts (including this one) is going to get you there. You have to want it more than anyone else.
So, ask yourself, why do you want to be in better shape? Do you want to be sexier and more appealing? What about feeling better and having better overall health? Do you want to push the limits of what your body is capable of and reach new limits?
Whatever your reasoning may be, you must solidify it in your mind.
Use that as your driving force to get you going and once you begin, use the benefits you receive from your improved lifestyle as momentum to keep you going.
You are the one that has to start the journey and nobody else can do it for you. Once you reach your destination, you’ll look back and wonder why you didn’t start sooner.
2. They have the wrong idea about healthy food and fitness
Waking up at 5 A.M. and eating bland food isn’t the only way to reach your goals. It is a way but it isn’t the only way.
Many people see reaching their health and fitness goals as a chore. This is why today’s industry is focused on shortcuts and trying to find an easy way around the problem.
There really is no easy way around it though; getting into shape requires adequate physical exercise and proper diet. But, what if I told you it didn’t have to be so hard?
Take a minute to imagine the prospect of reaching your goals. This might mean long, grueling hours at the gym, eating bland and uninspiring food, and sacrificing time out of your already busy schedule.
In reality, none of these things have to be true.
Working out can be a blast, eating healthy can taste the same and even better than unhealthy food, and you really don’t need to take that much time out of your schedule.
Exercise is a great way to blow off steam and is a great pastime that can be very enjoyable and rewarding. Sometimes it’s just a matter of finding something you enjoy. You can try kayaking, rock climbing, hiking, cycling, or countless other activities that you can enjoy while staying active.
With a little practice, you can cook healthy recipes that taste damn good. Many of the foods you love have healthier alternatives and those that don’t can be portioned out.
Once you begin eating well the benefits make it hard to refute: more energy, better physical appearance, fewer health problems, and so on.
Seeing the results from your hard work, learning to push your body to new limits, and reaching peak physical performance can become addictive in its own right.
As far as time goes, five purposeful and dedicated hours a week in the gym can do the trick for most people; sometimes even less.
So if it doesn’t have to suck to get into shape, then what’s next?
3. They have gaps in their knowledge
This one seems pretty obvious but is often overlooked. One cannot reasonably expect to reach their goals without first obtaining the knowledge to do so.
Take a moment to really ask yourself how much knowledge you have on the subject of health and fitness. Where did you get your knowledge from?
If the answer is your buddy from college or some random guy you met in line at the grocery store, it might be time to read up. There are many, many great resources online to help you with this.
Some of my personal favorites include Athlean-X on YouTube, Bodybuilding.com, and Fitmencook.com. These are just a very small few though — look around to find what suits you best.
4. They reach information overload
This is another common issue that I have seen. After realizing they need to learn more, guys go out to improve their knowledge and go into information overload with the nearly limitless amount of info out there.
There are hundreds of health and wellness resources out there and all of them will tell you their way is the right way. Of course they will say that; that helps them sell products!
Before long you find yourself trying 7 different workouts and 9 different diet plans in the span of two months. The result? You haven’t done anything but spin your wheels because you can’t stay focused on one method.
I myself have fallen into this trap. Luckily, the solution is simple: find one resource and stick with it. Find one workout and/or diet plan and commit to it. Don’t do any more research until you’ve given yourself at minimum three months to see results from it.
Sure, you might be wondering if the workout plan you’ve chosen is the best workout plan for you but guess what? It doesn’t have to be. Rarely does someone find the best of anything on their first try.
Besides, a plan doesn’t have to be the best on planet earth to bring you the results you want.
Try it out for some months and then try something else if you aren’t satisfied with your results.
5. They haven’t accepted it as a lifestyle
The fact about reaching your health goals is that it requires long term change. The current health and wellness community is spammed with titles such as “lose 30 pounds in 30 days” or “get shredded in a matter of weeks”.
Your health and wellness journey should (and will) take much, much longer than this.
If you are reading this in May hoping to get shredded before summer begins I have bad news for you: it’s probably not going to happen.
Sure, it is possible to make visible changes before then, but you have to ask yourself if the habits that bring on these changes are sustainable. This leads us to our next roadblock:
6. They haven’t created sustainable habits
As mentioned above, health and wellness is a lifestyle, not a 90-day challenge. With this in mind, we must adopt strategies that we can turn into habits and that we can live with indefinitely.
Take a careful look at the habits you are creating for yourself and ask: “Is this something that I can do for the next 6 months? What about the next year? What about the next five years?”
If the answer to any of these questions in no or you are not sure, take another close look at that habit. Eating dry chicken breast and plain broccoli out of Tupperware, I’m looking at you.
Creating habits, especially sustainable ones, can be difficult. Luckily, with a little planning, it doesn’t have to be.
Changing your environment is perhaps the best way to create new, sustainable habits. Simply rearrange, reorient, and add or remove things from your environment to make it easier to do things you should and harder to do the things you shouldn’t.
I used to stay up way too late watching TV until I moved the TV out of my room. All of a sudden I was getting the sleep I needed. It’s really that simple.
Or perhaps you can decide to no longer keep junk food in your pantry. Put protein bars or another healthy snack in the spot where you used to keep your potato chips and now when you open your pantry expecting to see potato chips, you’ll be reminded of what you should be eating.
One more simple trick to creating healthy habits is to try out new things to find a new way of reaching your goal.
If you hate running, for instance, try another form of cardio like swimming, cycling, or hiking.
7. They are focused on the summit and not the climb
While envisioning your final goal isn’t a bad thing, it can’t be the only thing you are focused on.
As I mentioned before, many people that maintain healthy lifestyles have learned to enjoy it. If we don’t enjoy something, we won’t commit to it day in and day out.
While going to the gym can seem like a chore, many people who maintain healthy lifestyles enjoy going to the gym because they have fun exercising or because they appreciate the hustle.
They can learn to appreciate eating well because it makes them feel better. They have learned to see the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and gain a new appreciation for the steps it takes to reach their goals.
By all means, continue to imagine your end goal if that’s what helps you get there. Just don’t forget about the climb in the process.