Monday, May 6, 2013

Consistency - The key to success

Hey guys,

If you ask me about what I think is the most important point to adhere when you want to get fit, my answer would always be consistency. No matter how hard you train and how strict you follow a diet it's almost worthless if your effort is limited to 3 or 6 month. Of course you will see great results in that time and afterwards you are definitely fitter than you were before, but if you stop your effort in working out and stop following your diet it's very likely that you will look like before or worse after the next few weeks/months. Unfortunately I can tell you this as a kind of expert in yo-yo effects. If you remember my first post "Introduction", you might know what I mean. I had lots of phases in my life when I'd worked out hard and stuck to different kinds of diets disciplined. I'd had success and became unbelievable fit in almost any of this phases (especially when I was younger it was quite easier to get fast results). The sad thing is, that I never was consistent enough to follow the plans I made for more than 8 months. Once I stopped training and changed my diet to "normal" (which, in my case, is too much junk food and sweets) I lost muscle mass fast and gained lots of additional bodyfat in a short period. My friends call me "living proof for the yo-yo effect". Usually my weight differs around 33 lbs (15kg) during every year! Every year I'd started an ambitious training program and a good diet but after a few months I'd always lost the motivation and lapsed into my old habits. I'd been unable to even maintain my fitness status...

That's the reason why I started this blog to stay in line this time. The beginning of every life change program is uncomfortable. You cannot lift the weight you could earlier in your life, you have problems hitting the rep targets even in easy exercises and you run out of air after a short cardio session. Your appearence is far from how you wish it would be and you know that the way is tough.

Becoming fit is so much harder as maintaining a reached fitness level...but motivation is a big problem.

There is a solution for this problem:
If your motivation is down, try to decrease your effort in working out but never ever stop the training! Ease up your diet but try to control your eating habits and avoid gluttony!

The magic word is  consistency. If you train hard and your motivation decreases do at least some bodyweight exercises 10 minutes a day. This will help you to maintain (with just a small loss of power) what you already got and if your motivation is up again, you can start a new routine from a higher starting level. This way you can get better and fitter over a long time. If I would have maintained my aready reached fitness level with low effort every time I stopped my programs I would be a beast now. I would be able to do unhuman stuff I dream about now...
Anyway, leave the past and concentrate on today and the future, because future could be created while the past is already gone.

Another argument why consistency is the most important thing in training and dieting is this: If you lack enough free time to do a high-effort workout 3-6 times a week just start low. Do push ups, pull ups and some other beginner calisthenics every day (or every other day) for 10-15 minutes (depends on how much time you can spare). Even a commercial break during a tv show is better than nothing. If you do this over a long period you definitely are going to benefit from it. You will get stronger, leaner and fitter...low-pace but steady progress is promised. The important point is consistency!
I want to depict this with an example:
In Germany a regular student has half a year time to learn for an exam. In the beginning of the semester you sit in front of a huge pile of books that you have to read. If you study just one hour a day (and believe me for a student that's possible ;) ) and in the last two weeks before the exam 4 hours a day, you studied 225 hours seen from the exam day. If you enjoy your life the whole semester and decide to learn all the stuff at the end of the semester, you have to study more than 3 weeks, given that you read 10 hours a day. This is way harder and probably you can't concentrate 10 hours/day so your knowledge is far from what it would be by using the first option. Chances that you pass the exam are lower, 3 weeks are totally miserable and you won't remember much after the exam...What choice is better?

P.S.: Ask yourself: "What are 10 minutes per day compared to a long, fit and healthy life?"

I hope you understand why consistency is the key factor in all parts of your life.

Cheers,
Andi