The vast majority of people trying to transform their body fail due to lack of knowledge. It is the knowledge, that makes this process easier. It has frequently been said that “You can’t out-train a bad diet.” Similar sayings are applicable to other things. You can’t make up for lack of knowledge by simply destroying yourself in the gym. This is the 97% of people in the gym, your gymrats. The guy doing 45 minutes of biceps, not realizing it is something in his diet preventing him from putting on muscle.
Among those who are actually very enlightened, and know the “truth” when it comes to fitness, there are 2 possible setbacks. I have observed these in my online clients (who in paying me have access to almost unlimited knowledge). After about 4 or 5 months with me, they have had access to a plethora of useful information, and if they are still failing, it is either:
A) Lack of internal drive and dedication, and the energy to make it through grueling workouts (cardio and weights)…
B) Inability to make sacrifices. This directly relates to giving up unhealthy food choices, opting out of drinking alcohol, maybe getting a little extra sleep…. etc etc.
–Professionals are the ones doing the 98% that is agreed upon correctly. Without extensive research and learning EXACTLY what works for THEIR body, they essentially know everything applicable to real life that can be read (and not experienced). Most improvements I could make in my current routine would either be a huge pain in the ass (ie calorie counting, weighing my food on a scale), or result of self experimentation, with all other things constant. The latter is something I do constantly, and is why my basic template program is constantly becoming sharper, and more effective. I will add something into my supplement drawer, knowing i am gradually becoming stronger and more ripped (always, unless I am taking a break, sick, or injured, and my pictures prove it), and I will document how I feel, how my workouts go, and I will have photographs of myself standing in the same light every day post workout, to evaluate physique changes. This is how high level professionals “dial in” their diets for photoshoots and competitions. It is all micro-changes and tiny additions/subtractions. Using the scientific method, and keeping all else constant, changing one thing at a time, and noting the aftereffects. This is an advanced technique and not really applicable until you reach a point where the only time you learn something, is when you are reading about a recent discovery in sports science, or talking to someone in the elite level (top-level of professionals. Matt Kroc is an example).
*When i say professionals i refer to individuals who have the opportunity to model for money, compete in some sport for money, or train athletes/design diets for money, without ever having to worry about being poor. I am a fitness professional.
*When i say the elite i refer to Olympic athletes, celebrity personal trainers, the strongest men in the world, etc. Those at “the top of the game.” Those who can charge over $100/hr for personal training, without having any current certificiation, because they have made a name for themselves. Do you think Charles Poliquin has a PICP certification?
–The most common thing preventing fitness enthusiasts from reaching a “professional” level when they are already an advanced-intermediate, is the inability to make sacrifices. Poor diet willpower, alcohol consumption, and not willing to pass up “fun” for “work” is what holds most advanced-intermediates hostage, at that level of development. They will look like they workout, but they will never make jaws drop, because other things are being prioritized over fitness. These are your guys who are jacked, but have never dieted consistently and become ripped. And for ladies, its the women who are strong and have good posture and nice bodies, who have never acheived that perfect 10 physique, that is not so far away from where they are currently.
-The second thing holding people back (who have the knowledge) is lack of internal drive. This is the most common issue for most trainees. One thing to take into account, is that changes in one’s physique are more noticable the leaner you are. 3% bodyfat looks COMPLETELY different from 6%, despite only being a change of roughly 6 lbs in most male lifters. 13% and 16% look basically the same. Sometimes in clients, I really need to make sure they have complete faith in me. Basically ingrain it into their head, that if they do exactly as I say, they will become ripped to shreds (men) and very attractive/toned (women). The closer to the end goal a person is, the more noticable the changes are. This is why I try to get complete adherance to my programs early in the training, because motivation will always fade with time, unless the client is supplied with a reflection in the mirror that re-affirms that they are on the right path.
With regard to sacrifices, I like the feeling of checking out the hottest female in the gym, and realizing she is already STARING AT ME. I think the natural high I get from that, as egotistical as it sounds, beats the high of alcohol and junkfood.