So imagine you just get in the car and start driving, and hope you end up at Hawaii. You don't look at a map, don't bring your GPS, you don't crack open a fresh can of Red Bull. You just get in the car and start driving west because you heard it worked for some other guy.
It's not as crazy as it sounds. That's what most people do on January 2nd.
They just show up at the gym, and hope for magic to happen. Or they make their own plan – a little bit of this and a little bit of that. It doesn't work because because they didn't actually understand what the plan needed to have.
It's one of the things I always look for in celebrity fitness interviews – is there a disconnect between what the celebrity says and what their trainer says? Usually, it's apparent that the trainer knows what part of the plan is making the magic happen, and the celebrity doesn't. Which isn't a bad thing – the celebrity needs to be an expert on acting or singing or whatever.
But take that point before you pick and choose parts of programs – you might not necessarily know what the intention was in the design. Some of the best trainers I know include things in their programs for multiple reasons, and sometimes the most important reason isn't the most obvious.
It's better to email the author and ask "Could I switch ABC for XYZ?" and see what they say, rather than just do it and see what happens.
Get a plan for food and a plan for working out. And really, truly, don't make your own plan. I've been doing this professionally for 10 years, and I get better results when I follow someone else's plan. I don't know why, but it just seems to work that way.
2.) The rest of the people go into the gym with a bad workout/diet plan
So back to our example of driving to Hawaii. You have the best of intentions. You buy a map and a compass, you know which direction Hawaii is, and you start driving 120 miles per hour, day and night, towards Hawaii. You could really work hard driving day and night… wow you're really going to get there fast with all of this driving!!!!
…and then you would go careening off a cliff into the Pacific Ocean, like Thelma and Louise.
All beacuse driving was a bad plan for getting to Hawaii.
This one sucks. It's terrible because you took the time to go find a plan. You bought the plan, and beacuse of the marketing or the way the author looked in spandex, you believed it was a good plan. And then it sucks, and you're left wondering what failed – you or the plan.
Or you got it out of a magazine. Look, I totally admit that magazine workouts have gotten much, much better over the lsat year. But… it still isn't the place to go for your "go to" workout.
And as far as diet plans – there are those that are overly restrictive. There are the plans that are basically fear mongering. I'll be the first to admit that 90% of the food plans out there "work", just some have a higher cost than others, in terms of pain and suffering.
In a perfect world, make small changes towards *any* food plan, and you'll do well. Some ones that I recommend include: The Eat Clean Diet, The Zone Diet, Paleo, The Meditarranean Diet. If you look at what all of those have in common vs how they are separate, you'll figure out why they all work.
But knowing why makes no difference – just pick one and follow it.
3.) THIS IS THE BIGGEST MISTAKE: They don't follow the plan.
So back to our driving to Hawaii example. Lets say you get a good plan: I'm going to drive to Los Angeles, and then fly to Hawaii. But you don't follow the plan. When you get to San Francisco you buy a ticket to Siberia.
After all, you'd been driving SO LONG! And when you got to San Francisco, you really didn't feel any closer to Hawaii, so you decided to change plans.
As you are flying to Siberia, you're thinking about how much flying you are doing. And what great results you should get – after all, you bought a really expensive ticket! And you're flying really far!
And then the plane plands in Siberia, and it doesn't look like Hawaii at all. Oh well, you think. At least I didn't drive off a cliff like the last example. You were successful at getting to Siberia, when you wanted to go to Hawaii.
This should be obvious, but it's not. Most people cut and run at the first sign of trouble. Truth is, if you've got a good plan, follow it. See it through. Hold your judgement on the plan until 12 weeks from now. Seriously.
And really, give it 12 weeks. I've been amazed at what can happen in 12 weeks, even when there wasn't any obvious magic at the end of week 2.
Follow the plan for the duration.
The gym is packed in January. It's overfull in February. And it's back to normal by march. That's a lot of people not following the plan. Give it the full 12 weeks. Or 16 weeks. Or however long it's designed for.
Don't change it at 4 weeks. Don't stop doing it at 4 weeks. And, please, don't switch to another plan at 4 weeks.
I assume the plan has 4 week phases. Follow the 4 weeks of the first phase, then do the 4 weeks of the second phase. It changes in certain ways for a reason, and it doesn't change in other ways… yup, for a reason! Just keep following it. Re-evaluate at the end.
I've got a couple options for you:
1.) My coaching program is open and on sale again, check out the sale details here:
2.) I found you one of the best plans ever, by one of the most respected author/trainers ever. Craig is dude I've met half a dozen times over the last decade, and can vouch for him being a hard science, smart fat loss guy: Turbulence Training 2.0 – you can read my review here:
But what ever plan you decide to do – get a plan, make sure it's a good plan, and follow the plan all the way through. 'Til the end of March! You'll be totally blown away at the end.
by Josh Hillis