Many bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts are frustrated by their lack of progress in achieving their fitness ambitions. They may be trying to gain more muscle mass or lose body fat but may find their goals are not being met.
They profess to train intensely, or always eat healthy, and make sure that they are getting a good night's sleep every night. However, after careful observation their failure to reach their goals usually comes down to the fact that they do not have a "balance" between the three most important facets of bodybuilding and fitness success.
I often use the analogy of a "3-legged stool" to help explain what is required to be successful in achieving bodybuilding or fitness goals. A 3-legged stool is dependent upon each of its legs to stay upright and level.
If one of the legs of the stool is removed or is longer or shorter than the others, the stool will either fall over or not maintain a level consistency and the stool will lose its overall effectiveness.
The three legs which create this proper "balance" and contribute to your success are:
All three of these "legs of success" are equally important and necessary for one to realize and achieve your fitness goals. If one or two of these legs are overpowering the other legs your potential for success will not be met because the balance of your goals has been upset.
The 3-Legged Stool
The Training Leg
An individual may train with great intensity in the gym but will not realize much muscle growth without proper feeding and resting of their muscle fibers.
In this scenario, the "training leg" has become the overpowering leg on the stool while diet and lifestyle legs, which equates to proper feeding and rest, have been neglected. As a result, potential muscle growth or fat loss has been compromised and goals have not been met.
Likewise, if a person eats healthy but does not push their muscle to work harder the body has no reason to improve. The "training leg" thus becomes the short leg of the stool and potential growth is hindered.
To build muscle mass your body must be pushed beyond its normal means to be given incentive to become stronger, bigger, or faster.
The Lifestyle Leg
The "lifestyle leg" of the 3-legged stool represents how you typically live your life. If your training and/or diet become overwhelming factors in your life then you may be limiting your interaction and involvement with your family, friends and your work.
Don't let your training always take precedence over everything in your life. You must learn to schedule your training to maintain and foster your participation in your family or work activities.
By doing so, you help build a supporting relationship that will, in the end, create your support team which will be there when you need it most. Ignore them, and suffer the possible consequences of them ignoring you when you need their support.
Making sure you schedule rest and recuperation time for your body is also important. If you train intensely and feed your body correctly you may still not achieve your full potential if you do not give your body the rest it needs to rebuild your muscles.
The Diet Leg
Being on a strict diet doesn't mean you can never eat out with your family and friends, it just means you may not be able to indulge in everything they are eating. Just because you may be suffering through a diet doesn't mean everyone in your life has to suffer!
When eating out, choose your foods wisely and limit your consumption. Enjoy your company and paste a smile upon your face if you have to. Your family or friends will appreciate you being there.
Increasing The Stability
A fourth leg could also be added to this stool to help increase its stability. This leg could be called the "dedication leg." This leg is the stabilizer that insures that all the other legs are of equal importance and helps maintains their balance for the total effectiveness of achieving your fitness goals.
If you look around to those who have achieved success in their bodybuilding and fitness goals I think you will soon realize that they possess equal length stool legs of diet, training and lifestyle.
They have, unconsciously or not, given each of these legs equal footing to achieve their ambitions. Their dedication leg has stabilized their success.
If any leg typically fails in a person's success it would most likely be that they have failed in their attempt to balance their goals with their lifestyle.
Bodybuilding can be a selfish sport ... but it doesn't have to be. If you let it consume your life it may consume you. Creating these balances in your life will give you a level approach and direction to follow and succeed.