As a school student, life is hectic. Between crazy relationships, trying to have fun on weekends, going to school, doing homework, and trying to magically get sleep in the midst of it all, staying in shape is probably one of the hardest things for college students to do.
5 Principles For Success
This article will hopefully shed some light on how to get your butt in shape amidst the busiest time of your life. We'll discuss some basic principles that will get you on your way to being successful both in the gym and in life.
1 / Lose The Whiny Boyfriends And Girlfriends
Ok people, you all know I'm right on this one. There are just some people out there that, for whatever reason, need to spend every waking moment with the person that they are dating. When you tell them that you have stuff to do, and you can't hang out, they whine and whine and whine until you give in. The solution is simple. Dump them!
People that are that needy and whiny are going nowhere in life and use relationships as a crutch to get through life. They will drag you down, waste your time, and kill your dreams and goals. If you meet someone like this, run like hell.
2 / Evaluate And Manage Your Time
Just recently, I started taking some economics classes, and one of the fundamental principles in economics is the term "opportunity cost." Basically, with every decision that you make, you are giving something else up. When talking about time management, the same concept can be applied.
For instance, if you watch 2 hours of TV, then that is 2 hours that could have been used to exercise, do homework, or something else. One of the big problems that I've had in college is spending too much time on the internet, which is a problem for a lot of college students.
For me, spending too much time on the internet took away from taking care of business with school, which caused me to have to stay up late doing homework. Staying up late took away from my sleep and hindered my ability to get to the gym to take care of business.
Of course, everything comes full circle as well. I eventually got so tired that I ended up having to take naps before I could get any homework done. The naps screwed up my sleep schedule so I ended up getting less sleep than I would have if I would have just stayed up and gone to bed at a reasonable hour. It was just this weird, complicated cycle that made life very difficult.
For me, I've seriously limited my time on the computer to things that I consider to be worth my time. Look at your own life and where you are spending your time. You might be surprised to find out that you could recover 3-5 hours of lost time every day by simply eliminating something from your life that is eating up all your time.
3-5 hours a day can give you enough time to work out, focus on school, get enough sleep, and enjoy life overall.
3 / Determine Your Priorities
This goes hand in hand with Principle 2. You have to determine what is most important to you and stick by those priorities. For me, my priorities go something like this: School, sleep, exercise, relationships, and hobbies.
They go in that order, and I try to stick to that order. If my relationships interfere with my sleep and school, then I really ask myself if it's really worth it. Usually, I figure that it's not. If people do not want to respect my priorities, then I can't have them in my life.
If I'm dating someone, then I try to keep it to weekends with maybe a phone call or two during the week to see how they're doing, which I would say is reasonable.
Establishing priorities in your life and sticking to them is a good way to create balance. You need balance in life to feel good about yourself. If one area of your life ends up taking over and eating up all your other priorities, then it will create an imbalance, and you'll end up feeling miserable and conflicted.
4 / Create Realistic Fitness Goals
For some reason, this is something that college students really struggle with. A lot of people don't really want to be realistic with what they can accomplish in a semester or over the course of a year.
The reality of it is that getting the body you want takes a lot of time, effort, and discipline. Amazing bodies aren't created overnight. If they were, then everyone would have the body they want.
Be realistic with what you can accomplish in a semester or over the course of a year. Set realistic goals and also set extreme goals that you hope to achieve that go beyond the scope of what's realistic. Doing this will give you a set of clear targets to pursue and will allow you to hone your mind on accomplishing those goals.
For instance, one of my extreme goals was to gain 40 lbs in a year of relatively lean mass. The realistic goal was to add 20 lbs onto my frame. Having these goals in mind helped me really focus on eating right, training hard, and getting my sleep.
Consequently, I busted my butt and managed to gain 30 lbs of fairly lean mass over the course of a year. That sort of landed in the middle of my realistic and extreme goals, but I was satisfied with it.
Having those goals in mind got me in the right mindset to succeed. I was always thinking about gaining mass, which caused me to be extremely disciplined with my sleep, my eating, and my exercise. Set some goals and keep reinforcing those goals in your mind. You'll be amazed at what you can accomplish when you mind is honed in on accomplishing specific objectives.
Be Realistic With What You Can Accomplish In A Semester Or Over The Course Of A Year
5 / Get In, Get Out, And Get On With Life
I think this is pretty self-explanatory. Don't spend 2 hrs in the gym every day. Get in, accomplish what you need to, and get out. Your time at college is extremely valuable, and the last thing you want to do is waste it lounging around in a gym.
Your workouts should not go any longer than an hour or so. I don't care if you're a girl trying to lose weight or a guy trying to build muscle. Get in, bust your butt, and get out.
There's actually some science to back this up as well. Basically with intense exercise, your body will run out of glycogen (energy) within 40-60 min. Sometimes, you might be able to last for 90 min, but that's about the maximum. By then, you're usually just running off of fumes and your workouts are not very productive at that point.
Get in, get out, and get on with life. Sounds like a great T-shirt slogan. It's a great principle to live by.
Being at college is tough. There's always so much to do and not enough time, so be smart about how you use your time. Set your priorities and stick to them, and you'll be successful at just about everything that you want to accomplish. Best of luck on achieving your fitness goals.