Stages of change model: Use this model as a road map to your success. It is important to know where you are when you are making a big change in your life, especially if you fall off track somewhere. This model worked well for me in making my transformation a smooth one.
Stages of change:
- Pre contemplation stage- you should be through this stage already if you are reading this article with any implications of getting into shape.
- Contemplation stage - this is most like the stage you are in now. You are thinking about making a change in your physical appearance.
- Decision stage - you will be in this stage when you have made the decision to commit to the challenge you have presented to yourself.
- Commitment stage - this is where you are pursuing your goals to make the change. Most people fall short of their goals and get discouraged at this stage. This is why finding something that truly motivates you is important.
- Maintenance stage - if you make it this far, congratulations. You have reached your goals. Now you need to maintain what you have done. Don't fall short at this stage. You don't want to undermine what you have worked so hard to accomplish.
As I am sure you already know, we all come in many different shapes and sizes. Some of us are better suited for some things than others. Some of us are great runners, and some of us would get whooped by my grandmother (And she's got no legs! Haha! Anyway, what I am trying to say is we all have varying body types. Genetic limitations do exist that keep us from looking like those people we see in magazines.
I believe it is important to be straight up with people, and not feed them unrealistic lies to make them feel good. I learned this from a professor at college, who is also a personal trainer. If a potential client came up to him with a picture of Arnold Schwarzenegger or Claudia Schiffer and said, "Make me look like this." He would say, "Sorry, I can't make you look like that. It is genetically impossible." Of course, they would leave in disgust and find another trainer who would feed them an appealing line to get their business m...
"Sure, I can make you look just like this." Well, the funny thing was, after a couple months of no results, the potential client would always come back to my professor and say, "OK, what can you do for me." With no hostility, he would present them with realistic goals that they could attain.
I hope you understand we are not all meant to be champion bodybuilders, but that doesn't mean we cant be the best that we can be. Never base your results on someone else's results. It's about improving the body that has been given to you that you should base your results on. There are three main body types and there is a way to figure out what kind of body type we most likely have. We all fall into one or a combination of two. Here is a description of the body types so you can figure out which type you most likely are:
- Ectomorph- this body type consists of those who have a more slender, lanky builds, and smaller bone structures. They usually have very fast metabolisms, making it hard for them to build muscle. On the other hand, excess body fat is rarely a problem due to their fast metabolisms.
- Mesomorph- this is what body type I have. With a medium sized bone structure and moderate metabolism, body fat and muscle size can be easily manipulated. This is the best body type suited for bodybuilding, because the body can easily lose body fat while gaining muscle.
- Endomorph- this body type belongs typically to those who are known as big boned. They have larger bone structures and slower metabolisms. Although easy for them to gain muscle, body fat is usually a problem.
I have made attempts in the past to get into shape, but for one reason or another I would always fall short of my goals. I have learned that the reason I never reached my goals was my approach was wrong. I failed before ever beginning. Here are some things that I needed in order to truly commit myself:
Short-term goals- start by making a mental or physical list of realistic goals that you can achieve in a short amount of time. For my 12-week transformation, I set monthly goals for my body fat percentage. I think part of my success came from reaching every short-term goal.
Long-term goals- these are goals in which you plan to reach over a longer period of time. You could say "I plan to compete in my first bodybuilding show in one year's time." That could be a realistic long-term goal. For me, a long-term goal is to compete at the Olympics in 2004. I know it will a great challenge for me to be at that level in such a short amount of time, but I believe that it is obtainable.
When I decided to do the EAS Body-for-Life challenge, I knew it would be a great motivator for me. As I began the challenge, I told everyone I knew, friends and family, about what I was doing. I think that my biggest motivator came from the positive energy I got from everyone. I didn't want to let them down.
It is important to find what motivates you. What motivates me to stay committed may not interest you at all. Depending on your goals, you should make commitments that work in favor of your goals. For example, if you are looking to shed a couple pounds for summer, you don't want to do a 12-week challenge like I did. You may want to use looking good in your bathing suit as motivation. Just make sure your motivation is strong enough to get you to where your goals are.
Whatever your goal, I believe this is a great place to start. If you are sure or not sure what motivates you, use this method to chart your progress. The camera doesn't lie, and it will tell you what you have improved and what is lacking. Start with a couple pictures of your before self and a month later take some more pictures. If you have been committed, you may be amazed by the results. I know I was! I have many friends at school using this method to motivate themselves and to chart progress with great success.
I believe in the words of Bruce Lee when it comes to training and diet: "No way is the right way." This means nothing is perfect. You have to find what works for you. Trial and error is the key. I am not saying for you to try and re-invent the wheel, someone has already done that for you. I am saying there are ways to improve the wheel to fit you better.
Remember, whatever your goals, there must be something that motivates you to get there. If motivation is lost, all is lost. Always know what stage you are in when making any kind of significant change if you plan on making a smooth transition to where you are trying to get. Also, don't ever let genetic limitations hold you back. You can always make improvement no matter what your genetic body type is. With this being said, I hope you all find what it is that keeps the ball rolling in the right direction toward your future goals.
I plan on doing a week-by-week sneak peak of my preparation of the shows I am doing in July, the body rock championships and the collegiate national. The 6-week preparation will include my exact training, and diet regimens. I will also include pictures and journal entries reflecting on my feelings on the contest preparation experience. I am excited about these shows, and I believe you will get a lot out of my experience as well. By the way, I am also doing this to keep my motivation in high gear. I won't let you guys down.