Let me ask you ... are you happy with where you are right now? Are you happy with the way your physique looks? Are you happy with your current strength levels? Are you happy with your consistent approach to maintaining the fitness lifestyle? If not, then why?
It puzzles me why day in and day out, there are hard training athletes in gyms all around the country training their guts out for nothing. You would not work for your employer for nothing, so why would you settle for no results in the gym - results that mean more to you than anything else because it is a personal achievement.
Personal Standards First
For me, the key to maintaining the advantage over the rest of my competition is the standards that I have set for myself. Your standards are so important that they come before everything else!
Why do you push yourself so hard in the gym? Do you have a
competition coming up, do you want to impress the girl over in the corner, or is there another reason to your madness? In other words ... what fuels your fire?
There must be a reason to it all because why else would we do it. Why else would you get out of bed on a cold winter's morning to make sure you are at the gym as soon as they open so you can have first dibs on the squat rack?
Up The Stakes And Make It Personal!
Again, it all comes down to the standards that you have set for yourself. Your standards will determine not only the type of goal that you are determined to achieve, but also the way in which you will tackle the challenge and to the lengths that you will go to succeed.
Just as goals need to be a personal thing, so do your standards. There is no point living with someone else's values because they will not have the same powerful influence on you. Additionally, when living to your own standards you set them anyway you see fit, what's best for you.
Many people are often discouraged from having incredibly high standards because it is often easier to stay within your comfort zone and achieve something you know you can.
You don't want to end up disappointed do you? Well, you will only end up disappointed when you have a negative outlook and fail to give your all. You will never be 'sensational' without high standards.
Is There A Secret To A Great Physique?
Recently I received an email from one of my clients who wanted to know what my 'real' secrets were. I have always prided myself in making everything available to my clients. Even so, he wasn't convinced.
He was sure that there must be something that I was hiding and that I wasn't prepared to reveal. Surely there must have been a 'secret' that I was not willing to share because we all have secrets don't we? Well, not me ...
Contrary to what you might have heard from the 'gurus,' there are no secrets when it comes to getting a great physique. All I do is train hard, eat lots of food, take the right supplements and have incredibly high standards. In fact I thrive on them.
I don't let excuses stand in the way of anything less then 100% effort. At the end of the day, you are your own toughest competition. Are you willing to live in the face of defeat because you were not willing to go all out for the extra effort when needed?
Here Is An Example For You
Let's say that you come into the gym and you have not had the best preparation. The previous day, your nutrition was less then acceptable, you have just come off 3 1/2 hours
sleep and to make matters worse, your training partner has bailed on you and you are training legs. How are all these things going to affect your workout?
If you instantly answered with "Well, I'm going to have a crap session," then that's what you will have. But the truth is, there is no reason for these distractions to mean anything less then a great work-out.
If your standards are high and you are committed to performing to the best of your abilities, irrespective of the challenges that life throws at you from time to time, there is no reason that this workout will be any less effective than the week before.
Motivation Comes From Within!
Number 1 - you are training for yourself. You cannot rely on your training partner to provide the motivation for you, as this is something that needs to come from within.
You don't train for the sake of your training partner. You do it with the goal of improving your body because it is something you are committed too, and when you are training you don't settle for anything less then your best because that's the minimum standard that you have set for yourself.
As you can see, the standards that you set for yourself are vitally important if you want to achieve your ideal physique.
The lower your standards, the less results you will ultimately expect to receive.
Resist the temptation to just 'go with the flow' because I cannot think of anyone who has achieved outstanding results with that frame of mind.
Plus, don't let anyone discourage you. Just because you might be a novice lifter doesn't mean that you cannot dream of big-time success one day. The reason people sometimes have low standards is because they don't want to be held responsible when things don't go 100% to plan.
My advice is to be true to yourself, set your standards high and never accept anything less than your absolute best!
Oh before I forget, check this out. Chad is a good friend of mine from Canada. He recently took part in Sylvestor Stallone's 'Lifechange Challenge' organized by 'Instone Nutrition.'
How does a brand new car for the winner sound? Chad liked the car, but there was more to it. In 12 weeks, he wanted to see how good he could be. He set the bar incredibly high and then raised his standards beyond. For him, it was personal and he wanted to win the competition he set with himself. This philosophy worked perfectly!
To see Chad's before and after photos and what having high standards can do for you, visit him here.
Josh Dickinson is a Fitness Professional/Contest Coach based in Australia. You can contact him at: firstname.lastname@example.org.