Most of my adult life, my friends have told me "you won't be able to accomplish this", "people won't buy into that", and "society will only give you the other." In short, whatever goals I have wanted to experience as part of my journey, and then continue to succeed at once accomplished, I have seen more than one person smirk, laugh, shake their head, and raise their doubts.
You may ask, "Why do you class these people as your friends?" Well, they aren't bad people, and deep down they might mean well, but I am so focused in my beliefs and own growth, I can debunk their negative rants and vibes just as I can control a craving. If I listen carefully, I can hear positive reinforcement from the moon, but anything negative that may slow my journey, it's as if I am being spoken to from underwater. Several of my school reports would say "Kris is easily distracted in class", and this was normally in relation to subjects I had no interest in and that I felt wouldn't help me grow as a person. I like to call this "selective hearing".
I still hear negative rants from people like you; yes you, every day when it comes to my philosophies on training. I always hear the common phrase, "you have to train extremely heavy and fail within 6-8 reps to build muscle." That may work for several years, but I see it like owning a pet Panther - it may look cool and feed your ego for a while, but that's until your furry friend decides to chew your head off and devours Bill and Sally, your neighbor's children, and then it bites you in the ass. I have trained with extremely heavy weights and used the low-volume practice of H.I.T., hell; I even learned it from the best HIT teacher - Dorian Yates. I obtained some great results from this practice but as my muscles evolved, so did my strength which, in-turn, added great strain upon my tendons, muscle insertions and joints. There is a word that describes this painful training experience, and it begins with an 'S' and ends with a 'T', and it isn't Soot. It's a little bit more comfortable than being stabbed by a psychopath, but it still isn't comfortable.
I have since employed a training system called DTP (Dramatic Transformation Principle). It employs a lot of volume and a varied high to low rep range. Many disgruntled narrow-minded individuals have laughed at my training system, as I suggest that it will help build muscle and burn fat. Their main assertion is that you cannot build muscle on a program that recommend as high as 50 reps per set. Well, guess what, my lab is the gym and my studies (on clients and myself) have shown time and time again that this is possible.
I don't claim to know everything, and I certainly don't make claims on things I haven't experienced. I have never tried heroin, and I don't plan to, but I won't give a solid opinion on it and its effects because I have never experienced it. If you do have an opinion, keep it to yourself, and if my DTP training is deemed unsafe for you, I am sorry if I didn't provide wheelchair access. Pain is pleasure, and you have to suffer for your art, and that's exactly how I see the human body and mind.
One of my favorite quotes is one by Isaac Newton when he said, "If I see things further than others, it's because I stand on the shoulders of giants." I live by those quotes, because I have been helped and inspired by people much bigger than me, people that have given me the confidence to stand by my words and beliefs, no matter how many times I hear naysayers quote otherwise.
I don't want to appear like I am dropping names here, but hey, I am in a position to do-so, so I will. I have been fortunate to train with bodybuilding greats such as Robby Robinson, Gary Strydom, Bill Grant, Will Harris, Flex Lewis, Neil Hill, Phil Heath, Dorian Yates, Gunter, Bob Chic, Ronnie Coleman and Branch Warren. All of these people have shown me one thing - there isn't one secret training method that fits all. I'm sorry if I am boring you; there are many other websites available on bean bags and wallpapers that are worse, but I will relay these champions' secrets to their success: motivation and confidence to believe in their actions, consistency to improve day-in and day-out (regardless of their environment), and their ability to only interact with positive like-minded people, who, if not understand their goals, they at least support them.
If your group of friends aren't supportive of your quest, maybe it's time to trade them in for an un-opinionated Dorian Yates DVD, a BodySpace page, or a tub of reassuring natural peanut butter - they will better help your journey better than the people who have as many positives about them as a school bully with a sharp pencil. If you have a secret desire to accomplish your dream physique but keep getting held back by others, that's the equivalent to having Carmen Electra in your bed but you, as recommended by friends, decide to sleep on the couch. You will end up living a life of regret, so don't let the same thing happen with your health and fitness goals.
As I write this from the small town in which I was born and bred until my early 20's, I have returned to a little jealously and allot of suspicion. 99% of the town thinks I am on steroids. The population here aren't educated or open minded to understand that I haven't missed a single meal, supplement or workout for 10 years. Okay, I am 40lbs heavier than when I left, but that only works out to be around 4lbs of muscle gain per year, and yes, I worked my ass off for every gram of it. Because these people haven't evolved since then the time I left, they are subconsciously telling me, and themselves, I have accomplished a physique unattainable to them - I must've found a loophole. I could easily get disheartened by their accusations, mainly behind my back, or I could use this negativity to further fuel my purpose of evolution. I choose the latter because I know what may serve as someone's excuse, will serve as inspiration to others, and that's why I am here working for you, yes you.
Here are 4 of my secrets to success that have helped me not only achieve my goals, but have also made the journey to them enjoyable.
Take Social Inventory
I know that some of the people who inspire poor health and fitness habits may be those closest to you. You can't run away from your wife or husband, parents, or best friend-and that's not what I'm suggesting has to happen (unless you happen to be looking for an excuse!). You can, however, make the choice to take control of your life. As I told you earlier with my own story, I was surrounded by people whom I had to get away from if I wanted to change my life-it was that simple. If you are in a similar situation, I hope you can use my story as inspiration. Realize you have the power to shape your own environment.
When I use the word "eliminate," I want it to come from the power of awareness; you can rid yourself of negative influences simply by becoming more aware of their role in your life. Take your social inventory by stepping back to get a big picture: evaluate your friends, family, coworkers, social network friends, and so forth, and identify who drives you toward your goals and who distracts you from them. You can do this activity in your head, but personally I find that writing important thoughts and ideas down helps me connect with them better. Put the "drivers" in one column and the "detractors" in another; reserve the drivers for action. Once you have identified the key distracters in your life, it's time to eliminate the situations that allow for them to directly or indirectly guide your choices.
Track Your Progress
Research has shown that keeping a food journal alone can double weight loss. One study published in the journal Behavior Therapy took it a step further by determining that "obsessive-compulsive" self monitoring was the most effective-this means that the more detailed you are with your records, the better your results.
It's also important to keep track of your progress. When you track your progress either by getting on a scale or by measuring muscle growth, you boost your confidence in your ability to make improvements and to ultimately fulfill your fitness and health goals. When researchers evaluated a group of people who were successful in making long-term commitments to health and fitness, they found that this thriving group actively kept records of progress, food consumption, and exercise activity. Create your own BodySpace page to take advantage of all the tracking tools featured within.
The most powerful method to bind internal goals to external actions is to tell everyone about your goals: in other words, to make your private commitments public. Studies have shown that turning a private goal into a public one can propel it from a passive to an active state; like the flip of a switch, sharing your goals with others shines a light on your commitments and ensures that you stick to them. It may seem as though a simple concept couldn't possibly have such a significant impact, but research has repeatedly provide that telling others about your plans can make all the difference.
What happens when you make a visible commitment is that you put your reputation on the line. If you share a goal with someone and then act inconsistently with fulfilling it, you are seen as lacking integrity and trustworthiness. So, put your reputation on the line - join the Body by Design BodyGroup, express your goals, post a before picture and wait for a world of as much positive reinforcement that is much like peeing on yourself - everyone can see, it but only you will get the warm feeling it brings.
Focus On Consistency With A Passion
The best diet in the world won't get to where you want to go, neither will the number 1 workout plan, but consistency will. Most diets work, as do most training programs, where people lack though is their consistency in order to improve.
People may look at me and think that, as the Editor in Chief of Bodybuilding.com, I must have access to all the free supplements I could possibly want, know all the best training routines and have a secret combination of foods, such as sheep's testicles that have hidden amounts of testosterone. My "secret" is consistency. For almost 10 years I have yet to miss a meal, a planned workout, my post workout shake and my middle-of-the-night protein snack.
I am a machine when it comes to consistency because I have a passion for what I do. You can't expect to become Tiger Woods if you don't have a passion for the sport, and you can't expect to achieve your health, fitness and appearance goals if you don't have a passion for them either. When I came to work at Bodybuilding.com, I didn't accept the position based on a financial forecast, I accepted because the person leading the business has a dream, a passion and a belief. Passion is much stronger than any training and a nutrition forecast, and in this case, it shows within the culture of the company. If you dream with consistency and passion, you will manifest it into reality.
This is the year I want to see, hear and witness your best intentions move forward. BodySpace has a family and a support group that offers a sympathetic ear, advice, tracking tools, accountability, motivation and inspiration. Don't feel like you are alone or facing an uphill battle with those around you. Take from these people their attributes, debunk the rest and move on. These people aren't inside your head, they don't know what you feel or think, so in essence, they are unimportant and you would probably be better off with bird flu.
The Bodybuilding.com book - Body by Design is now available. This book will clearly detail all of the things I have touched on in this article, and so much more that I have witnessed and experienced as a BodySpace member and Editor in Chief. For Christmas, my gift to the people closest to me, and my friends who bark their negative rants, will be a copy of Body by Design. Don't think this is an egotistical move; I simply want to invest in their mental wellbeing and provide a health service. The gift I would like in return, is their positive change and to live a better life.