Do you often look at people who have great bodies—bodies that you'd kill to have—and wonder what their secret is? Do you wonder how some people can achieve great fitness success while others struggle? It's more than just genetics and intense training. It may boil down to small, consistent habits.
True, cover models usually have great training routines, stick to their diet plan no matter what, and are highly motivated. But their success comes from more than that. Incredibly fit people tend to have weapons most of us aren't aware of. These secret weapons aren't built in laboratories, and they don't come from complex science. They're tiny habits and strategies that anyone has the capacity to utilize.
Want to learn the secret weapons of the insanely fit and add them to your own fitness arsenal? Read on!
Secret Weapon 1: The Ability To Delay Gratification
Our world is one of instant gratification. People tend to want things right away, and this phenomenon extends to fitness. If people don't see results after a week in the gym, they often fall off the wagon. Eating a bag of chips is instantly gratifying, whereas the results you'd get from months of hard work and clean eating are far more difficult to forecast.
Super-fit individuals can delay their gratification. They recognize the fact that the choices they make today—forgoing that slice of pizza or hitting the gym instead of the nearest bar—will reap future rewards that are far more meaningful than quick pleasures.
As a result, super-fit people don't necessarily feel deprived when they diet. They're able to look past short-term sacrifice and focus on long-term gains. If you can control your mind and view healthy choices in a positive light, you'll be able to eat clean and train mean with purpose and passion.
If you can focus on the long-term benefits of smart choices, you'll be able to easily commit to fit decisions.
Secret Weapon 2: Internal Focus
Super-fit people don't compare themselves to others, because the minute they do, they put their focus on something they can't control. Instead of constantly worrying about what everyone else is doing, elite athletes put their focus on something they can control: their own effort and performance. This internal focus leads to a more positive, goal-oriented mindset, which usually leads to greater achievements.
If you constantly dwell on the fact that you aren't as good as someone else, your mindset becomes instantly negative. If you're stuck in a negative frame of mind, it's almost impossible to give your best effort to your training or diet.
The only comparison you should be making is to where you were yesterday. If you're further ahead today, you are moving in the right direction.
Secret Weapon 3: Positivity Through Adversity
Tricia Ashley, a MuscleTech athlete, says that her success comes from her ability to stay positive when things get rough: "Without a positive attitude throughout adversity, I could not have reached the success that I have!"
Life is always going to present you with hard times, but how you deal with those hard times will determine your success. Many people give up or lose their tenacity when the going gets tough. If you view your adversity through a positive lens, you're far more likely to grow and come out ahead.
Instead of dwelling on the negative, think about all the progress you've made so far, the good things that have happened in your life, and look forward to what you will achieve in the future.
A rosy outlook—or at least one that will push you to drive harder—will work in your favor. Should you reach a roadblock again, you'll know precisely how to move around it.
Secret Weapon 4: Prioritize Recovery
Many people believe the fitness elite have highly advanced training secrets and spend a lot of time researching new training techniques.
More often than not, the real secret isn't some advanced lifting regimen, it is prioritizing rest.
"Fatigue blunts physical adaptations. Adaptation takes energy as well, and if all your energy is used up for performance, your recovery will suffer and no energy will be left for improving the cells, tissue, and systems of the body," explains Marc Megna, former NFL football player and performance coach.
Going hard in the gym is an absolute must, but if you aren't giving your body time to rebuild and recover, you'll just grow weaker over time.
You have to train hard, eat whole foods, and prioritize sleep to grow.
Secret Weapon 5: Knowing Your Body
Tricia Ashley suffers from Hashimoto's disease, which has caused hypothyroidism. Instead of quitting, Tricia took the time to learn about her body. She feels that having patience and learning what's best for her body has been crucial to her success. Through experimentation, she's learned that her body responds best to a diet that's entirely gluten free.
Pay attention to how your body feels after you eat various foods. Like Tricia, you may be able to pinpoint what makes you feel best and what can best help you see results. You can also approach this strategy by eliminating foods from your current diet one by one.
This is called an "elimination diet" and may help you pinpoint specific foods that drag down your wellbeing.
Secret Weapon 6: Quest For Knowledge
Marc Megna explains that one of the biggest contributing factors to his success is a never-ending thirst for knowledge.
Marc is never satisfied with the information he already has, and he knows that there's always something new to learn. "I think it's this information-seeking trait that has helped me continue to get better and better," says Marc.
You have a world of information at your fingertips. Use it. Learn about your goal, what it takes to achieve it, the best programs to help you get there, and how to beat problems you may have along the way.
Follow in the footsteps of people who have accomplished your goal and ask them for best practices.
Your mind is your greatest asset.
Putting It All Together
How many of these traits do you use? Can you apply some of these to your life today? Success isn't always about having the best workout or diet. Usually, success comes from your attitude, your approach, and your commitment to building your best self.
Let us know which other traits work as part of your own healthy lifestyle!