Most people will tell you that they “want” to be in shape. The problem is that most people just TALK about their goals. In reality, these are nothing but preferences that they have set for themselves. (Read this: How to Get Shit Done)
When you lack the ability to execute, you feel the need to embellish what you haven’t already accomplished. When backend your goals with action, you can simply let your results speak for themselves.
Transforming your body is no different than most things worth having in life. Everyone wants to achieve their fitness goals, but few people are willing to come to terms with what it will actually take to get there. Most people are infatuated with the vanity of getting in shape, but want nothing to do with the effort that’s required.
If you’re looking for a shortcut or magic pill, then this article probably isn’t for you. But if you want to possess the right mindset to reach your fitness goals, then go ahead and continue reading.
As much as we don’t like to admit it, we are apathetic creatures of habit. The routines that we have in place this week are probably the same ones we had last week, and the same ones that we’ll follow next week.
If you want to transform your body, then you need to incorporate certain rituals that will keep you consistent over the long-term. Whether your goal is to become bigger, stronger, or leaner, there are a few principles that can help accelerate your muscle growth.
3 Strategies To Accelerate Muscle Growth
1. Find A Workout That Is Suitable For Your Goals
This may sound obvious, but you’d be surprised at how many people don’t take the time to find the right workout program. Building lean muscle isn’t guesswork. Find someone that has achieved the results you desire, and then figure out what program they used. Due your due diligence and stop listening to these “fitness gurus” who have no results to show for themselves.
The fastest, most efficient way to transforming your body is to emulate someone who has already done it. If you go to the gym and simply “go through the motions”, you aren’t going to get any results. Have a structured workout plan set in place, and then continue to follow it.
2. Monitor Your Progress
Each week, take a picture of yourself and put it on your mirror. Notice that I didn’t say, “weigh yourself” on the scale. The scale is probably the worst barometer that you can use when building lean muscle. It doesn’t factor in your muscle mass index or body fat percentages, and simply calculates your full body mass.
Remember that muscle has a much higher density level than fat. As you continue to lose fat and build muscle, you can conceivably gain weight in the process. Use the mirror as your benchmark going forward. As the weeks go by, you’ll be able to visualize your gains. When you see yourself progressing, it will keep you motivated over the long-term.
3. Track Your Macros
Similar to the scale, calories can also be misleading if you don’t track your macros along with it. There are a variety of different carbs, fats, and protein sources. Unfortunately, not all of them are equal from a nutritional standpoint. But from a caloric perspective, all carbs, fats, and proteins are the same:
1g carb = 4 calories
1g fat = 9 calories
1g protein = 4 calories
You will want to track the quality and quantity of the carbs, fats, and proteins that you consume each day. This may take a little bit of work at first, but it’s definitely worth it in the end. It will also help you understand the nutritional value of all the foods you consume going forward. As you’ll discover, there are plenty of processed foods that get marketed as “healthy”, despite having minimal nutritional value.
One of the most neglected aspects of fitness is the planning stage. Just like your workout plan, make sure and find a nutrition program that is suitable for your goals. Take the time to educate yourself on nutrition and track your macros going forward.
The Transformation Mindset
In my opinion, finding the right exercise and diet programs is the easiest part. Whether your goal is to become a bodybuilder, build lean muscle, or increase your energy levels, there are hundreds of programs that have been proven to work. The true secret to getting in shape is to get yourself to do what’s required each day.
This is why all the “Resolutionists” set the same goal each and every year. The gym owners smile as hundreds of new members sign 12 month contracts on January 1st. For the first few days, every gym in America is packed. There’s a vibrant energy in the air that can be felt from the parking lot. You suddenly have to wait to use your favorite machines because everyone’s attacking their goals with a sweating passion.
Then January 5th rolls around….
That same gym is now virtually empty. Those people who were so adamant about changing their lifestyle have already reverted back to their old ways. Another 11 and a half months will go by, and they’ll set the same “New Year’s Resolution” once again. This is a viscous, cyclical process that can be extremely frustrating for most people. (Read this: Why You Won’t Reach Your Goals This Year)
The fact of the matter is that 10, 20, or even 30 years of poor eating habits isn’t going to be solved in a week. Although you can’t change your physique overnight, you can change your overall direction. Don’t focus on how long it will take for you to transform your body. Instead, simply commit that you are going to do this, regardless of how many obstacles you’ll have to endure along the way.
If it were easy, then everyone would be walking around shirtless with a ripped body and six pack abs. As counter intuitive as it may sound, this shouldn’t discourage you. In fact, it should make you happy. When you get the body of your dreams, the benefits go way beyond the aesthetics of your physique. Transforming your body requires patience, discipline, and consistency. If you apply those same principles into other areas of your life, you can succeed in any endeavor that you choose.
How To Create A Ritual
In general, a ritual takes around 21 days to develop. During the first few days, you’ll most likely feel motivated to go to the gym and follow your nutrition plan. Shortly after, resistance will start to set in. This is where most people falter on their fitness goals, but not you. When you understand the process that lies ahead, it makes it much easier to stay consistent over the long-term.
Focus on getting through the first 7 days of your training. Anticipate that there will be an element of resistance, and simply expand your comfort zone. As the weeks go by, exercise and eating healthy will become as routine as brushing your teeth in the morning. Sure, there will be days when you miss your workout. There will also be weekends when you indulge on your favorite junk foods, but that’s perfectly fine.
I believe that getting in shape is about execution and consistency, not perfection. There’s no magic pill that’s going to suddenly transform your body in a couple of weeks. Possessing that mindset will do nothing but impede you from reaching your fitness goals. Instead, embrace the rigor and come to terms with what it will actually take. When you get enough positive momentum on your side, you’ll be able to break through each roadblock that gets in your way.
If possible, make an effort to train 3-4 times per week. That is the training frequency that I used in my own transformation. As I already stated, there are a variety of workout and nutrition programs that have been proven to be effective. Do your due diligence and find one that’s suitable for your specific goals. Then, get to WORK and start taking massive action.
Don’t “talk” about how you’re going to get a ripped body by summer time. Instead, let your actions speak for themselves. I know it’s not sexy, and it may not be what you want to hear…but consistency is what separates the talkers from the doers, and ultimately those who reach their fitness goals.
About The Author
Kiley Lynch runs an online fitness business at Sculpted Muscle.
He loves training hard and specializes in getting clients shredded, from home, with hardcore bodyweight workouts!
Kiley is also one of the leading experts in at home bodyweight training for anyone who “doesn’t have the time.”