Looking back on your fitness journey, what is the single best piece of advice you ever received? I think about all of the good tips and lessons I have learned over time, and think that many stem from this two-pronged piece of advice:
Be objective with your goals and be honest with yourself.
We could talk about the benefits of compound movements, eating plenty of protein, and getting adequate recovery, but all of this won’t matter if your goals stink.
Many people choose the elusive, self-punishing goal of “losing weight”. They drag themselves into the gym, work out, and eat a few bland meals each day. They may, in fact, lose weight, but it’s not a sustainable, enjoyable, or readily attainable goal. Instead, they might opt for losing a certain amount of inches, being able to bench a certain weight, or running a mile in under 8 minutes. These are goals that are objective, tangible, and clear.
I have to add the part about being honest with yourself, as this will guide you through your fitness journey. If you don’t like jogging, doing straight reps in the gym, or doing plyometrics then don’t do it! There are thousands of ways to exercise, so there are bound to be a few that you like. Don’t like jogging then jump in the pool. Don’t care for lifting straight reps? Try circuit training, supersets, or incorporate abs or jump rope into your weight training. Don’t care for plyometrics? You can still be explosive on machines, with kettlebells, or performing Olympic lifts.
You can get to your ideal physique and stay there. It’s just a matter of focusing on goals that you can train towards, and not forcing yourself to do things you don’t care for. And while you’re being honest to yourself, ask yourself why you don’t care for a specific style of training or exercise. Especially if you want to attain a certain aesthetic physique, you may have to perform exercises you don’t like. I don’t like training calves, but I want full, round calves. So, I make it a point to train them. I used to just call them a “lagging” muscle group. I wasn’t being honest with myself.
If you have a few moments, sit down and write out where you’d like to be in 1 month, 6 months, and a year. Just saying you want to get leaner is like hopping in your car and driving without a route or destination. Define your objective goals, a clear route to reach them, and in a way that is sustainable and brings you satisfaction and enjoyment.
I love BetaTOR because no matter how my goals change throughout the season, I can rely on it to help me maintain intensity and quality training volume! I don’t train without it! Thank you for reading! Until next time, train hard, y’all!
- Erin Stern, 2x Ms. Figure Olympia