I had an interesting conversation in of all places “In and Out Burger” a few months ago. OK I will do another blog on fast food and bodybuilding, let’s just throw this into a cheat meal and move on with the subject of this blog. So a guy walks up to me and says “Hey do you have any tips for me?” my first reaction was I was getting pan handled, but realized he was asking for training tips (my bad). We ended up spending some time talking as we waited for our orders to be prepared. He started with a somewhat typical question I get asked, Him: “How much time do I have to spend in the gym to look like you?” Me: “About twenty years!” Him: “Okay how many days a week do I need to train so I can look better?” Me: “Define better?” My answer is a question, “How many days a week can you be in the gym?” So he tells me he works and has kids and that is again a pretty typical conversation, but I need him to answer the question “How much time could he commit from his schedule to invest in the gym?” This is like wanting that car you can’t easily afford. If you buy the car, your life changes. You reprioritize all kinds of things; how you spend your time (more time with the car?) how you spend your disposable income (more may have to shift to cover the payment?) what you focus on (that killer car becomes a much bigger focus of your life). When you commit to the dream of changing how you look in the mirror, like the car, you automatically reprioritize a lot of things in your life, some consciously some subconsciously!
In my mind it’s not about how many days you spend in the gym, but rather how many days you commit yourself to the gym and to the training. If you throw in two days this week and four days the next then three days the following week you can never drive to a specific plan, you do not build momentum and you will never see any substantial result. If on the other hand you can commit yourself (not just time but YOU: your focus and your heart) some number of days each week as a baseline, then you can build a program around that committed time and you can progress. Everyone should be able to get one day on the weekend and some number of days during the week. I think to get any kind of real progress it’s difficult if you can’t get at least four training days in a week. With four days you can make forward progress in building a physique, anything less and about all you can do is tighten up what you have. Less than four and you have no compounding effect. But either way, you have to have a commitment, intensity and consistency in order to drive a change. If you show up sporadically you will be randomly choosing what to train, rather than training the next body part in your program. You will also not have the focus and intensity you need to change. In your head the conversation is “well I have not been in the gym for a while, I really should go in and do something” versus, “today I will train back because its next on the rotation and last week when I trained I felt a good pump and some soreness and I want that again.” With the commitment comes unconscious action that helps in the overall plan, it’s the compounding factor. You become invested in the activity, you think about what you are doing even when you are not in the gym. You visualize what that changed physique will look like and that starts to help you make better decisions about your food and time management. That one single, seemingly small action, of committing to a schedule drives many different changes. IMHO the reason 98% of people in the gym never change, or those that diet don’t succeed, is they never commit. They would like to change, but they don’t commit themselves to change; the focus, intensity and discipline required to change their current state of self. Commit and all things are possible!