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How to Achieve Your Fitness Goals – The Million Dollar Secret!!!

Having trouble getting the body you want?  Plagued by confusion, injuries, and a general lack of results?  Not achieving your performance goals or hitting your numbers?  I have the secret!  (Actually, I learned the secret from a guy named Dan John, who is like the anti-Tony Little)  Are you ready to find out what you are doing wrong?  Ready for the most profound piece of wisdom you will ever receive?  Here it goes. 

“The goal is to keep the goal, the goal.”

Google has a feature that allows me to see what pages people exit the site on the most.  I wish it could determine where on a paragraph people left, because that probably just set a record.  So, for the rest of you, what the hell am I talking about?  Ok, let’s use some popular examples.  Say your goal is to lose 20 lbs in 3 months.  What’s the first reaction of most people?  They reach for their running shoes and hit the streets right?  Here’s the problem, whether aware of it or not, your goal now no longer reflects keeping your goal the goal.  Running is not a fat loss tool, or at the most it’s a highly indirect and inefficient one (Cue second mass exodus from this post).  “How dare you blaspheme the sacred realm of jogging!!!”  I’m sorry, I can’t hear you over here at the adult table.  I didn’t say running sucked, or runner’s suck, or running runner’s suck, I simply stated what I believe and science, anecdotal evidence, and logic support to be true.  If your goal is to be good at running, run a marathon, or run away from people running a marathon, by all means run, because after all, that is the goal.  But if your goal is fat loss, here’s the hierarchy of how to stay focused on that goal.
  1. Nutrition
  2. Nutrition
  3. Strength Training
  4. Interval Training (Circuit)
  5. Interval Training (Bike, Sprint, Whatever)
  6. High Intensity Steady State Cardio
  7. Low Intensity Steady State Cardio
That’s it.  Start at the top, work your way to the bottom if time permits.  IF YOUR GOAL IS REALLY FAT LOSS, AND YOU FOLLOW THIS HIERARCHY, YOU WILL ACHIEVE THAT GOAL.  If you think that your goal is to run a marathon but also to lose fat and also perhaps get really flexible at yoga class and prepare for a triathlon, we now have completely muddled what we are trying to actually achieve.  Pick the proper recipe for achieving your goal, and stick to it.  If you set out to make chocolate chip cookies and start tossing a bunch of other crap out of the pantry in there too, you won’t likely end up with a delicious snack.

Pretty sure they aren't doing this to work their biceps....

Since we are talking fat loss and goals I’ll take a minute to address something else that really irks me.  There is a “trend” that has emerged in fitness recently of claiming that a form of training are just like “NAVY SEAL workouts” or “Special Forces Training” or “Army Boot Camps.”  And you know who most of these people are who are involved in this training?  Not people getting ready to fight in battle!  You know who doesn’tcare about his “love-handles” or “lower abs?”  The dude getting ready to go get shot at!  The goal of military training and boot camps is to prepare for the most horrific, brutal, and psychologically destructive situations imaginable.  If that isn’t your goal, why would you even pretend to train like it was?  I’m all for intense workouts, sweating, heavy weights, fun exercises, etc… but if a 45 year old mom of two blows out her knee while jumping on a park bench with some clown wearing fatigues  and a whistle pretending he’s a drill instructor screaming at her for more, we have officially derailed.  Her goal was to lose 15 lbs and look better, not spend two months on crutches because some idiot thought a “hardcore” workout was an appropriate fat loss modality for a deconditioned housewife. So do you understand the secret to reaching your fitness goals now?  Set your goal, find the most effective way to reach it, and don’t deviate.  If your method is causing you to get hurt or not make progress, stop.  Ask yourself if what you are doing makes sense and is appropriate for you.  If your goal is to pitch in the Major Leagues, everything in your training should reflect that.  That may mean that you don’t get to do your “bro’s” workout that he got out of Muscle and Fitness, but your goal isn’t to appear on-stage at Mr. Olympia, is it?  Your goals are yours and yours alone, don’t let fitness “groupthink” drag you down a path of failure.