So, I’ve been making some changes to my fitness and nutrition lately, and phase 1 involves what I half-jokingly refer to as ‘bulking’.
I’m not actually training for competition, but I am having to eat twice as much as normal in order to work out as hard as I have been.
Now, because I don’t yet have the muscle (and therefore the appetite) to do that, I’ve been using a good, clean Mass Gainer (it’s a shake with equal parts protein and carbs) in addition to meals and added protein.
And it’s been phenomenal. Only with this level of nutritional support would I be able to get through all my weekly workouts and the strength gains have been ‘clap and squeal-worthy’.
(Before anyone panics about my heart/kidney health, I’m using clean, raw, vegan, alkaline protein with digestive enzymes and probiotics. I’m not stressing my body – I’m feeding it better than million-dollar racehorses…)
But honestly, what’s been the most exciting for me is the psychological aspect.
(Not a huge surprise, given my job…)
In my 20s, I went through a gym-bunny phase. I restricted calories, I did cardio like my life depended on it, and I worked whatever muscles made me look how I wanted in clothes.
Now, in my 30s, I’m coming at it from an entirely different perspective.
The athletic perspective.
I don’t ‘diet and exercise’.
I EAT & I TRAIN.
And the results are…different.
There’s less ‘instant gratification’ with doing things properly.
When I cut calories and did a ton of cardio, I leaned out fast. I saw definition within a few weeks and I felt ‘in control’.
But when you’re in muscle-building mode, and you’re doing it from a functional strength/healing/coordination/full body connection/holistic standpoint, you don’t lean out straight away. Many of the workouts you’re doing are corrective rather than aesthetic.
You’re fixing things you can’t see, to facilitate greater expansion further down the track.
You actually go up a dress size because your body is taking on the extra calories it needs to grow and support the new muscle.
And because I’m focussed on preventing catabolism I don’t go to bed hungry anymore, meaning I don’t look as ‘hollow’ as I used to when I wake up.
I realized the other day that this is similar to coaching.
Simply changing a strategy in your daily routine, your business, your marketing… has a visible, immediate result (instant gratification) but isn’t sustainable because it doesn’t address the engine that was powering the original issue.
Thus, we ‘fall off the wagon’.
• The new morning routine doesn’t stick because you didn’t address the fatigue and worthiness issues that stopped you from having a good routine before.
• The new marketing strategy doesn’t convert because the energy you’re running everything from is resistant and fearful.
• You cheat on your new diet because you didn’t do the deep work around why your body thinks it needs the sugar/bread/alcohol to survive.
Everyone likes instant results. But are the results you’re getting ‘instantly’ stable? Sustainable? In line with your ultimate outcome?
In terms of my fitness… they weren’t.
I want to be strong, so I can’t deprive my body of the caloric requirements it needs to grow.
I want to get bigger, so I have to condition my joints and stabilizers to allow me to load the bar.
I want to reduce pain, so I have to prioritize corrective work over shredding.
I would probably build visible muscle faster if I was allowed to do bilateral compound moves already. But because I have weak spots, my trainer has me doing unilateral lifts to strengthen and condition each side of me individually because if I don’t fix the weak areas, I’ll be compensating in the bilateral lifts and potentially injure myself.
I do this with clients in my coaching business too.
Does everyone goal-set in the first session? Nope.
Because if the person hasn’t set and achieved goals before, there’ll be a good reason. If we don’t find out what’s powering the confusion, the fear, the resistance beforehand, we’re just making another list of things the person won’t do and can then feel shame about.
Virtually nothing in my current fitness routine is giving me ‘instant gratification’ right now.
But weirdly, it is giving me everything I’ve ever wanted.
Just like with coaching.
You show up every week and turn your fears, beliefs, and behaviours inside out.
You work your a55 off and you leave the session looking the exact same on the outside.
But 6-months from today you’ll be a totally different person, with massively expanded capabilities.
Do I see progress after each workout? No.
Will I be so goddamn pleased I did every single one of these workouts 6 months from now? Phuck yeah.
So I’m curious…
Is there anywhere in your life you’ve gone for the quick fix, rather than the permanent solution?
The cheap n’ cheerful, rather than the investment option?
I’d love to hear about your experience. ️
Forever in your corner,