Having a goal is essential to making things happen with your body. The actual goal itself will make a huge difference in the road map you follow to achieve success. The goal determines the path you will take.
I began to seriously think about this when reading a Facebook post by NPC Bikini competitor Katrina McLellan. Essentially she stated that her's is a lifestyle that has nothing whatsoever to do with a competition preparation. While I understand what she is saying, as I contemplated the comment she made I realized that it has a lot of depth to it.
The Approach for Getting Fit
Many people want to “get in shape” or “just tone up.” While both things seem to be about losing weight (and likely they are), they are about fitness in general. A person who makes these two comments really just wants to improve their overall fitness levels. How that is done varies dramatically from other goals like bodybuilding or contest preparation.
Getting fit involves making some changes to how you eat along with some changes to your fitness program. Notice that I did not make any representation as to how drastic those changes need to be. The extreme nature of the changes will depend upon how far you have to go to get fit. For some people it will just be a matter of actually exercising. For other people it will be a matter of completely overhauling their nutrition and exercise programs. Which approach is used will depend upon the goal and the situation at the time the goal is attacked.
The Approach for Getting Ripped
Many people want “a six-pack” or they want to “be ripped” and those goals require very different approaches from the “Getting Fit” crowd. These people are going to rely heavily on the food they eat. They will be very struct with their eating. They will have very few cheat days because to get shredded you have to eat right. You cannot and will not out train a bad diet. I suggest that if you are someone who wants to get ripped you should own a copy of “Getting to Shredded” by Chris Albert.
The Approach for Stepping on Stage
Some people decide at some point that they want to step on stage and present the best physique they possibly can. For these people the approach will be a focused and intense combination of diet and exercise. Both things need to be completely dialed in for there to be success. Stepping on stage requires muscular definition and size. These things are achieved by eating right and working out with extreme intensity. Contest preparation is not for the faint of heart. In the end you will have a combination of the first two approaches–you will be fit and you will be ripped.
Be sure to attach your approach to the goal you are attempting to achieve. By matching your approach to your goal you will give yourself a better chance at success. Think it through and choose the right approach. That's my advice.