What makes the biggest difference in your training? What are the changes and adjustments you make that have the biggest effect? To me there are two very simple things I pay attention to and adjust if necessary that increase my odds of hitting my goals. As you read through my two difference makers I want you to be thinking about your own training and what your difference makers are because there is going to be an exercise I want you to participate in when the article ends.
Consistency is Number One
When I look at the most successful bodybuilders I see that consistency is one thing they all possess. When I review my own progress, I have made the biggest gains in the shortest period of time when I was the most consistent. When I am talking about consistency I am speaking about several things:
- Consistency in training
- Consistency in nutrition
- Consistency in attitude
Consistency in Training
In order to get results, your training has to get dialed in. You have to be continually pushing yourself further and further beyond your own comfort zone. You have to continually set new personal records. This only happens when you are hitting the gym consistently. Without consistent time in the gym you won't ever set new personal records. You won't ever push yourself beyond your comfort zone on a regular basis. The gains just won't come. You will be stuck in the same spot.
If this is your issue then you need to make some adjustments immediately. You have to set small goals and work on achieving those. When I have fallen off the consistency wagon I simply set goals for making it to 3 scheduled training sessions in a row. I slowly increase the number of training sessions it requires to achieve the goal. Eventually consistency is just something that happens.
Consistency in Nutrition
Nutrition is where the biggest gains come from clean eating on a consistent basis. This means different things at different times. Depending upon your goals, your nutritional program will change. Trying to add muscle? You are going to eat one way. Cutting down to get on stage? You are going to eat a completely different way. Cheat meals are not only OK, but to me they are essential for staying on track. Too many cheat meals will derail you quickly. Pay close attention to consistent nutrition. Make sure you are eating in a manner that is conducive to your goals. Take the time to adjust when the numbers are not working for you. If your body fat is going up and you are not bulking, adjust things accordingly. This is not something to take lightly and is not something to mess around with.
Consistency in Attitude
Your attitude is going to play a huge part in your ultimate success. I saved this one for last because it is also going to be the most difficult thing to keep under control. Having the right attitude will get you to your goals. Everything else follows the attitude. Setting your alarm in the morning to get up for a fasted cardio session is wonderful, but if you turn off the alarm because you don't feel like doing the work, that is going to destroy all progress. I handle my consistency in attitude by journaling. I write things down and analyze my own thinking on a daily basis. I focus on keeping my attitude consistent.
Intensity is No Slouch
To me, when actually training (be it weights or cardio), intensity is the key concern. All other variables are important, but intensity is what takes you where you want to go. If I am lifting heavy, having the intensity to get the final reps out of the muscles is going to bring the growth I am looking for. If the weights are lighter, taking the set to absolute failure is going to bring about success. I am not talking about the kind of failure where the brain says you are done before the muscle does. I am talking about real failure where you push yourself to the point where you really cannot move the weights another inch.
If you do not have this type of intensity then you need to find it. You need to get busy and figure out how to be intense enough to get to your goals. Take a look at your training program and make a decision. If your intensity is lacking make a plan and fix it. Push yourself. Leave everything on the gym floor and walk out of that workout with nothing left inside of you. That's the key.
Have a look at this 2 minute video I recorded. Listen to what I have to say and then do what I ask at the end. You won't be sorry.
[pro-player width='560′ height='315′ type='video']http://youtu.be/02XLTx49Ykk[/pro-player]