Monday, August 18, 2014

True Or False: Anything Short Of Perfection Is Failure

Serious training + half arsed
dietary consistency = results I'm
not entirely unsatisfied with.
Perfect adherence. Perfect discipline. Perfect ripped, shredded, lean and muscular physique. Anything less just aint good enough, right?

False.

A couple of things have got me thinking. You know that's always a recipe for trouble, me + thinking.

There's a movement on one of the industry groups in my facebook feed, and for once it's actually a good thing. It is PTs posting HONEST photos of themselves... like, no myspace angles, no convenient lighting. The real picture.

And it's like... body acceptance, right? And satisfactory results through sensible and moderate approaches; nothing restrictive or extreme. I'm all on board with that. But... at the same time it could be taken the wrong way. I'm for body acceptance in terms of "sure I could still go a little further but actually I'm quite happy where I am for now", rather than "this is as far as I can go and I am learning to accept that", as if people are REALLY at the limit of their potential and anything further is an unreasonable expectation akin to the promotion of unhealthy approaches.

They aint. The difference between where one person is at and where another is at comes down to how tight their targets are, how consistently they adhere to those targets, how consistently they hit the gym, and how long they've been at it. Oh and a better training strategy always makes a big difference too. Genetic potential though? Very few of us are anywhere near the limit of our genetic potential. That's something that only comes into it at advanced, competitive levels.

So the other thing is my feed is frequently full of idiots talking about for example "any sugar intake will spike your insulin levels, which puts you into fat storage mode for the day!" that's a cut n paste from some dumb idiot answering a question about which fruits not to eat.

The problem is... sometimes these orthorexic broscientist types are actually in killer, advanced level shape. So there's a tendency for the uneducated observer to assume the super ripped person obviously knows better about this stuff. It does seem to make sense, the person in killer shape saying "this is what it takes" would know, right? More so than the person in just "quite good" shape.

Not necessarily though. Just because what you're doing is working, doesn't necessarily mean it is working for the reasons you think it is. On the nutrition side, it is working because at the end of the day what you DO eat brings you to a suitable total intake... not because the stuff you DON'T eat would spell instant doom. When people start splitting hairs about which fruits and which vegetables are the "good" ones and which ones you need limit... jesus christ man, it is getting beyond a joke. That sort of nonsense is clearly not in anyone's best interests, least of all the general public who already think that success in weight loss is an unlikely goal requiring an unreasonable level of effort.

My own physique is down to a fairly half arsed adherence to hitting suitable targets with a mix of processed and fresh foods subject to my tastes. There are times I feel like maybe I should step it up, hit my optimal targets accurately and consistently and really prove how far you can go with flexible dieting without having to develop a paranoia about processed foods, grains, the "wrong" fruits and so on.

A couple of things about that though. Number One; do I really care enough about what fkn idiots think, to push myself beyond what I'm enthusiastic about just to prove that I'm right? And more importantly, Number Two; is that the message that I want to send to my clients and followers? That it's "not good enough" until your haters reluctantly concede that it is good enough? Number Three... actually I'll come back to Number Three a little later.

Screw that. I am about providing that balance, between LEGITIMATELY achieving great results through an effective training program, while still enjoying life outside of the gym and not have to stress out about your food choices. You do need to be a little bit mindful and organised in order to hit reasonably close to your targets, but that's not a lot to ask of yourself.

I believe people are only limited by their level of enthusiasm. Do the very bare minimum of turning up to training regularly and hitting reasonably close to your targets with the foods you were going to eat anyway, plus a little more of the good fresh stuff (fruit and veg) and you will be amazed with the results. If you then become enthusiastic enough to do a little more, provided you fuel up appropriately you'll see even better, next level results.

There's a massive difference though, in doing what you're enthusiastic about versus reluctantly doing what you feel obligated or pressured to do.

Oh I almost forgot! Number Three is that plenty of guys and girls do take this "flexible dieting" approach all the way to competitive level of body building and figure modeling. At the end of the day, it's about total intake and optimal macro ratios. Some choices of foods will fit easier into those targets than others, but nothing needs to be excluded outright because there's something "bad" about it that instantly means you won't be successful.