Before you can begin a fitness program, you first need to know where you are, what your goals are, and how you plan on achieving those goals. That’s why Law 1 is called “Build Your Blueprint.” Without first developing a clear plan of action, your fitness goals won’t ever get off the ground.
As you’re building a plan for your goals, here are some important things to keep in mind:
DEFINE YOUR STARTING POINT
Where are you now, where are you going, and how are you going to get there? These simple questions have to be answered up front before you can get off to a solid start. If this isn’t your first attempt to achieve a fitness goal, then it’s a good time to bring these old ideas to the surface. It’s important to remember what worked in the past, and what didn’t.
As you gather information about your current weight, body fat, and performance level, your starting line will become much clearer. Knowing where you are now will make planning your fitness goals much easier and achieving those goals much more likely.
DETERMINE YOUR GOALS
Aside from your overall fitness goal, it’s important to set small, achievable goals for changes in strength, size, and leanness. These small goals should be measured, recorded, and celebrated on the way to your big, overall goal. I suggest that you set realistic and conservative goals to ensure success and progression for the long haul.
For instance, a 10 percent gain in bench strength and 3 percent reduction in body fat in the first 60 days of training are small, realistic goals you could set for yourself. After you’ve achieved these short-term goals, remain conservative with each subsequent one you set, but keep setting goals on the way to your long-term target.
The changes you can expect to see will depend entirely on your workout and nutrition quality. (Don’t worry; we’ll dive into these details in some of my upcoming laws.) Moreover, how dramatic these changes will be depends on your beginning fitness level. If you’re starting at a completely sedentary lifestyle, you can expect bigger changes earlier in the process.
UNDERSTAND AND MEASURE PROGRESS
Once you have a goal and a plan to reach it, determine how you will track physical and performance changes. It’s imperative that you measure and track your progress. As the saying goes, “measure what matters.”
Weigh yourself, get your body fat tested, take progress photos, and take stock of how your clothes fit. Measure strength gains by doing reps at a specific weight or keeping track of weekly exercise volume. Don’t just rely on the bathroom scale or a single measurement tool. Use your entire toolkit!
Whatever you use for assessment should be used for the entire process. Use the same scanners, trainers, equipment, and professionals to perform these measurements. If you switch your main source of information partway through your journey, you may find that your progress stagnates. Use BodySpace to track your body fat and measurements!
Keep detailed notes, and remember that you may not see progress every day or week, but be patient. Measure consistently and you’ll soon see excellent results.
Don’t forget to watch the rest of my 10 Laws of Muscle Building!