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Consistency is the key
Whatever your fitness goals are, following a consistent plan for exercise and nutrition is an extremely important component of your success. There are many reasons why this is true, and this short article discusses some of those reasons, as well as some tips for establishing better consistency in your program.
Being a relatively new member of the Rexius team, many of you who follow this blog may not know that I come from the world of classical music. In addition to my experience as a competitive bodybuilder, I regularly perform with several professional orchestras, including the Omaha Symphony and the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. Playing an instrument on a professional level, as you might imagine, requires a similar kind of discipline to what is required of a competitive athlete.
Not that all of us aspire to be professional musicians or competitive bodybuilders, but if you are reading this blog, I assume that you have some kind of fitness or physique goals that you are pursuing. Through this brief article, I hope to share with you some of my insight into the process of pursuing goals.
The number one factor that I find has a lasting impact on a successful pursuit of a goal is the consistent application of intelligent effort. As a musician, it’s important that I practice my instrument on a consistent basis (daily) in order to be ready for performances. As a bodybuilder, a consistently executed training and nutrition plan is critical when preparing for competition.
However, I’ll go one step further. In order to really improve over time, the consistency that is applied to preparing for performances or competitions must be applied throughout the year, not just in the weeks leading up to an event. For many in the fitness world, competition is not the goal, so I would assert that your success in pursuit of your long-term goals is directly linked to your long-term consistency in exercise and nutrition.
I think one challenge that many people face in the pursuit of their goals is in the realm of scheduling. Not all of us have the luxury of a schedule that allows for spending multiple hours in the gym every day. I think it’s important to determine a level of consistency that is sustainable in the context of the totality of your life’s responsibilities.
When I was a music student in college, I would frequently practice my instrument 3-4 hours a day. However, as a working musician, with more life responsibilities (not to mention my training time as a bodybuilder), I have had to scale back my practice time to less than 2 hours a day. In fact, there have been periods of my career when just one hour a day, consistently, was more effective than practicing for longer sessions, but then taking days off, even if the total number of hours practiced per week was greater. I frequently tell my training clients that it may be more beneficial for them to follow a 3-4 day per week training plan than to try to follow something that requires 5-6 days, if that means they will be skipping workouts every other week so. Likewise with nutrition, which for most of us requires cooking and cleaning as well, the total time and money spent on a particular nutrition plan needs to be considered
Because the body will eventually adapt to the challenges placed upon it, every plan requires modifications to ensure lasting success. Even when implementing changes to your plan, consistency plays a role. Consistency allows you (or your coach) to make informed decisions on how to modify your plan for better or sustained progress. Too often, people adopt a buffet mentality to their training and nutrition, following this or that training philosophy or fad diet. It’s true that different people have different needs when it comes to training and nutrition, but it takes time to truly be able to determine if something is working or not. Without consistently following a plan, you really never know if it is really working for you. By diligently sticking with something for several weeks, you give yourself the best opportunity to make an intelligent decision about moving forward.