I look in the mirror. It’s back. That sheath of body fat that is the direct result of discipline swayed by birthdays, vacations, holidays, and ever-present work demands.
Just seven months ago I was in the best shape of my life – parading pics and video of my naked torso in as many corners of the Internet as I could find. And now… back to “average”.
Sure, average is a relative term. Within the demographic of single American male small business owners in their late thirties, my health and fitness would still be considered well above average. Should I take solace in this? Use that as an excuse to say “good enough”?
I can still pull off the party trick exercises like single leg squats, L-sit pull-ups, and one handed dive bombers. Isn’t that, “good enough”?
To quote best-selling business author Jim Collins, “Good is the enemy of great.” It’s easy to succumb to the traps of being “good”. Being “good” is nothing but a smoke screen salvo that tries to convince you all is well when you are really in that dreaded place known as the comfort zone. And there is no growth in comfort – only regression.
How To Get Back On Track With Your Workouts
So how do you break the chains of mediocrity and get back on the wagon to greatness?
Below are three ways to get you back on track:
#1 Swim in Better Circles
My health and fitness is above average for my general demographic. So what? I’m looking to guys who are better than me and striving to swim in their circles.
Shall I name names?
Craig Ballantyne, Jon Gilson, and Steve Maxwell all set high standards of health and fitness (not to mention knowledge, service, and professionalism) that I strive to emulate.
The Internet makes it damned easy to find heroes and trailblazers in any field of interest. So Google it up and find the people at the top of their game. And then read their blogs, buy their products, and get inspired.
#2 Go Extreme
Legend has it that Arnold Schwarzenegger cut off all of his training pants at the knees when he was striving to develop his calves – he wanted that constant reminder of his goal.
This weekend I got a tattoo of a congruence symbol on my left wrist as a constant reminder to keep my actions congruent with my thoughts. Perhaps tattoos and cutting up your wardrobe are a bit too extreme for you. . . but there is something you can do as a bold statement to emphasize the importance of your mission.
Maybe it’s buying those pants that are your desired size and hanging them up where you can see them every day when you first wake up. Maybe it’s pledging to give a twenty dollar bill to anyone who catches you eating junk food. Whatever works for you is fine, but don’t be afraid to go a little extreme.
#3 Start NOW!
“Well after this weekend, I’ll get started with my new diet and exercise regimen on Monday. . .” How many times have you heard that? Or worse, how many times have you said that?
Two words: Fuck. That. For those of you offended by my language, I’ll quote spiritual/health/success teacher Deepak Chopra via Twitter, “We are all on death row. The uncertainty is the length of reprieve and the method of execution. Death makes life possible.”
Let the finiteness of life inspire action. The sobering truth is that you really might not have tomorrow – so don’t wait.
What are some of the things you do to re-motivate yourself to get back on track with your workouts?
Leave a comment below and let me know!
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Nice post! To be honest, I have no idea what triggers my motivation. Sometimes I go hell for leather, other times I just prefer to enjoy lifes naughty pleasures..lol I think it’s a mood thing? Or perhaps a moon thing – who knows? Or maybe I’m just not too bothered about being perfect? 😉
I dont like the Chopra quote tho, bit negative! If we thought about dieing everyday then we might think what the hell is the point doing anything productive like keeping healthy anyhow?
But hey, I’m probably a dreamer and prefer to think I’ll live forever….lol
Listen bud, your RSS feed is broken I think? I usually get notified of your posts by email but this one didnt come through, just saw it as I happen to be surfing….
All the best
Actually it might be your problem because it works fine for me! Yeah I actually agree. If I thought I was going to die tomorrow, then I would not care what I ate or drank or even what I look like. Instead, I would probably eat some of the best foods out there… lol
Yeah most people think that they are going to live forever because after all, I have lived this far, right?
It is more the unpredictability of death – not knowing when it will happen – that is motivation to me. Don’t put it off until tomorrow, because there really is NO guarantee that you will have tomorrow.
Thanks for your comment, Tusc. Always good to hear from you! And thanks for the tip on the RSS. 😉
Great, great post Vic. I have a similar tattoo on my chest that says ‘every day is the day’, which reminds me that I’m either helping or hurting myself every day. Keeps me honest and keeps me running, which is always nice.
I love it! Every day IS the day! So true. . . Thanks!
I feel your frustration. I was a multi-varsity athlete, but I transferred to a university that does not have a rowing team. I’ve really fallen of my workout program. I’ve also gained that layer, and while I still have an 8 pack when I flex, I am displeased. Without a purpose, I struggle to motivate myself. “Looking good” is not a good enough motivator for me. I do value fitness, health and happiness; these should motivate me enough.
I like the congruency symbol tattoo, I have been brainstorming for months of a tattoo that will remind me to live my values and actually has some utility. I was thinking of getting virtus (Latin for virtue) but it seems too “Boondock Saintsy.” I may steal your idea.
Just don’t get the “virtus” on your trigger finger! 🙂 It’s been a theory of mine for a few years now that nearly all of our unhappiness stems from thinking one thing but doing another. Congruency between thought and action is the goal! And go for the congruency tattoo if it speaks to you! Thanks.
2 words…well 3 words…FUC**IN KILL IT!
Funny, here we go again…3 days til beastmas09.
Starts Monday. I will probably skip the tat and over training this time around tho.
SHREDMODE09 to end the year.
So when we here, “Im gonna do this and this come Jan 1” we can say…oh…U MEAN LIKE THIS?! BO0OOOOOM!
You converted me, and you know you created a MONSTER.
Oh yeah! MONSTER in the best sense of the word! Keep doing what you do and leading the way on the West Coast!
Great pointers as always Vic.
My two cents/contribution…
When I’m in a rut, or I need to get my ass in gear, it helps me to figure out WHY I’m in a rut or why I’m stalled out.
Do I need to vary my training?
Am I over-training?
Is there something completely unrelated to training that’s holding me back? Stress at work, etc?
Figuring out that kind of stuff, AND just jumping right back in usually works for me.
Great tip. Kind of tough to eliminate the obstacles if we never take the time to figure out what they are. I guess that sounds like common sense, but so few of us (including me) actually take the time to do it. Thanks!
What motivates me?…..looking and feeling great and feeling really ALIVE…being able to do all the things that people half my age don’t do…a holiday in Bali with my big family (who I haven’t seen for over a year) at Christmas where i will be donning the bathing costume…….just a few things, and when I fall off the wagon I just go back to writing my goals and filling in the food diary. It works for me. All of this is of course with help and encouragement of my personal trainer. And of course reading your posts….thanks Vic
Thanks for your comment Margaret. All great motivators you listed. Train hard!
Great post Vic – thanks for challenging us!
I will be thinking about something extreme I can do.
Getting excited is also key! Thanks for the reminder. . . Now go get extreme. 🙂
Great timing. We recently PCS’d to a new base and with all the stress of that and dealing with the details I got off track. Thanks for the kick.
Ugh. PCS’ing sucks!!! I hope things get back into a routine for you soon and you can get back on track with training and life overall. Thanks for your comment (and your service).
I dropped a 35lb plate on my big toe in my basement “gym” this Saturday. Stupid mistake on my part. I purposely lanced the quarter sized blood blister that developed on the bottom of my big toe on the floor right where my nose brushes the ground when i do my ring push ups. This will be a motivator for me. One: do not set a plate where it can fall easily and two: Being fit ain;t easy. You got to want it!! Just like anything worth a damn in life.
Blood on the training room floor? Now that’s what I’m talking about! Of course safety first, blah blah blah – but any of us who have trained for a while have made our gym errors whether dropping a plate or otherwise. Giving yourself a bloodstain reminder (I mean it is your home gym and all) sounds great to me. Thanks!
Dear Vic let me share with you and your readers one small article:
“WHY I OWE TO ACHIEVE MY FITNESS GOALS IN 2010? ”
The link for the above is: