This week, and it’s only Wednesday, I’ve been talking a lot with various people about doing what they need to do as opposed to what they want to do.
The most common occurrence of this is undoubtedly eating.
The second is a toss up between exercise selection/intensity/rest
The third is stretching (yes, I’m guilty of this one…)
We all love certain things. The things we like, we do the most.
Some things we hate, these things we tend to avoid.
Here’s the problem:
I love cake.
I love training hard
I dislike stretching
I dislike rest
If I simply ate cake, trained hard, never stretched and never took time away from training, what do you think would happen?
Thats right. I’d look and feel like the majority of commercial gym members. I’d be soft, weak, over tired and tighter than Silk Spectre’s outfit.
In other words, not the person I aim to be, which is strong, mobile, athletic and with enough energy to play with my kids and when they go to bed exhausted, play with my wife.
To do this I have to realise that my love of Pastries, Tea Brack (an Irish thing, google it) and Cheese cake will have an inverse effect on my love of training. I have to decide which is more important, which do I need to have the most in order to get what I want.
I have to realise that taking a back week or having a few days off entirely is good for me, the body needs rest in order to repair. And that some of this rest time can be spent stretching.
I need to do these things in order to be the person I want to be.
This goes for all of us, regardless of what our end goals may be.
If you’re attending the gym to lose fat but then immediately nip round the corner after training for a Latte and Blueberry muffin (yum…), are you really doing yourself a favour?
Short answer is no.
Protein shakes taste horrible, very few people actually enjoy drinking them, yet if you replaced your Latte & Muffin with a shake, drink something your body needs as opposed to wants, you will find your progress starts to move forward.
Look back at what you did in the gym. Did you use the leg press instead of the squat rack? Why? Because you like it more than having a bar on your back crushing you?
Suck it up, the leg press is a very poor substitute. Start squatting and you’ll see muscle appearing and fat melting. Stick to the leg press and you’ll see you’re knees coming towards your face……
What we want is often at odds to what we need.
Your best bet is to make list. One of my old coaches calls it the Black & White mirror.
Get a page and draw a line vertically down the middle. Put all the things you do that are good for you on one side of the page and all the things that are bad for you on the other side.
Now get to work on eliminating most of the bad stuff and improving the good, then increase the amount of good stuff on your list.
My list recently had “Not stretching enough” on the bad side, that has since been scrubbed out and on the good side we now see “TV stretching every evening”
My hips and old injuries are very thankful for this, even though I dislike doing it.
On my bad side was “Not getting enough calories to reach my training goals” that has been scrubbed out and on the good side you’ll see “Stocked up on porridge and protein powder”
I add protein to my porridge in the morning and I add porridge to my protein after training. No, it’s not enjoyable but who cares? My workouts are harder and faster and my waistline in smaller. Result.
Want vs Need.
Take a few minutes to decide which is more important.