During this blog I want to talk on the subject of principle based training. I see too many people get caught up with the little details of finding the right exercise and the right foods that they ignore what accounts for the majority of results. If you listen to successful people in the fitness community, you begin to see a trend. No one does the exact same thing. Instead they follow fundamental principles and adjust for their own individual needs. There is no secret exercise that brings instant results. Instead of trying to find the “perfect” program, focus on a few key exercise principles and allow room to explore your own fitness DNA. These principles, if applied, have the ability to make drastic improvements in your fitness journey.
Today, I want to talk about the Principle of Specificity. This principle states “to become good at a particular exercise or skill, you must perform that exercise or skill.” It may seem simple but it is an extremely difficult principle to adhere to. Let me explain. If you want to be good at basketball, you need to spend time playing basketball. If you want to be good at the bench press, you need to spend time bench pressing. If you want to lose fat you need to spend time training for fat loss. If you want to gain muscle you need to spend time training for hypertrophy. Hopefully, by the end of this blog you will be encouraged to have a specific vision, direction, and action when it comes to your fitness goals.
The first step in reaching your goals is to figure out exactly what you are trying to achieve. Too often people have conflicting goals and as a result, end up spending more energy running around than making actual progress. If you are looking to lose fat you need to train different than someone looking to gain muscle. Personally, I spent way too many years just “working out” without direction. I didn’t have a clear focus and didn’t have specific goals. I thought just working out hard would magically create the body I want.
Once you figure out your goal, your program should be completely geared towards what you are trying to accomplish. There’s a difference between working out and training. Don’t just workout to workout. Train for your goal. Training implies purpose and you would be surprised how much of a difference purpose makes.
Once you find your goal, you still need to take action! I believe there are lots of people that know what they want but don't have a direction in which to take action. Create a specific, measurable attainable, realistic, and timely goal (SMART goal for short). This gives your goals some direction. For example, the goal of “losing weight” doesn't have an effective sense of direction. It isn’t specific, measureable, or timely. Instead, your goal could be “I will lose 15 pounds by Christmas." This goal gives each day meaning and adheres to the SMART goal protocol.
Finally, once you have a sense of direction, you need to take action! Results are created as a byproduct of consistency. You have to find a sustainable lifestyle where you can exercise on a regular basis. This should look different from person to person. Working out three times a week for a year will bring more results then working out "hard" six days a week inconsistently. Find a sustainable system that works for you and commit to it. Intentionally pursue the best version of yourself with a sense of contentment and hunger. Your best is yet to come!
I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.