In the early days of the internet, I found a program called Stonglifts5x5.
This simple strength training changed my life. At the time, I thought I would be doing that program or something similar, forever.
How times change..
Sustainable training and diet
Yesterday I listened to a podcast debating the benefits of a ketogenic diet vs. a flexible diet that tracks calories and macros.
One key word I heard repeated was “SUSTAINABLE”.
The podcast was specifically about diet but this idea applies to training also.
Back when I found the stronglifts5x5 program I thought that I found THE only program I would ever need. I would never go back to what I was doing before. (bodybuilding split routines found in muscle magazines)..
What I didn’t realize at the time was that program is not sustainable.
Not many programs are.
You may be running along with everything going smooth but you never know what’s around the corner.
Injuries happen. Your goals change. Life happens.
Flexible yet consistent
This is where many people get stuck. You know you need to be consistent.
Finding something sustainable sounds like a good idea IN THEORY, but what about dealing with all the variables that affect your “perfect” training and nutrition plans?
That’s where being open to change, but also staying true to your fundamental principles of success, comes into play.
Let’s take one training and one diet example.
Training- you are bored with your current training routine, even though it has given you some decent results.
Instead of changing EVERYTHING, you shift around one or two elements.
For instance, you change out an exercise like bench press for dips for a few months.
Is it sustainable? Sure. Maybe not FOREVER, but for a few months it is and it’s not big change from what you’re currently doing.
Nutrition- you have read about a new diet that you think will work great for you. Is it sustainable long-term?
Maybe, maybe not.
But you really want to try it.
The benefit here is not so much in doing the diet and finding a miracle, but in finding out if this diet is sustainable for you.
The only way you will know is by actually trying it.
No amount of research or reading about it will give you that knowledge.
Finding a sustainable method of training and diet is important, but you won’t learn what it is by talking about it or listening to other people.
When you find that program and/or diet that you can see yourself doing for a long time, then you have a good foundation to work from.
You can make tweaks here and there and keep the integrity of the plan in place.
Getting to that place mentally is liberating.
You no longer care about the latest fads.
Any new “magic” routine or diet has no effect on you.
Now you are in control, because you KNOW what works for you, and what doesn’t.
Remember, you can always change the path you are on.
If what you are doing right now is not working, there’s no rule that says you can’t try something else.
Always think of training and nutrition as learning experiences. You don’t fail if you stop doing a program or diet, you gain new information that guides you in the future.
Sustainable, yet flexible.
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