Foreword: Fitness Is for the Mind and Body
The fitness industry has always been tainted by some unfortunate dogma--that anybody who frequents a gym and is lean and muscular inherently has the intellectual capacity of a rock. It’s quite sad to assume this about people who take care of their body because the truth is fitness is much more than just physical looks. Fitness is about mind and body coming together as one into a harmony that promotes overall well-being. Always remember that the proper mindset is a prerequisite to improving oneself.
To most readers it may sound like this article is about to inundate them with some Zen Buddhist philosophy and belly breathing exercises, but further from the truth that could not be. Rather the goal is to provide readers with insight into the psyche that comprises individuals who are internally driven to meet their goals in life, not just the gym. The hope is that, no matter who you are, you will walk away from this article with some encouragement and food for thought to better your body and mind.
Maya Angelou infamously stated, ”Nothing works unless you do.” Think about that quote for a moment and let it really sink in. It seems so simple and rudimentary if you take it at face value, but it speaks volumes about how essential doing (read: taking action) actually is if you want to achieve something in life. Nothing works unless you act on it.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary literally defines “do” as a transitive verb meaning, “to perform or execute.” So here’s a question you need to ask yourself at the end of each day, “What did you do today?” More often than not people will find themselves rendered silent, but why is that? It’s simply inaction (i.e. not doing something) that’s holding people back from having any answer.
MPA Supps is dedicated primarily to fitness/bodybuilding, but no matter what your goals are in life, you cannot achieve anything without doing something.
Time is one of the most fascinating concepts; think about what life would be like without time...hard to imagine isn’t it? Aside from time technically being an arbitrary number derived from Earth’s rotation and orbital revolution around the sun, it is also quite literally life’s currency.
That being said, time is a currency that can never be regained after you have spent it--once your time is up, it’s up for eternity (unless you believe in reincarnation or the possibility you’ll be reanimated as a zombie). Herein lies the paradox of time--it’s infinite but yet expendable.
Those who are accomplished and successful in life understand this paradox better than anybody, because they are the wisest traders of their time. Everybody is given a certain amount of time in their life to spend however they see fit, but it is only those who spend it doing things they are passionate about that will achieve those aspirations.
Benjamin Franklin once said, “You may delay, but time will not.” Be grateful for the fact that every second you are given is an opportunity for you to forge something better; something you dream about. Tomorrow is never guaranteed, so do (there’s that word again) the best you can right now, this instant, to better yourself.
Every breath you take is one closer to your last so ask yourself, “Is what I’m doing right now worth my time?” If not, then something needs to change and not in a few minutes, not tomorrow, not next week, but right now! Read on if you want to continue doing something worth your time. Otherwise feel free to go back to mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook and Instagram feeds, one of the most effective ways to waste your time...
Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail
Congratulations! You have chosen to continue doing some worth your time. The unfortunate conundrum many people (especially fitness/gym aficionados) find themselves in when they figure out what they want to accomplish is that they have no idea how to achieve their goal. This is where planning comes into play.
Having a plan is paramount to achieving one’s goals, but it is also a major roadblock for those who are labile. Most people, particularly those interested in fitness/bodybuilding, won’t even begin a diet or training regimen until they feel their plan is the absolute cream of the crop. Sadly these individuals are usually the ones who never commit to anything for more than a few days and ultimately sit around continually searching for a “better way.”
Tread carefully so you avoid the dreaded “paralysis by analysis” pit. Something to consider is that a good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed in the future. Don’t worry about having this esoteric “perfect” plan that everyone and their mother seems to be after, because it doesn’t exist. Instead act today on the imperfect plan you do have; imperfect doesn’t mean it’s ineffective.
Don’t take this to mean you should go outside and start running in circles with hopes you will start building muscle or get a promotion at work, because that is simply not how it works.
The planning process is outlining how you are going to do the necessary actions to achieve your goals. If your plan is, “I’m going to work hard to increase my muscle mass” you have no plan at all. Be specific; for building muscle something more along the lines of “I will train with weights 5 times per week, increase my max lifts by 5lbs every week, and eat 600 calories above my basal metabolic rate everyday” is a truncated plan worth acting on. Use your resources, MPA Supps has everything you need to get started today on your journey to a better body.
Walk Before You Run
Don’t take the preceding section to mean that you should just play the ignorance-is-bliss card and never try new things or be open to finding more efficient methods. Rather, it is suggesting that you will benefit exponentially more by acting on a basic plan this moment than you would be sitting around and waiting for the “perfect plan” (because you will be waiting for all eternity).
You can’t just skip over the basics and move onto more advanced matters without having the requisite skills necessary to succeed. So learn the fundamentals first because that will build a foundation for the rest of your life’s endeavors, regardless what it is that you’re pursuing. Master the basics first, then you can move onto more advanced methods.
Action Brings Experience; Experience Brings Wisdom
To quote Albert Einstein, “The only source of knowledge is experience.” Essentially, there is only so much one can know without taking action/doing things. When you do anything, you gain some form of experience, and with that you learn. Even if you fail at something, you have the opportunity to learn from it and use that experience and newfound knowledge to improve next time.
Action leads to experience which leads to wisdom. If you never do anything, how do you expect to gain the wisdom and insight necessary for improving yourself? It’s impossible without taking action. Hopefully the point has been made clear--you must do things if you want to achieve your goals. It’s not that complex really, unless you make it out to be.
Fads, Extremes, and Everything In-Between
Regrettably, bodybuilding and fitness subcultures are comprised mainly of people who have extremist mentalities. These individuals are constantly seeking out the best diet, the fastest way to build muscle and strength, and the most effective form of cardio to strip off body-fat.
Go ahead and ask pretty much any dedicated gym goer what their goals are and it will likely be along the lines of having the smallest waist, lowest body-fat, biggest biceps, strongest bench press, widest back, etc. Notice how all of those are extremes/superlatives; these individuals want the extremes and they assume that the only way to get them is by having the best methods/plans. This is how/why fads originate.
It would be asinine to claim that a cookie-cutter program/plan will provide optimal results for everyone out there because there is simply no one-size-fits-all regimen (especially when it comes to diet and training). Unfortunately, the Internet has made it incredibly easy for “experts” in various fields to promote their own cookie-cutter programs as being the greatest thing since sliced bread for everyone under the sun.
Take a step back and think if you can recall one single person who has lasting results on a fad diet, like for example the Atkins Diet or the South Beach Diet. Sure, maybe there are a select few Atkins Diet followers that make decent progress in the short-term, but rest assured it is an extreme diet (fad) and not sustainable, nor does it make much sense scientifically. Remember, when a fad dies, those who follow it go away with it.
A good rule-of-thumb to consider is this: the more erudite a program sounds, the more likely it's nonsense. For example, a weight training program called “Static- alpha-P90 myofibrillar contractile hyperplasia adaptive gene expression restructuring” sounds incredibly badass and scientific, therefore it probably isn’t badass or scientific at all. On the flipside, gym-goers will probably assume a training program with a short, simple name like, “Starting Strength” is too plain to be worthwhile. Reality is that many people will fare much better on a basic program, because it’s likely tried and true and stood the test of time (i.e. it’s not a fad).
The take-home message here is that fads are almost always based on extremes, but the majority of individuals will do much better with a more moderate, balanced approach to whatever it is they are after. But if you’re one of those “carbophobes” that enjoys going to McDonalds and ordering a Big Mac with extra cheese, hold the bun, then by all means continue on your journey.
Find Your Passion(s) and Create Your Own Opportunities
One of the main points this article is aiming to get across is that you shouldn’t wait for opportunity; you should create your own chances. It’s become so commonplace for people to not even try pursuing what they’re really passionate about because they feel like they don’t have the right opportunities. What a ridiculous way to look at life.
Nothing worth having is going to be handed to you on a silver platter. If you’re passionate about something, GO OUT AND DO IT! Passion drives everything, you can create your own opportunities if it’s something you’re dedicated to work after.
Get over the idea that it’s ok to be just another number and not do the things you really want to do in this life. If you want something bad enough, you’ll find a way. Most people don’t want it bad, they just kind of want it. So ask yourself, “How bad do you want it?”
There comes a point in everyone’s life where they need to look deep inside themselves and figure out who the heck they really are. Think about who you are, what you stand for, and how people perceive you. Do you represent the things you want to? What do people say about you? Are you doing the things that are important to you?
This is your life, what is that you will be remembered for? Do you even want to be remembered, or would you prefer to be forgotten; lost in the mix with all the other stardust in the universe. Do or do not; it’s your choice...make it wisely.