Truly, “fitness” as we know it is more mental than physical.
I’m reminded daily, chatting with clients or experiencing it myself, that if your mind isn’t in the right space, or you’re allowing others to dictate your feelings, actions, etc., your physical achievements and/or progress will suffer. Your mind is absolutely your greatest asset or your worst enemy. Your body goes through action when the mind tells it to do so. We pick things up because our mind tells us to bend over, open our hand and grab an object then stand up. Our mind will tell us whether or not to eat something. And your mind is plastic, meaning “trainable”. Your mind controls you, but you can control your mind. Training your mind means training your self-thoughts, actions, fears, RE-actions, etc.
Now, follow me for just a little longer:
Sometimes to get to the end goal, we go the opposite direction. Example: I increase calories before decreasing – not to put someone in a caloric deficit or surplus, but to allow them to master being WITHIN set macros. It’s the same as working sub maximally in your lifting- you build confidence so the more challenging lifts become less daunting. “I can hit these macros, so I know I’ll do just fine with 50 less kcals/day”. Basically it’s training mastery of what you find comfortable and able to handle.
Achieving a physical goal isn’t always running more or lifting more, eating less or more.
Sometimes it’s about controlling your mind and gaining mental strength before the physical results will show. If we can’t control our mind, how can we control what our bodies do – our minds are the control center, so control that shit.
Become masterful in the mind, comfortable in the discomfort and confident in your strengths. Then you’ll see a great deal of progress.
Janet’s prep with me started at 8 weeks out, after a 1000 calorie decrease overnight at 12 weeks out with her previous coach. Unable to stay in macros (I’d be hungry as fuck too; mentally, just having that much less daily to work with is a huge feat for anyone to handle) we immediately increased protein and focused on lifting and smarter cardio to build a deficit, keeping in mind that she was already doing cardio, LISS, almost every day.
There were uncomfortable days and very low calorie days (I’m not proud of that, as a coach). But she did trust the process and look what happened:
She hit that stage more confidant than I’d seen her In 8 weeks. Yea, I gassed her up on occasion, I also didn’t tell her any lies. Some brutal honesty was needed on occasion but when all was said and done she flat out killed her first show, taking home 1st place in True Novice C (I’m sure it wasn’t the fireball shot she took before stage).
She learned and now we get better. Grow and get better, grow and get better. But controlling her thoughts surrounding discomfort were the big game changers. Starting a prep with such a drastic decrease in food and being unable to mentally commit to the macros she was prescribed wouldn’t have worked well for anyone. She pulled her mind into a champion’s mindset and came out a champion.
Game plan for every prep should be: less cardio, more muscle, bigger macros. Able to hit the stage fully recovered, not miserable, hormones healthy, confidant and happy.
The principals in losing weight, gaining muscle, training to compete in anything are actually quite simple.
It’s the action required to put those principals into practice that’s difficult.
It’s even more difficult if the mind is not on board with what’s about to happen.
Committing and mastering a skill is of the utmost importance. And sometimes to master a skill we step into a realm of comfort before we move into the uncomfortable.
Remember that you are in control of you and what you are going to do to achieve the goals you have set for yourself.
If you can’t get your mind right, the body is going to be rough to get in line.