In part 3 I will build on the initial mental and preparatory steps needed in gaining an athletic mindset to your body comp goals, as cover in Part 1 and part 2. Now its time for some practical application to the performance based approach to losing fat, "getting RIPPED," "Looking good Naked", or as athletes put it, "cutting weight", and why this positive approach is successful.
As I ended the last installment it's "Go time," I had done my thinking, done my planning, now it was time to shut up and get to work. No thinking, no over thinking, just "Get Er Done"
Disclaimer: The following is by now means a dietary or training recommendation. The important message to capture here is NOT the numbers, parameters, or approaches applied but how they were applied, the mind set and approach to them.
Don't waver, stick to it.
Long story short. I made changes from day 1 and stuck to it. I went low carbohydrate, (STRICT) I read the first chapter of the Adkins diet, the induction phase, and just stuck to it with whole foods no supplements, no fat loss agents, etc. I ate 20 grams of carbohydrates a day. Day in, day out, no cheating. I didn't count calories. I just kept carbohydrates low and let it rip. I swapped my beloved beer out for whiskey on the rocks. No, not optimal, but it for damn sure worked.
Id wake an hour early in the morning to train three times a week. This for me meant 3 am. I had to be on the job site by 5:30 and it was a 45 minute drive. Not to mention I had to go to full time college as well. Id get a small snack then hit the weights, while letting my breakfast cook.
I had bought a Weider power rack. It came with an Olympic bar, 300 lbs in weight, a training log and a little poster with exercises. I set those exercises up in a circuit and I'd run them NON stop until I had finished each one, then I would rest. I'm sure if I dug deep enough I could find my log but it was something along the lines of Bench, squat, Pull down (later chins), military press, leg curl, leg extension, Bent over row, abs and obliques. Give or take. Id hit that circuit three-four times, I cant recall, Then hit the shower. Dry off, dress, stuff my face with eggs, bacon, meats and cheese, grab my lunch and tool bags and hit the road.
Progress came, and came fast. I was shedding fat like my dog sheds fur in the spring. Each week fed the next. The results made me even more dedicated. Progress is what I was concentrating on. The little positive things. I got one more rep on those sets, I need new jeans again, I can do chins now, that gal just grabbed my butt. In under three months I went from 300+ blubbery lbs to a pretty damn shredded 215. I stayed there Happy as a peach living the same diet and basic training for nearly a year.
I was not limited in what I could achieve. I had zero doubt. I was focusing on the positive things and accepting the steps it took to get them. There were NO negatives I was giving up. There were simply things that did or did not fit in my world, for my goals. I did not miss, desire, or crave things I would not allow because I chose to not allow them. They were and are not evil they just weren't in my plan. I didn't have one cold beer, not one piece of cake, not one potato chip for over a year and I flat out didn't want one. I was happy as a Charles dog eatin' out of the cats litter box.
One battle at a time
My goal was, as they have to be, one sided with multiple steps leading toward that singular large goal. I wasn't looking to pack on a ton of lean mass and lose buckets of body fat at the same time. To tackle that one goal, and then think about the next one. A football team doesn't start thinking about the next season during the current one. Or an athlete the 2012 Games just prior to performing in the 2008 games, and neither should you. The minute you do, your DONE. You just crapped out on your goal. You lost. Pick your ONE battle and Take IT, GET IT. Give one goal your all and likely you'll knock down some other goals along the way. Once you get there and relish in your victory, then think about the next goal and the steps it requires. Don't try to drive your car on two streets, it's the fast road to know where.
I was focused not on what I was missing or giving up but on what I was gaining. It was a transformation of beauty, and I spilled confidence out of every pore. I wreaked of it. It bleed into every part of my life, and every person I met could feel and see my mindset. It's a beautiful thing to know your in control of you, nothing can touch you.
It was a hell of a transformation. I lost feet not inches, my cholesterol levels plummeted, mentally and physically I reached a pinnacle I could prior have never dreamed of, and set the stage for my further steps. I can and will do better. I reached the realization it wasn't hard once I was set to a goal, and had my steps in place. It was just action, and my first glimpse of what the athletic mind set can achieve.
Now sit down and pick your goals, your battle. Figure out the steps to them. Accept what your going to have to do, not give up. Put some things on the back burner. They aren't evil, they just DON'T fit your current goals. Then put those to action.
In the next installment, the downfall. Where, and how I fell out of graces and lost track of this mind set, and the havoc it caused.
Phillip Stevens, BFA, MFA;
Director of Operations, Staley Training Systems
About The Author
Phil, while attaining both his Bachelors and Masters degrees in studio art found another passion, that of training and nutrition. A constant student, his real-world under-the-barbell and behind-the-fork approach has led to many an opportunity, experience, and change in his life as well as those he has worked.
Phil currently, aside from his varied work with Team Staley, is a working and showing artist ([http://www.philstevens.com]) His current personal fitness goals are to become a competitive force as middleweight strongman competitor, while building upon his power lifting experience in which he has seen as high as a top ten national ranking; with a two year goal of obtaining an elite ranking as a 242 or 275lb weight class RAW power lifter.
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