Relating to sports in general, we can hear some of the biggest names laying testimony to this fact. I though have never like the term ‘consistency’. To me, being consistent means: being satisfied with your current level of development, your physical and mental output in the gym, and the way you approach the bodybuilding lifestyle.
If in one ear we are constantly being told to strive forward – one more kilo on the bar, one more rep – and in the other ear we are told to be consistent, then it creates a conflict.
To the consistency crowd I understand where you are coming from. Consistently go to the gym and eat good foods and so on, but I believe you should take a slightly different approach. Instead of being consistent, I like to believe that you can indeed ‘increase’ your consistency. Increasing your application to the bodybuilding lifestyle on a daily basis, just like striving to lift heavier weights every time you train will constantly take you one step closer to your goal. The more you apply yourself, the more chance you have of success.
I view this as building “Unstoppable Momentum”
For many of your reading this (myself included), the upcoming competition season is looming ahead. Instead of focusing too much on the big day several months away, I like focus on the big day tomorrow. Instead of one large, upcoming goal, I view every day that precedes it as one of my immediate short-term goals. Planning and seeing through the perfect training day is all that I focus on day to day.
To make a day successful in my books, certain objectives must be achieved. This is individual for each of us as we all have different circumstances, restrictions and goals, but the idea is universal.
Each night I plan for the following day so I know what I have to achieve. If I am training in the gym, I know what work-out I will be doing, exercises, sets and reps. I also give myself the absolute best chance of success by defining my ‘minimum standards’ to be achieved. This is always the previous weeks best effort, meaning that to have a successful day I need to improve exercise technique, or increase the numbers of reps or weight lifted – its that simple.
If I am in ‘full diet mode’, successful planning will be to list the meals/foods/amounts I wish to eat and simply stick to eat. No snacks, no deviations, and sticking to the plan at all costs. If I am completing cardio that day, I will refer back to my previous session to know what I achieved and what I must beat. I also plan my supplements and what I wish to take when.
When you complete all the days topics successfully, that becomes one successful day, and we pop that one in the bank. Now, focus on the day to follow. Follow through with the next day, knocking off each task as it appears and it becomes another successful day.
Complete seven successful days in a row becomes one successful week. For successful weeks becomes a successful month and so on…
The idea is that with each successful day, you become more motivated to change and stick to your game plan for each succeeding day. The more good says you string together, the more important it becomes to stay on track. Now you wouldn’t want to take it easy and have a slack day now – no way!. Having a slack, unarticleive day should be viewed has dismissing all the good work you have just done. That’s right! View one day of ‘poor effort’ as a straw that breaks the camels back.
I always ensure that I include some ‘down time’ as well, for sanity reasons. Spending time with the family, walking the dog, bathing the kids – these are all very important activities, which take us away from the bodybuilding lifestyle for that split second. More often then not, these are the finer things that are often neglected when a competitor is training for competition, and there isn’t really a valid reason for this. View these objectives just as (if not) more important then everything else that consumes your day.
You might say that surely one bad day won’t hurt, and you are most definitely right. But having one bad day can so easily turn into 1 bad week. Now when you are planning to compete, how many bad, non-articleive days can you honestly afford to have?
It all comes back to the pain/pleasure response. What is more painful to you. Saying no to the chocolate cake and other treats, satisfying your short term cravings, or to stay on track? One method will result in a lean, strong, muscular physique on contest day, and one will not. You just need to decide which option is best your for.