Struggling to get a better workout and ultimately physique progress? You may have your priorities backwards. I see so many gym-goers start with the very few things that need to be at the end of their lists.
One day I overheard a guy at the gym who was telling his buddy his grand plan for an ultimate transformation. He started by saying he had just ordered around $300 worth of supplements and was excited for the shipment to finally get in. Once he had all of his “potions and powders” he would then be ready to finally get started.
Now, I must also mention he wasn’t eating all that great, didn’t make sleep a priority, and wasn’t even training in the very gym he was standing in. I knew this from past conversations.
It’s no surprise that he never made the progress he’d wished while spending all that money.
Better Workout, Backward Priorities
There are so many guys (and girls) just like this. They put the last things first while ignoring the important, effective things that will ultimately get them closer to where they want to be. What do I mean by all this?
Below is a quick checklist that prioritizes (in order) what you should shoot for when trying to achieve your physique goals. If you spend a lot of time trying to improve your outcome then why not do things the right way for better workout results?
This should be your first priority. Sleep and recovery come before training and definitely before any supplements. No pill or powder will make up for lack of sleep. Proper sleep is the greatest, most effective tool for workout recovery and subsequently progress. make it a priority to go to bed and wake up at the same times each day. If you have trouble sleeping, put away technology two hours before bed and give yourself a week or two to get into a better sleeping groove.
How are your eating habits? You not only need to look at the types of foods your eating and the amounts, but also your overall weekly habits. Do you have only a day or two of good eating/nutrition practices and then binge on weekends? Is Monday always a “start day?” Use the 80/20 rule to start. That is, eat on a sound nutrition plan 80 % of the time and then give yourself some leeway the other 20% of the time. It’ll put you on a path of positive habits.
Once you have sleep/recovery and nutrition under control you can now look at your training. So many individuals seem to put training a the bottom of their lists. What I mean is they don’t see their training as something they should look at with detail. Is it effective? Does it cover all the bases? Is it progressive-minded? Also, make sure your training matches your goals.
Finally, last and certainly least, are supplements. If you don’t have sleep, nutrition, and training locked down then don’t even welcome the thought of supplements. They are absolutely not the knight on a white horse coming to save you. The cure for lack of sleep is more sleep, the cure for poor nutrition is better eating habits, and the cure for sub par training is better focus. Supplements are there (if at all) to add to an already existing solid lifestyle plan. They are not meant to replace it. More on supplements in a later article.
Take this list of priorities literally and seriously. If you want to make real progress and real lifestyle change you’ll take the points listed above and do your best to follow. But, if you want to go blow the bank on more supplements then be my guest.