I didn’t start regularly going to the gym until I was about 22. Before then I really had no idea what I was doing. I used to eat pretty badly but, like, most people, I didn’t really realise that what I was putting in my body wasn’t great for me. Too much processed foods, not enough greens, all the usual mistakes. From time to time I’d casually read Mens Health and the fitness pages on other mags but I always felt like getting in really great shape was something other people did, it wasn’t really attainable, the ‘mythical six pack’ was for models and celebrities…!
Like most people, personal fitness for me was very much focused around trying to fit 2 or maybe 3 visits to the gym around a full-on job, going out with friends, spending time with my girlfriend (now wife) and all the other stuff that takes up life. When I did manage to hit the gym it would be 30-40 mins of a bit of weights and then probably a jog on the treadmill. I did that for about 5 years on and off, never really pushing myself that much. Yes I was in ‘ok’ shape, I wasn’t ‘overweight’ but I never really saw any major gains.
Breaking down the preconceptions
The lightbulb moment for me came when I realised that the only thing stopping me from achieving my goals was my own ideas about what was possible. It was always too easy to say “well, my job’s really busy, it’s not possible to get in great shape when you live a normal life”. I started training with a personal trainer (more about that later), learnt about how to get my nutrition right (and I mean nutrition NOT dieting) and set myself the goal of getting in the best shape I have ever been in.
Self motivation is everything if you want to get that beach body. There will always be times when you feel like you can’t be bothered to go to the gym or you really want to have that sugary snack, and in moderation that’s okay. But whenever I find things are hard I always try to refocus on the end target. Find workouts which work for you and you enjoy. Try eating clean (again more on that later) as much as possible and you’ll be surprised how much you’ll start to enjoy that steak or salmon fillet over your old comfort food.
You won’t get the results overnight, it’s about the long term game. I’m not a professional, I’m a normal guy and I’m writing this blog to show you what’s possible with a little more effort, determination and focus. Every step of the way I’ll be sharing my top tips and what I’ve learnt to balance a busy lifestyle with getting that six pack!