Stuck on Those Last 10 Pounds? Compete.

April 12, 2015

Stuck on Those Last 10 Pounds? Compete.

If you’re logging an hour or more in the gym each day without seeing your desired results, I gotta tell you, working out’s not working out for you. Is it me, or does it seem like the gym-goers who regularly show up for their 45-minute treadmill shuffle seem to be the ones whose bodies always stay the same? There is something to be said for dedication to a workout routine, but when you’ve hit a plateau and you’re not gaining muscle or losing fat to your liking, look to your own habits to find the reason.

With a handful of hormonal exceptions, whatever you’re doing – or not doing – is the reason you have not already achieved your desired physical results. Period. Yeah, pretty much period. It’s a tough pill to swallow but once you do, you’re golden. Once you realize you need a change, it’s easy enough to make one. And I’ve got just the change for you.

Compete. Race. Pick an athletic event and register for it. There are several reasons this approach can help you overcome the stagnation phase that your body may be currently in.

1. Your focus shifts from the daily grind to rising to a personal challenge.

[336_mobile_top] Mentally, competitors are in a different place than casual pilates enthusiasts. For one, committing to a 5k charity run, a CrossFit competition, or even a Savage Race-type of event requires a chunk of change to hold your place; you only have a finite window of time within which to train, and if you miss a workout, you’re never getting that one back; finally, you’ve got to uphold your pride and complete your event because, like any good competitor, you’ve told people about it.

You won’t think about training in terms of how many OK Go songs it’s going to take you to get through today’s back-and-bis session; you’re going to think about the day in the not-too-distant future when you have to perform at the competition, and that back and those bis better be ready when it counts.

2. Once you’re training for your event, your body becomes an athlete’s body.

If you don’t think of yourself as an athlete, you’re sure as shit not going to look like one. And isn’t that we’re talking about achieving here? The body you’ve been after but just can’t quite get yet? Trust me, that is what we’re talking about. Four weeks out from a CrossFit competition, you’d better believe I’m eating right, not drinking on weekends and meticulously logging my lifts. The litany of ways I treat my body and mind better when I’m in training mode is a mile long.

This is just the push you need to switch-up your habits – even in the short term – to make a positive impact on your long-term journey toward a fitter, leaner, sexier, muscle-bound you.

3. This means getting more sleep, better sleep, and respecting your body’s need to heal.

  Rest is an undeniable component of total-body wellness. Besides the fact that you’ll be more tired from tougher training sessions and will absolutely need more sleep, getting it will likely improve your mood and help you fight the hunger-inducing hormone ghrelin.

Can you see this all coming together?

Mental preparation + quality workouts + commitment to fueling your body properly –booze and pizza = improvements.

Because, let’s be honest, abs look appealing but so do a few glasses of Prosecco. With your half-marathon only two weeks away, would you be as apt to tempt the hangover gods if it meant losing the next day’s long run? If you say yes, you’re not ready to get serious, which is fine, but amend your expectations accordingly.

Moderation is important, but so is proving something to yourself. I’m not knocking simply maintaining a standard level of fitness. Health is health, and as long as you are not morbidly obese, fighting heart disease or struggling with other medical conditions, I say live and let live.

But, if you’re putting in the time and you think you’re putting in the effort, wouldn’t you like to put in just a little bit more and actually see the change you’ve been working for? I say yes. Yes, you do. Because you’ll never know how proud you’ll be of yourself if you don’t try. You don’t have to compete or race or any of it, but please don’t ask me why you can’t make any physical improvements.

Be an athlete now and treat yo’self later. There’s time for both. 

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