Finding What Works

It’s been 2 weeks since I’ve stopped eating breakfast. I have to admit that it is working out well for me. My waist is thinning out, I am able to sleep in a little longer, and I haven’t been feeling sick as I had been for the past few months.

Now as I page through fitness blogs, etc, what I end up finding is a lot of people swearing by one technique or another. They propose that what they do will ABSOLUTELY work for you! All that I can say is… “well… maybe.”

Truth is that everybody is different. It doesn’t matter race or gender. Although those do play roles in what I am about to put forth, they aren’t overarching factors for anything with some exceptions (more on the gender side of things).

What people have to look at is a myriad of items when determining what will work for them fitness-wise. Here’s a quick list from this non-expert fitness guy:

  • What are you after?
    This requires a bit of honesty. It can’t just be “I want to look like the Rock or Zac Efron.” I suggest particular goals such as “I want to be able to bench 200 lbs,” or “I want to have a 6-pack.” “I want to be a competition lifter” also works as well as “I want to run a marathon.” Just saying “I want to be buff” is an elusive goal for a number of reasons I won’t go into.
    For me, I am looking more for a competition level ability to lift, but also would like to keep my flexibility up along with general good health.
  • What is your schedule like?
    This is a big one for me. If I could, I would love to be able to slip in another 30 minutes of training a day at least. But I have a limited schedule. Either that or I would benefit from having a smaller, more deficit cardio-based session in the AM and the lift later in the day. Unfortunately, my schedule laughs at me when I even suggest such things.
    Know what you can fit into your schedule. Know what you can adjust. Do this before assigning a crazy goal. You can’t get to Iron Man endurance status if you can’t commit the time to train.
  • How much and what do you eat?
    More than the training, diet has a huge effect on health. My recommendation is to do a general calorie counting exercise and then keep track of what you eat. Getting to gnat’s ass detail only is required if you are going for a national body building or bikini contest, so in general just make sure you aren’t way under or way over what you need. Then, make sure that at least the bulk of what you eat are a healthy mix of good fat, protein, and good carbs (minimizing sugar for example – did you notice I didn’t say eliminate).
  • What sacrifices are you willing to make?
    I wrote a quick post a while ago where I came to accept that I wouldn’t ever get toned abs (aka a 6 or 8 pack). The reason? I like beer way too much. Beer is an enemy of toned abs. But being a heavy lifter? Not an issue.
    Depending on the goal, one might have to sacrifice a few things in order to achieve that goal. In the case above, I speak of a food. But it might also be an activity or other things. Who knows. Basically, if you cannot make the sacrifices necessary to achieve a certain goal… well then find a different goal!

Don’t be afraid to experiment too. With regards to both working out and eating, it is best to experiment. My not eating breakfast was an experiment with how my body would react because I was feeling a certain way while eating breakfast. I’ve also changed the style of my workouts a number of times. Sometimes the workouts I do don’t have nearly the impact as others. There’s also exercises that some swear by, but do absolutely nothing for me (or I simply cannot seem to perform them effectively).

The point is that everyone is different, not only in physiology, but also in diet, diet because of physiology (for example various food allergies, tastes, and intolerances), schedules, and in the goals we have. Take advice, but take it knowing that there is always a very good chance that it won’t work, and then again, it might.

Either way, you’ll need to figure it out for yourself.

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