Consistency for Physical Improvement and the Law of Proportionality
Sep 9th, 2012
We’ve all heard the phrase, “practice makes perfect”. The general idea being conveyed is that if we want to get better at something, we need to engulf ourselves in that specific something as often as possible.
Implicit in the phrase is also the notion that the more time we spend performing a certain activity the better at that activity we will ultimately become. This is called the principle of proportionality (at least that’s what I call it, anyway) and it has a wide range of applications.
For example, if you want to become a better writer, you need to make an effort to write often. If you want to build exceptional skills on the basketball court, you can expect to spend a considerable amount of your free time there.
I could go on at this for far longer than you care to find out, but I think I’ve made my point.
If you want to significantly improve your skill level at a certain activity it is going to take consistency for it to happen. This principle of proportionality also holds true in the realm of physical transformations.
Whether you want to build fifteen pounds of muscle, or lose one hundred pounds of fat, it isn’t going to happen through sporadic action. It will only happen through steadfast commitment, dedication and consistency, keeping your eye on the prize every hour of every day until you’ve achieved your goal.
Lack of Consistency Leads to Failure
A recent Consumer Reports survey indicated that approximately 41% of Americans are on some form of diet and that their average goal weight loss is 37lbs. They didn’t provide the data for it, but I would guess that a small percentage of that 41% will be consistent in following their diet day in and day out.
And it is that small percentage that will set themselves up for success and eventually reach their goal. The others will only follow their diet when it’s convenient for them and wind up wallowing in bitter disappointment.
Eating well half the time never got anyone very far.
At best it might allow you to make small improvements to your physique, but that is probably being generous and you certainly aren’t going to achieve the kind of dramatic change most dieters are seeking with that sort of halfhearted commitment.
There’s a word for only being consistent in the pursuit of your goals a portion of the time. The word is, “inconsistent”.
And when it comes to the pursuit of dramatic physical transformations “inconsistency” is synonymous with “failure”.
What Consistency Looks Like
If you want dramatic results you have to work for it and consistently strive to improve.
For instance, you aren’t going to be shredding a guitar like Angus Young by piddling around on a six string for an hour a week.
Angus became one of the best at picking the axe by practicing his craft and practicing it often. Even when he wasn’t practicing scales or composing music it was never far from his mind.
Let’s translate this to the world of fitness…
You obviously can’t spend eight hours at the gym every day. Well you could, but you certainly don’t need to, and why would you want to.
But, if you’re serious about improving your physique it can’t just be something you do for an hour a day while working out and then forget about for the rest of your waking hours.
Consistency is a 24/7 Commitment
Your focus needs to be on your goal – whatever it may be – all day every day until you’ve achieved it.
During that hour you’re at the gym remember why you’re there and what you’re hoping to accomplish. Train hard and train in a manner that’s consistent with the results you hope to achieve.
When you’re away from the gym you still have plenty to think about and apply. Follow your nutritional guidelines, plan meals ahead of time so you’re not tempted to cheat, don’t let others entice you to eat crap food that will only be counter productive to your goals, and get a good night’s rest to allow your body to recover.
Physical improvements don’t happen by chance and they certainly don’t come easy. It takes time, commitment and consistency for dramatic change to take place.
But if you stay the course, relentlessly pursue your goals, and work toward them with consistent, daily action, the results of your hard work will slowly accrue over time until you eventually build a body you can be completely confident in and proud of.
In fact, the “Law of Proportionality” guarantees it!
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