Ripped Out Blog Banner

Stop Wishing and Start Planning: The Oft-Ignored Secret for Improving Your Physique

  Oct 23rd, 2012

Planning for the Body You Want - Plan FirstFor years I hit the gym without a plan.


If I felt like bench pressing, I did it. It didn’t matter if I’d already bench pressed three times in the past four days.


I couldn’t tell you what my 5 rep max weight was for any of the lifts I would integrate into my training. I just added a few plates on the fly and took it from there.


It’s no wonder I made such sluggish gains as an aspiring bodybuilder back in high school.


In college things got a little more organized, but not much.


My Intro to Planned Training

After meeting my college best friend, Colin, we quickly discovered that lifting was something productive we could do together to pass the time in between classes and partying with our fraternity brothers at the Sigma Tau Gamma Fraternity House.


Colin was a little more meticulous in his training, but not much. Although, hitting the gym with any kind of a plan at all was more than I was used to.


We didn’t track our weights with any kind of training log, but we did utilize some form of training split to ensure that we didn’t directly train the same muscles on consecutive days. Perhaps more than anything we pushed each other.


If for nothing else, training with a partner instilled in me a competitive spirit that couldn’t help but push me to new levels of intensity and produce the drive to add another five pound plate to the bar or push through that last rep when I would usually call it quits.


On top of pushing me to train hard and motivating me to hold nothing back, Colin opened my eyes to the need to plan for the results I was after, even if it was in the incredibly primitive form of a training split.


Although, it wasn’t until years later, after much experimentation and research (and lots of stubbornness), that I finally began to understand how important planning for the results I desire truly is.


The Power of Planning

Success in any worthwhile endeavor begins and ends with a plan.


Plans are dynamic, and may change over the course of time, but they are what will allow you to maintain your focus on what you’re hoping to achieve when everything else, and everyone else, seems to be doing nothing but getting in the way.


When you’re tempted to skip a workout, your plan will be there to tell you that one less workout isn’t acceptable.


Planning for A New Body - No PizzaWhen a slice of pizza is staring you in the face, your plan is what will remind you of what you’re working towards and keep you from veering off the path of nutritional success.


Part of your plan may even involve a periodic cheat meal to provide an outlet for enjoying some of your favorite unhealthy foods and make it easier for you to deal with the temptations that come your way at other times.


Regardless of the plan you choose to implement, you need a set of specific rules that will govern how you’ll progress from point A to point B. Simply trying to exercise more and eat better isn’t going to cut it.


You need a specific, actionable plan to guide your decisions and actions on a daily basis. As an example, here’s an outline of the nutritional rules I live by.


I realize the word “rules” is a turn off. It carries with it the notion of restriction. The word “rules” immediately makes me think of a list of things I’m not allowed to do.


When it comes to rules for training and eating for success, however, they are anything but restrictive when viewed from the proper perspective.


Freedom Through Planning

Without rules you’re free. Free to eat like crap, free to not exercise, free to be less than satisfied with what you see in the mirror and free to place yourself at risk of developing a plethora of health problems.


Rules enable you to kick those undesirable options to the curb and be free to eat for success, free to go the gym, free to develop a body you can be proud of, and free to live a long, quality life.


So, the rules I follow are in fact liberating in the sense that they give me the liberty to choose to live the way I want to live and not be enslaved by every little temptation that comes my way that would only lead to disappointment.


Plans Produce Results

Planning for the Body You WantThe nutrition and training plans I follow, and put together for others to use, have come a long way from Colin and I simply not training a specific set of muscles on consecutive days.


Interestingly enough, my results have continually improved in direct proportion to my ability to plan for the results I’m hoping to achieve.


Unfortunately, it takes a certain amount of knowledge and experience in order to develop an effective plan for transforming the body.


Instead of spending years doing the research and experimentation on your own, you’d be better off listening to someone who’s already spent the time and effort attaining the knowledge you need – unless you’re a fitness professional (or planning on becoming one) and have a passion for helping others improve physically – in which case, you’ll need to thoroughly educate yourself anyway.


Whether you want to get ripped or just get down to a healthy weight, without a plan you aren’t going to get very far. I know because I wasted years of my life getting lackluster results simply because I was too stubborn to follow a structured plan that would get me the results I desired.


So stop wishing you could change your body and improve your life. Have a plan and take the steps required to see it through.


“A goal without a plan is just a wish.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry



Speak Your Mind

What do you think?
Feel free to join the conversation by leaving a comment below. I read every single comment and look forward to hearing from you! Please use your real name (or a nickname) as using a business name or keyword will be considered spam and be automatically deleted.


Craig Leonard's Ripped Out Banner

Interact With on Social Media Recent Articles

© 2012, All rights reserved                                                                                                 
San Antonio Web Design