Have you ever looked at someone and thought, “Wow, they’re in great shape! I wonder what their secret is?”
Or perhaps your thoughts went to “Huh, they must be on that new (insert fad diet here) plan.”
Or maybe even “Must be nice to have good genetics and never have to worry about what they eat.”
If you’ve uttered that last one, please put down the Haterade. Some people are genetically gifted in the physical realm, but it still takes WORK.
And if you’ve thought about those first two statements before towards some people, I’m going to reveal their secrets, and the secrets so many have benefitted from for quite some time to achieve maximum results.
Hope you’re ready.
But first, I want to discuss a couple of clients of mine. The first is a man who needs no introduction, someone we’ve all come to know and love, Mr. Ryan Stewman himself.
Approaching 41 years old, he has consistently worked out for his entire adult life.
He’s no stranger to the gym, so when we first started working together, his starting point was certainly in a different place than a majority of my new clients.
The Top 3 Secrets to Getting in Great Shape
Almost a year ago he broke his neck, his arm, and damn near died. He came back with a vengeance and is as strong as he’s ever been.
He’s a dude you can look at and immediately know he works out. Hell, he’s even been accused of being on steroids!
The second client is Laura, who is also my beautiful wife. Over the years she has frequently been asked what she does to achieve the physique she possesses.
She has competed in multiple Strongman competitions, has lifted more weights in the past 5 years than the rest of her life combined, and her results have been visibly noticeable.
When asked how she gets her results that so many desire, her typical answer is “ALL THE THINGS!”
Which brings me to the 3 insider secrets to getting in great shape.
#1: Eat in a manner that supports your goals
There is no magical eating plan to make you lose weight or body fat fast. Sure you can take extreme measures and drastically limit your calories, but if anyone is trying to “sell” you on a specific diet program being the end all, be all for all that ails you, tell them to shove it.
If you want to be leaner, which is the goal for the majority of people, and you exercise regularly, then you must eat in a way that supports your body.
Ryan drastically cut down his alcohol consumption (notice I didn’t say cut it out altogether), started eating salads at lunch (thereby consuming more vegetables and limiting his processed, starchy carb intake), and has been more aware of how what he puts in his body affects his performance not only in the gym, but in his day to day operations as well.
He’s stronger than he’s ever been and is energized throughout the day,
Laura knows her body does well with plentiful carbs and pays close attention to the percentages of proteins/carbs/fats she consumes.
She also understands the correlation between nutrition and performance, is extremely mindful of the nutrient quality of the food she consumes, and limits alcohol consumption far more than when she first started training.
There are no “off-limit” foods for her, but she is cognizant of how certain foods make her feel and strives to choose mostly those which will benefit her health and wellness.
#2: Exercise regularly and lift heavy
It’s no secret that regular exercise is needed to achieve peak physicality, but lifting heavy weight needs to be a part of almost everyone’s workout routine.
Keep in mind, lifting heavy is a relative term. I’m not trying to make bodybuilders out of my clients (unless that’s what they want), but to truly change the look and shape of your body, you have to participate in true muscle-building activities.
Heavy doesn’t mean you do 20 reps and say “Whew, my arms are burning.” Heavy usually means you do less than 10 reps, and you question all the choices in life that have brought you to that moment ;-)
In my career, I can honestly say as a general rule, the leanest people I have trained are also the strongest people I have trained.
Yes, it’s true, muscle is metabolically more active than fat, thereby burning a larger % of calories daily. However, it’s much more than that.
It’s the hard work it takes to build muscle. It’s the dedication and consistency it takes to really be STRONG.
And it’s not wanting to negate what you do in the gym by consuming a poor diet and having questionable lifestyle choices (smoking, lack of sleep, stress).
Which brings me to our last secret…
#3: Do #1 and #2 consistently for a long time!
Look, I want quick results just as much as you do. But that’s not how this works. Laura has worked her tail off over the years to achieve the results she currently enjoys.
Ryan has been in a gym setting for most of his adult life and continues to put all the pieces of the puzzle together to optimize his work and his results.
Being and STAYING in great physical shape is a lifetime endeavor. There’s no “end” to fitness. We may age, our goals may change, life events will happen, but relative to our situation, we can still maintain a high level of fitness throughout the years.
We all have those few “fit” friends who are always in great shape. Whether it’s the middle of summer or winter, regardless of the latest fad diet, and despite what life throws at them, they always seem to maintain an enviable level of fitness and physique.
They are like that because being healthy is part of who they are. They enjoy feeling good, looking good, and being able to handle what life throws at them.
They know the effort it takes, and are simply willing to put forth that effort, regardless of how they feel day in and day out
Consistency (with the correct, healthy behaviors) + time = RESULTS.
So there you have it, the big 3 “secrets” to staying in great shape for the long term. It’s not flashy or sexy, it’s not easy, and, unfortunately, it’s something most people aren’t willing to do.
YOU, however, don’t have to fall into that “most people” category. Commit, decide you are going to honor your body and your health, and do something today you will thank yourself for later.