5 Ways To Skyrocket the Success Rate of a Body Transformation
You’ve seen the amazing before and after photos graffitied all over the Internet. You know, the kinds of transformations that make your jaw drop. It seems like you’re looking at two different people when you put the photos side-by-side.
And then, you get fired up about the possibility of looking at those photos in which the two people posing are you. The fact that a normal person just like you did it, motivates you and punches hope into your spirit hat you can do the same.
But the photos you see of these transformations only tell a tiny piece of the story.
From the outside it looks like they got from point A to point B effortlessly – almost like a snap of the fingers, and viola, the new body appears. I’m well aware that the dramatic change is part of the appeal.
However, there’s more to it – a lot more. In addition, comparing your current situation to someone’s transformation leaves the door open for some massive guilt or even shame on your part.
Think of a stage performer. The things they do behind the scenes – the hours of practice, the screw-ups, the re-takes – are things that are invisible to others. It’s their backstage.
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The polished portion – the final product, the ready to go version – is what the crowd sees. It’s their front stage act.
Similarly, when it comes to a body transformation, everyone has a backstage and a front stage. And just like the stage performer, we tend only show our front stage on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
When you compare you’re messy, complicated and challenging backstage to the polished final product of someones front stage it feels like they’re perfect and you’re not. But I assure you, even the most well crafted front stages have gone through a back stage process stocked with mistakes, challenges and set-backs.
You’re more similar than different.
Now that you know everyone has a front and back stage, what do you do between point A and point B?
If you’ve missed out on achieving your goal of changing your body to many times in the past, I’d like to share a powerful set of tools to you in this article. It’ll be a little different from what you’re probably used to.
Over the years I’ve noticed this: Low success rate with body transformation isn’t a math problem, it’s a behavior problem.
You have access to diet calculators, and a plethora of workout programs (a lot of them for free too). But when these don’t provide enough potency to induce jaw-dropping transformation, there’s a disconnect in your daily habits and behaviors.
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I’ve pinpointed 5 key habits that will skyrocket the success rate of your body transformation program. These habits aren’t grounded in how many reps you should do or nutrient timing, but rather, a set of behaviors that set the stage for amazing results.
Think of it this way: A house built on sand will not be able to handle the winds, rain, and hail it encounters. A house built on rock will be able to withstand the storm.
Your backstage journey will have some storms. But, your foundation will determine how you manage them.
These habits, provide the raw materials for you to build a rock solid foundation in your transformation journey.
How to Transform Your Body – 5 Habits of Success
1. Focus on one habit (then stack it)
Tackling a body transformation goal is daunting.
Where in the world do you start?
In a world that is jam-packed with distracting inputs, apps, technologies, cutting edge resources, chrome plated machines, and gyms that sell $7 water bottles one thing will always remain true: The consistent application of basic habits work.
Oftentimes, the early-on bravado outpaces your endurance for lasting change. Therefore, you bite off more than you can chew. Your ambitions are herculean in size.
There isn’t anything wrong with being enthused. However, this sophomoric steam usually runs dry only after a short while and the goal comes to failure.
And then, you’re back at square one – frustrated, confused and hopeless.
Instead, choose one thing you will do everyday to improve on your goal. Some examples might include:
- I will take a greens supplement every morning for the next 30 days.
- I will go grocery shopping every Sunday evening for the next 30 days.
- I will build all of my meals around high quality protein for the next 30 days.
- I will do my full-body circuit training program Monday thru Thursday at 7 P.M after work for the next 30 days.
- I will drink half of my bodyweight in ounces of water every day for the next 30 days.
Depending on your personal situation, there are many options for habits you can adopt. The key, however, is to choose only one at a time.
The research has shown that when you try to change a single behavior one a time, the chances of you training that habit over a year is better than 80 percent. When you try to tackle two behaviors, your chances drop to less than 35 percent. Anything more than two behaviors at once and the rate of that behavior sticking drops to less than 5 percent.
2. Recruit support
Once you reach a certain level of knowledge with your health and fitness, the problem is no longer an innovative training program, the latest nutrition plan or even hottest supplements.
The one thing your missing is this: Accountability.
A lot of people, including you, have an impressive amount of stored knowledge about health and fitness. You are aware that exercise is important, hydration is key, and eating well is critical. Heck you probably even know a lot about more advanced methods like carb cycling, periodization, and recovery protocols.
But, common sense isn’t common practice.
And this is the glaring gap in your approach. You know what to do, but you don’t do it. Often times this is because there is nobody kicking you in the pants when you choose to #netflixandchill instead of blasting through some deadlifts at the gym.
In order to do the things you know you should do, you’ve got to be accountable to something or someone:
“Accountability is the acknowledgment of responsibility for your actions with the obligation to report, explain, and be responsible for the resulting consequences.”
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The reason why accountability is so important is because you will not always feel fired up to hit the gym like an animal and meal prep like a ninja.
But when you have someone to check in with or better yet, they’re checking in on you, you’re far more likely to do the things you need to do even when you don’t feel like it.
3. Strong mind, strong body
It’s no secret that training your body is critical to your transformation. But, what often gets overlooked is the fact that training your mind is just as important for several reasons. Those who have a regular meditation practice show higher natural levels of growth hormone and testosterone levels and a lower baseline of the stress hormone cortisol.
Meditation has an “anabolic” effect on the body due to its ability to regulate the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis for reduced stress. The by-product? Better cognition, less inflammation, and an enhanced functioning of the metabolism. All important factors in body transformation.
Moreover, meditation stimulates the pre-frontal cortex. This part of the brain is what separates us from animals – and is associated with feeling connected to others and long-term planning.
With regular meditation, the pre-frontal cortex has been shown to thicken. When the pre-frontal cortex is regular stimulated it’s most often associated with feelings of good mood, connectedness, and optimism. When the pre-frontal cortex is neglected, it’s most often associated with feelings of depression, anxiety, and addiction.
When it comes to body transformation, if you’re in a state of depression, anxiety and possibly addiction, it’ll feel like you’re rowing a canoe upstream of a flooding river. If you’re regulated with good mood, a sense of connectedness and optimism, you’re more likely to follow through with the behaviors for a successful body transformation.
4. Simplify your life
Imagine a person at the starting line of a marathon. But before he takes off, he grabs a 40 pound sack, and slaps on steel-toed boots, and then jumps in the near-by lake. And then, he proceeds to run the marathon.
He’s weighed down by unnecessary burden. And thus, it slows him down – possibly forcing him to give up before completing his mission.
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Too many burdens cloud our lives more than we like to admit. Accumulating more is often the onset of insidious implosion. We slowly start to slow down. Our fire turns into a flickering flame. We feel heavy.
Much like the marathon runner, we tend to pile on more debt, more responsibility, more shallow relationships – more stuff – only to find out that it gets in they way of forward progress. This weight makes it difficult to sustain the endurance needed to cross the finish line.
Remove the unimportant, the trivial and the sub-par to make more room for focused attention. A lifter bogged down by unnecessary burdens, will never be as strong as he could be.
5. Attitude of gratitude
Of the 52 weeks out of the year, we only dedicate about one of them to being thankful.
It’s nice to count your blessing on Thanksgiving, but being thankful throughout the year shows that it can benefit you more than you think. In fact, of this list, it might be the easiest, and most overlooked habit to improve body composition. It typically doesn’t require any money and can be done quickly, but the potential ROI is huge.
Grateful people experiences fewer body pains and aches and report feeling healthier than others according to a study published in Personality and Individuals Differences. They also exercise more and are more likely to attend regular check ups which influences further longevity and vitality.
Gratitude reduces a multitude of toxic emotions, ranging from envy and resentment to frustration and regret. Robert A. Emmons, Ph.D., a leading gratitude researcher, has conducted multiple studies on the link between gratitude and well-being. His research confirms that gratitude effectively increases happiness and reduces depression.
Writing in a gratitude journal improves sleep, according to a 2011 study published in Applied Psychology: Health and Well-Being. Spend just 15 minutes jotting down a few grateful sentiments before bed, and you may sleep better and longer.
Being grateful is quite possibly the secret weapon to successful body transformation. It boosts your likeliness to show up to the gym, it helps you manage your toxic thoughts and it improves your sleep.
A practical way to employ gratitude today is to end each day with a list of three things you’re grateful for. Make sure each night is a list of three different things to keep your mind stimulated and on the look out for good things.
They don’t have to grandiose either, listing that you were grateful for that warm cup of coffee you had before work is completely fine.
Interestingly, you might push back against the simplicity of these habits. Impatient and eager to start, you’ll want to by-pass the basics and jump into larger, more complex tasks or strategies.
But, if you’ve failed more times than you’d like to admit when it comes to body transformation, I’d bet that you’re approach was to complex out of the gate. You tried to take on too much all at once.
Break the cycle today.
Your chance of success is grounded in simplicity. Start with the basic list of habits we just went over. Then, choose ONE of them to do over the next 14-30 days. Assess yourself and if the habit feels like second nature, then, and only then, move onto the next habit and stack it on top of the one you just mastered.
Berardi & Andrews (2013). The Essentials of Sport and Exercise Nutrition. 2nd Ed.
Dow, M. The brain fog fix: Reclaim your focus, memory, and joy in just 3 weeks. N.p., 2015. Print.
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