So, you want to be a contender, do you? You want to go from good to great? We’re not talking about mediocre here, we’re talking about Hall of Fame diet and fitness.
If you’re ready for that level of excellence and recognition, here is my tried and true blueprint to success in five steps, if you want to be one of the best.
Step #1: Ask For Help
First and foremost, check your ego at the door. Accept the fact that there are many people out there who know more than you do. Accept the fact that you are not yet an expert. And, accept the fact that being “coachable” is an essential character trait that all achievers of excellence must possess. If you can find the right trainer, they will help you arrive at a better destination, faster. They have already made the mistakes and conducted the experiments so that you don’t have to waste time with guesswork. And remember, being “new” at something is refreshing! It teaches you how to take constructive criticism, how to think on your feet and how to survive discomfort – this is essential if you want to truly become great. The best leaders, start as the best followers.
Step #2: Invest In Yourself
Along the same line, take a good hard look at your budget and be prepared to make an investment in the process. Consider this an investment in yourself physically and mentally, and don’t be afraid to hire someone to manage this part of your life! Everybody outsources parts of their lives – no one does it all. No one! I always use the analogy of me hiring an accountant for our business. I typically am a “Jane of all trades,” but I just will not plan/execute/care about a budget, ever. So I pay someone to do it for me. It’s that simple. Outsource the planning, accountability, and knowledge of your diet and fitness program and your life will become much easier. Trust me.
Step #3: Focus On The Details
Diet and recovery are what will ultimately separate the good from the great, and great from elite. Everyone at this stage “wants it,” but it is not just about work ethic anymore. So, first, no matter what your fitness program looks like, diet is one of the factors that will make or break your goal of excellence. From triathlon to bodybuilding (and everything in between), you cannot and will not perform to your full potential without giving your diet the attention it deserves. Accept that. Consult an expert and stick with it. And second, you’ve got to recover faster and better than your competition if you want to ascend the ranks. I’m talking about deep tissue massage work, chiropractic adjustments, stretching and mobility, sleep, stress management and all the other activities that happen behind the scenes that will speed up your recovery. Make it a priority and watch your potential skyrocket.
Step #4: Stick To The Basics (Don’t Make It A Fashion Show)
Too many people like buying shiny new fitness toys – this computer, that gadget, this ultra high-tech gear, straps/wraps/bands/shoes, and whatever else. While at an absolutely elite level this stuff might make a hairline difference, the truth is that in most cases you really don’t need to break the bank to achieve the results you’re seeking. This is where your coach will come in and hopefully help you cut through the b.s. sales gimmicks. Most of the devices out there are just fringe. Some tools are necessary, yes, but so often I work with people who see the gadget as a shortcut instead of actually focusing their attention on doing the work.
Step #5: Remember: Heavy Is The Head That Wears The Crown
If you want to be the best, you must train, sleep, eat, and, most importantly, sacrifice like the best. At the more elite levels of performance, it’s no longer just about what’s convenient. Hall of fame athletes live and breathe their sport. You will need to be prepared to sacrifice a lot of time, sleep, fun, tasty food and (partially) your sanity if you want to get to the top. Many average people think they want this, but they are truly not prepared for the level of sacrifice this requires.
This is where you will really be tested as a person and an athlete and at the altar of sacrifice sits at the threshold of all Halls of Fame. Be prepared for discomfort, stress, anxiety, pain and change. If you can check your ego, make the investment, focus on the details and master the basics, you will be well on your way. Rest assured, with the great investment comes even greater reward and it is so very worth it!