Left To Our Own Devices
Have you ever heard the phrase, “Been there, done that”?
Of course you have and most likely you have used it many times yourself. There is something to be said for someone who has already experienced much of what they preach versus those who simply speak their version of the truth based on research, here say, gym lore or what they have been told to be correct. Those who have been in the trenches, have experienced success and failure, have utilized trial and error for greater knowledge and possess the unique ability to troubleshoot for any scenario presented gives them and their coaching the credibility they need to be successful and respected. There is a lot to be gained by going at it alone and spending the time to figure out how things work, how your own body reacts to different stimuli and figuring out the intricacies of our bodybuilding world to your own benefit.
Rather than seeking out help right from the start, give yourself and your ability to learn some credit and adhere to my reasoning for doing so.
If you learn it you’ll know it
By profession I am a teacher and spend the majority of my days instilling the importance of learning concepts for personal gain.
If you only rely on the listening part of learning and react to what you are being told to do without questioning, you’ll never truly learn the reasoning behind your actions.
By studying components of physiology, nutrition, chemistry and biology and then putting what you have learned to the test, you have a greater chance at actually retaining this information for use in the future. It will become engrained in your knowledge bank and you’ll be able to regurgitate it on demand. There is a lot to be learned in the world of physique development and by making a conscious effort to keep up you are giving yourself a fighting chance at being able to help yourself build the physique you have always wanted, versus relying on someone else to do it for you.
Find success in failure
Trial and error is a beautiful thing as long as you don’t let the disappointment of failure get to you.
Instead look for the positives and what you can gain from it. Don’t be afraid to try something simply because you heard or read it wasn’t right. There is no one formula that will fit everyone and each of us reacts differently to different programs. They key in all of it is to be flexible with your plan. Go ahead and try a low carb approach, bump your healthy fats up, try fasted cardio, limit your time in the gym with a low volume high intensity approach, sodium load, carb load, fat load or do all of it. All that matters is when you do give something a try, you pay attention to how it affects your physique. If it works then wonderful, you’ll know to stick with it until it doesn’t work anymore. If it doesn’t work, that’s great too. You’ll know to avoid it like the plague and never waste time on it again.
Remember, our body chemistry is constantly changing, and what worked last year may not work this year. As long as you are willing to veer off your beaten path and stay in tune with your body, anything and everything you do will serve a very important purpose.
Create scenarios for troubleshooting practice
You may have heard of bodybuilders completing dry runs in the weeks prior to competition.
This very important practice is purposeful for seeing how their body’s will react to what they are doing and then finding ways to troubleshoot the situation if things don’t go the way they hoped or expected they would. If you have nothing on the line and your next show is nowhere in sight, allow yourself to set up situations in which you have no idea what will happen and just see where it takes your physique. You can always go back to what you know worked in the past if you aren’t happy with what happens but you may end up being pleasantly surprised. If not, at the very least, you’ll be able to clearly map out a road for you to get back on track should things go terribly wrong; and there’s a lot of merit to that.
Troubleshooting, in my opinion, is one of the greatest assets you can have for physique development.
Recruit test subjects
Now, once you’ve spent a significant amount of time trying things out for yourself, it’s time to find some people who are willing to give what you have discovered a try.
Chances are these people will be your friends. Put together a plan of action for them, set up their nutrition and resistance training and then let them get to it. Follow their progress or lack thereof and then use the knowledge you have gained to help them, change things up for them or simply keep them on the right track. Anecdotal evidence is great and it’s even better the more of it you have at your disposal. As long as your test subjects are willing to try whatever you throw at them, then you’ll be able to gather a ton of knowledge based on how they react.
I can’t stress enough how important it is to try things out for yourself first.
This is where a lot of us started out and are most likely happy that was how it was. With the insurgence of coaches and gurus, some credible, some not so credible, it would be to your benefit to have some of your own knowledge to fall back on. There will, however, come a time when you do need help and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You may have tapped out your own resources and found that the things you are doing just simply aren’t working and you need a new approach. Other times you just want to rid yourself of the stress of having to figure everything out for yourself. If you are in these situations, then by all means go ahead and find a coach. Otherwise, enjoy the ride, enjoy trying different things out and relish in the fact that you are learning about your body and finding ways to improve all on your own.
Author: Dana Bushell
AST Sports Science sponsored athlete/writer, Endevr Brand Ambassador, Max Out or Get Out apparel sponsored writer, Sponsored by Schiek, SKECHERS Brand Ambassador.
Online training: http://customtrainingpro.weebly.com
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