The Simplest Way To Get Toned
Part 3: The strategy
With advice being offered unsolicited from friends, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, blogs, magazines, TV, you name it, there is a lot of noise but no clear message.
From 21 day challenges and workouts that target belly fat (if only that was true) to cleanses and diet fads that just don’t end up working out for the long term.
Workout apps from popular Instagram fitness models to personal trainers who seem to know less than you already know.
Spending thousands of dollars on gyms and trainers who make great friends but give little to no results. Spending hours upon hours in the gym, buying supplements, eating “clean”, working hard but still having nothing to show for it.
With all this “noise” there is no clear START HERE sign.
A simple “begin here”.
From the ground up.
The step by step guide to building a foundation and then a beautiful home on top of that. That home being the body you’ve been dreaming about. How do we do this without wasting time and money?
The foundation of Fitness - Where to start
Before we lace up our Nikes or Adidas, throw on our lululemon and head to the gym we need to have our goals clear and written down. This keeps us on track and gives us purpose with every workout.
In school when you were taking a prerequisite and thought why am I studying this unrelated subject that doesn’t relate to what I truly want to do, it’s the same as going to the gym with no clear direction and just exercising to exercise.
Yes, you’ll get better at history and yes, you’ll sweat and burn calories. But that history class hasn’t given you the honor of earning more than your peers and all that sweat and calories burned doesn’t have you looking better than the person next to you.
This is why we have SMART goals. So that everything we do traces back to what we truly want. To be fit, strong, healthy, sexy and look damn good naked.
If your goal is to be the best lawyer, investment banker, venture capitalist, doctor, CEO, business owner, real estate agent, (insert your profession or field here), then every class, book, networking event and thing you choose to do to excel in that field will be related.
The same must be applied to fitness. Every exercise, workout, class, food, and decision you make when it comes to your health and fitness goals must be related.
Not all workouts are the same, not all foods are the same, and not all trainers, programs, apps or challenges are the same.
They do not all do the same thing.
This will be very clear after you build your foundation. Everything you come across will have context.
How would you feel if you knew when every piece of advice on getting fit you came across was worth your time or just a waste?
The peace of mind to know what works and what doesn’t.
Just imagine how much simpler this whole journey would be. All that “noise” would suddenly be very quiet.
That is my goal for you.
Task 1: Write Down your smart goals
If you don’t already know SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Timely.
Take out your phone, diary or journal. Something you can pull up frequently and is close to you at all times. I write my goals on my phone in the notes app.
Create a new note and title it Fitness Plan. Under that write down Goals with the overview of your goals and then underneath fill in the SMART model with the specifics.
Goals: Look sexy in a bikini and amazing naked!
Specific: Lose 20 pounds of fat and gain 5 pounds of muscle, get down to 17-19 % body fat and look toned, do 10 bodyweight pull-ups and 20 full push-ups.
Measurable: Weigh 120 lbs, have a 25 inch waist, arm definition and abs. Lifted butt and toned legs. Improved strength.
Timely: In 1 year, by next summer.
The attainable goal must be something that is actually attainable. Gaining 100 pounds of muscle or having 0 % percent body fat is unattainable.
Realistic on the other hand relates to the time and sacrifice you are willing to make.
If your starting weight is 140 pounds and your goal weight is 120 pounds then losing 20 pounds is attainable. Doing so in 1 year is realistic.
Doing so in 8 weeks is also attainable but the sacrifices you have to make would look something like: doing cardio twice a day, a strict meal plan, no alcohol and lots of weight training.
If your current lifestyle and schedule does not match that then this is unrealistic.
So when writing down your timeline or goal date be mindful of where you are currently and the changes and sacrifices that have to be made to reach those goals.
The reason why many of my clients are able to enjoy their wine and social events is because the time frame of the goal is realistic.
“If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.” -
- Thomas Jefferson
The Shopping List
I’m not going to tell you that you need a fitness tracker, a special type of shoes, a bluetooth water bottle (they do exist), and a laundry list of things, some helpful and some gimmicks.
However there are some important things you need to reach these goals. I’ll only list the most important and the basics that can get you all the way to your goal. From start to finish.
You need access to weights.
No bodyweight workout will give you the results you are seeking. No home workout will get you toned.
No 10 minute workout will lead you to looking great naked.
All of my clients lift weights as you have seen.
I’ve written a blog on finding the right gym for you with the equipment you need to get toned.
Now you do not need everything under the sun. As many of my clients have home gyms, luxury apartment gyms or build their own home gyms I’ve also put together a list of the things you need in your gym from the most to the least important.
If you have a home gym, apartment gym or wondering if your current gym has what you need, then read the checklist here.
Tools for Tracking Progress
If your goal is to get toned, lose inches, lose weight, build strength, be healthier and look sexy in a bikini then we need a way to track that. As any successful business is not built on luck and chance the same applies to our body and goals.
If your business is not bringing in your goal profit then your business plan is not successful.
If you’re not losing any weight or inches, gaining strength from 0 to 1 to 5 to 10 pull-ups, getting toned and looking better in a bikini then the same applies to your fitness plan. It is not successful.
The tools you need to use to track your progress are very simple.
That’s it. Very simple. I go into detail on how to take these measurements and how often here. Give it a read. It’s important. Very important.
We need to be able to track our progress to know if we’re making any. If we’re not or stop making progress then what to do to start or continue to.
This is like using maps on your phone when going to a new restaurant to meet with friends for dinner. The GPS knows where you’re starting from. This is your initial measurement.
Then it guides you on the fastest route to your destination. That’s having a great training program.
When there is traffic or a road block it reroutes you. This is navigating plateaus or life obstacles to continue moving towards your goals.
Then you reach your destination / goal!
Well that’s it for the shopping list. Pretty short and you can do it all from your computer or phone. So no excuses on not having the tools needed to reach your goals.
Smart goals, a gym, and tools to track your progress. This is all you need to get started and reach a level of fitness you’ve always dreamed about or even beyond that.
My clients all started in the same place as where you currently are.
They never imagined reaching the strength they currently have. Most of their goals started as just losing 10 to 20 pounds, fit back into their favorite clothes or a smaller size, get fit for a wedding or vacation.
They never imagined they would now be doing pull-ups, getting below 20% body fat, wearing bodycon dresses and crop tops while still being able to enjoy life!
They did all of that with just the list from above.
If they were able to do it then so can you.
They were and are no different than you, just farther along in this journey than you are at the moment. But that changes today, that changes now! You’re taking the first step and will now be catching up to them in no time.
Now this isn’t necessary but since we’re on the topic of shopping and just like my clients I love shopping. I’ve put together some of mine and my clients favorite gym wear.
Converse (Chuck Taylor for lifting weights)
The Mindset & Blueprint
The reason we get sucked into the gimmicks from diet challenges, cleanses, silly workouts and exercises, bootcamps, to apps, trainers, diet pills and “secret hacks” is because at one point or another all we wanted were results.
We didn’t want to do the work.
Easy is easy to sell.
Just do this for 10 minutes a day and you’ll see your abs in 30 days.
It just sounds too good to be true but when we’re desperate we are only outcome focused.
The mindset we need to have is creating the habits needed to reach these goals and be able to keep those habits to keep that body for life.
To think in about 1 year you can rewrite your habits, have the body you want, know how to maintain it, enjoy parties and drinking while staying fit.
Being in it for the long run is so much more rewarding than dropping 10 pounds for a vacation and gaining it all back in the first couple days of that vacation.
The goal is to look good naked for life not just for a wedding or the first day of vacation.
Our mindset needs to be focused on the process and positive outcomes.
This builds momentum.
This is as simple as joining a gym and ordering the tools to track your progress, it is one step closer to the next step. Getting into the gym.
Going to the gym is succeeding at the next step. Going to the gym 3 times a week is succeeding at the process needed to reach your goals.
Doing the right exercises, workouts, and classes is succeeding at following the plan. Doing more weight, reps, or sets is succeeding at getting better.
Slowly adjusting your eating habits to match the desired body you want is succeeding at habit change.
Consistently putting a priority on these things over time and making them all a habit is succeeding.
All these small successes lead to the desired outcome.
When we focus on the controllable and come to enjoy it the outcome comes easily, not any sooner or any later.
Read that sentence again or as many times as needed to get your mindset right.
“Success is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”
- Jim Rohn
Just add “over and over” to that quote and that’s it.
The blueprint is what this all looks like put together. You’ve made it this far I’m not going to leave you hanging.
But without all the above most if not all will fail. I’ve seen it time and time again. All of these steps are vital to setting you up for success and managing your expectations.
So what will your life look like in order to get fit, toned, strong, and look damn good naked?
Will you be in the gym for 1, 2 or 3 hours a day? 3, 4, 5 or more days a week?
Eating egg whites for breakfast and chicken and broccoli for lunch and dinner?
Following a meal plan and taking every supplement under the sun?
Doing hours of cardio daily?
Avoiding all alcohol for months on end?
I really hope at this point you don’t believe this will be what your life will look like but if you do then you can relax, it’s quite simple.
In the beginning you’ll be strength training in the gym 3 days a week for 1 hour a day.
You don’t need anymore or any less.
You’ll be active everyday for no more than 1 hour this can range from spin classes, yoga, group fitness classes, walking, biking, running, hiking, swimming.
You’ll be logging your food and weekly to bi weekly making adjustments in a visual manner to slowly change your habits.
No counting calories, weighing food, or bringing food in Tupperware with you everywhere you go.
Every two weeks you’ll take your measurements and monthly you’ll take progress photos.
It’s as simple as that.
This is what your life will look like and when met with the qualities I mentioned above success is not left to luck or chance.