Fitness can be about a lot of things. It can be about creating a feeling and experience of wellness and establishing healthy patterns and habits in your life. It can be about creating a strong body so that we are better prepared to weather the unpredictable ailments and challenges that may come our way. It can be about performance – about pushing our limits and stretching our concept of what we are capable of doing.
It can be all those things and more – and we’ll do well to keep the big picture in mind.
Sometimes, however, it just comes down to the question that I get asked so many times:
How do I get this fat off my body and keep it off?
And whether you’re trying to lose 30 pounds of fat, or just a few pounds of fat to change your body composition, there are some methods that are going to work better than others. Most people are confused by all the information that is out there. The fitness industry is so effing huge its insane. People want to cash in on your confusion. They want to pull the lever on the cash register and hear the big-assed “ka-ching!” when you’re money goes in their little tray.
But not all of them are ill-intentioned. And here’s something that you can count on: there are no shortcuts.
If someone is promising you a shortcut you should be offended that they think you’re so gullible. Stop with the pills and the gimmicky workout devices and the fad diets already! You know better.
So if you’re ready to suffer, if you’re ready to really work and make significant life changes, then you’re all set. You have to change your mind before you can change your body. You have to cut out the BS and get down to business.
And if you’re ready to do that, here’s one recipe that will start getting you the results you’re after – smart nutrition, interval training, and strength training. I wrote about a version of a very simple ass-kicking workout here and yesterday Craig Ballantyne put up a very good post about how to combine the three elements I mentioned above for extremely accelerated results. In this post he answers a question from a reader about how he would go about getting and actor to lose 30 pounds of fat and build muscle in only 8 weeks.
What he describes may bring results quickly, but it’s by no means a shortcut. In fact, that plan looks really hard.
So here’s the real story on burning fat once and for all: work your ass off.
Here’s the other secret: do your research.
There is tons of great advice out there on the internet that can give you inspiration and ideas for how to integrate intervals, strength-training, and dead-on nutrition into your current plan and lifestyle. Sure, some of it can be a little over-the-top, go ahead and skip Craig’s post about his daily workouts if they bore you to tears, but read closely when he starts giving away ideas about how to make fat disappear. Keep your eye on Tom Venuto’s blog and keep poking around for other resources.
And this leads me to another secret to burning fat and changing your body to reach your goals: experiment, change, test, evaluate, and shift gears again.
Every body is different – this is the most important thing that we can remember. What works for others may not work for you – for a variety of reasons, some of which we understand, some of which we don’t (most of which we don’t have the time, energy, or need to figure out).
Because of this, you constantly need to evaluate if your approach is working. If it’s not, change it up – tweak your nutrition program, change your workout routine, try something new.
Above all, keep this in mind – you’re in control.
It’s your body. It’s your will. It’s your life. It’s your trajectory. Decide what you want and then move towards it. Take control of your nutrition, be proactive about researching the quality and source of your foods, invest time in creating workout plans that work for you.
In conclusion, go kill it. This is the first day of the rest of your life.