Building a great body, a lean physique, takes a lot of hard work and knowledge. We know this.
We also know a lot of about training and nutrition.The information on these topics is readily available with so many free resources that will get you started on the right path immediately.
However, there’s one missing piece of the fitness puzzle that is slowing down your progress. It is happening to most of us because we’re not aware of it.
That missing piece is how you deal with stress outside of the gym.
You see, once we’re in the gym, training hard is the key, and if you care about results, you will push yourself hard.
Go hard or go home, that’s the mindset that people often assume which will lead to the most progress. It is great to push yourself in the gym and get your body to adapt.
But there’s a problem. Some of us take this approach to the extreme, and we forget the part where we are supposed to relax outside of the gym.
Building a great body is about proper training and nutrition, but it’s also about recovery. If you’re not properly recovering the training and nutrition part can take you only so far.
To go from good to great, it’s about your whole lifestyle.
Cortisol (stress hormone) is termed catabolic as it has the opposite effect to testosterone, insulin and human growth hormone in that it breaks down tissue,
Cultivating the skills to be able to relax and let go outside of the weight room is one of the best things you can do to speed up your progress. Find things you love to do that don’t involve pushing yourself to the limit.
If we look at professional athletes, a lot of them gravitate toward meditation and mindfulness.
It’s hard to be present in the moment when your adrenaline is through the roof, and you just finished a gym session. Once you’re out of the gym it’s time to chill-out, take a step back, breathe deeply and let the body heal.
For me, this was the missing piece of the puzzle. We are conditioned by society to always feel like you need to be doing something or more it to feel worthy and accomplished.
In the gym, I always try to go “all-out,” leave everything there. However, after some time the same stress and pressure started to bleed out to my life outside of the gym.
While there is a distinct line between relaxing and lazy, appropriate relaxation techniques have a cascading effect of your journey to self improvement.
I noticed I started being too hard on myself and beating myself up a lot for not accomplishing things that were totally out of my circle of control.
My sleep got worse, I started to become more negative, my mind was less focus, and I simply wasn’t happy despite having so many things to be grateful for.
Mastering the skill of relaxing when the time is right is what took my productivity, clarity of decision making and focus to the next level.
Things like macros, protein intake, exercise selection and strength progressions matter a lot. But so does stress management. We need to take it more seriously if we want to move from good to great.
Thanks for reading!
About the author:
Wilfred Paul is an Exercise Physiologist, PT & Weight Loss Consultant with a passion for helping people actualize their health & fitness goals. He is also a content writer for Forbes, Medical Daily & The Independent UK.