Are you A Sheep or A Wolf?

This would be my first post in a few days, sorry for the layover. Saturday was literally non-stop, but in a good way, and Sunday was non-stop in the morning, also in a good way. With this being the NFL Fan’s version of Holy Week, you may see substantially fewer posts as I look to perfect my mock draft in preparation for the 2017 NFL Draft on April 27th, the day the NFL Season officially begins. Being that the 27th is also my 26th birthday, I think we may have a good omen for the Cleveland Browns for a change. Yes, I do believe in omens, being the good, the bad, and the evil, and you’ll be surprised on just how easily these forms of spiritual energy can and will latch on to you. Scary, when one studies the unseen world parallel to our own, visible physical world, but that world can be felt, and it often is.

Let’s cut to today’s topic, as I am talking about fitness as well. Today, I’m looking to tell you how long does it really take not only to see and maintain a complete transformation when it comes to aesthetics, but to make it permanent. I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the evil when it comes to training programs, and which ones are effective, and which ones aren’t. For starters, when I say training program, I’m not talking about one style or method being superior to the other, so I’m not talking about what kind of workout you need to be doing. So, I just earned more credibility for saying just that, because most so-called fitness experts will try to shove their own style of training down your throat, claiming it’s one-size, fits all method is what everyone needs to be doing. This is why we definitely need some kind of standard when it comes to the profession: to get these fake tourists out here. We will be putting a lot of fitness professionals out of business, so I guess if I ever became a politician, I wouldn’t get a vote from those salespeople on TV claiming to be fitness experts just to sell you a product. And their followers, the blind sheeple that won’t hear any different because they worship these so-called experts at the ninth level (go figure), probably wouldn’t vote for me either. Hey, I spread awareness, I don’t have to be popular with anyone but a hallowed, select, wise, intellectual few, and rightfully so. I’d rather have fifteen committed followers any day over fifteen-hundred sheep to herd one way or another, depending on which false product is selling better. Talk about those biblical prophecies regarding false prophets, these people are everywhere.

So, with that being said, how long does it take? Well, that depends on what you want, where you currently are, what you can and can’t do, how often can you realistically train, how willing are you to follow sound nutritional habits, and how good of a listener you are. Look, I’m going to tell you right now that unless you actually went to school for this, you aren’t the expert, so rule number one is to shut-up, put your pride away, and read this post with an open mind. Now that I’ve gotten your attention, the first thing I need to do is meet with you and see exactly what you want, and where you currently are. What is your current level of fitness? What are your current eating habits? Do you really want to change and are you serious about doing so? How long have you wanted this for? Notice, I haven’t even begun to discuss how many times a week and how long you need to do this for, because again, I don’t know who you are or anything about you.

Want to know what many fitness centers do when someone is interested in training? A prospect comes into the gym, wishing to train, and the gym manager, or trainer sitting at a desk will immediately show you the three to six training packages they offer. It goes something like the following.

Prospect: I’m interested in training in order to prepare for my vacation in three months.

Manager or Trainer: Well, okay then. We have just the package for you! Here is our twelve-week transformation package. It consists of a package of twenty-four sessions, so you’ll be training twice per week, for a half-hour. During this half-hour session, I will customize a workout to fit your goal of looking good for vacation in three months. Since most people wish to lose body fat before vacation, we will be doing a lot of high intensity interval training every time we meet. This package can be yours today for six-hundred dollars, which equals twenty-five dollars per session. You can’t get a better deal around here. Or, if you wanted to train three times per week, which will give you even faster results, you can do thirty-six sessions for eight-hundred dollars, which will save you nearly three dollars per session!

Okay, so I hope you’re finding errors with this dialogue, because I sure am. Now, I’m not just throwing this scenario out there, because I’ve actually seen it occur in full force at the larger box gyms which typically give massive discounted memberships in an attempt to flood the club with thousands of paying members. These clubs are cunning, because they ask for a check in favor of a credit or debit. Why? They know if they have your routing number, they’re always going to get that cheap membership price from you. By jumping straight to the money card, these people are always looking to cut deals, typically for sub-par service.

Note that the manager didn’t even ask the individual to elaborate on his current lifestyle, ailments, health history, hurdles, if there were any other goals, how badly he wanted the goals, or even offer a shred of education to the prospect. What if the guy was “skinny-fat?” Obviously, high intensity interval cardio wouldn’t do him any good. Why not? Because he wouldn’t have enough muscle mass on his body to inhibit fat loss. He may see a number fall on the scale, but was it a loss in lean body mass or body fat? If you’re ever in a club and you come across a situation like this, it’s time to turn and run. Sure, the workouts may be intense. Sure, they may make you feel great. Sure, the gym may have a progress picture or two behind the desk of people who lost weight on this program (note I said weight, not body fat, as there is a difference) in an attempt to prove credibility, but this is a scam. It’s a legal scam, but a scam is scam, legal or not.

Not only that, the individual was presented two pricing options, and the manager or trainer was looking to sway the individual by presenting the larger package, without even looking to learn anything about him, because the larger package costs less money per session than the smaller one. Sadly, many would say “hey, this is a much cheaper price than that gym across town, so I’ll go with this instead,” in favor of weighing actual pros and cons of a program.

I like to use the first session as a complimentary one to just sit down with the prospect and get to know all I can about them. When I say all I can, I even mean personal life, because you’ll be surprised how support one individual might have over another, and that matters. In fact, that makes a huge difference when it comes to support outside the gym. Then, before the first session ends, I tell them what needs to be done in order for them to get to where they want to be. Many goals consist of some sort of body fat loss, which is okay. However, I need to measure one’s lean body mass before I even give them the green light to lose body fat. What if they’re only eating one-thousand calories per day? If they have a base metabolic rate of one-thousand, five-hundred, that number needs to rise substantially. What if they need to build thirty pounds of lean body mass for this to even be possible? Well, that muscle needs to be built first, so the metabolism speeds up. In that scenario above, did the manager or trainer discuss any of this? No, nothing of the sort was discussed, and it needs to be discussed before anything else.

So, the question remains: how long will this take? To be honest, this will take at least thirty weeks just to build the muscle. A healthy weight gain would be one pound per week in the average population. If you have muscle-building genetics, this number would be higher, but the average person will need to go at a slower pace. Build at one pound per week, and once you attain the lean body mass necessary, then you can start the cutting phase. But what if you still have an excess of twenty pounds of body fat? Well, you’ll need another twenty weeks just to attain the necessary fat loss. After a fifty-week transformation, you’ll need to maintain it so you don’t creep back to where you began. Do you know what that means? It means you’ll need to maintain it, so when we maintain, the body can be very stubborn, because it isn’t used to looking this way, and although your mind and soul like it, your body hates it. So, let’s shoot for at least another twelve weeks of maintenance, and you should be at that long- term goal, but this took sixty-two weeks, or one year and three months. This takes a long time, and I mean a long time.

So, to that lost soul that bought a training package for twelve weeks, once he’s back from vacation, he’ll revert back to his old ways, because his lifestyle didn’t change. He just entered a phase of his life where he lost a few pounds, got a little bit slimmer, still didn’t see a shred of a six pack so he thought it was just his age preventing that, and would regain twice as much the weight he lost about six to eight weeks since his program ended. Nothing about nutrition was taught, not a single mention of lifestyle change was brought to the table, and no one said anything about maintenance after the goal was reached.

What am I really saying? You need to commit yourself to this for at least one year. And then, evaluate your goals. You may need to go at it another year. This is a long-term thing. Hey, we didn’t graduate college in three to six months, because most high-end programs take four years, others five. Heck, some programs require a Masters of Doctorate in order to really excel in the field, which takes between five and eight years. And you think this can happen in three months? You’re fooling yourself, and joining the heard with the rest of the sheeple in America who look for a quick fix. Commit yourself long term, and long term results will finally come. The reason you never saw results stick and you’re still your miserable self is because you always looked for the quick fix, believing this would be the fix, or that would be the fix. And yet, here you are, twenty years down the road, still looking for that quick fix when all you needed to do was get with an expert who knew what they were talking about and told you what you needed to hear. People such as myself may never be the most popular, but we’re by far the most credible, and the best around. And that’s a fact, and you either take it and finally change or leave it and continue to be self-righteous, gullible to quick fixes, and ignorant. Are you a sheep or a wolf?

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