You won't build your dream body overnight

fitness Dec 10, 2022
You won't build your dream body overnight

As much as we'd like to get there faster, you won't build your dream body overnight. It's impossible, yet so many people think that it's possible to get the result in a short amount of time.

One of the things that held back my progress was impatience. I wanted the results, so I looked for different ways to get the results fast. The only thing I ended up doing fast was stopping my progress. 

It took me a few years before my fitness progress really took off. Once I started implementing a bro split instead of full body three times a week, I got noticeable gains.

I learned the hard way that you won't build your dream body overnight. It takes time and dedication. Here are the big lessons I learned from the process so far.

1. You need only the fundamentals

What's the next best strategy? The best pickup line to make her fall for you? Or the newest fad diet that claims to burn 20 lbs of fat in 2 weeks?

The only thing these things have in common is being a waste of your time. You don't need new strategies, you need to go back to the basics.

When I started out weightlifting, the only fundamentals I knew were proper form and eating enough protein. Important points, yes, but they wouldn't carry me all the way.

Nevertheless, I still expected amazing results. I tried so many different methods of trying to burn fat and gaining muscle at the same time. The result is I got neither result.

I would learn later on about the fundamentals of fitness: Exercise, diet, and sleep. Also at this time, I learned that I was neglecting my diet and wasn't optimizing my exercise.

I started incorporating the dietary fat my diet was lacking, and I amped up the intensity of my workouts. The result is I started outgrowing my shirts.

To get the proper result, you don't need anything fancy. You only need to do what works and do it well.

2. Measuring progress can be finicky

One week, you're down 5 lbs, and the next you're up 7. What happened? 

This kind of result happened to me all the time when I started and it terrified me. You can imagine my relief when I found out that this is normal.

Measuring your progress will never show a linear pattern. There will always be ups and downs. Sometimes the ups go past the previous high, sometimes the downs go low enough to reach a new threshold, and sometimes there's no change.

As previously mentioned, however, I didn't know this. So when I measured myself week by week, it terrified me to see that my waistline hadn't gotten any smaller after almost a month, even though it had shrunk by 4cm in the previous two weeks.

Eventually, I came across two different videos, each of which taught me something different about measuring your progress.

The first one taught me to look at more than one part of my physique to track progress. Instead of looking at just my fatty parts, I was now also looking at my muscle mass. Right away, I started noticing my progress more because I put on muscle faster than I lose fat.

The second video was about a Korean woman who had gone through her own fitness journey. I remember in the video somewhere, there was this line that went, "Don't be afraid of the delay, worry about stopping." This shifted my mentality to be more long-term, allowing me to worry less while gaining more results.

Because measuring fitness progress can be tricky, it's best if you have multiple progress points you're tracking and a long-term mindset.

3. Get advice from somebody who knows what they're doing

My little brother was a twig when he started. As in, so skinny that he has abs. And after just 9 months, he's bulked up from a twig to a branch.

This really cemented to me just how much it helps to have somebody who knows what they're doing.

When I started out, I worked out for at least a year and a half with no significant results. I got bulkier, sure, but I had way more plateaus than I was comfortable with. It wasn't until I had improved my diet and exercise that I started seeing better results.

So when my little brother started exercising, I was excited for him. I couldn't wait to see him become more filled-out.

From the get-go, I was telling him about how he needed proper protein intake and about the workout routine that got me the best results. He took on my advice, and I was shocked by the outcome.

Within a month, he became considerably more defined. As I like to call it, he went from a twig to a branch.

He took a month, while I took over a year. The difference between us is that I knew what to do, so I could help him avoid those mistakes.

By having somebody who's gone down the path already, you avoid the pitfalls that aren't so obvious to you.

Enjoy the journey

It is a journey, and like all journies, aim to enjoy it as it happens. 

The modern-day conditions people to rush towards the end goal, paying no mind to the journey on the way. The irony is they don't enjoy the destination.

Since they rushed to get there, there's no way for them to appreciate it looking back.


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 - Karl