If you’ve tried and failed – time and again – to make positive changes to how good you look and feel try this simple fix to finally build the body you want, says New Body Plan’s Jon Lipsey
There are two guys. They’re both in their early 40s. They’re a bit tired. They’re a bit stressed. They’re a bit fat. You know – a little bit flabby around the chest and soft around the belly.
They’re also tired of being tired, stressed and overweight so they want to do something about how they look and feel.
One of them – his name is Steve – decides to follow an eight-week fat loss plan.
The other one – his name is Malcolm – decides to train every day.
Plan of action
Steve’s plan is structured and progressive. It’s four workouts a week and it gets harder as he gets fitter. He schedules the first four workouts into his diary and ticks them off as he goes.
Malcolm hits the gym hard. Bench, deadlift, some curls. Bit of cardio. Bit of boxing. 100 burpees to finish because, well, burpees are good, right?
Steve’s nutrition plan is pretty balanced and flexible. He’s on about 2,000 calories a day. Eggs or porridge for breakfast. Chicken salad sandwich for lunch. Steak for dinner. That kind of thing. He also makes homemade burgers, curries and kebabs. It’s almost like he’s not even on a diet.
Malcolm cuts out carbs. And treats. And booze. And nightshade vegetables because he thinks he once saw something bad about them on Instagram. He’s on about 1,400 calories a day but you don’t get anywhere without a bit of suffering, do you?
By the end of week one Steve is feeling good. He has completed his training sessions, he has stuck to his eating plan (not that it was particularly hard to stick to) and he is already starting to see some positive changes. His stomach is looking a bit tighter. He’s bit fresher in the face. He’s sleeping a bit better and he feels a bit less stressed.
Malcolm is shattered. He has trained every day and he’s starving. He’s not sleeping well because he’s hardly eating any carbs and he’s fantasising about crisps.
In week two, Steve has to adjust his schedule because of a work commitment. He moves his Tuesday workout to Wednesday and carries on with the plan.
Malcolm also has to adjust his schedule because of a work commitment. He misses his Tuesday session but he’s secretly quite relieved because he couldn’t face training anyway. He’s not feeling quite as motivated this week so he only manages one more session before the week ends.
In week three Steve is really starting to notice changes. He’s feeling fitter and he’s even using a new hole in his belt.
Malcolm starts the week by beating himself up about last week’s missed sessions. He’s really struggling for motivation and just can’t muster the energy to make it to the gym.
After eight weeks Steve is looking and feeling like a new man. He has lost 5kg of fat. He looks ten years younger and he’s enjoying the new healthier habits he has developed over the last couple of months.
Malcolm is still beating himself up about not being able to stick to a plan but he’s about to have another go. This time, he tells himself, it will be different.
So that’s how the story ends. Poor old Malcolm, eh? Thing is, I know lots of Malcolms. And their problem is that they misunderstand what it takes to succeed.
It’s easy to think that progress requires a Herculean effort. It doesn’t. It just requires you to be Steve, not Malcolm.