Striving To Be Better, Not Perfect

Mar 23, 2018 | Health & Fitness Lifestyle

As a coach I often get asked questions like, “Will I ever be able to do a muscle up?,” “Will I ever have a six pack?”

The truth is, I actually don’t know the answer to questions like these. This is because the answer is always complicated. There are a lot of variables, some within your control and some that are not within your control. For example, age and genetics play a huge factor in the answer to questions like these. If you are older, it will take more work to reach both of those goals. Maybe you don’t have great ab genetics and no matter how lean you get, that six pack just isn’t there.

Other factors are time, commitment, and training/nutrition methodologies. If you only plan on training once, maybe twice a week, that muscle up might not be a reality. If you aren’t willing to get a little strict with diet, or do cardio every day (this may be what is needed for that six pack) it might not be a realistic goal.

I think if you have goals like this and you are asking the above questions, it is important to ask: why does it even matter?

If I told you that you will never have a six pack would you just quit training and eating well? Throw your hands up and say, “if I’m never going to reach that goal then there is no point in diet or exercise”. Maybe, it really depends on what type of person you are.

And here is where I want to go back to the question, why does the achievement matter? I feel that the end goal, whether it’s a muscle up or a six pack, is irrelevant. Sure it feels good to achieve something but I feel it is much more important to look at the changes that occur along the way as you work towards that goal. Even if you never get a muscle up, you will still be so much stronger and fitter than when you started. Even if you never get that six pack, you will still have developed healthier eating habits and may be at a healthier body composition. These changes, the progress you make from the start, will have an overall positive impact on your health and fitness.

You might not get that muscle up today, but it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you make progress and that you are better than you were yesterday. Striving to be better does not end once you achieve a goal. You continue to change and continue to become better than you were before.

If you feel like you are stuck and not making progress, ask yourself, are my daily actions taking me a step toward being better? If you are still getting to the gym and still on top of your diet, then the answer is yes. And, even if it doesn’t feel like it, you are still making progress.

Your body and strength is a reflection of the decisions you’ve made and how you live your life each day. It’s important to remember though that things like physique and strength do not determine who you are and your worthiness but are simply the results of lifestyle choices. Unless you decide to stop training and dieting all together (and this is something that only you have control over) you will only continue to get stronger and improve your physique.

It’s important to reflect on where you’ve come from and looking ahead to see where training might take you. Getting to the gym, training hard, and eating well is about you taking control and saying that you want to be better than you were yesterday, or last month, or last year. It’s not about becoming the next big feature on Barstarzz or becoming a fitness model.

So if you ask me, “Will I ever be able to do a muscle up?” I honestly don’t know but you can always be stronger and you can always be better.