Why Being HARDCORE Might Be Killing Your Progress
There’s a stigma and hardcore mentality in the fitness industry especially in the bodybuilding community that if you don’t go through the extreme with everything or if you don’t suffer then you are lazy and you won’t get results.
Take dieting for example. The concept of flexible dieting or tracking your nutrition is often misunderstood as junk eating, or people taking the easy way out and eating whatever they want. If you don’t eat every two hours and diet on chicken, brown rice and broccoli then you are not HARDCORE enough.
We all know that’s not true. Tracking our nutrition and being intelligent with your food choices is actually not as easy as what most people think. Anyone that knows how to track their nutrition can tell you that. In a way it’s actually easier to just eat a diet with minimal flexibility like chicken, broccoli and brown rice over and over again.
When it comes to dieting, you just start eating lots of it and end up eating none of it and your grocery shop is the same every week. You don’t socialise anymore and cut out all communication with friends and family because you have to eat every two hours, and you can’t go to a restaurant and it’s all about you and the gym. Now that’s HARDCORE.
However, if you can apply the flexible dieting concept and you know how to manipulate food volume then you can start eating high calorie and relatively low volume foods and end the dieting phase with low calorie and high volume foods. Not to mention the benefits of the social side of things.
Let’s be honest most of us have a job, family and friends. Whilst you will be restricting your intake and have less options, if you can apply flexible dieting concepts through the dieting phase you can actually have a balanced lifestyle and not sacrifice your career or your relationships with family and friends. It is also a much more sustainable approach.
When it comes to training, the typical approach is to train every muscle group once a week and take every single exercise to absolute failure. If you don’t walk away feeling like you have been hit by a truck then you are not HARDCORE enough.
Whilst we want to train hard and push ourselves in the gym, we also need to take a calculated approach to “optimise” our results and not just go ballistic for no reason. That only minimises your potential and increases the risk of injury.
The concept of periodisation and manipulation variables such as intensity, volume and frequency can allow you to make slow and steady progress. Especially through the dieting phase where you are low on energy and body fat, a calculated approach will ensure you can maximise your ability to perform therefore maintain lean muscle as well as stay injury free.
So have a think about what kind of approach you want to take and maybe being HARDCORE is what's killing your progress.
Diet Smart. Not Hard.