Nick Mitchell is a leading body composition expert and the founder of the Ultimate Performance global personal training gym. He is based in Los Angeles.
Here’s something else that no one in the fitness industry will dare tell you: there is no secret to making a significant change to your body. Except perhaps one. What has made my professional name is my ability to get inside people’s heads. I have a unique insight into what works to get results as I oversee the work of more than one hundred results-obsessed PTs.
What has made the UP name is our culture that makes the client accountable and gives him nowhere to hide either on the gym floor or when he’s home in the kitchen.
Let me tell you that the smartest and most knowledgeable trainer is by no means the most successful results-producing trainer. In fact very often the more a trainer is obsessed with trying to sound intelligent (a word of advice here, trainers are not scientists and when they try to sound like one run a mile) the less they focus on the fundamental basics of ensuring that their client is mentally prepared to do what it takes to achieves his goals.
The single-most powerful resource you have to make something happen is your brain. If you can harness your drive, focus and determination then you can achieve so much more than the simple act of transforming your body. But if you cannot harness your mind’s potential then you are doomed to the endless cycle of failure that feeds so much of the fitness and diet industry.
We all know that life gets in the way and is a constant potential source of distraction from your ultimate goal of building the best body possible. But it’s how you react to these factors, and then how you reinforce the message needed to achieve your goals, that matters. And these considerations are always in your hands.
So whether you are about to start a transformation protocol, or are half-way through one, or just finished one and needing a new goal, follow these steps below to work out where you are, and what you need to do to get to where you want to be.
1. Define your goal
Decide what you really want to achieve. Write it down. It doesn’t matter what this goal is: it could be two inches off your waist or the physique of Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime.
2. Be realistic
I am all for shooting for the stars and am a fully paid-up subscriber to the school of thought that no man, especially myself, should ever hold me back. However, we all need to be realistic. If you only have two hours a week for the gym then cut your goals accordingly. If you currently carry 35% body fat and would be a welcome new entrant to The Biggest Loser, then 12 weeks to cover model is not going to happen. Dreaming big is part of what makes life fun, but turning dreams into reality is the best thing of all. Make sure that your dreams make physiological and practical sense.
3. Set a timeframe
There is a world of difference between thinking ‘one day I would like to be ripped’ and ‘I will be ripped in 12 weeks’. I love the pressure of time driven goals and embrace them in all aspects of my life. So should you.
4. Break that goal down
Break your goal down into bite-sized weekly chunks. Hitting small milestones on your way to big ones will raise your dopamine levels and keep you focused on the long-term goal. Merely having one longer-term aim can be demoralising when you feel as though your daily efforts haven’t made a dent in getting there.
5. Ask the big question
Ask yourself ‘how hard am I prepared to go? What am I prepared to sacrifice?’. Write down your answer. Every time that you feel like wavering return to your original promises to yourself.
6. Exert pressure on yourself
I am a huge fan of using every mental trick in the book to help me achieve my goals. My own personal favourite is to imagine that I am doing a specific task – one that is becoming increasingly harder and I feel like capitulating on – for my children. I visualise their faces in front of me and if I compromise on my efforts in the slightest I will be letting them down. The nasty cousin of that positive reinforcement is to imagine someone who you perceive as being an enemy or hater doing better than you. Tell yourself ‘if I don’t do this then person X will be more successful than me’ or ‘person Y will be right about me all along’. My point here is that you should use every driver and motivator possible. Nothing is off limits or should be beyond your imagination!