I’ve talked a lot about the systems you need to set up in place and the mindsets you need to adopt when first getting into fitness, and more specifically about the POLC framework.

If you’ve been following the blog, you probably know that anyone who’s getting into this should answer 2 fundamental questions in order to set themselves up for success:

1. Where am I currently at?

and…

2. Where do I want to be?

In other words, first you assess your current situation (age, height, weight, body fat percentage, experience, etc.) and then you set goals (e.g. become 200 pounds at 8% body fat by the end of May).

Doing this assures that you’re aware of your current situation, that you know where you’re going and that you’ve mapped out the road ahead of you.

But I’d argue that in order to make sure you’re prepared to actually walk the difficult road ahead, you need to ask yourself one more question:

What am I willing to sacrifice in order to achieve my goal?

Everything comes at a cost

Michael Jordan is known as the greatest basketball player of all times.

Imagine what it took for him to accomplish such a feat.

Until the end of his career, Jordan was known to be the first person to get to the gym and the last one to leave.

Obviously, what it took was tons of personal sacrifices.

And as I’ve said time and time again, like anything else worth pursuing, body transformations are a hard, tedious, costly endeavour.

Imagine a weighing scale:

weighing scale

On one side of the scale you have your goal – your dream physique.

On the other side there’s everything you’ll have to sacrifice in order for you to achieve your goal.

Now, if the scale doesn’t tip toward your goal (if the pleasure of achieving your goal and the pain of not achieving it is smaller than the pleasure of not making the sacrifices and the pain of making those sacrifices), then you’re going to have a hell of a time with pursuing your goal.

There’s simply no way you’ll persevere through the obstacles and constant BS that’s thrown at you along the way by sheer willpower.

Instead, what you have to do is come to grips with the fact that all things come at a cost…

4 things you’ll have to sacrifice

Simply said, if you are to achieve your goal, you’re going to have to give up 4 things:

Time

If you love life, don’t waste time, for time is what life is made up of.

-Bruce Lee

Whether you realise it or not, time is your most valuable asset.

Waste it and you’ll never get it back.

And when it comes to getting your dream physique, you’re going to have to invest a lot of time.

On a micro scale, you’re going to have to carve out an hour and a half 3-4-5 times a week to do your workouts at the gym. But there’s also the commute to and from the gym, the time you spend reading and watching videos about training and nutrition, as well as all the time that goes into cooking and actually eating your meals (when you’re bulking, eating takes A LOT of time).

On a macro scale, reaching your dream physique might take years.

Some of you probably cringed when they read that last sentence.

But it’s true: depending on where you’re at now, reaching your dream physique might literally take years of dedication.

The question is: are you ready to put in the time?

Effort

effortIn order to reach your goal, you’re going to have to put forth massive amounts of effort.

Just because you made the time to go to the gym doesn’t mean you’ve made it.

Once you’re there you have to go all out. And you have to do that on a regular basis.

The same is true for when you’re in the kitchen.

Often times it’s a struggle but you’ve got to keep giving it all you’ve got and moving forward.

Money

spending money on supplementsAlthough this isn’t hot air balloon racing, you can’t say that fitness isn’t associated with a certain degree of monetary investment.

You’ve got to get gym apparel, a gym membership, food, in some cases supplements…

Also, from time to time you might have to visit a physio to help with recovering from injuries.

Comfort

comfort_zoneSacrificing a lot of the above is also associated with sacrificing a certain degree of comfort.

When you wake up in the morning and you have to go to the gym, your bed is simply a lot more comfortable than the thought of getting up and going to the gym to lift iron.

When you’re new, staying in and watching TV is simply a lot more comfortable than going to the gym where you know nobody and learning something that you haven’t done before.

When you’re tired mid-set, it’s a lot more comfortable to stop a few reps short than it is to push through the discomfort and finish the damn set.

When you’re having lunch and you’re full already, it’s a lot more comfortable to move on with your day than it is to consume 500 more calories.

The fact is, if you are to achieve your goal, you’re going to have to get used to feeling a bit uncomfortable.

Make a real decision

A lot of guys think that they’ve firmly decided that they want to achieve their dream physique.

But is it truly so?

The word ‘decide’ actually comes from the Latin word decidere which means to cut off.

So to decide means to cut off all other options.

See, as I said at the start of this blog post, all things come at a cost.

You can’t be the best marathon runner in the world and never break a sweat at the same time.

You can’t be the best guitar player in the world and watch TV for 6 hours a day at the same time.

You can’t be the best basketball player in the world and not practice your ass off.

And you certainly can’t achieve your dream physique AND not sacrifice your time, effort, money and comfort at the same time.

It’s one or the other.

And you have to decide.

Conclusion

Whatever you choose is fine (as long as it’s dictated by your own values), but you have to have realistic expectations when you’re getting into this.

You can have anything, but you can’t have everything.

Choose wisely.

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