Do You Even Maintain?
One of the main services we offer at Bang Fitness is training for fat-loss. After all, that’s what most people come looking for. Even those with other goals, such as strength or athletic performance don’t typically complain if they get a little leaner. So what’s the secret?
If you know us, you know that we won’t try to sell you on any great mystery. Getting leaner is largely about doing the basics really, really well. All the tiny details are just the sprinkles on top of an otherwise very large sundae. However, people are often so focused short-term progress that they don’t realize is that fat-loss is largely meaningless without a long-term game plan. The reason is simple: you are not a static system. You don’t simply reach a body composition goal and then hit freeze.
The truth is that your body composition in the long-term is really going to come down to whatever habits and training pace you can maintain.
This is scary for some people. One of the reasons that short-term body composition change is so appealing is because it allows us to go back to being ourselves as soon as it’s done. Same habits, same social circle, same stresses and stress management tactics. And the same self-image.
To admit that real body composition change requires real change from within often makes us feel like we’re being judged. However, the only judgement is coming from within. You heard us, Judgy Judgerson. We’re actually on board with whatever you want to do. We think that a desire for change is pretty admirable, as far as human traits go.
One of the other things to realize is that there is an end-point to body composition improvement. Someone who sits around 30% body fat might view 15% as an unbelievable goal. Someone at 15% may feel the same way about 10%. And there are some 10 percenters really thinking about 6–7% to help them take home a bodybuilding or figure competition trophy. However, nobody is thinking about stripping the protective fat off their organs or sucking it out of their grey matter to bring those numbers down even further. There’s a limit.
For most people, the limit comes at the point where they’re no longer enjoying their lives. That was the objective, right? To feel happier in general? When that stops happening, we’ve reached the practical bottleneck. And then? You will maintain. Oh yes, you will maintain.
At a recent seminar in Toronto, nutrition expert Alan Aragon offered up the beloved meme: Do you even lift?
It’s a common refrain on the internet. Everyone’s got an opinion on training but, sometimes it really does need to be asked . . .
Aragon had another question and it had everything to do with the endgame for any body composition plan. He stated that, at some point, everyone will maintain. For those feeling frustrated by long plateaus, he pointed out that plateaus are not only inevitable, they’re a great opportunity to practice maintenance. Do you even lift? Forget about that. Bro, do you even maintain? After all, that’s what you’re going to be doing eventually anyway.
To bring this full circle, your long-term results will be the direct result of your long-term habits. So the next time you’re looking for a quick fix, start by asking what types of behaviours you can envision yourself maintaining a year or two down the road. That way, as you gain ground toward your goal, you’ll also become better and better at maintaining your footing no matter what life throws at you.
For information on training and distance coaching programs, visit us at at bangfitness.com