Are You Wasting Your Energy Right Now?

Note by Mehdi: This is guestpost by StrongLifts Member Crone (20, Netherlands)

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In a lot of the articles and success stories you can read that SL-Members find this community of self-improving people to be so motivating and refreshing. Although I couldn’t agree more, I keep thinking what a waste it is that there is so much misinformation out there regarding food and fitness.

Think about it: how many people do you know that have been working out on different programs for years and years and/or have tried literally dozens of different diets, but got no results?¬†Even if you don’t know many of those people, there have to be lots and lots of them seeing the tons of infomercials and websites that consider these people a ‘market’. I can’t help thinking of exactly how much energy gets lost like this.

I’ll give an example:

John liked to play volleyball in high-school. He goes to college and then gets a busy job, which he likes, but which also leaves him drained at the end of the day. He slowly but steadily gains weight until he’s about 25kg/55lbs overweight. He decides it’s enough and starts looking for a program to get him in shape. “Luckily”, there are enough websites regarding this topic and he finds the ‘perfect’ program, which will require him to work out 5 days a week at high intensity, and follow a diet of 2000kcal a day. John thinks: ‘this has got to work’ and gets excited.

Fired up, he starts his first day of training after a mind-numbing workday, completes his workout and feels great about himself. This goes on quite good for a couple of days, but John feels more and more exhausted and hungry during the day. He thinks: ‘no pain no gain’ and cracks on. In the second week, he has to work late and unfortunately misses his first workout. That’s a mental blow.

That weekend, his girlfriend throws a party and he exceeds his caloric restriction due to peer pressure. The next day he feels so bad about himself, that he decides to eat only 1500kcal and exercise even harder. The day after that he (of course) feels totally exhausted, but works out anyway. He keeps consuming only 2000kcal.

On Friday morning, he decides to weigh himself and sees that he has not lost a single pound, which is a severe mental blow again. That day a co-worker celebrates her birthday with cake, John needs to work late and both misses his workout and eats too much and unhealthy.

Saturday morning, he feels miserable about himself and quits altogether after three gruelling weeks of intensive exercise, extreme dieting and mental exhaustion.

How much energy is lost during this whole process?

You hear a lot of people bash fat guys like John because it supposedly is so simple: exercise more and eat less; you’ll lose weight. John has proven to have both a strong desire to get in shape and the willpower to overcome setbacks like a little hunger, exhaustion and ‘not feeling like working out’. He has what it takes, but he was on the wrong program!

It will take a few months before John will find another program, gets excited again, starts with energy and fails again with no results. Probably while wasting money on something he thinks he needs. What a waste!

My point is this: there are a lot of people outside this forum that have the same desire for self-improvement and the same amount of willpower to accomplish their goals. They are just using the wrong methods that simply cannot be sustained in the long run and are therefore prone to fail!

If John started Stronglifts 5×5 while keeping the StrongLifts Diet 90% of the time, he would not have failed. He would have enjoyed the pleasure of adding weight to the bar and the feeling of improvement. He would have seen results with¬†much less effort than was needed for his program.

People like John are not lazy, weak losers.

  • They are nice people
    -like you-
  • enthusiastic to improve
    -like you-
  • willing to give all the time/money/effort that it takes
    -like you-
  • but who are simply misinformed
    -unlike you-

So if you know people like this (and you do), I therefore strongly urge you to show them the right direction. Because if all this energy and enthusiasm will be used in the right way; great things will happen. People will get happy. Success stories will be written.

They’ll thank you for it.

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Note by Mehdi: This was a guestpost by StrongLifts Member Crone (20, Netherlands). If you want to write your own article for StrongLifts.com, check out the rules here.