A common question I receive from folks is how can they achieve their athletic or fitness goals but still have a social life with friends and family?
This question is very relevant and needs clarity to it. Some folks teeter too far to one side of the coin and struggle to create balance in their lives.
For humans to live in optimal condition we obviously need water, food, shelter, family and friends. But what has happened to everyone at some point is that we lose of sight of another important factor that we need to create optimal conditions…Balance.
Having a balanced life is a great life. You could compare a balanced life to a balanced physique. When your physique is balanced it looks and performs in fantastic manner.
Your upper and lower body are equally trained and you do not have major imbalances or injuries due to overcompensation.
Now imagine an unbalanced physique. Think about your typical Manny Meathead. He possesses a muscular and large upper body but he also possesses absolute pipe cleaners for legs and a his athletic performance leaves much to be desired like a box-office flop!
When we apply this to life we are all guilty of it and some of you may be guilty of it right now. When I competed in my first 2 bodybuilding shows in 2011 and 2012 I was very unbalanced. Bodybuilding was all consuming. This was at the expense of everything else including my business, my friends, and my family. All that mattered was prepping for these shows.
I found that this was not the way to go. My business did not grow one iota because I was spending no time building it. My family and friends saw me sporadically. All my time was being spent prepping.
Most bodybuilders during the pre-contest prep become absolute drones. I understand completely that when you want something you are required to put in 100 percent. I agree with that completely and that is how I approach goals that I want to achieve. But there is a way to put in 100 percent without becoming a complete zombie. This is where preparation comes in.
During my pre-contest prep for 2014 I maintained much better balance in my life. My business grew exponentially. I entered and qualified for the finals of the Men’s Health Next Top Trainer competition. I routinely saw family and friends. My relationship did not disintegrate. I made an conscious effort to split time between everything that was going on.
And guess what happened? When the Mr. Natural Philadelphia Bodybuilding Championships came around, I finally placed in the top 5 (5th place open middleweight) without becoming as unbalanced as I was in 20111 and 2012.
This proves that you do not have to become unbalanced to excel. For the all the attention I gave the pre-contest prep in 2011 and 2012, I came home with no hardware.
Again if you want something, you need to put in 100% to achieve it. But you can still have some balance in your life if you plan and prepare first.
The question I received from the email in the video was from Dan, a college student from Connecticut. His question was “How can I balance my social life and my fitness life?” There is 1 thing you should do to create balance with your fitness and social life…Prepare.
If you are unprepared then you will become horrifically unbalanced. Plot out your training days and your days that you want to hang out with friends or family. If you do not want to hang out with anyone, then plot out some alone time.
If you are training 4 days a week, you are not going to be able to go out and party 4 days a week and make any significant progress. Plan to go out 1 or 2 days and make sure that you do not drink yourself into oblivion when you are out. Be responsible.
Remember fitness is a lifestyle. Getting bombed multiple nights a week like Donald Drinker will get you on the road to nowhere. That plan does nothing except diminish your health.
If you create a plan of action in regards to your fitness life and your social life, then you will find that you will be able to make progress at the gym and still go out from time to time. Obviously if you are preparing for something big like an atheltic event, or a bodybuilding show, or even a powerlifting meet then you will need to give the appropriate time to your goal. But with preparation you can still enjoy your life outside of your competition.
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