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You Need To Change Your Goal

Utsav Agrawal
Utsav Agrawal
In 2020 it is all too easy to spend hours and hours a day on Instagram (IG), scrolling through endless pictures of shredded abs and sculpted butt's, gazing in envy as you might think to yourself "I want abs like that" or "why can't my butt look like that." But, have you ever honestly considered the cost of looking like that? I'm not referring to the financial loss, but the "life" cost, the constant working out, meal prepping, hydration, specific meal planning and timing, sleeping seven to eight hours a night, the list is endless.

The fact is, just like everything in life, there is a trade-off, sometimes a significant compromise. When you ramp up one aspect of your life, it's only natural that other aspects of your life need to be adjusted and the volume needs to be turned down, like a DJ using their mixing board to find the "perfect" beat.


What Do You Want?

Being a fitness coach for over half a decade, I have had the unique opportunity and privilege to sit down with hundreds of people and discuss their health and fitness goals, both short term and long term. People's goals and timelines can vary drastically, but a universal message I get from people is "I want a butt like" or "I want abs like." Now superficial, externally focused goals are more than fine to have, hell it's what got me started on my fitness journey years ago. Still, it's paramount to understand the potential complexity and difficulty of your future goals and ambitions when it comes to health and fitness. Comprehending the difficulty of your possible goal or goals allows you to predetermine the amount of sacrifice you'll have to endure and the amount of trade-off you might need the life cost.

I would venture, if that same "I want shredded abs" person fully understood the amount of sacrifice and life cost it takes first to get, then stay that lean, they would not opt for that lifestyle and would opt for something offering much more balance.

I can attest to this first hand, having worked with hundreds of clients, a tiny percentage are willing to put in that level of sacrifice and commitment. I'll caveat by saying, it is 100% fine to aim for the moon, miss and fall on a star, meaning if you have your heart set on a shredded six-pack or buns of steel and during your journey realize "this isn't for me," that is perfectly fine, again we are talking about extremes. As you read this article, I hope you know that there is nothing wrong with being a healthy body weight, staying active every day, and feeling good absent of being a fitness magazine level lean. As you'll soon find out, a glistening six-pack, bowling ball shoulders, and buns of steel are not for everyone. So what do I mean when I refer to a "life cost," I mean, how much work is it really to get and stay magazine cover lean? 

Fake News 
It seems a trend on social media and around the fitness space for individuals to tout how easy it is for them to stay shredded, they claim to eat whatever they want whenever they want, go to restaurants every day, drink like a sailor and hardly exercise. Now yes, there are exceptions, people who can seemingly do and eat whatever they want and have a photoshoot ready body or be photoshoot ready in four weeks, but this is beyond rare, they're the 1% of the 1%, think of elite professional athletes, not the guy or gal at your local gym or on social media. The person at your local gym or on social media telling you how easy it is either not telling you their whole story or is trying to sell you on their workout program, affiliated supplement regimen, or meal plan. Quick fixes and instant gratification sells and sells very well if I told you how much work something was going to take and the process might be many months or years in length vs. telling you "do my meal plan and take these supplements for three months" which one would be easier to sell?

The truth is, people who are and stay magazine level lean put A LOT of work into looking like that daily and more often than not have a minimum of 3-5 years of quality training and performance-based eating experience, their life is typically very regimented and routine. 


Ending Thought

People have different tolerances, genetics, and body fat set points; for some, staying shredded is vastly more comfortable than for others. That said, I reiterate, there is absolutely nothing wrong with not having a six-pack, bowling ball looking shoulders, or a butt sculpted out of granite. Being in the single-digit body fat for males and sub 15% for women are extremes, and they have an elite level of training and the fitness lifestyle.