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Article by: Kshitij Roy

Social media – one of the most prominent novel concepts, has brought the world together on a small screen. You have access and connectivity to almost anything and anyone. You can find inspiration; you can find envy - all of it is just a tap away. This freedom of access has made several ideas flourish like wildfires. 'Fitness' is one of them. You got a ripped body, you click a photo, you post it with relatable hashtags, boom! - Now you are a fitness influencer. While this has inspired people to take up fitness, it has also raised the question of credibility around those photos. “Is that condition fake? Is that level of fitness achievable? Even if it can be achieved, can it be maintained all the time? Most importantly, does it require any drug abuse, or it can be achieved naturally?” The truth?! Well, let me tell you some things first. Not all the fitness models that you see on social handles are naturally built (Hush Hush – steroids!). You can take one look at their muscle maturity and say if they are naturally built or not (Of course it takes a good amount of knowledge and experience in this field to process that judgment). Also, most of them click 17 zillion photos processed through different angles, lighting and filters and post them throughout the year. But, despite all this, some post credible stuff and if you ever wonder about their condition, you will be surprised to know that the condition is totally achievable. Yes! We can achieve it naturally! Yes! It can be maintained throughout the year! Here is how you can do that. Prioritizing fitness above all things: The First step is always setting 'fitness; as your priority. You know one of those things, when you wake up and make a 'to do' list for the day, mention 'fitness' at the top. Getting nutrition on point: Learn about nutrition. You have an internet connection; you have access to all the knowledge in the world. Why depend on anything when you have everything available to you on your fingertips? Learn about energy balance, learn about macronutrients, learn about calorie expenditure. And if you do not have the patience for all this, there are apps for it. (Remember 'fittr’) Making workout a part of your everyday life: You heard about the power of repetition? This is just that. More you practice it, better you get at it. The only difference between you and those fitness influencers is that you find reasons for not working out, and they look for time to work out every chance they get. Letting no obstacle halt your fitness journey: I am not saying that you should go on even when you get injured or when life deals you a lousy hand in some ways. I am saying, after you've been down for a while, find that courage to get back up again and pursue it like never before. Implementing diet breaks wisely: Let’s face it, you can’t be on a diet throughout the year. It will cause eating disorders and will definitely take a toll on you psychologically. So, what’s the catch here. Include diet breaks! After every 6 weeks of dieting, you can implement a break of 2 weeks, where you eat your maintenance calories and include the food items that you’ve been missing on. This will maintain your sanity, and you will adhere to a plan for a long time. And the break does not mean you can binge on anything uncontrollably. Maintenance calories! - That’s the key. Keeping injuries at bay: Awareness about exercise science and biomechanics of body movement can definitely prolong your injury free journey in the gym. Most people tend to lift beyond their capacity just to boost their ego. That can always backfire. It's better to lift with correct form and technique so that your fitness journey does not get hampered. Compromise on weight but never on form. Make sure you post it: Last but not least (I don't know why I used this cliché), Hire a good photographer (like your friend with a good camera) and post things! Not to seek validation but to maintain a record and see how you've progressed throughout the year. And yes, attention feels good, but by this time, you will know that these things are not only about that. Maybe it’s about reflecting on your journey so far. Maybe it’s about becoming an inspiration. Maybe it’s about patting yourself on the back for the efforts you’ve put so far. You take your pick. So yes, now you know that you CAN look like that fitness model all year round. (Took a long time to drive my point home, so resting my case now ☺)
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