Have you seen those Direct TV ads with a celebrity impersonating themselves. A good example is the one’s with Rob Lowe. You have normal Rob Lowe and then you have creepy Rob Lowe.
While pursuing the body you want to achieve you have to make sure you check in with yourself and give yourself evaluations. Those evaluations can be in the form of tracking statistics in a weight loss journal.
You could also keep track inside a spreadsheet that marks down all the workouts you’ve done with in a year. To continually improve it’s crucial that you perform check-ins. If you don’t, you’ll forever be going around in circles with no real progress. You’ll look like the “creepy” or “loser” version of yourself instead of the winner version.
To help keep me on target for 2015, I created twelve goals that I wanted to achieve. I wasn’t sure if I would be able to hit all of them in only one year, but it served as my motivation. Here’s the goals:
Consistent Waist Under 35 Inches
The easiest way to know if your weight loss plan is working is by measuring your waist. I noticed this pattern over the years. It’s definitely not the scale that tells you, it’s your waist!
When I was at my peak in 2010, my waist was slightly less than 33 inches. At that time, I knew that a waist size of 33 inches was not realistic for me to keep in the long term. Remember I was thin but not really strong. Due to me wanting more muscle, I knew my waist would have to be bigger.
On the exact opposite, the largest my waist has ever been was 39 inches. When I looked at my waist numbers over the years I’ve seen it hover around 36-37 inches. That’s pretty far from that super thin 33 inches.
So I decided on a simple target weight of 35 inches as ideal. I knew if I stayed under 35 inches my body would look good without my shirt on. Maybe not ripped status, but “not ashamed” status was fine with me.
Square Powerful Chest
I’ve always had a stronger lower body than upper body. When bodybuilding you want to bring up your strong points to achieve a well balanced body. For me I knew I needed to focus more on my chest.
I always thought of my chest as more round than square. In the comic books you always see the perfectly square chests. It was as sign of power. Getting a square chest requires isolating the pectoral muscles with excellent technique.
Over the years, I noticed that I never felt out my pectoral muscles while doing chest exercises. I just went with the flow. It was time for me to actually think about that muscle moving while lifting the weight.
15 inch Arms
What guy doesn’t want bigger arms! Like I said previously, I have always had a weaker upper body. When losing weight my arms are always the first parts of my body to thin out. When gaining weight of course my arms are always the last to get bigger!
For years it seems like I couldn’t win so I never really bothered to get them bigger. I would focus on the Big Lifts (Squats, Overhead Press, Deadlifts,Bench Press) and just add some dips and chin ups in as accessory work. That was the entire stimulus my arms would get through the years.
I still think that’s a good idea. A person should get better at the basic lifts if they want to have a well-developed body. But I wanted to grow my 13-inch biceps more. With the bodybuilding templates I would be following they would be getting some direct work, so 15 inches seemed like a good number to reach for.
Seven to Ten Hours Of Sleep A Night
I had a horrible sleeping experience in 2014. Every since I moved back to Virginia from living in Las Vegas, my sleep habits have been crappy. I know it had to deal with getting up super early to beat the traffic for work. In my Las Vegas lifestyle, I had a more relaxed work schedule.
Back in Virginia, I became too stressed out with the projects I was on. Every morning I would see darker and darker backs under my eyes. I never had that before in my life! I knew it was time to get back to getting 7+ hours of sleep a night. I feel so much more energized when I get sleep. Plus my body looks healthier. It was time to get back to that.
No Chronic Joint Pain (knees, back, spine, etc.)
I’ve had chondromalacia patella for about twenty years. Whenever my knees are in a bending motion I experience pain. So if I’m sitting for long periods of time, my knees hurt. If I try to play basketball, I can’t jump and run as much as I would like because of my knee pain. I’ve learned how to avoid the pain over the years.
I started getting involved in work projects that triggered my chondromalica patella in 2014. Plus I was squatting for personal records at the gym so I would be in pain more often than normal. For 2015, I wanted to make sure I got back to avoiding the pain.
Have Less Than 20 lbs Of Fat On My Body
I use to be obsessed with body fat percentage numbers in the past. I would hear that the ideal body fat percentage for men was under 15%. Other experts would say fewer than 12%. My body fat has always hovered between 13-20% according to my calculations.
I didn’t want to be obsessed over body fat calculations anymore. I just did the simple math. If I had thirty pounds of fat on my body, I wanted to lose half of that which would leave me with 15 pounds of fat.
I would expect a slight rebound effect so I added five more pounds. If my body fat percentage were between 12-20%, reducing my fat in half would get me to under 15% body fat. Nothing complicated.
No Eating Excuses While Traveling
I had a brutal travel schedule in 2014. There were too many travel sessions in which I would be at the mercy of other people’s schedule. I pride myself on eating correctly while traveling but I was eating like the folks I was working with. None of them wanted to same type of body I wanted, so why should I eat like them?
I wanted to get back to the old me and take control over my eating again. There should be no excuses for eating right while on the road. It’s never going to be perfect, but that still didn’t mean I shouldn’t at least try.
Eat Around 175 Grams Of Protein A Day
This was another easy calculation. My lean body mass was somewhere between 170-180 lbs. If I want to keep the muscle I need to eat an adequate amount of protein. For maintaining muscle I knew I needed approximately 0.8-1 grams of protein per lean mass.
I like to keep it simple and just round it up to 1 gram of protein per lean mass. So 1 x 175 lbs = 175 grams of protein a day I would need.
Eat Vegetables at every meal
If I want to be healthy I got to eat my veggies! I’ve been eating them with every meal for a very very very long time now. So this was a pretty easy goal. Just a friendly reminder to keep doing it!
Make Rice and Potatoes My Main Carbohydrate Sources
I was going to be lifting weights so I knew I would need good carbohydrate sources. Supplement companies make it seem that you can only lose or gain weight by drinking their products. That’s not the case! For more workout fuel I would just be eating whole foods.
When eating whole foods, I prefer to eat my carbohydrate sources. Rice and potatoes are the simplest carbs you could eat. They digest properly and provide the energy needed to replenish your muscles.
Build My Beach Body THEN Get Stronger With That Physique
No big surprise here. It was time to show off the muscles on my body in addition to getting stronger. Instead of chasing both rabbits at once, I wanted to smartly pursue one at a time. This was just a nice reminder of my why for 2015.
No More Yo-Yo Seasonal Eating.
Every season I would give into pro-long binge eating weeks. Heck I talk about the fall cravings here. To keep the progress going I needed to make sure that the binge sessions were cut down. I came up with this 2015 plan around the 2014 holidays when I saw how much weight I gained.
All it took was more than two days of treats and my weight jumped up 15 lbs. I did not want to keep experiencing that every season.