Mediocrity is running rampant within our fitness culture even though no one ever starts a diet or exercise routine with the intention of getting results that a “meh.”
I sure as hell didn’t start doing push ups all those years ago so I could look in the mirror at someone who’s average at best. I’m willing to bet you’re in the same boat. So with that in mind here are the keys to breaking out of the prison of fitness mediocrity.
There’s a lot to be said about being a jack of all trades but a master of none. If you want to become one of the truly amazing fitness enthusiasts you’re going to have to specialize.
I’ve never met anyone who’s amazing at everything. Every single person who breaks the mold and leaves the masses behind is a master of their craft be it long distance running, yoga or power lifting. That’s their thing. It’s their area of expertise. Sure they might dabble with other pursuits here and there but they hardly ever let these pursuits take up a lot of their attention or resources.
– Prioritize your training
In order to specialize you’ll have to ignore 90% of everything within our fitness culture. Most exercise, tools, methods and products won’t help you one bit towards your goal. It doesn’t mean these things are worthless, but why lug around a massive tool box when all you need are a few choice tools?
Find what’s most important and keep it front and center to your training.
– Dare to Suck.
Being exceptional comes at a price. While you’re going to be outstanding in something you’re also going to suck at many other things. In fact, the more proficient at something you become the less you’re going to be capable of doing everything else.
This is okay, but there will always be nay sayers who will tell you that you’re a fool to ignore these other areas. The lack mentality is very prevalent within our fitness culture. They will tell you that if you’re not fit at everything then you’re not fit period. Every month magazines and blogs state that if you can’t do something or if you’re not practicing some form of training then you’re missing out. Some might even call you a flat out wimp for neglecting such training.
This sort of thinking is nonsense. It’s like telling someone who’s a world class surgeon that they are not a very smart because they don’t know anything about plumbing.
Also know that you’re going to make a lot of mistakes on the road to being exceptional. That body builder in the gym or the champion rock climber got that way by making tons of mistakes. They went through years of rejection, self doubt, criticism and dead ends on their journey. There’s no getting around it. You’re going to suck at first, maybe even for a while until you develop your skills enough to be exceptional. And even then you’re going to suck at doing a lot of things anyway. But being exceptional isn’t about not sucking. It’s about being exceptional in something. Sucking isn’t an option. Everyone sucks at something and they always will. Being exceptional on the other hand is an option and so very few ever strive for it.
-Learn from other’s who are exceptional
I have a rule that I never take advice from someone who doesn’t have, or at least had, something that I want. I don’t take financial advice from folks who are broke. I don’t seek weight loss advice from someone who’s over weight. If they had success in the past then that’s fine. If they haven’t walked the path they are in no position to give directions.
Those who have walked the path can be the ultimate short cut. They have learned their lessons the hard way, through years of pain and frustration. You can learn the same information in minutes without the steep price.
– Don’t be afraid to Be crazy
Mediocre results come from mediocre habits. Look at what the masses are doing. Take a look at their beliefs and habits. Those are the road to mediocrity. If you want to be exceptional you’re going to have to break the mold and be a little crazy.
Be ready for criticism though. There are plenty of folks who will line right up and tell you that you’re crazy. They might make it sound like it’s a bad thing, but take it as a good thing. Going for a run in the rain or hitting the gym at 10 pm is not what the masses do thus it’s a method of madness. It’s also a method of breaking free of mediocrity.
– Moderation is for pussies
Moderation has no real definition. If you ask 100 people for a moderate diet or workout program you’ll get 100 answers.
Moderation is actually whatever you’re used to. It’s what your comfortable with. Nothing wrong with that, but moderation never EVER made anyone exceptional.
– Consistency and progression
Millions of people start on the road to excellence every day. The problem is they always jump off after a few miles. In some cases they stay on the road but they stop moving forward.
You’ll never reach your destination if you stop moving forward, nor will you if you take the next exit and settle down in a sleepy town in the middle of no where. Get on the road, stay on the road and never stop.
– Progress in small steps every day.
You don’t have to make radical changes right this minute to become exceptional. In fact, hardly anyone with an exceptional skill or physique really ramped up their habits until after a few years. The hard core training routine started off as just a set of push ups before bed each night. The amazing golfer just practiced his swing after work for 15 minutes each night. The body builder started off with a set of cheap hand weights he got from Sears for his 15th birthday.
So many giants of fitness started off with humble beginnings and simply added a little bit along the way. Meanwhile the folks who bite off more than they can chew end up frustrated and burned out in a month or two. So start slow, be patient and build your castle one brick at a time. You don’t have to do it all within the next 30 days, nor should you.