Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

Re-read the subject heading and let it sink in: Fail to plan, plan to fail!

It’s been said a number of times and you have probably heard it before, but as simple as it sounds it should trigger some powerful thoughts and get you re-thinking many of your actions. Far too often (myself included) we all get amped up and pumped up about doing something or wanting to reach a certain goal but don’t implement a proper plan to help attain these goals. New years resolutions are a classic example and unfortunately probably the worst.

In an image conscious society many of us wish we could look a certain way. We all see muscular and shredded athletes and want to look the same ourselves. Likewise, for those health conscious individuals who know the benefits of training and want to get fitter and healthier as a result. Unfortunately for many that try, they will fail. Sound harsh? It’s meant to….if you don’t plan, you are planning to fail.

fitandleanToo many people see pictures like these (left/right) and think that by simply going to the gym and doing some bench pressing, curls, and stair climber, they will magically transform themselves. Unfortunately this won’t be the case.

You have to have a plan.  A detailed and well thought out plan. Why are you going to the gym? Why are you doing the exercises you are doing? Why are you doing cardio? Why are you eating the way you’re eating? If you can’t answer these questions you won’t reach your goals and your enthusiasm for what you are doing will soon dwindle and disappear.

To be successful in your training (and in any area of life) you need to have a plan and know how that plan relates to your end goal.

So, for example, someone wants to build strength and put on size. GREAT! Don’t we all! 😉

However, that’s too vague! How much and what type of strength? Break it down into smaller segments and work from there. In other words, if you currently bench press 100lbs, you should want to increase that to say, 125lbs. How much do you squat (and please don’t say you don’t squat) and then decide a reasonable increase. If you select all the major lifts and increase the weight on them…you will get stronger, period!

Now, it doesn’t stop there. You can’t just say “ok, i’m squatting 200lbs and want to get stronger so, tomorrow i’m going to squat 250”. You need to plan how you will get there. What rep and set scheme will you have to follow. How much rest periods in between sets. How often should you train each week, etc. Likewise, you will also need to analyze your diet and plan a way to eat more (if gaining size is part of your goal) and in a healthy manner.

For some people this will take some research and investigation. Reading blogs (yes, this one is a great start ;)), books, and training magazines will certainly help. Of course one of the greatest ways for the majority of people (specifically those with limited training/exercise knowledge) will be in getting the guidance from a professional (personal trainer, strength coach etc). Strength coaches/personal trainers (like myself) will be able to help you devise an intricate plan that will answer all the questions above and get you on the right path towards your goal.

Plan to succeed, work hard, and you will!

As always, hit me up with any questions you may have.

Straight up planning to succeed and wanting you to as well,

Matt B

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2 Responses to Fail to Plan, Plan to Fail

  1. Patrik says:

    Hey there,
    nice article….youre right without a plan no chance !

    well i have some questions for you concerning the mans body on the right.
    that kind of body is my goal ! i personally have a fast metabolism, im 20, 6’3 and 160lbs

    do you think he was doing first the bulking phase and then he concentrated on burning body fat?
    or is the body on the picture the body you achieve by doing a lot of cardio (HIIT f.e.), training 2-3 times a week in the gym and by eating healthy (a lot of proteins)?

    i want to start a workout now and i want to go to my limits and beyond! i want to prove myself that iam able to have a body like that……..just wanted to know if i should concentrate more on cardio and light weightlifting or on eating as much as possible and gain mass?

    would be very grateful for an answer!

    Cheers, Patrik

    • M0tth3w says:

      Hey Patrik,
      Thanks for the comment and apologies for the delayed response.

      Based on the info. you provided, I can give you a simple answer.

      Being a tall guy and with your current bodyweight, I would believe that your BF is quite low to begin with.
      Your primary goal should be to put on MASS. You should focus on eating A LOT but as CLEAN as possible too. Focus on clean/unprocessed carbs, lean protein sources, and healthy fats.
      Weight training should be centered around the big compound lifts and you should be focused on lifting heavy and adding weight to the bar.
      Cardio will be mostly unnecessary, especially if you are eating and training as mentioned. However, if you notice that you are putting on more fat mass than you’d like, then you will have to adjust/manipulate your carb intake and can throw in a couple cardio sessions per week. Listen to your body and see how it responds.
      I generally prefer a ‘clean bulk’ as it helps avoid any unnecessary and extra fat gain. For most people, it is easier to build muscle than lose fat!
      By taking the guidelines above, you should have no problems achieving the body you want. Don’t over think it. Train HEAVY, eat BIG, and you will grow.

      Hope this helps, let me know if you have any other questions.

      Train hard,
      Matt

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