The Only Thing To Be Successful In the Long Term

 long term success

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

Sir Winston Churchill said : « Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm ».

I’m sure you’ve heard this quote . But there’s something that nobody told you about that quote. This thing is the « GRIT ».

What’s this

definition

The meaning of the word « grit » is : « passion and perseverance for a long-term goal ».

We discovered after several years of case studies that intelligence wasn’t the most important element to have success in school, at work and in life.

The most important element to be successful is grit and personality. It’s essential to have the courage to go through all the challenges and failures to find a new solution to achieve the goal.

Psychology Professor at University Of Pennsylvania, Angela Duckworth shows in her studies that   :

« Smarter students actually had less grip that their peers who scored lower on an intelligence test. This finding suggests that, among the study participants – all students at an Ivy League School – people who are not as bring as their peers compensate by working harder and with more determination. And their effort pays off : The grittiest students – not the smartest ones – had the highest GPAs ».

And  :

« At the elite United States Military Academy, West Point, a cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success in the rigorous summer training program known as « Beast Barracks ». Grit matter more than intelligence, leadership ability or physical fitness.

At the Scripps National Spelling Bee, the grittiest contestants were the most likely to advance to the finals – at least in part because they studied longer, not because they were smarter or were better spellers ».

These findings suggest that the achievement of difficult goals entails not only talent but also the sustained and focused application of talent over time.

There is also this article by Thomas Friedman in New York Times: Need a job ? Invent one .

In this article, there is a quote from Tony Wagner, Harvard Education Specialist : « Today, because knowledge is available on every Internet-connected device, what you know matters far less than what you can do with what you know ».

As you can see, it’s not the amount of information that is important to be successful but what you do with this information. It’s the same principle to have a healthy body. I know people who know a tremendous amount of information about how to lose weight and how to build muscle. But there is a problem, they’re all overweight and from year to year, they take on more weight and they need to take more medicines.

What is necessary is to use the information that you have every day. It’s useless to know all the answers and look for the perfect workout. Start with what you have now and day after day, you’ll improve your knowledge on the field.

How do I do

how much

Here is my case. As you already know, I plan my workout program throughout the year to gradually increase the difficulty (periodization). I have failures (very often) and I adjust. Every week I search for small changes and tactics.

Tracking my workout helps me tremendously to adjust the difficulty without creating any injury. I use an application on my smartphone to track my workout, it’s Jefit.

I know that all my life is going to be like that. Learn more, have more failures and find new tactics to progress.

It’s true that says it like that, you think it’s boring but it’s very motivating to see progress made week after week. Small details are important to your body. Often the people around you don’t see you making progress. They don’t see that your body is changing but you know you have more strength and better health.

What looked annoying is actually motivating. I like to see small changes on my body because I know that the accumulation of small changes make a great transformation. It’s the same principle as a video game, the main character is gradually becoming stronger and stronger.

When I look my workout’s tracking over several months or several years, I see that I have done great transformation. The amount of weight lifted has increased and my endurance has increased.

When I check my workout’program of the day, I stop to day to myself : « It’s going to be painful today, oh no ! » but « Mmmh, it’s going to have a little new record today ! ».

That is why I began to « document » the evolution of my body. If you watch my videos every day, you’ll not see any difference but when you watch the videos I made 6 months or 1 year ago, you see that the differences are really visible. And it’s the same for you.

Build the grit

grit

For several years I had several (one ton) failures and I searched to find small changes and new tactics to change my body little by little, week after week. I did all that to create « my new standard » and « my new identity » to have the best possible future in my life. All these small improvements on my body have developing more grit and perseverance.

Here is how to build your grit yourself :

  1. Determine your new « identity ».

    The more specific your new identity, the easier it will be to prove it to yourself. For example : « I’m the type of person who never miss a workout » and « I’m the type of person who always eats a healthy meal at lunch » and/or « I’m the type of person who works on his own business as soon as I have free time ».

    To always have these identities in mind put post-it in several places in your house like on the calendar, the phone and the mirror of your bathroom. You can also have it in the wallpaper (lock screen) on your smartphone.

  2. Have small victories every day to prove it to yourself and motivate you to do that

    Follow your evolution and highlight your small victories to see that you are in the right direction. Make a daily challenge that takes you between 5 and 15 minutes. Once this challenge is successful, it’s a small victory in addition.

  3. Increases the difficulty of your challenges every 30 days

    For a month, for 30 days, you’ll have small victories. Once you have 30 small victories, make a party to celebrate these victories and increase the difficulty of your challenges for the next 30 days.

    Attention, our will’s strength is limited so use all this will to build this new healthy habit.

  4. When you have created you « new standard », it’s time to improve it.

    Improve your « new standard » by making small adjustments. Make slow and steady progress to win. If you make drastic adjustments, you will have more failures than small victories and this will make you want to give up.

  5. When you fail in something , be sure to fail differently next time

    Failure doesn’t mean that you have a bad or a weak personality. It’s just mean that you didn’t have all the knowledge and experience to succeed. Learn and practice more on the field to continue towards the best.

It’s not important where you’re from, where you’re going that’s important.

I warn you already that this a path with more that 1 billion challenges but it’s the price to pay for a better lifestyle. To achieve the lifestyle of your dreams , you will create 1 billion versions of yourself, all better than the previous ones (it’s like an update).

The most important thing is that you shouldn’t let anyone tell you that you can’t accomplish anything in you life (this also includes you parents).

If you know you can do it, do it !

What is the little victory you have recently made, and what the next ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Please follow, like and share:

Body Under Construction 2017 12 01

body evolution transformation

Each month I do my body check to track my body’s evolution with photo, measurements and body fat(%) to reach my Golden Ratio.

I take my results in the morning with my stomach empty or just a glass of water.

I calculate my body fat ( %) with the 1 site skin fold (fat caliper) and I use the caliper’s chart.

Current

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 82.1 kg (180.77 lbs)

  • body fat(%) : 10.5 %

  • Waist : 90 cm (35.43 in)

  • Chest : 99.5 cm (38.97 in)

  • Arms : 34.2 cm (13.38 in)

  • Forearms : 29 cm (11.41 in)

  • Shoulders : 119 cm (46.85 in)

  • Hips : 95.5 cm (37.40 in)

  • Thighs : 60.5 cm (23.62 in)

  • Calves : 40.5 cm (15.74 in)

  • Neck :40 cm (15.74 in)

Goals (Golden Ratio)

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 80 kg (176.37)

  • body fat(%) : 8 %

  • Waist : 75.07 cm (29.55 in)

  • Chest : 107.25 cm (42.22 in)

  • Arms : 39.93 cm (15.72 in)

  • Forearms : 31.63 cm (12.45 in)

  • Shoulders : 121.47 cm (47.82 in)

  • Hips : 91.16 cm (35.88 in)

  • Thighs : 61 cm (24.01 in)

  • Calves : 39.61 cm (15.59 in)

  • Neck : 39.68 cm (15.62 in)

Websites where I found my Golden Ratio. Here and there .

Websites where I calculate my body fat(%), here  and there .

And you ? Have you set your goals ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Please follow, like and share:

Body Under Construction 2017 11 04

Each month I do my body check to track my body’s evolution with photo, measurements and body fat(%) to reach my Golden Ratio.

I take my results in the morning with my stomach empty or just a glass of water.

I calculate my body fat ( %) with the 1 site skin fold (fat caliper) and I use the caliper’s chart.

Current

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 81.9 kg (178.57 lbs)

  • body fat(%) : 10.5 %

  • Waist : 88 cm (34.64 in)

  • Chest : 98.5 cm (38.58 in)

  • Arms : 34.2 cm (13.38 in)

  • Forearms : 29 cm (11.41 in)

  • Shoulders : 120 cm (47.24 in)

  • Hips : 95.5 cm (37.40 in)

  • Thighs : 60 cm (23.62 in)

  • Calves : 39.5 cm (15.55 in)

  • Neck :39cm (15.35 in)

Goals (Golden Ratio)

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 80 kg (176.37)

  • body fat(%) : 8 %

  • Waist : 75.07 cm (29.55 in)

  • Chest : 107.25 cm (42.22 in)

  • Arms : 39.93 cm (15.72 in)

  • Forearms : 31.63 cm (12.45 in)

  • Shoulders : 121.47 cm (47.82 in)

  • Hips : 91.16 cm (35.88 in)

  • Thighs : 61 cm (24.01 in)

  • Calves : 39.61 cm (15.59 in)

  • Neck : 39.68 cm (15.62 in)

Websites where I found my Golden Ratio. Here  and there .

Websites where I calculate my body fat(%), here  and there .

And you ? Have you set your goals ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Please follow, like and share:

Body Under Construction 2017 09 30

body

That my evolution. The right photo (2014) and the left photo (2017), I have the same weight. The middle photo, I decreased my weight to have my muscle more visible. 

Each month I do my body check to track my body’s evolution with photo, measurements and body fat(%) to reach my Golden Ratio.

I take my results in the morning with my stomach empty or just a glass of water.

I calculate my body fat ( %) with the 1 site skin fold (fat caliper) and I use the caliper’s chart.

Current

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 80.9 kg (176.36 lbs)

  • body fat(%) : 10.5 %

  • Waist : 86 cm (33.85 in)

  • Chest : 98 cm (38.58 in)

  • Arms : 34 cm (13.38 in)

  • Forearms : 29 cm (11.41 in)

  • Shoulders : 119.5 cm (46.85 in)

  • Hips : 95.5 cm (37.40 in)

  • Thighs : 60.5 cm (23.62 in)

  • Calves : 40 cm (15.74 in)

  • Neck :38.5 cm (14.96 in)

Goals (Golden Ratio)

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 80 kg (176.37)d

  • body fat(%) : 8 %

  • Waist : 75.07 cm (29.55 in)

  • Chest : 107.25 cm (42.22 in)

  • Arms : 39.93 cm (15.72 in)

  • Forearms : 31.63 cm (12.45 in)

  • Shoulders : 121.47 cm (47.82 in)

  • Hips : 91.16 cm (35.88 in)

  • Thighs : 61 cm (24.01 in)

  • Calves : 39.61 cm (15.59 in)

  • Neck : 39.68 cm (15.62 in)

Websites where I found my Golden Ratio. Here  and there .

Websites where I calculate my body fat(%), here  and there .

And you ? Have you set your goals ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Please follow, like and share:

Know How Much Weight To Lift (Part 2)

how much

I read a Nerd Fitness article  and I learned good stuff.

If you didn’t read the Part 1, click here 

Several workouts later

several workout

Now that you know your starting weight, you can do the « progressive overload » method.

« Progressive overload » method involves gradually increasing the stress in your body during training.

For beginners, this means increasing the weight at each workout session. You know after each workout, your body is healed. And if you do things well by having good nutrition and good sleep, your body becomes stronger than before.

When your body gets used to your workout, it’s bad sign. When your body used to do 5 sets of 5 reps, it will become more effective so your body will burn fewer calories and use fewer processes to achieve movement.

To know when you need to add weight, you need to look at the difficulty you had in your last set. That’s why it’s important to track your workout to analyze your performance. You can use a paper notebook, Evernote  or a fitness app like Jefit . Document how much you lift, how many sets you do, how many reps you do, the degradation of your technique arrived at what set and what reps and quality of your latest set.

If you couldn’t do all reps of the last set with a good technique, take the same weight at your next session to improve your technique.

Doing this guarantee you that you don’t stagnate because every rep you do is more solid et better than the last time. To improve, it’s not necessary to increase weights at each workout. You can rest less between your set, improve movement control or do more reps. All these variations mean that you become stronger.

On the other hand if you can do all sets with an excellent technique without the barbell’s speed, it’s time to add weight. It doesn’t matter than you add 9 kg (20 lbs) or 1.1 kg(2.5 lbs), you progress.

All professional athletes will tell you it’s better to add weights slowly and progress constantly rather than to progress quickly and hit a plateau. In this way, you build your strength, your confidence and your momentum.

That’s why I recommend you to start too lightly for you progress constantly.

In life, there are ups and downs so there are days when you can’t add more weight because there is a lot of stress at school/work or you haven’t sleep enough and so on. It’s important to listen to your body rather than absolutely lift the weight you want.

Find your ta 1 rep max

1 rep max

It’s really fun to find the maximum amount of weight you can lift for a rep from time to time.

However for a beginner who has just started, it’s better to make the movement with a proper technique and add weight slowly to try to find. I advise you to follow a workout’s program for at least 6 weeks before to try to find your 1 rep max.

Why

Even if your technique is good for a beginner, you’ll have a better results by learning to make ajustements and corrections as you go. When you start, your body isn’t prepared to do this performance so if after 2 weeks you try to find your 1 rep max, it will not be your true 1 rep max.

In addition, when you train, you train everything in your body. Things like muscles and bones will become stronger while others like the nervous system will become more effective. The more often you do something and the better you do. When you’re a beginner you get better quickly.

And as you are a beginner, you haven’t yet experienced it. It’s not safe to try your 1 rep max when you learn the movement. Even if you have a good technique with a light weight, you’re going to hurt yourself because you don’t have the experience yet.

When your technique begins to deteriorate, you need to have experience to complete or stop the movement safely.

If you look at weightlifting or powerlifting competition, sometimes the way to lift does’t have the best technique you’ve seen. However, the lifters have enough experience to handle this and know how to stop the movement if something goes wrong. When you’re a beginner, you don’t know how to do it.

The respectable quantity to be lift

bench press fail

In fact, I think you already know the answer : it’s the weight that suits you. That’s why it’s important to keep track of your workouts because your’re competing with the « You » of the last week. It’s like racing your ghost in Mario Kart.

You’re like me, you want to have a strength better than average strength but it’s more complex that what you think because it depends on your body’s type, your background as an athlete, your genetics and other factors.

If there was a formula or a calculation, we would all have a superhero’s body but this is not the case.

This is why you have to concentrate on lifting the weight that is right for you today. At your next training, you’ll try to lift heavier and if you can’t do it, you will do more repetitions or decrease you rest time between your sets.

In this adventure to have an athletic body for life, forget people around you. The person who is next to you do squat at 226.7 kg (500 lbs) and you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) ? Forget it ! If you squat at 22.6 kg (50 lbs) and it’s a challenge, it means that it’s the right weight you should lift.

Never modify your workout to impress the personne who is next to you. No one is judged by the weight he lifts and if people do that, they’re not future winner/champion. It’s the losers who seek shortcuts.

Remember :

  • Winners warm up with the empty barbell.

  • Winners focus on their reps and aren’t ashamed to lift less than the person next to them.

  • Winner take the time to do things right, even if it means lifting less than what they know can do.

  • Winners started with a beginner workout program like you

Remains cautious, begins slowly, adds weight slowly.

It’s better to train in safety early rather than hurt yourself and be frustrated before you’ve progressed like my friends hurt in the shoulder. My physique has progressed a lot while their bodies stagnate because of their shoulder injury.

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Please follow, like and share:

Body Under Construction 2017 08 26

Each month I do my body check to track my body’s evolution with photo, measurements and body fat(%) to reach my Golden Ratio.

I take my results in the morning with my stomach empty or just a glass of water.

I calculate my body fat ( %) with the 1 site skin fold (fat caliper) and I use the caliper’s chart.

Current

  • Height : 175 cm (5 ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 77.8 kg (169.75 lbs)

  • body fat(%) : 10.5 %

  • Waist : 83.5 cm (33.46 in)

  • Chest : 99 cm ( 38.97 in)

  • Arms : 33 cm (12.99 in)

  • Forearms : 29 cm (11.41 in)

  • Shoulders : 116.5 cm (45.66 in)

  • Hips : 94 cm (37 in)

  • Thighs : 59 cm (23.22 in)

  • Calves : 40 cm (15.74 in)

  • Neck :38.5 cm (14.96 in)

Goals (Golden Ratio)

  • Height : 175 cm (5ft 8.8 in)

  • Weight : 80 kg (176.37)

  • body fat(%) : 8 %

  • Waist : 75.07 cm (29.55 in)

  • Chest : 107.25 cm (42.22 in)

  • Arms : 39.93 cm (15.72 in)

  • Forearms : 31.63 cm (12.45 in)

  • Shoulders : 121.47 cm (47.82 in)

  • Hips : 91.16 cm (35.88 in)

  • Thighs : 61 cm (24.01 in)

  • Calves : 39.61 cm (15.59 in)

  • Neck : 39.68 cm (15.62 in)

Websites where I found my Golden Ratio. Here  and there .

Websites where I calculate my body fat(%), here  and there .

And you ? Have you set your goals ?

Share this article if you think it can help someone you know. Thank you.

-Steph

Please follow, like and share: