Shift your thinking, adapt to new challenges, break through obstacles and workout anywhere, anytime.
Whether we want to admit it or not, we all, at some point, like to stay in or very close to our comfort zones when it comes to training and nutrition. It can include our favorite gym we’ve trained in for years, familiar foods and even the group of people we see every day, this familiarity grounds us and, we believe, keeps our course steady when it comes to getting in intense workouts we are accustomed to.
Why mess with what is working? If it ain’t broke, why fix it?
What if you find yourself in a unique situation where that comfort zone virtually disappears? What if you were forced into a new job, environment or life changing event that requires you to shift all of those familiarities and adopt a whole new way of thinking with little or extremely different resources?
Enter my friend Kevin
Kevin and I have been a part of the Air National Guard for many years with a handful of deployments between us. He is about to depart once again for a significant amount of time overseas.
No fancy weight room, subpar nutrition and less than desirable sleeping arrangements not to mention precious time away from family can nearly destroy any motivation to stay on track with your fitness and nutrition goals.
But there is a way – there’s always a way
I am here to tell you from personal experience that it is absolutely possible to maintain a level of fitness when it seems everything around you has changed overnight.
It will take a change in perspective; a paradigm shift.
Instead of seeking out the familiar comforts similar to what you are used to, you have to completely change the way you will approach your training, nutrition and rest habits.
Once you accept this way of thinking and cultivate the will and motivation to carry out a new plan, then you will succeed beyond what you thought was possible with your old mindset.
Another important (if not THE most important) factor to consider is developing faith that your new perspective and subsequent plan WILL WORK.
If you don’t believe in what you are doing, it will NEVER work.
Circumstances are different now, come up with a plan, adapt and move forward. You will succeed. Kevin will have a lot on his plate, but with some patience, planning and an acceptance of a new environment he will have no choice but to succeed and drive forward with his training, nutrition and other adaptations to his new surroundings.
The old military gym Kevin and I used to workout in
You weren’t built in a day
This all can be a bit overwhelming and a significant amount of change is a lot to take on. That is why another attribute to keep in mind is to build on everything little by little.
Build on discipline with small steps, build on a new training plan over time and give yourself time to adapt to new nutrition and recovery arrangements. Changing all of these factors at once will only bury you under a heap of frustration and the desire to quit.
Here are a few examples of how to build discipline over time:
-Take a few days off from training once you arrive or after the change has taken place. The stress of a new situation can be overwhelming, take a little time to settle in and take in your new surroundings or situation.
-For the first few weeks, start a simple, no-brainer fitness routine two or three days per week. Jumping back on your old horse of six-days-per-week training, balls-to-the-wall intensity won’t work. Small steps.
-Change and advance one thing at a time. Instead of altering and modifying your workout plan, eating habits and any other factor at the same time, take one thing, change it for two weeks and then move on to something else. Two weeks is the perfect amount of time to enact a new habit and make it stick.
-Build on it. Over time and when a significant amount of habits are back in your life be sure to challenge yourself. Yes, you will work hard to adapt to your new situation, but that isn’t a green light to take it easy.
-Try something new. Here is your opportunity to do a few things you’ve never tried before. Maybe throw in a few circuits or HIIT into your training, play around with meal timing or add in some sports for cardio. Whatever you decide just get out of your comfort zone and have a little fun.
Here are a couple of examples of training programs that utilize minimal amounts of equipment:
Here is no doubt that my buddy Kevin will face many challenges when it comes to his fitness goals, but I have faith that he will go well equipped with the principles above and make the necessary adjustments to succeed.
Are you in or about to embark on a new life changing event? What challenges are you facing?