Whether the goal is to become healthier than you have been, avoid that seasonal depression, or just to become shredded before its the warm seasons again, here are some tips to begin a workout transformation! We’ll walk through some of the major mindsets and ideas to get you started on a chilly season’s workout goal. The hardest part is getting started so let’s go!
1. The Metamorphosis Mindset
So what is the metamorphosis? In dictionary terms, it is a transformation involving two or more distinct stages. In this case, you want to build your body and illicit some real change that you’ve been seeking. What better opportunity than using the seasons in which everyone is bundled up to make out like an actual caterpillar and transform yourself. Just think of your giant puffy jacket as a cocoon and no, I am not joking.
If a metamorphosis involves two or more distinct stages, then the first is the mindset. Without a goal or a destination, you are going to drift around and never end up where you want to go. If you want to workout seriously and transform yourself you should emulate the people who have the physique that you want. If you want to bulk up then pay close attention to how Tom Hady got beefed to play Bane if you want to be athletic and lean then look at Brad Pit in fight club. Different body types require different exercise focuses.
Once you have decided who you want to emulate begin to lay out a plan for how you will do so. The plan is a non-compromisable everyday grind that begins as soon as you lay it out. This grind is part of the mindset and if you are going to make real progress in around 6 months of cold weather then you have to dedicate time every day. Remember that it’s okay to fall off the wagon from time to time and everyone gets busy but if you are really dedicated you will notice you have drifted and get back on course.
2. Every Body Is Different
It’s important to remember when making your personal workout change that every body is different. That word is separated for a reason because we are referring to both different people and different body types. The point at which you begin to seriously workout may not be the same point as someone who is slim but not muscular or has some excess body fat or has never worked out before. That’s okay because no matter where you start from you can begin to make real progress and it’s important to pay attention to yourself, not to judge yourself based on others.
This is also crucial when it comes to your workout design because every body responds differently. If you are focused on getting big and gaining mass then you will design your workout with little cardio and large amounts of weight training. If you are focused on slimming down then cardio is a must and should be an everyday activity. Similarly, if you just want to become physically stronger then incorporate everything and really focus on raising your limits.
That being said, different body types may respond to different workout methods, everything is trial and error at first. Some people may have positive growth from bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, etc. While others may see more significant results from lifting weights. It is important to stress though, that cardio even in it’s most minimal form is crucial for building a healthy body.
3. Work Hard or Work Long
One of the most important tips I can give when it comes to working out is that you can workout hard or you can workout long, but you can’t do both. What do I mean by this? If you give an exercise your all and lift very heavily with few breaks in-between than your body will wear itself out very quickly but you can shock the muscle in this way. If you do a long series of workouts based on muscle endurance you can build real long term strength while taking breaks to minimize your exhaustion.
Neither one of these workout methods is superior to the other and it is important to state that you may need both to create a real metamorphosis. Your body will soon become used to your one-hour grind sessions every day and you may see your growth slow down. At these times it is important to “shock” the muscle by doing a very intense workout that may only last 8 minutes. Although it doesn’t seem like much, our bodies are hard-wired to develop in ways that help us in our day to day movements and this variation can stop the muscles from getting too comfortable.
That being said, variation is key. Growth both personally and physically requires doing things that we are unused to or that make us uncomfortable. Working out consistently may make you uncomfortable but you have to commit to it. The second you feel yourself getting comfortable, switch up your workout to do something you are unused to. This type of constant shock will keep your body growing and improve your personal confidence to take on new tasks.
Workouts and mental dedication do not form the complete picture when it comes to a metamorphosis. If you are seeking real change and want your body to respond you must also look at your nutritional habits. Notice I don’t say dieting habits because a diet implies a way of feeding yourself that is temporary. Nutrition is making sure that your body is getting the right vitamins and nutrients it needs to promote your transformation on a day to day basis.
Again, like anything else nutrition is highly based on how your body handles food and your metabolism. If you find it hard to gain mass you may have to incorporate more protein into your diet and more meals than you are traditionally used to. If you suffer from a slower metabolism you may need to incorporate more vegetables and leafy greens that take more time to burn in the stomach. Trial and error are normal for finding out how you can change your eating habits to make them more healthy while discovering what you can manage long term.
However, if you are trying to gain more mass or more definition it is a safe bet to cut back on sugars. Considering that this is a winter workout metamorphosis it will be hard. The holidays are ripe with cakes candy and pies. I am not saying to avoid these completely and cheat days may come around but be careful not to make a habit of constant sweet consumption over the winter months. Opt for healthy alternatives or artificial sweeteners.
It is important when we talk about this seemingly quick growth and transformation that we also discuss rest. Although it seems like a relentless grind is all that is needed to achieve your goals you must also make time for rest. Interestingly enough, your body does all of its growth while it is resting. Workouts build the signals but it is rest that builds the muscle.
This means plenty of sleep, at least 8 hours a night if you can manage. Heavy workout days can leave your body drained, luckily if you’re someone who has regular trouble sleeping this could benefit you. Try and set up a sleep schedule so that you get that rest your body needs. If you don’t give your body time to sleep eventually it will make time for you.
Proper rest also means that you cannot spend every day at the gym. Give yourself one or two rest days per week between winter workouts so that your body can keep that same energy. If you really crave the grind I’ll go ahead and say that cardio and abs are acceptable to be performed every day with no rest days safely. Every caterpillar has to sleep in the cocoon and you’re no different, so get out there and get to work but don’t forget to get your sleep!