Ol’ Ebenezer Scrooge had a bit too much of it. But a healthy amount of greed – or ambition – is a good thing.
A Healthy Amount of Greed
An unhealthy amount of greed can ruin a life. It can blind a person to everything around them that is good, and fix their focus on wanting more of something they don’t need. But, a healthy amount of greed – which you could also call desire, or ambition – can help a person persevere and achieve all that they strive for. Healthy greed also means knowing when to quit.
Instead of reaching for the stars we often reach for the nearest branch.
Something that I’ve heard all throughout high school, college, and into the work force – that is also prevalent in the fitness industry – is that you should be setting ‘attainable’ goals. Bullshit.
When it comes to fitness, most things you desire are attainable if you’re truly prepared to put the work in, but also prepared to fail a lot, but continue to persevere.
The thing is, people rarely go after all that they want. They go after something that they want, yes, but a goal that won’t take too much dedication.
Am I saying to not set attainable goals? No. What I am saying is have an ultimate end goal, then set shorter, more attainable goals along the way. I’m also saying to not shortchange yourself. If you have an incredible dream, and you fall just short, you’re going to be a hell of a lot more satisfied and happy in failure, than you would be in achieving something that wasn’t all that hard to do.
Greed and Training
Typically two answers come up when I ask people what their fitness goals are: to build muscle, or to lose fat. That’s it. 95% of the time those are the two answers I hear, and nothing more. But I’m willing to bet that if I were phrase the question something like this: “if you could construct your ideal body, what would you change about your current physique,” the list of answers would be much different, and much longer.
I’d hear things like: “I’d like to build muscle, but not just muscle, I want 6 pack abs, broader shoulders, oh, and I want to be stronger and more powerful. I want to be able to dunk and knock someone out with one punch.” I’m sure we could all go on forever about what our ideal body would look like, but very few of us are actually trying to achieve it.
How Wanting More Can Get You More
I’ll use myself as an example. I have always wanted 3 things when it came to fitness: to be muscular, shredded, and to be athletic. Even a couple years ago when I was weighing no more than 150 pounds I still wanted those same things. And I hadn’t even achieved one of them to the degree that I wanted for my first 7 years of training! I had big goals, I just hadn’t figured out a way to achieve them yet.
I failed time and time again, but I realized that failure is a part of the process, it’s how we learn, but it also makes the final destination that much sweeter.
Here are some changes I made to my routine that helped me turn things around. Changes that you can implement into your routine today.
Changes in my Routine
- I was boxing at the time so I needed my lungs and muscular endurance as much as I needed speed and power. But I took out the long runs and added in HIIT in the form of sprints, the bike, but also bodyweight circuit training.
- Lifted heavy. Before this, all of my lifting was either for reps, or for hypertrophy. Now, I added in some heavier sets as well.
- Added in some ‘athletic exercises.’ I added in Olympic lifts and plyometrics which helped improve my power a lot when it came to the ring. I did heavier sets of 3 reps, all the way up to endurance sets of 20+ reps once in a while as well.
- Added in challenges to keep things competitive and to track my results (kind of like the free challenge workout I give away when you sign up on the site).
Changes in my Nutrition
- Bigger breakfasts, actually way bigger breakfasts.
- Every meal – including snacks – had a source of lean protein like fish, chicken, or beef, a good fat like avocado, fish oils, or almonds, and a good carb like veggies, or a whole wheat grain.
- Started drinking 4 liters of water daily (1 gallon).
Changes in my Supplementation
- Added in more carbs during and after my workouts to give my body the fuel it needed in the form of a sports drink, adding honey to my water or even chocolate milk. Along with the protein I’d have before and after as well.
- I took a multivitamin right after my workout as well to replenish the muscles that I had broken down during exercise.
What is your END GOAL with regards to fitness or life?