3 Pieces of Advice that Will Transform Your Life

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After training for 4 years, I’ve realized that the number one reason people fail at transforming their bodies is their mindset.

Now, the big question is: do YOU have the right mindset to transform your body from skinny-fat to aesthetic?

Do you rely on motivation to get to the gym?

…constantly talk about your fitness goals?

…get confused when you hear experts give different advice on the same topic?

If you’re doing any of the abovementioned things, this article is a must-read for you.

To transform your life (and body), you must:

1. Develop the No-Excuse Attitude in 3 Weeks

I often see people at the gym that come for a few weeks, and then they’re gone for months. Suddenly you see them motivated at the gym again… until they lose motivation.

Let me tell you this: sometimes I’m motivated, sometimes I’m not. Motivation comes and goes. You can’t rely on motivation to make a lasting change in your life.

Nobody is motivated every single day to train and prepare food. If you want results, you need to make this lifestyle a habit, rather than rely on motivation.

In my experience, a habit takes about 3 weeks to develop. That’s why you want to be consistent with this lifestyle for at least 3 weeks.

In the first 3 weeks, you want to do anything you can to make it easier for you to change your lifestyle.

  • Reduce the time you spend on other activities
  • Prepare food every night to have it ready for the next day
  • Do your training first thing in the morning

After 3 weeks you will feel bad about breaking your new habits:

Ohh I didn’t get enough sleep today, maybe I should just skip my workout.

changes to

I didn’t get enough sleep today, but I have worked out every day the past 21 days, so I must also do it today.

You will realize that excuses are a complete waste of time.

The no-excuse attitude get’s you one step closer to developing the mindset of a winner.

However, a lot of people make the mistake of talking a lot about their fitness goals once they start training. That only makes it harder to develop a habit, and here’s why…

2. Stop Talking About Your Goals

In early 2010 I announced to my family that I will transform my physique. They replied:

“But you’ve never been athletic.”

“Be reasonable and focus on school.”

“Just take it easy and exercise once in a while to be healthy.”

They tried to impose limiting beliefs on me, which is normal for people that have known you for a long time.

If they’ve always known you as the skinny-fat guy, there’s no reason for them to believe that you can suddenly transform.

I ignored their limiting beliefs, but I made the mistake of constantly talking about my goals to get validation.

Think about the fat girl that orders a diet soda, and then proceeds to talk about her diet every single time you happen to see her. When you meet her 1 year later she’s still fat.

She’s still fat because excessive talking about your goals results in less incentive to accomplish them.

When you talk about your goals, you trick your mind into thinking that you’ve already accomplished them.

Instead of talking a lot, you want to be a man of action and focus your efforts on achieving your goal.

Once your goal is achieved, feel free to talk about your achievement. It feels much better to just do your thing, and then surprise people with your results.

With that said, it’s fine to talk about your goals with positive, like-minded people. They can contribute with valuable feedback and motivate you to trust your plan when the going get’s tough.

3. Trust Your Plan

One day you read John’s article that advises a bodybuilding 5 day split for muscle growth. The next day you read Ben’s article that advises full body training 2 times a week.

John says that I should train legs once a week with machines, while Ben says I need to barbell squat 2 times a week, who’s right? Let me look for more sources on this…

As a beginner, I would constantly look for more information, with the result being that I confused myself more than I benefitted myself.

That’s why you want to take advice from one person at a time, and trust it.

For instance, take John’s advice of doing a bodybuilding split, and follow it for 4 weeks, without looking for contradictionary information.

After following John’s advice for 4 weeks, you can switch to Ben’s full body training and see how that works for you.

By following one person’s advice at a time, you gain experience by learning how different approaches work for you.

But what if John’s approach works better than Ben’s? Doesn’t matter right now.

Stop looking for contradicting information, because I can already tell you that you will find plenty of that in fitness.

Trust whatever approach you choose for now, and give it your best to make it work. If you don’t trust your plan, it won’t work.

Most training routines and diets will give you results as long as you trust them.

Some advice works better, but the essential part is to learn from the experience you gain from each approach.

During the first one or two years of training you want to learn from your experiences so you can develop your own style of training and eating.

This is best done by following ONE plan at a time.

Conclusion

If you’ve made it this far, you should know that:

  • You need to make your new lifestyle a habit just like tying your shoes
  • …ignore limiting beliefs and only talk about your goals with positive, like-minded people
  • …learn from your experiences to develop your own style of training and eating

2 years into training

But there’s one more thing that I want you to know that’s more important than anything else: there’s no substitute for putting in the time.

It takes a lot of time and effort to change your mindset and get to the point where you have developed your own style of training and eating.

2 years into training I didn’t even look like I had ever lifted a weight. The third year, I would barely make any progress.

I was on the verge to give up, but then things started changing.

I started doing the opposite of what I had done before and gained 13 lbs in 5 months while staying lean!

I was only able to do this because I spent 3 years on developing the right mindset and learning what doesn’t work for me.

I paid my dues, put in the time and stayed persistent to get the results I wanted.

It doesn’t matter if it takes 1, 2 or 3 years to transform your physique. In the end it’s all worth it!

Never quit.

– Oskar

PS: Check BoldAndDetermined.com for great advice on developing your mindset.

   

Download my bodyweight training program for skinny-fat guys (63-page PDF)

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Comments

  1. -Oskar Faarkrog

    Hell yea man. This isn’t a hobby, Its a lifestyle.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Well, training is my hobby now, I love doing it after a long day of studying, but you’re right. To make training worthwhile, you gotta change your lifestyle.

  2. Hi Oskar,

    Great post. I highly agree that you can’t rely on motivation or willpower when wanting to obtain, say, the physique you want. The whole idea of ego depletion testifies this. You have to the automate the action so it doesn’t zap your daily “ego hit points” so to say.

    I experienced this first hand in the most palpable of ways; I was in New York for modelling and I was in decent shape. After a job shooting with one of the most prolific stylists in the industry he told me that they wanted to use me for a story in one the biggest fashion magazines alongside Victorias Secret angels. I was so pumped up and motivated about this that sustained a diet of pushups, pull ups, squats and protein shakes for desserts. And I have never seen anybody achieve results this fast.

    But as soon as I got sick of the industry, I slowly started getting out of shape. Turns out I was relying on motivation all along. The motivation was strong only enough in the beginning to sustain that physique.

    The whole idea of finding out what works for you, regardless of area, and then sticking to it, is something I have to work on a lot.

    Btw, looking forward to meeting up with you, Thomas and Ludvig. As a fellow Copenhagener I need to know where you got your T levels measured.

    All the best, Nicklas Kingo

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks for the comment Nicklas.

      Just read through the article by Dan Ariely, and found this quote to be great:

      In all seriousness though, we’ve all heard time and time again that if you restrict your diet too much, you’ll likely to go overboard and binge at some point. Well, it’s true. A crucial aspect of managing depletion and making good decisions is having ways to release stress and reset, and to plan for certain indulgences.

      I agree with that. I never followed a strict diet 100 % of the time, because I knew I wouldn’t be able to stick to it in the long term. My rule is that I eat well 80-90 % of the time to leave room for occasional indulgence. I do this because the last 10-20 % that consist of indulgence are gonna help me stick to my regime in the long term (keep in mind that pretty much any diet and workout routine will give results as long as you can stick to it).

      The whole idea of finding out what works for you, regardless of area, and then sticking to it, is something I have to work on a lot.

      It’s good that you know what to work on. Perhaps it’s time to mix it up a bit? I found that combining strength training with some kind of sport is a great way to keep things interesting. I used to compete as a male cheerleader and currently I combine my strength training with 2-3 yoga sessions a week.

      As a fellow Copenhagener I need to know where you got your T levels measured.

      Make an appointment with your doctor, and tell them about your low testosterone symptoms. Then ask them to check your testosterone level. Keep in mind that they will most likely not test you if you don’t have the symptoms. Once you get the result, make sure that they print it out and give it to you. Most doctors will tell you that your levels are good, even if your levels are the same as an 84 year old mans (that happened to me)! You want to have a level that is in the high end of the range, since the range goes from something like 10-30 nmol/l, where 10 is something an old man usually has, and 20-30 is what YOU should be at.

      I was in New York for modelling and I was in decent shape. After a job shooting with one of the most prolific stylists in the industry he told me that they wanted to use me for a story in one the biggest fashion magazines alongside Victorias Secret angels.

      Wow, I look forward to hearing about that when we meet up. That sounds like a cool experience!

      See you soon,
      Oskar

  3. Oskar, I just read the post…

    “2. Stop Talking About Your Goals”

    Funny how we both wrote about this. But you were first. So you’ll get the credit when we both die as historic men.

    Best,
    Ludvig

  4. Thanks a ton! I’m meeting with my doctor next week!

  5. Oskar

    I too suffer from very low testosterone. My last physical showed 124 total test – off the charts, low. I know fats are important for improving testosterone. What is your feeling on drinking whole milk as a 37 year old male?

    Thanks,

    Joel

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      That’s very low testosterone, you need to make it your first priority to take care of that.

      How much uninterrupted sleep do you get each night? Have you tried to increase it naturally by sleeping as much as possible and eating more fat?

      I personally can’t drink milk, since I get bad stomach and a lot of acne from all dairy products, but if your body digests it well, I can’t see why it would be a problem.

      • I’m working on getting more sleep – taking your advice on the ZMA – it’s helping me get about 6 hours of sleep, now. I’ve tried to increase fat intake, and I was on Androgel for about 8 months back in 2012, but got worried about all of the side effects and stopped it. My doctor said that as long as I feel ok without the medication, he doesn’t see any reason to keep taking it. But, then again, I think long-term it may be more important to have higher test. levels than worry about the side effects??

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          Everyone is different when it comes to sleep, but I usually get 9 hours a day.

          My endocrinologist told me that once you start testosterone therapy, there’s no way back since your natural production get’s shut down, so taking androgel for 8 months, then quitting it, might have shut down your natural production.

          Are you under the care of an endocrinologist, or just a regular doctor?

          • I’m under the care of both . . Before starting andogel, my total testosterone was down to 88!!!!! I literally had a tough time getting out of bed! The reason it got so bad was I started running a whole lot, ate like a rabit, and was basically in a pattern of severe weight loss and probably some symptoms of anorexia. Now that I’m back on track and eating more protein and fat again. I guess we thought that that alone might help it rise again without androgel. Now I’m thinking I’m better off with the medication.

  6. Great advice man! I’m loving your site! I love the followers that you have man!

  7. Great article, Oskar. Point #3 hits home most with me. I don’t feel like I’m making progress, so I’m constantly “searching” for the magic bullet, i.e. new advice, more books, different websites, etc. I’m trying so hard to make strength gains that I’m getting in my own way and I obviously don’t have the confidence in what I’m doing. I definitely need to change my mindset and commit.

    Thanks

    Joel

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks Joel,

      Definitely commit to whatever approach you’re following. If it turns out that it doesn’t work, you can always look for something new. But to know that, you need to give it time, and your best effort.

  8. Great post Oskar!

    I’m starting to believe more and more that in order to develop a fabulous physique, one has to first get to know how his body works/become one with your physique. By getting really in tune with your body you’ll really get to know how certain foods affect your energy levels, you’ll be able to lift more weights due to an improved mind-muscle connection, you’ll be able to know how much food you need to eat in order to gain muscle mass without the use of a scale, etc.

    I believe that this is the only way you’ll ever be able to reach your true genetic potential.

    And this is not some new age voodoo bs. Becoming one with your body is a SKILL and it takes time, effort and experience to achieve mastery. If you’re not willing to pay the price of admission then I’m sorry to say it, but you’re never really going to get any noticeable amount of muscle mass (this is true for most people).

    Great article Oskar, it really made me think! :)

    Cheers,

    Dejan

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks Dejan, your comment is spot on as usual.

      By getting really in tune with your body you’ll really get to know how certain foods affect your energy levels, you’ll be able to lift more weights due to an improved mind-muscle connection, you’ll be able to know how much food you need to eat in order to gain muscle mass without the use of a scale, etc.

      It’s those kind of “small things” that come with experience. They make a tremendous difference in the end. There’s no book that can teach you all of that.

  9. That’s a great and very useful article Oskar! It hits at the heart of really improving and gives a great reality on what it takes. Keep up the great work! During the holidays the 3 articles you did were terrific and on reading the feedback one reader contradicted your info and just quoted the “experts” – But in the real world very few people can get results with their canned advice and the promise of “quick results” has a person thinking that they failed.

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Thanks for the comment Ron.

      one reader contradicted your info and just quoted the “experts” – But in the real world very few people can get results with their canned advice and the promise of “quick results” has a person thinking that they failed.

      Great point. If it was as simple as following some canned advice, then less people would end up disappointed.

  10. Hi Oskar,

    What did you change up in the end to get the results you always wanted? It does seem a little bit odd that 2 years worth of work didn’t change your physique as you claim…

    • Oskar Faarkrog says:

      Hi Patrick,

      I followed the advice of eating high protein and lifting heavy on the compound lifts. I got stronger, but my physique didn’t change much.

      Then I did something completely different. I started training everyday with bodyweight (high reps instead of low reps), and I was eating a diet that was higher in fat, with less protein.

      Finally, I started gaining muscle. Partly because the higher fat intake increased my low testosterone levels, but also because my body responds better to training everyday, with lighter resistance, but more reps.

      • Right, if you dont mind me asking what was your main fat source? I’m struggling to get more of it in my diet. Did you exhibit all the regular hallmarks of low testosterone as well?

        • Oskar Faarkrog says:

          My main fat sources have been eggs, meat and peanutbutter.

          Yes, I had a testosterone level that is the equivalent of an old mans, and the symptoms were certainly present. I was always fatigued, despressed, had bad memory, low libido, poor recovery from training, shaved like once a month and my body didn’t exactly look like it had enough testosterone.

          I still don’t grow any visible facial hair, but everything else has improved a lot. I believe the improvements were a result of increased fat intake and sleeping without an alarm.

          • Oh boy! I have a deal for you Oskar!
            You can have half of my facial hair growth rate for free.
            Haha….Mine grows so fast and i shave once every week at the least. Apart from it, I have all other symptoms of low testosterone, but it’s better now.

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