You may have noticed the word efficient. I did not say realistic because I think focussing on realistic sets you up for less than what you are capable of. I did not say fast or quick because achieving a fitness/health goal in this manner tends to come with short-term and or suboptimal results.
I used the word efficient because we want to progress towards our goals in a way that satisfies the dichotomy of significant progress obtained in a time frame that promotes long-term and high-quality results.
Alright, if we want to set efficient fitness goals, we need to understand accurate expectations of what will maximize progress while protecting the quality of the results and the long term ability to sustain these results, relative to the goal we want to achieve.
The unit of measure for progression rate varies depending on what goal you are after. In future articles, I will describe in detail the rate of progress we should be aiming for when it comes to fat loss, muscle gain, and strength-based goals.
This article will focus on explaining the pros and cons of quick and slow goal attaining, and how to satisfy the best dichotomy between these 2 contrasting ideas.
It is easy to get wrapped up in the desirable traits that one end of the spectrum for progression obtains. For people who view speed as the be-all-end-all, they forget that with too much speed comes less quality results and puts you in a poorer position for long term goal sustaining.
Going Too Fast:
Let’s use fat loss as an example. Let’s say you decide you want to lose 5 pounds every week. Unless you are a 350-pound individual with a high body fat percentage, this is far too rapid a rate for fat loss.
Sure, you will see those quick results you crave. But in this scenario, we can’t have the best of both worlds. We can not have both fast and high-quality results. We will lack the ability to and will almost surely lose muscle. Not to mention, our performance in the gym will go down, so performance-based goals will suffer.
The process to achieve this fat loss will also be miserable in all likelihood. Oh, and you are priming yourself to put the weight right back on.
It is when we get so fixated on the speed of results that we lose sight of the importance to sustain these results over the long term, and we lose sight of the importance of ensuring these results are achieved in a quality manner, so we don’t sacrifice all of the positive components going for us such as muscle mass, strength levels, and overall lifestyle quality.
Alright, let’s look at the flip side.
Going Too Slow:
Sticking with the fat loss example, nobody wants to spend 4 years to lose 50 pounds of fat. There is no need to intentionally move at turtle speed. There is no deadline for goals and if you are not concerned about how long it takes you to achieve your goals, that’s cool. But we can achieve goals with some degree of expediency AND achieve these goals in a high-quality fashion.
Also, achieving goals with some degree of speed allows us to form an actionable plan with specific and large enough actions to know exactly what we need to be doing, and it allows us to easily monitor the progress to make adjustments when needed.
If you want to lose 50 pounds in 1 year, for example, that would imply an average caloric deficit of 500 calories per day. This is a totally reasonable rate of fat loss for many people, and the significance of the action (calorie deficit) is enough to ensure we actually make a change, thus inducing results.
Compare this to someone who doesn’t care about how fast they lose the fat and it takes them 4 years to lose 50 pounds. That would imply an average daily calorie deficit of 125 calories. This is a much more minute change in calorie consumption, making it much more difficult to implement. Not to mention, the progress will come very slow and it will be difficult to make adjustments when needed to continue that progress, as noticing trends in our progress becomes tedious with a very slow progression rate.
It is important to understand what a reasonable rate of progress is so we can aim for somewhere in that ballpark. Knowing what rate of progress is to be expected, we can also prevent a poor mindset from developing. If you think you aren’t making enough progress, when in reality, you might be making great progress, it can lead to an uphill mental battle.
I really do hope this article has been able to provide you with some insight on how you can best achieve your goals when it comes to your rate of progress. I want nothing more than for you to achieve your goals in a timely manner while not sacrificing the quality of your results or the long term sustainability of them, either. I am sure you desire the same.
Thank you very much for reading today’s article. I wish you a tremendous rest of your day. If you have thoughts or questions on what was discussed here today, please do leave them in the comment section and I will be sure to respond as I always do. If you think this is an article that can serve people you know some good, give it a share so they can benefit just like you.
Thanks again, take care, and I hope to see you back here on Thursday, for my next article! 😀
Here are some other articles that may be beneficial for your knowledge!
Until Next Time,
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