Be In It For The Long Game

A lot of motivation comes from a short term stimulus that brings you towards taking action. But what happens when that is over. You either lose focus, because you don’t feel like it is worth all of the effort, or you get there and try to figure out what to do next. This leads to very inconsistent training periods and a lack of direction.

The day my training took a turn for the better, was when I stopped chasing the “holiday body” or the percentage body fat and focused on performance. I reached a point where I wanted to get more out of training and wanted to build the most rounded version of me as I could. Incorporating strength training, cardio, yoga, circuits and LOTS of stretching. I had a starting point for each different element and focused on chipping away, bit by bit and slowly improving on them.

Falling in love with the process, I physically and mentally saw improvements not only in my performance when carrying out the different disciplines, but my mindset towards training changed completely and left me stimulated. I found myself thinking of the long term, sometimes a part of me would say “do this now, and your older self will love you for it”, and that would be enough to keep my motivation levels high. Rightly so. The more you look after your body and put into it, the more you will get out of it, its that simple. I’m not saying to suddenly try and do as much as possible to play catch up with all of the training you’ve missed out on.  What I am saying, is if you have an aspect that falls behind everything else in your training (cardio, flexibility etc.), don’t continue to push it to the side. Make a start on improving right from the beginning, even if you can’t touch your toes or run for 5 minutes straight. Once you make a start, improvements will come bit by bit and eventually your weakness will be one of your strengths.

Everything you are doing now with your body, be it nutritionally or physically will undoubtedly have an effect on your state physically and mentally in the future. When you have this in your head and take action on it, the way you think about what you’re training and why you are training completely changes.

Surround Yourself With People That Uplift You

_74A5748 1.jpg

“You are the company you keep”, no doubt a phrase everyone has been told at some point in their life. Whether or not you believe it is a whole separate story. One thing I will say, is that it definitely makes a difference. Especially when it comes to your journey of discovering your physical potential.

It all relates back to what your main reason for training is, what your why is. If you are embarking on a new goal, trying to lead a healthy life, or chasing a dream. Being in the environment of people who know exactly what they are training for, will undoubtedly motivate you, make it more enjoyable and keep you on the right track when you have those questionable days. Don’t get me wrong, I am not describing some sort of super crew that goes to the gym everyday, doesn’t slip up on diet and are a group of machines. It is more about being a group of individuals that have the same desire to reach their goals. Large or small.

You may not have the luxury of having these characters in your social group. Which then leads me to say that your environment will play a huge part in your progression as an individual. By indirectly surrounding yourself with people of similar mind set, even though you may not be directly interacting with them, you will feed off their energy and be forced to train with the focus that is required to see progression. This may be a great gym, that the serious gym goers are signed up to, the training facility that all of the dedicated athletes train at or the club that has the best players.

If none of these are available to you, but you want to achieve. Seek help. Any decent trainer is more than happy to discuss basics with you without charging by the word. Then when you see that the knowledge actually makes a difference, you will see the added value of working with one. Sometimes the most difficult journey seems unbearable until you realise you have the support system in place to get you there, be it friends, peers or professionals.

However you look at it, being around people that are driven and motivated, directly or indirectly, will have an effect on your progression. Be sure to put yourself in this position, and see how much of a difference it makes to your training and also how much more you enjoy yourself.

 

Do You Enjoy Training?

Enjoyment plays a huge part in the continuation of your development when it comes to, not only getting to a certain level physically, but staying there. You’d be amazed by the amount of faces I see in the gym that have “I don’t want to be here” written all over them. Then bodes the question, if you don’t want to be here, then are you making the most out of your time? Or are you going through the motions, just to tick off another session on the calendar for peace of mind?

Far too often people start of with the right intentions, a full head of goals and heaps of motivation. But also far too often, somewhere along the line, that disappears and there is a feeling of monotony, boredom and unfulfillment.  This is down to people losing sight of the bigger picture of what training is all about.

I would say that at some level, most people that go to the gym, are chasing an aesthetic goal. Which is absolutely fine, everyone has a degree of vanity to them, be it hardly any or far too extreme. That isn’t the issue. When you focus on what you are looking like in the gym every day, rather than what you are actually doing in the gym everyday, you are on a downwards slope.

Our bodies are made to move and have the potential to achieve amazing things. When we focus on accomplishment and performance, the feeling you get when training takes a shift from focusing on the mirrors, to actually realising there is a lot more you can achieve physically when you put your mind to it. The feeling of running a faster time, lifting a heavier weight or pulling your own bodyweight for the first time is unparalleled. Naturally, the by product of this shift in focus, distracts you from your original aesthetic goals, all in the mean time helping you achieve them.

All it takes is one goal to get yourself started. There are an abundance of physical challenges to always chase, whether you want to get stronger, start calisthenics, run faster or improve at a sport. But if you are always chasing a weight or physique, when you finally reach it, then what? You wont stay in the same shape for the rest of your life once you get there, so is it worth it?

Are you chasing a performance goal, or simply wanting to look a certain way? Shift your focus away from what you look like, even if it is temporarily, and drop me an email if you genuinely don’t get a good feeling after doing something you never thought your body could achieve.

Discover your potential.

The Importance of Realistic Goals

Goal setting is a strategy that can be applied to all walks of life. I strongly believe in the use of it, personally and when starting out with new clients. At surface level, most people I have come across that discuss why they are training give me a definitive main goal. Such as I want to lose ‘x’ amount of weight, I want to look a certain way or I want to perform ‘y’ performance goal. However, when you take a closer look internally at your goals there are effective principles that you can implement to ensure you maximise your opportunity to succeed. The first of which is to make sure your goals are SMART. Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-Bound.

SPECIFICITY is one of the main components that will guide you to your desired outcome quicker than anything else. Getting side tracked along the way or just working out for the sake of it leads people to believe they are getting closer to their goal, when really they are just standing still.

MEASURABILITY ensures you are able to track your progress throughout your journey. If you start a journey at point A with point B in sight and just aimlessly wander you wont know if you are moving in the right direction. Giving yourself weekly/monthly/quarterly goals will ensure you stay on track.

ATTAINABILITY is vital when wanting to get motivation from a goal. Too difficult or challenging and you will soon find yourself building negative associations to training, with a feeling of failure. Conversely, having a goal that is too easy isn’t very motivating. You want to strike a balance between something you can’t do currently but something you want to do but can’t presently.

RELEVANCE will determine whether you reach your goal sooner rather than later. You are much more likely to reach your desired goal if what you do on a weekly basis contributes directly to what you are trying to achieve. If you are aiming for weight loss, let your main focuses be your food intake and activity levels. Performance, make sure the exercises you are completing have carry over into your specific discipline.

TIME – BOUND goals give you a feeling of a deadline. They don’t allow you to sit back into your comfort zone and relax at your current level. This is only a good thing, because the second you get too comfortable, bad habits start to creep in. Which then leads to losing track of the finish line and swerving off course.

A few other principles I have found really useful are post it notes and rewards. They may seem a bit unorthodox but they hold great value in helping you discover your potential. A small reminder with your goals on them, such as a post it note with “a portion of protein in each meal” or “3 workouts this week” can work wonders on your mental focus towards training. Stuck in the places you can’t avoid them, on your computer screen, you’ll always be reminded of the important steps. Finally, you need to reward yourself when you reach a milestone along the way. Otherwise you will find yourself lacking motivation. Buy yourself a new piece of gym clothing, have a nice meal or something you’ve been craving for a while. Just don’t let it take you off track permanently. 

What’s your why? Everyone has physical potential.

Whether you are an elite sportsperson or a recreational gym goer, there are always days that you would rather skip going to train, or days that you can’t be bothered. It takes something a lot more meaningful than “everyone else is doing it” to get you through these sessions.

It’s very hard to ignore your health and wellbeing at this time of the year. With all of the gym membership offers thrown in your face and health and fitness everywhere in the media. But you shouldn’t just succumb to the pressures of the masses, because “everyone else is doing it”. It won’t last.

Whether you are chasing that place in the team or a personal goal. YOU need to want to do it. Nobody else. This inner motivation, the desire, will prove the difference between you starting on a journey with no limits, truly discovering your potential. Or embarking on a hobby that will last until a hard day comes and something better comes along.

It is one of the main questions in every consultation I take with prospective clients. If, from the offset, you can identify your why, then it becomes a journey and not a burden. Believe it or not, everyone has some level of physical potential. Some more so than others. But there is potential in everyone. The second you recognise this; you open up a whole new realm in your progression. Set yourself a goal, large or small, reach it, and the feeling of achievement is infectious.

Discover Your Potential Weekend

 

Really pleased to be able to confirm my first weekend break, supporting and enhancing your journey of health and fitness. The location is breath-taking and provides no room for distraction throughout the weekend. Set in the Sussex countryside, you will have the opportunity to take part in conditioning, HIIT, yoga, deep tissue massage treatments and a nutritional workshop, with all nutrition throughout the weekend fully catered for.

I have had requests from current clients to host a challenging but also relaxing weekend to be able to focus on themselves and their goals. It was a no brainer to get this all organised and bring together a team consisting of chefs, a masseuse and a yoga instructor to build a full package. Put simply it will be the perfect opportunity to reassess goals, create new ones, all while getting away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

If you love to push yourself, and want to spend a weekend with other inspiring characters, this weekend is definitely for you!

Contact me through the site or email info@leosavagept.com for more information and availability.

Refinery29 - Should I Be Taking Protein Powder?

It's always good to be able to talk to publications and share knowledge to those that wouldn't know otherwise. The guys at Refinery29 wanted to talk protein and protein powders. Growing up competing and studying, I had my own questions surrounding the topic, which made it a great conversation to have. It makes for an easy read and hopefully you take away something you didn't know from the article! Click here to see it in full.

Tour De Law WINNER - Client Sophie Lees

Anybody with an ounce of competitiveness in them, is sporty and happens to work in one of the top law firms in UK will have heard of the annual “Tour de Law” indoor cycle for charity.  The challenge is a cycle for time, going as far as you can in 15 minutes.  All is done to raise money for Breast Cancer Care, a great cause.

 

I received a casual text from my client Sophie this week telling me she thinks she did well on the ride. Turns out she won! She was the best female rider with a distance of 10.22km cycled in 15 minutes. I forgot to mention that Sophie is in the middle of a competitive netball season and had heavy legs from our session earlier on in the week. No doubt in my mind at all that she could have gone further with fresh legs!

 

Anyway, well done Soph! Definitely deserved! Proud trainer over here!

Sweet Potato Toast

At a first glance, I thought that sweet potato doesn't belong in the toaster. But I was really tempted when I saw this method floating around the internet.

Perfect for a post workout meal or dinner on a training day, I thought I would give it a try. Got in late last night after work and couldn't really be bothered as I thought it would take a while. But the whole prep and cooking took 35-40 minutes max.

  • Fry diced + seasoned chicken breast in pan with coconut oil
  • Toast the sweet potato. Note that it takes a few pops to be cooked.
  • Fry the vegetables in coconut oil for a few minutes.
  • Serve!

Transformation - Eugenia

By watching what she ate and increasing the amount of exercise she did, Eugenia lost 12kg and dropped 2 dress sizes.

Back in May, Eugenia had become unhappy with her fitness levels and physically with how she felt. She wasn't keeping an eye on what she ate, due to her busy schedule and had no time for any physical activity.  She had the best motivation to get her back on track, her wedding day in the August bank holiday and was raring to go.

We started with the basics with Eugenia. Food. The main thing being controlling her portion sizes as this was a silent killer for her. Quite often she would tell me that she would get carried away with eating "healthy" foods, thinking it was ok to eat as much as she wanted because they were good for you. This isn't the case. Especially when it comes to weight loss. We also started a weights programme with myself, coupled with independent cardio sessions. 

The amount of discipline and commitment Eugenia showed was unquestionable. She has taken everything we have done, and changed the way that she sees food and exercise completely. 

She looked amazing on her wedding day, and I was so proud of her. You can see how much happier she is in her photos, and that makes all of the hard times so much more worth it!