Just take a whole year …

Just a quick remodelling of your own body? It’ll all be over in a couple of weeks, right? About the approach of taking it easy for a whole year – but enjoying other benefits in return.

Lots of new muscles – in no time at all!

Get to work! Now quickly gain 10 pounds of mass – and that in 14 days. It should be possible. At least that’s what the advertisements of the countless supplement manufacturers claim again and again. If there was nothing to it, it would be a lie – and therefore prohibited, right?

One way or another they begin, the best stories of failure. Often they begin with an attempt to build Rome in a day. And end up with one more frustrated training dropout a short time later.

Please don’t get me wrong: I am neither against setting ambitious goals nor against an optimistic and courageous basic attitude. But what I consider dispensable is: an unworldly view of things, which almost pre-programmes both disappointment and depression. Mindset or not, positive thinking alone will not teach you to fly – and I assume you are not a bird.

Short term or long term?

There is a very good and fitting saying about this: “People overestimate what they can achieve in the short term and underestimate what they can achieve in the long term.” And if you’ve been around the world long enough, you know that’s true. Constant dripping wears the stone, and with marked consistency, opportunities arise that you hadn’t even seen before.

Better to take the pressure off?

But what does that mean in concrete terms? Perhaps one thing above all: to take the pressure out. What would be, if you trained calmly but really consistently for a while? This process should be accompanied by attentive observation, without being thrown off course by every fluctuation of the day. According to the motto: “Let’s see if it pays off after a year. But at least then I really tried.”

If you do, then do it properly: a whole year at once. And consistently.

So give yourself enough time to realize your goals with hard and consistent work. Don’t rush through a few weeks or months, but keep the big picture in mind: your well-trained body, which should accompany you through the rest of your life. So this is more about a marathon than a sprint.

The slow changes: Step by step by step…

In different areas of life one often makes the following experience: What comes quickly, is also quickly gone again. But what comes slowly, stays longer. And this could also be the case with mass construction: Hard and painstakingly fought for body substance remains longer, even if a break in training becomes necessary.

It’s a lot like trying to lose weight: Physiologically, fat loss takes time, so many people take rather dubious measures: They reduce water in the body. Although this happens quickly, it also has unpleasant side effects, which can even lead to the health risks of dehydration. All this for the “success” of seeing a different figure on the scales? Because the unpleasant fat is still there for the most part.

Of course there are parallels to this weight loss scenario when trying to build up muscles: If it is possible to bring water into the muscle fibres (cells), then the muscles as a whole become fuller and firmer. Although this has nothing to do with a “real” hypertrophy, which is caused by the increase in contractile elements (myofibrils, which are responsible for contraction), but: the muscles become visibly larger. This is achieved by supplementing creatine or by loading them with carbohydrates, but these processes naturally have their natural limits. Once the muscle cells are saturated with creatine or carbohydrates, no further loading will occur.

So if you want muscle growth based on the increase of active substance, you will not be able to avoid one: The lengthy process that the hard trained muscles need for the snail’s pace growth. A further acceleration of these processes is still possible by using hormonally active substances, but that is another topic.

Not everything is visible: About the “inner values”

Finally, one should not forget about those changes that are not visible to the naked eye. But it could be precisely these changes that play a central role in maintaining health and well-being, such as strong ligaments and tendons. After all, these structures must also be able to cope with the increased strength of the trained muscles without being damaged.

Even a year goes by …

It may sometimes seem like an eternity, but even a whole year passes at some point. The mental difficulties in dealing with this initially very long period of time become less from month to month, and at some point the following happens: You just do your thing. Just do it, without any ifs and buts. Because you get used to doing your training: Everything that once became a habit and routine is much easier to get out of hand than new behavior.

So: Stay consistently on it! Work your way forward from day to day in the beginning, and don’t forget to celebrate your small successes: Nothing can be taken for granted! Every step forward, no matter how small, counts – and together with many more small steps, a considerable distance is covered at the end. But be careful and don’t fall into the trap of frustration, because everything goes too slowly for you: Do what you can do and then let your body grow. It will take time, but remember: these gains will last longer than quick “build-up” thrusts of semi-dubious miracle drugs.

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