How many masters do you have?

Posted on April 10, 2012. Filed under: Exercise, Nutrition | Tags: , , , , , , |

“No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon”

I have often found the quote about serving two masters interesting. The original writing of it is fund in the bible and is used to explain that one cannot serve god and their own desires at the same time. It can also be stated when it comes to accomplishing a fitness goal. Think of it as the opposite extreme of those who find one way of thinking like I referred to last week. They try to do everything at once and end up nowhere. One must have focus to get specific things done

As world class Coach Dan John would say. The goal is the goal is the goal.


For example the other day a member asked me what they can do for fat loss. I explained the basics; reduce refined carbs (I find saying eliminate on day 1 sends them running for the hills), more veggies, more protein, healthy fats, lift weights, etc.

As the conversation goes on the member the member gradually leads the conversation to how he also wishes to gain size in his shoulders.

Can anyone see a problem here?


Now I would never say it’s impossible for someone to lose fat and gain muscle. Because it’s not. Your body is in a constant position of metabolic function and anything is possible with the right planning. However…

More often than not if you are focused on one thing you cannot do the other.

Many athletes will get leaner and gain muscle through the course of their training it is true. The thing is in that situation. More often than not that was not the goal. The goal was to get better at their chosen sport. The getting leaner along with gaining muscle more often than not was a side effect. Trust me, I have been around enough athletes of variety of ages, that I am surprised if their eating habits are NOT horrible.

I explained to the member he needed to pick a goal and stick with it. Whether it was gaining shoulder size or leaning down. He needs to put that as his target for the next month or so. Then reevaluate and either continue or choose his next goal.

Now in full disclosure could I have suggested a way for his to accomplish both goals? Yes. But I didn’t. And I’m not going to.

Why you might ask. Too many masters involved in his routine from my observation. And I do not get involved in those types of debates any more. When you have too many chefs in the kitchen, who knows what’s going to end up in the recipe.

See if these sounds familiar:

The exercise master.

This is usually persona is usually developed from a composite of friends and magazine articles telling us this special routine is the way to “get gunz” or “lose the muffin top.” Our exercise master is a devious one. It appeals to our desire to justify ourselves without pushing ourselves.

I personally fell victim to this when I was trying to gain enough muscle mass to get over 200 lb. I knew power cleans and squats were what I should be doing but I kept dodging them and staying at 190. Our friend I’m describing already has a special shoulder routine where he hits the shoulders from every angle, except for an actual free weight shoulder press. Guess what he probably should be doing?


The social master.

Oooo, you know about this one don’t you. Whispers in your ear to go talk to your gym friend between sets when you know you should only allow yourself 60 seconds. Watch the TV in the gym even though there is nothing on it you would listen to normally. Tells you to check your cell phone, fiddle with the mp3 player or ipod.

Our friend is a trifecta, fiddler, TV watcher, and talks on his cell between sets.

Side note: When I have my own gym there will be no cells allowed on the gym floor. None


Alchemy master.

This is our dear friend who keeps telling us all we need is that latest supplement to get our results. Because the magazine tells us it’s “cutting edge science”… excuse me a moment


*sigh* Ok, where was I? Oh yeah, supplements.

The moment our friend tried to convince me that his NO product was something it wasn’t because his ‘friend’ at GNC told him so. I knew I should tread lightly.

Oh, another side note: NO (Nitrous Oxide) supplements suck. I mean they really REALLY suck. There is no proven benefit from them whatsoever. OK, that may be stretching it. I’m sure there is some benefit. But the amount you would have to take on a consistent benefit would cost you hundreds of dollars a month. Whereas equal or greater benefit from creatine, would cost you $20 for 3 months, and that’s from top of the line quality products.

So if you are following the routine for muscle gain, and taking supplements for fat loss, and then giving yourself distractions so you’re not putting forth the effort to see results from either. You are not going to get very far

Despite what many believe you can’t multi task fitness. So how do we find the balance between tunnel vision and ADD?  I will give my .02 in a bit. But this blog has already become way to long.

Keep Fitness Groovy

Coach W


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