The KEY to SUCCESS is to BELIEVE, VISUALISE and TRUST that by taking small steps each day, even if you are met with never ending obstacles, you will reach your goals. Those obstacles will encourage you to push further and challenge your mind in ways you never thought you could.
When I first began my health and fitness journey back in 2013 I wanted to challenge myself in ways I never had before. I had grown up in a family where alternative practices and treatments were prevalent, and the use of organic and natural remedies over mainstream pharmaceuticals was a must, unless the latter was absolutely necessary.
In 2014, I decided I wanted to test how much muscle mass I could build using a holistic and natural approach as much as possible. This method consisted of no supplementation natural or artificial, minimal meat and high carbohydrate and fruit intake. I had conducted a lot of personal research on bodybuilding and nutrition, and what I discovered was that consuming a diet rich in vegetables, fruit, healthy carbohydrates and minimal meat was excellent for building muscle mass without any additional supplementation or support required, as the five major food groups were being met as well as the necessary vitamins and minerals one must consume.
As you can imagine I was met with opposition by gym peers and friends because I was taking an alternative approach over mainstream practices to build muscle. Some of the statements I received were, “There’s no way you can get big without supplements or steroids,” and, “You would be lucky if you gained one kilo a year on your diet.” Despite these preconceived beliefs, opinions and perceptions from peers and friends, I continued with my natural method and BELIEVED wholeheartedly that I could achieve my goals.
I would spend each day visualising my chosen aesthetic and took steps to achieve that desired physique I dreamed of receiving one day.
I trained for an hour and a half, six days a week, performing weight exercises as well as up to 15 minutes of light cardiovascular exercises, such as walking on the treadmill. I ate three large and two small meals a day. I regularly set a new goal for myself to achieve and, in just ONE year I gained a considerable amount of muscle mass and dramatically transformed my body beyond any of my expectations.
Since then I have applied the KEY to SUCCESS strategy to different areas in my training and soon hope to in all areas of my life. I just want to end with emphasising that if you choose to experiment with a non-conventional approach, I strongly advise that you don’t speak about it with peers until you have completed what you set out to achieve or showcase your work through example in order to reduce opposition from peers which may impact your results. Always choose what works for you even if it’s different from what others choose.
The main point I would like to get across with this story is that although conventional practices have a high success rate and have been used for decades, for example, protein supplementations such as shakes, bars, cookies, caffeinated pre-workout powder, pancakes etc., they may not always be the healthiest, best option for every individual or the only option for that matter. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different methods to discover what works for you, even if it sounds absurd, as there is no one size fits all and I am living proof that it can be achieved without additional support of these highly popularised products.
Words by Matthew Besz
Images by Oliver White