Concentrate on the things that matter
Majoring in the minors is a very common mistake that we’ve all made in the past. It is a crippling mistake that can set us back or even prevent us from even getting started. Basically, majoring in the minors means that we’re worrying about the things that don’t really matter – yet.
This is very common when it comes to training and nutrition. I’m going to break down training and nutrition to the simplest forms. With training, all you need to do is show up, consistently work hard with proper technique and do that for a long period of time. With nutrition, it is all about calories in vs calories out. If you want to build muscle and grow, you need to be eating in a slight caloric surplus. If you want to lose fat while maintaining muscle, you need to be eating in slight caloric deficit. In both cases, you need to be eating an appropriate amount of protein. In my opinion, training consistently and eating properly for your goals is 90% of the game.
What I find often happens is that people (especially beginners) get stuck thinking about the 10% and fail to focus on the 90% that actually matters. Should I eat a low carb diet or a low fat diet? It doesn’t really matter. What about good fats? Should I avoid bad fats? It doesn’t really matter. What about intermittent fasting? I heard that’s a great way to lose fat really quickly. It doesn’t really matter. What about the source of carbs? I heard white rice isn’t good for you but brown rice doesn’t taste good. What do I do? It doesn’t really matter. I really like to drink pop, what should I do? Drink diet pop. But I heard diet pop is bad for you… GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
I’m not saying that these things should be neglected. All I’m saying is that if you’re just starting, all you need to do is START. Something is going to be better than nothing. Just show up to the gym twice or three times a week and do that for a few months. Start cutting out processed foods slowly and start to increase your water intake as well. Start to take the stairs in the subway station as opposed to standing in a crowded escalator trying not to look at the person’s butt in front of you. When you’re just starting out, you just need to build good habits and celebrate the small victories. “Wooohoo! I went to the gym twice this week! Woohoo! I’ve been going to the gym for the last month and I didn’t miss a single day!” Just feel good about it. Build good habits and eventually you will begin to enjoy it.
So, once you’ve gotten some momentum rolling and you’ve been consistent with training and building a healthy relationship with food. Now you can start to focus on the minor things. Do you want to eat a low carb diet? Sure. Work your way into it and try it. It might be for you. Do you want to try a low fat diet? Sure. Work your way into it and try it. It might be for you. Do you want to start taking a few supplements you’ve heard good things about? Sure. Try it out and see if it benefits you. Do you want to start taking BCAA’s? Sure. Try it out and see if you think it helps you. I hope you see what I’m getting at. The little things don’t really matter. It usually comes down to personal preference. In terms of trying out something new, I always recommend working your way into it, sticking with it for at least 4-6 weeks and seeing if you feel any different/better.
To wrap it up, concentrate on the big picture. Make sure you have the basic 90% of things that make up the bulk of fitness/health down before you explore the other 10% that can also help you. Major in the majors first. Become great at the majors. Then explore the minor stuff and become even better.
As always, thank you for reading. Share this with a friend who has been majoring in the minors and help them see the light.