Note: This is a guest post from Thomas Rohmer of Rohmer Fitness
Ahh yes Robin Hood, the classic hero who stole from the rich to give to the poor.
There’s a lot you can learn from a fellow like him.
No I’m not talking about learning how to climb trees and shoot arrows with amazing accuracy (even though that’s pretty cool).
I’m talking about a lesson much deeper than that. Your dream body was stolen from you:
- Too much T.V.
- Too much soda.
- Too many potato chips.
- Lack of time.
These things and many others plotted against you.
They lured you in and stole your fit physique without you even noticing.
Then you saw yourself in the mirror one day and thought, “What the hell happened?”
But by that time it was already too late. It’s time to revolt.
It’s time to take back what was yours all along.
It’s time to be Robin Hood…
Robin Hood—Hero? Villain? Let’s Go With Neither
The biggest controversy of the Robin Hood tale is whether or not he was actually a hero. Some see him as a hero because he stole money from the rich to give to the poor. This money was unjustly taxed on the poor, so Robin Hood was only stealing back what was theirs to begin with.
Others see Robin Hood as a crook. Two wrongs don’t make a right. An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind.
Stealing is still stealing. I say who cares what he was? We’re completely missing the point with that question.
Robin Hood didn’t care if what he was doing was right or wrong. He had a mission. Something he believed in.
And he wasn’t going to stop until he achieved his goal. Adopt the same mentality for your fitness quest. Do what’s necessary to get the job done and don’t worry about the consequences.
Forget about all the times you’ve tried and failed. Forget about what your friends will say. Forget about that cookie you ate for lunch.
None of that matters now. Embrace the Robin Hood mentality and focus on what you can change right now.
Are You Going to Sit There and Let Them Take Advantage of You?
Imagine for a second that you’re one of the poor victims in the Robin Hood story. You work hard for your money only to have a big chunk of it taken away in taxes. You know this isn’t fair, but what are you going to do about it?
Sit around and do nothing? Complain? Hope for something magical to happen?
These are bad solutions to your problems, yet how often do people rely on these same strategies to get in shape? Instead of sitting back and waiting, stand up and take charge. That’s exactly what Robin Hood did to fight against unjust taxes, and you need to do the same to get your fit physique.
I won’t lie and say it’ll be a piece of cake. Would the Robin Hood story be as cool if it involved him taking candy from babies and giving it to people with a sweet tooth? No, of course not!
This journey is meant to be a challenge that’ll help you grow in more ways than one. The only thing left to do is develop a game plan…
The Step-By-Step Process to Take Back Your Fit Body Robin Hood Style
Being like Robin Hood is simple. First, go buy a bow and some arrows. Then head over to the nice part of town and…
All kidding aside, this is how you can take back what is rightfully yours:
Step #1: Identify the Enemy
It’s hard to know what to do if you’re not sure what’s causing the problem. Robin Hood knew his target—the rich. In order to figure out your target, you’re going to use a journal to pinpoint the problem.
For example, if you don’t have time to workout or cook healthy meals, then use a time log for one week to determine where all of your free time is going. Simply set a timer to go off every 30 minutes and then write what you’re doing in that moment. Here’s an example:
- 9:00-5:00- Work
- 5:30-Arrived home
- 7:30-Check Facebook
- 8:00-Whatever else it is you do
- 8:30-More of that
- 9:00-Bedtime because you like to go to sleep early
If you do this for one week straight, you’ll start to notice patterns. Maybe you distract yourself with social media, do busywork, or watch more T.V. than you realized. Additionally, if you’re not sure how much you’re eating or what foods you’re overeating, then keep a food journal.
Simply log everything you eat and drink for one week using My Fitness Pal or a similar app. Here’s an example:
11/14/16 Lunch at 12:30p.m.:
- 10 ounces of chicken salad- 450 calories
- Slice of French bread- 180 calories
- 1 cup of sweet tea- 90 calories
- Total calories- 630
This’ll be an eye-opening experience as most people overeat without even knowing it. The key is to do one log per week. For example, do your time log one week and your food log the following week.
This’ll ensure accuracy and make it more likely that you’ll actually do it.
Step #2: Calm Down and Start Small
It’ll be enticing to do a complete overhaul of your life once you know what’s going on, but that would be a mistake. Robin Hood didn’t wake up one day and start stealing from the rich. He crafted his skills and built them up over time.
Then he started to make his big attacks. You must do the same. Don’t immediately stop watching T.V. all together if you’re currently watching T.V. for three hours a day.
Don’t eliminate all the junk food either. Do what you know you can handle and work your way up. This might mean giving up one episode of Game of Thrones to do a bodyweight workout, or putting a predetermined amount of chips in a bowl to prevent eating the whole bag.
Go to the gym twice per week if you haven’t worked out in years. Start small and prove to yourself that you can handle the changes. Work your way up from there for a smooth transition into a new lifestyle.
Step #3: Be Efficient. Be Stealth.
Similar to others like him, stealth and efficiency were two skills Robin Hood had to hone in on. Without either of them, he likely would’ve gotten caught. You will need these same skills for your fitness quest.
Without efficiency, you’ll waste time and effort on strategies you shouldn’t have tried in the first place. Instead of doing a bunch of isolation chest exercises you saw in a magazine, focus on staple compound movements like bench press and squat. Don’t eat a piece of chocolate cake and then run on the treadmill for an hour.
Either pass on the cake, or find a way to incorporate the extra calories into your nutrition plan. Also keep an exercise log to determine the 20% that’s providing 80% of the results. Simply record the exercises performed, how much weight was used, reps done per set, and rest in between sets.
Now, becoming fit isn’t as big of a deal as solving world hunger. Sure your health and fitness level matter to you, but don’t flatter yourself into thinking others care that much. Don’t go bragging to all of your friends about how you’re starting a new diet.
Don’t act like you’re better than someone because you passed on dessert. Fly under the radar. Your friends should only notice how much better you look. They shouldn’t have to hear you whine about how hard your new workout regime is.
Step #4: Be in It for the Long Haul
If Robin Hood only stole from the rich for a week, would that be effective? No.
The rich would continue to unjustly tax the poor and the problem would persist. Much the same way, you can’t diet hardcore for a week only to quit and gain the weight back. Find a way to make your nutrition and exercise plan enjoyable so you’ll stick to it for a long time to come.
Robin Hood had fun doing what he did and so should you! Don’t lie to yourself and say you’ll workout for two hours a day. And if ice cream is your favorite dessert, then don’t eliminate from your diet!
Find a way to enjoy the food in moderation.
Before you start the new exercise and nutrition program outlined above, ask yourself, “How confident am I that I could stick to the plan?” If your answer is less than a 9 out of 10, then the plan needs to be adjusted to make it easier. Here are some ways to do that:
- Lay out your gym clothes the night before.
- Change gyms to one that’s closer to where you live/work.
- Don’t shop while you’re hungry.
- Don’t beat yourself up if you make a mistake. It’ll happen just get back on track and keep going.
- Start your day off right with exercise (if possible) and a healthy breakfast. This’ll set the rest of your day up for success.
- Don’t delay exercising (i.e. don’t tell yourself you’ll workout after work if you know you’ll be tired).
Step #5: Be Adaptable
Things didn’t always go the way Robin Hood planned for them to. He had to be willing to adapt his strategy in order to sneak away without getting caught. Be flexible just like Robin Hood would be when things didn’t go his way.
This is life after all, and you can’t expect for everything to go according to plan. Times will get tough and you’ll be challenged. It’s important that you rise to the occasion and make necessary changes in order to keep moving forward.
For example, if your workout stops providing you with consistent results, don’t be afraid to change things up. Remember it’s not the strongest or smartest who survive, it’s those who adapt.
Are You Ready to Set Forth on Your Own Robin Hood Adventure?
Now it’s your turn. Similar to Robin Hood, you can fight for what you believe in and take back what’s yours. It all starts with the first step.
I’m sure Robin Hood had his fears and doubts about getting caught. You must overcome your worries and have faith to take that first step. Because that first step will forever change your life.
About the Author: Thomas is a personal trainer and the creator of Rohmer Fitness.com He loves simplifying fitness and teaching people how to get in shape without being a slave to the gym or kitchen.