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Should you even BOTHER working out? Is the juice REALLY worth the squeeze?

By Sam Whitaker

  • This is a saying that I first came across in the film 'The Girl Next Door.’
  • It basically means, is the outcome/result worth the amount of effort you put in.
  • This particularly applies to weight loss and getting in shape.
  • Is the amount of effort you put in actually worth it? Find out with Sam Whitaker

Some people find it easier to get a six pack and toned legs than others.

Some people find it a lot harder.

Man Exercising

The fitness models & figure competitors you see in the magazines or on stage will usually find it easier (easier, not easy!) than most to build muscle & get lean.

Even if they don't find it easier, their personality, goals, desires etc will drive them to work harder, be more discipline & do whatever it takes to get to peak physical shape.

For them, all that effort & dedication is worth it.

In that situation, the juice is worth the squeeze.

However, most people won't be willing to put this much effort in.

They might think they're willing.

They might like the idea of getting really lean, getting in awesome shape, but when it comes down to it they're not willing to put the necessary effort in.

For them, the juice is not worth the squeeze.

As well as their goal & lifestyle choice, a person’s genetics might dictate what return on their investment, (of time & effort), they feel is acceptable.

I'm pretty sure that most people can get down to low enough body fat levels to look pretty damn good.

But it will be harder for some people than others.

And you have to ask yourself, is it worth it?

healthy foods

If you're one of the people who were always a little chubby as a kid/teenager and have always carried extra weight and found it hard to lose it, then the amount of effort and sacrifice you'll need to put in to reach pretty low body fat levels will be a lot higher than someone who is naturally lean.

For some of you, the effort and sacrifice might be worth it for your wedding or beach holiday but it might not be worth it year around.

So you have to be honest with yourself and work out if limiting or giving up foods like pizza, ice cream, cakes etc is worth it for the outcome.

Even with the healthier alternatives you can now get from Muscle Food, for most people to reach single digit body fat levels, they're still going to have to restrict or limit the foods they eat.

Are you willing to cut out or severely cut back on going out drinking at the weekend or your weekly Chinese takeaway?

You might not be.

And if that's the case, you need to find a middle ground, a comprise between enjoying your life, eating foods you love, with being relatively lean and healthy.

I don't mean for you to use this as an excuse to be overweight, just because you might find it harder to lose weight than others.

My point is, you might accept that you'll never be magazine cover model lean, but there's no reason the majority of people can't get to and maintain a healthy weight.

woman in the gym

Personally, I was never a particularly skinny kid.

And I was quite the chubster in my late teens, early twenties.

So I have to accept that I will never be one to walk around 365 days of the year with a ripped six pack.

I eat well enough and exercise so that I'm fairly lean compared to most people but I'm far from shredded.

And in the run up to summer, I dial things in a little more & drop some body fat, in the attempt to look better with my top off.

But I'm not prepared to do that all year around - for me, the juice is not worth the squeeze.

The amount of effort and sacrifice I need to put in to get leaner than I am most of the year, just isn't worth it.

The problem is, people see the Instagram fitness models and magazine covers seemingly looking lean & toned all the time.

Even if this is the case, they're the 1% of people who are always naturally lean, that have great genetics.

Or they make a living off being in awesome shape, which means they accept the fact they can't eat takeaways all the time and go on weekend benders.

On a slight tangent - even the models on Instagram & in magazines don't look how you think they look all the time.

Ever heard of Photoshop, airbrushing & Instagram filters?

Take the below pictures of me taken literally seconds apart, just which different lighting & different filters.

So, you have to have a conversation with yourself and work out what is an acceptable amount of effort to put in to get results that you're happy with.

Take me for example, (and the bf % are just a guess for demonstration purposes) ....

Sam's Body Fat

I don't find it that difficult hovering around 12-13% body fat. I maybe have to give 20% effort to get 80% of the results I'm capable of.

But to get below 10% body fat, I have to take that 20% effort all the way to 90% +

So that's an extra 70% effort just to get that extra 20% of results.

So you see, the additional effort I need to put in is vastly disproportionate to the results I'll get out of it.

For a few months in the summer, I feel it's worth it. But for the rest of the year, it's not.

The juice is not worth the squeeze.

So, I guess what I'm getting at is that you need to be realistic in your expectations.

I'm all for setting big goals & being ambitious, but there's a point where ambitious can become unrealistic.

And at that point, you're destined for failure & disappointment.

Which can then mean you don't make any progress at all, as you go with them, 'Ah, what's the point in trying' mindset.

And it's all about making progress and bettering yourself. Not about comparing yourself to your favourite celeb or fitness model.

Sam Whitaker

About Sam

29-year-old Sam Whitaker is a Fitness & Nutrition Consultant and Co-Founder & Director of Body Target Ltd.

Over the past 5-6 years, he has been self-educating on all things health and fitness by reading textbooks, online articles and books by people such as Lyle McDonald and Alan Aragon. He has also just started The SBS Academy - an evidence based online training and nutrition course.

You can find out more about Sam by checking out his Facebook and Twitter feeds, or Body Target’s Facebook and Twitter.

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