As promised in my last blog on the importance of getting the big pieces of the puzzle into place when wanting to transform your physique, here are some more details on why the smaller pieces matter too.

For those of you who follow Nick on social media, you might be familiar with his take on how to maximise muscle mass gain and reduce body-fat levels as quickly as possible.

If you don’t know then here’s a brief recap. Imagine there are 100 boxes you need to tick to make positive body composition changes. The more you can tick off at the same time, the faster you’ll make progress. When I started training with him a few weeks ago I was ticking just one of his 100 boxes. It was the first one. The one that requires you to be alive.

Nick uses this example as a simple illustration of what it takes to build a better body. In reality the number is arbitrary because there is no single magic number of things you need to do consistently right to make giant strides in the right direction. Everyone is different, after all.

But the takeaway point is simple: do lots of little things – no matter how seemingly insignificant in isolation – right at the same time and they quickly accumulate and launch you on the path of progress.

Overnight I dramatically started ticking off his virtual boxes. I started working out – one box – but instead of just going through the motions, under Nick’s constant guidance I started training smarter and harder. That’s another one. I started thinking about every single rep and focused my mind on how the working muscle felt as I lifted and lowered the weight. One more box. And I stopped thinking about how much I hurt and how much I wanted to stop to think about why I am here and what I want to achieve. Tick, tick, tick.

I also started eating better. Not just ‘healthier’, but a total dietary departure from my previous ways of either skipping meals or ordering takeaways, to carefully considering every morsel that entered my mouth. And I made a very conscious effort to improve my chances of falling, then staying, asleep.

Suddenly I was ticking boxes left, right and centre. And guess what happened? My body started changing shape. And fast. Fat melted away from my midsection and my muscles started to grow.

My point is if you want to make a radical change to how you look in your underwear then stop thinking you can out-train a bad diet, or believing that you will get lean by eliminating all dietary fat, or trying to burn the candle at both ends.

Because the key to a successful transformation is creating a lifestyle that is more than the sum of its parts.

The positive effects of doing many little different things right don’t just add up – they multiply – and the result in even greater gains. Better energy levels, better hormone function, better digestion. Increased fat loss, increased muscle mass, increased positivity. Less stress, less cravings, less doubt.

So, if you want to improve your physique, make a list of all the things you know positively contribute to building a better body. How many can you tick off?

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