One of the best books I’ve read recently is called Ready, Fire, Aim by Michael Masterson.
It’s more of a business book and how to grow a wildly successful business than anything else (it really has nothing to do with fitness) but the lessons taught are applicable to anyone with ambitious goals, including those who want to transform their physique.
The premise of the book revolves around a concept called “Ready, Fire, Aim” which basically states:
Anytime you want to reach a goal quickly, you simply need to take action first and make any necessary adjustments and correct for any mistakes later on.
Let’s break it down into the 3 separate stages:
Stage 1 – “Ready”
This is the research phase where you begin researching the ins and outs of what’s necessary to reach your goal. In fitness, it might mean reading up on what’s needed for your workout or diet.
If you bought a fitness course (like my Superhero Shredding course), the “Ready” phase means going through the course and absorbing the information.
But the secret to being successful in the “Ready” phase is to not obsess about understanding things 100%.
I’ll go into more detail on Stage 1 later on in this article.
Stage 2 – “Fire”
This is where you charge straight in and take immediate action (i.e. “Fire”). Even if you don’t fully understand the nitty gritty technical details of the workout or diet plan you’re on….JUST DO IT.
Inaction and doing nothing is the worst possible thing in the world.
There will never be a better time than now so pull the trigger ASAP.
Stage 3 – “Aim”
Now that you’ve taken action, you can gradually fix any mistakes you’ve made in the beginning.
But because you’ve already taken action, making micro-adjustments will be easy.
Maybe you screwed up the first 2 weeks and just realized you weren’t getting enough protein, that’s fine, you can make that change now.
You’re already light years ahead of the guy who’s still reading the diet manual, so pat yourself on the back 🙂
Getting stuck in the “Ready” phase – The #1 reason for failure
Most guys are stuck in the “Ready” phase. They spend too much time researching and not enough time doing.
Why? Because it’s a lot easier to read about eating healthy than it is to actually eat healthy.
One of the biggest mistakes I made in the beginning of my fitness journey was spending months and months reading about diet information.
During that time I was very interested in intermittent fasting which I am a huge advocate of now.
I just kept reading and reading because I thought there was some “secret ingredient” that was missing. I thought there was something out there that I needed to know in order to get started.
But in reality, the only reason I kept reading was because I wanted to avoid putting in the hard work.
Reading is a lot easier than doing as I’m sure you’ll agree.
Trust me, you know enough. There’s no secret sauce
I need to make a statement – YOU KNOW ENOUGH.
Most people know they need to eat in a calorie deficit to lose fat.
Most people know they need to get stronger and eat in a surplus to gain weight.
Most people know that fruits and veggies are good for you and you shouldn’t eat doughnuts in excessive amounts.
The basic premise of losing fat and building muscle is VERY VERY simple.
And yet, people always want to complicate this shit. For some reason they want it to be complicated.
Hell if I know, but if I had to guess it’s because making something more difficult rationalizes their decision to continue “researching” and stay in the “Ready” phase.
More and more people these days are getting caught up in the “science” of fitness (e.g. the best scientifically proven upper chest exercise for hypertrophy) but spending all day going through exercise research reports doesn’t do shit for you.
Don’t know what hypertrophy means? Awesome, you don’t need to fucking know.
This why a lot of the gym “bros” who seem a lot less educated, statistically, have superior physiques to the guys who just read and read and read.
It’s because they just take action with overanalyzing everything.
I’m not picking on the typical gym “bro” here but you have you admit that it’s pretty funny when the people who get the greatest results are the ones who don’t give as much of a shit about the all the science and theory behind fitness.
But “what if” it doesn’t work?
Last December I had a reader email me. To keep the reader anonymous I’ll be calling him Captain Korea from this point on.
So Captain Korea (like a lot of my readers) emailed me asking what’s the best workout to lose weight. I pointed him to one of the free workouts on my site and told him to do that.
1 day later, Captain Korea emailed me back saying “This looks good, but can I add in 2 extra sets of side lateral raises? I feel like it will work better.”
The workout I gave him was a simple, yet very effective 3-day split.
In Captain Korea’s mind, he was trying to make what was great workout plan much more complicated than it needed to be.
Adding an extra couple of sets wouldn’t have killed him, but it’s the fact that he even thought about it before even doing the workout once is what drives me insane.
If Captain Korea decided to add the 2 extra sets of lateral raises after doing the workout for 4-6 weeks and decided that his shoulders were lagging a bit then that’s totally fine.
Because by then, Captain Korea has already passed Stage 1 (Ready) and Stage 2 (Fire). Adding in the extra lateral raises is an intelligent Stage 3 (Aim) move.
“Ready, Aim, Fire” – The most common path to mediocrity
The majority of guys follow a “Ready, Aim, Fire” approach to fitness and life.
- They decide the want to do something such as workout and begin researching and buying workout products. (Ready)
- They make sure every aspect of the workout is “perfect” by reading forums, blogs, and research reports. (Aim)
- They finally take action after weeks/months of “fine tuning” their workout plan to perfection only to jump back into the “Ready” or “Aim” phase after a week because they don’t think their plan was perfect enough. (Fire)
As you can see, this approach to fitness and pretty much anything in life almost always leads to disaster and at best, mediocre short-term results.
But once you “Fire” before “Aim,” you’ll discover that your entire life changes and achieving any goal becomes a piece of cake.
How do you approach your goals? Do you follow the “Ready, Aim, Fire” or “Ready, Fire, Aim” model?
P.S. Are you still stuck in the “Ready” phase? Check out Superhero Shredding to help speed up the learning process.