Sunday, September 30, 2007

Day 326: Daily Accountability - My Response To Your Comments


Today I'm gonna do something different.

Rather than reply in the "comments" section to all the awesome comments made on my Day 324: Daily Accountability: A Double Edged Sword blog post I'm gonna reply individually to each person in this post.

If this is your first time to this blog be sure to read all the comments below, you'll discover an amazing group of people all with their own advice, perspectives and opinions (and great writing ability!).

Trust me, there is gold to be found in these comments!

Andrew said...
Hey Adam,

I think daily accountability is great with regards to blogging but I think visually it can be very hard. I would say it is nearly impossible to ‘see’ body differences on a daily basis much like weighing yourself on a daily basis, there is not much difference. However that said you do need to ensure that your training is sending you in the right direction.

For my first 10 weeks I was having BF evaluations every 2 weeks. Having now completed this I know believe this is too long as if your training is not getting the results you want then it is a large period of time to go through without making adjustments.

For my next 10 weeks which has just started I am having weekly BF evaluations both via electronic means and by caliper. I hope then if I plateau in any way I can spot it quickly and adapt.

Also, I strongly believe that after a hard week training you are at your lowest on Fridays and this often leads to thoughts that things are not going to plan!!!

All the best, you can and will achieve your results with continued perseverance.

Have a great weekend,


Adam Waters Reply:

Hi Andrew,

I agree with you that it is difficult to see progress on a daily basis as our bodies can (and do) fluctuate daily due to a whole host of factors.

At a minimum I would also suggest weekly bodyfat testing to ensure that your training and nutrition methods are sending you in the right direction. Weekly (as opposed to daily testing/accountability) gives you a longer timeframe to work with but still short enough to see measurable results.

In regards to bodyfat testing I have found the "BodPod" to be a reliable form of testing. However, whichever way you decide to test it is important to use the same method on a consistent basis. I believe the variance is actually more important than the raw number.

I look forward to hearing more about your results from your 10-week mission. Train Hard!


September 28, 2007 8:16 AM

Anonymous said...

At this point you may have unrealistic goals. Perhaps you need to either focus on caloric deficit (w/some cardio/weights) to reveal existing abdominal muscle or bulk up with weights and extra calories for building muscle. The reason "M1" showed more considerable progress was due in large part to the fact that you had less muscle and more fat at the beginning of the process. It is probably not realistic to expect a lot of further physique definition and fat loss at the same time.

Adam Waters Reply:


Thanks for your input. There were a lot of factors that contributed to my "M1" success. While my training and nutrition was completely dialed in for those 12 weeks I actually put a large part of my success down to my PRW which I discuss at length in my free report, My Biggest Secret. You are right, I may have unrealistic goals for this mission, however past performance can be a good indicator of future success (if it is accompanied with the the same drive and discipline.


September 28, 2007 8:37 AM

Kristiina said...

I'm going to say how I have experienced it..

I think taking pictures can bring your mood down or lift it sky high. I have also taken a pic almost every day and by now I know how much my body can differ. It depends on how much I have drank, eaten, slept, worked, stressed.. If I know that I have been good and then don't see it on the pic.. it can drag the self esteem down. However, I think I have learned to cope with that and accept that there are the great days and then there are the good days. Because every day is better than how I lived before, even if the pic doesn't tell me that...

Adam Waters Reply:

Hi Kriistina,

I think you have hit the nail on the head. As someone who is doing the same thing (awesome work by the way!) I think you speak with authority on this daily accountability topic. As Andrew discussed above it is unrealistic to expect visible change every day, however I will say that were some days when I actually could see visible progress from the previous day.

These days were very rare, and they usually came after a double cardio session in which I would burn 1000 plus calories over the two sessions. When you couple this with a 500 calorie deficit from food intake it is quite possible to see a change I believe. However, this approach may be considered "extreme" by some experts so I don't recommend this approach for everyone. The important thing is to find what works for you, then GO MASSIVE!

You have tapped into a very powerful accountability technique Kriistina and if you keep going your success (however you may define it) is inevitable as you have already layed the platform and ingrained a powerful and positive daily habit into your routine.


September 28, 2007 12:22 PM

Ryuerik said...

Is taking daily pictures a double edged sword?
It could be if you do not know enough about your body (see part of Kristiina's post).

Is it possible that you may lose confidence and self-esteem if your daily pictures aren't showing the progress that you feel you should be making?

It is possible if you let your self down. When I look at my pics and do not see much difference between day 16 and 18, I just get angry and go for an extra cardio in the evening(but I am at Mission 1 "loose fat")

Is it possible that this daily accountability strategy can backfire on you and cause you to quit?

Only if you fall in depression and you are a quitter !! Not your case (you are not allowed to quit!)If you do, I am going to find out where you live and drag you to the gym!!!Remember I am in Takarazuka, 30 min. from Osaka!!!LOL

Maybe you should take 2 or 3 weeks of rest...completely.
Eat a lot of proteins carbs, bulk up a little, gain 2 or 3 kg and transform it into muscles...I've read this in various forums.

Everything is possible, if we make it happened...

Adam Waters Reply:

Hi Ryuerik,

Haha, I love it! That's the spirit my friend. I have been checking your progress regularly and it is great to see that you are taking daily pics as well as you have definitely made visible progress since you started your current journey.

Knowing that you live only 30 mins away from me will definitely keep me in check!


September 28, 2007 4:30 PM

Anonymous said...

I can see what you mean about how not "seeing" daily progress can make you feel abit low - esp after working your butt off at the gym, BUT, if you look at the differences over a week, or month or year, it is extraordinary! that is the beauty of taking pics everyday, the fact that over time you CAN "see" massive change, and that would keep me going i reckon!

You have made incredible progress so far, keep going! one day soon you will be looking like that 'visualisation' pic and that will be spectacular!! and you'll have a record of every day, every 'baby step' it took to get there. victory all the more sweet!

LTY Kel.

Adam Waters Reply:

G'day Kel,

Thanks for your positive energy. You are so right, when I look back on the progress I have made previously I know precisely where I was in each moment in time, and because I log my workouts and nutrition plan obsessively I also know what it takes to get back into (and exceed!) my previous condition.


September 28, 2007 7:22 PM

Jeff McBride said...

When I was in the best shape of my life, I had no idea what was happening to my body because I only appeared to be in slightly better shape, even after months of effort. Then, almost overnight, my body transformed. Some people were shocked. I remember standing in the mirror transfixed by the muscles I had always dreamed of. I believe the body crouches a long time in the grass before springing forth into the light and the bewildered herd.

The most important thing is getting in to the gym. If knowing a photo is coming gets you off your butt and in to the gym then it is clearly one of the keys to the kingdom. Your past consistency has shown that you are more than motivated, you are focused. That is a key. Once you are working out, you can bring great intensity into every movement because you know your body won't break. That kind of confidence is another key to the kingdom.

When you are blazing through a harsh workout with that wild look in your eye and that crazed smile on your face, you realize that pushing a fit physique is thrilling. Amidst the pain, there is anticipation, effort, victory and relief, over and over again. We may not be keymasters yet, but It's a thrill ride and you know it, mate. And when it's over, you know you've done something special. You may as well be on the field with a rugby ball or sword in your hand gazing upon the carnage in your wake. You stand there with iron on the floor around you and see in the mirror exactly what you are. A warrior. The King of beasts.

Jeff McAdamfan

Adam Waters Reply:

Hi Jeff,

Jeff, what can I say mate! You are an absolute master of the written word. You write with such passion and positive energy that your words literally jump off the page. I don't know if you have a blog (or if you are a professional writer) but you should definitely start one!

More than that you are absolutely right, confidence and intensity are the keys to the kingdom and they both feed off each other. Symbolically we are warriors fighting weight racks and cardio machines, however the greatest battle we will fight is with ourselves.

Will you go above and beyond the pain threshold and pump out that last rep or do that last 5 seconds on the treadmill.

It is in these moments of decision that are destiny is shaped.


September 28, 2007 8:20 PM

Min said...

Here's some questions you can ask yourself to determine your results: how's your diet coming along? have you maintained at least an 80% compliance level with it? have you maintained a diet that's been the same since mission 1? Why have you (not) changed your diet since then? Has your body adapted to this new regime you're putting it through? (not to sound condescending, but)

Are you absolutely aware that nutrition is THE most important factor in revealing that six-pack? So, ask yourself these questions, see where you're steering off and find a way to get back on the road to success because we all know that you have the ability to attain this goal that so many others dream of.

And, personally, I think daily pictures/blogging is a great tool to use. Instead of thinking in terms of motivation for these pix...think of them as you say "positive pressure" and as accountability factors - which is important for consistency.

Keep at the hard work, you're doing great!

September 29, 2007 1:15 AM

Adam Waters Reply:

Hi Min,

Thank you very much for your advice and your kind words. I am constantly evaluating my nutrition plan and making adjustments when I feel it is necessary. I let my results dictate my approach and I also believe there is no absolutely "perfect plan" for me (or anyone).

I think personal trainers the world over know that the "perfect plan" will not help someone lose weight if they don't get their head right first. With that said, there is still so much I have to learn in regards to nutrition and training, especially with "building muscle". No doubt my plan and strategies will evolve over time as I continue to learn what works for me (and what doesn't).

You are also right about "positive pressure", nothing else comes close!


September 29, 2007 5:49 AM

Suzette said...

First off, I admire your dedication to even take daily pictures (Kristiina, too). I have yet to establish such a pattern. I can see how it can make you "perform" for your "audience." But at the same time it is still just you who makes the decision to get off your butt and get the work done. You can only answer to yourself what you have done today.

Can you lose confidence? yes. but again only you can decide to "listen" to that part of you. all you have to do is look at your transformation and know that you have come a long way and have maintained your transformation. that too can be a great confidence booster. something i tell myself is "look at how far you have come. and i did it all myself" no one did it for me. do i have a ways to go? yes. even though i don't take pics daily, i know where i started, where i am at and where i want to be.

Keep looking on to your final goal. you will get there. you just might have to change things up a bit. Sorry for the long post.

Adam Waters Reply:

Hi Suzette (my fellow blogging warrior),

First and foremost I want to thank you for your supportive and empowering comments. You have been without a doubt the most dedicated commenter on this blog since I started! Even though you don't take daily pics you have done a remarkable job yourself in transforming your body. Like Kriistina I believe your success (however you define it) is inevitable due to your dedication and drive to hold yourself accountable.


September 29, 2007 9:09 PM

James said...

I haven't started the MS program level 1 yet, I finished the preparation and will start this week, but unfortunately I will not take daily pictures of myself for some lame reasons, I don't live alone. Anyway from your day 295 to day 324 look at your right arm! It's clearly increase in volume, why don't you simply measure it? That way you'll see results, probably not on a daily basis, but on a weekly basis yes.

Adam Waters Reply:

G'day James,

Great to hear that you are starting Surge this week. Train hard mate and I will be following your progress and keeping you accountable buddy! Yeah, I should also pull out that tape measure one of these days!

Thanks again for all the wonderful comments. I really appreciate you guys because knowing that you are there keeps me accountable and helps me push above and beyond the "pain barrier" every single workout.

Until tomorrow...

Eat Clean,
Shred Hard,
Think BIG!

Adam Waters, NESTA-CPT


Andrew said...

Hey Adam,

I couldn't agree with you more from the consistency point of view. It was the week before the end of my first week session and I was on holiday so I went for an early workout session and I had my BF taken (9am, usually it is taken around 12 noon). My BF had dropped by over 2% in 2 weeks. I know it was not that much but I knew there was something not quite right. The following week was back to normal workout wise and my BF had increased from the previous week by 1.8%, even though I knew something was wrong the week before it did not stop me from being gutted and I was depressed for several days after.

Needless to say I will be keeping them very consistent from now on to avoid false positives.

Take care,


Your Grateful Cyber-friend, Christy said...

I am always impressed that you take such care to respond to the comments on your blog. You really hold yourself accountable in more ways than your daily photos. Keep up the great work. BTW, I agree that photos are a double edged sword. As one who has opted to NOT take DAILY photos, because my transformation journey has to be much slower time table for medical reasons (turns out much slower than I planned), I really appreciate you (and Kristina) mentioning that sometimes it gets you a little down and how you deal with it. Really great advice. Great posts to everybody!

Adam Waters said...

Hi Andrew, How did you measure your bodyfat on these occasions? Did you use the same testing equipment?

Adam Waters said...

Hi Christy, thanks for your kind words. I made a promise long ago to reply to every comment on this blog and I do my best to uphold that promise.

I respect the effort that people make to post comments and I never take it for granted as I never got any comments here until about Day 50.


Andrew said...

Hi Adam,

Yes it is always with the same equipment. The only difference on this occasion was the time of day and hence the fluid and food intake was different, and I know fluid especially can affect electronic readings, so I have put it down to this!!