“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” - Alexander Graham Bell. Preparation can pay off huge dividends when it comes to health and fitness. Begin by specifying your goal whether it is weight loss, muscle gains, increase in strength then write it down and place it in a location that you will see every day as a daily reminder. I have seen people tape motivational pictures to their walls while some others have taped or wrote messages on their bathroom mirror. Having a physical memo of your goal will help you stay focused. After you state your goal research and write down your workout regimen, diet, and supplements that will serve as your game plan to achieve your heath goal whatever it might be. By being prepared before entering the gym will make your workout more efficient. Many bodybuilders and athletes use their body as a guide and freestyle many workouts, but what might work for some people might not work for everyone. Having a structured workout program helps a person to be more efficient in the gym. Too often you see people who take several minutes between exercises and seem to be lost amongst the machines and free weights. Have every exercise stated along with number of sets, repetitions, rest between sets written out and use it as your road map through the gym. Moreover, workout logs are a great tool in tracking progression as you can compare your numbers to previous weeks. Everyone eventually reaches a plateau at some point in the gym so having everything written down and specified it helps you identify where you need to implement change. Anyone who has adhered to a strict diet knows it can be challenging in today’s society with fast food restaurants around every corner, so being prepared will help avoid cheat meals. I like to keep a diet foods list on my refrigerator as my constant visual reminder. I try to avoid eating out at restaurants by buying food in bulk and pre making a large quantity of my meals for the week so I know I am on track in the nutrition department. This ensures you won’t sacrifice any gains by making poor food choices and actually save a considerable amount of time by having premade meals. If you know you will be away from the house for several hours try bringing a couple meals with you. Write out your supplements and their recommended doses as well as scheduled times will act as a continuing visual reminder to help stay consistent. Just like a quarterback in the NFL has a playbook he relies on with predesigned plays when entering a game having your workouts, nutrition, and supplements written down as your fitness playbook and exposed to eye sight is one way to push you to be successful in your fitness endeavors. Michael is a 22 year old NPC Men’s Physique Competitor. He earned his IFBB Pro card at Nationals Nov 19 2011. He has also earned 3 nationally accredited personal training certifications and has managed several personal training companies up and down the East coast helping thousands of people reach their fitness goals. His ultimate goal is to inspire and help anyone that he can to reach their maximum fitness potential!