3 Keys to Success.
Have you ever wondered why it is that the million crunches you do just don’t seem to give you the six-pack you’ve been looking for? Why does it feel like your nutrition is constantly taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back? Do you ever think that if it hasn’t worked by now, that perhaps maybe the problem might actually be yourself? It’s a tough concept to come to grips with when you really think about it. Often times, we as people are our own worst enemy. However, we have a terrible time actually admitting it to ourselves.
It may be something you don’t care to hear about; however, if you’re serious about seeing a real return on the investment you’ve made or are currently making in this whole “healthy living” thing, then you may want to continue reading. As hard as some of the things I’m going to talk about may be, it’s time we own up to our behaviors that are hindering our success. You must own up to the fact that the blame can only be put on yourself for not seeing results you want out of the gym.
If you’ve made it this far, you’ve probably realized that this post might be a tough pill to swallow. If you wish to keep reading, you will find outlined below, three keys to help ensure that your investment in your health will see a big return.
All results and success are relative to expectations. Meaning, if your goal is simply to come to the gym three times a week, and you successfully achieve that goal, then congratulations, you’ve achieved your goal. However, is that really your goal? Generally speaking, if you’re coming to the gym, you’ve identified that there is something about yourself that you wish to change. You’ve determined that there is a problem and you would like to fix it.
Think of it in these terms, if I wish to eat healthier, I can go to the grocery store three times in a week, but does that mean I’m eating healthier? Did you notice, I didn’t actually tell you what/if I bought anything at the store? But I feel great because I actually physically travelled to the grocery store. When someone says they’re going to the gym three times a week, that doesn’t mean they’re doing anything productive while they’re at the gym. Saying I wish to eat healthier, going to store three times in a week, and not purchasing any “healthy” food items, I successfully expended time and energy and simultaneously not moved any closer to achieving my goal. Rounding back to my point, if you wish to lose weight, going to the gym three times a week, and not doing exercises that aid in weight loss, then you’ve expended time, energy, money and have not lost any weight.
Simply going to the gym is not going to get the results you’re looking for. You have to look at the gym the same way you look at going to your job; you’re there for a very specific reason. You give maximum effort while you’re there, and then you go home and relax. I’ve seen people using dumbbells while reading a book. No one will ever be able to convince me that that person was working out with maximum effort. 100% effort must be given if you want 100% of the results.
As a fitness professional, it amazes me that despite not seeing concrete and measurable results; people day in and day out will continue to plug away at the same old “workout program” they’ve been on for years expecting different results to magically happen. Unfortunately, there is one glaring error with this way of thinking, and that is; if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you always got. It really makes loads of sense doesn’t it? Continuing the same behaviour and expecting a different result is the definition of insanity. You’re probably thinking – “well of course that makes sense, who in their right mind would expect something different to happen?” I can honestly say that I’ve seen way too many people over the years do the same thing for months, until they get frustrated and give-up.
They key is following a plan. But what plan should you be following? This is always the million dollar question. Often times, people will grasp at whatever fad “workout program” they find online, or they do what their friend does. The problem with this is….. “workouts” people put online were not designed for YOU. Nor is your friends workout designed for YOU. The key here is the plan has to be specific to YOUR goals and YOUR body. Did Joe Fitness online assess you? Did you get to tell Mr. Fitness that you have knee pain while squatting? Does Mr. Fitness program guy/girl online know that you have chronic low back pain? Chances are Mr. Fitness online program person doesn’t know any of this information about you. My question is then, why would you follow an exercise program that wasn’t built for you?
Think of it this way, would you take someone else’s medication and expect it to work for you? Well of course not; is what everyone reading this should say. If you wouldn’t take another person’s medication, why would you use their exercise program? I know some of you may be thinking, “well following someone else’s program can’t harm like taking another person’s medication.” That may not be as correct as you would think. If you have a chronic low back problem, and begin performing exercises that will make the pain worse, that’s not good. You are now harming yourself.
The take home point here is if you’ve begun an exercise program without the person who made the program evaluating you, I would suggest stopping what you’re doing. That person has not taken into consideration your physical limitations and performing inappropriate exercise can be potentially harmful.
So now that you’re giving 100% effort and have gotten yourself on the best personalized plan imaginable…… how do you get results? The answer here is consistency.
We’ve all been there. It’s Saturday night, we’ve just eaten 4 slices of pizza, garlic bread, half a bottle of wine, and some ice cream for dessert and we whisper to ourselves; “I’m starting again on Monday.” You can’t give 100% effort for one week and expect miracles to happen. You have to link those weeks of constant effort together, and that is where the hard work will pay off. Having a great week at the gym to throw it all away on the weekend is the equivalent of two steps forward and one step back. If you’re always setting yourself back, how can you possibly expect to make any progress?
Think if it this way. A little riddle for you….. Let’s say you leave your house in your car intending to make it to the grocery store for all those healthy foods you promised to eat. Take a left turn out of your driveway, take the first left turn you come to, and then take the subsequent 3 left turns….where do you end up? Now unless you’ve driven onto a one-way street, you more than likely have returned to your home where you began. Did you make it to your intended destination? This is exactly what it’s like when you go wild on the weekend and eat everything in your fridge. You make that great progress towards your goal until you take those last two left turns, and before you know it, BAM you’re right back where you began.
The take home point here is you can’t expect to make it to your goal if you’re just driving in a circle, or in this case, a square.
So now that you have the 3 keys to success, it’s simply a matter of putting them into action. I know that if you cut out all of the excuses, and begin consistently following a proper plan, and execute it with maximum effort, you will be more that pleased with the results you see.