It’s coming to the end of the year, a time where people start to make big promises to themselves that the next year will be different, that you will be different in the new year. You may promise yourself that you’ll get the dream job this year, you’ll do a better job at the one you already have, you’ll quit smoking etc. We’re not life coaches or addiction specialists but we do know an awful lot about the biggest one out there “this year I’ll get the body I've always wanted”...... “this year I’ll become fit and healthy”.
This is not a bashing of people who begin their fitness journey in January, or saying that you are you are doomed to fail. We want to highlight the road blocks you may face and help provide some solutions towards them.
Right Intentions But Wrong Execution
You have taken your first step and you went to your local gym and bought your membership for 2018, great work big props to you! You are super stoked to get started, you have goals and you want to achieve them. Your motivation is through the roof, you're ready!
You walk in and it dawns on you, you’ve no idea what to do, how these machines work, what correct form looks/feels like and you’re kind of like... Well kind of like this
Regardless, you persevere, machine images, watching other gym members and YouTube videos provide most of your guidance on technique and if all else fails jump on the treadmill. Your muscles feel sore the next day so something is happening!
You continue doing this every day. You work super hard day in day out and after a month of this you expect great, wonderful and magical things to happen, but they don’t. This is a very realistic thing and can be quite damaging to that spark of motivation that you had at the start of the month. This could discourage you from going back for another month.
This would be the most common outcomes we see when people approach the beginning of their fitness journey. Some ideas to stop you running into these issues:
If you don’t know what you’re doing get someone that does to show you
Put a plan in place with someone who is well versed in training and nutrition. If you were looking to work on your car and you weren't familiar with cars, you'd hire a mechanic. If you want to work on your body and you don't know what to do, hire a coach
Track progress so even if you don’t see it (we all generally have a warped view of our own reality) you can see it in the data. Tracking morning bodyweights and forming weekly averages to see trends, body fat tests in the gym (Most body fat tests aren't all that accurate but keep using the same method for consistency and make sure the numbers are going in the right direction) and keep a training log to see progress over time
Try not fall for gimmicks, sadly this industry is filled with them. If someone claims to be great, investigate. What's their education? Who have they worked with? Have they got results with someone like you before? Look for proof, don't take someone at their word!
Don’t do exercises that cause pain or that you are unsure about how to execute the move
Keep motivation high, outsource what you don't know to a trustworthy proven professional and enjoy your sessions!
Radical Change Isn't a Good Thing
Most people are led to believe that in order to achieve their resolution every part of their life needs an overhaul. For example they believe that from January 1st onward they will never eat a take-away again, they will cease drinking alcohol and will never spend their time sat on a sofa all night watching TV.
Sounds like the perfect healthy lifestyle right?
Sure it’s ideal but is it realistic? Absolutely not. We do those things because we enjoy them, we do them with our friends and family as social occasions. Pursuing your ideal physique or fitness level will require small sacrifices and a certain level of restriction but a lifestyle overhaul is unwarranted and also may be hindering your long-term progress.
By overly restricting their diet to an extreme, you will probably see progress relatively fast. What happens after this? If you haven’t developed a lifestyle that you can consistently keep up once your goal is achieved you begin to revert back to your old non restrictive lifestyle and in many studies has shown your rebound weight far exceeds your previous starting weight.
Instead we want you to think about making small life changes that can be kept consistently over weeks, weeks will add up to months and months will add up to sustainable years. If you aren’t particularly active get more active but don’t jump into the deep end and kill yourself, if your eating habits are poor make a few changes towards a healthier day, don’t demonise every food you ate before just eat in moderation and substitute foods with a lower calorie more nutrient dense option.
Find A Gym That Cares
Most training facilities work on a model like a 90/10. This is, 90% of the people that sign up don't actually attend the gym for most of the year while the other 10% of "hardcore' members seem to never leave. This make sense when you think of how many members most gyms boast about. "5000 Members Strong", but when you look around that gym you'll think to yourself that only about 200 people could fit in their at any one time.
They do this by pushing cheap memberships, "15 Euros Per Month", which is enough for you to think that it's low enough not to attend and not care but not enough to actually go in and cancel it. With this business model they profit from you failing your goal. If you don't turn up, they still make their money and they don't have the running costs from you being there using electricity on machines, water in the showers and less usage of equipment.
A logical solution is shop around for a gym that invests in you! Where the staff aren’t staff but coaches, constantly helping you in order to make progress. Where if you don’t understand something they can break it down so that you are capable of it. If you’re carrying an injury they understand how to work around it.
Luckily there has been a rise in Private and Semi-Private facilities that do this. Where at no point is there not a coach on the floor looking out for you and what you want to achieve. These gym’s don’t work off the 90/10 model. They work off communities of people striving to better themselves each time they walk in the door.
These are the facilities you want to be in if you really want to make change in 2018.
Happy Christmas and Happy New Years,
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