For every client I have had that has acquired success, there have been many who’ve fallen to the wayside because they just can’t seem to get out of their own darn way.
While this can be frustrating to me as a trainer who wants to help everyone, I know that not everyone is ready to be helped. It doesn’t mean I won’t stop trying!
If you’ve been on and off the fitness wagon for a while now and cannot seem to pinpoint WHY you don’t see results, you are most likely one of the people I’m speaking of. But guess what? You don’t have to be. But first, you will need to change some of your current habits and fix your ways of thinking about fitness.
Here are the most common issues I see in clients who cannot ultimately “stick with it” to reach their fitness goals.
1. You’re trying to do too many things at once
New habits are hard to implement. It requires a lot of mental energy as well as physical energy to acquire new skills and learn new things. It’s okay to aspire to learn many new things and to want to always be learning and improving but you have to focus on one goal at a time. Pick which goal you want to focus on first.
2. Your goal is unrealistic
If you set yourself up for failure from the get go, you are certain to get discouraged and quit before you’ve barely even started. If your busy life makes it hard for you to get to the gym twice a week, don’t pick a program that requires you to go four or five. If you have a tight budget, don’t join a gym you’ll only have to quit in three months because you ran out of cash. Are you not a morning person? Don’t commit to a program that starts at the crack of dawn. Do your kids schedules demand you drive them all over creation at all times of the week for sports or whatever? Don’t commit to a training program that requires you to be available at a set time on certain days of the week. Once you’ve missed enough you won’t go back. Make sure you set goals that line up with your real life circumstances.
3. You’re stubborn (and a know it all)
Every now and then a prospective client will come to me to help them accomplish their fitness goals only to think they would then dictate to me what they did and did not want to do. If you know what you’re doing already, go get a commercial gym membership and do your magic! If you aren’t getting the results you want, however, and you come to me for advice and assistance to reach your goal, we’ll be doing it my way, thank you. And please spare me your thoughts on what you did in your high school hey days or what your favorite social media guru said you should be doing. Clearly those things haven’t helped you either. A professional needs to earn your trust but you also need to step back and give them the opportunity to do so. If you’re convinced from the start that your way is better, you won’t get results. In fact, you’ll probably self sabotage just like you did without a trainer, only now it’s costing you more.
4. It’s not really a priority
When new members start our training program at real [FIT] life, we have them fill out a questionnaire. One question asks new members what their level of commitment is, on a scale of 1-10. Most people put between an 8 and 10 and I really think that is true when they’re filling out the form. But then times goes on and they start to wander off in their resolve. Suddenly they can’t make appointments because the weather is nice and they want to hang with friends, or they make an unnecessary purchase that drains their budget and they can no longer afford training. They show up late on the regular or start scheduling other things that conflict with their training times. Our members who have the greatest long term success are the ones who clearly know WHY they are there and why it’s important to them. You need to define those things as well and constantly remind yourself.
5. You have a routine (not a program design)
New prospective members usually want to tell me about their routines in the gym. Guess what? Part of the reason you aren’t getting results is because you HAVE a routine. If you are doing the same exercises for the same number of reps and at the same weight every time you go to the gym, you’ve stagnated big time. Yes, you may have seen results when you started that routine, as a beginner, but that’s because it was new. If you want to continue to see results you need to be switching up your program about every 4 – 6 weeks, depending on how frequently you train. And your program should be designed with a specific goal in mind, not just based off random selection. You also need to be applying progressive overload to your program and pushing yourself to do a little more all the time.
6. You’re afraid of looking like you don’t know what you’re doing (and afraid of failing)
If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you already have. If you want to accomplish greater things you are going to have to travel outside your comfort zone. Guess what happens when you do that? You eventually get better and your fear of trying new things eventually turns into a zest for trying new things. If something new is scary for you, break it down into smaller steps and give yourself a slightly longer window of time to tackle it. Not too long, though, or you’ll never do it.
7. It’s hard
When you’re a beginner at something, it’s so exciting, isn’t it? Results come quickly because it’s all new stuff and your body is like a sponge. Then you’re not a beginner anymore and all those rapid results stop showing. Suddenly you’re having to work a lot harder just to see a sliver of progress. Welcome to the world of a seasoned fitness enthusiast. This is when the work starts and you decide you’re either invested and in this for the long haul, or you’d just rather go back to the way you were before you saw any improvement. Set backs and failure are in your future and you’re either going to get past them by working through, seeing them as the small bumps in the road that they are, OR you’re going to give up. This is also the typical moment when people assume the program isn’t working so they quit and jump onto yet another fad bandwagon, thinking some other program is going to give the magic results they’ve yet to find. Nope, it’s not happening.
DON’T give up. Acknowledge the beauty of life’s challenges, put your big girl pants on, and get back in the ring. It’s the only option that’s going to make you feel good about yourself. There is no magic fix. Just hard work. Trust me.
Now get out there.
Jeannine Trimboli, Founder, real [FIT] life
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