For the last just over 10 years I have been employed in the fitness industry in one way or another. A fair bit has changed in that time, new ideas, new fads, new programs, rehashing of old ideas, fads and programs, and some things have stayed the same. The big thing to me that has stayed the same are the claims by all the various different trainers, gyms and programs that profess to be the best program. The one. Your best chance at getting a body to die for. Your only option for getting what you have always desired.
Now normally you might read that first paragraph and think that the author is about to go to town on all the ideas out there that are different to their own. This is not one of those times.
I have seen many different programs come and go, have tried them myself, have helped others with them, have witnessed others succeed, and fail, with them. And every single one of them worked. The two biggest flaws with any of them is; a deadline, and a profession that it will be easy.
How many times have you seen or heard about a program delivering life changing results in 6, 8 or 12 weeks?
How many times have you heard, it will be easier than anything you’ve ever done?
The thing that will make ANY, and I mean ANY program a success is, CONSISTENCY.
Not that a massive crowd of people are doing it, not that it is delivered by someone with every possible exercise credential that is available, not that it was the subject of a study involving 18 Norwegian university students that were intermediate level trainees, not that it is constantly varied, not that it is done on machines or with free weights, not that the sessions are short or long.
It is that you turn up, for the long run, each and everyday and you strive to be 1% better than you were the day before. That is it.
You show me an exercise and nutrition program that has been around for at least 12 months and I will show you it works, it just comes down to sticking with it. To doing the work, to persevering. For too long in the fitness industry we have tried to convince you that it will be easy, that you will be fit and awesome in a short time, we have been lying to you for too long.
A fitness program won’t always be easy, sure, there will be times when the session is easier than others and there is no doubt that some will be much harder. The biggest problem with the statement that it will be easy will be that life will occur. Kids will get sick, business trips will happen, weddings will be attended, car accidents occur, the list goes on. And all of these at times will battle for your time in getting in your training. Sometimes it will become unavoidable that you don’t make it to an exercise session, and this is where it gets hard. It can then become a habit to not go and do it again because that is the more comfortable option. So if you have life events in the way you can try a quick 10 min workout in your hotel room when on that business trip, go for an early morning walk before the wedding you are attending, do some push ups and squats in the lounge room if the kids are in bed sick, there are options. And no, theses type of session aren’t ‘optimal’ or the ‘best for an adonis/goddess like physique’ but you are holding onto your health and fitness habit, and each time you manage to steal a workout from all of the other distractions life throws at you you are on the winning side.
And that is also a point, your workouts, your nutrition, it does not have to be perfect. You can have some party foods, you can miss a day at the gym and still do an easier workout at home, and it is OK, all of your efforts aren’t for nothing. I always come back to the phone analogy, you drop your phone and it has a bit of a dent and a slight crack in the screen, it is repairable. You don’t then throw it on the ground and smash it to bits because of the little blemish. So you don’t need to do that with nutrition and exercise. You missed a session today, it doesn’t mean you miss the whole remainder of the week, you had a burger at lunch, that doesn’t mean you have to have pizza for dinner. You simply come back to being consistent again straight after.
It isn’t about meal to meal, hour to hour, it is about turning days into weeks, and weeks into months and then those months into years. Once you can maintain that consistency you will really see the amazing results.
You will sleep better, you will wake up better, your clothes won’t be as snug, you won’t be out of breath climbing stairs, you won’t have ‘musical knees’, you will feel better when you look in the mirror, confidence will soar, you will find you lose your temper less, days won’t feel as long to you. These are all the benefits to staying with a program for the long run.
Every program works, every style. It is up to you how well it works, the plans are there, you will just need to follow them. The work has been laid out, you will just need to do the work in front of you. And that is where the magic in every program lies, with you. You doing it, following it and committing to it to achieve your goals. But you needn’t do it alone, you can get a coach to guide you, a friend to buddy up with and keep you accountable, a group exercise session to keep it fun. Any one of these can be your guide, your mentor or your director. One of these will keep it simple for you, easy? Maybe not, but by all means they can keep it simple. Just that little bit more each and every day and before you know it, you will be experiencing life just as you want to.