With the surge of social media, the internet is being used as a HUGE platform to sell your services and reach thousands of people at once. People will promise 30-day “fixes”, they will offer the single-best approach to achieve “X” amount percentage of body fat, and provide advice about how to get your deadlift up 100 lbs in 2 months. As a motivated fitness enthusiast/consistent lifter, you have rough goals in mind but don’t know who or what to believe since it all sounds so awesome! Hell, I want to drop to 8% bodyfat overnight and deadlift 700lbs in about a month....
...But unfortunately that’s not how it works…
As a healthcare professional, personal trainer, powerlifter, and coach, I have been down this dark tunnel too many times. I have learned and continue to learn from my mistakes and am sharing my experience that has not only helped myself but has helped the hundreds of patients, clients and athletes I have worked with throughout the years. And truth be told there is nothing sexy, innovative, or fancy about it….
Step 1: Internal Motivation/Drive
I have had a number of clients come up to me and state how they want to “tone” their arms, lose 40 lbs and look like they did 15 years ago. I mean that’s cool, I like goals. And depending on the individual’s current situation this may be realistic within time. However, a couple months later despite constant encouragement, frequent check-ins with diet and exercise they continue to carry out the same lifestyle they were living before I met them, which got them to the point they are at now. There is nothing wrong with living that lifestyle if your health markers are in check and you are happy. However, these people are paying me to help them achieve these goals we discussed beforehand. They are motivated to workout with me, however that workout typically only lasts an hour a day, the other 23 hours they are on their own which is where the real “magic” happens. Bottomline is that having internal motivation to achieve your goals outside the training session is where the majority of the results will be made. Mindful fitness professionals can only lead the client so far, the rest is up to the client. They need to want the change.
Step 2: Patience/Presence
Everyone wants to achieve their goal as soon as possible. I mean who wouldn’t want to get stronger quicker, shredded faster, and sexy AF ASAP. Despite a lot of people understanding there is no “quick-fix,” they still try and rush the results. Most people are smart and they know it takes time, but do they actually have the self-discipline to maintain a sense of presence/patience while being distracted by everything going on around them? With these distractions and relatively slow progress, people may become bored and begin playing around with fancy programming, try some fat-burners, neglect recovery, etc…. Now there is probably a more time-efficient route out there for everybody depending on their goals, however there has to be an element of patience to stay on track. Understand the results may come slower than you want and that it will take time for things to fall into place. This applies to regaining lost strength, losing weight in a healthy manner, and/or gaining weight in a healthy manner.
With patience comes a sense of presence. With Instagram and Facebook portraying everyone living their best lives ever (note sarcasm) it’s tough to sit back and remain patient with your own goals. You want to be posting your summer body or that new gym PR and here you are working hard day-in-day-out doing your goblet squats because you're rehabbing your knee and eating within moderation to lose a few pounds. Those are the times where you need the presence of mind to acknowledge where you are and that everything else is just a distraction from your own goals. And you know that! That’s where the differences are made. Focus on what you are doing and be present/mindful about the other things that go on around you in person and on social media.
Step 3: Consistency
This is where a lot of people will lose out on progress. You could have the worst training program in the world, but if you did it consistently you will see some sort of progress (caution: results may vary). Once you have established a baseline weightlifting and/or fat-loss routine/program, the next phase is doing it and doing it consistently. That means if you have set aside 4x/week to lift for your next training cycle, then make that happen. Plan for events ahead like a family member’s graduation or social events and adjust accordingly. It’s ok to blend two days together into one if you can only workout 3x on a given week. Try not to make that a habit but it’s ok! Same for when you get sick or an unplanned event occurs in your life that really throws off your normal mindset. It’s ok to cut back volume or “take it easy” if something like that does occur. Don’t feel like you need to GRIND, GRIND, GRIND everyday, but also don’t settle into a routine where you’re just going through the motions without focus. Maintain that mindfulness and focus day in and day out. Be logical about your training and be consistent.
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