In the 8 years I have been involved with fitness I’ve realized that there are 3 tips that will ensure that you achieve your fitness goals and sustain your progress in the long term. If you’ve had a difficult time with either of these things read on!
#1: What You Do IN The Gym Must Be Tailored to Your Fitness Goals
The human body adapts to the stress & stimulus that it is exposed to. This means that fat loss, muscle gain, strength gain, even fat gain are all bodily adaptations.
Therefore, you can intentionally change some of your physical characteristics & capabilities by exposing your body to certain stimulus over time.
Are you working really hard in your workouts and still not seeing the results you want?
This happens for 2 reasons:
- One reason is our mindset & beliefs when it comes to working out. Many believe that a good or effective workout is determined by:
- How sweaty they are
- How tired they are at the end (did they push themselves to the max?)
- If they “felt the burn”
- If they are sore the next day
However, using these as guidelines to determine if you’re getting closer to your goal might not be accurate.
It might lead you to work hard, but working really hard without direction is a road to nowhere. This mindset will likely lead to mental and physical burn out.
Working smart is much more effective. So, if you’re serious about reaching your goal, it’s important to be intentional about what you’re doing.
2. The second reason is a lack of understanding strength and conditioning & exercise physiology. When exercising, there are scientific principles we can use to manipulate the stimulus on our body. Doing this intentionally helps the body to adapt in a specific way.
A good coach will understand how to manipulate different variable so your body can adapt the way that YOU want.
- When you are serious about achieving a specific health or fitness goal (ex. Improving strength, power, endurance, body composition etc.) it’s another way of saying that you want your body to adapt in a certain way.
- This means that you must give your body the specific stimulus that will induce that adaptation. For example, going on the stair stepper for 45 minutes is NOT going to help you get stronger, more muscular legs.
- There comes a point when it’s not enough to just workout because you’re working out. Being intentional with your workouts is much more effective than trying to kill yourself in the gym.
- This is where understanding strength and conditioning principles (or hiring a coach who does) will help you reach your goals.
#2: What You do OUTSIDE The Gym Must Support Your Fitness Goals
We tend to focus on tangible evidence and action that we can feel is helping us towards our goals. This is why most people focus predominantly on physical exercise when it comes to reaching a fitness goal.
The time spent in the gym is important. But we tend to put less focus on what we do in the other 22-23 hours in the day OUTSIDE of the gym.
Overall, a person’s lifestyle is going to make or break it when it comes to achieving their fitness goals.
Things like sleep, nutrition, stress management, emotional regulation, hydration, and movement are all things to consider when it comes to leading a lifestyle that will support the goals you have for your physical body & performance.
A Simple Analogy:
If you plant a seed you must provide it with a nourishing environment that will help it grow and flower. If you don’t, nothing will happen.
When you workout you plant a seed. But it’s what you do OUTSIDE of the gym that will determine if that seed will grow.
Your lifestyle & habits outside the gym must support your work in the gym.
Transform Your Mind, Transform Your Body.
A lifestyle is just “the way a person lives”. It’s a series of habits & behaviours that we consistently engage in. But what determines our behaviours? Our thoughts, beliefs, and feelings.
This is where psychology becomes important. Especially if you want to change your lifestyle to be healthier, more fit, happier, more mindful etc. For more on this, check out the article below.
You might also like: How to Lose Weight & Keep it Off Using Psychology
- Going to the gym and working out is like planting a seed, but if that seed isn’t given water, fertilizer, sunlight etc. it won’t sprout and grow.
- The environment the seed is in is similar to the environment you create for your body in the 22-23 hours outside of the gym each day.
- Your lifestyle outside the gym (sleep, nutrition, hydration, stress levels etc.) has to support what you’re doing in the gym otherwise it will be unlikely that you will achieve your goal.
#3: Be Consistent & Committed
Being consistent is the most important thing you should know.
Many people get too caught up with making every effort the best effort they can put forth. It creates an all or nothing mentality, which kills their consistency.
Not every workout needs to be great, not every effort needs to be perfect, just BE CONSISTENT. Small consistent effort is MUCH more effective than large sporadic efforts.
Look at anyone who’s been successful at something. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Jordan, Oprah Winfrey, Bruce Lee etc. They’ve all committed themselves to what they were/are successful at; and they were consistent with their effort over time.
“Whatever you commit & dedicate yourself to WILL expand in your life.”
This is a universal truth. It doesn’t mean it will happen over night or even when you want it to happen, but it will happen. You can trust that.
You might also like: 3 Ways to Stay Consistent on Your Fitness Journey
I have found 3 mistakes that prevent people from staying consistent on their fitness journey’s. Check out that post here so you can avoid these 3 mistakes!
- I know that sometimes it feels like achieving your goal is lightyears away.
- You might feel overwhelmed by all you feel you have to do. You might feel discouraged by the time it will take.
- But take it one step at a time, one day at a time, one workout at time, one meal at a time.
- Know that when you stay consistent and committed to good habits inside and outside the gym you WILL reach your goal.
These are the top 3 things that hold many people back from achieving or sustaining their fitness goals!
- What they do in the gym isn’t specific to their goals
- What they do outside the gym isn’t supporting their goals
- Lack of commitment & consistency
I hope this article helps you discover what may have held you back in the past so you can crush your goals in the future!