What Four Years of Fitness Failing Taught Me.

Uncategorized Oct 02, 2018

Let's travel back in time to about 2013. Four years post graduation. Four years of being a "real person." And consequently, four years since I had a regular workout schedule. 

I played hockey in college and we had practice three times a week and off-skates practice two times a week. I had a coach to tell me what to do, and a group of girls around me (aka peer pressure) to finish every drill and not slack. I graduated in 2009 and when my freedom, relatively low financial responsibility and Wednesday nights at the club flew out the door... so did my workout routine. 

In those four years between 2009 and 2013 my mantra was "really should." As in, I really should workout. 
I really should cook more meals at home.
I really should lose some weight.
I really should join a gym.
I really should [insert unhealthy habits here] less, and I really should [insert healthy habits here] more.

And I tried. For a day here and there. I'd pick up a  30-day squat challenge I found on Pinterest and follow through for about 4 days. I'd pull up a HIIT workout and begin my workout journey... only to scroll through my entire workout time the next day searching Google for just the right workout that didn't contain any repeat moves from the one the day before. "There goes my workout time. I really should plan ahead better."

If I wrote my own workout, I'd get through 30 seconds of my 45 seconds of high knees and convince myself I overplanned the workout and it really should have been 30 seconds all along. That 30 seconds rest? Let's just change that to one minute, what was I thinking?!?

It wasn't until peer pressure and a serious desire to be in the ranks of my coach and some online fit friends pushed me to bite the bullet and purchase a full done-for-you fitness program, that things changed.

The workout was on DVDs I could follow along to. When the guy said rest, I rested. When he said move, I moved. When the calendar said it was time to do "Total Body Synergistics" I'd pop that DVD in the player, and when the calendar said rest day... you can bet your bottom dollar I rested. 

It wasn't easy. And I didn't really do that great at it. I missed some days. I had some weak sauce workouts where I phoned it in and dragged ass the whole time. But it was lightyears more effective than my scroll & dabble approach I'd been doing for four, weight-gaining years. After about three weeks of workouts on my new plan  I had already done more workouts than I did the entire YEAR prior. 

That's when I learned the importance of having a set plan. 

Now come back to present day. I'm a Certified Personal Trainer which means I can create my own workout programs and I do so for my clients. From my life perspective I can tell you a plan/coach/instruction/guidance helps take YOU out of the decision making equation, and see real results. From my trainer perspective I can add that:

  1. A plan helps provide structure and guidance
  2. A workout program will help ensure you target your entire body and not accidentally overlook anything
  3. A workout program  helps ensure you get enough rest to recover and enough challenge to improve
  4. A workout program helps you maximize your workout time and see results faster
  5. A plan is an essential part of reaching a physical goal. It's the GPS to your road trip. Don't leave home without it. 
  6. A workout program can open your eyes to new movements and exercises that keep you engaged, challenged and interested.
  7. A plan can include progressions and periodization that help keep your body guessing and therefore changing, avoiding plateaus.
  8. A workout program is an effective tool to help people follow through because they have a start and end date.
  9. A workout program helps you measure your progress. You can't change what you don't measure.
  10. A good workout program is carefully crafted and each component is deliberate. Serious time and thought are put into an effective plan, and the results will far exceed the no-strategy approach.

When I went from trying to DIY my fitness to following a pre-made workout program, everything changed.

Raise your hand if you can relate to old me? When's the last time you searched Pinterest for workout ideas? When's the last time you failed your commitment to do 5 burpees a day for 30 days? (Or something similar?)

If you've got a case of the "really shoulds" and can relate to old me, I want to encourage you to decide TODAY on a plan that makes sense. Have some skin in the game. Choose a coach or trainer who will hold you accountable. (<---might I suggest, me?!?). If you would like your own personal recommendation for a workout program that makes sense for your body/goals/schedule and you want some help with your "old me to new me" healthy lifestyle transformation, please email me at [email protected]. Let's get you off that DIY-workout cycle and made better use of your time... whaddaya think?

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