You’re not going to be very good at something your whole nature feel averse to. I say ‘feels’ rather than ‘is’ because it wasn’t that I wasn’t capable. As human beings, I believe we are all designed for movement of some kind.Read More
1) Enjoy & engage with the process than
'The secret to permanently breaking any bad habit is to love something greater than the habit' - Bryant McGill
Learn to love your work. The 2nd thing we do with our members, after making them feel welcome, is to get them interested in the challenges, progression and new skills they will learn. This could mean setting them off on and showing them the steps to achieving their first chin up. We also encourage them to discover the session styles that suit their body and how they enjoy working out. Your main goal may be to lose a stone, or bench press 100kg but when you're tired or low these end goals may seem far off. Celebrating smaller progressions and achievements that can be worked on right there, right then will give you the boost you need to get it done.
2) Accountability & support is key . . .
'No man is an island, no man stands alone.'
We can only go so far alone. It is a lot more effective and enjoyable to have support and to support others along the way. I'm sure we can all agree we are not always great at holding ourselves accountable. Find yourself a group of like-minded people who have similar values and will be a positive influence on your life that you can share your journey with. One of the main motivators when starting Synergy Health & Performance was to facilitate the creation of a culture of support between members and clients that is greater than any one trainer could provide alone. Even my 1-to-1 clients know that the other personal trainers, clients and group members are rooting for them to succeed.
3) Have a clear direction in mind . . .
'If you don't know where you are going, you will never get there'
Decide what your primary focus is. You can set a new target once you get there but try not to pull yourself in too many opposing directions. For example it is not a good idea to set the goal of getting a marathon personal best and also increase you box jump height, training for one will detract attention from training for the other. You can still have multiple goals but make sure they complement one another (e.g. Improve max chin up reps & lose 10lb).
4) Routine is everything . . .
'Good habits, once established are just as hard to break as are bad habits'
Rather than focusing your mind on what not to do in order to succeed, instead focus on integrating into your day/week the actions required for success. You will not accidentally achieve your goals. Plan your path: When are you going to workout? What days are you going to go shopping? What time do you need to go to sleep to recover fully? Who is going to hold you accountable to your plan?
5) Do it for the right reasons . . .
'In order to achieve long-term results, your reason for doing so has to also withstand the test of time'
My most successful clients are not the ones who were the most motivated when they arrived or even the ones willing to put themselves through the most pain. They are the ones who are doing it for the right reasons. Think about why you want to make a change and if needed, re-focus your attention on reasons that have a more solid foundation. You will likely achieve more than you had originally even planned to.
I found this book really helpful in helping me re-assess my prioritise and stay motivated with life, business & fitness:
Are Conflicting Goals Holding You Back?
In this article I want to help you re-focus your efforts so that you can see significant results in the key areas you want to improve.
A common answer I hear when asking a new Synergy member or PT client what their goals are, is ‘I want to have abs & develop muscle size’. This brings up a simple problem; that the first requires less kcal intake than they expend, & the other requires more. Both these goals will be achievable given a long enough time frame, however, focusing on both at the same is unlikely to get them very far.
In that situation we plan to first to lean up, focusing on reducing body fat percentage. Once we reach our goal we switch our focus to gaining some lean muscle tissue. During this time we aim to do it without losing too much definition. By the end of the two phases we have achieved some great results.
We are all guilty of wanting too much. An example of not following this advice & not achieving my full potential was a few years back; I trained for an Olympic distance triathlon during my pre-season training for American football. My priority was to be in optimum shape for football, hitting a target body weight of 82kg & achieving some strength goals. I ended up meeting a few of my strength goals but falling way short of my weight goal. I did ok in the triathlon but had hoped for a quicker time. The two sports couldn’t be more opposite ends of the training spectrum. Although I improved in both I didn’t enjoy trying to fit in so many different training styles & ultimately was not aiming for average. My main goal was to be in optimum shape for football & the past two years I have gone with my priority & improved my speed & size for football (despite my fair share of injuries).
That is a very obvious example, but even within the same training discipline it can very beneficial to pick target focus areas. If you are well trained you will likely start to plateau on most strength PB’s after a few years yet peoples goals seem still to be, to get stronger at every compound lift each month & view anything short of this as failing to progress. Often what is needed, is to pick one or two lifts & add extra training volume & assistance work into those. This is likely to mean reducing the volume on other body areas. Your goals should be maintenance of strength in other areas whilst improving one or two lifts.
For many athletes this means periodising your training, so you are splitting your pre-season into different focus phases: strength / Power / Speed / Endurance / Injury Prevention / Maintenance ect.
As a beginner you can get away with improving on multiple areas at the same time but the better adapted you get the more you need to think about picking some priority areas & working on less goals at a time.