Well boys and girls, it’s that time of year again. The sun is starting to come out, the parks are starting to come alive again and of course people are dropping out of the gym like rats from a sinking ship. Why are all the people who had weight loss goals suddenly ditching their fitness plans this time of year? I can think of a few reasons, just as I’m sure you can as well, but lets be honest, the ones quitting right now are the ones with crappy goals.
That’s right, I said it. All the people who are dropping their big box gym memberships had poorly planned and misconceived goals. In fact most had only 1 goal: LOSE WEIGHT. Let me tell you a little about this goal, it’s complete and absolute garbage.
Ask yourself: if you achieved that weight loss goal tomorrow, what would happen? You’d probably stop going to the gym and enjoy your hard earned rewards right?! It’s the act of having a stopping point that makes this goal a poorly conceived one. This is exactly how fad diets work too. Ever wonder why your friend is constantly on the latest diet? It’s because they work, for awhile, then the affects don’t stick once they come off it and they have to do another one (probably even more restrictive). Same thing happens when goals like this are achieved. People lose that 5 pounds, then stop going to the gym, then they gain the weight back and the next time it’s harder to lose it. This type of goal is the fad diet of the fitness industry! And it’s what those big box gyms are hoping for with those year long contracts. Don’t kid yourself, they want you to quit this time of year and never use them again all while they charge you $20 per month.
So what kind of goals do we encourage at RFT Coaching? We start by looking long term 6-12 months out. Training in the gym is not about short term gains, it’s about long term life changes (aka “the grind”). As coaches we encourage you to set high goals, maybe register for an event in 6 months that you’re not quite ready for (we like obstacle course races), or simply hitting the strength standards we have set for the various lifts based on your gender (yes they are hard). Maybe it’s getting your first pull up, or moving to full pushups. These types of goals are very challenging to get, have measurable standards, and can be progressed further once they are achieved. The biggest difference here is that we are looking at improved performance as the goal, as opposed to simple aesthetics. As the years go on, goals change and how you approach your training should too, periodization is very important and we will touch on the different phases and why we train certain ways in later entries.
So make those plans, set that lofty goal, and find a coach you trust, even if it’s not us. Find someone who believes in your goal just as much as you do. That’s the mark of a good coach, they want you to have everything that you want for yourself, and they won’t let you quit on it. Sometimes you will hate your coach, and sometimes you’re going to want to quit, but just like a good friend who tells you the truth even when you don’t want to hear it, a good coach will push you to be the best you that you can be.
The most interesting thing you’ll find with setting these goals is that looks are a by product of performance. So once you take that leap and switch your thinking, not only will you see your performances improve, but the looks that you want will follow, and above all, your self confidence will improve which is the sexiest thing anyone can have.
Aspera Non Spernit
– Coach Chris