What are the 5 Psychological Stages of Fitness?


When it comes to adopting a fitness routine, we all know it begins with a desire for change. Maybe you want to lose weight or would like to tone up or expect some health benefits. You can look at this as the first stage of your journey to a fitness plan.

But that’s not the only stage you go through. A lot happens along the way, from bumps in the road to moments that will excite you and inspire you to keep at it.

Having a better understanding of the psychological stages of fitness can help prepare you for getting through it successfully. If you know what to expect, you’re less likely to get discouraged. Because while an exercising plan is about physical activities and pushing yourself to do better, your mindset plays an important role as well.

What are the 5 Stages to Achieving Change?

Our mindset is what helps get us to the point where we feel the need to start exercising and working out regularly. Long commutes, busy workdays, and a lot going on at night mean we can easily find the reasons to make fitness a low priority. It’s only when we start complaining about something — our weight, a health issue, or even just a desire to stay fit like your friends are doing — that we act. Whatever the reason, we always arrive at that first stage: looking to change something about ourselves.

It’s about making a decision to get healthy or fit. If it sounds like something that might take just a few seconds, it’s usually a long process for many us, where we entertain the idea of getting in shape, then the motivation drops off, then we start the process again. The turning point comes when the rewards we’re looking for become the motivation to jump into it. And this is usually the phase where we fight off any lingering doubts about what it’s going to take to get there.

From there, most of us start moving through the next stages.

1.   Developing a Strategy

With your self-confidence increasing, you start developing a plan to accomplish your goals. Do you join a gym or settle for walks around your block? Should you start personal training or group training? This is the stage just before you begin working out.  And this is also the crucial point where you move past one of the top excuses for not working out, and that’s telling yourself “I don’t have the time” and begin reviewing your daily schedule.

But what’s most important here is that you conquered your doubts. You’re ready to roll.

2.   From Strategy to Action

This is the point where you actually start working out. Maybe you’ve finally joined a gym, and you’re showing up at 7 every morning. You’re probably aware of the “New Year’s Resolution” curse, of people who decide to start exercising once the new year rolls around, do it for a few weeks, and then find excuses to skip one day … then another ….

This is when you should keep on reminding yourself of the goal that brought you here in the first place, and how good it still sounds to eventually reach it.

3.   Maintaining Your New Routine

This is one of the most exciting stages — when you recognize that you’re sticking with it and it feels great knowing that. Maybe it’s been a month, and maybe it’s been six, but you’ve kept up your resolution and you’re feeling good about it.

A key here is not to get bored with your routine. This is a good point to set new workout goals, or to seek the advice of a personal trainer who can help ensure your goals are being met. This is also a smart time to join a group exercise class where you can not only work out but meet new people and find even more motivation to keep going.

4.   It Becomes a Permanent Daily Event

A truly exciting phase, it’s now become something you look forward to and those old doubts and excuses are gone. Chances are this is also the point where you begin to see results, which gives you even more motivation to stick with it. And this is also the stage where you realize the tools you armed yourself with — knowledge about the best ways to get fit, seeking the advice of a personal trainer and working out with friends and others — pays off. You start to realize you can do anything you set your mind to; it’s where mind and body connect. You’re developing a more positive attitude now, and it’s something you can apply to other aspects of your life, like work, school, personal relationships, etc.

5.   Never Quitting

The final stage is simple: you never quit. You recognize this is a long-term journey, and it doesn’t end the day you reach your initial weight or fitness goal. Fitness truly is a journey, and there’s likely never a final destination.

Schedule Your First Personal Coaching Session with RFT Coaching

Ready to begin your physical fitness goals? Schedule a personal coaching session today. At RFT Coaching, our certified personal trainers Matt and Jenny are committed to helping their clients achieve their best physical fitness.

If you’re ready to get started with a personal coach, call 801-685-6001 or contact us online today. We’re waiting for your call and can’t wait to meet you and help you succeed.