It isn’t you. It is the workout!
Here you are, someone who has found themselves out of shape. Your stomach may be hanging over the belt, your butt may be expanding at a shocking rate or maybe you just feel like crap. So something happens and you finally decide to do something about it.
- You join gym.
- You buy a DVD
- You download a fitness app on your phone.
And generally this stuff will work for the first couple of weeks. You feel better, you lose some weight and all is good with the world. Then it all comes to a screeching halt. A couple of things may have happened.
Things that derail a workout
- Your life gets busy and you put less and less effort into eating clean and doing the workout and you end up going back to your old habits.
- You get injured. By exercising again you aggravated old injuries.
- You get injured part 2. You started with a program that was waaaaay to advanced for you and you hurt yourself.
- You are doing the same exercises and eating the same way as when you started but you aren’t making progress anymore. In fact, you may be going backwards.
That is the dirty little secret of the fitness industry. It is a little thing we call the “De-conditioned Athlete”.
When you are sitting there on the sofa, bag of Doritos and beer in hand, breathing hard after walking up a flight of stairs, you are de-conditioned. Out of shape.
- Your muscles are weak and flabby.
- You may have lower back/shoulder/knee pain because the muscles can’t support the skeleton the way they should so you basically start folding over and collapsing.
- Your aerobic system is taxed doing everyday things such as walking up stairs.
You are now the ideal client for the fitness industry. Any workout you do, not matter how poorly designed will result in an improved state of health. No matter how dumb the idea is, it will work…for a while. If you just cut back from a case of beer to a 12 pack, you will see a difference. This is known as the conditioning effect and it is a wonderful thing.
Gyms sell memberships by the boatload with this technique. First, they do an assessment which basically means putting you through the wringer for 20 minutes or so. When you come to, you realize how really out of shape you are and you sign the contract on the spot. Gyms will really hit you hard for referalls the first month because they know all you have to do is show up and you will make some progress.
The problem is that this phase lasts 2-4 weeks then disappears. Weight loss slows down, strength gains slow down and your enthusiasm starts grinding to a halt. This is where most people get injured or they just don’t see the value in putting themselves through this pain for little to no results. And it all falls apart.
Has this happened to you?
This is what you need to know. There are 3 phases to training.
- Initial conditioning phase. 2-4 weeks
- The training phase
- The maintenance phase
We just talked about the initial conditioning phase. As a personal trainer I know I have to create enough momentum to push them past this first sticking point. Sometimes just knowing it is going to happen is enough for my people to keep working hard. The second or training phase is where we work on the goals. You are now ready to do the hard work. All the easy gains are gone. This phase lasts until you reach your goal. The maintenance phase can be a less aggressive, simpler period of time where you just want to stay where you are at. Nevertheless, these are the 3 phases and you need to know where you are in them.
This is where the value of a good fitness coach comes into play. I need to do several things you may not notice me doing.
- Working on fixing old injuries through corrective exercise.
- Making sure your technique is correct.
- Keeping you motivated by making the workouts challenging.
- Keeping you focused on your goals.
- Setting realistic goals you can hit.
If you are one of these poor souls putting in time in the gym and not getting results, I would ask you:
- Are you still doing the same routine as when you started?
- Are you using the same weights for the exercises?
- Are you developing or re-aggravating any joint pain?
- Do you wander the gym aimlessly trying to copy someone else’s workout plan?
If this is you, maybe you need a little help. I am here for you.
Can I give you a couple of ideas?
I hope this helped, any questions or if you would like to schedule a free 30 minute consult, please fill out the bottom of the sheet.