Developing The Fitness Mindset
January's over. The New Year's Resolution gym goers have disappeared from gyms all over the world having tried and failed at sticking to their goals. They'll keep their gym memberships of course... just in case.
In my experience, these people suffer from a belief that they lack motivation.
Anyone that trains regularly knows that 'Motivation' is bullshit.
Motivation at its best gets you started but because of its fleeting nature cannot be relied upon.
To quote the mighty Joe Rogan, "If I only ever trained when I felt like it, I'd be a fat piece of shit".
"What's the perfect workout?" is the question I get asked more than any other.
"No idea" is what I say back.
Yes, some exercises and routines are of course better suited to some people over others but the truth of it is that ultimately it really doesn't matter.
The only really important principle is that of consistency.
It doesn't matter whether you're looking to lose body fat, get stronger, build mounds of muscle, run a marathon.
If you're not consistently training, what exercises you perform when you do work out is utterly irrelevant.
The true ability of a good PT is his ability to instil the discipline required in his client to train consistently regardless of whether said client is over-worked, time sensitive, bored, aching or even feeling great.
I often tell my weight loss clients that their mindset will be the determining factor in whether or not they lose weight.
Going into a weight loss programme with a negative attitude has a far smaller chance of success compared with an attitude of focus, excitement and discipline.
From my experience consistency can be developed through a combination of DISCIPLINE, A POSITIVE ATTITUDE, SETTING SMALL, MANEAGABLE GOALS and DELIBERATELY DOING BENEFICIAL THINGS THAT YOU DON'T WANT TO DO EVERY DAMN DAY!
Commit ONCE and work until you succeed. Most people don't actively commit to their training. I talk to so many people that haven't truly made a commitment to change so when they inevitably get bored/ too sore/ tired/ etc they quit.
If losing fat is your goal, ask yourself how much fat, how long it'll take you and what exactly are you going to do to get there. How many days a week will you train? What style of training will you be doing? What's your nutrition going to look like?
Write the answers down, log every workout and go. Your chances of succeeding increase dramatically. If you're unable to answer some of those questions, talk to a professional and don't be shy to ask for advice. We're here to help!
When motivation fails you it's your discipline that'll keep you on track.
A positive attitude:
Instead of worrying about how overweight you are, for example, focus on the body you are working towards.
Instead of focussing on all the tasty food you'll be denying yourself, get online and teach yourself how to cook delicious food that tastes good.
Remove the negative connotations associated with achieving your goal and focus on the good stuff.
That goes for individual workouts as well. Rather than dreading your workout, think about how proud of yourself you'll feel once you've finished it. Last Monday I committed to performing 1000 pushups. Without making that commitment beforehand, I'm sure I'd have give up by 600. When I got to 600, instead of stopping I reminded myself of how the rest of my day would go if I actually managed to complete the challenge. Sounds trite right? It worked. Took me 70mins but I got it done.
Split your goals into manageable chunks.
A 50lbs weight loss goal will take time despite what many online 'fitness' gurus would have you believe.
Take that 50lbs and split it into 10 mini goals. Every time you lose 5lbs, give yourself a little reward. Could be a pizza, could be a new pair of shoes. Doesn't matter. Focus on the rewards not the negatives.
Do shit you don't want to do daily:
Ultimately any fitness goal begins and ends with your mental strength. Doesn't matter what fancy programme you're on, with a weak mind, you'll quit before achieving any meaningful results.
My personal hack (and of course I'm be no means the only one that thinks like this) is everyday to actively do at least one beneficial thing that I'd rather not do.
If I really, really don't want to do burpees, guess what? I'm doing burpees.
If it's freezing outside the last thing I'd want to do is take a cold shower or ice bath after my workout... That's when it's most important.
David Goggins refers to this as callusing your mind. I couldn't agree more.
Develop some mental toughness and seemingly hard activities like training hard or consistently eating clean becomes so much easier.
Whatever your goal, make it your obsession. Everyone knows that person that just quit smoking and now can't stop talking about it.
Be that way with your fitness. Watch videos, read books and articles, talk to those with more experience any opportunity you get. Obsession is what lazy people call the dedicated. Don't just make your goals part of your life, let them control it. I'm not saying ignore everything else in your life but if your goal is important to you, you absolutely MUST make it a priority.