We have been exploring the 3 C's of great fitness
You may not know this, but when I started running 614Fitness fulltime (almost 2 years ago now) I began working with a fitness business coach. I felt I needed someone with the knowledge and expertise to guide me toward success in running a business in this crowded, complex fitness industry.
I have a Masters Degree in business and have had several successful careers. I could have thought: “I am smart, confident and competent! I got this!”
But getting started right and doing the right thing was important to me.
I met weekly with my "coach" and we developed strategic plans and goals, implemented our strategies and then held me accountable for the results.
Then a funny thing happened...
I was so busy with the business of the business, I stopped working out. So what did I do? I hired a coach.
Now my personal trainer (Elicia) kicks my butt, challenges me to push my limits and keeps me accountable to my weekly routine.
This got me thinking… to make improvements, to grow and excel, we all need a good coach!
When it comes to our physical fitness and health, many people try to do it on their own and, grant it, a few are successful at going it alone.
But most are not.
Think about it:
Most of us take our car to a mechanic…
… our fur babies to a vet…
… our clothes to a dry cleaner…
… our hair to a stylist...
But when it comes to our own health and fitness, we think we can go it alone.
Here are six reasons that coaching will make a huge impact on your health and fitness:
1. Looking in the mirror
Most of us, when we look in the mirror see only one side of the picture … the front. The same thing happens when we lift or engage in demanding physical activities. We often can’t see what our bodies are really doing. Expert coaching can look at, evaluate and correct those blind spots to make our workouts safer and more effective.
2. Expert instruction
A good coach will formulate a comprehensive workout plan by ascertaining your goals, availability and health history. If you have a medical condition or any other limitation (such as chronic back pain), a coach can recognize the deficiency and design a customized regimen that suits your needs and abilities.
If you're a beginner, a coach will provide valuable instruction on how to perform specific exercises, engage with proper form and use the equipment correctly and safely.
3. Challenge and Motivation (and Dare We Say FUN?)
As we noted in last week's article, most of us simply do not push ourselves hard enough in the gym. I know I don't. But a good coach will use just the right amount of support and brutal honesty to get us out of that comfort zone. After we have worked out for a while, we all feel discouraged at times while at the gym. Your coach knows how to motivate you to get the most out of your workouts. That support can encourage you to push past those self-imposed limits and challenge you more than you could alone.
A good fitness regimen needs variety. Coaching will bring a fresh perspective and new ideas to challenge both your body and mind. You'll enjoy having new exercises and endless variety as part of your program.
When you exercise on your own, it's easy to skip a session here and there or fall off the wagon completely. A coach will keep you accountable, urging you to stick with your program. The support you receive may also include a review of your diet and an update on your fitness and/or weight-loss progress.
5. Plateau-busting advice
Plateaus are an almost unavoidable part of a fitness journey as your body falls into a comfort zone from doing the same exercises day after day. If your weight-loss progress has stalled and you're not seeing any results, coaching can help you break out of a rut. They will mix up your routine to propel you through those obstacles or plateaus.
Your coach will implement a fitness plan to help you maximize results in minimum time, increasing the efficiency of your exercise program. This is especially beneficial if you have limited time to exercise. You'll focus on results and proper techniques, and not waste your time and energy doing ineffective workouts.
<< Test First Name >>, Your health and fitness is important, at least as important as covering that gray hair, getting a little trim off the top or getting your nails done.
Getting good coaching, whether one-on-one or in a small group setting, will pay huge dividends in creating and building the great fitness you deserve and desire.
Over the next 3 entries I want to give you a simple formula to get the best results from your fitness regimen. Utilizing the K.I.S.S. method, I boiled great fitness down to the tree C's:
This post we'll tackle the first C:
I have been in the sports and fitness industry for enough years now to notice that 90% of the people who go to a gym and who workout on their own don’t even come close to challenging themselves enough. I know that because I am one of those people. If my daily routine calls for leg day and walking lunges, I know I will find a way to do bench press or biceps instead.
So why is that?
To paraphrase Sheldon Cooper on The Big Bang Theory:
“It’s called the comfort zone for a reason!”
Most of us do not want to get out of that comfort zone
And sometimes it makes us really, well, uncomfortable!
Most of us do not consistently maintain the mental or physical fortitude to push ourselves past a certain point - to that point of total exhaustion, muscle fatigue or failure.
But, you know how the old saying goes:
“There’s no growth in the comfort zone!”
So what can get you to push yourself out of that comfort zone and into the challenge zone?
I really appreciate what CrossFit has done for the fitness community. Back before CrossFit, most would workout to accomplish something:
To get better at a sport
Enter a bodybuilding competition
Look better in a bikini
The sport of CrossFit has allowed us to see working out and getting stronger as the competition in and of itself. Working out is no longer relegated to back rooms and sweaty gyms, it has become elevated as a competition worthy of prizes, acclaim and national attention. At 614Fitness, we routinely use competition to drive our success and push our limits.
A Good Plan and a Goal
For some people, a well thought out plan with a beginning and end strategy is enough motivation to work out hard enough and push themselves. Of course developing a good plan is hard and sticking to it even harder. It takes a special kind of motivation and person to put in the hours and enough effort over a sustained period of time to get real results. That’s why we get new members all the time that say they’ve been a member of this or that gym but stopped going or didn’t get the results they wanted.
A good goal is also important. One that is difficult to achieve… challenging. I know a lot of our runner athletes have been struggling with their running routines due to the cancelation/postponement of so many of their races. Most have had to pivot and find other more intrinsic goals. Unfortunately, some have found their motivation lag and drop off right along with their miles.
A Fitness Community
Ask any 614Fitness member athlete and they will tell you that working out in our small groups motivates them to push harder, lift more and go beyond their comfort zones. The camaraderie, support and banter help to make those difficult reps go faster and the weights to seem lighter.
When you look over at that workout neighbor and feel their effort, energy and shear will, it motivates you to push and challenge your own limits.
(And we’ll talk more about this in the next ‘C’)
Many times I will see an athlete pick up a weight knowing that they can lift more. Not only does the athlete tend to underestimate themselves, they also may be trying to unconsciously stay in their comfort zone. Good coaching can recognize your strengths and limitations and challenge you to push past those artificial limitations. Having that coach set high expectations and then providing the support and encouragement to meet them will get you those fitness benefits you have been looking for.
Challenge is critical in realizing your fitness gains. It is far too easy to fall into that comfort zone. If this is you, try some of the tips here to push past those limits. Your fitness and your gains will thank you for it.
We've already talked about the first 2 "C's" of great fitness:
I don’t know a fitness professional out there who won’t tell you that consistency is the single most important key to great fitness.
It’s also one of the hardest.
In our busy, hectic, Covid-hazed world, there are distractions and roadblocks thrown at us all the time. I find it a lot harder to stick to my plans when there is so much noise. And, fitness is hard. Sometimes sitting idly in front of a screen seems easy. But we know, deep down, that is a false equivalency. That lethargy leads to more lethargy and then to that inevitable loss of fitness and dread.
Unfortunately, our fitness industry plays into this:
Great fitness is built over time with dedicated, consistent effort. And, not just for an event or time period, but for a lifetime of healthy living.
The Key To Consistency - Create Habits
Changing your habits is about establishing a ‘new normal’ so that healthy living becomes your way of life rather than something you either do or don’t do, depending on which phase of your ‘yo-yo cycle’ you’re in.
For instance, you don’t have to think about brushing your teeth, you simply make your way to the bathroom to do this before you go to bed… A habit
You don’t have to think about having a shower in the morning, you simply switch on the hot water and jump in before you get dressed… A habit
So, like those habits, what if you make healthy habits that promote a healthier, slimmer and happier you automatic as well?
This is why we recommend scheduling your classes at 614Fitness well in advance. To set up a routine and commit to the habit. I know on certain mornings I can always count on certain members whose habit it is to make that morning class no matter what.
Here are five things to consider when making consistent fitness your habit:
Consistency Habit # 1: Define What REALLY Motivates You.
Just to be clear, we’re not talking about a brief bout of motivation on the 1st of January or following a milestone birthday or an upcoming class reunion.
This is about a deep inner desire to achieve a goal. The going will get tough at some point along your journey, and motivation is critical to keep you moving forward during those times. To help our members create and maintain motivation, we help them connect to a deep seated reason for wanting to achieve their goal.
For example, we often hear that someone wants to join 614Fitness to lose weight. That’s all well and good, but there is another, deeper motivator.
Ask yourself, “Why do I want to get fit.”
Nobody really wants to lose weight per se.
What they really want is the feeling or results they get by losing weight.
Quick success story:
One of our members tells a story of her 6 year old whose friend asked him to come over Saturday morning and go to the movies. The 6 year old replied: “I can't, that's when my mom goes for her workout!”
Consistency Habit # 2: Addition not Subtraction
When creating new habits, we often devote all our energy to stopping our ‘bad habits’ and replacing these with new ‘good habits’.
This is not necessarily wrong, and it may be a successful approach for some people. Many times it leaves us craving the forbidden fruit, and we’ve not provided an acceptable alternative.
The process of adding new, healthy habits to our lifestyle won’t leave us with that empty feeling. I sometimes call this “The tail wagging the dog.” As you add in these consistent healthy fitness habits, you often find that your craving for the unhealthy ones just don’t work for you anymore. These new habits will naturally replace your old habits in time anyway.
One final thought. Language matters. Try telling yourself “I GET to work out today.” vs “I HAVE to work out.” Try making your workout it’s own reward. More than one member has told us “This is MY time and no one is going to take it away from me!”
Consistency Habit # 3: Love the Process
Those of you who have known me very long know that I always talk about loving the process. “Love the process, get the results!”
I heard an anecdote about the famous violinist Itzhak Perlman. During a master class he was asked if he knew that, when he was putting in hours upon hours practicing violin, he one day would become a world famous violinist.
He replied, “No! I wanted to be a world famous tennis player. I practiced the violin so much because I loved it. Loved to play it. Loved how it sounded. I just happened to become a famous violinist.”
He loved the process.
Learn to love the process of working out... challenging your body in new ways, creating habits that build your fitness, doing things you weren't able to do before. That’s magic! And that's when the results happen.
Consistency Habit # 4: Keep It Simple – That One Thing
A common mistake most of us make is trying to do too much all at once. New Year’s resolutions are a lot like that:
“I’m going to lose weight, start running, organize the office, quit eating sugar, stop watching Netflix and workout everyday!”
Then January 2nd happens!
Keep it simple. Plan that one thing you want to change. One January I gave up diet cola (2-3 can-a-day habit) and never looked back. The next year we opened 614Fitness!
More often than not, changing just one small habit can empower us to take on and tackle more. And, the reward of having success in one small habit encourages us to keep challenging ourselves.
Try making just one small change, something simple you can do. You might be surprised by what that success might lead to.
Here are some examples to try:
Consistency Habit # 5: Use Support Systems
No one said it was going to be easy.
Having systems of support around you can help you stay on track when the going gets tough. And it will!
One of the things we like to do at 614Fitness is throw challenges out to our member athletes. The accountability makes the process more fun. Relying on team members, family, or friends is a great way to stay on track.
On your refrigerator, write a note of affirmation. Why are you REALLY motivated to do.
Our small group personal training is so effective because we challenge and support each other to crank out one more rep or take on a bigger challenge. Weight Watchers is so successful because it builds on a community of support.
Some ideas for support systems: