Another year down and another year of silly promises to ourselves that won’t be followed – bring on the famous New Year’s resolutions *insert eye roll*
Our industry loves this shit and really capitalises on these meaningless promises by marketing low prices, added extras and all that jazz, knowing full well you won’t stay on target and become another paying, non-attending member on their roster. They feed off your new-found enthusiasm and bank on that enthusiasm falling away without that weekly payment going with you; this means you don’t use employee’s time or take up precious gym space yet you continue to pay the lock-in 12-month membership which you can only escape through the donation of first child’s kidneys. Money for jam.
This is how those big gyms become profitable, so beware the playing of the guilt card and the exploiting of those New Year’s resolutions in the coming days.
What do we suggest that’s different?
Instead of waiting for a specific day, just start now. Waiting fuels anxiety and contributes to the height of the fall that may happen when those resolutions fall by the wayside. This doesn’t mean you have to join a gym today but maybe start the exercise protocol now; go for a walk/run/ride/swim or whatever, for as long as you want and make it a daily ritual.
To make it easy start at 15-20mins and build from there. This is not the cure but it gets the momentum going and it is much easier when most of us are on holidays (where time isn’t an issue) or when we feel our worst during the post-Christmas cheer. I guarantee you that by starting now, the less likely you are going to feel guilty about what we all have eaten and drunk over the last few days and minimise the futile mentality of “Oh well, I have been shit this long, I’ll just start in the new year.”
Obviously, just being active for 20 minutes isn’t enough so once you get yourself into a routine of exercising, it’s time to start taking it to the next level. Before you start saying ‘I don’t want to be those freaks who train all the time and live in active wear’ or ‘I don’t want to get bulky’ let me say this – if they are your excuses than you better be happy with mediocrity, cause what I will say next is the uncomfortable part.
Unfortunately, to get to a better shape you are going to have to start doing shit you are not accustomed to or things you don’t want to do. There is no cure for getting leaner other than being consistent both in your training and eating.
I am not going to get into nutrition (as that is a whole blog in itself) but to get yourself in to the best possible training routine you must do some research; I am a big believer in service and having qualified people to tell you what to do.
I know this is a generalisation and there are some good trainers in big commercial gyms but for the most part they are below standard. Remember, anyone can make you exercise and get you out of breath but it takes a coach to work on your weaknesses, periodise your daily sessions over months or the year in order for you to achieve your goals while getting you into a better physical position. Always look for someone with more than just a Cert 3 or 4; look for someone who has continued their education post the certificate of fitness and personal training. Look for a graduate with experience, or look for qualified trainers with other education and qualifications next to their name.
Because these are the guys who are investing in their knowledge and continuing to educate themselves in this field. This means they go the extra mile and they know more than the average trainer, putting you in a better position than if you were to just get your prescribed PT from a commercial gym without any input from yourself.
This next thing (which might sound biased as it is how we are set up at Hammer) but find a smaller ‘boutique-y’ facility. Allow yourself to get involved in the culture of the facility and meet like-minded people and don’t just settle for the cheapest membership. Cheap memberships are designed to get you in and for which you receive minimal to no service; consequently, you get disheartened, unmotivated and find yourself donating $14.95 weekly to another organisation until you realise you cut your losses and give up.
The old saying reigns true – you get what you pay for and paying for some guided service is actually cheaper in the long run. By stumping up the coin now on a good trainer and allowing them to program, educate and plan for you gives you the confidence to start to do things on your own, things that you would not have had the capacity to do prior to getting coaching. While you may have spent a lot more than $14.95 a week but after 6 months you will find yourself consistently training at high levels, which may mean that you get to a point where you are only seeing a trainer once every fortnight or month. It should be every trainers goal to make themselves obsolete.
While this is a shit business model I know, but if the trainer/coach isn’t educating their client, week in, week out, than they haven’t got your best interests at heart.
Now I have clients who have stuck with me for 15 years so am I a hypocrite? Well, no; clients can still use a trainer for more then just telling them what to do. I am very confident that the guys I have trained for years all can step in to any gym and do a workout on their own without any hesitation but that’s not the point; I am part of their lifestyle, I am what gets them out of bed I am that added motivation to get them to their goal.
So, if it is financially viable to do so than I will always advocate continuing with a trainer and a good trainer will always get more out of you than you will on your own. If money is an issue, look to get one weekly to start with (maybe sacrifice some alcohol or nights out, they aren’t good for you anyway) and then once you are confident with training, you can do more on your own. In the long run, it still ends up being cheaper than paying membership for a gym you don’t go to.
After all that, all I can say is forget the news resolution shit. If you want to succeed you have to enjoy the grind. Research your options and get yourself into a good facility/situation that fuels you to be consistent and grind out sessions day in day out. Look to scratch one thing off your daily list and use that as achievement; it is when we look too far ahead that we waiver and fail.
Kobe Bryant, one of the greatest basketball players in recent generations, just had his Lakers jersey numbers retired and had this very powerful message for his daughters to live by. I don’t think I could say it any better:
‘Those times when you get up early and you work hard; those times when you stay up late and you work hard; those times when don’t feel like working — you’re too tired, you don’t want to push yourself — but you do it anyway. That is actually the dream. That’s the dream. It’s not the destination, it’s the journey. And if you guys can understand that, what you’ll see happen is that you won’t accomplish your dreams, your dreams won’t come true, something greater will.’
Article written by Matt Ham