Happy Weekend Everyone,
Thanks so much to everyone who came along to train with us over the last week – we all really appreciate you choosing to spend your time with us at Round 1. Apologies for the lack of a blog over the last couple of weeks – my usual ‘Saturday’ football games have been moved to Sunday (yep – that’s today) and I am totally out of my writing groove…I usually make a few notes during the week and ‘sketch out’ a post, then spend a block of time each Sunday finishing it all off, publishing etc. Well – that ‘block of time’ has been taken away from me – hence no blog! This week? Yep – still a Sunday game but I have got my act together just a LITTLE BIT more…
I have a bit of a meandering post today – hopefully you can stick with me to the end…I’ve been thinking (a lot) about this of lately and hopefully it resonates with at least a few of you. In short, the principle thought of my post is that for every one of us there is a step that is ‘too big’ to take – but in so many cases, it is the step we 100% NEED to take in order to really move forward. So here goes.
Starting on a fitness journey is a bit of an adventure – and as I have repeatedly said over the past 13 or so years, just stepping through the doors of a new gym is an intimidating ‘leap’. Though, to be fair I get similar levels of stress walking into a shop where I might have to actually try on clothes! Anyway, I guess my point is that from the very START of a fitness journey they’re are ‘hard’ things to do – some are physical, most are mental – and it is beyond these ‘hard’ things that the keys to unlocking success are found. But for pretty much all of us, there is always one step that is a ‘step too far’ (aka something we JUST WONT DO)…and in many cases, each of us need to take in order to enable “success”!
The Gym Journey: Moving Beyond “What you Know”!
As I have already mentioned, getting started at the gym is daunting – and most of us are pretty hard-wired to avoid uncomfortable situations. So what tends to happen is that whatever you do when you ‘START’ (and for Round 1 people that is primarily doing some boxing sessions) that tends to be what you stick with. After all – you’ve got past the ‘HARD’ bit and now you’ve created a routine that’s working for you – in the gym 3x per week doing some boxing. It’s actually pretty awesome and I think we all could think of quite a few people for whom establishing that simple routine would make a lot of difference to their life! To lean in even MORE on that point, I know that for me Boxing-based workouts have been the basis of my training for a lot longer than I’ve had the gym – and as you all know I am officially older than ‘DIRT’ – however there is a big difference between something being the basis of your training versus it being ALL of your training.
What do I mean by that last bit? Well if I use another example, I think everyone would understand that if you create a routine based around running a 4km loop around the block at home, well, you’re going to get good at doing that 4km run…but add some stairs, hills, sprint intervals, double the distance etc – trouble is ahead! Same as doing the boxing classes and nothing but boxing classes – I mean, yep, we change them up (a lot) but it’s still 45-minutes of boxing based training…and that’s what you’re getting good at and that’s what you’re becoming conditioned for. And – of course – it’s what you feel CONFIDENT doing.
For those people who are reluctant to add some strength training to their life, I have a few theories (some no doubt ill-advised) as to why that is:
The Fear of ‘The Hulk’ Effect
People don’t want to strength train because they are ‘fearful’ of becoming ‘bulky’ – after all, if you start lifting weights you are basically guaranteed to turn into a muscle-bound superhero overnight! We’ve all seen those action movies where the protagonist goes from scrawny to swole in an instant. Reality is pretty different though – and the pathway to strength training success is more about building strength, resilience, and, of course, just putting the hours in – than simply making the decision to pick up a barbell a couple of times each week.
“I don’t want to look stupid-itous”
Like I said – we are all comfortable with what we KNOW. And once you walk through that hole in the wall between the two gyms, well…all of a sudden you become a beginner again. And that SUCKS! You don’t know where anything is…and even if you did, what the hell do you actually do with it once you’ve got it…and EVERYONE else is an expert (at least in your eyes). From seemingly simple problems (selecting the ‘right’ weight to use) to others that seem more complex (what exactly IS the difference between a hang clean, hang power clean, clean, and power clean) you get constant messages that you are NOT in the right place as EVERYTHING is uncomfortable…but if you have a bit of patience with the SITUATION (the coaches WILL help, just give them a sec to get everyone else underway) and YOURSELF (you can do it and you WILL figure it out), then it will all be OK.
Do my theories apply ‘JUST’ to strength training? Of course not! The stress people go through starting in boxing trying to work out the difference between a jab and a cross, working out how to slip, weave, block, how to move your feet. It’s hard. I see people getting really frustrated with themselves and the situation they are in…but again, a little bit of TIME is the difference between being able to ‘get it’ and being stuck in struggle town where NOTHING makes sense…persistence makes the difference.
The Food Journey – Moving Beyond Food Restrictions
So – that’s the gym journey – and it’s all about how the step you don’t want to take could very well be the one that makes all of the difference. And it applies to your eating as well. What we see happen so often is that people start off with a simple ‘restrictions’ based plan – no more fast food, watching alcohol content etc – and get great results. But a few months in they hit a plateau ‘half way’ through their journey…but don’t want to take the next step. What is the next step? Well – it’s (and yep, I’ve heard all of the counter arguments particularly the “Life’s too short” one) calorie counting/tracking/managing (call it what you will).
Calorie Counting Conundrum
Tracking calories is the mathematical riddle of fitness. It’s like trying to solve an algebraic equation without the quadratic formula (any maths nerds out there??). It seems (to me at least) that we all become afraid of getting tangled up in a web of numbers and end up with LESS idea of what is happening that when we started.
Fret not though – it isn’t a mystery, it isn’t THAT hard and – in the most part – technology has solved the problem (tracking) for you.
Here’s the thing. Food choice restriction can – for most people – only take you ‘So Far’. Yep – abandoning fast food, taking out all sweeteners etc are all great choices for the most part. BUT when your inner cookie monster MUST have a COOKIE, calorie counting really, truly helps. Because there is room for EVERYTHING and it is all about balance! Balance (after all) is the key to keeping the soul happy and the taste buds entertained, and – as per my favourite expression – “If you know you sometimes can then you won’t always want to!!”.
As with everything, it is that ‘next step’ that makes ALL the difference. If you aren’t getting to the gym – well, there’s always time for things that are important – so get there. If you are stuck in a rut with your training or not making the progress you want – take the ‘next step’. That might be to start with some calorie planning, adding some strength training, developing a plan to increase the sleep you are getting each night.
Ultimately on our quest for fitness solutions – which for so many of us are just body composition solutions – you will continually be running into roadblocks that make it seem impossible, But you have to keep in mind that you don’t need to solve EVERY problem all at once…you just need to take ONE more step!
So – what else can I tell you? Lace up your boots and get walking! Keep a tight hold of your sense of humour, seek support from the people around you and remember – just because you don’t know how to do something ‘right now’ doesn’t make it impossible. I mean, there is > 100 people training in the strength gym every day (if strength training is your ‘step’), there are literally 00’s of 000’s of subscribers to the myfitnesspal app – so LOTS of people are tracking calories…and remember, that step you’ve been avoiding might just be the one that leads you to the ‘promised land’.
See you in the gym,
We know this can be a daunting time. You’re probably wondering if we really are the right fit for each other. And it’s OK! Many people before you, have felt the same, and that’s why we want to offer you something special – our $29 Health Check.
Let’s work out together to see if we’re the right fit. Just hit the button below to let me know if you’re ready to see what’s included.