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The Only REAL Secret To Fitness

 
 

How many times have you read a similar headline to the one on this article? Hundreds? Thousands of times? Well, I am here to tell you the only real secret. What is it?

Consistency

Going to the gym working out and eating the right amount of healthy foods is the only way to meet whatever fitness goal you have. You may be thinking “that is no secret at all.” I say it must be a secret because countless articles and products and programs say you can lose weight or gain strength or meet any other goal by simply giving them money for a pill or a diet program that is "guaranteed to work is two weeks." I have people tell me all the time they have tried everything to lose weight or get in shape, and nothing works. My reaction is always the same, “If you tried everything that is your problem.” Most of the time these people have tried something for a week or at best a month and did not see the results that someone who has been working out and eating well their entire lives.  The new trainee ends up quitting or changing something. Below are some simple tips to help you get started on your fitness journey.

The first and most important tip is to make going to the gym a habit and not a thing that you will do if you have time. According to a few different sources it takes somewhere between twenty-one days and two months to form a habit depending on the person. There are a few things that can help get you through that initial phase of building a fitness habit. First, write out what your schedule looks like on a daily basis and find a gap where you can work out. The most common excuse for not working out is lack of time but, if you write it out, chances are you will find some time you are wasting in your day. Worst case scenario you have to wake up earlier or go to bed later or eat lunch at your desk and use the lunch break to hit the gym. I used to work in retail, so I was on my feet for six to eight hours. If I tried to go to the gym after that, I would be half asleep, so it worked best for me by starting early in the morning before work. Getting the early morning training also kick-started the day and helped me be more alert at work and then after I could clock out and finish my day. I am admittedly more of a morning person so for you maybe after work would be better.

After you figure out what time works you should tell a friend or spouse about your goals and write them down in a place where you will see them every day. Writing down your goals will give you a sense of accountability.  It is even better if you can find someone that will go with you and that way you can hold each other accountable. After a month of continuous training, everything is much easier. In the beginning, you will feel a sense of pride when you do go workout. You will know when you have developed the habit because eventually, you will feel bad or out of sorts if you do not work out.

The next tip is to have goals. In the last paragraph, I mentioned telling someone about your goals. For goals to be practical, they need to be SMART. If you have taken any marketing or management classes, you have heard of SMART goals. SMART goals are goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and time oriented. Just saying I want to be in better shape is not a reasonable goal. What does that mean? Do you want to take one minute off your one-mile run? Do you want to lose a certain amount of weight? Do you want to add ten pounds on to a lift? A good goal would be something like “I want to lose ten pounds in two months.” This is a number that you can measure, and at the end of your two months of training you will get on a scale and see that you lost ten pounds or not. You will be able to evaluate your habits and change if the goals have not been met.  This goal is attainable because losing ten pounds over two months puts you at a little over a pound a week.  Lastly, putting the two-month time limit makes it time oriented.

The last tip is to pick a program that meets your specific goals. You can find countless programs online, through apps or talk to a trainer about writing you a training program. But, to be perfectly honest if you are a fitness novice then no matter what program you choose you will see results as long as you stick to it and put in the hard work required. The crucial part is that you stick to the program. If it is a three day, four day or 5 day a week program and you skip a day a week you are no longer doing the program. Having a plan sets you up for success by giving you direction as to what to do every day you come to the gym. A lot of people go in and wing it.  After a few exercises, they think they did enough and left. With a program, you do not have to doubt yourself. You prepare for training by looking at your training log and do everything you were supposed to do and never have to stop and figure out what you want to do next. Having a program keeps you from skipping over things you do not want to do. After you complete a program, then measure your results and see if that program was right for you. If you made progress, you might want to run through the same program many times. As you advance switching up training will become crucial to continuing to hit goals. Someone once said,” Everything works but nothing works forever.” This is especially true when it comes to training novices. At first, if you put in the effort, you will be progressing on a weekly and even daily basis.  Eventually, progress slows down, and it is time to try something new.

If you follow these tips, it should lead to meeting your fitness goals. I framed all of these tips with training, but dieting is the same. Find a diet that you can make a habit, set goals for it, and measure those goals if it works keep it up and if it doesn’t switch it up until you find the thing that works for you. Again there is only one secret to becoming a healthier person, consistency with your diet and training. Do not believe anything else. There is no magic pill there is no perfect program. There is only you getting up every day and putting in the work.

 

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