Here is what you should know…
- The ten bullet points below can transform you from a newcomer into an expert, with strategies you may have never thought of before.
- Novices or advanced beginners will really benefit from this post, however the following applicable information is meant to serve even the most advanced trainees and coaches as well.
- I am defining “fitness world” as a place where people go for human and social interaction and/or to participate in life and activities that involve fitness.
As fitness can mean something different to everyone, we must understand that it can comprise topics that range from being physically or mentally able to perform a particular role or task, to living free of illness or injury, to cosmetically looking better, according to whatever your definition of that may be etc.
A fitness visitor is a person who visits fitness world, as for reasons of friendship, business, duty, travel, or the like. Whether they visit for a week, a month, or their whole life, they can still fall into the “visitor’s zone”.
You can think of a fitness visitor as a novice.
- A novice is someone who is new too, or inexperienced in fitness world.
- They may or may not demonstrate rigid adherence to fitness programs.
- They lack the ability to make their own decisions or come to sensible conclusions independently.
You can also think of a fitness visitor as advanced beginner.
- An advanced beginner has been around for a while.
- They may be unaware they don’t understand or know how to do something.
- On the contrary, they may not grasp how to do something, yet they recognize the problem as well as the value of the solution.
The Good in a Nutshell
Fitness visitors have piles of potential. Whether they visit very infrequently or all the time, this shows they have at least somewhat of a desire to do or achieve something that may require hard work.
The Bad in a Nutshell
Some fitness visitors haven’t been enlightened at any point in time, so they are guessing what they are doing is favorable. Other fitness visitors have been misinformed such a countless number of times, from so many different sources (family and friends, coaches, media/internet etc.) they can’t decide what to believe. They not only don’t understand, but aren’t conscious of what they are missing in a successful fitness system.
Alternatively, some fitness visitors may not grasp how to do something, yet they recognize the problem as well as the value of the solution. This means they have no eager desire to improve, which may be fine if they don’t long to.
Fitness visitors have never attended, or conversely believe they are in Walt Disney World when they have at no time been present to experience the magic. In truth, they are just attending different carnivals undergoing the same matter, material, or activities over and over again.
The same goes for fitness. If you have never really bumped into a great fitness experience, you can’t appreciate, comprehend, or differentiate between penniless, satisfactory, or awesome.
More often than not the famous quote “what you don’t know won’t hurt you” is defective. What you don’t know will hurt you. What you are unconscious of could have been your diamond, and what you are unmindful of could have been your savior.
How Fitness Visitors Train
For the most part, typical group exercise classes, local commercial gyms, and more affordable coaching services are popular choices for the fitness visitor. They tend to use more machines and cardio equipment for the basis of their training programs, and in addition to this they gravitate towards applying partial range of motion, lighter weights, and the newest fads to their agenda the greater number of times over their training career.
This could be because…
- They enjoy and use them as a social activity and/or to make friends.
- They make them feel good about themselves.
- They are free or often very cheap.
- Others noticing their absence may help them show up more consistently.
- New things are exciting so it gives them hope for progress or finding a magic pill.
- They fear other methods and pushing their body past what it’s “used to”.
Or even because…
- They may not care as much about their results as others, which is okay.
How Fitness Visitors Eat
When you visit somewhere do you like to try out new restaurants, debate whether you are “on or off” a diet, or take part in binging episodes?
So do fitness visitors. They love participating in the latest fad diets, doing well, then binging, then feeling guilty, then repeating the cycle over and over again. Basically they function with “on an off” healthy habits forever.
We all recognize and admit to ourselves having tried something new from time to time. This can be a good thing especially if we find something that works wonders for us. It shows we are open to new ideas and information and are willing step outside out comfort zone and learn more.
The difference is fitness visitors try repeatedly for short periods of time without actually doing anything. Similar to fitness visitors training, they are prone to tossing general nutrition principles that have stood the test of time out the window, but are quick to engage in temporary, unique and current trends.
HOW FITNESS VISITORS CAN ACHIEVE MORE
1. Learn to separate the majors from the minors.
Motivational speaker Jim Rohn voiced, “A lot of people don’t do well simply because they major in minor things.” This particularly holds true with each and every facet of fitness.
For example if you’re trying to reduce body fat, don’t fear or worry about which unprocessed whole foods (i.e. fruits and vegetables) are “the best” to ingest. If you are hardly consuming any now, what produce is “superior” is the last concept you should be bothered by. Rather consume more foods rich in the vitamins and minerals you need, prefer and will actually eat.
Comparable to nutrition, when it comes to training for fat loss or getting “toned”, don’t give yourself a headache over what exercises are best for a thigh gap, love handles, or biceps. Instead learn how to appropriately perform and implement movements that expend the greatest amount of energy exceptionally well.
When the masses are implementing what’s “in style” or overly complicated the best just get better and better at the basics. You must learn the fundamental truths that serve as the foundation of your results. Too many people are burdened by insignificant elements that almost never matter.
Gain or acquire knowledge of and skills in the area you wish by study, experience, and through guidance of outstanding leaders. Working with the best coach you can find, in correspondence to your goals, will save you a lot of time and wasted energy. They have “the shortcuts”, dismiss minor insignificant components, and keep you from heading south when you want to go north.
2. Employ strategic steps.
As a coach I understand preparing someone for an event like a wedding, or a competition like CrossFit or bodybuilding, is of significant value to people. It requires drastic change for radical results especially when there is a time constraint.
However, for most people, primarily fitness novices and advanced beginner’s, this will only lead them back to their “on and off”, “unhealthy to healthy”, “results then back where they started” fitness lifestyle time and time again.
By way of illustration, this is something I regularly encounter with new “body fat reduction” fitness clients.
- Try a new rigorous fitness and nutrition program.
- Stick with it for one to two weeks and get some flattering results.
- Realize they can’t or don’t want to live this way, go back to their old ways, and then repeat step on with less confidence.
This is a dreadful, unappealing pattern that promotes and teaches fitness visitors to feel an intense, passionate dislike for fitness world, and/or become petrified to ever come back again.
When you identify long-term desires or overall goals and interests, along with the means of achieving them, short term game plans don’t make sense. One way to overcome this complication is listed below.
- Perform one to three tasks that relate to your goal, you can undoubtedly complete consecutively for seven days to a month.
- Make the habits specific and easy to interpret. Don’t say “I am going to eat more vegetables”, say “I am going to consume three cups of vegetables each day”.
- When you succeed, another step can be added.
It doesn’t appear to be much at first but over the course of three, six, twelve months or more, that’s a copious amount of rituals that remain habit.
There are the extraordinary folks who can just flip a switch and change their fitness life forever, yet there are many more people who cannot. Unfortunately, massive blueprints for immense successes often result in titanic like defeat. Instead, focus on achieving uncomplicated, strategic steps over time. Each little success builds your self-confidence whereas one large failure shatters it.
3. Don’t expect perfection, but practice with the objective to get better.
The most successful people, greatest athletes, and physique competitors etc. are a different breed. They know it’s going to be difficult, but they still act and have faith during hard times. They can just flip a switch and do whatever it takes to get what they want. That’s why very few people get the outcome they do. However, they are all just humans like everyone else.
- One of Beethoven’s music teachers said, “As a composer, he is hopeless.” Beethoven continued to try other music teachers, but they also gave up on him.
- Lucille Ball from the iconic television show “I Love Lucy” was told she was too quiet and shy in drama school. The school finally wrote to her mother saying, “Lucy’s wasting her time and ours. She’s too shy and reticent to put her best foot forward.”
- Seuss first book was rejected by 27 publishers for being too silly. He considered burning the manuscript but eventually a publisher sold 6 million copies of that book.
Did you tie your shoes, ride a bike, or play an instrument flawlessly the first day, month, or year you attempted any of these things? I am willing to be the answer is probably not.
It’s bizarre how people don’t expect perfection when initially carrying out other disciplines and skills like their job, but they do when it comes to fitness.
Everything you do from dieting to training takes practice with the objective to get better. If you think you’re going to be great at everything you do from the start you are going to experience a lot of frustration. Perfect doesn’t exist, and there is always room for improvement.
If you ingest a bowl of ice cream or missed a training session, it’s not a nightmare unless you make it one. For instance if you think “I blew it” then let loose by eating a whole gallon of ice cream or skipping training sessions consistently, then yes that will eventually be very detrimental. Alternatively if you think “not a big deal” and stopped there, you possibly just satisfied a craving you had and on top of that saved yourself from a huge binge in the future. If you restrict yourself too long, or bury yourself into the ground, you will eventually break.
It’s the same thing as saying “I was late for work, now I am going to be rushed or pissed off all day”. Or “I just broke up with my girlfriend and I am going to go weep in the corner and never date anyone ever again”. Instead you could have just accepted both those situations, recognize they happened, but then corrected them without much damage.
4. It’s not the money that buys you fortune it’s your skills and ambition.
Ambition is a strong desire to do or to achieve something. If people have all the money in the world to buy as many services they want or get recommended, their results will be unsatisfactory if they lack skills and ambition. On the other hand if clients have no money, but possess ambition and use important skills correctly, they open a treasure chest of results.
5. Quality over quantity.
By all means, partaking in fitness is a wonderful thing. However, what you’re doing could be detrimental or may not even matter if your application is crummy.
Although sacrificing quality for quantity may award you a few short-term results, you’ll quickly run out of steam and plateau when you realize it’s near impossible to become phenomenal with this approach.
The best not only look at what they are doing, but more importantly how they are doing it.
For instance if you decide you are going to perform deadlifts on a consistent basis and fully flex the lumbar spine, (completely round the lower back) while lifting heavy loads it wouldn’t be surprising if some type of spinal injury appeared. If you choose to go on piles of various diets carelessly and inaccurately, they are not going to give you what you once thought.
I accept the fact that round back deadlifts are okay for some people, and allow for more resistance to be used etc. and can also sympathize that not every piece of nutritional advice does what it says, or is right for you.
Be that as it may, the amount doesn’t usually matter, the degree of excellence does.
Crafting high quality results, performance, and skills tends to be costly and time consuming. On the other hand, lower quality results produced quickly with a minimal time commitment tends to be more attractive to fitness goers.
The reality is it takes time, discipline, and practice to master exercises, learn nutrition habits, and establish mindset development skills. Learning and applying things half-baked, even if it’s more often, does not mean it’s just as good or better.
6. New normal = New results.
I have this idea that if there was a sudden outbreak that caused everyone to become weak, fat, and ill, the majority of the people who were strong, lean, and healthy beforehand would become that way again, and vice versa.
I will never forget the conversation I had with a forty three year old pro female bodybuilder named Dawn that hired me for help just ten weeks before her competition. She had been competing for over 20 years and was not afraid to admit her past mistakes.
We got chatting and she stated that when she was in college she had gained over twenty pounds of unwanted bodyweight her junior year. Her boyfriend dragged her into the gym every day for months because of this. “Why aren’t you losing weight” he asked. “I have no idea. It’s not working” she responded. But Dawn told me a secret that as you can guess, isn’t really a secret. She mentioned that when he wasn’t around she would eat anything she wanted.
Her normal ritual upgraded, and her ordinary outcome improved.
She used to dread working out and would sneak eating food when nobody was present. Even if “the best fitness program ever” was given to Dawn during her junior year of college, we can all guess it wouldn’t have worked. In short the reason she became a pro natural bodybuilder years later is because she upgraded what she formerly accepted as her normal. She stated, instead of pounding a gallon of ice cream every night, I drank a protein shake.
Another paramount thing to note is never get a “new normal” around people with low standards.
For example, say you and Jane decide you want to reduce body fat. The goal for this week was to have a couple servings of fruits and/or vegetables per day. You managed to consume a couple servings this week (not per day) but Jane didn’t ingest any.
If you compare yourself to Jane you did well, but as you know this is an illusion of success.
Furthermore, imagine you are a 27 year old male with the primary goal of strength so you can be competitive in an upcoming powerlifting competition. You’re the strongest person in your gym, free of illness and injury and your technique is on par. You are 5’10’’, 185 pounds at 12% body fat. You have been training for seven years and currently deadlift 300 pounds, bench 205 pounds, and squat 250 pounds for a one rep max. Compare yourself to the locals that surround you and you’re doing great. Compare yourself to other powerlifters or to where you could be and your performance is quite typical.
7. Wake up with rocket propellant and shoot to a better state. An awesome morning ritual.
Whether it’s from the news, social media, co-workers, family, friends, neighbors or the like, we’re surrounded by negative information. Taking it in will downright put your day to sleep.
Generally speaking, whenever we endure negativity, our performance suffers. Contrarily, whenever we feel good, we are more enthusiastic and perform better.
Rocket propellant produces a thrust on a spacecraft to get it off the ground, whereas a positive state uplifts a human’s energy to accomplish more.
Here is one method I prescribe, advocate, and endorse for my clients and both myself, to blast off higher than you thought was possible.
- Input positive information into your system every single morning for 5-10 minutes.
- I recommend doing so by watching and/or listening to people like Les Brown, Jim Rohn, Eric Thomas, Zig Ziglar, Earl Nightingale, Brian Tracy, Wayne Dyer, and Tony Robbins to start.
- Put this positive “data” into your brain and body as often as required or wanted throughout the day until bedtime.
You can do this on your car ride to work, when you normally listen to music, sitting at the computer or watching television, at the gym, and/or while eating breakfast etc. If you still don’t have time, simply set your alarm clock 5-10 minutes early so you do.
Realize you should also gather positive information through reading, which has its advantages, however listening to and hearing the audio allows you not only to gather knowledge, but witness the sound of someone else with extreme passion touch your soul.
I am not saying it’s mandatory or that we need positive input to achieve what we desire. For instance my passion alone excites me, banishes fatigue, and gets me going each and every day. Nonetheless, I find it’s an outstanding way to get through challenging times.
By and large, collect positive input every day; begin your day in a remarkable state, and after that visit the messages as many times as necessary. They will teach you to believe in yourself, become what you think about, all while improving mindset and personal development skills.
8. What you think is working, might not be.
For three years consecutively, with a goal of strength and muscle gain, I consumed eight to ten meals per day, every two hours on the dot. If I missed a meal by a minute, I thought I was shrinking, getting weaker, and would freak out inside. I trained one muscle group a day, five days a week and saw an enormous amount of results. I was convinced this was the only way to do things, and was frightened to apply any other type of training or nutrition system. How I left this style of thinking is for another article, but boy was I mistaken.
Our ability to perceive things is imperfect, our memories are limited and faulty, and our minds are filled with biases that distort reality even when the information is right in front of us.
By way of fitness illustration, glance at the bullet points below.
- About thirty years ago fats were demonized and the general consensus was that fat makes us fat.
- Around ten years later we started to empathize and understand the importance of some fats, particularly omega 3’s, but still thought saturated fat clogged our arteries.
- Ten years later we stopped seeing saturated fats as the devil and it started getting some praise.
What’s my point and why am I telling you this?
Let’s say you want to reduce body fat. You decide to cut lactose and gluten out of your diet and you’re successful with your actions. Straightaway you might think, “milk and wheat based products are the cause of my weight loss”.
But can you really point your finger and demonize these two things?
Failing to notice other inconsistencies and variables could induce a lot of frustration later on. In the example above, merely expending more energy, consuming fewer calories, or being aware of eating more nutritious meals that contain fruits and vegetables could have promoted the weight loss you experienced. Gluten and lactose might not have had anything to do with it.
You could even begin to associate defective meanings with certain food groups like gluten and lactose, fearing to ever ingest them again, when your thoughts are in reality very faulty. Even worse you may run around telling everyone something “worked” when it may not have.
Alike, several well respected fitness sites were bashing things like CrossFit, high carbohydrates, or certain exercises, but are now apologizing for doing so.
For the fitness novice you need to recognize the importance of what is working, and what may not be. For example water weight on an off your body, sweating, soreness, and doing any type of cardio can be extremely overvalued when it comes to things like fat loss.
We are always stuck between demonizing a training or nutrition philosophy and wanting to wipe it out, but then when we get close to doing that or realizing we could be wrong, we empathize with it as an underdog and want to show it compassion.
When we realize we don’t have to be fearful of it anymore is when it becomes our friend again. We employ our mastery, then we are uneasy with how limited our knowledge actually is.
Jon Mooallem deserves credit for the structure of the paragraph above. All I have done is have revamped his idea of “The Story of the Teddy Bear” and put my own health and fitness spin behind it.
Moral of the story is to do what works. However if you have heard, read, seen or experienced something it doesn’t mean it’s true. Be skeptical and open to new ideas. There is not one “perfect” or “best” way to do anything.
9. Good things don’t come to those who wait, good things come to those who have patience and engage in consistent action.
In our current world of fitness, everybody wants things right now, and who can blame them? With the increasing use of performance enhancing drugs by elite athletes, professional physique competitors and magazine models, to the “average” person, what we regularly see guides us into faulty judgment or reasoning.
Successes and failures, however you define them, come from the little things done consistently time and time again. Neither are catastrophic or overnight events.
Les Brown has some fantastic quotes in this department. I present some of my favorites below.
- “You must have patience and engage in consistent action.”
- “Everything doesn’t always happen when we want it to happen.”
- “No matter how bad it is, or how bad it gets I’m going to make it.”
By way of fitness illustration, when going after body fat reduction it’s not likely you’re going to weigh less every day, week or time you step on the scale despite the fact you’re doing everything “perfect”. This could be because of multiple reasons, many of which I am not going to get into in this article.
Not knowing little details like this could send you into a blue funk and push you off track, when in reality it’s normal and you’re have up’s and down’s when going after any goal.
Whether you are going on a casual, intense, or first bicycle ride with the objective to get better, you’re not going to stay “up” forever. You may feel uncomfortable, get tired of it, or go “down”. Over time you will get better, but if you don’t learn from an experienced leader or change the way you practice until you do.
The quote I created above articulates, to have enough faith and keep going is challenging, but the amount of value and success you will receive in the end is worth it.
Conversely, take into consideration that if you do not see improvements in the aspect of health and fitness you desire, for about two to four consecutive weeks, it may be time to seek professional help or re-evaluate what you are doing. Especially if you have no idea what’s going on.
10. Treat failures as successes.
“When things go wrong, don’t go with them.”- Elvis Presley
Michael Jordan, Babe Ruth, Emily Dickenson, Abraham Lincoln, Jerry Seinfeld and almost every other person you know has failed before they achieved what they desired. Every person I have ever coached has failed in one way or another before they achieved greatness as well.
Failures are temporary.
I don’t like the word failure. I think it is very improperly used. I’ll let Thomas A. Edison explain why in two sentences. .
- “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”- Thomas A. Edison
- “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”-Thomas A. Edison
11. * Bonus: It’s turtle time.
Not really, that’s just a cool way of saying act now.
The fitness novice needs to understand everybody is tired, nobody has the time, and everyone has “other more important” things to do. There are many different types of excuses, and a person can find all sorts of them to justify their poor performance and results or lack of action. A lot of people feel the need to defer responsibility to or blame anyone or anything other than one’s own self.
For instance, let’s look at the typical individuals “after school schedule”.
You arrive home late after a hard day of work and you have just got to relax. You should unwind. For goodness sakes you need some dinner. Going after your goal can wait for tomorrow or some other day!
Additionally people say things like, if only I had more money, a better body, more energy. They even attack other people and say, “they are so lucky”,” if only I was a fortunate as them”, or “they have an advantage because of…” The list goes on, and on, and on, and on.
I think you get my point, and consequently so you’re probably wondering how to deal with this complication?
There are numerous ways to solve this problem, and I have been killing myself trying to condense it into a page. With that said it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen, so I will be posting a couple other articles on how to overcome the “acting later” hurdle. For the time being you can use this simple three step solution.
- Recognize the limiting belief excuse you have made. For example, “I am not in my twenties I know I can’t look like that anymore.” “My body can’t deadlift over four hundred pounds.” “I could never give up coffee.” r all examples of excuses and limiting beliefs.
- Change and replace your limiting beliefs from above, then make them specific and clear. Instead of saying, “I can’t lose weight” say, “I am going to lose twenty pounds by April 19, 2015.”
- Find your purpose.
While John Assaraf was interviewing William Seidman, the author of “The Star Factor”, they explained great people are often unconsciously competent and don’t know why they are great performers.
However, they do have some underlying reason why that is. It could be self, socially and/or morally driven by other people, events, or making a difference in the world. Find your purpose, and reason why you want success. If this doesn’t cause you to take action, you have not found it yet.
I also love these quotes on this matter.
- Earl Nightingale – “We are all self-made, but only the successful will admit it”.
- Jim Rohn – “The objective in life isn’t to rest. The objective in life is to act”.
I have heard speaker Eric Thomas emit things like, “You have to make your dreams and goals an emergency” and “Someday doesn’t exist”. I interpret these messages convey you’re never going to achieve something, unless it requires immediate attention. Otherwise it’s forgotten about and the time to attack your goal never comes.
Tony Robbins awesomely said, “We must remember that all decision-making comes down to values clarification. When you know what’s most important to you, making a decision is quite simple. Most people, though, are unclear about what’s most important in their lives, and thus decision making becomes a form of internal torture. This is not true for those who’ve clearly defined the highest principles of their lives.”
If you can stick through challenging times, and can break through many barriers, you will find you function like a different person. Hang in there strong for 8-12 weeks and the excuses will die down. If they don’t and your mind start shouting out more of them, re commit and know it doesn’t want you to change for the better. I also suggest you re-read what I have said above about employing strategic steps.
If you “can’t” then maybe you don’t really want what you think, speak or envision. Acting is the unfamiliar mystery that catapults development in every aspect of your life. Without action there is no reaction, and therefore no results.
Fitness novices and beginner’s, have a lot to learn if they want to improve, granted they are willing or want to.
They may be so oblivious to what they don’t know developing into a local or tour guide could be a real challenge. Nonetheless, if they are ready, eager, or prepared to do something, nothing is impossible.