My clients come to me for many different reasons. Some want to feel better and gain more confidence. Some want to lose weight, and others just want to have the motivation to work out. There are so many reasons that people seek out a PT and commit themselves to the programmes set.
Everything starts out with great intentions, a pair of new trainers or leggings, an overhaul of the fridge and the first eagerly awaited session. However, this initial enthusiasm does not last forever. Seeing the change you want to see takes time, time that not everybody is fully aware of or ready for. Seeing the change, takes dedication, patience and above all, it takes being realistic. After training many clients with varying goals and aims, what are the main reasons that people fail to smash their targets?
The biggest barrier people create for themselves, is not being consistent. By not turning up for every session or making reasons to not train, you will not make the progress you want to see. You may get there slowly but it will take far longer to get there and usually this is when people give up. Book your sessions into your diary so you know exactly when you train each week and nothing gets in the way of it. Work out when you like to train and when you are likely to not turn up and work around that. Be consistent with your diet. Yes you can eat what you like, nothing should be restricted but you should also be consistent eating your greens, fuelling your body properly and being aware of the food you are putting in your body. Inconsistency within diets is the biggest reason people usually fall off the bandwagon.
LACK OF HONESTY
This is something many people, including myself suffer with or have suffered with. You tell yourself that you can barely be eating any calories a day so why aren’t you losing weight? But are you being completely honest with yourself? Are you taking into account the calories in your drinks? Three cups of tea a day with milk and sugar all adds up to extra calories. Are you taking note of any sauces you add to your food like ketchup, butter on your toast or my biggest mindless eating habit, spoons of peanut butter out of the jar… because it doesn’t have calories if it didn’t touch a plate right? Wrong… one spoonful of peanut butter can contain around 150 calories. Do that 7 days a week while you are making lunch and that is over 1000 extra calories a week.
If your PT asks you to keep a food diary, be completely honest. I would never judge my clients for how they have eaten, I am there to help, guide and workout ways to make a better diet fit their life. If your PT doesn’t support and coach you to make better choices, then maybe consider if they are the right coach for you. The only person you are being dishonest to, is yourself. You can’t help yourself if you don’t admit to the truth, however bad you judge it to be.
Seeing a PT for one hour a week is not enough to see change. No, you don’t have to become a regular gym goer or start running marathons, but you must start acknowledging how much you move everyday. There are 168 hours in a week and only 1 or 2 of those is spent with your trainer. Be accountable for the rest of those hours. You may think you are easily walking 10,000 steps a day but in reality it may be nearer to 3000. That is fine but be aware of that. Maybe take a walk on your lunch break or get off the bus a stop earlier and walk the rest of the way in. Every little bit extra helps.
‘I’m not lifting very heavy’, ‘that was rubbish wasn’t it?’, ‘why can’t i lift more?’ All phrases i hear time and again from clients, people in the gym and friends, along with ‘I can’t lift as heavy as…’. Track your weights. No you may not be lifting as heavy as Billy who has been lifting weights in the gym for 6 years, but you may have increased your weight lifted by 100% since you started. Do not doubt yourself. If you have a trainer, it is there job to ensure you are on track to reach your goals. Track your weights themselves so you can see the progress you are making. Remember, it is not all about how heavy you can lift a weight, it is about the technique used to lift that weight, the adaptations to your body, your muscles and your movement patterns. It is your personal journey. Sometimes i make my clients half their weights purely to focus on feeling the movement and they then progress in leaps and bounds from just regressing slightly. Focus on where you came from and where you want to go.
IT IS A JOURNEY NOT A DESTINATION
Progress, towards any goal, is never linear. It is a journey. There will be good sessions, bad sessions, weeks where you stick to your planned food and weeks where you eat out three nights in a row. Embrace that and realise that you are in this for the long run. Fitness is for life not a quick fix. You will never be at a happy standstill because you will always be progressing, and that is great. That is what drives us to get better. When you reach your target, you set new targets, ways to improve.
TOO MUCH TOO SOON
Instead of setting realistic goals, I see people trying to do too much too soon. I always start new clients off with a 3 week target to just attend their sessions. By attending their sessions, it allows the new routine to start settling in before adding in new mini targets. All targets should be achievable and bite sized to keep the motivation levels really high. By setting too many goals, it is very difficult to achieve all of them and so things start to fall by the wayside and eventually you may feel like you have failed and so the whole routine goes out of the window. Think of the long term benefits rather than the short term gain when setting your goals. Break larger goals into smaller manageable targets.
NOT PUSHING HARD ENOUGH
Turning up to the gym, not having a plan of what to do and not giving it 100% effort. To make progress, it will be hard work, to build muscle and a physique, weights need to be heavy. To lose weight, cardio will feel long and hard but give yourself time and enjoy the training. Find a healthy balance of training you enjoy but is also effective even if the results come slightly slower.
To have the best chance of achieving your goals, be consistent, be honest and give 110%. But most of all enjoy the process, make it a lifetime habit and ensure you feel great.