Achieving Fitness – Where you are matters
I remember the first time I saw Dorian Yates do an underhand grip barbell row (Yates Row) with what must have been close to 500 pounds. It was something I’ll never forget – Amazing! Motivational! Sheer Intensity! It was all of these and more. As a young bodybuilder, I couldn’t get that picture out of my head. So…..what did I do? You got it! Month-after-month I went into the gym, loaded the bar and tried my best to row heavier and heavier in an effort to achieve a back like the great Mr. Olympia Dorian Yates had. While I did in fact achieve a rather large, strong and muscular physique I eventually decided that this approach to my fitness lifestyle wasn’t something I wanted to sustain and eventually made the decision to change direction.
You may say to yourself, “well I wouldn’t want to look anything like that anyway” and this may be true. But almost without exception I can tell you that all of us, at one time or another, overlook our current fitness level and attempt to train at a level that requires training, eating and living in a way our lives simply aren’t prepared to handle for the long-term. Of course I make this statement from the position that most of us would like to achieve a sustainable fitness lifestyle instead of one that is short-term or limiting.
This fitness blog article is about one very important, but often overlooked aspect of our personal fitness lifestyle.
Exercising, eating and living in balance with where you are currently.
There are a million reasons why this is vital to a sustainable fitness lifestyle, but the one thing I’d like to discuss is the idea that failure to accurately assess your current state with regard to training, eating, motivation and living is, aside from the expectation of immediate success, perhaps the most prevelant reason people begin a program and soon thereafter quit it alltogether.
I believe this is true. I see it all the time. Well-meaning people come into the fitness center, begin following a workout they got online or from some magazine, do their best to mimic each movement and soon discover it’s harder than they thought, they’re sore, they’re tired, they’re life isn’t prepared to handle the time demands placed on it and after a week or two of self-imposed torture the scale hasn’t moved so they begin doing less and less until eventually I don’t see them anymore – they give up, quit.
It’s a shame really and of course there are an endless number of situations and circumstances that can lead to this same outcome. However, I’ve discovered that by simply gaining an honest understanding of where you are currently with regard to these 4 things:
…. you can then begin exercising, eating and living in a way that is appropriate for your current state of being. Given this, it’s almost silly to mention that of course you would work hard to improve and not simply stay where you are, but my message is simple.
Learn to honestly know your limits and engage in fitness activity that is appropriate, safe and manageable.
It’s ok to have a long-term goal, it’s ok to want to improve quickly and it’s ok to work hard to improve, but my message is one of caution and genuine concern – failure to accurately assess your current fitness mindset and physical ability will likely lead to frustration, pain (maybe injury), dissatisfaction and eventually complete disengagement. Do yourself a big favor my friend. Get to know your current state of mind, learn your limits, get to know your physical ability and work within your capability to improve steadily from this day forward. Learn to start slowly, learn to manage your daily schedule so your workouts and eating don’t throw the rest of your life into a tailspin – after all, it’s all got to fit together in order to achieve lifelong success.
Working with a reputable trainer is always my recommendation – I simply believe this is the best way to ensure that you are working at the optimal level for your physical body and lifestyle. If you take your time to find the right trainer for you, it’s always worth the financial committment.
So take stock of your current ability, become aware of your true motivational level and develop a fitness plan that allows you to transition from where you are to where you want to be. Skipping steps, or trying to work at unreasonable levels will only lead to injury, frustration and ultimately failure. Be a winner my friend! Design a program where you can win and be a winner each and every day. With each meal, workout, action, set yourself up for success! You can accomplish all of this by being honest with yourself about your current physical ability, motivation and your true capacity for lifestyle change.
Here’s to you!
Merry Christmas to you and yours!