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Fitness: This Just Isn’t Working Out

By Oscar Saucedo

 It’s like a bad relationship, isn’t it?  It would be so perfect if you could just make it work.  But the nagging demands, ridiculous expectations, and endless disappointment makes you break up with fitness again.  “It’s not you, it’s me.  This just isn’t working out.”

   What if I told you that it is you? If you stop having ridiculous expectations of yourself and demanding unreasonably fast results, you may have more success and less disappointment.  One of the questions I’ll often ask a typical 35-year-old client is, “So you expect to undo 35 years of self-neglect in 1 month?”  That is not realistic.  But with widespread misinformation, it’s difficult to know what is real and what is not. Here a few tips to keep it real:

Have a plan.  I sometimes use a comparison to explain the importance of having a plan.  When you start in college, you first go see a counselor. That counselor learns what your goals are and gives you a plan to reach your goals.  You can’t just start taking random classes.  You must follow a progressive program to achieve your specific goals, right? 

 In the same way, you can’t go into a fitness facility and do random exercises without a specific and systematic approach.   You can’t just jump from exercise to exercise without knowing if you are making progress towards your goals!  Get a plan from a reliable source.  At Gold’s Gym, we call this an “Orientation.”  An orientation can help you determine your goals, establish a time frame, and create a checklist of short-term goals to accomplish on your way towards your long-term goals.

Do it for yourself.  Don’t focus on other people.  We will all have our own obstacles.  Chances are good that your favorite Instagram fitness model also has personal struggles and insecurities.  Don’t focus on other people’s success without considering that perhaps they are similar to you.  Maybe the reality is that the fitness model you look up to is just an ordinary person with extraordinary focus.  You willhave setbacks just like everyone else. You will have frustrations and regrets.  If you expect to transform effortlessly, then you are not being real with yourself; and that could lead to disappointment.  Stay focused on managing your own journey.

Get out of your comfort zone.  If you do the same, you stay the same.  Going back to my college comparison, you can’t learn anything new if you take the same classes every semester. In the same way, your body won’t make progress if you don’t switch things up and get “uncomfortable”.  When you start working out, your body is forced to adapt (to change). It adapts by increasing muscle size, strength, endurance, etc.  Once the body adapts, no change is necessary.  When I see people doing the same exercises with the same weight, same rest periods, and/or same intensity, I want to tell them, “This isn’t working out!” Force your body to adapt to something new.  Doing that will help you force some changes and avoid discouragement.  

You should know that you will need your relationship with fitness to work out. So get over yourself and make a commitment.  Make some plans.  Don’t worry about anyone else.  Switch things up occasionally to keep it fresh.  You guys could look great together. 

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