Patience is a key ingredient of being fit.
There’s an abundance of 90-day, 6-week, 21-day, and 7-day programs out there.
Heck, we offer a free week, 21-day nutrition detox, 6-week challenge, and are about to open up registration for a 4-week challenge.
So I’m all for short-term programs.
But here’s where the crowd usually miss the point:
You should treat a short-term program as a platform to start from, rather than as a means to an end.
You can call it a few things: A trial period, a reset, a starting point, a way to create momentum or a way to test a certain program to find out if you are a good fit for that particular program long-term, or not.
There are programs that boast “lose 20 pounds in 6 weeks” (which you can certainly do) but what happens on week 7? If you’ve been itching for a margarita and burrito because you were “deprived” for 6 weeks – you’ll be like a rubber band that stretched as far as it could go before returning to its regular state.
In that case, and I see it all the time, the 6-week program … let me correct myself, the PERSON undertaking the 6-week program, had 1 key flaw in their mentality: An “end date.”
I don’t care if it’s 7 days or 12 months, if you place an end date on your program your results will be rubber band results.
Your first 3 months of a new exercise program should be focused on creating healthier habits & building a fitness base. I see too many Trainers asking their brand-new clients to do “ARM” workouts, which stands for “As many reps” as possible.
And let’s be fair, it’s not only the Trainers, it’s also the person working out. Some of them want to jump in the deep end before learning how to swim. Sometimes that’s actually a good idea, but not with fitness. At least, not in the context of doing “as much as possible.” That’s a bad idea for those first 3 months.
Don’t expect to train like your favorite IG fitness enthusiast in those first 3 months. What you don’t realize is it took them years of training before they were ready to show you what beast mode looks like.
Respect your body. Honor where it’s at today.
Here are a couple examples of how patience plays out (the stuff you never see on IG posts):
One of my best friends has created an IG account focused toward fitness. He’s not actually a fitness professional, but he’s in incredible shape. In the last year, he’s gone from zero to 25k IG followers. I don’t know how it happened, to be honest, it seemed to happen “overnight.”
He posted a before/after picture yesterday and had thousands of likes. I thought WOW, when did that (all of those followers) happen? To his followers, they only see the current result, which is incredible. He’s incredibly fit and posts amazing pictures & videos of him doing remarkably cool stuff that takes years to learn.
Remember, he gained 25k followers over the last year or so. But I’ve known him for 10 years and have watched him go from an everyday weekend warrior to a fitness king.
About 6 years ago he tried his first Tough Mudder and tore his rotator cuff. It was a bad injury but I think it was that injury where he committed himself to learning how the body works. He rehabbed the shoulder and started to study nutrition, the body, and movement from that day forward.
He eventually had a set of Olympic rings installed in his garage and started training like a gymnast. He’s been 100% disciplined and focused on getting fit and learning about proper nutrition.
While on the surface it seems like it happened overnight, but I know first hand that he has been working at it for years. I’ve seen the progress. And I think it’s important to note, he has 2 kids and a wife and he’s very present in his family life. They also run a few successful businesses. Why is that important? Because he carved out time to do it all.
Maybe you’re like Shawn, I don’t want an IG following, I just want to get this tire off my stomach and nip this back fat.
Here’s an example from a current client who wraps up her first 3 months with me, today (she’s a “virtual” client. She doesn’t work out with our group. Instead, we mapped out a custom game-plan for her situation and we do weekly check-in calls to help her move forward).
Every year during tax season, she gains weight. Yes, she’s a tax preparer. We started to formulate a plan in late January this year. Her goal was to NOT gain weight this tax season, that’s it.
So, we went to work. Mapped out a game-plan and checked in on her progress every week for the past 12 weeks. There were a few rough weeks, no doubt. In fact, one challenge she faced, aside from the craziness of tax season, was that her friend started an 80-day program at the same time.
My client started to notice that her friend was losing weight faster and it was a mental battle to not judge herself. She stayed the course though.
You see, we weren’t looking to lose 30 pounds in 90 days. 90 days was Phase 1. Our goal was for her to create new healthy habits that she could sustain. That’s it!
We start Phase 2 on Monday and guess where she’s at? She’s lost 6 pounds. Huh? Wait a sec. Do you think she should have lost more? I don’t. Remember, the goal was to make it through tax season without gaining weight. Not only did she accomplish her goal, she actually lost weight. The first time in years. That’s a MAJOR celebration!
Guess what happened to her friend who was on the fast 80-day program? She felt deprived for 80 days and went right back to poor eating and started to skip workouts. In her mind, her program “ended.”
In my client’s mind, her first 90 days were to forge new habits. Phase 2 will look a little different. She has a strong foundation and feels good about her progress. We’ll structure new goals over the weekend and take it up a notch over the next 3 months.
This is the epidemy of patience and smart training. My client is developing the long-game. We have a vision for where she will be in 12 months instead of a crash course in weight-loss.
Fitness is kind of like growing a garden. It takes a while before your seeds grow roots, and even longer for those roots to grow and for a stem to pop up out of the soil. Eventually, that baby plant will grow strong and it’ll bear fruit.
It just takes time.
I know that doesn’t satisfy your 2018 “I want it now” brain. I’m sorry for not making this one sexy .. not!! lol 🙂
There’s absolutely nothing sexy about getting short-term results like losing 20 pounds and then gaining 21 pounds back. I see it all the time.
Patience is sexy. It takes a little longer to see results, but those results will be long-lived. That’s sexy!
I told a 3rd story about a UFC fighter I met before he was famous. He’s currently 1 of the most respected fighters in the UFC. You can read that story on my FB page if you’d like.
Don’t judge where you think your body should be or where it was when you 21 years old. Be present. Learn to respect and honor your body.
Also, learn to embrace your current schedule, however stretched you are for time. Don’t fight it. Stop wishing for things to be different. You know, the whole “If only xxx were different, I’d be in shape.”
That’s an illusion. A distraction. A cop-out.
Find gratitude for the situation that you DO have. Only then can you find the patience you need to reclaim your health and fitness.
Find your patience.
EXPECT it to take time. In fact, it’ll take your whole life ;).
Best way to never have to start over is to never quit.
And keep going.
If my approach makes sense to you, I’m getting ready to launch a 4-week fat-loss challenge. It’ll start right after Memorial Day weekend and end right before July 4th.
Yes, it’ll be a great way to shed some body-fat just in time for summer.
Yes, you’ll have my full support for 4 weeks.
Yes, you’ll get meal plans, nutrition coaching, and outdoor workouts.
Yes, you’ll be surrounded by like-minded people with similar goals, in a very positive environment.
AND … more importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to reset your life and create new habits to take you beyond the 4 weeks. That’s gold.
I haven’t officially opened registration yet but if you already know you want in let me know as I’ll have limited space.
Thanks for reading my friend, take care and enjoy your Friday.
Certified Personal Trainer
4-Week Summer Fat-Loss Challenge Starts Soon!