In my twenty plus years as a fitness professional I’ve watched literally hundreds of clients set out to accomplish a body transformation. Some were successful, others not so much. But in the majority of cases there came a point in their program, usually within the first 30 days, where you could predict with pretty good probability whether their goals would be met. Now, you may think it would be because of work ethic in the gym, discipline with staying strict with their diet, motivation, etc. While these are all certainly helpful, it wasn’t the common denominator with success.
One of my mentors, legendary strength coach Dan John, has a saying that I believe sums up the common denominator with success in a body transformation. It goes like this…
“Little and often done over the long-haul.”
He should know as he’s been gaining wisdom and honing his craft in gyms for as long as I’ve been on this planet. It’s been my experience that Dan’s saying, though very simplistic (which is part of the wisdom in it), is pure gold. When you get down to brass tacks, it comes down to two things.
In other words, discover the truth with what will work for you to produce the results you want, then “rinse and repeat” until you get there. No matter the setbacks or obstacles.
It’s not about being perfect all the time!
It’s not about hitting personal bests with every workout!
It’s not about starving yourself, exhausting yourself with marathon workouts or any of this stuff!
It’s about doing the basics, a little not a ton of it mind you, over and over again that makes all the difference.
Here’s why I’ve found this to be case.
You see when most people start out on a fitness program they’re pumped up and excited. They’ve got motivation and momentum. Now depending on the individual’s emotional connection with their goals, the presence of accountability, a support group, commitment to others, etc., the length of time motivation stays on high will vary.
Still, there eventually comes a point with most everyone where a lull kicks in.
You know what I’m talking about.
It’s the point where motivation starts to wane, old habits starting creeping back in, and all sorts of obstacles may start rearing their ugly heads.
For the vast majority, this is THE crossroads.
It’s the fork in the road where some fall off and slide back into old ways, while others put their head down and just keep pressing forward.
It’s choosing PERSEVERANCE or not.
Perseverance – “steady persistence in adhering to a course of action, a belief, or a purpose; steadfastness.”
The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language – 5th Edition
Applying the discipline and commitment to making long-term, lasting changes simply cannot happen without perseverance. As it is with most things in life nothing good comes without overcoming obstacles.
When most people would throw in the towel, these people simply stuck with it. Learn perseverance and you’ll be on your way towards success, neglect it and you’ll undoubtedly face frustration and disappointment.
As the old saying goes, “showing up is half the battle.” Some days you just need to lace em up and get something done to put in the work. Not every day will be a success. In fact, some days will be outright busts and appear unproductive. The reality is this is simply part of the journey. No matter what, just back on grinding. The ones who are ultimately successful over the long-haul, keep showing up.
Good days, mediocre days, and going through the motion days. They’ll all be in there, but if you string enough of them together you’ll get to your destination.
Easier said than done, I get it.
This is why having the encouragement, motivation, guidance, instruction, and accountability from a coach can make all the difference. You don’t have to go it all alone. In fact, you don’t want to go it all alone as the odds won’t be in your favor.
The research clearly shows that individuals who surround themselves with accountability simply do better. And this shouldn’t come at a surprise. It’s much easier to bail out on ourselves than to quit on a commitment we’ve made in the presence of others.
Commitments, when taken seriously and with whom integrity matters, can be very beneficial with helping to persevere instead of quitting. For this reason, look someway, somehow to make a commitment to someone other than yourself.
If I can ever be of assistance in any way, please don’t hesitate to let me know. In conclusion, I want to encourage you that you can make it happen. Wash out the negative self-talk and surround yourself with positive people, then get to work.
Be blessed- S
Shane Doll is a certified Charleston personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach, and founder of Shaping Concepts Personal Training Studios. He has over 24 years' experience with fitness coaching and consulting and specializes in training programs for middle age and mature adults. If you live in the Charleston, SC area you can schedule a no-obligations consultation.
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