PERSEVERE AND STAY DETERMINED
For most of my adult life, I live by three mottos. One is to never knock it till you try it. Two is to persevere in everything that you do. Three, to set your goals and stay determined in achieving them. Well, surprise surprise, these mottos are highly valid when it comes to health and fitness too. And for that reason I have decided to name my business that. Well, just the latter two. Persevere and determined. Quite an anomaly from the usual fitness establishment names but then again I have never been one to conform to commonality.
Now back to fitness. One thing all coaches should acknowledge is everyone is different. Not all clients are built the same. They all have differing training ages. Training age is the amount of years (hopefully) the client has trained prior to meeting you. A mid-30s client cannot be assumed to be in his prime if he has never worked out in his life before. Conversely a mid-20s client cannot be assumed to be a noob if he has been a high performing athlete since high school. That said coaches shouldn’t be too narrow minded in prescribing a workout to a client. I understand every coach has his specialty but there’s no reason why we should knock other forms of workout simply because we are not good at them. Don’t be afraid to refer your clients to other boutique gyms or studios on their “off days” to try out something new. Personally, as a fitness enthusiast, there isn’t much that I haven’t tried. That is not to say I enjoyed every single one of them but at least I’ve tried them. The most recent fads which I haven’t tried, among others, are barre and aerial yoga. I haven’t tried Zumba either but I did do Salsa and I think that counts. Case in point, don’t knock it till you try it.
Same goes with diet. Google the word diet and it will probably come up with 783 different diets. I’m telling you now they’re all good. They all work on certain kinds of people. As I said everyone is different. The ones whose had success on a certain type of diet will swear by it and start to preach it on others. They may or may not successfully spread the gospel. The difference between that person and the person who wasn’t successful in the same diet is that he gave it time. He gave the diet enough time to change his body. He didn’t give up after a week. As Stan Efferding keeps saying, the best diet is the one you stick to. That doesn’t mean you shall be on the same diet forever and ever. Go ahead and try something new knowing that if it fails, you can always fall back on the one you’re destined with. Cases in point, don’t knock it till you try it and persevere.
For both workouts and diets, as much as you should try everything till you find your match, one should exercise judgement and discretion. If you are a grossly overweight 50-something and have decided to turn a new leaf and finally take care of your health, please don’t opt for something as extreme as CrossFit as your weapon of choice. Seek advice and weigh your options. Don’t just do what the next person is doing. Don’t just do what’s trendy. Do what is right for your body. Ease yourself into it. Baby steps. What’s the rush? You weren’t before. As well, if you have a bad relationship with food, meaning you see food, you eat or I don’t care if I’m already full, there’s always room for dessert then you can’t just jump into intermittent fasting per se. Firstly it’ll be such a shock to your system and secondly, you will not last. The hunger pang will just be too great.
Just remember one thing and this is especially true for overweight clients. You did not put on those weight overnight. It is years of self abuse albeit pleasurable eating so please do not expect to lose all of them in a quarter of the time. Patience is key in changing your body composition but before you exercise patience, you first need to be realistic in setting your goals. Losing 10kg in six weeks is not possible unless you chop off a limb. Not to mention it is unhealthy to lose that amount of weight, if at all possible, in such a short space of time. Approximately 500g of body fat loss a week is really good progress and when you start looking at the bigger picture, that is 2kg a month and almost 24kg a year. Body fats, mind you. Bearing in mind you will probably put on a lot of muscle mass along the way too. So just imagine how you will look like in 12 months’ time. Once you do, try to remain motivated. Hire someone to keep you in check. To track your progress and constantly reviewing your diet and training. 12 months is a long time to be doing the same workouts and eating the same diet. Based on what has been said earlier, it’s not wrong to cycle certain workouts and diets. Firstly to keep your muscles confused and with confusion they grow. And secondly to keep things enjoyable. You do not want boredom to be the reason you stray away from your goals.
Thus in conclusion, persevere and stay determined.