Friday, January 23, 2009

Why Fitness Programs Fail

It's late January now, and you've been making your way to the gym 4 days per week for 3 solid weeks. Not only do you hate the crowds, and hate the treadmill, but you haven't lost a single pound of weight. Zero. Zilch. Nada.

Expecting to loose 25 to 30 pounds by summer suddenly doesn't look so promising anymore ... especially after the fruitlessness of all that hard work.

Unfortunately, this is an all too common January scenario.

What is going on here, and why?

First, the good news: you're making more progress than you think. The most difficult part of becoming fit is simply fitting it into your busy life. Now, there are lots of tips and tricks for doing exactly that, but if you're attendance is good now, you've cleared (at least temporarily) the hardest hurdle. Credit yourself with a win.

Second, the good news gets even better, because you have lost some body fat ... you just don't see it because you've been measuring body weight (on your scale) and not body fat (done with skin fold calipers). In fact, one of the biggest mistakes people make when beginning a fitness program is not having fitness assessments taken at regular intervals. Especially at the beginning of fitness programs where lots of physical adaptations are taking place: bone densities are increasing; neurological pathways are being formed; and muscle tissue is growing. All of this is terrific, and increases your metabolic engine, but it also ads lean body mass to your frame that frequently offsets the body fat loss, so you don't see that change on the scale!

And that becomes discouraging.

But don't let it be: you're doing better than you think. I have eight more tips like this all queued up for Saturday's 2:00 PM Seminar, but you'll have to come by to get the rest of the story!

I will, however, leave you with one more good one.

Focus on Pure Fitness levels for February. This is actually something best done at the very beginning of an exercise program, but will help keep you motivated for the next few weeks. Particularly if you want to loose weight, pick 3 fitness related goals that have nothing to do with the scale: total pushups; distance traveled in 6 minutes on the treadmill; resting heart rate; total body weight squats; crunches in one minute ... whatever. Never mind the reading on the scale for the next 4 weeks; just focus on fitness. If your build it, the weight will come ... off.

1 comment:

Nikki said...

February is heart month and at our facility we always like to do a Cardio challenge for the month. We offer unlimited cardio to our training clients for a donation to the Heart and Stroke foundation and get prizes from local businesses.

Always good to have different goals and not focus solely on the scale.
Nikki Layton