“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.”
I’ve seen many people come and go, start and stop, succeed and fail. Through this experience I’ve been able to create two lists of specific behaviors. One list is the behaviors that keep people from getting fit, and the other is the behaviors that cause people to get fit. By understanding which behaviors produce which results you will have a better understanding of why what you are doing is working or not working.
The behaviors that PREVENT people from getting fit are:
1) Skipping one workout
Letting yourself skip one workout for a non-life-threatening reason makes you twice as likely to skip your workout the next day, and the next day, until one day you look up and realize that you’ve quit. Skipping one workout IS a big deal, and you should treat it that way.
2) Not preparing for your workout session the day before
Lack of preparation opens up the door to all kinds of potential excuses and distractions. You may not make it to the gym because you forgot to pack your gym closes, you don’t have your post workout shake ready, you forgot that your kid has a baseball game, or you don’t have your workout program planned out for the day, etc… An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of reaction.
3) Cutting themselves too much slack during the workout
Stopping or slowing down when they get a little tired, have a stuffy nose, are a little sore, didn’t sleep quite as good the night before, or see someone to chat with is what non-successful people do.
4) Letting “the resistance” win
Behaviors like smoking, drinking, gossiping, waiting, and watching tv are part of what I call “the resistance.” These behaviors provide non-fit people with outs and ways to quietly sidestep around actually doing the work. Acknowledge that the resistance exists and manifests itself into real behavior. Then resolve to fight it with everything you’ve got.
The behaviors that CAUSE a person to be fit are:
1) Follow a workout schedule without fail or deviation
Choose a workout program or class and follow through with it. No plan will work unless you do. When you look around the gym the people in the best shape have a plan that they actually follow without letting the distractions of life get in the way.
2) Focus on doing the work, not on results
The work produces the results, not the thinking or the planning. Yes, fit people have a plan, but the difference between them and everyone else is that they brilliantly execute it. Don’t worry about whether or not you are seeing changes in the mirror or on the scale. Focus on working hard every single day, every single workout and the results will be a by product. Focusing too much on the results will cause you to deviate from your plan before you give it a chance.
3) Do both strength and cardio training
The most fit people are both strong and mobile. Strength is good, but don’t neglect being able to move freely and pain free. Mix cardio and strength training together through high intensity metabolic style training. If you’ve never heard of the Crossfit Games they are a competition held each year and televised on ESPN to crown the world’s fittest man and woman. The competitors are very strong and can move far and fast. Strive to be the same.
4) Use correct technique when exercising
The fittest people put more emphasis on having proper exercise technique than on lifting heavier weight. Putting more weight on the bar is a recipe for health disaster if you don’t have good form. Lifting 500 lbs will do nothing but hurt your back unless you do it properly. Thus, the fittest people don’t worry about showing off by loading more plates onto the bar. They exercise hard, and they exercise smart.
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