Training and Motivation:
Today at Functional For Life we are going to go in a slightly different direction to our usual posts. We are going to have a brief look at the psychological aspect of training and how it can impact our progress.
I have personally been training people for 7 years and can tell you that just about every single person I train starts off in the same place. That place being, ‘excited and highly motivated to train’. Most clients will have clear goals about what they want to achieve and by when. They might be looking to lose weight quickly for an upcoming event such as a wedding, looking for a consistent exercise routine for the long term or anywhere in between.
Practically all clients come in to training highly motivated, ready to do anything they need to in order to achieve their goals. However, another common theme in personal training is. As time goes on some clients will achieve their goals and make long term changes from what they have learned and achieved, some have met their goals part way and some have fallen off the radar pretty quickly.
I must highlight this is in no way a condemning of those that don’t go through with their initial goals, it is as much the fault of the trainer for not getting them there as anyone else’s. In fact that is not what the article is about. It is not about pointing the finger or laying blame. What we are focusing on today is the notion of ‘change’.
Making long term and embedded changes is seemingly one of the more difficult things we can do as Humans. This is definitely not only in regards to exercise, it might be trying to give up smoking, change our diet, learn a new skill. Change, requires a significant amount of energy and discipline. In fact in trying to make changes our mind and body will often work against us, causing us to feel uncomfortable emotions such as agitation, fatigue ,anger etc. Not only will it cause us to feel an array of emotions, it will also work overtime to come up with excuses as to why you don’t need to make that change or why it isn’t essential to do it right now.
You know the excuses ‘I will just snooze for ten minutes’, ‘it’s been a big day at work I will just run tomorrow’ ‘Oh well I’ll just eat this cake now and work it off later’. I am sure everyone completely relates and understands what I am talking about.
In my mind there are some major advantages to PT when it comes to enforcing change, with one of the biggest ones ‘being told what to do’ and not only this ‘told what to do with good technique’. The brain really struggles with ambiguity so having to make up your own exercises in a session makes it even harder for you to get through a session. Obviously pre-planning can counteract this.
However, hiring a PT is not a silver bullet to embedding change in exercise and dietary routines. It is a great help and a great kick start, but ultimately you have to continue good exercise and eating habits outside of the PT sessions in order to achieve your goals. You also have to focus on attending your mutually agreed number of sessions with a high degree of commitment. Attending a PT with high levels of inconsistency is going to severely impact your progress. In other words a good PT is a great resource and one of the best supports you can have when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, but they can’t do the work for you.
Take Home Message:
The take home message of this article is to go into PT with your eyes wide open. In fact if you want to make any changes in your life it is incredibly important to understand that the motivation you had when you started will fade, but going through with your commitments even when you don’t feel like it will have only benefits for you emotionally, mentally and physically.
The exciting thing is you do have control over your script as hard as it may be when trying to initially implement a change. As a trainer I have seen people make some unbelievable changes to their fitness and their lifestyle. Remember using a PT is an excellent motivator and kick start to help people achieve their goals. BUT. It is not the magic bullet and making those changes will require a lot of effort from you outside of the training sessions. Always keep in mind that it will be worth it as you achieve your goals. No matter where you are at with your health and fitness, remember, you can start making changes now! Believe in yourself and if you are after any training tips or advice we are always happy to help. Get in touch with us via the contact form on our website. Thanks for reading and happy training!