How To Stay On A Fitness Track

Trainers hear it all the time. “Yeah, workout’s not going so well. I fell off track.” And the quick response is usually, “Well, get back on!” But it’s not that easy. Especially if there is no solid track in the first place.

So, what is this “track”? If we think of track in general, here are some of the definitions:

  • a path made or beaten by or as if by the feet of people or animals; trail: to follow the track of a murderer
  • a course of action, conduct, or procedure: on the right track to solve the problem.
  • a path or course made or laid out for some particular purpose.

These are all good, but I want you to really focus on the last one. Notice,

“…laid out for some particular purpose

which means the track has to be going somewhere. If you don’t know where you’re going then we don’t really have a track. It’s more of a jungle or forest and we’re just trying to find our way. No wonder people fall off track; they’re tired of trying to make a path!

For some people, it’s easy to make a path, they have their purpose laid out for them. What are some examples of athletes or people in general that have a solid path, or particular purpose?

  1. A fighter or athlete getting ready for a certain fight or season. These guys and gals know the date they have to be ready for and they know where they have to be mentally and physically.
  2. Weddings — I’ve trained a few women getting ready for weddings and it’s a different mindset. These women are ready to work!
  3. Marathon or triathlon — They know the exact date and they have an idea of how well they would like to do in the race.
  4. Corporate Fat Loss Challenges — I hate these because you get people doing insane things to their bodies that they’ll never be able to maintain, but they do reach goals. Unfortunately they usually fall off the rails and end up being worse off after the challenge is over.

These are all people that, whether they know it or not, have a solid path towards a specific purpose. They’re inspired and ready to work towards their purpose. But what if you’re not a fighter and your varsity sports seasons were years ago? And you’re already married, so that’s not an option. How do you find YOUR purpose? Better yet, how do you reach it?

First, everyone is going to have different purposes. The wife that just delivered her third child is going to have a different goal than the 25 year old dude getting ready for summer. The married businesswoman with three kids and a demanding job is going to have different goals than the single marathon runner. So what am I getting at? We have to establish a realistic goal or “purpose” so that we’re confident we can, and want to reach it. Here are some questions to ask yourself:

1. Who are you?

Are you the businessman with a demanding job and frankly, a 400 lb. dead lift just isn’t worth the risk; but being limber and healthy for your wife and kids is? (And maybe being ripped on the occasional beach family vacation doesn’t hurt).

Or maybe you do want to be in the best shape of your life and do things that you’ve never done before like squat more weight, run the fastest you ever have, or be the leanest you ever have.

2. Who are you fighting for?

It should be who are you training for, but I threw in fighting because that’s what you’ll be doing. Reaching goals isn’t easy. Is it for yourself? Do you want to look and feel insanely ripped? Or is it for your family? Could be you don’t want to follow down the same path as someone in your family or you want to be stronger to play with your kids. Also, it doesn’t hurt knowing that your spouse digs you being in great shape.

3. How bad do you want it?

If you haven’t felt a spark go off, then you’re probably not there. You should almost, dare I say, be angry or at least passionate that you’re not there. Envision what it would be like to throw the ball around with the kids or be jacked with your wife or husband on vacation. What’s that like? I love hearing my clients come back with stories about when they went home and people were blown away with how they looked. That stuff doesn’t just happen. Those are the fruits of a lot of labor. They’re darn good fruits, and they weren’t at the bottom of the tree, they were at the top.

After you’ve answered these three questions, I want you to come up with 5 goals. I want one of them to be attainable within the next 2 months, 3 of them over the next 6 months, and one that is just badass. For me, I want:

  1. 2 months — Squat 375 and 30 second handstand.
  2. 6 months — Deadlift 500
  3. 6 months — Squat 400
  4. 6 months — 5 muscle ups
  5. Badass — Triathlon while being able to do all these.

Heck, for some people it might be to walk a mile, or to be able to do a plank for 30 seconds in the next 2 months. And for others, it might be to decrease their 5 mile run time by a minute. I want you to have something that you can look forward to now and in the future. You need to be able to feel the sense of accomplishment soon, and on a repeatable basis. Once you start to SEE the track and feel that you’re moving forward on it, there’s no telling how far you can go.