Getting fit can be a bit of a bitch, especially if you dive head first into intense workout regimens without the proper motivation, method and training. It is possible to easily get injured, overwork your muscles or simply burn out. This can lead to major blows to your self-esteem and confidence; before you know it, you’ll be back on your couch procrastinating your next workout. To be successful in your fitness journey, you need to be consistent in your method and training.
- Go at your own pace.
“In the long term, heroic efforts don’t work” — Matt Dixon, head coach at Purplepatch Fitness and author of Fast-Track Triathlete.
You have to recognize that healthy, sustainable change doesn’t happen overnight. One workout will not give you the body you’ve always dreamed of or the skills you’ve wanted to master. In reality, “most people who go big, swiftly end up at home”.
The key to living a healthy, fit lifestyle is consistency and building upon your habits. Little, day-to-day improvements will allow you to become the best athlete possible.
2. Don’t overshoot your shot.
A study on human behavior at Stanford University discovered that a persons actions are dependent on both the motivation and the ability to do that action. Simply put, this means that if you overshoot your shot or try to do more than you’re capable of at the time, you’ll most likely burn out.
The head of research for this study, B.J. Fogg, said that “the surest way to real confidence and enduring performance is to progressively layer training — slowly building on what you did in the past, adding layers over time”.
“When an athlete believes in the overall progression, they don’t need to seek validation in mega-workouts. Instead, they execute day-in, day-out for weeks, months, and even years.”
There are two big reasons that people burn out quickly when they dive right in at the very start of their training: (a) lack of self-confidence and (b) lack of understanding the training process. Athletes often feel the need to look for external confidence boosters, when it’s really been inside of them all along. Seeing the changes day-by-day to your body, your form, and your skills not only helps to level up your skills, but it also levels up your confidence.
Don’t be surprised when you are tempted to fall back into the routines of mega-workouts. It is natural to want to take the easy way out. But no! This article is your intervention!
Be consistent, be confident, and get it done by putting one foot in front of the other and taking your time.
3. Water your plants
The key to achieving big results is small gains over a long period of time. As the head coach of High Performance West in Oregon, Jonathan Marcus, puts it, “plants in a garden reach full bloom when regularly nourished with sunlight and water. Any of our chosen endeavors, including athletic pursuits, flourish when nourished daily by concentration and positive action. Investing too much in heroic training efforts is like watering your garden for an entire day to excess, and then starving the vegetation of any fluid for the following ten days, consistency is nature’s rule, not mine.”
The real question is: Does this method actually work?
YES! Think of your favorite player. It doesn’t matter the sport, just think of someone — Serena Williams, Big Papi, Usain Bolt, etc. Once you get them, do some research into their sports’ history. Look at each win and each loss, each injury, each fallout and each comeback. These sports legends did not become masters of their sport from one very intense practice or lesson. They were just like us — kids with dreams; who had the right motivation and patience to put in the work to do what they truly loved. It took building up their skills one piece at a time, learning from their mistakes, and getting up after a big fall.
Remember: every training, every workout, every practice is a building block to help build you up.
So, take your time and stick with it regardless of how hard it gets because slow and steady will always help you win the race.