Keeping Your Fitness Goals Realistic – A Honest Guide To Results
Living in a society that promotes get fit quick schemes, fad diets, miracle drugs, body wraps, fitness apps, and technology as the path of least resistance for accomplishing goals; it has become increasingly difficult to separate the facts from the fiction. We’re surrounded by million dollar add campaigns, catchy slogans, misleading scientific jargon, placebo supplements, Photoshop photo shoots, boutique gyms, supplement stores, and overpriced health food stores. Although raising awareness on health and wellness topics is important and a good thing, it’s increasing popularity and marketability has made it one of the biggest trends for get rich quick schemes. In the mist of sorting through what we know from experience, what we’ve learned in P.E. and health classes, what we hear in gyms, and what we read in magazines; when it comes to fitness a lot of us are having a hard time setting achievable goals and keeping it realistic.
One of the biggest misconceptions when it comes to fitness is that there is a “one sizes fits all” approach that will work effectively for everyone’s needs and wants. On a regular basis I see someone working out in the gym, reading their favorite fitness magazine, exercise for exercise, rep for rep copying their favorite fitness model’s workout. With an issue of Muscle & Fitness in one hand, and a shaker bottle full of their #bodygoals favorite supplement in the other, they begin to workout expecting to reach their goal body within the prescribed “4 weeks to get ripped” timeframe. Although some people have found success with this method, for most people this approach isn’t keeping it realistic. When it comes to fitness, we must take most things we hear with a grain of salt;
1. Most of what we read is sponsored content, and used as a ploy to sell products,
2. Most of what we read isn’t the absolute truth; athletes can’t and won’t give full disclosure of everything they are using and doing,
3. Most of what we read is intended for a target audience with experience beyond the general public and those in the “beginner phase” of working out.
Don’t get me wrong though, fitness magazines are great for motivation, and I have gotten plenty of good tips and tricks that I apply to my own workouts. Fitness magazines aren’t the problem, It’s the general public’s inability to look past the sensational claims in advertisements, and use information responsibly. Over the years I have had a lot of workout conversations with people frustrated about their lack of progress and how they “did everything they were supposed to, and it didn’t work!” This is a perfect example of when we have to be honest with ourselves and keep it realistic; the workout isn’t always the problem, sometimes it’s our lack of patience. I have come across a lot of bad fitness and nutrition advice, but at the same time a lot of what I’ve seen and heard is based off of scientific proof and simple logic. If you aren’t a fitness model, it’s probably going to take you longer than 4 weeks to get ripped. To quote Drake you won’t simply go “0 to 100, real quick”; consistency over time in both your workout and diet will make it easier (not easy) to accomplish your goals in a shorter period of time. Realistically access your starting point before you get your hopes up, and suffer the inevitable disappointment; maybe for you instead of “4 weeks to get ripped” it’s “12 weeks to get ripped” or “16 weeks to get ripped”.
Steps to Keeping Your Fitness Goals Realistic:
- HONESTLY access your current fitness level and commitment level (I.E. how good of shape you’re in, and how many days, hours, and workouts you can consistently commit to doing per week). Pay attention to injuries, health issues, work/ life balance, and anything that could foreseeably interfere with your dedication.
- REALISTICALLY set goals; once you’ve accessed your current level of fitness you’ll be able to set more realistic goals. Avoid fad diets, sensational claims, under training, and over training; just work hard and be consistent. Don’t try to go “0 to 100, real quick”
- STAY PATIENT; if you’re following a workout and nutrition plan, stay consistent and give it a chance to work. Often times we give up and get frustrated long before we’ve given our body adequate time to respond to changes.
- STAY COMMITTED; not to sound cliché but fitness is a lifestyle, and it takes a lifetime of commitment to consistently make improvements. Never stop evolving and incorporating new approaches, and exercises; figure out what works for YOU, what doesn’t work for YOU, and stick to what works best!
- ALWAYS REMEMBER; fitness is personalized and unique, just because something works for someone else doesn’t mean that it’ll work for you, or in the same way. Everyone has different body types, metabolisms, bone structure, and abilities; so if you do decide to follow in someone else’s footsteps, choose someone with a similar built. Experience is a good teacher, so don’t be scared to try new things, and give it an honest effort. Fitness magazines can be great guidelines, and give us great ideas; just don’t get caught up in all the hype, and start believing that everyone can go from average Joe to cover model in a matter of weeks. Stay motivated and stay progressive!