Admittedly, I have been putting off writing this for a little while - maybe it's fear of what people may think, maybe it's because once upon a time I was that person who was constantly looking at the next best thing, the easiest thing, whatever it was that was holding me back, right now it is not there.
Now it's time to get real about this - time to change up how we view ourselves, time to change how we allow the fitness industry to influence us, it is essentially time to accept responsibility for ourselves and give as much as we expect. A good coach will provide you with the tools to learn, to experience and to apply but they will also provide you with the confidence to question current trends, to challenge your own beliefs, to have your own opinions, make your choices in accordance to your own ethics and values. The thing is, society is filled with trends that simply don't allow for any individuality leading to flawed expectations and disappointment. In any case, we see people giving up, changing approaches to their health, lifestyle, even career goals quicker than it has taken me to write this blog.
It is time to be honest with yourself, time to change up your perception of what is real and what your own truth is. Firstly, lets recognise that no single one approach will work for everyone; perhaps a person may not be ready to commit to their long term goals, perhaps their goals have changed, perhaps the approach they were taking was simply not right for them. Does this make them a bad person? No it does not, but of course we get the guilts if our friend over here has achieved 'xxxx' using the same approach that got us nowhere.
So what do we do when we 'fail' ? We falter, we start blaming everyone and everything and start chopping and changing what we are doing. Well you ask, what else are we supposed to do? Here's a few questions to ask yourself before you start losing your mind or blaming your coach, friend, family for what perhaps didn't go your way;
1. Be clear on your goals - what is it you want to achieve? can you measure it and how? do your goals fit in with you values? are you committed to your goals?
2. Does your coach have knowledge and experience in the process it takes to get you to your goal/s? Every coach is different just like every client will be different, if you are after something your coach does not offer (remembering, the approach you are taking may not fit in with their values) both of you will appreciate and benefit from being referred to another coach. Example; you wouldn't necessarily train with a general population coach to develop sports specific skills if they don't have the knowledge or experience in this area. Be sure to be clear on your goals with your coach, if they cannot help you most coaches would refer you to someone with experience or expertise within that area.
Also, COACHES if a client highlights a skills gap, commit to being open to LEARN. This does not mean you have to be everything to everyone, but the more knowledge you have, the more you can apply and the better equipped you are to support your clients.
3. Are you putting in your 100% ? Are you doing everything in your power to achieve your goals? You can have the BEST coach, workout program, nutrition guide however, if you are not willing to learn and apply the principles of the mentioned you will not achieve the results as expected.
4. Have you given the program the necessary time? Let's be real, any sustainable and well planned program will not necessarily see dramatic results instantaneously. You may notice a positive change in your energy, moods, cognitive functioning, your lifting technique may have improved, your habits may have changed and you may be establishing a great routine however, results take time. Whether those results be strength based or body composition based they will take time and it is so important that we recognise anything offering a quick result may not be sustainable or produce the desired results within short time frames. It all takes time, our bodies are complex and require fine tuning, not everyday will be a good day but what is important is the consistency of the work you put in and consistency over time is what will lead you toward you goal.
5. Did you look at the bigger picture? Body composition change is not simply a matter of energy in vs energy out, increasing strength is not simply a matter of executing your program in the gym. Take a moment to look at the bigger picture, look at your sleeping patterns, eating habits (are you under / over eating), stress levels (a huge factor), hydration - it all counts and should never go unnoticed.
It is time to change up the idea that results are instantaneous and if you don't achieve what they said you will during your 8 week challenge you're a failure. It is time to change up your perception that you'll achieve all of your results in an 8-12 week timeframe - look at the bigger picture, in 2 years do you really want to be doing the same 8-12 week challenge out of fear of regressing? It is time to change up the idea that we need to eat less, sleep less but be expected to move and lift more, living our lives in a state of stressed. It is time to change up the idea that if we do not fit a certain 'mould' we are not worthy of acceptance. It is time to look at the bigger picture, individual needs and program accordingly.