20. August 2013 17:00
I think you’re awesome, I really do. But we need to talk.
Last week you wrote a column for the SMH titled, “fitness brings many benefits, but having fun isn’t one of them.”
You then went on to ask that, “all the cheesy fun pedlars, please stop it” and suggested every trainer that uses the word “fun” to describe what they offer was assuming their clients were “stupid” and that nobody could possibly have FUN while exercising.
Really? Is that what people need to hear from Australia’s fitness icon? Isn’t the whole point of being in this industry to motivate and inspire people to make change and become the best version of themselves?
I must be missing something here because all this time I thought I was playing sport for fun, not punishment! Isn’t a game that gets your heart racing classified as exercise anymore?
I understand that everyone has a different approach and agree exercise isn’t always fun but of course, it can be and making it fun creates a much healthier association with doing something that’s good for you on a regular basis.
Perhaps some people need a healthy dose of tough love to get their mindset in the right place and their bodies moving, but saying nobody could possibly have a good time while sweating it out is just plain wrong and frankly, a little depressing, particularly when you consider not everyone wants (or needs) to punish themselves 7 days a week.
I once had a trainer that was a real hard ass. Was he a great trainer? Yep. Renowned in the industry? Definitely. A “fun pedlar”? Absolutely not. And guess what? For the very first time in my athletic career, training with him really put me off exercise. I didn’t want to show up to sessions and I started getting way too obsessed with training and my body.
Once I finished the program, I was so emotionally and physically exhausted that I didn’t train at all for a few months because I was just totally over the gym, it had such negative associations for me.
These days? I haven’t missed a session in years and am still so excited by my training program every single week. While I certainly believe in not letting clients leave a workout without having truly pushed themselves, they’re having fun because we make it fun.
How do we do that? We make it a game. Our sessions are sometimes themed, we experiment with new styles of movement, we use music strategically, we have a go at the workouts elite athletes and celebrities are doing and try to make every session a unique experience, while still working in a way that gets serious results.
It’s much harder as a trainer to do this, it takes a lot more prep and creativity to successfully combine an athletic workout with a truly engaging (and fun!) experience but hey, if you genuinely want to make a long-term difference in someone’s life then giving them the gift of learning to love exercise is critical.
All motivation comes from either pleasure or pain – we move towards pleasure and try to avoid pain. If you consistently associate exercise with pain, sooner or later you’ll start avoiding it. The only way to build the right exercise habits is to associate exercise with pleasure and I dare say this is something you’ve managed to do yourself, otherwise you wouldn’t be as fit and healthy as you are.
Everyone is motivated in different ways – for some it’s competition that gets them going, for others focusing on a goal or outcome, for some the community aspect. But there are also those among us who love nothing more than a bit of corny storytelling thrown in with our workout – and there are more of them than you might think! For example, a “World War Z” themed workout we ran recently was the most popular session we’ve ever had at our gym, every session was sold out and people talked about it for weeks afterwards.
Yell at someone and push them to their absolute limit and sure, you might get them to perform better in that one workout… but educate and inspire them, make them feel great about themselves and help them learn to enjoy their workouts (yep, maybe even have one of those giggles you seem to think are so absurd) and you might just have helped someone create a positive relationship with fitness, their body and themselves for life.
I want people stepping into my gym, or coming down to my outdoor sessions feeling excited to try new workouts I’ve created for them, wondering what’s next… not dreading it.
After reading in your column that 45-minutes on a cross-trainer is the type of exercise you do, I’m not particularly surprised you’re not having fun. That sounds truly terrible, poor you!
Maybe it’s time for you to get a little bit creative?
13. August 2013 17:22
If you've been busting your butt in the gym, or trying to stick to a hell-ish, socially restrictive diet and are still not looking like the genetic equal of Jessica Alba… or Hugh Jackman… then here’s a few reasons you may not be seeing the results you want.
1. Your Mindset
Knowing all the tips, tricks and activity patterns in the world to make you leaner, faster and stronger won’t amount to much if that knowledge doesn’t translate into action. If you know HOW, then why haven’t you done it yet?
Research shows people with a positive attitude are more likely to stick with and actually achieve their goals. It’s believing you CAN rather than getting caught in the “it’s so hard” or the “I can’t do this because...” head space.
Break your big goals down into little ones. Set yourself something achievable like a 3 week challenge. No complaints, no excuses for 3 weeks… just do it. Once you’ve achieved your challenge, give yourself a few days off then set the next one.
Be mindful of how you feel about exercise and healthy choices. Does exercise feel like a chore? Do you have a negative association with healthy food? We are drawn to pleasure and try to avoid pain, so the best way to achieve long term success is to create healthy habits that give you positive feelings (pleasure) rather than negative feelings (pain).
Some easy ways to do this are to set mini goals so you’re getting little wins, train with your partner or friends (shared success is twice the success after all!) or find a trainer that believes in positive reinforcement rather than making you feel unworthy.
If you’d like some extra help to reassociate pleasure with exercise and healthy choices, try an BUF favourite Anthony Robbins.
2. Your Nutrition
The most significant factor in getting results is your nutrition. I love the way Precision Nutrition puts it - poor nutrition is what holds you back, good nutrition is what propels you forward. Good nutrition is consistently proven to build better and faster muscles, shed fat, increase energy, improve recovery, improve mood and just generally improve most measurable health markers. If good nutrition is your weak spot…
Know what good nutrition actually means. There is way too much contradicting information out there and it can be really confusing. Don’t worry about the latest this or the latest that, stick to the basics of nutrition and you’ll be fine. We recommend reading through this blog to get the basics down, but start with a free nutrition analysis (just ask your trainer). You’ll be surprised at what a big difference small changes can make.
Once you understand what you should be eating and why, then it becomes a lot easier to work on instilling the habits of good nutrition.
3. Your Consistency
Training for just 10 min every day is more effective than 1 hour on the weekend. The same applies over longer periods of time as well – so many people smash themselves for 3 months over summer and then hibernate for the rest of the year, big mistake! Being consistent, week in week out is much more effective, even if some weeks you’re not training hard.
Hire someone to make you do it. That’s why God invented the fitness industry. Even trainers hire other trainers to keep them accountable! Use a trainer to get you started on forming the right habits, it’s hard to be lazy when someone is waiting for you. If a personal trainer is out of reach, booking in for classes at BUF will work too – just the process of booking is a great mental trick to keep you consistent.
Get into a routine that you can stick to year round and make these times nonnegotiable pillars in your life. This might involve training 3 to 4 times per week but it also might involve a quick 10 to 15 minute interval training session when you roll out of bed each morning – little things like that done consistently add up very quickly.
4. Your Genetics
Now, I purposely put this towards the end. Not because it’s not hugely important, but often I find clients leaning on this for, ‘well it just must be my genetics...’, or ‘my mum has always been overweight, I think this is just my body type’, or ‘my body will always be fat, I don’t process carbs’.
The excuses go on... and on. But, of course, with no actual results being achieved.
It’s REALLY rare that someone’s genetics stop them from achieving the results they want… if in fact they actually DO want them.
You CAN change the amount of fat and muscle you have. You can make significant improvements in your strength, flexibility and fitness. It’s just finding the right way to do it for your specific goals. Sure, some people have to work a little harder than others, but that just makes it all the more satisfying in the end.
Be realistic with what you’re putting in and what you’re expecting back.
Keep a food journal and training diary. Are you consistent with your habits? Be honest!
If you’re genuinely stuck or even if you want to understand more about your own unique genetic make-up, try Genetic Testing at AGOGA to help you fine tune your approach.
5. Lack of Time and Knowledge
If you don’t have the time or inclination to figure everything out on your own and you just want someone to tell you specifically how, what, when and why to train/eat/think, then sign up for a Health and Fitness Consultation and I’ll walk you through it.
“‘We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit”
4. August 2013 18:40
Congratulations to the first ever BUF 40-Day Winter Challenge winners! You stayed consistent (and then some) all winter, notched up a bucket-load of stamps and VOILA! You win the following awesome prizes for your efforts. Collect ‘em this week at boot camp and enjoy the fruits of your labour ;) [More]
31. July 2013 07:19
Consistency is THE most important thing when it comes to training, so following on from the success of the 40 Day Challenge, we wanted to find an ongoing way to keep everyone motivated, particularly when it gets cold!
We know from experience that the best way to keep your motivation up is to train with friends. That’s why, in association with Perkville.com, Bottoms Up! now rewards you for both attending and roping in your lady friends. [More]
23. July 2013 20:59
This week we profile one of our fabulous clients, Kerrie Otto de Grancy, who has just completed a 100km ultra marathon, scored herself a spot on the Aussie team and landed 3 Australian Records! All in the name of charity... [More]