The 5 Pillars behind getting Success in the Gym
A logical look at what is really required to get success in the gym and achieve your goals.
Everything must start somewhere. There is a reason for everything. Why did I choose to be a personal trainer for example? Why did I choose to open a gym? Why are you reading this article? Why do you want a Personal Trainer? Why do you feel the way you do? What do you want to feel? Why do you want to feel that way? For every client I work with I need to understand why they are here sat in front of me asking for help, and I need them to understand that as well. I want them to really relate to the feelings around why they are here, what it is they are trying to achieve and the reasons behind why this is so important to them. Then that becomes the fuel that drives the journey, like the fuel in a car. You can have the best car in the world, but it isn’t going anywhere without the fuel.
Top Tip for Finding Your Why
Write down what you want to achieve. Now write down 3 reasons why you want to do this. Now try to break down these reasons a little further giving at least 1 explanation to these reasons, if there is room to break these explanations down even further then do so. It probably started quite vague and ended up much more specific, in most cases quite personal. This is your Why. For example, I might have a class of 10 people where everyone wants to lose 1-2 stone in weight. You would then think that everyone’s goals are the exact same and that might be true, but all 10 people will likely have different reasons behind why they want to do this. Your Why is unique to you and doesn’t need to be shared. But it is extremely important and powerful that you understand it and don’t lose sight of it.
We have all heard the phrase consistency is key. Well, it is. We can’t progress at anything unless we are consistent in our approach. Consistency has been the key to most of my own personal successes and downfalls. It can be challenging to maintain consistency but it’s easier when you can fully relate to YOUR WHY, which is why that was my number 1 point. Having a clear focus on your why gives you the motivation needed to maintain consistency. Your why must be greater than the constant distractions that can pull you off track and challenge your consistency.
Top Tip for Consistency
Start small – make it achievable and do what you enjoy. It takes a long-term minded person to start small and build it up versus going all out week 1. But your only in it for the long term if you master consistency so make the initial weeks manageable. Using a gym programme as an example. Start your first month with 2 x 30min sessions per week and build this into a consistent 4 x 60min sessions per week down the line. Taking scheduled ‘easier weeks’ known by those that train a lot as ‘de-loads’ can help to further maintain consistency long term. If you enjoy it you are more likely to maintain it. Find something that gives you enjoyment.
It’s all very well turning up, and as vital as that is, it’s still in most cases not enough. I have witnessed multiple people turning up and being consistent without really achieving a great deal. That’s because they never get out of first gear. They apply the same level of effort each time and fall short of what is required to make real progress. I am a big believer in you get out what you put in. Its ok to take it easy at first and start small, but at some stage in the cycle you need to get uncomfortable and go to places you haven’t yet experienced. Let’s use training as an example, this could mean lifting a heavier weight than you usually do, taking a harder option, reducing your rest periods, not stopping when it gets tough on the muscles and the natural instinct is to stop. Those that apply effort and allow themselves to be challenged go further at a much faster pace. From personal experience I know how challenging this can be, it requires confidence, focus, concentration, and a good bit of determination.
Top Tip for Effort
Record what you do in a session so that you have a base line to work from. Recording what you have achieved in an exercise, or a workout allows you to determine what might be possible in terms of progressions for next time. This builds confidence. Write down how you felt at the end of the session. Where could you have applied more effort, and where did you feel you maxed out? What was it that stopped you from working harder today? Energy levels? Technique? Mind elsewhere? Taking note of how you felt during a workout might allow you to understand what is potentially holding you back.
Next up is form. Such an important part of training is how we execute the movements. I have always looked upon exercises like skills. Coming from a football background we were taught technical skills to improve our game, the more we practised them and listened to the coaches the easier it became. After a period of time we would be able to do them without having to think about doing them, they were ingrained. I look at exercises in the gym in the same way. At first it seems like there is a lot to learn to maximise a movement, it can feel awkward, unbalanced, we don’t feel the target muscles working, instead we feel everywhere else. It seems like a lot to think about to do it well but after a period of learning and practising and allowing yourself to be coached to improve your form it becomes easier and second nature. On the flip side learning something incorrectly continuously or just not allowing yourself to be coached can lead you to learn movement patterns incorrectly and thus seriously hamper progress.
Top Tip for Form
Let yourself be coached and be patient. Let someone who knows more about this topic guide you. Let the experts do their jobs and don’t be offended when someone more qualified than you try’s to help you. To maximise consistency and effort our form needs to be good, and we should be open to improving this all the time. Good form allows you to train better, safer and make the most out of the extra effort you are applying. Keeping it safe helps us be more consistent.
I couldn’t give you a list like this and not include nutrition. Whether you are focused on improving body composition, building muscle, burning fat, feeling better, improving strength or all of the above you are probably not going to make it happen without spending some time working on your diet. In a nutshell we want to look at two key areas Quantity and Quality. Quantity refers to calories consumed per day (or week). Manipulating the quantity can determine whether we lose, gain, or maintain our weight. So depending on what the goal is we need to be looking at this overall number and how it relates to the amount of calories we use up by living each day (or week). Quality refers to the types of foods we eat. Improving the quality will go a long way to helping us feel better, positively effecting our physical and mental health and alongside quantity providing us with the energy we need to maximise our goals.
Top tip for Nutrition
As nutrition can be quite specific to each individual, I would encourage you to make an appointment with someone suitably qualified to help you understand some basics around how to consume the right quantity as well as how to improve the quality of what you eat. If you would like us to help, then get in touch.
Your Why – Consistency – Effort – Form – Nutrition