The average person looking to find success in their lives knows the importance of staying Fit and Healthy.
They do their best to get to the gym or their favorite group class only to feel frustrated after a couple weeks or a couple months.
Most people show up to the gym without a game plan or follow along with what everyone else is doing in the class. It's no wonder most people can't stick to and reap the benefits of a long term plan. They end up working too much on random things only to get burnt out before they see the results they were expecting.
I'VE BEEN THERE AND IT SUCKS!
Earlier in my coaching career I felt like I had to be in the fittest shape of my life at all times so that I can really walk the talk and build trust with my clients.
I ended up doing everything I can think of all at once.
I designed tough workouts that would last over 90 mins 5-6 days a week with the intention of making progress in all those areas. A few months in though, I hit a wall. Everything hurt, I was always tired, I wasn't actually getting the results I wanted, and worst of all, I wasn't being a good coach. I had taken on so much work with my fitness plan that other areas of my life started suffering.
I got to a point where I knew something was off. I needed to go back to the drawing board and come up with a new strategy.
At that time in my life I was very fascinated with personal development. I read every book I can get my hands on that taught goal achievement and productivity. I came across books like:
From all these book One principle really popped out for me. Long Term Success wasn't about working hard, it was about working smart. It was about getting clear on the Desired Outcome and taking incremental steps everyday over a long period of time.
I had to take a step back and look at how I was approaching Health and Fitness.
Like most people, I fell into the trap of No Pain, No Gain. I felt I would reach my full potential if I wasn't showing up and going all out with each session.
But one day I got hurt. During a Jiu Jitsu class I popped my shoulder out. I was in serious pain. I couldn't even lift my arm to take my shirt off when I got home.
I started worrying. How was I going to keep up with my workouts like this? How was I going to coach my clients if I can't even demonstrate the movements properly? Fear started creeping in, I started wondering if I was going to be able to do this kind of work till my old age. I love doing what I do and I didn't want to stop so I applied the work smart not hard principle to my workouts.
I took a serious look at my life, the things I had to show up for, and I laid out my priorities. It was pretty clear right away that I didn't need to be working out so hard. After all, I wasn't a paid athlete, I was a paid coach and maintaining my health and vitality was more important than maintaining peak performance.
So I slowed down. Instead of working on many attributes at once, I started focusing on one at a time. First things first, I had to recover from my shoulder injury and get back to functional movement. I decided to stop working on strength and endurance and focus on good movement patterns. My workouts got a lot easier, I was doing a lot of mobility work mixed in with basic body weight movements.
A couple months in, my shoulder was a lot better. But I also felt a lot better too. I had more energy and I wasn't tired all the time anymore. I was training in a way that resonated with my clients. Most my clients are hesitant to start a fitness program because they felt like the journey to health and fitness was a tough grind. They all had full lives they had to attend to and spending hours at the gym getting beat up wasn't something they were excited about.
Having changed my approach to fitness, I was able to coach them into enjoying the process instead of pushing through it. We were able to work at their pace and their level. And just like myself they started feeling great. They looked forward to their workouts. They saw incremental progress every session which fueled their confidence. Working out became something that supported their lives not something that left them feeling exhausted.
If you're finding yourself in a similar situation then you need to start implementing the 3 P's to Program Design.
I'll walk you through how I'm currently implementing these principles into my current workout plan so you can get a better idea of how it might apply to you and then give you some tips so that you can start using them to better think through what you need to be doing.
Priority for me at this point is to learn as much as I can in order to help my clients out with all the different obstacles they encounter along their journey.
I feel very stable in my body. I have enough strength and mobility to function in my day to day. So I don't need an aggressive plan trying to get stronger. I get way more satisfaction learning more complex moves I haven't mastered yet. Currently I'm working on the muscle up and the press to handstand as the two main movements. Everything else is accessory for those two movements. Which includes, shoulder, hip, and spinal work which everyone can use.
The Plan: Is to workout 6 days a week, at a sustainable pace. My workouts are typically 30-45 minutes with plenty of warming up and cooling down. When it comes to learning something new, it's better to space out your efforts and give you brain time to connect all the pieces. on top of my workouts, I prioritize a nutritious diet, and lots of rest, including meditation, active recovery strategies, and adequate sleep.
Periodize: I'll be focusing on these two movements for the next 8 weeks. At the time I'm writing this I'm already 2 weeks in and my abilities to execute the movements are happening with greater ease. After the 8 weeks, I'll switch over to a more aerobic plan since I don't have much of that kind of work in my program right now, and I like to stay aerobic. However, this time around, I'll be more proficient in the muscle up and the press to handstand and I could start incorporating those into my circuits. Whereas in the past, throwing those movements in the mix would make the workouts too hard to keep sustainable.
What is your priority when it comes to fitness?
How much time do you have to work towards this goal?
What Fitness Level are you at right now and what do you need to work on next to take you to the next level?
What is your long term goal? What kinds of training blocks would you have to plan out in order to make sure you get there?
If you're reading these questions and thinking to yourself "I don't really know what I should be doing or what level I'm at" don't worry, your not alone. And really, it's not your job to figure all this stuff out. You've got your own life and your area of expertise, leave the hard work of figuring out how to put all these pieces to the fitness experts.
If you'd like some help putting together a customized plan that fits your life and your goals then schedule a consultation with me. We can sit down together and assess your current level, and I'll help you put together a plan that you can be excited about.
Do you have a specific goal in mind you want to accomplish?
Maybe you want to lose some weight, maybe you want to move better, or maybe you just want to feel healthier and happier...
Have you started working on it yet?
How is it going?
Are you making progress?
Do you have a plan?
If you have something in mind your working on and it’s not really making much progress then I’ve got a couple ideas for you that I believe will help out
In this article I’m going to share with you 3 strategies to plan and build momentum towards that goal...
-1- First of all ask yourself… Why do I want this?
What triggered me to realize that I want this thing? Did you wake up one morning with back pain and decided that your too young to be having back pain?
Or were you doing something you really enjoyed, present in the moment, when you realized how much fun your having being in your body engaging with life when you decided this is fun, "I’d like more of this"
Emotions are the fuel for any goal… And even though a negative emotion can motivate you to take an action, they never have enough energy to sustain long lasting change.
On the other hand, positive emotions have enough ‘umf' to take you all the way and back.
So step 1 is to get clear on WHY you want this thing… Connect this goal, this desire, to your Joy, to your Identity, to your Purpose, then the energy that you call forward will take you to places you never imagined.
So step one: Ask yourself WHY do I want this thing. Not why you don’t want the thing thats happening now…
There’s a difference between saying yes to what you want and no to what you don’t want. Focus! Get clarity on your WHY, it will really serve you.
2- Focus on the WHAT… You need to develop some mental skills in order to do this. One of the most productive mental skills you can develop is your imagination.
Transport yourself to the future…
What does it feel like?
What’s different from here and now?
What’s your day like?
What are the ways your showing up different?
What new movement are you a part of?
Really start building the scene and feel what it would feel like to really accomplish this goal… Start constructing the new story. Play with it long enough until you feel the INSPIRATION to act!
Get Excited!! Most people don’t allow themselves the joy of feeling the feelings before it becomes real. But if you don’t know what its going to feel like, if your not excited about it, then as soon as it gets hard, your going to think “ah this isn’t worth it”.
Yes, it is going to be challenging... and if you don’t Plan, Prepare, and Commit to it, then its going to fall short. Don’t force it, let it be a natural unfolding. Play with it long enough until your inspired to take an action. If you don’t do this work before you start taking action, then your really not setting the foundation for you to build off of…
The prep work is a skill, and your imagination is a muscle that you need to develop. Once you’ve played with it long enough, let the first action be to break the goal down into the skills and daily actions necesarry to make it happen
3- Break the bigger goal down into the smaller componenets
Lets just say you want to lose weight and you’ve never really worked out before. You’ve never played a sport or gone to the gym, it’s not something thats come up before.
What usually happens is… Someone will have some sort of event, something unpleasant... they look in the mirror, or someone they love and care for makes a remark about how they look, or they go to the doctor and the doctor gives them some bad news, and they freak out.
In the moment they feel the motivation to act(negative emotion)… They say “I’m going to lose weight!”
Then they go straight to action, straight to the HOW...
They say "I’m going to start running and I’m going to exercise", but more often then not they have no idea what they're doing.
They jump right in without a plan. They push themselves, they bite off more than they can chew, and then the next day or the week after, when their body hurts and they’re low on fuel and their stressed out, and they jump on the scale and nothing has happened… they get discouraged and then they think "Ah I can’t do this, this isn’t for me…” and boom! that’s over.
Until the next episode when they get fired up to try again.
Now Imagine another scenario… You get that same news… You realize “I need to lose weight” but you don’t act yet. You calm down, you breathe you focus and you ask WHY do I want to lose weight? I know WHY I don’t want to have excess weight, but thats a different question… WHY do I want to have a slimmer body Why do I want to feel strong and confident? and you play with that...
Then you think, "well WHAT would that do to my life? WHAT does it look and feel like?" and you get excited, you think to yourself, "hey this is actually going to be really great, I’m going to take care of myself, I’m going to engage with life, this is going to be an expansive experience for me."
You flip the negative emotion into a positive emotion
Then, you sit down and you think this through… "What SKILLS do I need to develop? I need to learn better body mechanics if I’m going to start exercising so I can sustain my workouts, I’m going to have to learn how to prep my meals differently, I’m going to have to learn to relax and recover from my workouts, I’m going to learn how to structure my workouts so that they are sustainable but at the same time progressive and challenging."
Then you need to admit to yourself that your new to this, your going to have to take it easy, go slow, you need to develop these skills as you go, ONE at a time.
So you map it out… You create a game plan, a roadmap. You need to learn these skills in order, in a specific sequence, and each one is going to have its challenges, its going to take time until you really learn them and get in your groove.
Then open your calendar and schedule which weeks your going to work on which skills, and then when the time comes… Do it!
Line up with your WHY and WHAT and do the small step for that day, knowing that with enough small steps your going to make enough progress to get you to where you want to be.
Here’s a great infographic by Precision Nutrition to help you do exactly that… Figure out the skills, break them down into Daily Habits.
Anything is possible as long as it’s in Alignment. When you have spent the time to get clarity on the WHY and the WHAT and then mapped out the HOW in a step by step plan then you’re really set up for success. Just remember its not about the outcome, its about the journey. Start with something small, test it out, build confidence in yourself and then practice it with other goals and soon you'll find yourself loving life and creating it the wat you want it to be