Ask Away...: Common Fitness Fails And Why They Keep Happening To You

Monday, November 6, 2017

Common Fitness Fails And Why They Keep Happening To You

Stop me if you’ve found yourself uttering any of the following:

“Okay, tonight I’ll pig out, but I’ll start dieting tomorrow!”
“I can’t afford to join a gym.”
“Yeah, I know I said I’d go to the gym today but I’ll definitely go on Monday!”
“I know I’m having pizza but it’s been a rough day, alright?”
“I don’t have time to go to the gym today.”
“Go on then, just one won’t hurt!”
“I’ve been to the gym so I deserve this chocolate bar!”
“I know I said I’d go for a run, but look at the state of the weather!”

If any of these sound achingly familiar, don’t beat yourself up too badly. They’re all perfectly natural, perfectly human reactions to doing things that are difficult and challenging however much we may recognise their benefits. In order to avoid beating ourselves up over taking our hands off the steering wheel when it comes to meeting our fitness goals, it’s common to tell ourselves little white lies that make us feel better. These may not be too significant on their own, but one little act of self-deception makes the next one that much easier and before you know it,. You’re trapped in a loop of false starts and fitness fails.

If you constantly find yourself locked in a cycle of setting out with good intentions, falling off the waggon, self-recrimination, comfort eating, more self-recrimination and starting over again, you may need to take a look at why these fitness fails keep happening to you and what you can do to break the cycle…

You’ve joined the wrong gym

An a lot of ways joining the wrong gym is worse than not joining any gym. Many of us join gyms because we’ve been lured in with seductive rates, not because it’s the best gym for us. After an initial honeymoon period it’s not uncommon for us to realize we’ve joined the wrong gym. Falling out of love with your gym can lead to your making excuses not to go, which can seriously compromise your motivation. Likewise if your gym is too far away or its opening hours are at odds with your work schedule, it can lead you to throw money into a motivational black hole. If this sounds familiar it’s worth ditching your gym and working out at home, which brings us to...

Your home is not optimized for working out

A lot of people want to circumvent the motivational hurdles of gym membership by working out at home or, better yet building a home gym. This can be a great way of making sure that you’re able to work out at any time but in order for this strategy to be effective you need to make sure your home is properly equipped. The last thing you want is to flail around knocking vases off the shelf as you slog through the latest workout DVD. Building a home gym is an excellent investment and if you own your own home it can add a great deal of value to the property. You can secure the capital through a credit card or by remortgaging your home, although if your credit is less than stellar there are poor credit secured loans on the market that will help you fund this renovation. Optimizing your home for working out will ensure that you’re motivated and equipped at all times, reducing the risk of flagging motivation.

You’re doing the wrong exercises

Although broadly speaking any exercise is better than no exercise, there’s a lot of value in making sure that the exercises you’re doing are aligned with your specific fitness goals. Spending hour after sweaty hour working away on the wrong exercises (or the right exercises done wrong) is the dictionary definition of counterproductivity. Even if personal training sessions are outside of your budget, it’s always a good idea to liaise with a qualified professional who can set you a diet and exercise plan that’s tailored to your goals. If you can’t do this for logistical reasons, the internet has some great (and free resources) for helping you meet your goals whatever they may be. Here’s a free printable workout routine courtesy of this blog!


You’ve got a bad relationship with food

All the workout routines in the world won’t help you out exercise a bad diet and if you’ve got a poor relationship with food, this can only limit you further. ‘Bad’ foods that are heavily processed and high in fats, sugars and sodium should not be looked at as treats or rewards for hard work at the gym, they should be avoided. While you shouldn’t beat yourself up over the odd lapse it’s important to find healthier foods that you genuinely enjoy instead of regarding nutrition as a labor to be endured until you can help yourself to a junk food ‘reward’ for your abstinence. Moreover, regarding entire food groups like fats or carbs as inherently good and bad isn’t very helpful either.

Eat only whole foods, mostly (or entirely) plants, and you can’t go far wrong.

Stick to the above and you’ll break the endless cycle and start seeing some real and lasting changes!

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