I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard from someone that they tried such-and-such workout program and got great results.
The program works wonders, bro! I doubled my pull-up reps…increased my deadlift by 20%…shaved a minute off my mile…moved up to a heavier kettlebell…twice.
Of course, I’m very happy to hear this no matter who it’s coming from or what the context is. And it’s usually even better when I hear that before using said program, they had been struggling for a long time to succeed.
I’d been stuck at a plateau for months…failed over and over again…been trying my WHOLE life to do this…
It’s always special when you overcome something that you’ve been struggling with for a long time. But I wanted to clarify a little something today. So, listen very carefully.
It’s not that the program works wonders. It’s that you worked wonders. And don’t let the obviousness conceal the power of this important distinction because for many people, all they need to do is work wonders on a program that is good enough. So, it’s not the program that works. It’s you.
However, sometimes, it is a program that is the catalyst to actually work hard consistently towards a goal you have. You see, people find a certain program and think, “this is it!” And for whatever reason, they put some faith into a program. Maybe it’s a new scientific discovery, or an expert’s endorsement, or a friend who succeeded using the same thing. Regardless, something sparks an eency-weency bit of faith. And this is critical because believing it’s possible is essential to success. And what often happens is that they follow the program very closely for as long as they’re supposed to, and they get great results. They succeed. And this makes sense. Right?
Now, I’ve been using fitness programs since I was eleven years old – many of my own, and many by other professionals. Naturally, I’ve tried a whole lot of different stuff over the years. And all of that experience has taught me one of the most important lessons that I can relay to you. It’s not hot or sexy, and it’s very controversial. But most importantly, it’s true. Here it is: the program doesn’t matter nearly as much as your attitude does. Said another way, even an average training program can be extremely effective if you work hard at it. In fact, very rarely is a so-called perfect training program a major deciding factor for one’s success. Quite the contrary, your work ethic, discipline, and consistency (aka perseverance) will be some of the greatest indicators of your success. Unfortunately, you can’t bottle a good work ethic. You can’t sell discipline. And persevering through difficulty over the long haul isn’t as marketable as the so-called easy quick-fix solutions are.
But the fact of the matter is that you need to apply effort to get great results. And most people know this. They just don’t want to accept it. The alternatives are just so enticing.
Now, you and I both know that we’re responsible for our own success. And since we also know the truth about successfully achieving fitness goals, we’re not only responsible, we’re also informed. And being informed leads to a higher level of responsibility. You see, you can’t keep believing that you need the perfect program to succeed because you know better. And this gives you one less excuse to avoid pursuing your goals.
So, if you have a fitness goal that you’ve been struggling to achieve (you know what it is), then here’s what I want you to do. Find a program to follow – something that you think will work if you work. These days, it’s easier-than-ever to find a goal-specific workout program for a wide variety of training goals, and there are many free programs available online. And a lot of them are really good. Don’t worry about finding a perfect program. Just use your head and find something that will be good enough. And if you want to make sure, then invest in a paid (ie premium) workout program by a professional.
And then, after you’ve settled on something, use it. Follow it as best you can. Don’t worry about getting everything right. Just do your best. Work your hardest. And see it through ’til the end. If it’s a four week program, then follow it for four whole weeks. If it’s 90 days long, then stick with it for all 90 days. And when you want to go easier, give in, or give up, don’t.
Do this, and you’ll be amazed by the results. You might even say it works wonders, but at least now you’ll know the truth. The program that works best is oftentimes the one you’ll do best.
You see, the truth is that people, not programs, work wonders. So, will you be one of them?
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Health-First Fitness Coach
P.P.S. Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/celebmuscle/