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23 February, 2017
The new year is always a time at Studio41 where we see many people starting new exercise regimes. Our personal trainers work with their clients to find out what drives them into making this decision?We hear many different reasons but most commonly, our clients have an internal battle going on something like this:
“I am not happy with the health and fitness decisions I am making on a weekly basis (and of course not happy with the outcome) so I am going to do things a little differently. Eat differently and start exercising – “be who I feel I want to be”.
It sounds easy right? Surely making a few changes to the diet and going to the gym 3 times a week can’t be that hard. Then why do most people fail?
First of all 3 hours is not really 3 hours. You have to get some clothes out the night before so you can take your gym gear to work with you. This requires that you are thinking about the gym well before actually being there. There is the walk to the gym, showering after and walking back. 3 hours quickly correlates to close to 5 hours each week. Here is the catch though: you aren’t currently lying down simply doing nothing for 5 hours. You were are something, so you have to be prepared to stop doing something in order to prioritise going to the gym.
So now we are talking about rearranging your values so you can prioritise the gym, which might not be your favourite thing to do, over your current actions and pastimes, all so you can find these 5 hours per week. This maybe a lunch with friends that you will no longer attend or maybe after work drinks that you will ostracise yourself from by basically stating to the group:
“I want to prioritise something else rather than hang out with you guys”
If you ask someone like myself or any of our personal trainers who have incorporated health, fitness and nutrition into our normal routine for a number of years to start a new weekly habit that we didn’t like doing, cost us money and that we were not very good at, I don’t think we would last that long either!
Our personal trainers at Studio41 see people come to value conflict – they really want to have the benefits of nutrition and exercise, but at a deeper level they are not really prepared to change their values enough to prioritise those things over the things they enjoy – essentially they want one thing but do another.
There is also a peer pressure that is unseen but constant. By going to the gym, you are announcing that you want to go to the gym. You are saying that you would like to change your current situation so you start to have the health benefits of making different decisions. The problem is that your peers who don’t exercise rely on the belief system that “I don’t have enough time”, “I don’t have the energy”, “exercise is too hard” etc to justify their lack of effort. If you are successful, this really breaks their belief system. So they actually want you to fail so they can internally say “I knew it would be too hard”.
There are so many things going against you being successful at attaining that 3 times a week gym goal. It can be done, but if anyone tells you it’s easy, I would be sceptical. I fully respect anyone who can change their values enough to prioritise exercise and nutrition for the long term. It is an incredibly hard thing to do.