How many times have you seen friends start some kind of fitness routine, either as a New Year’s resolution or during other times, only to stop doing it within a few weeks—if that. Why do you think this happens?? Have you been a victim of this yourself?
There can be many reasons for conking out early, but here are what I consider the top 5 reasons:
1. Too Hard – Many people have jumped on the P90x train—and a powerful, fast-moving train it is! You will definitely get results, IF you can stand it. That’s right, P90x is tough. I’ve known a lot of people that have started it, but only 1 that completed it. Why would that be? It takes a real strong mind to keep doing it, that hard, day after day.
Pushing yourself to the extreme continuously can lead to burn out in most people. This is especially true if you have other pressing issues in your life like kids, a stressful job with long hours, family problems, etc.
Be honest about what level of fitness you are, and what you can handle—at this time.That’s right, what you can handle now is totally different from what you will be able to handle next month if you stick with a program.
While you should push yourself to have an awesome workout, recognize that rest is just as important. Maybe start with rest days in between workout days, regardless if you’re training different body parts.
Also, you might want to limit the sets or total workout time for the first few weeks going to failure only once a week. Just make sure you’re enjoying it and leaving some energy for tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that…
2. Logistics – having to travel 20 miles to a gym at 5 in the morning is just setting yourself up to fail. You pretty much know you aren’t going to be able to keep this up for very long, so you sort-of have a pre-written excuse. Don’t do that to yourself! If someone set you up to fail, knowing what they were doing, and you totally fell for it, you’d be pissed at them, right?
Well you’re supposed to love yourself, damnit! So treat yourself better than that.
Find a nearby gym or set up a home gym (you can even workout with minimal equipment like a Jungle Gym or a Stretch Band) and if you’re going to do a class or Boot Camp, make sure it’s not at an ungodly hour like 5am. If it is, then make sure it’s 5 minutes away from your home, not 30 minutes.
3. Lack of Commitment – Did you steal P90x from the internet instead of buying it, or decide to run around the neighborhood in your old shoes instead of getting good, new shoes that will protect you from injury? It’s the mentality that you haven’t invested anything that let’s you quit easily. You’re not taking this new lifestyle seriously.
If you joined a gym, or hired a personal trainer, or even bought a good pair of new sneakers, you’re more likely to feel guilty about quitting. And I know the statistics about the percentages of people who stop going to gyms, but those people were bound to quit—whether it be at a gym or at home. It was most likely due to one of the reasons mentioned here. Commit, baby!
4. Short Term Mentality – Getting in shape for a special event like a reunion or pool party? This can be motivational and it can be the necessary fire under your butt, but keep reminding yourself that it will not end once the event is over. Keep telling yourself that this is not a short-term fix, but a lifestyle change.
From NOW ON, you will exercise regularly and you will keep your diet in check. The event is simply your first “show”. There will be many more. In fact, plan what you are going to do next month, and the month after that, such as 10in30 for month one, fat-cutting with a specific goal for month 2, etc. Which leads to:<
5. Lack of Specific Goals – Saying that you’re going to “get in shape” is almost meaningless. Weigh yourself, check how much fat you have, and make a goal to get down (or up) to a specific weight and fat percentage by a realistic date.
You can also give yourself a weightlifting goal like I did—Squat 50% more by my birthday, and break it up into small, weekly goals. Know what you are trying to achieve, and check your progress weekly ’til you get to that goal, and you will get to that goal!
Instead of killing yourself and burning out early, or having one fantastic week followed by 2 sorry-ass weeks, keep it consistent and enjoyable.
Because CONSISTENCY is far better than sporadic great workouts that will fizzle out soon. You can also do what I do and change things up with new equipment (which leads to new workouts) and changing your general goals every 1-2 months.
PEACE AND DRINK UP, MATES!