June 27, 2023

How To Succeed In Your Fitness Journey

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All too often, I hear stories of discouraged people who feel they are spinning their wheels with their fitness efforts - not making progress and losing faith in the process. When this happens, it's inevitable that their efforts slow to a halt. If you're giving it your best and still going nowhere - or even falling further from your goals - what's the point?

I've also heard from countless people discouraged by having to "start over." Maybe they used to squat 315 in the weight room in high school, but have lost all their strength since. Or they worked out consistently until the pandemic hit, and they just never got back into the routine. "Starting over" (I say it in quotes because the neuromuscular connection is likely still intact, and past training experiences will never disappear) or starting for the first time is daunting, but the only way forward is to face that.

My Top Tips For Success

Whether you're in the discouraged camp or the starting anew camp, here are my top tips to make sure you succeed this time, once and for all.

1. Have a plan

  • Simple is better. Focus on the major movement patterns (hinge, squat, vertical and horizontal push and pull, lunge, carry, hang) and do them consistently. Then, plan progressions. We need to keep the challenges coming to keep the gains coming. Increase intensity (usually weights) or volume over time. If you need help with this reach out to a coach. 

2. Focus on performance

  • ...even if aesthetics or weight loss is your goal. The behaviors required for top performance are the behaviors that bring aesthetic results. If you want to look good, you need to train hard, eat well, and recover properly. These habits will not only make you stronger and faster, but also leaner and more muscular. Plus, measuring progress on a scale is often futile, as a person can drastically change their body composition without losing a pound (in this case, the muscle gained weighs the same as the fat lost). Visual progress is tricky too, even with photos. Lighting, posing, and camera angles are huge variables here. However, performance markers are easy to track. It's pretty cut and dry to see that you've added 10 pounds to your back squat or reduced your mile time by 30 seconds. These are objective indicators of your progress and will motivate you to keep going.

3. Find joy in the process

  • Take an interest in proper form and technique. Learn how to perform each exercise correctly and safely. This will prevent injuries and maximize your results. You will also feel more confident and competent in the gym.

    I recommend tracking your performance and celebrating the small wins - they will come quickly and regularly if you’re new to working out. Keep a log of your workouts and record your weights, reps, sets, times, distances, etc. Review your data and see how much you have improved over time. Celebrate every new personal record or milestone you achieve.

    However - and brace yourself for an unpopular truth here - sometimes you have to do things you don’t “love.” It’s life. Whether you love working out or not, learn to embrace it - if not the action, then learn to love how you feel after, or the opportunities your fitness grants you, like being able to play soccer with your kids or go for a long hike. That said, I’d bet you can find one or two things you do love about training. Even if it’s just the pump of some basic bro bicep curls, put them at the end of your workout like a dessert, and enjoy earning that moment.

4. Show up consistently

  • Consistency beats intensity every time, and it is the single-biggest predictor of success. Set a behavior goal to train a certain number of times per month. Don't just rely on motivation or willpower. Make a schedule and stick to it. Treat your workouts as appointments that you can't miss. It doesn't matter how hard you work out if you only do it once in a while. You need to show up day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year. That's how you build habits that last.

I hope these tips help you to take control of your fitness trajectory and start smashing some goals!

Coach Samantha Candler
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With consistency, small improvements add up to huge changes in the body, mind, and spirit.


coaching, fitness coach, fitness journey, fitness success, online coach, samantha candler, semper stronger, strength training

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