By Edward Parker
Ok, so cast your mind back to your first session with your current personal trainer. They will have asked you to list possibly three goals? Ideally one of these would have been a long term goal (e.g. get your dream beach body, single figure BF% with an increase in lean muscle, possibly even a six pack) and the other one or two were hopefully shorter term goals that would be attained on the journey towards your long term goal. Your PT will have informed you and rightly so, that reaching these goals was more than possible. Then they will have spoken about a number of factors such as nutrition, injuries, stress, rest, etc. All of which can have a big effect on you reaching your desired goals.
At some point over the next couple of sessions your PT may have asked you to keep a food diary and specifically if weight loss was your goal, they might have asked you to consider trying sugar detox, for at least a couple of weeks. Both of these requests are part of us trying to assist in your pursuit of goals, but they are also a little test to see your commitment to reaching them.
What do I mean by this? Well if you are not willing to keep a food diary or not willing to even consider changing your diet, then are you ready to reach your long term goals? This is not to say that if you don’t do these simple tasks you are already failing, it simply means that the changes required for you to reach your goals may take longer. Look at it another way if my goal is to gain 1 stone in lean muscle and reduce my body fat by 6%, but I am not willing to massively change my diet, stop drinking alcohol, get 8-10 hours sleep a night, train at a high intensity for 3-5 hours a week, then all of a sudden that goal is not so realistic. That is not to say that I may not reduce my BF% a little and increase my lean muscle mass a little over time, but I am not going to get anywhere near my original goal.
Part of the problem is that we constantly see in the media celebrities who in the space of 8-12 weeks make these staggering body shape changes. What isn’t said is that quite often that is all they had to do in those 2 or 3 months. They will literally have been woken in the morning by their PT who will have taken them out for a pre breakfast run or walk to kick start their metabolism for the day. They will have then gone home for either a freshly delivered or made breakfast (bespoke to their specific goals). Then had a nap or rested before being taken out for their main gym session before again being fed and rested before perhaps some light yoga or pilates before another meal and more rest. This will happen about 3-6 times a week for said 8-12 week period. Now I’m pretty sure with this kind of lifestyle most if not all of us could reach our dream body shape goal.
So what am I trying to say? Have a dream goal, but also be realistic. There are people who are able to make massive wholesale changes and stick to them, but most of us need to make small changes and therefore have more realistic short term goals. Still have the dream goal, but except that it might take a long time to get there or it might just remain thus, a dream and instead try to enjoy the journey. Enjoy the fact that you are training more and more intelligently, enjoy that you are trying to eat healthier and when you do, enjoy that you are edging closer to your goal.
About Ed Ed Parker has an honours degree in Sports Science from Brunel University. He is a qualified PE teacher with a background in hockey and has represented Yorkshire, NE England and Scotland at youth level. He is a keen sportsman who enjoys tailoring clients programs to meet their goals and lifestyle choices. He has provided programs for strength, conditioning, sports specific fitness, balance and mobility or simply to feel ‘Morefit’. Ed is aware of the difficulties and pitfalls that come with balancing a healthy work and social life so he will assist with your training, nutritional and motivational needs.