When I first started my fitness journey seriously -sometime after high school- I remember thinking how overwhelmingly complicated it seemed to me. Counting calories, the #science behind it all, all the studies that either proved or disproved how effective something was, how you have to do certain things a certain way in order to achieve results...
It was a whirlwind and I wasn't sure at that time how to cut through the noise of all the information overload.
It also carries with it among many, this attitude and demeanour as though everyone knows everything about everything. It would seem that many trainers (not a blanket statement for all trainers, but many) carry this idea that they're the voice of authority in their realm of fitness, leaving no room to be potentially corrected or challenged, as though the process of #muscle #building and #weight #loss were somehow originated from their minds initially. Why do I mention this? Cause I've met people like that, and it was a huge turn off. Humility in anything in life is the best policy.
Understanding that there is always room to learn things, be corrected, expand our knowledge base on a specific topic with fitness and health is important because no one wants to train with someone who thinks they know everything (yes they want to train with someone who knows their stuff, but there's a difference in the attitude behind it) and stay in a place of pride where they aren't willing to consider viewing things from a different angle. It's simply a humble carriage from the trainer where they know to stay in their lane without pretending they know more than they do. Of course there's always opportunities to learn on what we don't yet know and add more to their resume and certifications.
Most people already know that no one will ever know everything about everything. It's why people tend to drift towards just mastering one specific area of something and specialize in it and dominate that territory in their field because they're exceptionally good at it. Some stick to one modality and others have multiple ones they can offer -it's mostly about preference and what you can handle. Whatever is chosen, just commit to being great at it and presenting it with excellence.
Understanding that there is always room to learn things, be corrected, expand our knowledge base on a specific topic with fitness and health is important
There isn't one #fitness person out there that is the best at #training all modalities of fitness simultaneously because there's so many of them there's no way you could commit to all of them at once -which is not a bad thing. You shouldn't be a Joe of all trades and a master of none. Usually you're better off getting good at one or a couple of things, committing to it, being really good at it and teaching others the same thing, because you're focused on mastering the skillset in all its intricate details.
Yes, there should be things done a certain way. Fundamentals and concepts that must be adhered to because it's important, gets scientifically proven results and prevents injuries. But much of this can be simplified and presented in a way where we and our clients don't dread the process of finding what would be best tailored for us both in genuine interest and what resonates well with us bio-mechanically. Does that make sense?
Most people I've interacted with that ask me fitness-related questions are intimidated by the "complex" concepts, but honestly, there's a way to make it simplified for them in a way that's intellectually more digestible for them so they understand. The more you understand about something, the more you're able to enjoy it and appreciate it.
The more I began deeply understanding about fitness, health, the body in general, the more I became passionate about it and it intrigued me. If something didn't make sense at first, I just continued to find resources and ask questions that made it make sense. It does take some homework sometimes, but it's certainly doable.
We want to find what resonates with us and our bodies when it comes to #movement. I found with a lot of experimentation and trial, that what I really gravitated towards that "spoke to me" was resistance training and mixed martial arts. Others enjoy pilates, powerlifting, jiu-jitsu, gymnastics, Crossfit, endurance-based sports like running marathons, etc.
The more I began deeply understanding about fitness, health, the body in general, the more I became passionate about it and it intrigued me.
However, we also tend to only want to stick to one pillar of fitness and attach to it like dogma. I made this mistake at first and began noticing how deficient I was in symmetrical balances in my body that affected me and had my body compensating in unhealthy ways chronically over time.
We miss out on the full spectrum of benefits of incorporating a variety of training methods and various movements and #exercises to expand what our body becomes capable of. We need to make available to our bodies moving in different planes of motion, and loading different stresses on it so it gets challenged in a way it might not be accustomed to, and therefore adapts a little bit more, a little bit better, and becomes #stronger and more resilient.
I'll openly admit that #mobility, for instance, is a weak point in my regimen and after just recently having baby number 3 (hence my absence on the blogging platform as of late) I intend to make a goal of intentionally staying more consistent with my mobility training once I get rehab established to tackle more stress load on the body.
HOW OUR PERCEPTION AND MINDSET TIES INTO FITNESS AS A LIFESTYLE
I know this almost doesn't even seem to fit into the same category, but if you stick with me a bit longer, you'll see why I'm adding #mindset to this blog post.
Everything we do (our thoughts, choices, attitude, behaviours, personality) stems originally in our minds. What we think does impact and affect how we live our life. A lot of the times when it comes to simplifying fitness, it's about choosing to see it as simple, fun and attainable. Not just attainable, but sustainable.
If we condition ourselves to view fitness from a lens of simplicity and enjoyment, it becomes that because we're biochemically sending brain signals in our body to form ideas that view it that way. We get to impact our world around us by how we choose to think. It has to be intentional, it doesn't just happen by accident.
Especially when it comes to the topic of #motivation, let's face it, motivation is a joke in a way because honestly, #discipline is what it takes to stay consistent in any #lifestyle habit that is good, and a workout routine is no different. Routines don't usually shift regardless of how you're thinking and feeling, and motivation shifts constantly; it's unreliable to wait around for motivation to hit to stick to any workout plan.
HuffPost wrote this about the mind:
Studies have shown that thoughts alone can improve vision, fitness, and strength. The placebo effect, as observed with fake operations and sham drugs, for example, works because of the power of thought. Expectancies and learned associations have been shown to change brain chemistry and circuitry which results in real physiological and cognitive outcomes, such as less fatigue, lower immune system reaction, elevated hormone levels, and reduced anxiety.
Sometimes I wonder how many people put off committing to working out when they keep telling themselves they're going to do it; or perhaps they don't even challenge themselves enough to see proper composition changes because the fitness world has made it sound so complex. And even though, yes, the intricacies of its elaborate science can be, it's about translating it in a simplified language that the most basic person can comprehend the concepts and integrate it into their life in a practical and applicable way that doesn't have to be so difficult and overwhelming for them -while generating them results.
If you can formulate a thought life around fitness and health that is simplified, enjoyable, achievable, and reachable, you're setting yourself up more for success and also priming your body on a chemical level to send off signals to propel you to want to workout. You're constructing a healthy expectation of yourself to actually commit to succeeding to fitness and also, telling yourself you understand fitness concepts, principles and fundamentals actually puts you in a position to literally understand it.
"Whether you think you can, or you think you can't...you're right." -Henry Ford
It's been shown when people tell themselves they don't remember things, or can't understand things, or they label their identities under banners such as "procrastinator", "average", "introverted", "extroverted", "shy" -fill in the blank- then the brain is always listening and goes out of its way to make sure you're not making yourself out to be a liar even if it's not true!
Imagine what would happen if you spoke constructive words that set the direction of your mind to becoming the words you used for your life. Words have power, and they either serve us or betray us.
When it comes to fitness, it doesn't have to be hard, complicated or overwhelming. You just decide you enjoy moving your body, find something that really resonates with you and start. I would at least recommend incorporating resistance training complementary to anything else you're doing for the reasons listed in this previous blog post (if nothing more than 2-3 times a week):
Remember what the information said in the HuffPost: "Expectancies and learned associations have been shown to change brain chemistry and circuitry which results in real physiological and cognitive outcomes."
So set the expectancy and learned associations towards fitness and health to be simple, achievable and pleasurable and you'll start paving neural pathways that make it that way over time. When it comes to simplifying the fitness lifestyle, it's not as hard as you think!
Now get it, like a boss.