Is Your Workout Broken?Oct 01, 2021
This may not sit well with some people who are over the age of 40, but I’m okay with that.
See, people want to be happy… and the common approaches to nutrition and fitness don’t make them happy.
Seems simple, right?
But consider the difference between fun and happiness.
People crave happiness.
They go to therapists for it.
They indulge in everything from desserts to illegal drugs in a quest for happiness.
There are prescription medications for it.
When someone says they want to lose 20 or 30 or 50 pounds, it’s essentially because they think they’ll be happy when they arrive at that destination.
If you think about the fitness trends that have emerged, they’re all centered around someone believing you’ll become happy or at least escape being unhappy.
Curves… you won’t be unhappy because you won’t be judged by men or fit women.
Bootcamps… social is more fun. Belonging is 3rd on Maslow’s hierarchy of human needs.
Zumba… dancing in a fun, colorful environment. Kind of like margarita night for weight loss. Seems like it’s designed to make the participants happy.
CrossFit… competition and belonging. It’s what all competitive team sports center around.
Also, sports remind us of recreation and youth. And if you think back to when you were a competitive athlete (at any level)... this is often perceived "the happiest time of your life."
Orange Theory… gamifying fitness. And games = fun and the expectation of happiness.
Planet Fitness… no commitment. No judgement. No risk. All designed to eliminate "unhappy."
As a coach with 24+ years of experience and over 100,000 transformation programs delivered, I’m not going to say it’s as simple as this.
But let’s say that maybe we’ve messed this whole thing up.
There are far too many quick-fix diet programs to mention; however, the theme of most diets is often "cut this food out for this many days and you will lose weight" and, as a result, gain happiness.
You get the idea... and, once again, it's never as simple as that.
We have many fitness-and-nutrition coaching clients who continue to remain with us for decades, even though they don’t have 10% bodyfat.
For some clients, disease prevention is their priority-one goal... for others, it's walking up a flight of stairs without knee pain.
Truth is, for nearly all of our clients, belonging to a positive-minded community makes them happy.
They feel valued.
Someone cheers them on.
They don’t need to forego carbs entirely or live on kale to lose those last 10 pounds to become happy… they’ve already arrived.
And for the people who stop exercising and practicing mindful nutrition… maybe life got busy.
Maybe they have some problems that have pulled them off track.
That may just be when they need us most… they need to belong rather than feel isolated or alone.
They need a cheerleader… not to be made to feel guilty.
And here's a cautionary tale:
If you take a super-restrictive approach, that is based on deprivation, and you must continually choose between happiness now or delayed gratification… most will choose now.
So don't be to restrictive.
Now I’m not going to tell you that this is the magic solution for your success… because there is NO magic involved.
Just a smart plan and imperfect action.
And then you rinse and repeat.
Ever since I officially became a strength-and-conditioning coach in 1996, I’ve felt that the fitness industry didn’t make things work in a way that would be sustainable long-term, but I always used the word "fun."
In fact, I use three words to describe our program: safe, fun, and results.
I had a conversation with my son's youth baseball coaches about the concept of fun.
Like, how do we make little league baseball more fun?
I'd say the priority-one goal, at the instructional level of any sport, is to have fun.
Because the kids must be happy enough with this year's experience that they want to play again next year.
The more I think about it, the more I believe it’s the same.
Those are just some of my thoughts.
I’d love to hear yours.
To your success,
P.S. Whenever you’re ready... here's the exact step-by-step plan to help get you leaner, stronger, and happier than you've ever been. Your first 14 days are on me.