I get it. Most people join the gym to look better. Whether it be to lose weight and tone up, these be the driving forces to part you with your much-loved cash. When I ask a new client what their goals are they may completely omit that little factoid and instead banter on about “feeling better”, “reducing stress” etc etc but I see through you my little friend. And I raise you.
I 100% want you to attain your goals. I want you to have a body that you love and serves you well. But this over-focus on aesthetic goals will drive us both batty. Did your mother have ever use that expression “a watched pot never boils”? You’ve experienced this in other non-cooking pot scenarios. Like treadmill or microwave seconds; much, much longer than regular seconds. Or worse, Uber minutes; how could it be that he was 3 minutes away 5 minutes ago and now he’s 7 minutes away?!?!?
Checking for your abs sudden appearance after each workout is a sure-fire way to demotivation. They will come, but divert your eyes and attention for a moment.
You need something to distract you. From the get-go, from our first session together, I’m playing a little mind game with you. I’m intentionally shifting your focus from the mirror to your performance in the gym. Often my first question to a new client is “can you do a push up?”. All too often the question is no. Well, then, that’s the first thing we’re going to work on! And let me tell you, when a female who has gone her whole life being intimated by push ups suddenly does five with excellent form she feels so proud and empowered it electrifies the room. And that right there is everything. Everything.
The sentiment is 10-fold when she does her first pull-up from a dead hang. She’ll ask me to film that shit so she can put it on Instagram — and she won’t care that she’s still 10 lbs off her goal weight.
Said female has now become a goal-digger. Next is 10 pull-ups, clapping push ups, a 200-lbs squat. She’ll likely fall in with a good crowd of other goal-diggers who further motivate her. For kicks, she enters into her first powerlifting competition, or Tough Mudder. Or she might go the CrossFit way. She loves the challenges of it all, loves killing her goals and making new PRs. Once she’s caught the performance bug, she’s in fitness for life — and for the right reasons.
Contrast this with the girl who sees her personal trainer twice a week and is frustrated at the lack of visible results. Or the fitness competitor who does two-a day workouts for months on a restricted diet to look absolutely amazing for one day, only to rebound like mad after the show. Both situations can really do a number on your sanity.
All the while, the goal-digger who has been diligently setting new PRs week after week catches a glimpse of herself in the locker room while changing and notices that she’s more defined then ever. She’s got lines where she didn’t previously, she’s dropped body fat and she likes what she sees. No, she loves it. She’s feeling herself. But much more than just a nice body to look at, she sees a body that makes shit happen. She sees a capable, strong body; a body that performs; a serious body.
The fact is, when you perform better in your fitness aesthetic ends come along for the ride. Ever seen an out-of-shape Olympian? These athletes are 100% driven by performance. You can be sure they don’t give a rat’s ass about how they look. But there they are, looking stunning and the epitome of fit.
Me, my new goal is Olympic Lifting — snatching and jerking (get your mind outta the gutter!) I’m right at the beginning of this new endeavour and am I’m still very much rubbish at it. But I love learning and I will master and get good at it. Early this year I took up Powerlifting. I was so proud to hit my PR of a 225 lbs squat and a 275 lbs deadlift. And let me tell you about the wonderful side-affect: my legs had never looked better.
If I’m your trainer. I’m constantly setting goals for you to smash. And when you do, you won’t need me to cheer for you ’cause you’ll do that yourself. But I will. And I’ll continue scheming away, planting new goals in your head. You’ll be too busy trying to make us both proud and having so much fun along the way your Uber will show up before you’ve even located your house keys. He’s going to have to wait.
Are you a goal-digger? What are your goals? Is it time you set new ones?