In my years as a trainer, I have spoken with many gym members about achieving their fitness goals, and one recurring question that I have received is, “Why don’t I see the results I want?” Of course, there are many factors that come into play when we are talking about fitness goals, but one of the most prominent issues that I have encountered is people’s exercise and nutrition regimen not matching their goals. It is important to understand that while all exercise is good (for the most part), it is not all the same. This brings us to the “Exercise Identity”… which is essentially what your fitness regimen is made up of and, most importantly, what result it will yield.
I recently had the opportunity to talk with a young man (we will call him “Billy”) who was looking to gain weight and get stronger. My first question to anyone with program questions is always, “What are you doing now?” Now this particular young man knew that I would ask this question and was prepared with a notebook detailing food intake, weight training, cardio, sleep patterns, and pretty much anything else I would ever want (or not want) to know about him. So I thought, “Great! This should be easy!” It turned out to be anything but… “Billy” turned out to be eating like a rabbit, lifting like a power-lifter, and running like a marathoner. Needless to say, this was not producing the desired effect of weight and strength gain.
I’m sure you, like me, can read the last paragraph and say to yourself, “Of course that didn’t work!” And “Billy” understood too…. that is, AFTER I spent almost two hours talking with him about WHY his goals weren’t being met. You see, it is easy to figure out why something isn’t working once you sit down and look at it, but many times we don’t do this until we’ve already spent a lot of time going nowhere.
This is why it is important to thoroughly plan out your diet and workout routine BEFORE you start it. AND make sure it matches your goals! Nothing is more disheartening than realizing that you have spent months, or even years, at a plateau merely because you were shooting yourself in the foot. With that in mind, consult a professional! They can help to guide you and make sure that your plan matches your goal. After all, you wouldn’t do your own open-heart surgery, would you?!