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Getting started is half the battle won.

September 22, 2012

No supplement, fitness gimmick, workout gear, dieting fad, new ipod playlist or even new research will ever take the place of consistently training with intensity and progression, and maintaining a controlled diet. There aren’t any shortcuts. There is no magic pill. There is no “Get fit quick” program you haven’t yet discovered, and no perfect diet plan that will make it easier for you. Stop mucking around, over-planning, over-thinking everything and just start DOING IT. Learn to be consistent and make fitness and healthy eating a lifestyle for you. Once you’ve mastered that, then you can start thinking about the extra bits.

^I wrote that the other day when I was frustrated with some clients, wondering why they aren’t making progress or staying motivated when they seem to be so into the *idea* of health and fitness, and then I realised what the problem is. It’s the way we all try to add so much fluff and so many frills to our health and fitness, rather than just getting with it, getting down and dirty and DOING IT. It’s almost an excuse of sorts. We tell ourselves we’ll start getting heaps serious about our training ONCE we get our new diet sorted, once our gym gets the new squat rack, or that we’ll start eating right and exercising when we get some new runners. Silly stuff like that. I’ve even heard people tell me they are “researching” which program and diet to try and then they’ll start eating properly and exercising. Or guys telling me they are eating McDonalds every day because they are  “bulking” (incidentally for 12 months of the year). Um, BULLSHIT. No you’re not bulking, you’re lazy and don’t want to quit eating crap. We need to stop over-complicating everything. It’s so simple. We purposely try to make health and fitness seem so complicated so that we feel better about our excuses.

Even learning and knowledge can become an excuse of sorts. It's often called "Paralysis by analysis". Too much analysis, not enough action. I have had clients tell me they are reading up and researching on diets and fitness, and yet they can't make time for the basic, simple training routine I've told them to do. Sometimes all I ask them to do is 45 minutes of work, 3 times a week, and yet they struggle to even do that, all the while writing on lots of online fitness forums, asking questions about stuff that really doesn't matter as much as it matters to actually put in the effort. Just start! The rest will happen if you are consistent. The hardest part is getting started.

When I had first been introduced to CrossFit by my boyfriend and started training with him, I told him I wanted weight-lifting shoes; I wanted knee-high socks, new headbands, crop tops; everything bright and beautiful and fun to work out in. He told me, get good at exercising; get good at the movements and the weightlifting; earn the outfit, then you can get it and wear it with pride. Basically, stop pretending to be a hardcore fit badass and actually BECOME one. Stop planning your “workout outfit” when you can't even do a single pull-up yet.  That’s when it dawned on me how much emphasis I was putting on all the extras: the frills, the workout gear, the supplements, the shakes, the training books…when none of those things are going to help me reach my goals and get results.

Bottom line? After my boyfriend said that to me, I realised I needed to stop being such a little bitch about everything. I had to put in some solid hard work and effort, if there was to be any improvement. No one can do the work for you. It's good to know the science behind training and nutrition. It's good to understand the principles of weight training and nutrition and weight loss. It can make it easier because it will all make sense. But at the end of the day, no personal trainer, no coach, no book, no internet forum, no university degree, will ever be able to do the work for you. You are going to have to put in the effort and do the hard work yourself. That's the only way you will get results.

I am going to start a series of posts on the fundamental principles for success in strength training and fitness, as well as nutrition. The basics that are so necessary to understand before moving on to the extra bits. These principles are the key to continued success in reaching your weight/strength/fitness goals no matter what level you are at.



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