Consistency Is King
When it comes to exercise everyone has a philosophy about what works and what doesn’t. Exercise professionals and exercise enthusiasts alike will tell you all about the best kind of exercise program, but then you go to the next person and they tell you why a totally different kind of exercise program is better. The bottom line is that what constitutes the ideal form of exercise is highly subjective, and in most cases doesn’t really matter. My argument today is that there is one factor that is missing from most people’s exercise routine that is of higher importance than what kind of exercise program you follow. Check it out…
One thing I’ve noticed when it comes to exercise is that slow and steady truly does win the race. Whether it’s in my own workout routine, or in that of my clients, the results and progress seen can be directly tied to the level of consistency shown to the exercise program.
When it comes to the clients I work with in the gym, I do progress assessments for many of them every three months and, as you might imagine, there is a bit of variety in results from one person to the next. Some clients see huge leaps forward in their fitness levels, body composition, and other measures, while other clients see negligible results, or even back-tracking in some areas.
If you were to ask me what I think is the biggest factor in determining the success of an individual in their workout routine, I would not say the quality of the workout program they’re on, or the quality of the diet they’re eating.
Rather, I would point to one primary thing: consistency.
In fact, I’ve noticed a direct correlation between how often someone simply shows up to the gym, and the results of their re-assessment.
Of course, I don’t mean to say that the quality of the exercise program or diet you follow doesn’t matter. The quality of the exercise program you follow, and what you eat will make a difference. However, the quality of your program pales in comparison to the importance of your level of consistency in your program.
A poor exercise program done consistently is better than a perfect exercise program done inconsistently.
That’s an important thing for both trainers and clients alike to remember.
Many times, us as trainers think that we need to design the perfect exercise program, so we can get our clients the best results. In reality, we need to first get our clients to buy in to the program that we think they should do.
Sometimes that means talking to them about why we think they should be doing the exercises we put in their program, and sometimes that means altering the program a bit, if it means that the client will actually do it!
There is a science to designing good exercise programs, but equally important is the art of designing programs that your clients will want to do. This can separate the good trainers from the great ones!
On the other hand, it’s also important for clients to remember that ultimately the onus is on them if they want to see results from their exercise program. While it’s your trainer’s job to ensure that you are doing a safe and effective exercise program, it’s your job to do it consistently enough to see results.
Sometimes clients jump from one trainer to another, or one exercise program to another because they’re not seeing results, and they think it’s their trainer’s or their program’s fault. Unfortunately for them, most of the time they’re not seeing results because they can’t (or won’t) do the program consistently.
Ultimately, it all comes down to you finding the motivation necessary to consistently exercise, and making it the priority that it needs to be if you want to see results.
As much as I’ve seen the need for consistency in the exercise routines of my clients, I’ve noticed this trend in my own exercise routine as well.
I’ve tried several different exercise programs, and followed different trainer’s exercise philosophies in the past. Each time I’ve tried a different program, however, I’ve noticed the same thing. I see results from each program directly proportional to the amount of consistency I show to the program.
If I’m on a really good streak and I’m getting 3-4 workouts in per week, then I’m seeing great results. On the other hand, if life gets busy or I lose some of my motivation to exercise, I tend to skip workouts, and ultimately lose out on the results I could have gotten.
Of course, there are times when life is really busy, or there really is a legitimate reason to skip a workout. But most of the time it simply comes down to how much of a priority I put on my workout routine, and how much I want to see results.
This need for consistency reminds me of a quote I’ve seen plastered on the walls of several gyms, “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
If you repeatedly skip workouts, then you will not get the benefits of the exercise program. But if you repeatedly show up to do your workout routine, you will see results.
Don’t get me wrong, not every day in the gym is going to be peachy. You’ll have good workouts, you’ll have bad workouts, and you’ll have the “why did I even show up today?” workouts. But the bottom line is that if you don’t show up, you’ll never get results.
So, persevere through the rough workouts, enjoy the good ones, and ultimately make showing up to do the workout your top priority. If you can do this you’ll see the results!
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