At the gym I have the opportunity to meet and get to know new people on a regular basis. One thing I hear time and time again from potential new members is their desire to take their fitness to the next level. As a fitness coach and gym owner I love to hear this, but it is not necessarily a good thing for everyone to focus on right now. Let’s consider what it means to “take your fitness to the next level” and when it is appropriate to do so.
For most “taking your fitness to the next level” could mean introducing a new training style, working with a trainer to get that extra push in your workouts and additional accountability. Maybe it’s increasing your workout frequency or duration. Or it could be making your diet more strict. Whatever it is for you, it typically means you are making a change to what your are currently doing in an effort to get the results your are after. And this is a great thing! But what we want to identify to help you understand how to make that change most effective is WHEN you should make the change. We are going to consider three variables to help guide our thoughts on when to take your fitness to the next level. Consistency, a strong focus and commitment to the basics and the willingness to learn.
Be Consistent First
When we talk about consistency, we want to think about not just the good habits you have but also the bad habits. The tricky part about that is disassociating the feelings from the data. No one is happy or proud of their bad habits. But they happen none the less. Our goal here is just to identify what they are and what we are doing so that we can draw awareness to what we do day in and day out. Any change we make is going to build upon what we are currently doing or not doing. For instance, if you enjoy a delightful scone with your coffee every morning but in taking inventory of your food intake you percieve that as not being the healthiest option, you may have taken the first step towards change just by creating awareness on what you consistently do. Your awareness on your consistency may be totally unrelated to the change you want to make but will be completely relevant to your long term success. Taking our baked good example a step further, let’s say you acknowlege your potential to improve nutritional intake but you would rather focus on introducing cardio to your routine with a 5 mile bike ride every morning. Learning about your consistency is only going to help you understand your baseline, so that any singular change to your lifestyle will become more obvious in it’s effective benefit. After several months of biking everyday you will surely find an increase in stamina and endurance and potentially a reduced waistline. In the back of your mind you know you could take it a step further by having a healthier breakfast and achieve even greater results. Creating and understanding consistency creates potential for results because of the awareness for opportunity.
Be well rounded in the Basics
Improving health and fitness is very simple. Eat better. Do something to challenge and improve your strength. Do something to challenge and improve your conditioning. Do this on a regular basis over time. Do this well and you can’t go wrong. Too often we get distracted by the next fad diet, nutritional hack, special exercise to get some desired result, what are the fittest people doing, etc… We get distracted with what others may be doing for something we think we could or should be doing. We lose sight of what is best for us in the current moment. It’s also very easy to think back to the past when we were maybe in better shape. Or to think too far forward and put unrealistic pressure on ourselves to have a deadline to be this fit then. The real results happen from being in the moment making the right choices in the right directions and putting in hard work when we can. In short, put your head down and work on what you can now. The work will always be the same but you will be slightly better in your nutritional choices, a bit stronger with a little more conditioning with the goal of being a touch better in those same areas next year.
Be Ready to Learn
If you are consistent and stick to the basics then you are ready to make a change. Here is where you need to have an open heart and an open mind. To change what you are doing you need to learn something new and humble yourself to accept that what you were doing was not enough to get what you want. You have to empty your cup and keep it empty as if you were a begineer learning everything for the first time. Because when you learned it the first time you missed something and you need to go back and learn it again paying even better attention to the details with the hope that you may understand it differently now that you are older, wiser and more exerienced from practice and effort.
If your know where you are consistent or not consistent, if you are practicing the basics and you are willing to take guidance from some outside source then you are ready to take your fitness to the next level. So….When is the last time you took stock of your consistency? Are you consistent enough to take your fitness to the next level? Is there a part of the basics you are not practicing yet? Do you think you could learn more on something you could be doing better a better job of? If not, work on your consistency and hit the basics. Those two things will take you far. And get you to a place where you are ready for what’s next. We can help guide you in the process when you are ready to learn. And if you’re ready now, book an intro and we’ll show you the way.