As a coach I often get asked by clients, "Why isn't my training working?” Well-intentioned people embark on training programs and often reach a point where they are frustrated with the lack of “results” from their efforts. The cause of this problem has a variety of explanations, but today I want to address one possibility…
You Aren’t Taking Your Training Seriously!
I am the first to say that your training program SHOULD NOT BE YOUR LIFE! Yet at the same time if you want to see “results” whether appearance, performance or health based you MUST take what you are doing seriously. So here are 10 things you can ask yourself to evaluate if you are taking your training seriously and get a clearer picture of it this could be impacting your training results.
Are you often running late to your training session? When you take seriously and respect, your training, your time, your coach’s time and training partner/team’s time you won’t allow yourself to be perpetually tardy. Obviously once in a while shit happens and you will be late, but your usual M.O. needs to be being on time (aka early and prepared) if you want to get the most of your training. Your willingness to be on time and prepared sets the tone for your training.
Are you talking excessively during your training session? Us women love to talk…myself included 150%! But we also need to realize there is a time and place to talk and connect. My club is entirely built on relationships, connection and support, it’s essential for success in and out of the gym, yet the key is to differentiate between work and connection time. Of course by all means cheer on your training partners, ask your coach questions and grunt if need be, but talking about your plan for the day, what happened last night, or recapping your vacation needs to wait until your work/training is done.
Are you distracted while you are training? We all have a million and one things on our plates…kids, school, work, family…the list goes on and on, but to reap the benefits of your training you must check all that at the door. Make the gym your sacred space; your much needed “me time”. Shut off the world and focus on what you are working on in that moment of your training. It’s impossible to improve your boxing skills or gain more strength when you are consumed by thoughts of work, life, etc. while you are trying to learn and practice.
Are you giving your coach/trainer your undivided attention? This one piggybacks the previous point, if you aren’t giving your coach/trainer your undivided attention how do you expect to get the most of your training time. Make it a point to leave distractions outside, keep your conversations with training partners to a minimum and refrain from talking while your coach is instructing so you can ensure you are learning, on top of the training plan for the day, and focused.
Are you more focused on weight loss than mastering the task, drill, or skill? Here’s the real deal if you are more focused on weight loss than building strength, your skills, improving your performance, and so on you won’t get the most of your training. Focusing on weight loss makes us do crazy, unhealthy things like not rest/recover, maintain a chronically high intensity routine, and be distracted by calories burn vs. what we can gain from training. If you want results focus on something other than weight/size.
Are you buying into the fitness myths and hype? I hate to be the bearer of bad news but all the “7 or 30 day challenges”, supplements, quick fixes, bikini body bootcamps, and girly fitness programs are BULLSHIT! We all fall victim to the myths and hype at some point because it’s all marketed to our desperation, but I am here to tell you if you want to see results from training (long term, healthy, sustainable results) you must quit buying into the fitness BS! Find a legit coach/trainer that doesn’t push that garbage and follow what they have to say.
Are you “mailing it in” and just going through the motions? We all have days when our workout is sub-par, we just aren’t feeling it for whatever reason and that is totally okay, but chronically “mailing it in” and just going through the motions won’t get you anywhere. No, not every training session will be your best, that’s not how it should be, but you must be focused and working on something during every session. Everything you do matters and has a purpose.
Are you following your coach’s advice (please note this one comes with the caveat that it be a knowledgeable coach with safe advice)? If your coach says take a day off, eat more, take a break, increase/decrease the weight on the bar, pull back on your power with a punch, etc. you must listen. Your coach has your best interest at heart, he or she has experience and knowledge that you pay for so why would you ignore the advice? You pay your hard earned money to follow this person’s guidance, I recommend you either take it or stop paying them and do whatever the heck you want. If you don’t understand their advice, feel confused, uncertain or want more information…ask!
Are you tracking your progress? Documenting your training adds a level of seriousness to what you are doing. It keeps you on top of your plan and goals and keeps you honest. Whether your thing is lifting, boxing, running, etc. keeping some sort of log to track your development is key. You then have a black and white breakdown of your hours logged, exercises done, and what worked and didn’t. You become more strategic with your training.
Do you have a plan? And last but not least you must have a plan. Haphazardly training week-to-week whenever you can fit it in your schedule usually backfires if you want to see some real results from your training efforts. You need some structure and accountability. If you know you train weekly on Mondays and Wednesdays you have a plan. Maybe you get sick and can’t train Monday; okay well you know you have Wednesday. Or let’s say you have a 3-day trip coming up that occurs during a training day, simply keep with your plan, realize you have a scheduled vacation and get back to your routine when you return vs. cramming in extra training the week prior which will do you no good. Having a plan creates a structure that is suitable for your lifestyle, goals and health and prevents you from over doing it as well.
Be honest with yourself. Are you taking your training seriously? Taking your training seriously doesn’t mean you have to be training hours a day or 6 days a week, it simply means that the time you spend investing in yourself needs to integrate the 10 things above. If you are taking your training seriously according to my list and still frustrated with a lack of results the problem may be found elsewhere. Stay tuned and I will bring you more on what else could be in your way next week.