Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Resolution Dissolution

It’s February and by now something like 80% of New Years Resolutions have already been broken. I’ve never seen any specific survey results but I’m sure many of these were diet and exercise resolutions that fell short. It’s too bad, and I feel for the people who are really trying to make a difference (although I’d argue that if you didn’t even make it a month you’re not trying hard enough). Habits can be hard to break and lifestyle changes are difficult for many people to make on their own. Of course, a lot of it comes down to how bad you want it. I have little sympathy for the people whose only effort at making change is lip service. Exercise is a participatory activity - you have to get out there and “do” it. Same thing with your diet – don’t cry the blues on your way home from McDonalds – I don’t want to hear it! Either you are ready to take control over your health or you aren’t.

Yet still there are others who are ready to take control but just aren’t sure what to do. With all of the information out there, all of the gadgets, all of the programs and all of the people out there trying to make a buck, it’s not hard to see how folks are being led in the wrong direction. I bet a lot of those broken resolutions are because of a lack of results. Let’s get real though, 4 weeks is hardly enough time to see changes in body composition, and I know that’s what most people are looking for. You’d really need to work hard to see results in 4 weeks and the reality is that most people don’t LIKE to train hard, don’t know HOW to train hard or don’t know they HAVE to train hard.

Look at any new fitness gadget that hits the shelves at Wal-Mart or makes a debut on late-night infomercials. Almost without exception, they are designed to make exercise easier or more comfortable. This is aiming at people’s natural desire to take the path of least resistance, but this is also aiming in the wrong direction! Training is about making progress! This is why people lift heavier weights and run longer distances. It’s about stepping outside of your comfort zone and making things harder, not easier!

Getting fit is a very simple process but it is anything but easy. You should be skeptical of anyone claiming otherwise (although eating right actually IS pretty easy). Much of training is really just common sense and the need for progressive resistance is not that hard to figure out. The hard part is committing yourself to progression and make a habit out of pushing your limits.

“The three great essentials to achieve anything worth while are, first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; third, common sense."

- Thomas Edison