Progressive Motivation

I'm pressed for time, and ideas...

I literally have no idea what to write about this week. Since I'm 45-minutes away from leaving town for the day, I know I had better think of something quickly. I have a few draft posts in the bag, but they are big ones, that I want to be able to monitor an engage with when they go online.

So I need to think of something fast!

Why do I have to write anything?

Blog posts bring a lot of traffic to the website and I enjoy writing these articles, because explaining topics also helps me understand them better. For those reasons, I decided blog posts were important for Integrated Fitness & Nutrition and myself, so I decided they would be done weekly.

One of my goals for this year was to write a blog post every week. Last year I wrote a lot of blog posts, but they were inconsistent. One week might have three different articles and then there would be nothing new for the next month. Consistency in beneficial for everyone - I know what I need to do and when, and the readers know when they can expect new content.

Consistency is exactly what I want to discuss quickly here, because it is the most important aspect of training and nutrition - for body composition or anything else.

It doesn't really matter what diet you pick, which trainer you hire or whether you buy Lululemon or Nike tights. If you don't use these tools (my clients probably think their trainer is a tool) and apply them on a consistent basis, you won't make progress. 

They say that the best diet is one you can stick to, which I agree with (to a point). There is even research that suggest that it doesn't matter which diet you pick, so long as you stick to it and there is an energy deficit in place. Low-carb, high-protein, low-fat - doesn't matter. I'd link to the research, but time is of the essence...

Now you have heard about consistency a million times when it comes to body composition. and you have probably even posted, or at least liked,  a few motivations quotes on Instagram about staying consistent to your goals.

The funny thing about consistency is that everyone knows about it, talks about it, and indeed wants to exhibit it, yet many struggle to do so. One of the primary reasons for this, in my opinion, is people wanting to do too much, too soon.

Someone who hasn't exercised in two years decides to get in shape for summer, so they do some research, get a trainer, overhaul their nutrition and spend a bucketload of supplements. All of these thing can benefit their goal, and I applaud anyone who invests in themselves, particularly those who invest time, not just money (as my email subscribers have heard me say).

The problem is this. While the motivation is high early in their regime, it's not too hard trying to put a new eating pattern in place, train four times a week and remember to take all of those supplements. However, when the motivation begins to wane, the commit to putting new practices in place begins to disintegrate. Supplements aren't taken as often, the odd training session is missed and you end up missing a few meals.

This motivation drop usually occurs are 4-6 weeks, which is the typical life-span of a diet or training plan. After a few more weeks, you accept that you aren't sticking to the plan and give up. Sure, you made some good progress, but you haven't really changed your habits or implementing anything sustainable.

For this reason, I prefer a progressive development approach. Focus on the small things and build a foundation to build training and nutrition systems that work for the individual. For example, most of my new Body Recomposition Program clients don't focus too much on nutrition over the first week, or maybe two, because we are trying to get consistent exercise into their lifestyle. Once that is done, then we can look at setting a nutritional structure, and then later on moving to more advanced strategies.

The benefit of this method is that clients learn how to integrate each new skill into their lifestyle, which increases the likelihood of it becoming a habit. Sometimes they find it so easy, that they ask me to help them take the next step of their progression, which I have mapped out for them.

This means that when they hit the 4-6 week mark, they are not overburdened by the changes and in fact, they have taken them in their stride. The series of small wins has them motivated and they can see clear improvements in training, nutrition and body composition, as a direct result of their work. There is nothing more rewarding than this, for both the client and trainer.

Anyway, I am out of time.

I completed my goal and the weekly blog post lives on for 2015. If I had not of made this commitment and more importantly, stuck to it so far, this post wouldn't be here. That just goes to show the value of your previous progression and work motivating you in the present and future.

It's like I always say...

Progression is motivation
— Tom Fitzgerald

BTW I won't get to read through and edit this. So enjoy the spelling mistakes and I hope this made some sense...