The following piece is going to take a look at the expectations people have when signing up to a fitness or exercise program and the often harsh realities they are unaware of either due to a lack of knowledge, information or sometimes misleading marketing.
When signing up to any program there is generally one of two goals in mind; to improve physical performance or to better body composition. Once a goal has been identified an individual will ideally choose a program specific to the particular goal. Factors such as location, cost and time will always play a role in the selection process however marketing can hugely influence the person’s choice. Whatever program an individual chooses it is important that their expectations are appropriately managed and that a realistic journey towards their goal is outlined. This ensures longevity and adherence to the program. This brings us to our first point.
- The Journey. It sounds cliché but nothing worth having ever comes easy. It is important when starting any program to realise and understand the journey that lies ahead. Working towards goals often requires lifestyle and habit changes, better time management in order to ensure adequate training time and the realisation that it may not come as easy as first anticipated. There will be plenty of speed bumps along the road to bettering yourself but, once this reality is made clear and the self-investment is made, success becomes much more attainable.
- Become the best version of you. This relates to the influence program marketing can have on an individual. Programs often depict or project a physique or performance feat to lure in customers wishing to replicate what they see advertised. Accept that you may never look exactly like or perform as well as the cover or poster athlete. We are all unique and individual and trying to mirror the results of anybody else can lead to frustration and failure. Know that if given the chance and dedication the fitness program you choose can bring you to the best possible version of you.
- Having the right tools is only half the battle. The final point relates to mind-set. Even if you have found a great program, one that provides you with all the necessary tools in order to reach your goals, unless you approach it with acceptance of the above points and positivity your chance of success will be extremely low.
Choose the right program for you. If you are hesitant or unsure as to what’s out there ask questions. There are huge amounts of facilities, coaches and different approaches out there so whichever one you choose do so because it is specific to your goals. And do so with positivity and realistic expectations. Accept that fitness is a journey and the more you invest into it the more you can hope to get back.