Many times as a personal trainer, I hear people say that starting a healthy lifestyle and a fitness journey is the hardest part. But, I would actually say that continuing that journey and your hard work can be the hardest part.
We have all been there. We got off to a great start at something whether it is fitness or something else in life. But, eventually, that fire burned out a little bit and we were stuck feeling unmotivated to continue. In fitness, we call that burn out. An earlier blog post addressed the causes of burn out and how to combat that, but today’s blog is aimed at talking about how to get back into your fitness journey towards your goals after you have already become burned out.
From time to time, I will have a client that starts to show signs of burning out. They become fatigued more easily, don’t push themselves as hard in their sessions, or may not even show up for a session. I must find a way to re-ignite that fire and get them working back to their goals. Here is how I do it and what I tell them:
- Remember that even Babe Ruth had slumps. What does this mean? In the game of baseball, the art of hitting is difficult to master. We watch these games, and the professional players make hitting look easy. But, eventually, each and every player has a “slump.” Simply put, this means that hitter goes an extended amount of time with little to no hits. It can be frustrating, but they always end up somehow coming out of it. At the end of their career, nobody ever remembers the slumps or the bad times. They only remember the times they were great. So, as a client working towards your fitness goals, just remember that these “slumps” are normal, and you will get through them.
- Remember where you started. Whether that means to go back and look at old progress photos, notes on previous workouts, etc., remember where and why you started your fitness journey. Many times, a client in their first ever session may not make it through every exercise or the entire workout. This gives them motivation to work hard. If you were to go back and do that workout again, could you beat yourself? I bet you can! Look at old pictures before you started. We see ourselves in the mirror every day, and it is difficult to see our own progress. But, photos from the past can remind us why we are here now.
Now, something that I have never shared with my own clients. Sometimes, we look at a trainer and may assume that they have had fitness figured out from day one. But, for me, this isn’t true. Now, I have shared my story with clients in the past, but I’ve never really shown anyone pictures of where I’ve started. So, (Drum Roll……….)
When I graduated high school, I was 250 lbs. and unhappy with my fitness levels. My fitness journey started one day when I met my first personal trainer. From that day forward, I continued to work my hardest day in and day out. I still put the work in daily, but from time to time, even I need to go back and remind myself why I do what I do. And when I see the differences that my hard work has made, that feels pretty dang good!
So, when you’re feeling down about yourself on your fitness journey or goals, find a way to remind yourself why you do what you do.
By Ryan McIvor