The last time we covered this topic we talked about the expectations of achievement, getting judged by other people and having to spend hours upon hours in the gym (if you haven’t read part 1 yet, check it out). This time we’ll dive into some other topics, to help you better understand what you can actually expect before joining a gym.
It’s never fun walking into a gym and having high expectations but being let down by the reality of things. On the other end, it’s good to know what you’re actually up against rather than painting your own picture before setting one foot in the gym. That’s what this blog is all about. I am trying to get you mentally ready to set foot into the gym and crush your workouts, with the knowledge of what you’re walking into rather than feeling anxious. Working out is going to be hard regardless, that won’t change, but it will be more comfortable when you’re confident.
Expectation: I am going to lose all I have achieved if I don’t workout for 2 weeks
Reality: Last time we talked about the expectations of achieving our goals in an unreasonable amount of time. This time we focus on the good old myth of losing the progress that you have worked so hard for. Just like with gaining/losing weight, the longer it takes to gain, the longer it takes to get rid of. If it has taken you years to build the capacity/strength/endurance you have now, it’s not going to disappear like snow before the sun. Are you going to hold on to your progress forever if you don’t sustain it? No, that’s why consistency is key in the fitness world. Eventually, you’re going to lose some muscle mass and with comes the loss of strength as well, but again it doesn’t just disappear in an instance. A lot of this comes down to your nutrition as well, if you keep eating a good amount of protein and fat each day there’s a much higher chance of you holding onto your strength, fat percentage, physique and weight for longer periods of time. I guess most people are worried about this while going on a 2 week long vacation (or longer). Yes, you’re definitely able to lose some progress in those two weeks but that’s mainly because of the crappy foods we tend to eat while on holiday. If you feel like working out on vacation, that’s great but it’s not going to counter the effects of eating ”bad foods” for breakfast, lunch, dinner and every hour in between.
”The key” is consistency, keep working out regularly if you can and make good decisions when it comes to your nutrition. You’re definitely going to be sore if you haven’t worked out for 2 weeks but that doesn’t necessarily mean that you have lost strength or endurance, it just means your body needs to re-adapt.
Expectation: I am going to lose 5 kilos every single week
Reality: ”This scale must be broken because nothing has changed”. Well, that’s not completely true, a lot has changed, you have changed. You have joined a gym, you have started your fitness journey, you probably made some changes to your nutrition and that’s all going to pay off, just not within the first week. First off, all, there are a lot of different factors that a normal scale doesn’t take into consideration and therefor it’s unable to show you. The amount of water you have in your body, the gained muscle mass, whether you have been to the bathroom or not, the weather etc. all have a major impact on your weight, but it’s not what you will see on the scale. Second, what are you eating and drinking? Have you recently tracked your macronutrient consumption (protein-fat-carbohydrate intake)? You might think that you have made some really good changes to your nutrition, but unless you track it for at least a day you can’t be 100% sure. Besides all of the factors and tracking of nutrients, we go back to the point of gaining results takes time, I know how easy it is to get impatient and expect your progress to show immediately. Going back to a point I brought up earlier, the quicker your progress starts to take shape, the easier it is to lose. All good things that are meant to last take time to develop.
Don’t get discouraged when the scale isn’t showing the numbers that you want to see. Remember it doesn’t show a lot of important things that might be happening inside your body that are positive. First, make sure that you’re actually eating the right foods by tracking at least one day out of your week. If tracking your macros for that day makes you see that you’re not eating the way you should be, make the necessary changes and re-asses. If you still think you’re eating the right foods after tracking, give it time, make sure you don’t put the pressure on yourself of trying to lose 20 kilos in a month because it’s not going to work/last. Build up a strong foundation for the first couple weeks/month and the results will show after that if you stay consistent.
Expectation: You’re always going to be motivated to workout
Reality: This is simply not the case. Workouts are hard and they should be in order for you to get results, intensity is directly linked to progress (which is topic for a different blog). The time you spend in the gym is probably the most physical demanding hour of your day, at least for most people. Nobody feels like going through that every single day, but as we have established before, working out is all about consistency. Don’t expect that everyone else feels like working out all the time because that’s simply not true. People look at me and think that I am crazy for doing what I do on a daily basis, but it’s the same for me, I don’t feel like working out every single day. It’s true that this is my life, job and world, but that goes to show that even people who have dedicated their lives to fitness don’t feel like working out all the time. If you aren’t that motivated/invested you might have more days that you don’t feel like working out than the days you do. If this is the case for you, you might want to ask yourself if what you’re doing is making you happy, there’re 1000’s of different ways to get fit/in shape/moving.
Don’t give in to that unmotivated/lazy feeling, I tell people all the time that they’re going to feel so much more satisfied/accomplished/happy after finishing the workout. 99% percent of the times that’s true unless there’s a real issue going on or they’re genuinely not enjoying what they’re doing. Again, if you’re truly not enjoying your training, mix it up or find something completely new/different to do.
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