That sounds pretty obvious, but when it comes to fitness, it’s not always easy to discern what constitutes the “right” way to do things.
The fact of the matter is, most people pursue their fitness goals rather than realize them. In 2013 the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that 57.6% of American citizens were overweight or obese. The organization estimates that 3/4 of the American population will likely be overweight or obese by 2020.1
The thing that makes this statistic intriguing is that fitness industry in America is booming! ”
According to the IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association), the $30 billion health and fitness industry in the U.S. has been growing by at least 3 – 4% annually for the last ten years and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. If anything, it’s accelerating. Currently about 20% of American adults have a fitness club membership…2
How is it that the fitness industry is as popular as it is, yet the rate of obesity is increasing almost exponentially?
It comes down to one thing which can be illustrated by…
Yes, drum lessons.
I teach drum lessons and have been doing it for several years. On occasion, I’ll be listening to an assignment I gave the student and it will be sound horrid. I’ll ask them if they’ve practiced, at which point they’ll assure me that they practiced every day. We’ll spend some time going over the way they practiced and it will become evident that they didn’t practice correctly. Rather than playing the exercise the way it needed to be performed, they just glossed over the discrepancies resulting in a situation where they were just rehearsing mistakes.
The same thing applies to any kind of discipline. Be it continuing education, the development of a new business or physical fitness.
“Going to the gym” is no different than “I practiced every day.” Just because you’re going through the motions doesn’t mean you’re going through the process. And the best way to tell whether or not you’re doing things correctly is to take an inventory of your results.
There is an enormous amount of information out there and a host of applications and resources that you can choose from. Regardless of what approach you take or what tool you choose to use, if you’re going to build muscle and lose weight, they you’re going to have to do so according to a standard that won’t always be comfortable or convenient.
Be intentional about the number of calories you consume. Calculate what you need and don’t eat anything beyond that caloric value. Be healthy but don’t be afraid to be hungry. That’s part of being disciplined.
When you go to the gym, have a plan and have a goal. Allow yourself to be held accountable by other like minded individuals. Flying solo is not impossible, but it’s not always a wise strategy because working out by yourself, for yourself and answering to no one other than yourself affords you the opportunity to make concessions that can short circuit the regimen that would otherwise lead to success.
Just because you practiced, doesn’t mean that you’re better. Just because you’re busy, doesn’t mean you’re accomplished. Going through the motions isn’t the same thing as going through the process. Whatever effort you’re putting forth has to be done in the context of a standard that translates to success, otherwise you’re merely frustrated rather than truly successful.
Whatever’s worth doing is worth doing right.
Go get ’em!
1. “The 10 Healthiest States in America”. University of Illinois at Chicago. 2014-07-15. Retrieved 18 September 2014.
2. Forbes, “The Six Reasons the Fitness Industry is Booming”, Ben Midgley, September 26, 2018, , retrieved April 2, 2019