Today I want to address a common misconception. Ask most people what’s needed for great fitness and to “get fit”? “Going to the gym” will likely be at or near the top of the list.
Yet, this is where most people go wrong, and why so many people continue to struggle.
It’s definitely not in the top 3, and I disagree with the entire notion that great fitness improvement requires a gym.
Sure, a gym can be a great tool. However, the large majority of people do not need a gym or a gym membership to reach and exceed their health and great fitness goals.
Your own body is the best piece of fitness equipment available! If you know how to use it. A gym is simply one tool in a massive toolbox of items related to health, fitness, and wellbeing.
Since it’s “that time of year” and fitness is on the mind of many people…
Here is the first of three factors to consider before you ever step foot in a gym (or purchase a gym membership).
#1 – Clearly Define your “WHY”
If you’ve read any of my posts before, you likely know that MINDSET is the most important of the 4 Pillars of Personal Performance.
A critical stepping stone to creating a positive, performance-oriented mindset is to clearly understand your WHY.
Your WHY is what makes you tick.
It’s what fires you up. What gets you excited. And keeps you motivated and inspired to do the work towards accomplishing your most important objectives.
It’s also the fuel that helps you roll over the inevitable barriers and speed bumps along your path.
With regards to “going to the gym” and “getting in shape”, the first question to ask is WHY?
Why do you want to make this change?
What is that you want to accomplish?
Is your WHY the REAL (and correct) reason, or merely a smokescreen that masks the true intention?
It’s critical, to be honest with yourself about this and look closely at your motivations.
The process of critically assessing your WHY will help you get clear on what it is you actually want to accomplish.
Once you are crystal clear on this WHY decide whether the gym is actually a helpful vehicle to get you there. Many times it isn’t, and other times it can be, but not for the original reasons you thought.
For example, perhaps your friend invited you out for a short hike on the weekend. After gasping and wheezing for over an hour, you could barely keep up, and she didn’t even seem out of breath.
You thought about your WHY and wrote down many notes. You realize that for the past decade your activity levels have slowly slipped. Work got busier and more demanding.
You no longer make time to get outside and do the active things you used to. Your waistline has steadily expanded. You aren’t as happy about where you are with your physical condition, energy, health, and happiness.
You then come to the conclusion that you don’t need a gym to achieve great fitness.
Yes, you do not need a gym to be more active, get outside, reduce your waistline, boost your energy, and feel better each day.
However, after assessing your work schedule and family commitments, you feel that the gym will be a good tool to help with consistency. It’s close to work and will get you outside the office multiple days per week as part of your journey back to health.
You understand that the gym being close to work is convenient and merely accountable. A consistency tool to help you build greater outdoor activity as you transform to your new healthy lifestyle.
This decision scenario regarding gym use is VERY different. Different than those who have no idea why they joined other than to “get fit” and do what advertising has conditioned them to think is necessary.
If you’ve made some health and fitness changes recently, or set some goals, take a few minutes to think about YOUR WHY!
Getting crystal clear on this point will be time well spent!
Stay tuned next week for the second part of this plan!
In the meantime, you can start working on your fitness skills right NOW, with our online, on-demand Movement Foundation Course.