Updated: Feb 21, 2019
Mike Plunkett recently wrote a very interesting article in The Washington Post, entitled How to turn a fitness goal into a lifetime of good health which I recommend that everyone reads if they are interested in following a sustainable fitness programme.
In the article Plunkett writes that “competency is a key marker when it comes to long-term health” and he is right on this point.
In my experience people tend to be effective in their paid employment and to make a sincere commitment as a parent, though they can also lack confidence where judgements with regard to their health are concerned.
For myself I grew up part of a large family. I am the youngest of three brothers and my parents were both self-employed. As a child I can recall both my parents running here and there to get things done or to take care of their sons, and growing up it always seemed that there was a lot to do!
When I read Plunkett’s article, I related straight away to what he had to say. For myself, I do not have children and also have the luxury of only being responsible for myself. However, my clients do have greater responsibilities, both in their professional and family lives.
So it is fascinating to me how successful such people can be in the lives taking into account the different responsibilities that they have, whilst they can still have a lack of confidence with regard to their health (and particularly with regard to their body image).
The key principle where health and body image are concerned seems to be straightforward on the surface. Let’s say that you happen to be a busy man or women and over the course of a year you start adding a few kilos in weight. As a result you then start to lose confidence in your body image and in yourself. It might not affect your work and your relationships, but somehow this lack of confidence starts to drag you down.
The fact is that we invest time and energy to accomplish the things that we are important to us. My job, for example, is to make the workouts of my clients as achievable as possible. That does not mean making my workouts easy, but it does mean helping my clients to have a good understanding of what they can achieve over which timescale and how to best phase an effective exercise programme.
Workouts are most effective when they adhere for the majority of time to a sensible structure and pace and which utilise the most suitable techniques and execution available. No matter what your goals are, without an understanding of what you are aiming for and what you can realistically achieve you cannot build a sustainable workout programme.
And if that is the case the reality of what you are embarking upon will ultimately defeat you.
For example, when you first go to school you learn how to read. Then, once you have learned how to read you can decide what to read that is to your taste (whether that be novels, newspapers, magazines or non-fiction). My job is to get my clients through that very first step, so that they can then decide upon and shape their future fitness lifestyle.
In my experience the best client workout is the one that works for the benefit of the client (and not for me). Are you good at and do you enjoy running? Then include more running (intervals) in your workout programme to give you a break from weights.
If you are confident in what you do, and are experienced in your use of techniques, you will be less likely to suffer injury or to overcharge your weight programmes.
Or, to put it another way, once you have become skilled and experienced, what you do and what you achieve is up to you.