Individualized Fitness Journey vs. Immediate Results

Fitness Education

We live in a society where we want things to happen in a matter of seconds.  And the news, celebrities, social media, our family and friends, all make us think that fitness goals should be no different.  We see these celebrities that lose 16 pounds in 4 weeks and if that does not happen, we are immediately discouraged and fall back to our old bad habits.  So what is an individualized fitness journey?  Before you say “I want immediate results” or “I’m different I’m going to just workout 7 days a week” read the rest of this blog.

How many of you have decided you were going to start working out so you pulled up some video on tik tok, completed it, and promised yourself the next day you would do it again?  But then you wake up the next day SUPER SORE and decided to skip because you couldn’t move.  So 2 days pass, you try it again, but this time your knee is twitching with discomfort and your neck hurts from all those sit ups.  You are not the only one….Ok another scenario.  You walk into a group fitness class & it looks like it’s a bunch of “regulars” so you start to get nervous if you’re going to be able to keep up.  The class starts and you spend most of the class looking around at what everyone else is doing.  Your back starts to hurt but you keep pushing through anyway to get through the class.  The next day you wake up super sore and your back feels like it’s breaking in half so you decided because of your chronic back pain fitness is “not for you”.

I have witnessed the top two scenarios more times than I can count.  And the reason people get discouraged with fitness is because they believe they can’t do it or they get injured so use that as a reason why they can not continue.  But fitness is meant to be PROGRESSIVE and INDIVIDUALIZED.  While that group fitness class looks fun and something you would enjoy, maybe it’s just not a good first step if you have no idea how to properly perform a squat or do crunches.  And I’ll tell you right now, MOST PEOPLE think they know what proper workout form is, however, MOST PEOPLE do not have proper form.

So what is an individualized fitness journey?  If you aren’t sure then you would want to work with a Professional like a Personal Trainer or Physical Therapist.  If you are experiencing chronic pain, I always recommend starting at Physical Therapy then transitioning from there into Personal Training.  A Personal Trainer will start off with a physical assessment.  During a physical assessment, they will be able to see mobility, core strength, cardio health, upper body strength, form, etc.  From there, they will analyze your movement patterns along with your goals and put a progressive fitness program together for you.  So a little secret, you are not supposed to be criplled from soreness when you first start working out.  It’s a Personal Trainer’s goal to start you somewhere that is attainable and focuses on functional movement patterns prior to adding the weight or more plyometric movements.  And each person’s journey is different!   Maybe your friend said “Try this app I do it every day” or “My personal trainer says to do it this way”.  What might work for one person can be totally different for another.

Also, you are not supposed to get hurt or be in pain.  If you suffer from back pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, then working with a trainer should not make it worse.  If you are seeing a qualified Personal Trainer that has a background in either injury prevention or rehab then they will know how to properly structure your workouts to help strengthen not injure.  Finally, let’s talk about weight loss as it’s the most common fitness related goal that is the most discouraging.  While everybody is different, healthy weight loss is 1-2 pounds a week so when you see celebrities claiming more than this, that’s called crash dieting and that weight will be gained back as its something we can not maintain long term.

So in all, fitness should be a progressive, individualized journey that takes time and consistency. The most important part is to find something you enjoy!  Maybe it’s a specific fitness modality or maybe a location you like to workout that brings you peace.  If we view fitness as a hobby not a chore, you  may start to even enjoy it.