I spent the better part of the day last Thursday at the Small Biz EXPO in NYC. As with many trade shows, the experience was both overwhelming and exhilarating. So many people to meet, so many services to learn about, and new information to learn.
In a lot of ways, attending a trade show isn’t that different from embarking on the journey to better health and fitness. There is a lot of information out there. Some has merit for your own unique set of experiences and desires. Some is completely useless to you but might be useful to others. And the rest is complete garbage … even though it might not appear that way at first.
Companies that seek to do business with you have invested a great deal of time and energy in marketing in a way that will hook the most people. But just because it looks pretty or effective doesn’t mean it is.
The fitness industry is no different. It seems like everyone is pedaling a new diet or a new fitness trend that will help you “finally achieve success.”
But the reality is that just like services for businesses are only as effective as the CEO who implements them, fitness products and diets are only as effective as the people who use them.
You could spend hours, days, weeks, months, and years trying new diets and fitness routines, trying to prevent yourself from getting bored or from hitting a plateau.
But have you ever noticed that when you hit a plateau and you decide to try a totally new strategy that you just hit a similar plateau when a similar amount of time has passed?
Without addressing the underlying causes of your plateau, regardless of the brilliance of your plan, a new plan is unlikely to solve all your problems.
Assuming you have a good strategy to begin with – one that is aligned with your reasons, goals, and endgame - changing your goal is nothing more than a clever trick your brain has devised to keep you from actually realizing your goal.
So you have a great strategy and have hit a plateau. How do you get past it?
It’s time to dig deeper and and do more than just show up. It’s time to add specificity to what you are doing. Commit more deeply to your plan. Figure out how you can work more deeply within the framework you have created.
Here are 5 key questions to ask yourself to determine where there is room for improvement:
1) Have you been religiously following your plan? Or do you regularly skip workouts and cheat on your eating plan?
2) Are you exercising with optimal form? Often when exercises seem easier, our first impulse is to make them more complicated or add weight. But from years of teaching Pilates, I know that one of the simplest ways to challenge yourself is to get more specific about what you are doing. Discover where you are “cheating” – whether intentionally or not – and really work on that. If you aren’t regular getting corrections on form either from a personal trainer or a group exercise instructor, seek out someone who can fill that role for you.
3) Have you been slacking off? When we work out by ourselves without the guidance of a trainer or group exercise instructor, it can become easy to unintentionally slack off, especially as we get stronger. Our bodies are designed to adapt to stimulus (like exercise), so the same exercise, with the same weight will actually become less effective over time. When you do cardio, is your heart rate still elevating to the same levels it was a week ago? a month ago? Do you feel like you are working to your peak in every workout? Are you staying fully present physically, mentally and emotionally in every workout?
4) Is stress your un-doing? Do you sleep enough? Take time to meditate or unwind in some way on a daily basis? Without enough time to recharge our batteries, our brains produce excessive cortisol which makes up less responsive to change. The best weight loss and fitness gains come from a state of relaxation. [Tweet this]
5) Do you have any crap programming living in your subconscious? These are deep seated beliefs, opinions of others that may have rubbed off on you, fears of the what if. Take some time to clear the beliefs that may be getting in your way and causing you to cheat in little ways and subconsciously sabotage yourself. EFT (emotional freedom technique) and hypnosis are great ways to tap into your subconscious.
What did you learn from asking yourself these questions?
Did you find at least one way that you can commit in a more focused way to your health and fitness plan? How will you use what you’ve learned to get past your current plateau?
Leave a comment below to share what you discovered and how you plan to tweak your fitness plan to get to the next level. As always, I look forward to hearing from you!!