Many people tend to think that being consistent is the most important factor in achieving your fitness goals. This goes for most goals in life, such as money and happiness, not only fitness. Consistency is obviously very important, but it does not really matter if you are not getting results. Simply being consistent just to be consistent is not always going to get you the results you want.
Therefore, telling clients or yourself to just be consistent is definitely not the best way to go about reaching your fitness goals. Because, let us be honest, what do people truly want? They want to be on the fastest path to success they can, and they want the comfort of knowing that they are on the right path.
When Motivation Fails
So, when we look at why a lot of people struggle with consistency, is it not because they are lacking results?
Because it is very easy to be consistent if you are consistently progressing and getting results. If you can measure and see that you are improving, then you know to just keep steady. You know you are on the right path, and that your program is on point.
On the other hand, it becomes hard to be consistent when you are not seeing changes and results. When you are having setbacks and your expectations simply are not being met.
As a result, people start getting frustrated and want to change things up. Starting to question if they are on the right track, if their nutrition is correct and whether or not their workout program is efficient. Sometimes this is true, other times it is not.
Thinking “Just Stick It Out” Is a Bad Idea
If we are being genuine, we know that telling someone to just stick through the hard work does not cut it. In a few cases this might be true, but this is just like playing the lottery. Often, pushing through without competence is rarely the best option.
Thus, “trusting the process” is a stupid idea. More important is that you trust yourself. Or if you have a coach, that you trust him or her and their plan. If you do not, how do you expect to progress and adjust your routine?
So, it is vital that you trust yourself. And if you do not trust yourself, you need to at least be able to trust your personal trainer. If you cannot trust your coach, you must find a new one.
With this in mind, it is obvious that trust is necessary. Whether you are a client, athlete or coach, we will not get much consistency without trust. Where there is no trust, we are going to have problems.
Meeting Results and Having Expectations Are Two Different Things
And the best way to earn trust is to produce results and meet expectations. Meeting expectations and getting results are two different things. Because you as a client might actually be hitting the program right on the nail. Sticking to the diet plan as you are supposed to, and recovering properly.
But, if your expectations are different from the result, there is conflict.
Thus, communication and understanding between a coach and their client is very important. Here it is necessary to manage expectations on both ends. Which is often lacking in the fitness industry, and probably in many other industries.
Communication on what to expect is not good enough if the results are not there, and a lot of people lose motivation.
This results in a confusion between the client and the coach. Or a lack of competence and expectation in an individual gym-goer.
Whether you train by yourself, or you are training someone, knowing what to expect is a dealbreaker. We need to be informed on not only what to expect, but what work is required to meet those expectations as well.
On that account, we see the importance of managing expectations. Let us say you have a certain result you want to achieve with a training program, it becomes very important to know what results to expect during this program.
And if we change something up during the program, the results will also change. This is important to understand.
If you are competent in program design and periodization, you know that things always change. You or your client will not feel the same way during the same program, the scale will not move at the same tempo, the diet will not be similar, nor is the program going to be the same.
Additionally, the performance, effort and type of failure will also change depending on the goal.
Thus, being clear about what kind of expectations to have for different programs and stimuli is crucial. This way, you know what your rewards are for each type of program, which will be different all the time.
Sometimes that might be an increase in strength, another time it could be an improvement in your recovery between sets.
In the same way, these expectations have to cover lifestyle changes, diet changes, supplements being added, and so on. By creating reasonable expectations and producing results, the consistency part becomes an ease.
When you know what to expect, and what is going to happen within a given program, and it does, it becomes a piece of cake to continue. This earns you trust for yourself, or from your client if you are a personal trainer.
Motivation and Confidence Go Hand-in-Hand
Having clear expectations, and knowing what will happen, gives you a sense of accomplishment. Not only in that specific plan, but also in your own abilities. You succeeded in following this plan and also got the results you expected, so you will continue crushing it.
Often, people lack confidence in themselves. They might trust their trainer, but at the end of the day, they do not trust themselves. In turn, their motivation and consistency is affected because of this insecurity.
Resulting in periods of feeling sorry for oneself, disappointment, anger, and all kinds of frustrations. Which sets people off track, and it becomes a struggle to follow their plan.
Rewards Makes Consistency Easy
If we want to make ourselves or others consistent, we need to make sure we are consistently being rewarded. And making sure we are feeling confident that we are on the right track. A key thing to have these things in place, is that communication and expectations are clear.
Clarity in what kind of results to expect, and what is going to happen during a certain program. Obviously, this includes what it is going to take to achieve these results as well.
How strict you need to be with your diet, how often you need to train, how hard you need to train, your recovery, and so on. A person who can only train 2-3 times a week, will have very different results from a person who trains 5-6 times a week.
This is all about setting yourself or your client up for mental success. Knowing what to expect from your program and what needs to be done to get these results. And then you will know that this week you did good. You might not be at your end goal during this week, but you achieved the results you expected to achieve.
Without Competence We Cannot Go Far
The other side of this includes competence. There is no running away from knowledge. It is easy to say that we need to meet expectations and get results, but you have to be able to deliver results as well.
Many times, personal trainers blame their clients for their lack of results. Whether they say that they are not following their diet or their training program, or simply not getting enough rest. This is true in some cases, but you have to check yourself.
Are your communication skills on point? In terms of creating clear and reasonable expectations, and motivating your clients?
Because if you are not setting reasonable expectations and goals, you are shooting yourself in the foot. Of course, it is great to have goals that you need to stretch for. Goals that inspire you. But, they have to be realistic at the same time.
Having small, reasonable goals in addition a long-term goal can help you or your client be motivated throughout the whole journey. It is a reward, a small success during the long process.
Are You Actually Competent?
Let us assume you have all these things in check. You are great at communicating and setting expectations for yourself or your trainee, but the results are subpar. Then you have to ask yourself, is the quality of your programming great?
Because if the quality is bad, it becomes hard to stay consistent. If you feel like you are working your butt off for nothing, dieting for no reason, eating broccoli and greens for no reason, it becomes very difficult to stay consistent.
You are doing all these things, but not getting the results you want. At that point, you need to invest in your knowledge. Whether that is programming or nutrition.
Results Matters the Most
At the end of the day, it does not matter if you or your client hate a certain program, as long as the results are there. It might be a dull program, but if the results are coming in, most people will keep going. They will suffer throughout the diet if they are getting leaner.
On the contrary, even if the diet and program is easy to follow, but the results are not there, most people will give up. People will not waste their time even if it’s easy as long as the results are not there.
Therefore, the better you are at everything, including programming, communication and nutrition, the easier your life becomes. If your communication is great, invest in upgrading your skills. Invest time in learning more about anatomy, stimuli, nutrition, and everything that encompasses fitness.
When these things are in check, it becomes easy. Then you are able to consistently keep yourself or your clients motivated, and most importantly, produce consistent results.
Achieving fitness goals depends not only on competence, which obviously is unavoidable, but your mentality as well. By having the right expectations, both for what to expect during a program and what you have to do, is a game changer. You might not be at the end goal by the second week, but if you have reached the expectations you had for the second week, that is an accomplishment. And if you are consistently meeting your expectations and producing results, being consistent becomes easy.
Thank you for reading our article!
– Terry Asher