Several times throughout my training career I’ve had to look back to why I started this game as a scrawny teen. Whether I was struggling with an injury, illness, busy lifestyle, family issues, basically anything that life throws at me, I’ve always scratched around the psychological basement that inspired and motivated me to keep moving forwards when I was on the borderline of making a commitment to change my lifestyle for the better.
What actually motivated me to train in the beginning is actually quite grey and fuzzy now; there is no pinpointed, specific area that I can call upon, rather it was more of a series of life events that made me stand up one day and get on with it. I can’t recall whether it was being fed up of being useless at sports in school, living through my dad’s struggle with heart disease, having an older brother that would pick on me for anything and everything, or just the fact that growing up in the 80’s meant that the fitness boom was just taking off and the likes of Sly and Arnie were getting a lot of publicity for their image.
I remember going for that first, breathless jog down to the detail of what I was wearing that day and even breaking through the front door in a heap, running up stairs to my bedroom and feebly attempting to do as many push ups and sit ups as I could. After a while, this all became too easy and I needed to take things to the next level so I saved up my pocket money so that I had enough to buy a 50kg weights set from Argos. I remember nagging my dad to help me carry them back with me on the bus and the nerves that I faced when walking up to the counter to ask for the weights set.
After fumbling my way through the little bit of paper that came with the set, again I found that I needed the next step. I needed to join a gym or eventually crash through my bedroom ceiling! By now I was hooked. I was starting to get positive comments, my body was changing, I was no longer the weakling during PE and I started to get known for being the one that kept in shape. I’d been bitten by the bug and I was constantly looking for new methods to keep improving in one way or another. I’d find motivation by gym based goals, intrinsic motives and living up to the pressure that I’d given myself of being the young lad that was in shape and started getting respect from peers that he’d never have thought he’d ever talk to. My social circle started changing and I felt better for recreating myself and started piling pressure on myself to keep moving forwards. I changed my eating habits, training schedule and turned down the temptations that a lot of modern day teenagers faced.
From what was a gentle jog to fill up time one evening had spiraled into a lifestyle and I wholeheartedly believe that I’ll be exercising until the day I no longer can. There have been days when injuries have made me think about throwing in the towel, but even at my lowest I’ve managed to dig a little bit deeper and find things that I can do, rather than what I can’t do. Before I knew it, all of the determination and disciplined that I’ve learned from making sure that I stay on top of my lifestyle had carried over into my work and personal life, giving me the drive to keep moving forwards rather than settling for what’s comfortable.
- Find what made you want to train in the first place and relive the feelings that made you exercise in the first place. Do you want to run away, or move towards something?
- What are you trying to achieve? Have you achieved it already? Are you ever going to reach your goals? An acronym that is often used when setting goals is one called SMART.
- Specific: What do I want to achieve? (E.g. lift more weight.)
- Measurable: How do I know when I’ve got there? How much weight do I want to lift?
- Achievable: Am I ever going to be able to lift 300kg, or is 160kg more realistic?
- Relevant: Do I really need to focus your time and energy into this pursuit?
- Time Bound: Can I reach this goal in 3 months, or will 6 months be more realistic?
- What do you want to achieve in the short, middle and long term? What short term goals will help you achieve your middle and long term goals?
- Find out what your limitations to exercise are and what you can do to overcome them. For example, if you’re too busy with work to find time to exercise, then perhaps you could arrange your travel or home schedule to bring your training to you, etc.
- Who do you look up to? Do they have what you want? How did they get to where they are today?
- Do you feel bogged down with details because of the thousands of articles that you’ve read? Take a step back, go back to basics and find what works for YOU.
- Are you prepared to look beyond the initial burst in progress and dig deep to find that bit of grit that will eventually lead you to your goals? If not, then read the article and the summary again and ask yourself why!
If you’d like any advice setting and achieving your fitness goals just ask a member of the Club CHF fitness team.
Don’t forget to check out our fantastic offers on personal training with our in-house personal trainers. ‘Fast Track Your Fitness’ – 1 hour sessions from as little as £20!
Andy Knight, Personal Trainer, Caversham Health & Fitness