Fitness isn’t easy. Lots of people sell supplements, programs, and false promises all claiming to make changing the body easy. The truth is fitness isn’t and never will be an easy journey. I’ve worked with hundreds of clients and there is one thing I can tell you that sets the successful apart from the unsuccessful: their mentality. Having a great mentality in my opinion is the one thing that will either make or break your fitness routine.
Before we get into the “facts” I want to talk about a client I met in my second year of being a certified trainer. This client was given to me by the establishment I was working at during that time and she had the goal of losing over 100lbs. A big goal, but definitely achievable. So, we got to work. She came and worked out with me twice a week every week and she would leave sweating and usually swearing at me for all the work I made her do. Yet, check in’s would come and her weight was unchanged. Now granted she was losing inches, but it was a very slow process. It wasn’t until our 5th month together that she saw any actual change in the scale. 5 MONTHS! 5 months is not a long time. Most people would have been so discouraged at that point that they would have given up. But, she had a great mentality and she didn’t give up. She learned from her mistakes, whether it was eating too much or skipping her workouts outside of our sessions and she kept working. Fast forward 9 months and she had lost over 70lbs. If she had given up would she have lost that weight? Probably not. Now, this is an extreme example and I have never dealt with someone other than this person that didn’t see any weight loss for that long of a time period. But, the point I am trying to make is, mentality is what helped her succeed. Theres a few reason why mentality is important.
I know this may sound crazy, but if you don’t believe you can change your body then you never will change your body. I’m sure some of you are thinking what is this guy talking about? Allow me to explain what I mean. If you don’t believe that you can and will change your body then you will never take the steps necessary to do so. Let me give you some scenarios here. Let’s say person A is trying to lose weight and he’s working out and making his portion sizes smaller and all the sudden Friday night comes and his buddies invite him out for some beers. He accepts thinking he will stick to the plan and be good. But, he gets there and theres so many delicious foods on the menu calling his name. Now, if he really doesn’t think that he can lose weight and be successful at it then all those external pressures are going to make him cave. Then maybe he will get back on track. But, when temptation arises again if he doesn’t believe that he can be successful he will probably cave in again. Let’s now look at person B who wants to build muscle. This guy has been small all his life and has always wanted to be big so he decides to take up a weightlifting regimen. He starts hitting the gym, but then he realizes he has less time with his friends and he’s sore all the time. And it’s been a couple months and he really doesn’t look all that different. Thats where the mental toughness comes in. If he believes he can change his body, then he will push through that, but if he doesn’t odds are he’s going to give up on his journey. Now, these are extreme examples, but anyone who wants to do some serious work to their body has to believe that they can achieve what they set out to do. Believing is the first step, being tough when the going gets tough is the second.
Anyone who’s alive knows what it’s like to fail at something. Maybe when you were a kid you couldn’t throw a ball very well or maybe as an adult you didn’t get that job you really wanted. My point is, we’ve all failed. The process of changing your body is no different. Even dealing with the temptations I mentioned in the last paragraph, there are going to be times when you don’t win those battles. Or when you go into the gym and have a horrible workout. Or when you have a horrible day and can’t even imagine stepping foot inside a gym so you go home and skip your workout. The point is you’re going to fail. And you will never push past those failures if you don’t have a great mentality. Imagine going to the gym for months and not seeing gains in your strength or seeing gains in your muscle mass. Then trying a new program that you find just doesn’t work for you. Then being back at square one being more frustrated than you were in the first place. Well, the sad truth is that’s how fitness is sometimes. It’s a journey that you walk with yourself to improve yourself. And that is really not an easy thing. So yes, you’re going to fail sometimes. And you need to have a great mentality to break through those failures. You have to believe you can. Then you have to be tough when the going get’s tough. Once you’ve mastered those techniques then comes the most important step in your mental journey.
You have to constantly learn more about yourself day after day and year after year. You have to learn what your body responds to and when it doesn’t why it isn’t responding. You have to learn how to balance your food while maintaining a social life. You have to learn how to break through weight loss and muscle building plateaus. You have to learn how to train as you age. You have to learn how to train for your specific goals. You have to constantly learn. In my experience, once you figure something out, your body or your life will throw something new at you that you weren’t expecting. Maybe you’re shift changes at work, or maybe you get sick and can’t workout. Or maybe you just had a newborn and have less time to devote to your health. No matter what, you have to constantly learn, grow, and adapt to the new things that happen inside and outside of the gym. As I said before it’s not easy, but that’s why it requires a great mentality.
Mentality is everything when you’re trying to change yourself. It requires a complete shift in habits, choices, and thoughts about yourself. In my opinion changing your body is one of the hardest things to do from a mental standpoint. You have to believe that you can achieve the goals you set for yourself. You have to break through the walls that will be in your way to achieving those goals. And, you have to learn how to hit your goals and set new ones as your life changes. There was a time in my life before I knew much about fitness where I would go to the gym for hours on end every week and do what I thought were the “right” things. It was honestly at times demoralizing. I would ask myself: “why do I keep coming here?” Or “Is this even worth all the time I put into it”. And there were many times I failed and almost gave up. But, If I didn’t push through those barriers I would not be here writing this blog post to help out those who are struggling with the same things. I promise you that you can set out to do whatever you see for yourself. No matter how hard the journey, don’t give up it will all be worth it in the end.
My name is Patriel Dunford and as the owner of Infinite Fitness my main goal in life is to spread good advice in the health industry and help people live healthier, longer, more fulfilling lives.