Torres column: Stick with your exercise program
I was approached by “John” last week. This is the third time that he has had a conversation with me expressing doubts about fitness, asking why, according to him, he has not seen results in his body.
He began the conversation saying, “I have been going to a popular workout program for three months, and I have not seen results. I feel that I have lost some inches, but I gained 2 pounds.”
So I replied, “Did they assess you?”
“No,” he answered.
“It is important to have baseline data and know your fat levels, so you can tell if you are losing fat and gaining muscle. Maybe you are losing fat, but you don’t know because you don’t have a baseline,” I said.
“I noticed that not all approaches to fitness are the same. Some concentrate on body definition. Others have more of an emphasis on competition. I see three guys I know at this program that have being going for years, and they each still have a big belly. Yet I have a friend who has been there less than a year, and he is toned. The three guys make me think about the time I hired a personal trainer and paid him $4,200 for three months, and I did not see any results. He just stole my money.”
“First of all, there are many approaches to fitness. We need to specialize and go deep in the specialization. This is what defines one fitness professional from another. Second, about the three guys and your friend: It is the dedication, discipline and passion that your friend is putting into his exercise that is giving him results. The other three guys are most likely not putting in everything that your friend is putting in. I don’t think it’s the program. However, the atmosphere, personal attention, support, information, nutrition and empathy contribute to the program.”
“I’m thinking of trying something new,” he said.
“I recommend that you stick to one program for a while. A big mistake that many people make is thinking one program is not working because they don’t see prompt results. So they switch programs, and before they get anywhere, they switch again. Be loyal to your program and stick to it, and you will see results. Now, if you don’t like the program, that is another story, but don’t just drop it because it doesn’t give you results in the blink of an eye,” I said.
John summed all the info up. “So I should get a body assessment to find out where I am and take my focus off of the scale. Also, I need to be dedicated, disciplined and passionate about my exercise program. I should take into consideration all the aspects of the program such as atmosphere, support and services provided to stick to my program. Ultimately, once I have chosen one exercise program, I should not quit just because is not giving me results right away.”
“You got it!”
“OK, thanks. I’m ready to get some results now.”
Sandro Torres is owner of Custom Body Fitness in Carbondale, author of the book “Lose Weight Permanently” and a Watch Fit columnist. His column appears on the second and fourth Tuesdays of the month in Body & More.