Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Business of Fitness

The fitness industry, for better or worse, is full of variety. There are all kinds of different approaches to helping people get “fit”. It is a market saturated with "get skinny, get big, get shredded, or accomplish some other amazing feat in a small period of time without sweating or working hard" schemes that very seldom succeed. It is also saturated with people who have the "one and only key" to amazing training. Somebody is always peddling some magical fairy dust that sheds pounds and transforms your body into a model physique with minimal effort. It is funny that it is such a successful industry because there is a secret that nobody seems to want to tell people. NONE OF THAT CRAP WORKS. There are always a lot of ways to get to the same destination, but they all have one common component: hard work. No one trainer holds the secret or is the best at what they do. There is always somebody better, there is always somebody who has some new idea that may revolutionize the way you think about exercise, not all of them are right and not all of them are wrong.
There are a lot of good trainers and facilities out there doing a lot of great work, but, for every good one, there are at least three harmful ones telling people all kinds of lies and misleading them in all kinds of ways. If the person you are thinking of hiring or taking advice from is telling you something that is too good to be true, then it is. They should be offering to help you get to your goals in a safe, timely, and effective way. This way should include, but not be limited to: hard work, hard work over a long period of time, consistency, sustainability, being realistic in terms of your physical abilities, not be combined with a magic drink or pill, not be combined with a long-term contract, and, finally, not be full of illusions that make you think it is going to be easy. IT WILL NOT BE EASY and, if it is, then your goals were not set very high. 
This is not the fitness speech that wins friends. It is not the way to trick people into getting into the gym but that is not its intent. Our health should be our biggest priority in life and we need to take it seriously. Getting serious about fitness means a plan that includes a long-term and sustainable approach to getting to our goals. It does not mean a short-sighted, sensationalist propaganda message about getting skinny quickly because, in case you have forgotten, THAT CRAP DOES NOT WORK.
Yes, fitness can and should be fun. The process of getting to your goals should have all kinds of exciting milestones along the way. Yes, you should enjoy the process, but, if your plan is to not work hard and coast to some amazing changes, then you are not going to be successful. The human body is capable of doing remarkable things, some things that are hard to even fathom. You can change yourself into whoever you want to be. If you want to run around the world, you can do it. If you want to swim across the ocean, you can do it. If you want to look like the person in the magazine, you can do it. The real question is whether you are willing to make the sacrifices and put in the time to get there. If the answer is yes, then that will be awesome and amazing. If the answer is no, then you need to adjust your expectations and your goals to something that is more realistic for you. Not because you are not capable of more, but realistic because you are not able, for whatever reasons, to work hard enough to achieve the unbelievable and that is okay too. You don’t need to swim the world's ocean or run its continents. That's perfectly fine, but, please, don’t believe somebody who tells you that, for the right price, they can do it for you.  

~ Yoshia

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