Road Blocks To Transformation – Part One – Lack Of A “Must”

It is estimated that about 20% of the population get the recommended amount of daily exercise which is about 2.5 hours per week. An estimated 15% of people have gym memberships and of these, only about 30% will ever use the gym on a regular basis. These numbers are depressingly low given that inactivity leads to a reduction in the quality of life.

Of the ~5% of the general population who use a gym regularly, less than half of those people do anything other than maintain; that is they go to the gym with a stated intention that is different than their actual outcome. For example, a lot of people join a gym to lose weight or gain muscle but never lose the weight or gain the muscle, they just stay as they were when they joined. This maintenance is a success in that they are not getting worse, but they do not achieve their goal so they do not get the result that they were looking for.

I tend to work with the general population because it is more challenging – while it is fun to train athletes, there are many strength coaches out there who have a real passion for working with them. Athletes LOVE training and don’t need what I bring to the training relationship. I’m more curious about why people won’t workout, eat reasonably, and display the success behaviors that are natural for the athlete.

I have found that there are four things that are critical indicators that someone is going to be part of the 2% that is going to transform:

  1. They or someone they know is sick due to the consequences from a lack of exercise and poor eating.
  2. They are newly single and wish to exact revenge on their ex by getting into great shape.
  3. They wish to regain their peak shape after having a child.
  4. A life event or experiences has altered how they view themselves.

When someone lists one of these reasons as their motivation for joining a gym and connecting with a trainer, their success is almost a forgone conclusion.

I like working with these people, but in many ways it’s a dispassionate experience with few break-throughs as we blaze a trail that has been traveled countless times before. There are no roadblocks in their path to success because they have uncovered a very compelling reason why they need to be successful. They have transcended the “wants” and created a “must” and everything about them moves them towards this.

All of the people that join gyms who end-up not being successful are seeking something that they want to have, not something that they must have. The absence of a compelling must is a major road block of transformation.

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