Making a new years resolution is a bit like breaking wind - it’s something we’ve all done many times over the years but the outcome usually stinks. A study by Norcross et al (2002) showed that while around 50% of the population are “resolutionaries” less than 10% experience any kind of success. In fact 77% of people have fallen back into old habits within one week.
Why Fitness Resolutions Usually Fail
Fitness resolutions are always at the top of the resolution list. It’s understandable after the festive period where most of us cut loose a bit and give in to a few more temptations than normal. Weight gain is almost inevitable, as well as a sense of lethargy. It’s a natural emotion to want to do something about it, which is why January is the busiest month of the year in commercial gyms. But why are the masses gone come February?
Reason 1 - Your goal is too big to manage or you have too many goals
A good friend of mine recently bought me a copy of Leo Babauta’s book “The Power of Less - The fine art of limiting yourself to the essential...in business and in life”. Leo is the creator of the Zen-Habits blog, one of the most popular on the net with over a million regular readers.
In the book Leo discusses that when given a singular, manageable task people have an 85% chance of success. However when 2 tasks are given simultaneously that rate drops to 35% and when a third task is added the chance of success drops below 10%.
When most people write their resolutions it’s a laundry list - or it’s a huge and vague goal like “getting-fit” or “losing body-fat”, which really has several components to it like diet, exercise plan, sleep, stress management etc. This is probably the number one reason why most new year’s resolutions fail.
The Primal Solution...
We take all the groundwork out of the equation leaving your single task to be walking through our doors on a regular basis. And once you’re here we’re big on focusing on one thing at a time. For example when we carry out your structural balance assessment the screen may red flag several issues and imbalances. We wont try and carpet bomb them all, because we know that doesn’t work. Instead we’ll line them up and knock them down one by one.
The only thing you’ll need to work on consistently by yourself is how you eat. But even then we supply you with the Primal Eating Guide, which is incredibly simple to use and has a step-by-step success guide to make sure it’s never overwhelming. For example we might begin by getting you to start by supplementing with a multi-vitamin and high quality fish-oil. It’s a task that gets close to 100% compliance and after a couple of weeks, once the habit has become permanent we add another task e.g. drinking a set amount of water daily, and then another task in a couple of more weeks and so on. Over the course of a few months your diet will be transformed both permanently and easily as each task was small, manageable and had a chance to take roots before moving on.
Reason 2 - You’ve been trying to improve your body composition with cardio
Where do most people make a bee-line for when trying to shed a few pounds? The cardio suite of course - to grind out a pretty meaningless 30 minutes on the elliptical. If you’ve tried this before you may have noticed some minor changes in the first few weeks but then results have been far from inspiring. When results stall so does motivation and you end up back on the sofa.
The Primal Solution...
Research has shown that when it comes to improving body composition and fat-loss, steady state cardio is a poor choice. Instead you should be turning to high-intensity exercise for both rapid changes in body composition as well as long-term health benefits. Nothing beats strength training for the laundry list of benefits to your health and wellbeing. We’ve written a whole article on this so for a detailed explanation click here.
Reason 3 - You’re only accountable to yourself
Being accountable to yourself sounds like a good thing, and it is of course. But human beings are wonderfully creative when it comes to rationalizing excuses for not training or making indulgent food choices. It’s in all of us so you shouldn’t beat yourself up so badly. You were probably set-up to fail last time because being your own trainer rarely works. Even the Primal trainers who are passionate professionals, suffer inconsistency when training alone and so we make a point of having training buddies that we are accountable to. We train together and take each others skin folds - we’ve even traded grocery receipts on occasion...
The Primal Solution...
Make yourselves accountable to us! At Primal we take pride in our individualized approach to training. We screen every single client for structural balance and take skin-fold measurements (when clients are comfortable) so that we can track your progress in great detail. We have invested in the Biosignature Fat Modulation method and software, which gives us incredible insight into the factors that affect your body composition status - and so we know when you’ve been working hard and when you need some extra but friendly encouragement.
But accountability runs both ways. You will be accountable to us and when you fall off the wagon we’ll be there to give you a boost to get back on. We will also be accountable to you though. Because we individualize training we take care to monitor the progress of the program and if parts of the program show signs of slowing down, we change it. That way we are always riding on the crest of the adaptation wave rather than letting accommodation set in.
Reason 4 - The Gym is way too busy!!
Many of our clients tell us that there is no way they would ever go back to a commercial gym setting. Especially in January, if you want to try and get anything physical accomplished at a Globo-gym type facility be prepared to climb over 50 people doing calf stretches in the squat racks while simultaneously avoiding dumbbell land-mines scattered all over the floor. Trainers who work in a commercial gym will testify to the fact that during busy spells there is an inevitable need to change the session on the fly (make stuff up) due to limited equipment availability.
The Primal Solution...
We just don’t have these problems! At Primal we have the 4000 sq.ft gym to ourselves, have a low client : trainer ratio and once the class is full, it’s full. We don’t try to squeeze more people in as we feel it dilutes the effectiveness of our program. Whatever equipment you need will be available whenever it’s needed in the program. It’s the place to go if you want to train like a professional athlete.
Primal’s Free Consultation = ZERO Obligation
So this year instead of starting with a bang but inevitably falling off the wagon, why not get in touch with us. We have an incredible history of getting results because we are passionate about what what we do and invest heavily on staying ahead of the game. Come down for a free consultation with one of our highly experienced trainers who will run a body composition screen as well as a basic structural balance screen to test for muscular imbalance. You have nothing to lose. If you decide to join you can get started straight away.
In any case, whatever your fitness choices are for 2013 we genuinely wish you the very best of luck!
Norcross, John C.; Mrykalo, Marci S.; Blagys, Matthew D. Auld lang syne: Success predictors, change processes, and self-reported outcomes of New Year’s resolvers and nonresolvers. Journal of Clinical Psychology 58 no.4 (April 2002): 397-405.