All these programs out there and none of them work!

Although I’ve thought of myself as something of an “athlete” for most of my life, I didn’t really become a fitness junkie until a few years ago when, among other things, the thought of taking pills the rest of my life made my stomach feel worse than what the pills were supposed to curb. Oh, and well, not being able to hang with my young teenage soccer players wasn’t exactly lighting my lamp either!  So the quest began.  I’m a techie by trade and at 50, am a student yet again knocking down a third masters degree so the dazzling amount of information to be had with just a few keystrokes here and there was a natural starting point.  I gobbled it up, I guzzled it down.  I studied dozens of the popular programs out there, did parts of some and all of others and really tried to dissect what made them tick …   and have come to a few conclusions.

First, doesn’t matter which one you do. They all work. Or they don’t. More often the latter it seems in spite of the inspiring infomercials and testimonials are far as the eye can see.  Must be something wrong with the programs, right?  Yes and no.  It’s all about the timing.  Timing?  Yeah, the timing — the timing of when you find out the dirty little secret that they all share but that the average “The Rock” wannabe doesn’t recognize until after they’ve purchased the program and even done the workouts for a few weeks.  It isn’t that the infomercials and testimonials are hiding anything.  Quite to the contrary, rare is it that this dirty little secret isn’t right “out there”.  It’s that timing thing.

Truth be told, I loved Insanity, find that Turbulence Training gels really well with the programming I write and think Suspension Revolution is pure gold.  And I’ve happily given over a few sheckles to Team Beachbody, Craig Ballantyne and Dan Long (and several others!), I haven’t gotten any calls to appear in their infomercial and haven’t been asked to snap any selfies for one of their testimonials.  How could it be?   (and why do I still read all their stuff every single day?)

So, about that dirty little secret.  The subject above tells an outright lie because really, the programs all DO work.  And, your mileage may vary but I think you can get more or less the same results no matter which one you try (contact me directly if you want a brutally honest recommendation if you’re just dying to buy one!).   But the results you do get will depend on how well you follow the WHOLE program.  You’ll find the exercise part easy .. well, not the exercises themselves but following the regimen set out for you. You’ll get better. You’ll get stronger.  You’ll see changes in your body.  You might even lose some weight — perhaps you’ll even “gain” some weight which will outright annoy you.  I did get better and I continue to get that much of the result.  (my own testimony is going from constant joint pain and multiple prescriptions to “pain free and pill free” in less than 16 months)  You just gotta show up and do the work.  What you won’t get is the coveted definition in your abs, the distinctive V shape and veins visibly popping from your bulging biceps, quads and calves.  The workouts are only part of that equation.  The missing link is what you do to fuel that activity.

You have a choice to make.  You get to set your own goal.  Maybe you do want to look like The Rock.  And maybe you actually have the genetics to get there.  Part of all these programs is a structured eating regimen.  You weren’t thinking about it when you watched the infomercial.  You didn’t even notice it when you had it right there in black and white.  You skipped right to the workouts.   Most of us do.  Here’s my thought about the whole thing.  It’s okay to do that.  But do it with the knowledge up front that the goal you have for yourself is not the same as the goal the program author has for you.

Most of us don’t have the kind of time in our hectic schedules to actually pull off the whole of any of these programs.  We may be able to clean up our eating – but that will take an  investment in time and energy and dropping more than a few extra dollars on groceries and we might not be able to sustain it.  We may be able to follow the exercises laid out for us.  We might even sustain that for long enough that it creates a habit of needing to move.  Use that .. form the habit.  When you start feeling better about what your body is capable of, it motivates you.  To go harder. To start looking at the other pieces of the puzzle.   Don’t think you’ve failed if at the end of the three or four months, you don’t look like the next testimonial photo candidate.  If you did ANY of it for a few months, you’re way ahead of where you started.  Pat yourself on the back and keep going!

Categories: General, Motivation

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