There are a ton of ways to get fit, but not every way works for every person. Our main job at Elemental is finding ways to help our athletes reach their goals, so we’re constantly looking for method of training that work. We’re also looking for the common thread, something that can be called a “rule” of a successful program. The truth is we’ve found very few rules. You’ve heard them before: Get uncomfortable. Write it down. Eliminate your weaknesses.
One thing that we haven’t mentioned, but is a common factor in almost all of our successes is the value of teamwork. Super-clever and hilarious illustrations aside, we see almost all unsupported fitness goals fail. On the flip side, we see almost all well-supported goals succeed.
Let me give you an example: Ivanka is overfat and wants to lose weight. She starts an exercise program and decides to make some nutritional changes. Her friends think she’s crazy and they all tell her she looks great. Her husband complains both about the amount of time this exercise thing is taking and the changes she is trying to make in their diet. She doesn’t get any help with cooking the food, either. You get the idea; her chances of getting slim are slim-to-none.
Contrast this with D’Angelo. He decides he wants to get in shape, so he talks a friend into doing it with him. His wife is on board because, really, he’s just not that sexy anymore. His doctor recommended the plan in the first place, so he’s going to support D’Angelo with regular check-ups and weigh-ins. Knowing he’s a terrible eater, he decides to join Weight Watchers to help with his nutrition. Again, you get the idea. The more people involved, the harder it is to flake out. Think back to the Alpo Diet. If you‘ll remember, this is where you get a dozen or so friends together, tell them your goal is to lose ten pounds in the next month, and tell them if you don’t do it, you’ll have them all over for dinner and eat a can of Alpo in front of them. Teamwork at its best!
The lone wolf rarely succeeds. When you come up with a goal as important and difficult as improving your fitness, stack the odds in your favor. A few tips:
- Tell your friends. Be clear about your goal, your timeline, and how they can help you. Make sure they understand this goal’s importance, and that you don’t just want, but need, their help.
- Write it down. OK, a piece of paper doesn’t seem like much of a team member, but placed in a spot where you’ll see your stated goal regularly, it will really help.
- Start a blog, or post up on Facebook. Any goal that you’re not willing to share can’t be that important to you.
- Talk to your doctor. Get professionals involved, especially those that are there for your health. If your doctor is not interested in preventative medicine, find a new one.
- Get in a group. Join a class, a club, or a team. Share your goal with others that have similar goals.
The more people on your team, and the more interested they are, the more likely you are to succeed. There are myriad examples of the superior results teams produce, and many examples where individuals fail. There are very few crucial elements to a training plan, but having a good team behind you is definitely one of them.