How to make change easier and more consistent for faster results
Something you’ll hear me say often is ‘nothing changes if nothing changes’
I refer to this saying when I’m talking about getting results from a program, in particular when clients say stuff like “but I prefer this” or “can I keep doing it this way” or “so and so does it like this” or similar.
When you want to see changes happen, you have to make changes to what you’re doing.
I know people realise this, but when it comes to putting that into practice, it’s often hard to see the connection when you believe certain things or the changes are just hard.
If you’re not seeing results or you’re just starting a new program, the best way to stay on track and make sure what you are doing is working, is to keep some basic records. You can do this for a coach or for yourself to keep track.
Keeping track of your food and drink intake
Recording what you eat and drink is huge. This can be done via an app or software such as MyFitness Pal or Cronometer. Some of the immediate benefits of recording your food intake are:
- An accurate record of what you actually eat – we so often ‘forget’ things when we try to recall later. Recording as you eat is vital to prevent this.
- If you do use an app or software, you can get a pretty accurate record of calories and macronutrients. This is important to make sure you are actually in a calorie deficit if trying to lose body fat or hitting the right targets to maintain or gain, depending on your goals.
- Recording ‘as you consume’ also has the extra benefit of providing time to actually think about what you’re about to eat and perhaps making a better choice if needed. Clients have found this invaluable and its one of the reasons I keep a food journal on a regular basis when I really want to dial it in.
- I do a mix of simply writing everything down and recording using an app with my clients. It all depends on what type of program they’re following, the results they want to see and of course, what works best and is easiest for them.
Keeping some kind of training journal or record is also important. Are you actually making progress?
A training record can be as simple as writing down what weights you used in a group class or recording every exercise, number of repetitions and sets as well as weight used if you have your own program.
If you’re a runner or are keeping track of a different type of exercise, you can use your watch or an app to keep records of times and distances or simply the number of steps you take each day.
There are also apps available to help keep these kinds of records, or you can use a paper based journal or even just right it down in your diary or on the notes app on your phone.
Your body won’t change unless you provide a stimulus that is needs to adapt to. That’s why progressive training is an important part of transforming your body.
Challenging it to grow, get stronger, improve your cardiovascular system etc are all things that you can make sure you’re doing if you keep records.
If you just ‘attend the gym’ or ‘go for a run’ without a plan and without making sure you make progress every time, you’re not going to see changes to your body – both in how it looks and how it feels and operates.
At FitterFaster we use a grading system in our group classes and in our weights classes and PT we progress over time with the weighs clients use.
Progress in training isn’t always using heavier weights, it could be more repetitions or improving technique, having less rest between sets or any combo of the above. It could even be training more often, or making training sessions longer.
There has to be progress in some way each week if you want to see progress: if nothing changes, nothing changes!!
How are you keeping track of what you’re doing?
Are you making sure you progress?
Are you checking that you are actually following your program? Or are you a ‘near enough is good enough’ person?
A coach who helps you to keep track and checks in on your reporting can point out the best things for you to work on and will probably notice things that need to change before you do yourself. An outside point of view can be the change maker for you.
While it’s super easy to convince yourself of why things aren’t going to plan, someone else to answer to can make those excuses sound less convincing.
After all, your body doesn’t care ‘why’ you did or didn’t do it. It just adapts to what you are actually doing – leading you closer or further away from your goals, not matter what the excuse