We’ve all been there: we keep telling ourselves that today is the day, that we’re finally going to get off our butts and start working out. Six-pack abs, here we come! We’re dedicated for the first week or two, getting up at six a.m. to run, doing crunches during our lunch break…but by the end of the month, the only six-pack we have is that case of Dr. Pepper in the fridge, and our arm workouts consist of lifting the remote to change the channel. It’s a familiar situation—getting fit is quite a commitment, and it’s easy to lose steam. Here are a few of the main reasons workouts fail.
Too Much Confusion about What to Do
There’s no doubt about it: we live in an advertising-saturated world. And with that comes a lot of conflicting information about the best ways to do things—especially exercise. Infomercials tout their products and equipment as “amazing new innovations” that will torch your fat and have you looking like a swimwear model, and it seems like every article on websites and magazines has an agenda—buy this, do that. Sometimes there’s great information to be found in magazines and on the Internet. The problem is just that there’s a lot of sub-par information to wade through too, and it’s hard to tell which is which.
So before you choose to believe or discard the advice you read, look up the research. See what doctors, coaches, and athletes have to say. Check if there have been studies conducted about the efficacy of the products, workout moves, or special diets that your sources are recommending. Listen to the experts, not to some random blogger who swears by the AbBlaster 2000.
Lack of Discipline
Working out is hard. That’s why it’s called “working” out. And when you’re already holding down a full-time job or are up to your ears in other commitments, the last thing you want to do is get up early to hit the gym, or put on your workout clothes after a rough day. Believe us, we know how tempting that couch and television can look when you’re tired out.
However, lack of energy is exactly the reason that you should be exercising! There’s a lot of research that shows that people who exercise regularly experience less fatigue and more alertness throughout the day. Unlike a coffee or a sugary snack, exercise doesn’t spike your energy and then make you pay for it a few hours later when you crash; it provides a steady effect. It only takes a week or two of consistent daily exercise to start noticing improved vigor and alertness.
Exercise and nutrition work hand in hand with one another. You might go running for an hour, then feel good about yourself and decide to reward yourself with a Big Mac and fries—which wipes out all the calories you just burned and puts you back at square one. Diet is just as important as exercise when you’re trying to get fit. Think about it: your car won’t run correctly on the wrong kind of fuel, and neither will your body.
With that in mind, skip the processed foods aisle next time you’re in the grocery store: those potato chips aren’t doing you any favors. Focus on eating fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and healthy proteins like nuts, beans, eggs, and lean meats (limit red meat intake). You’ll notice your workouts suddenly becoming a lot more effective when you change the way you eat.
Finally, keep in mind that exercise is a lifestyle, not a one-time thing. Focus on developing a sustainable system that you enjoy and can see yourself doing every day. That’s how you avoid becoming another New Year’s resolution failure story.
For more tips, check out our FREE infographic that includes key points and plyometic training exercises designed by trainers and scientifically proven to help increase your vertical jump.