By Colby Schreckengost BS, MS, CPT
I recently met a guy who told me he
needed to lose 30-40 lbs. The previous week he had had an awful doctor visit. “Cholesterol through the roof,” he
said. “I have daily back pain, I drink too much, and I’m a high risk for
diabetes, I feel like I’m slowing down by the day,” he told me.
So I replied, “Why don’t you
come see me and let’s get your health turned around.” He said, “I think
I’m past all that. I’m never going to be fit again.” His reply made me cringe a little. Now this
guy is no spring chicken; he’s in his mid-50, but the thought of him giving up
was a big shock to me. I couldn’t get him to come in to the gym. I’m in the hope business, and had failed to
deliver to this man.
Now I’m on a mission! I want to get
the non-exercisers moving again-the de-conditioned folks (both young and old) who
can’t stand to go anywhere near a gym because they’re either intimidated, have
no interest, or just plain hate the thought of exercise.
As a trainer and gym owner, I’ve
always tried to stay ahead of the curve-incorporating only the best training
techniques and using the most up to date functional training equipment. I do my
best to give our clients a great experience. But in the end, most gyms attract
clients that are already working out and looking for a change to their routine.
The longer I’m in the business, the
more I realize that the people who need my service the most are the ones that I
don’t see. They either have given up or have decided to put off getting fit and
healthy. Recent studies have shown that
less than 19% of the population over the age of 18 workout three or more times
per week. That leaves us with 81% of our adult population that could use some
I’m not saying that it’s easy; I
recently told one of my adult training groups, “If it were easy, everybody
would be in great shape. If there were a
magic pill, everyone would buy it and the chemist would be the richest guy in
But let me tell you something, it’s
never too late to get your health back and get better. It’s never too late to be what you could have
One of my favorite quotes
is, “The only thing that stands between a person and what they want in life is the
will to try and the faith to believe that it’s possible.” (Rich Devos)
Whether you’re 14, 25, 40,
or 60 years old, the benefits of good exercise and healthy nutrition program
far exceed the effort that goes into it. The changes our clients have
Their social life gets better.
Our brain works better when we are more active.
So if we understand all of
the benefits of a healthy lifestyle and we’re ready to make a change, what are the
steps that we need to take to get there?
your “why”. Write down your reasons for changing your lifestyle.
It could be your physical appearance, or to see your kids and grandkids grow
up, or to reverse your family’s health history that scares you to death. But make
sure first and foremost that its personal and it’s about YOU!
2) Ask your
family for support . I’m sure
that you are surrounded by people who love you. But are they willing to help
you by eating healthier and not sabotaging you in your new journey? You will
have to clean out your pantry, rid your freezer of ice cream, pack some lunches,
and stop eating out so often; you will need your family to buy-in. Because they
love you, they’ll try to understand and support you, just ask for their help.
3) Seek the
help of a professional. When your
transmission breaks down on our car, you don’t get the tool box out and the
manual and head into our garage. You take your car to a mechanic. Right? “Get
a coach!” Find a true professional more concerned about you than him. Someone
who can help you navigate through all of the mis-information and false claims
like “5 minutes to a better butt” or “6-pack abs in just 10 minutes per day” Coaches
and trainers cost money! Most people spend $300-$600 per month on a car payment
for a car that will last 6 to 10 years maybe. Don’t you think that your body,
which should last you well into your 80’s and 90’s, is worth the investment?
4) Set goals
and write them down. “A goal is a dream with a deadline.” If we
don’t write them down they are just dreams. Be specific: lose 15lbs by
September 1st or run a 5K in October or cholesterol down 40 points
by November. Be Specific! Don’t bite off more than you can chew! Small steps
lead to great achievement.
is your best friend. One of my
clients is 69 years old. He has been training with me for 8 years. Every Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday at 7:00am sharp, he walks into my facility. He never
misses a session unless he’s out of town on travel. Even when he’s not feeling
good, he shows up. He’s in phenomenal
shape and when I told him that I was writing this article he said, “Make sure
that you talk about consistency.”
Perseverance. There will be times when you
think you’ve blown it. You’ve had an injury, lost your job, or there’s a family
crisis and your progress is slowed. You
have not failed! The only failure is not getting up and going again after a
setback. The choice of giving up or going on can be a defining moment in your
This may be the single most important step. Fear
of failure can keep you from trying. You’ve tried the Atkins Diet and the South
Beach Diet and the 21-day diet and had moderate success and then quit. At times
the goal seems so insurmountable, that we don’t even make the effort. There’s
never a “perfect time” to start. Make the decision to start and it’s like you’ve won half the
battle. DO SOMETHING! GET STARTED
As for the guy who was
“never going to be fit again”? He started exercising in my facility last
September has since transformed his health, lost 30 lbs, eliminated medications
that his doctor says he no longer needs, and has been featured in some of our
body transformation advertisements. He’s a poster child! I didn’t give up on him, and I won’t give up