Most people who exercise regularly go to the gym for about an hour a day.
They give it their all while they are at the gym, so it’s difficult to understand why they don’t put as much effort into the rest of their day as they put into their workouts.
Imagine you come to the gym and give everything you’ve got for a training session, finishing in a pool of sweat at the end of it all. After your workout, you rush out of the gym because you don’t have time to stretch. You decide that you worked so hard at the gym that you deserve a treat, so you pick up a pizza and some ice cream on the way home.
You settle onto the couch and watch a movie. This keeps you up late, and when your alarm rings in the morning, you hit the snooze button a few times too many. This leaves no time for breakfast so you grab a coffee and a sugar-laden muffin on the way to work.
By mid-morning you are starving and grumpy and your co-workers are driving you crazy, leading you to escape for some more coffee and sugary treats. By the time you work day is over, you’re even grumpier, but you still have no plan for dinner. You didn’t get the chance to stretch or see your massage therapist, you’re sore and running on fumes, so you decide to skip today’s workout.
The next time you are at the gym and your trainer asks how things are going, you make sure to tell her that you feel horrible, that you’re not making any progress and that there must be something wrong with the exercise program she has given you. How would you react if you were the trainer?
Now, imagine that after your workout you start munching on your post-workout snack while doing the stretches your trainer gave you. You arrive home and fish dinner out of the crock pot and sit down with the family. After dinner you go for a walk, read a bit, set out your workout gear for the next day, and get to bed nice and early. In the morning, you make breakfast and pack a lunch and post-workout snack to go along with your gym gear. How will your workout go this time?
The next time you are tempted to whine about your progress at the gym, ask yourself: what am I doing with the rest of my day? Unless you have taken responsibility for your sleep, stress management, nutrition, mobility and recovery, think twice before assigning outside blame.
Training is more than just going to the gym, it is what you do outside the gym that makes or breaks your progress at the gym. While I applaud anyone who is willing to sweat it out for an hour at the gym, the other 23 hours are equally as important.