It’s hardly news that our fitness culture is very much based upon individual and collective beliefs. These beliefs drive us, shape us and are the building blocks to our own unique lifestyle DNA. Here is a collection of my own beliefs that have greatly helped my own fitness lifestyle. A few of these beliefs just might work for you too.
Fitness Belief #1 – Love & Enjoyment Is The Foundation To a Successful Healthy Lifestyle
All too often we can get caught up in the search for the most effective exercise or diet strategy. It’s almost as if the effectiveness of an activity is the number one ruling factor in deciding if we should use it or not. While the effect of a method is certainly important, I believe it’s much more important to use methods you actively enjoy and derive some sort of pleasure from.
I fully believe we are pleasure-seeking creatures. It’s why we will drop serious cash on comfortable clothing, why we have cravings for empty calories and why sex sells. We are highly motivated by pleasure. Some folks regard this attraction to pleasure as an evil thing but I say lets use it to our advantage. If you can discover diet and exercise habits you actually enjoy, then your chances of success dramatically improve. Once you figure out what you enjoy, you can then work on how to use those methods to reach your goals.
Fitness Belief #2 – Simple & Old School Tools Are Reliable & Efficient
Strong and healthy physiques are hardly a product of the new millennium. It’s not like we humans were always slow and weak until we invented a treadmill with a TV in the console. We humans have been able to improve our fitness since the dawn of civilization through using the most primitive tools. The cool thing is that these old school methods are still just as effective as they once were but they don’t require much cost or maintenance.
I take a great deal of comfort in using the old methods of yesteryear. Those methods and tools have been tried and tested for hundreds of years. Who knows if the latest weight machine or cardio unit is going to prove to be successful, but hiking up a mountain and doing pull ups has a track record I can rely on.
Fitness Belief #3 – There Is No Magic In Exercise Equipment & Technology
I never believed in the notion of a magic pill, but I did believe in better technology bringing better results. Every time a new weight machine or cardio trainer hits the market, I’m anxious to learn if it holds the high tech key that would unlock my true potential.
It took me 15 years to learn that greater results don’t come from new resistance mechanisms or heart rate programs. Results come from digging deep and reaching higher than you ever thought possible. New technology is nice, but it won’t ever replace the true magic of someone going that extra mile or placing a few more pounds on the bar. If new technology does prove to be something special, chances are it did not give you your personal potential, but rather it helped you discover it.
Fitness Belief #4 – Weakness Is A Mythological State
The opposite of strong is weak because of the absence of strength. While this may be technically correct, I don’t believe in absolute weakness because we all have some level of strength. To me, complete and absolute weakness is a state where one is fully void of all strength. I for one have never been a witness of this. Everyone has some level of strength within them and thus is not weak.
This is why I don’t believe in weakness, just various degrees of strength. So don’t ever let anyone tell you you’re weak, especially yourself. Some days you may have more strength than others, but you are always strong to some degree.
Fitness Belief #5 – Fitness Is Not About Creating Anything New, But Rather Improving Something You Already Have
I don’t believe in weakness largely because I want my focus to stay on growing and improving the strength I have. It’s funny how you get more of what you focus your attention on in life. Focusing on strength makes people stronger, but trying to fix weakness tends to make things go in the opposite direction.
This is why I encourage people to focus on growing or improving the positive aspects of their fitness. Even if you can hardly lift a soup can or have the flexibility of a steel rod, focus on the small bit you have. By focusing on even the smallest levels of what you want, it will grow and mature with time. However, keeping your focus on weakness or fat has a tendency to keep progress from happening no matter how hard you work.
Fitness Belief #6 – The Greatest Hindrance To Progress Is Ignorance
It never fails, every time I read a book on nutrition or attend a seminar on exercise, my results skyrocket. Learning new information, even small bits and pieces, is probably the best way to advance.
It’s often not lack of will power or laziness that often holds us in check. It’s the ego that believes we know it all and refuse to learn more. I used to believe I knew it all. I simply figured my lack of progress was due to not working hard enough. Ironically, once I learned more, I found the progress was easier than before.
This is why I make it a point to always do some sort of learning each month. I read a few books, attend a seminar or just hit up some other trainers for their take on something. It sure beats trying to just work myself into the ground for better results.