In our day to day life we come across numerous theories about dieting and workouts. Most of these are based on science and observation. Some are just another fad and nothing more that a well-marketed idea. Regardless, I find that all of these methods don’t take into account something extremely important: The human factor!
Fitness is one of the sciences studying the human body, however I find that our knowledge to date is far behind. This statement not only comes from a strong believer of science, but also from a person who after spending most of my life training, I came to a greater understanding that there are much more about our bodies, than plain statistics. Functions and connections which science hasn’t found yet, proved or demystified. Our minds or phycology would be one of these unexplored areas. I prefer naming these “intuitive” or you can just name it “unpredictable variables”. Whatever you decide to name it, the truth is one: Each of us has a body so unique, that the human factor becomes an out of the box study itself.
Considering the variety of factors affecting a person’s fitness such as genes, environment, stress levels and habits, we can only expect that each of us will have a completely different response to the same fitness workout. Lets assume that we take a group of same size women, healthy and eager to achieve the very same fitness goals. They have nothing to worry about – zero stress, just going through their daily fitness happily. They follow the same diet and have the same daily routine for a set amount of time. Why their results will be different? Why will they experience training differently? Why no one so far can give precise predictable results?
From the above scenario, all I want to say is that I find the approach of traditional fitness programs very much undated. Very important factors are disregarded from plans that are rather challenging and as a result of it, many people quit before they start, only because they see it as a failure to meet their training expectations. The expectations that someone else put on them, without considering a person’s biorhythms. Fitness is not just a fixed amount of exercise sets; this is only the foundation for an exercise regime. For someone who’s new to fitness maybe pushing through the 12-week challenge is exciting. What happens after that? How can you actually make fitness part of your life and a long term commitment?
My theory to date about how my body works convinced me that the number one reason of failure committing to fitness, is not necessarily the lack of motivation or discipline. I would rather say that is the inflexibility of a program and the lack of a deeper understanding that makes a person stay away from their goals. Fitness is a learning experience, not just a workout plan and a diet. People being in fitness long enough know that only by trial and error they can optimize their results It’s all about understanding what actually works for them, learning how their bodies respond to different styles of training and nutrition, what factors cause setbacks, what are their mental barriers and how they use all the above knowledge.
Considering these factors, learning your physical and mind patterns is an investment to a long term relationship with your fitness, but also a way to really enjoy it and be kinder to yourself. Acknowledging that fitness is a daily practice (or at least that’s what we aim for), we can see it as an opportunity to self-awareness with a deeper understanding of our bodies. Not all days are the same, so why should we expect the same performance? Who defines how much should you push today?
Seeing fitness through the lens of “unpredictable variables” and not from a place of strict programming, instantly gives us a new level of freedom to adapt and create routines that work for everyone. Training programs that have no setbacks, just more options. Programs that are more fun, approachable and most of all human.