Focusing on what matters – Picking the right gym or coach

All too often I catch clients and people focusing on the things that don’t matter for training and improvement. Gyms and trainers market themselves (and there is nothing wrong with marketing), on features and the latest trends.

The problem is when people get sold on trends, features and comforts, rather than focusing on what matters. They get lost in how it will be easier with these new features. And I’m here to tell you that if you want significant change or results, there must be considerable work applied. Short cuts are short cuts. They might get you somewhere but it means nothing if you bounce back. Play the long game!

The gym I train at had a considerable upgrade. Replacing all the old equipment with fresh new shiny treadmills, barbells and pin loaded machines. Some of it is great, and it’s always nice to have more tools at your disposal.

However, often all the new toys with bells and whistles are just distractions. Cup holders, extra TV screens, WIFI and more padded seats just distract from doing the stuff you need to be doing. focusing

I remember when I was 16, I was trying to convince my dad to pay for my gym membership at the local gym, to go workout with all my friends. When I already had a home gym setup with all the tools necessary. My dad said “10kg at your home gym weighs just the same as the 10kg at the local gym”.

My point is we don’t need all the extraneous bullshit and to be in a state of constant comfort and for things to be easy. These places make us soft and being coddled won’t do anyone favours. If you’re going to the gym because they give you free towels and hair dryers you are missing the point.

Being in a gym that has well-worn equipment and a culture of lifters are there to work will help you perform at a higher level. Being around the right people will do more for you than any well air-conditioned environment will. – See article Discomfort is the key here.

An uncomfortable training environment is something you want to foster and not the other way around. Your greatest improvement will come from imposing stress on both your physiology and psychology (mindset) at the same time. Comfort is the enemy of progress!focusing

The S.A.I.D principal “Specific Adaption to Imposed Demand” can summarise this. Place stress on yourself and watch yourself improve. Comfort will get you to adapt the other way. Lose flexibility, strength, muscle. Do the exercises that make you uncomfortable will yield the greatest return. Everyone loves exercises they are good at, but they avoid doing the ones that are hard for them. See further explanation here.

If you look at sporting greats of the last 50 years, you’ll find that its common they have come from an impoverished background and rarely had access to the best training facilities.

However, the one common thread that lead to their success was a coach or mentor that inspired and lead them to greatness. No successful man or woman has made it to the top alone.

Buying the latest road bike, set of golf clubs, lifting shoes is a tiny piece of the pie. Placing more emphasis on technique, fitness and mindset will always win out.

Spend more time focusing on finding a teacher, coach or mentor will always yield better results and buy-in for success. Sure, there is new science and trends we need to know of but don’t place all the emphasis on this. There were fit, strong and healthy people 100 years ago, so learn from others that have walked in the shoes you want to be in.

I hope that makes sense and you don’t get sold on the unnecessary stuff. Look for results and culture when selecting a place to train and you’ll be on the right track.

Coach Adam

P.s If you enjoyed this article see “Putting in work” here.

P.p.s Here is the video version of this article


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