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As a trainer I believe one of the most important aspects of my job is to manage my clients’ expectations. There are expectations of ourselves, there are expectations of the body change process, there are expectations on others for how they may need to support us.
We’ve ALL got expectations.
But expectations do not always lead to action. Oftentimes it’s the expectations that stop us up the most. We add strength training into our exercise routine and we expect certain outcomes. We start eating healthier and we expect our family to get on the train with us. For anyone who has attempted change, you have a good idea that nothing goes exactly as you expect it to. And holding on to those expectations keeps us stuck. When outcomes happen differently than expected we get down on ourselves, we beat ourselves up and we stop doing the actions that would lead us to the outcomes we really want.
Here’s an example: You start exercising and you (understandably) expect that you are going to see some results physically via a decrease on the scale or a change in the fit of your clothes. Maybe you’ve been killing it in the gym and trying to stick to the healthy habits you’ve always known about.
A couple weeks in and you step on the scale or put on your jeans and UGH, there’s like, no progress. Or the progress is so little, and it’s really not what you expected.
So you’re deflated. De-motivated. And thus your efforts suffer. Getting your workouts in is not as exciting as it once was.
This is so common. But man is it ever frustrating, right?
When I have clients living in the expectation-frustration loop there are a couple tools I use to help them break the cycle.
We know that more exercise is NOT better for results. More minutes on the treadmill and hours of activity each week does not equal body composition change. Why? Because more movement often leads to more hunger. And I’m not sure about you, but an increase in hunger for me means an increase in the amount of food I eat.
I love strength training, cardio intervals and metabolic conditioning workouts for this exact reason. We can get into the gym, get a great total body workout that burns a ton of calories and makes use of hormones like testosterone and growth hormone for more muscle building and fat burning benefits, and get out in 30 minutes.
Efficient exercise is movement that challenges you, doesn’t take up a ton of time in your day and helps you get results.
The best part about efficient exercise is that it happens more regularly. We are less likely to skip workouts due to fatigue or cancel sessions because we can’t commit to the full hour. As such, efficient exercise sessions support a much more consistent exercise habit, and consistency is what makes the difference to our results in the long term.
Here’s an example of what I mean by efficient exercise. This video is a total body metabolic conditioning workout that only requires a couple sets of dumbbells to perform. Including warm-up and cool down it takes under 30 minutes, and it is HARD.
Moving towards an efficient exercise model changed my entire relationship with exercise. There was less guilt, less motivational run around and it takes me less activation energy to get to the gym.
Time to sweat,
P.S. Want more efficient workouts? Grab your copy of Lift Weights Faster including 180 conditioning workouts just like the one above.