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Last Updated on December 16, 2020

90% of People Quit After 3 Months of Hitting the Gym, Here’s How to Be the Exception

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90% of People Quit After 3 Months of Hitting the Gym, Here’s How to Be the Exception

I manage a fitness center for one of the biggest brands in Switzerland. My prediction for January: We will have more than 130 new members that will join our facility. This is nearly 100.000 dollar revenue – in a single month.

January is the most lucrative month for fitness centers. A lot of the people start a gym membership, because they want to completely redefine themselves. “New Year – New Me!”, they will post on social media. Unfortunately, this is often not the case. More than 90% of these people will quit after three months of going to the gym. We call them the no-shows.

This is not the ideal situation, neither for the person that is going to the gym or the gym itself. I remember my previous boss telling me: “Florian, the no-shows are not your ideal customers. Gyms will always need them to make money. But the people that are training frequently, reach success and then enthusiastically tell their friends about it – these are our true value customers!

My previous boss had many flaws, but in this aspect he was right. Here are 3 tips that will help you stay training, for months to come.

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1. Set Good Goals

Most of the time when clients come into our facility, they haven’t set proper goals. Whenever we fill out the evaluation-form, they write down that they simply want to “lose weight” or “gain muscle”. These two statements are wishes, not goals.

Realistic goals follow the SMART-rule. Goals should be specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound. Losing weight is not a goal, losing 5 kilograms of body weight in the next two months is.

I want to stress out the realistic aspect of the goal-setting. Start really small. Having big goals will only frustrate you in the long run. Read about it on forums and then determine what is reasonable. Change one behaviour at a time. Make it sustainable.

Also make sure that you will write your goal down. There’s magic behind a written goal. You will be far more likely to stick to it, if your goal is engrained in paper. Remind yourself of your goals daily – write them on a post-it note and put them on your fridge.

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2. Find Accountability

Writing your goals down and putting them on your fridge also have the benefits of creating accountability within your family. Your family will support you and ask you how your journey is going. This makes you more likely to stick to your goals.

Have you ever wondered why gyms have group fitness classes? It’s because having a Group Fitness class helps people foster personal relationships. And relationships within the gym increase the chances of the person renewing his membership. The people that train with a friend will generally train more often and harder. They are more likely to reach their goals.

Ask a friend to go with you on this fitness journey. Post your goal on Facebook and create accountability. Use accountability to your advantage.

3. Learn To Deal With Setbacks

The line to your goals won’t be straight. The sooner you accept this and learn to deal with it – the better.

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The diet that you will start doing will not always be clean. The workouts that you will be doing are not always amazing. Don’t beat yourself up about it. These setbacks are simply one of the keys of the game that we all have to play. Accept the setback and immediately move on.

Ten years from now, the people that have learned to deal with setbacks will be the people that are blessed with amazing lives. Angela Duckworth wrote a book on perseverance called Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance. Regarding the 770-5 star reviews, it’s definitely a book worth reading.

Focus on progression and not perfection.

Quitting Makes Nothing Better

I am not a believer in the never quit – mentality. Sometimes it definitely is a reasonable choice to do so. No one would argue, that quitting smoking is a bad thing to do. Quitting can be a reasonable thing – but not in the gym.

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Remember that you’ve started going to the gym because you had a big need to fill. You wanted to get in better shape or get healthier. Let me tell you two things: 1. The gym works and 2. Getting in shape is definitely worth it.

It’s a good thing to be able to go to the beach, shirtless, with a chiseled midsection. Smiling, when your friends ask you: “How did you do this?”.

It feels amazing to wake up with energy and walk with confidence through life. These are feelings worth fighting – or should I say: training – for. Stick to your new years resolutions, a great life is waiting for you.

Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

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More by this author

Florian Wüest

Qualified and experienced fitness trainer and online coach.

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Last Updated on October 4, 2021

5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

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5 Best Exercises for Weight Loss at Home

With the lines of work and home becoming increasingly blurry, it’s no wonder why we struggle to find the time to prioritize our health. Particularly with weight loss, it’s often difficult to manage the ever-present constraints around work, children, time to exercise, and the feeling of exhaustion at the end of the day.

Taking the effects of stress and the rise of remote work and work-from-home situations, we need to be far more tactical in our weight loss pursuits. Quite often, these exercises for weight loss at home aren’t even fitness-related.

Firstly, let’s look at a standard day in the life of a busy professional or parent to really understand the battlefield in which we need to operate.

We all have 24 hours in a day to work with. Knowing how we spend that 24 hours is crucial when learning where time will be best spent for our weight loss journey. Setting unrealistic expectations can be a quick way to end up back at square one.

  • Sleep: 8 hours (parents, if you’re lucky)
  • Work: 8 hours (sometimes more)
  • Children: 2 to 4 hours (includes pickups, drop-offs, and play)
  • Meal Preparation: 1 hour (at a minimum)
  • Household Activities: 1 to 2 hours (because someone’s got to do it, right?)
  • Total: 20 to 22 hours

Taking into account that switching between tasks takes time and cognitive space, we can start to understand why people just want to sit and scroll through social media at the end of a day. We also haven’t factored in the work commute if you have to report to the office.

Just realized you now have minimal time to yourself? This might start to explain why you struggle to gain momentum in your weight loss journey. Let’s work out how to take back the initiative:

  • Automate – Are there any tasks you can automate? If you’re fortunate enough to be gainfully employed, maybe it’s time to hire a cleaner or have ready-made meals delivered to your door. It doesn’t have to happen every night, but removing the decision of “what’s for dinner?” can be a great way to reduce stress and free up brain space and time.
  • Optimize – If you’re time-poor with kids, it’s time to optimize your activities. Turn screen time into playtime outdoors, and get them to join in on your activities. If your children are old enough, it might be time to start offering pocket money for chores and meal preparation. This strategy helped me stay fit as a single parent. By getting out and active with my son, I doubled my return on investment by staying fit and enhancing my relationship.
  • Eliminate – We’re only human. Sometimes, we simply have too much on our plate due to our high expectations. Take a look through your daily tasks and work out what can be removed.

Now, go through this exercise yourself. What potential spare time do you have to work with? If the answer is none, you might want to keep reading.

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Exercise Selection: It’s Not All About the Burn

No equipment? No problem.

So, we’re finally tracking the elements that matter. It’s time to start leveraging exercise to accelerate our weight loss journey. Alongside focusing on individual exercises that help with weight loss at home or caloric expenditure, we’re going to focus on another method to help keep you consistent and accountable for the long term: interest.

Interest has been linked as one of the key motivating factors to maintain consistency towards a goal. By choosing a form of exercise that your body and mind can enjoy, your chances of weight loss success are far greater.

Here’re the 5 best exercises for weight loss at home:

1. Low-Intensity Interval Training (LIIT)

Maybe the body isn’t what it used to be, and intense forms of training simply just aren’t safe anymore. Also considering the body’s response to stress, it might be in our very best interest to choose low-intensity activities that we can repeat daily.

Mobility and movement flows have risen in popularity in recent years. This form of exercise focuses on restoring range of motion (ROM), improving stability, and returning people to activity. Some exercise options include:

  • Quadruped Rocks
  • Frog Stretch
  • Hip Prying
  • Scapula Push-ups
  • Hindu push-ups

Below is a 10minute warm-up flow that shows you how to put all of this together:

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2. Yoga

Yoga is another perfect example of LIIT methodology that can be advanced as your ability improves. Focusing on mobility, stability, and range of movement using only your body weight, it’s a perfect entry-level activity for those that may have lost their way on their weight loss journey.

3. Calisthenics

Strength training at home can be difficult when you lack equipment or experience. An obvious path to building strength at home is calisthenics. Starting with just the following basic bodyweight movements:

You can begin your journey with no equipment and build to quite an advanced level. Here are five movements you can look to master over time are:

Depending on your ability, choose movements that allow you to progress safely over time. There is also gymnastics-based training you can move towards if your body is ready for a more demanding form of training.

4. Aerobic Exercise

Another underrepresented form of exercise, aerobic exercise is often overlooked for its sexier counterparts like strength and HIIT. With the prevalence of obesity nearly tripling between 1975 and 2016 and the major cause in adults being cardiovascular disease, it makes sense to focus on activities that improve cardiovascular or heart health.

Another benefit is that it can be as simple as getting your steps in, going for a swim, or going for an easy ride or run. Phil Maffetone pioneered the Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Method that almost anyone can adopt regardless of fitness level and experience.[1]

Here’s a 30-minute session of aerobic exercises you can try:

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5. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-intensity interval training is a great way to elevate the heart rate and get the endorphins flowing. It can also be super time-effective, giving you a great bang for your buck. Try sequencing some of the movements and exercises above together with minimal rest to keep your heart rate elevated. Be sure to select movements that suit your current level of fitness and ability.

Here’s a HIIT workout that takes little time and is suited for any level:

Chipper 60

Complete all reps of every exercise for time. Exercises can be done in any order and repetitions to complete the workout.

If you can’t do jump squats, regress to normal squats, and don’t be afraid to change the leg raises to a 60-second plank if you need to. Finish up with some light stretching or foam rolling.

What Also Matters: Sleep, Stress, and Stimulants

Sleep, stress, and stimulants, also known as the hamster wheel of death. Tracking these elements gives us the power to finally stop relying on our ever-depleted stores of discipline and motivation to get the job done. It will also highlight the self-destructive habits that sabotage your weight loss journey.

Simply put, stress affects stimulants, sleep affects stress, and the vicious cycle continues.

Sleep

Are you getting enough sleep? It’s well documented that sleep is an important factor in weight loss and recovery.

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“Restricted sleep and poor sleep quality may lead to metabolic disorders, weight gain, and an increased risk of obesity and other chronic health conditions.”[2]

Start this journey by tracking how much sleep you’re getting. Certain wearables can also track the amount of movement and time you spend awake or in lighter sleep cycles. Getting enough time in REM or deep sleep is critical for weight loss.

Stress

We don’t need to be fancy. A simple daily measurement out of ten indicates how much stress we think we are under. Using this number, we can observe the effects that sleep, stimulants, and exercise have on our stress levels, allowing us to deploy the right strategy for our weight loss goals.

Stimulants

Stimulants can be classified as anything we put in our mouths. Tracking calories, alcohol, and caffeine is a great way to observe, predict, and avoid trends or at-risk periods of overeating and destructive behaviors. Tracking this is aligned with how well we sleep, and our stress response gives us enough information to start forming better weight loss habits.

Work to identify the trigger, observe the response, and then look to adjust.

Final Thoughts

Whether you’re fighting fit or returning to activity, the best exercises for weight loss at home are the ones that you can do day in day out that you enjoy. Think of exercise for weight loss as we do for compound interest. Consistently and regularly making deposits may not show immediately, but with time, they give you the momentum you need to reach your goals.

Featured photo credit: Olivia Bauso via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] PhilMaffetone: Maximum Aerobic Function
[2] SleepFoundation.org: Why is sleep so important to weight loss?

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