If you were to state the characteristic you believed was the most important to success (broadly speaking), what would you say? Perseverance? Sheer hard work? Intuition? I believe these are all true, at a level, but are hindered without one key attribute: consistency - the glue that holds together our isolated instances of progress.
We see lacking consistency far too often in the fitness industry. Approximately 50% of people who embark on a fitness program run out of the blocks with all guns blazing only to discontinue within six months. 70% of those who train for a marathon don't even make it to the start line, invariably thanks to an injury caused by a rapid increase in workload.
For most, eventually work commitments are perceived to increase, sickness sets in, or injury forces time off. The issue in the majority is not the goal, it's the rapid and unsustainable change in lifestyle that is, by definition, inconsistent.
Take the 5/2 diet for example. The idea is that if you eat normally for five days in a week and effectively starve yourself for two, the calorie deficit created will be greater than the total calories consumed throughout the week, resulting in a net weight loss. However, there is a cost to such inconsistency; the loss in lean muscle mass can be equal to, and in many cases greater than the loss in fat. This damages the body's metabolism causing subsequent fat gains to be substantially more rapid than before if, (as is likely), the individual finds it impossible to sustain such an intense dieting regime.
This phenomenon is well documented within the industry. A study supported by the National Institute of Health recently concluded that "elevated weight variability early in a weight loss program predicted poor long-term outcomes, reflecting inconsistent weight control behaviours."
It's for this reason we at Vision subscribe to a philosophy of gradual, consistent change that is sustainable over the long run in every area of a client's training and eating.
How then can we use this knowledge? Here are three ways a Vision Personal Trainer can help you improve and leverage your consistency:
- Through our collaborative Virtual Training App, our trainers can help you achieve greater consistency in your nutrition. We don't recommend cutting out any food or drink absolutely. We believe it's far better to minimize gradually over time.
- We work with you, so if you miss a week's training or have too many drinks on a weekend, we keep you focused on the long term, stress free.
- For our weight loss / gain clients, our Trainers will be there to encourage you at our private, weekly weigh-ins - regardless of what the result may be. Recent studies have shown that regular weigh-ins not only lead to greater net weight losses, but also to results that can be sustained for many times longer than otherwise.
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.