Why Fitness Programs Fail

by Chris on October 26, 2009

Failing to meet your goals sucks. I don’t know anyone who has set a goal and not been at least somewhat disappointed if they did not reach it. Nobody likes to fail, bottom line. So why then do so many of us set ourselves up for failure when it comes to our health? Failure to reach the goals of your fitness program is an entirely avoidable problem. Here are a few reasons why fitness programs don’t get you where you want to go.

Failure to set a goal

It’s pretty hard to reach a goal when you don’t set one in the first place. This one is a no-brainer. I’ve seen hundreds of people who go into the gym and lift the same weights and do the same routines for years. That is really mind blowing when you stop to think about it. If you are doing the same thing year after year and never improving upon it, you are doing something wrong. The most common reason why this happens is these people never decide to improve. They never set a goal. I’ve seen too many people who go to the gym just to be able to say they go to the gym. They have no goals and are completely content with never making any real improvements. Don’t be one of those people; set goals and find ways to reach them. Also, make sure you have both small short-term and bigger long-term goals.

Lack of Guidance

Another thing I see all too often is people who walk into the gym with no idea what they are doing. They wander aimlessly from machine to machine, performing random exercises (usually with questionable form) and take five minute breaks for no reason. If this is you, you need someone to teach you how to workout. Find a proven workout program, read a good training book or hook up with a good trainer.

Choosing the Wrong Exercises

When I tell people that they can build a solid, successful fitness program around five or six basic exercises they usually look at me like I belong in a straight-jacket. The truth is, however, that you don’t need to use tons of different exercises to see results. The bench press, overhead press, pullups, rows, squats and deadlifts, and their variations, are all the exercises you really need to see results. Sure, it’s nice to do something different but the fact of the matter is that you just don’t need loads of different, complicated exercises to make a successful program. Stick to the ones that give you the most bang for your buck.

Poor Nutrition

This is probably the most common reason why programs fail. All the exercise in the world doesn’t mean much if your diet sucks. Why work out and train so hard (hopefully you are training hard) and then go home and have a double bacon cheeseburger and a coke? I’m not saying you need to have an ultra-strict perfect diet, but there are some basics you should follow: eliminate or at least reduce sugars and starches, eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, drink plenty of water and stick to lean meats. Those are just some basic guidelines, but they are a good place to start.

Getting Too Advanced

Everybody wants to try the new cool workout they saw online or in a magazine. What everybody doesn’t want to do is work up to that cool new workout. What some people forget is that a proper training program needs to follow a good progression. You can’t just jump into the hardest, most intense workout program if you don’t have a decent base level of fitness. Master the basics and get a good solid foundation, then you can try out all the cool workouts you want.

The success or failure of a program really comes down to a few factors: dedication, intensity and knowledge. A fitness program shouldn’t be overly complicated. There is this belief that the more complicated it is the better it is, but in fact just the opposite is true. Keep it simple and you will get great results.

{ 1 comment }

Sean November 1, 2009 at 4:16 pm

amen to this post!

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