Several months ago I received a message from my friend, Erin. She wanted to hire me so that I could create a 10-minutes a day strength training workout that she could do 6 days a week using the equipment that she already owned. She described the areas that she wanted to focus on and sent a picture of the equipment that I could use to create her workout program. This was a very unusual request. I had never had this type of request…ever. Never ever. I had choreographed barre routines to requested songs for clients and had developed and created workout routines for clients that were based on the typical 45min to an hour workout, and my clients bought specific equipment needed for the workout or they joined a gym to do so. Never had a client given me such specific and limited guidelines to work with when creating a program. But instead of feeling stifled by her request, I felt intrigued and challenged.
Here was someone who sat down and sincerely thought about what she was lacking, what she needed, and what she could be consistent at when it came to developing her fitness. In her thought process, she discovered that moving and stretching were consistent, between taking walks or bike riding with her family she felt good with her cardio, and she always stretched after, but what she was lacking in was muscle strength and endurance, and the knowledge to develop either. So instead of just contacting me to create a standard routine, she thought about the implementations and requested a routine that would give her maximum consistency. Her thoughtfulness inspired me, so I agreed to create a workout that she could do 10 minutes a day 6 days a week and got to work.
Within the next few days I had her fill out a questionnaire and then I put together a list of exercises that I thought would give her maximum bang for buck. If 10 minutes was the goal, every minute was going to count. We met for an hour, going over the exercises and choosing weights and bands from her equipment for each exercise, and then I went home and put together her 10-minute 6 day workout program as requested. A week later I delivered it to her, and within the next month I realized that there was something to what Erin had inspired in me to create.
You see Erin was SUCCESSFUL at her workouts. Week after week she was completing each day of her program. She was achieving consistency, something that had eluded her, and frankly most people, from implementing a regular fitness program. After six weeks her labs were better, her weight and BMI were down and she had increased muscle strength and development. She had less pain, less inflammation and was handling stress better. She added to her routine on days when time allowed, which also increased her results, but if she couldn’t do more then her 10-minute program, she knew she was fine because she would still get results.
So what made Erin’s successful? Consistency and quality.
We have a very all or nothing attitude when it comes to fitness. If we cannot fit it within a certain criteria…at least 60 min, using certain equipment, taking a particular class, only working out at a gym…than it’s not worth doing. But Erin’s success proves this attitude wrong. Instead of “go big or go home” in fitness, we should be reaching for “go sustainable to be attainable”. Because making our fitness consistent and of good quality will give us the results we are so desperately trying to achieve.
Erin realize this when she thought about what was sustainable for her, during this season of her life. She was not in a season where she could take an hour 6 days a week to work on her strength training, she was not at a place where she could go to the gym 6 days a week and she was not at a place where she could buy specialized fitness equipment. Instead, she figured out what would work for her so that she could be consistent in developing her strength training, and that was 10 minutes a day – 6 days a week, and then hired a professional to give her 10 minutes maximum quality. And it worked! Months down the line, we have met again and she is still checking off her workouts.
So now I challenge you! How can you “go sustainable to be attainable” in your fitness routine? What can you implement today that you will be able to sustain for the year to come?
You don’t need an hour a day, you don’t need fancy equipment or a gym membership or to see a personal trainer every week. You just need to be consistent and make that time count!
Go forth and attain!!