“No Pain, No Gain” is Dead, Long Live Being Fit Enough

Being Fit Enough for Health and Looks

Many of the guys who become my clients have a specific goal in mind, but many more see their target as being fit enough for their health and looks.  There are definitely some who want to build muscle mass – though I’m not a bodybuilding trainer as my specialty – and the majority would say that weight loss is on their list.  Still, throughout the length of my career, I’ve noticed a shift in what people want, and it really does involve a sharp movement away from the old “no pain, no gain” attitude.

Being Fit Enough is Enough

Most guys who hire me know that they haven’t been living their lives in the best way for their health and appearance. They either used to be athletic and have given up the sport or have never really been all that into exercise and their lifestyles – particularly eating habits – have caught up to them. It happens. A lot. I am not one to judge. In fact, I think that for many people, it’s an important step in shaking that feeling that we’re the exception that weight and health problems won’t happen to.

For that reason, most of the guys who hire me just have being fit enough as their goal, and I can completely respect that. Not everybody wants to make an entire lifestyle of fitness.  For many people, doing the adequate amount of physical activity to be well and look good is all that is needed. Honestly, that’s great! In fact, it gets my hopes up.

A Shift in Attitude Toward Fitness

Earlier in my career, “no pain, no gain” was still a common attitude among guys working out. Not the rhyme, of course. Nobody said that anymore. But the attitude had been solidified. Essentially, you had to push yourself to the limit – then a bit more – and do that more often than you wanted.  If you weren’t gritting your teeth and swearing, you really weren’t getting the most out of your workout.

That was the attitude.  It wasn’t my attitude. But it took a lot to get through to the guys I was training that pain was completely unnecessary and, in some cases, worked against what we were trying to achieve. Extreme efforts don’t always get extreme results. In fact, more often than not, they don’t, because they’re unsustainable.

Over time, the clients that have been with me for years have started to realize that being fit enough is a far more attainable and sustainable goal. Interestingly, that’s also the target many of my new clients arrive with. I don’t have to “break them in” at all. The attitude overall seems to have shifted.

I’m impressed and hope it continues this way. To be clear, when I talk about being fit enough, I don’t mean doing the bare minimum.  I mean taking on a fitness strategy that allows you to reach all your goals and maintain healthy fitness levels while targeting smaller areas here and there as goals become fine-tuned. It’s realistic, practical, and avoids unnecessary injury and short-term thinking.

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