Guest Contributor: Noel Flynn from ABC GYM
Do you have a glass of wine and feel guilty about it? Perhaps you’ve picked up that bar of chocolate that was teasing you at the checkout and said to yourself ‘No I need to have willpower’ and spent the rest of the evening wanting it. Maybe you think about every bit of food you eat wondering is this good or bad for me because you watched a TV show where every food known to man will make you sick, fat or both!!
For me the fitness industry is badly broken! Remember this is what earns me my living, it is a job I truly love so making a statement like that is not easy for me to say but….. I am sure you have seen posts and videos on social media that have inspired you, that have increased your determination levels but did you get the end result you are looking for?
The irony of me putting this out on social media is not lost on me and I would be lying if I said my business does not put up posts to catch people’s attention and keep the brand in the back of your mind. But here is my thoughts on why the fitness industry is broken:
Everybody is not Obese so stop talking to us like we are!
There are so many people who look thin, dress well, have great hair and make up but are deeply unhappy with their lack of tone. In fact there are so many who actually exercise regularly but do not get the results they want to achieve, they are not fat, so their friends do not get why they exercise, your loved one’s distract you from your journey by telling you ‘I love you the way you are!’ but yet you are not where you want to be and nobody understands.
Everybody is not an Athlete!
Now I have to hold my hands up here, coming from a High Performance background coaching Inter County GAA players I wanted to coach everyone like athletes. However, I soon realised that while it does ring through that in order to look like an athlete you must train like one, most of the population do not have the desire to put in endless hours of training, while at the same time needing time for rest and recovery, to prep meals and have the discipline to avoid nights out, while your friends enjoy themselves. For some people their goal is simply to be able to enjoy themselves at the weekend in the comfort that they feel more confident in themselves and feel and look better as a result of sensible exercise and nutrition without any extremes
We are not kids, there is no need to shout at me.
When you were in school, there were the teachers you liked and the teachers you did not like, the teachers you responded to and the ones that you wanted to tell them to go @£#* yourself. The fitness industry is the same, not everyone wants the shouting, over the top, pump it up type trainer who is like an energizer bunny. A good trainer, like a good teacher will realise some people want quiet encouragement, while others need a bit of tough love from time to time. Generally people have enough shit going on in their lives with work, family and mortgages without someone else trying to add to their stress levels.
I don’t want to have more Willpower
So, all you want is to lose that bit around your belly that you can grab with your hands that you only have an issue with it. You have tried all of the diets, read all of the magazine tips and you ask the gym instructor or personal trainer for advice and they say ‘You need to have more willpower!’. You are sick of having chicken and broccoli for lunch and dinner and seeing Instagram perfect meals from #fitfam bloggers . At this point, you are literally sick of it and you end up breaking your cycle by eating a bar of chocolate. But it does not stop there and that one bar of chocolate leads you to saying f*** this and you end up ordering takeaways for the next 3 nights – to which you were told – ‘well I told you, you need to have more willpower’ aaaggggghhhhh
There is no diet that does not work. Not one. Every single diet works. Yes I am being serious. Weight watchers works. Slimming world works. Multi Level Marketing companies selling poor quality supplements or meal replacements works. They all work but in the short term. The reason they work is in order to lose bodyfat you must have a calorie deficit meaning less calories going into the body from food and drink than is being used through daily activities and exercise. The problem being that you have such a calorie deficit that yes you lose weight but it is not sustainable, you didn’t get any fitter or healthier because you did not exercise or even have the energy to do so. You yo-yo because you didn’t receive any education on real life nutrition and you still have all the habits and overwhelming thoughts you get about food.
One size does not fit all
Your friend can get crazy results when she goes to the gym or the bootcamp class. You wonder to yourself ‘what is wrong with me?’, ‘why do I not get the same results, she does not even try as hard as me’. ‘She does not even eat that well’.
Yet you do the exact same exercises, the same amount of reps, the same amount of time, the same machine but it’s doesn’t work for you. We as a fitness industry need to find a solution to this and realise that One Size Fits One, not one size fits all. Personally we have battled with this one and find Semi Private Personal Training to be a very good solution for those who cannot sustainably hire a one to one personal trainer yet we can still tailor and tweak the exercises, sets and reps to the suit the individual.
So many people preach it, so many motivational slogans go up on social media but so few actually have a clue what they are talking about. You have set the goals, you have written them down, you have tried mediation, you have read the self help books and magazines but you cannot out goal set a poor mindset. This is especially true if you are used to failure. You think to yourself, this time it is going to be different, you try to be positive, you have the determination but at the same time you know deep down how many times you have tried and failed. Unconsciously you tell yourself you are destined to always remain the same. Even when you start to get some results, you start to see changes, you start to self sabotage, you start to lose consistency because deep down you don’t believe you can actually do this, that you are not worth the effort. It is like sowing a seed. It does not matter the quality of the seed (you), how much water and sunlight it gets (exercise and nutrition) if the soil surrounding it is poor quality. In other words the soil is that unconscious mind set that needs working on. So before you start setting goals, work on you first.
I am very much looking forward to implementing our training with Sinead when she is ready. What struck me about Sinead is that like me she is honest to a fault. I hope to really help people feel better with our new Look Good, Feel Better series. Like point number 6 I know that one size does not fit all, so I do not expect people to agree with everything I say. In fact I could really annoy people and that’s fine too but I will aim to provide information that could in some small way help as many people who choose to follow. Thank you. Noel
*Noel Flynn is the owner of ABC Gym based in Lucan, Co Dublin where they use their Athletic Body Coaching Programmes to train people in a Semi Private Personal Training structure. Noel has a background in teaching and lectures on Setanta Colleges courses for Personal Trainers and Strength and Conditioning coaches. Noel has worked with some top athletes including current All Ireland Semi Finalists Tipperary whom he trained last year before pursuing his own business ABC Gym.