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Wright: Consistency – the Big “C”

If you follow NFL football, you will be familiar with J.J. Watt who is an outstanding defensive end for the Houston Texans. One of his quotes, regarding his NFL success is, “Success isn’t owned. It’s leased…and the rent is due every day”. This is an ideal way to explain why consistency, when applied to your fitness level, is so critical. As mentioned many times through the years in this column, you cannot store fitness. In fact, within approximately 48 hours post your workout, your body begins to atrophy. And, it is true that the reversibility principle states if you do not use it, you will lose it.

However, if you design and schedule your exercise program so that you perform it consistently, throughout your lifetime, you stand an excellent chance of experiencing fitness success. The key is to understand you have “leased” your fitness level and that you must “pay the rent” consistently. This concept encourages you to follow your entire fitness and nutrition plan regularly and that includes rest and recovery. For example, on recovery days, your goal is to rest and recover your body/mind and replenish your energy stores. Ask any NFL player how critical rest/recovery are to their overall success.

Often clients will ask how many days/week they should be exercising, how consistently they must adhere to their nutritional program (not a diet!) and I will always preface my answer with “it depends”. It does depend upon the individual client’s goals/objectives, limitations, compensations and the dedicated fitness time they are willing to commit to throughout the entire year. Your success compass is entirely dependent upon your goals and objectives. These training and performance goals and objectives are clearly developed in the NFL. The players know exactly what is expected of them and that their performance, not just on one Sunday, but every game, may determine how long their career lasts.

While the average client may not be an NFL player or elite professional athlete, the same fitness principles apply. Obviously, the exercise program design is the foundation of all fitness program success. Without a safe and effective program design that the client will perform regularly, there is little chance of succeeding. And, the word that is important in that statement is “regularly”.

You cannot store fitness. In fact, within approximately 48 hours post your workout, your body begins to atrophy. And, it is true that the reversibility principle states if you do not use it, you will lose it.

Over a client’s lifetime, it is what they will do consistently that matters. The fact that a client “can” do it is obviously important to ascertain. However, it is what the client does over their lifetime that is tantamount. Consistency leads to achieving goals and objectives. It encourages adherence over time. And, there is no substitution for consistency. Inconsistent workouts lead to frustration, lack of results and in some cases injury due to the inconsistency. In other words, if the body is not given the opportunity to adapt to the exercise program, then there will be little, if any improvement.

Therefore, choose a program and program design that will keep you motivated to perform consistently. And, avoid becoming frustrated and bored. Remember, “success isn’t owned”. You do have to put forth the effort, focus, concentration and commitment to reap the rewards that regularly performed fitness programs provide. Experiencing lifetime fitness is worth every “rent” payment you make!

*Before beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.

Jacqueline A. Wright, is the owner/manager of Mountain Life Fitness, LLC located in Granby. She may be reached at her website at http://www.mtnlifefitness.com, her email at jackie@mtnlifefitness.com and her Facebook page at Mountain Life Fitness.