You’re carrying an excess of body fat and decide to begin ‘training for fat loss’, following all the best advice from all the expert coaches in all the fitness magazines and on all the most reputable websites around the world.
- You’ve stopped doing ‘traditional cardio’ in favor of strength training.
- When you ‘do’ cardio, you do High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), not long slow distance (LSD).
- You’ve done ‘total body training’, 3 days per week, because studies (and work in the trenches) have shown that this is the most time efficient and effective way to transform your body.
- Everything you think, feel and do is dedicated to turning your body into a fat-burning furnace via higher metabolism and increased strength.
The only problem seems to be that all of this scientifically-justified, ‘in-the-trenches’ training isn’t working for YOU.
All your hard work . . . and all you’ve got to show for it is fatigue, frustration and little to no fat loss. Or, worse yet, you did succeed, but have since regressed and are left wondering “What happened?” as you begin again from square one.
If this describes you or somebody you know, here are 5 reasons why your fat loss training program is failing you:
1. You view training as if it’s a ‘magic pill.’
Common sentiment these days seems to be that exercise is the central figure in getting you healthy. You buy the optimal training program, you train hard, you train consistently . . . and the rest of your life falls into place.
You eat what you want — “No problem! Exercise makes up for it!”
You drink regularly with your friends – ‘No problem!! Exercising harder ‘cancels out’ the beers.”
But training isn’t a remedy for fixing or ‘overriding’ consistently poor choices. It just doesn’t work that way. If you view it as a ‘magic pill’, you’re setting yourself up for disappointing results because, frankly there’s a little more to training than ‘just training’, whether that’s a premise you want to accept or not.
2. You worry more about the quantity of calories you consume and less about the quality.
To this day, the common focus by those fixated on fat loss is on burning calories.
Eat (a little) less! Burn more!
It’s as if food’s only responsibility is to provide you with energy when you’re depleted . . . and, again, that’s simply not the case.
When eating, your primary focus should be on the quality of the food you’re eating. Quality food builds a quality infrastructure while building an optimally functioning body — one that will favorably respond to the rigors of your training.
3. You view exercise as an ‘isolated event’ in your life and not as part of a lifelong journey.
If you do this, you tend to treat your ‘exercising self’ as an alter-ego of the real you. You live one way when you’re not training; you live another when you are. You eat ‘good foods’ when you’re training; ‘bad foods’ as soon as you get into shape.
The thing is, of course, that the ‘exercising you’ and the ‘real you’ are one in the same person, living one life — a life that responds best to consistency and flow. If you live a life of inconsistency, where you ‘live healthy’ only when you’ve got to burn fat and fall off the wagon as soon as your use of the ‘perfect fat loss program’ has finished, the roller coaster ride that your body has taken leads to hard-to-achieve (or fleeting) results.
4. You’re using a training program that’s not aligned with your specific training goals.
A healthy lifestyle is important for having any program work, but assuming you’ve got ‘healthy’ down, you’ve got to make sure that you’re using a training program that will deliver according to your specific needs.
If you’re going to burn fat, you’ll best be served by strength training and metabolic conditioning. If you’re trying to add significant muscle, you’ll want a training program that delivers high intensity and high volume. If you’re simply looking to kick the living heck out of yourself because, well, you can, then you’d be served by some incredibly intense conditioning. Point being, after (or concurrent with) cultivating health, if you want to get specific results, you’ll want to choose training that will deliver those specific results as efficiently and effectively as possible.
5. You’re using a training program that’s not ‘ideal’ based on your current stress/health status.
If your underlying health isn’t supporting the fitness program you’re doing, you won’t see the results you expect.
It doesn’t matter if it’s the greatest training program on Earth!
It doesn’t matter if you feel you can do the training — ability to do a program doesn’t imply guaranteed results!
Quite simply, you’ve got to choose exercise that will bring balance and harmony to your underlying physiology. If you’re chronically over-stressed your body is going to respond best to activity that encourages rejuvenation, rebuilding and recovery (think: qi-gong, yoga, a walk in the park, etc.), not to the latest, greatest ‘run yourself into the ground’ fat loss program.
In the end, it comes down to this:
Blindly choosing exercise because ‘it’s the best method for fat loss’ without looking at the big picture and considering such things as ‘what your body needs from ITS perspective’ can end up being an exercise in futility. You might feel good in the moment (because you feel the burn and you’re sweating profusely), but what you’re doing could be the exact opposite of what’s necessary to truly transform into the image of what you want.
Take this into consideration, and you’ll have much greater success with any fitness program you follow from this point forward.
Are you getting the results you want from your training program? Let me know in the comments! If you’re stuck and looking for suggestions I’d be happy to help!