Starting workout program can be a big hairy, scary experience.
Trust me, I understand.
Recently I asked the members of The Fit Life Community what held them back from starting and what holds others bag. What you are about to read are the raw responses. Powerful stuff here copied and pasted.
Question: What is the biggest thing that held you back? (REMEMBER: These are responses from people that work out every day. They broke through the fear!)
J.T: “I would say the biggest thing that kept me from starting was FEAR. Fear of many things: failure, embarrassment, hard work. It really is all in your mind. It took me several weeks to get up the courage to come to the gym and try a class. You have to have more determination than fear. People quit to soon. I have been going to the gym consistently now for 9 months, and I still have fears. They are different fears, but I still battle them. Now I’m afraid of the team competition I just signed up for. But I battle the fear differently, I don’t give in to the fear, I let the determination take over. I know that I will give it my best shot and that is all that matters.”
T.G: “Fear and intimidation for me too! I have never belonged to a gym EVER because of it…1 year at No Limits Fitness!!”
M.S: “You asked so here goes! I think a lot of people are intimidated. No one likes to be an environment where they know the will be last, the worst, or look like an idiot. Google the number one human fear and on most lists it will be: failure. The person who is not fit already knows they are failing at fitness. And probably have little to no hope of ever winning! Would you show up somewhere every day and do something you are fully aware you are not good at? Next top fears: ridicule, rejection and fear of the unknown. So now, not only do I need to go somewhere and do something that I already know I will fail at, but I have to face my fear of looking like an idiot, not belonging, and I have no idea what to expect. To belong is community–to be part of the group. In this case…the group is the people who can run a mile. Or do a pull up. Do a handstand. Or touch their toes. Or maybe SEE their toes. They don’t see any hope of ever belonging in that group. Fitness taps into our deepest fears.
The other issue is that American fitness culture focuses completely on external results. The other day I posted a snarky before and after photo. I was joking because the pictures were nearly exactly the same. Externally. But what you can’t see in the pictures is that last year my triglycerides were 275. This year they’re 73. A few years ago I was iron deficient and sleeping 10 hours a day. Now I can function on 8. I couldn’t run so I walked. Now I can run a mile in under 10 minutes. It’s not going to win any competitions but that lowers my risk of heart disease to 10%. I’m not a fitness model but I can model for my children the importance of prioritizing your health by working out and eating healthy. I can do a six-mile kayak with my teenagers. I can lift the 24 pack of water onto the bottom of the cart without throwing out my back. I can paddle-board with friends. I can play a game of kickball with my kids. I can walk around a theme park for a day without dying. I can climb the steps of the stadium to watch my kids’ games without being out of breath. None of that shows on the outside. And all of that is what fitness is really about for me. But when we make it about external appearance, chances are we will fail which puts us right back to square one.
Solution is a whole different animal because I think it’s different for everyone. This is why in my opinion faith-based fitness is trending. (Because the focus is taken off yourself and the purpose of moving your body takes on different or more wholistic meaning.) Community and acceptance are key and finding ways to reduce the fears I mentioned: fear of failure and the unknown, as well as fear of rejection and ridicule.”
G.B: “Honestly for me, the biggest factor was cost. I knew I needed to do it, but couldn’t figure out how to afford it. However, once I found the right program, and started seeing actual results, I realized I couldn’t afford not to continue. I made a way to fit it in my budget. Like M.S. said, my results were not external. It was fixing health issues and making me realize I could do things I never thought possible.”
A.N. “I agree that it’s fear. Took a lot of convincing (and a little forcing ) to get me there. And it’s fear of different things. What if I can’t do it? What if it doesn’t help? What if I look like an idiot? Or worse…. what if I get beat by a girl? Most people (myself included )are afraid to try a box jump at first. The one thing they need to see is that every single one of us has box jump scars. It happens.
M.S. is right. I felt so much better before I looked any better.
I would take a new person around and introduce them to as many of us as you can. Doesn’t need to take long. Ex. “This is A.N. He has been here a little over 1 year. When he started he couldn’t do more than 10 push ups, couldn’t run a mile without walking some of it, couldn’t do box jumps or toes to bar or pull ups and only was deadlifting 135. (Btw. All true!) ” It may help a newbie feel more comfortable to start. Everyone sees the now but no one sees the before.”
Aren’t these some amazing incite from normal people that workout each day? I am in awe of these champions.
This topic is very important to me. So important that I got together with my wife Teresa and my business partner Gidget Blunt and we recorded a VERY SPECIAL podcast episode talking about the fear of getting started and what to do to get part the fear.
Its very powerful. CLICK HERE for the direct link to the episode.
Thanks for reading. If you got value please shareso that others will be blessed.