You hear the expression frequently when discussing working out with friends.
- “I just want to get back in shape.”
- “I’d be stoked if I could bench 300+ again.”
- “I just want to get those hints of a six pack back for the summer.”
If you take even a passing glance at the magazine rack at the store you will see both men’s and women’s covers splashed with variations of the expression “get back into shape!”
It appeals to us and sells magazines because, well, it signifies that we lost something. Something that at one time meant something very dearly to us.
We don’t even necessarily have to have been in fantastic shape in our younger years to feel the pull of this statement. At some points we wanted the body of our dreams, might have done a little work to do it, and then abandoned it along the way for other pursuits.
The subtext is clear: get back in shape, and you recapture that fantasy of who you were or who you want to be.
The Problem with “Getting Back into Shape”
Sure, we might be playing with semantics here, but language is important. How we choose to express the way we want to do things is key.
Using “getting back into shape” as an initial spark for change is great. But it shouldn’t be the theme of your journey. It shouldn’t be the make or break aspect to your efforts in the gym.
And it shouldn’t be the goal. (Too vague.)
The goal isn’t the goal itself. It’s the day-to-day routine.
- Instead of being someone who weighs XYZ pounds, be the person that goes to the gym 5x per week.
- Instead of being someone who benches 315 pounds for 5 reps, be the person who does chest twice a week at the gym.
When you place your focus on the daily stuff, on knocking out the dreary day-to-day grind, the results take care of themselves.
You wake up one day, long after the fact, and realize with a slight bewilderment that you have sailed past your goal, and more importantly, it doesn’t really matter anymore.
What matters is that you are still the person that goes to the gym 5x a week.
And maybe you set yourself some new goals, maybe you don’t, but you keep on going to the gym, because that is who you are now.
- Become Unstoppable: How to Make Working Out a Habit. A massive, science-backed guide that will show you exactly how to make working out habitual. Grab a coffee and have a read.
- The Routine is the Goal, Not the Results. Fantasizing about our goals in the gym is cool, but not at the expense of glossing over the routine of what it takes to get there.
- The Undeniable Power of Small Wins. Success in the gym (or life) doesn’t come in one fell swoop. It is chipped away at, slowly saved, and won step by step. Here is how to unleash the subtle hurricane that are small wins.
- The Ultimate List of Workouts. Our always growing database of workouts and routines from personal trainers and strength coaches across the planet.