01/30/2003 - The sale of home fitness equipment is a trillion dollar industry. Well, maybe not a trillion dollars, but it seems like it. It's likely that each of you can think of at least one friend who owns a piece of home exercise equipment that has become an overpriced, dust collecting coat hanger. That same friend may have two or three of these valuable commodities.
You see, the information age has given marketers a medium to sell anything to go with their conscience to say anything. This has become a problem for the consumer. On any given night you can sit in front of your TV and be promised many times over how - if you just buy this one piece of equipment you can get in the greatest shape of your life... in just 10 minutes a day!
It's funny how a promise such as this can sound so good when you're lying around in your sweats eating ice cream and sipping a Diet Coke.
Anyway, this cultural phenomenon has created an unfair attitude towards the use of Home Fitness Equipment. I have found as a Fitness Professional that many individuals have given up on training at home because they've been burned by an impulsive purchase. I understand that it's easy to blame this attitude on the marketer or even the equipment it's self. However, one only needs to look in the mirror to find out why home fitness is so difficult.
Problems With Training Yourself...
The problem is that most individuals who aspire to train at home set themselves up for failure before they even attempt a single workout. The reasons vary, but it is safe to say that the number one reason for failure is simply that the homeowner puts little or no thought into the four W's of home training... Why, What, Where, and When.
#1 - Why
The single most important decision when beginning any fitness program is to determine exactly why you want to train. More specifically, why do you want to train at home? The "why" aspect of training goes a long way to determining your short and long-term goals.
The reasons should be as unique as the individual. Whether it's to lose weight to fit into a smaller size or to be a better tennis player, always keep the specific reason you started training in focus.
One of the best ways to ensure that you will not attain your goals is to lose sight of the reason or activity for which you began training in the first place.
Simply stated, be specific. Even better, be sport and goal specific. The more specific you are, the more your training will stand for something.
Remember, when you first decide that you are going to start working out at home, you need to acknowledge why you are starting in the first place. For some of you, it will be to simply lose a few pounds or a few inches around your waist. For others, it will be to become better at a specific skill or sport such as martial arts, tennis, or running.
Whatever the reason, it is of the utmost importance to stay focused on why you are working out. If you lose focus of your goal, you will lose motivation. This, in turn, will substantially lessen the likelihood of attaining your goals.
Understand that you can effectively train for any activity or personal goal. Train with that goal always in mind, and you will stay on track and reach your goals.
Also, by determining what your goals are, you can then make a more educated decision as to "what" exercise equipment you should invest in.
#2 - What
An important exercise while determining "why" is to list the things you liked and disliked about the fitness training you've done in the past. Acknowledging what you will and will not do should go a long way to determining whether you will succeed or fail at home fitness training.
The Things You Liked & Disliked:
(About the fitness training you've done in the past.)
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For example, as a Strength and Conditioning Coach it was simple to determine success potential. I told an athlete to do an exercise and he or she did it. It didn't matter if they liked it or not, because the goal was not to enjoy it, the goal was to get bigger, leaner, stronger, or faster (i.e. In Shape).
Conversely, as a personal trainer, it isn't always this simple. A long time ago I learned what is perhaps the most important lesson about personal health and fitness.