Guide to Talk to a Fitness Newby

July 6, 2022 0 Comments

We discuss throughout the day the advantages of CrossFit over bodybuilding, distance running over Spin classes, Kettlebells over Olympic lifts, and Pilates over Zumba. We can and will discuss each fitness trend and the superiority of an infinite number of effective methods. Debate is a healthy and necessary aspiration that can lead to refined thinking and deeper understanding. In addition, we like to talk about this stuff. It’s entertaining.

The reality, however, is that most people do not share our passion and zeal. Most people see us as disturbing fitness, the “health geeks.”Ironically, this does not prevent people from wanting our opinion when they call us monsters. Every day people ask me about their new Bootcamp class or the woman who lost 30 pounds by eating only bananas, or some other fitness fad they want to try. I answer by trying to explain the importance of evaluation, good progress, and the need not only to play sports but to move throughout the day. I advise you to develop a balanced resistance training program, describe what a sustainable dietary approach looks like, and much more.

It usually takes about 10 seconds before your eyes become glassy and you contrition ever knowing me.

You see, for most people fitness is not a hobby or even of great interest. While I believe this is the essential part of every human being’s life, and a springboard for their potential in all other endeavors, most find this kind of zeal intimidating. Our current culture is generally closer to fitness rather than small talk — than the experience resulting from occasional spurts of motivation or seasonal distraction. Even those who are frustrated with their health and advocate for lifestyle changes usually don’t care about the practical impact of their goals.

The hard but simple principles of health and fitness

The vast majority of Americans don’t see poor health as a cultural issue to be addressed, and they have no interest in hearing how screen time, convenience foods, and sedentary occupations conspired to induce overeating and exclude us from our natural inclinations for exercise and body mastery. They just want Self-improvement.

The average Fitness Dabbler is intimidated by jealousy, options, and oversaturation of opinions. They don’t care about WOD times or why I find kettlebells awesome. If you are wondering how to become fitter, you will be struck with additions, judgments, and complaints. You are haunted by the myths and manipulations of the modern fitness device and the failure of our standard model of education. Our culture has conditioned everyone to want what is striking — the program that promises a Bikini body in four weeks, or the diet that sucks fat from your body in just 30 days. You are not interested in a lifestyle, you just want results, and you want them now! They want to look better, feel better and live longer.

These are the principles of long-term fitness success, and although they are simple, they are difficult to communicate. They are not the concrete answers that most people are looking for and require more than a little self-reflection and honesty to get them started. There are many routes that follow the above principles, and all of them require unwavering Commitment.

Get out of your soap box and find friends

That’s where they come in. Most fitness beginners need the compassionate and understanding help of experienced fitness enthusiasts like you. There is so much noise and no way to know who is expressing the voice of reason. Even if we want to strike them with our assurance on the best path, it does not resonate with our message.

In Dale Carnegie’s groundbreaking work How to Win Friends and Influence People, he described the communication strategies that make it possible to achieve the desired results from our interactions. Here are some of the relevant concepts:

  • “You can attract the attention, time, and collaboration of the most desired people by really taking an interest in them.”
  • Chinese proverb: “a man without a smiling face can not open a business.”
  • “The only way to get the most out of an Argument is to avoid it.”
  • “Show that you believe that each other’s feelings and beliefs are as important as yours.”
  • “Let the other person save the face.”
  • “Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.”
  • “Indirectly draw attention to people’s mistakes.”
  • “Praise the slightest improvement and praise any improvement.”

We may want people to be more accepting of constructive reviews, but these are the best practices of influence. The trick is to learn how to apply them.

When people come to you with questions, press Pause in soap box speech. Ask them what they have done and what they like to do. How do you approach the diet to achieve your goals? Do not try to demonize or minimize something that you just appreciate. Exercising more, however risky, is much better than the sedentary habits that have probably shaped most of your life. Find commonalities, offer to show them a simple method that worked, and slowly guide them to a patient and reasonable approach.

Everyone starts somewhere

Talking to these people can even make you upset. You will be full of persistent and irrational beliefs, like “Weightlifting is peril” “Weightlifting makes me bulky” or a passion for counting calories that dominates every aspect of your existence. But condemning people for not seeing the world as they do and humiliating their lack of experience only serves to create a negative association with their efforts to change. Planet Fitness is not my favorite gym, but they have developed an extremely lucrative model based solely on protecting people from this frequent degradation.

There is a lesson for all of us. We need to be able to communicate with people if we want to help spread the Fitness Bug that our society desperately needs. Perhaps the best thing we can do to help a fitness beginner is to be kind enough that he wants to come back to the gym.

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