The Short-Term Blunder
If there is one thing that the fitness industry does well, that is to look no further than the next few months.Its downfall, is that it does this tremendously well. It’s a short-term thinking industry; its growth is not determined by what it does in the long-term but simply by what it does right at this moment. The frustrating truth is it doesn’t matter whether you are talking about nutrition, training, mentality or goals; the fitness industry is sadly not very forward thinking in its approach to anything.
Truthfully, for the most part it never has been and it seems only to be getting worse! The fact is, it’s simply too focused on what you do now and not so much on what you do later. If I can be blunt, it really doesn’t matter how you tackle the future at all. The fitness industry is only interested in getting you through the next 6-12 weeks. That’s its appeal. After that, I am afraid you are on your own. But don’t worry, that’s why I am here! The fact that the fitness industry is so orientated on the now and not the later makes it almost impossible for people to make any consistent progress well into the future. This short-term mentality has simply failed to teach you what you need to know or to install good habits that are going to steer you in the right direction into the long-term.
The Yo-Yo Effect: Blame The Short-Term
I am sure you have all heard of Yo-Yo dieting: huge, short-term changes in your dietary calories, leading to sudden fluctuations in your bodyweight. Short-term, unhealthy, crazy and unsustainable are the correct words to describe this Yo-Yo effect. Well, let’s take this exact effect and apply it to all aspects of most peoples fitness journey (training, nutrition, mentality etc.).
When it comes to the fitness industry, everything is geared towards what you do in the next few months: achieve a ripped body in 6 weeks, build muscle instantly in 30 minutes, try this new muscle building program for 6 weeks, the next best diet for rapid weight loss, the ultimate home workout for ultimate muscle gains, try this instant workout, you name it! I could go on! Ok, I won’t argue, these will all produce some results at the end of this short-term period (probably just a bit of sweat in most cases!). But let me guess, you’re probably asking yourself a few questions at the end of all this:
⇒What is the next step?
⇒How do I go further?
⇒How do I hold onto the results I have achieved?
⇒Do I now try something else (new method, diet, program etc.)? Why have I lost the results I have achieved?
⇒How do I ensure permanent results?
Unfortunately, these are all questions that the current short-term approach to fitness, cannot answer. It’s just not designed to. If you have achieved some results then in the eyes of the fitness industry, is that a job well done. Next!
Since the fitness industry is fixated on what you do solely in the short-term, I am really not surprised that many people ultimately end up asking all sorts of why, what and how questions somewhere in their fitness journey. Most of what people are given to follow (in terms of diet, training, guidance etc.) is not meant to teach you anything of long-term importance, but merely, to give you some results so that you have that ‘money well spent feeling’ at the end. Harsh as it might sound, that is just the reality of the short-term fitness model that plagues society today. I mean after all, some results are an indication something has worked, right?
Doesn’t matter if these results are long lasting or not as long as you have achieved something. Well again, in the short-term, yes! But in the long-term, more often than not it’s not the case at all. Most of the time, these short-term results fade and never come back or, you reach a jamming point in your progress in which you can’t seem to move further forward in your journey.
This is why I bring in the so-called Yo-Yo effect that is so prevalent in the fitness industry today. Simply put, the short-term approach of the fitness industry means that people are always looking for new programs, diets and whatnot because nothing seems to give them long-term results. They can’t seem to maintain what they have achieved with what they have been using. As people are not given the knowledge, tools and guidance over everything nutrition and training to be able to progress in the long-term, the only thing they can do is try something else: a new method, system, program, you name it.
Naturally, this is a pain for you, but attractive and profitable for the short-term fitness gurus looking for the quick buck. The catch is, there is a big chance that whatever new you try, is again based on nothing more than producing short-term results. Long story short, you end up back at the same point, Yo-Yoing backwards and forwards, making some progress, and then going backwards again. This is why focusing more on the long-term is so much more important, so you don’t end up being stuck at the same point in your journey more or less until the end of time. No one wants that!
Replacing The Short-Term With The Long-Term: From Yo-Yoing To Tweaking
Constant progress is about thinking long-term. If you try to achieve something in a short space of time, then chances are it’s not going to last. Most of the time, you have to take shortcuts and drastic measures to get there. This usually applies to all aspects of life and not just fitness. What’s more is that it usually backfires at some point making you now worse off. In fitness, short-term is always usually code for ‘’drastic, sub-optimal, sudden measures’’. It usually can’t be translated into long-term practice, which is why many people find it difficult to keep their current progress going into the long-term. If people are never given access to the right knowledge, tools and information, they are almost certainly going to be falling constantly into the whole Yo-yoing trap and always making the same drastic, sub-optimal, sudden mistakes that many fall into.
The advantage of thinking and approaching fitness in a more long-term manner is that it shifts your approach to fitness from Yo-yoing to tweaking. In other words, in the long-term with the right knowledge and guidance on training and nutrition, simple tweaks will be enough to bring about optimal, sustainable and permanent results. Unlike Yo-Yoing and the short-term approach, you won’t have to make these large, sudden, drastic and unsustainable changes to keep making progress. This is why I preach so much the long-term approach: it requires less drastic changes, and it gets you to approach your fitness journey in a more healthy, sustainable and optimal manner where only small ‘tweaks’ are required to elicit big changes.
When it comes to building size and strength and losing fat, you don’t have to make large, sudden changes to your plan that many would have you believe. You don’t have to change everything in your life or make sudden, drastic changes to your nutrition and programming to yield them. Ultimately, you don’t have to Yo-Yo backwards and forwards between this method and that method. The long-term, is about making continuous small, healthy and sustainable changes to your training and nutrition as you go along. With the long-term, there is no such thing as ‘in 6 weeks time I will have to try something completely different to achieve my desired goal’. If you do it correctly, small changes will be enough to bring about the greatest results. The long-term is about healthy, continuous and steady improvement, not Yo-Yoing from one short-term extreme to the next.