Are You Using Persistence with Intelligence with your Fitness Approach?

It's common when the going gets tough to think, "don't quit." 

However, it's silly to keep going when you don't have a good strategy. Working harder doesn't matter if your approach is off.

Persistence with Intelligence - let's learn from what hasn't been going well.

I'll provide an example. Let's say that you have been working on losing weight, but it's been a couple of months since you have lost any. Or even worse - you have gained! Clearly something about your approach is off, whether it be the plan you are following, your commitment to stick to the plan, or possibly something medical that is preventing you from losing weight.

Continuing to try with the same approach doesn't make a lot of sense. Persistence with intelligence tells you to take a moment and figure out what changes you could implement to increase your odds of success. It might be reading a book that teaches you a new dietary approach, meeting with a functional medicine practitioner to determine the best foods for your body, hiring a Nutritionist, doing a Nutrition Reset, working with a hormone specialist, meeting with a counselor or therapist, or visiting your GP for some blood work.

Gina Paulhus personal trainerHaving a fitness expert on your side to help troubleshoot is worth it's weight in gold.

If you would like to book a Free 15 Minute Discovery Call with me to talk about your fitness goals and see if we are a good match, book here.

Another persistence with intelligence example is if you are trying to increase the distance that you can run. Let's say you have been stalled out at making it to 3 miles and you would like to get to 4. Would you be best off to just keep trying to run further over and over (even though that hasn't worked so far), or perhaps is it time to try a new training plan, add in some strength training, or work on your breathing techniques and running form? Persistence with intelligence. 

Listen to What Your Body is Telling You

A lot of folks get frustrated when they decide to work out only to find that they develop aches and pains they might not have had before. The thing is, it's normal for your body to go through an adjustment period when you start something new. Sometimes things get worse before they get better. However, it's not normal or healthy to endure pain (like the kind that makes you wonder if you should go to the doctor) because of exercise.

Due to the training I have in corrective exercise, I am capable of doing a few things to help if folks find themselves in that position. One option we have is to create a corrective exercise list which is designed to help normalize your body's function. Usually a list like this can be done in conjunction with a regular fitness plan. However, in some cases we would take a break from normal workouts to do a plan like this in order to have the best outcome.

persistance with intelligence

I also have the ability to take the workout plan you are already doing and tweak it in a way to help improve the way your body feels and performs - with no extra time required! For example, it might mean that we take the facedown plank you're already doing and ask you to bend your knees a little bit, which will help your core work more and take pressure off your back.

It could mean adding a left arm reach forward as you're doing a lunge in order to help square off your pelvis. Or it could mean doing an overhead shoulder press with one arm and your other arm against a wall so that you can use your abs more and prevent your back arching as you do it, which takes pressure off the back and results in increased strength in your core and arm. 

Check out this page for more about my Corrective Exercise Services.

Persistence with Intelligence - I'm Not Happy

Gina Paulhus gymnasticsFor most of my adult life I have been a gymnast. The time spent practicing kept me fit and it never felt like work!

Fitness should be adding to our lives, not taking away from them. There are soooo many fitness modalities out there that it really doesn't make sense to do one that you simply don't enjoy. That said, there can be a case made for doing something that gets you in and out the quickest and to your goal, such as a targeted full body strength program. However, once you have the basics taken care of and you have a dose of strength training in your week as well as some cardio, feel free to explore sports, classes or outdoor activities you enjoy for the remainer of your exercise for the week. 

Research shows that you will stick with what you enjoy most.1 And it really shouldn't take research to figure that out, should it? Treat yourself to movement you enjoy or movement you've always been curious about, such as an adult beginner ballet class or going on a hike with friends. It doesn't all have to have the Rocky theme song in the background. Movement that is pleasurable or new is where it's at to ensure sustainability.  And that's one reason why I refresh my client's programs every so often!

If you have been feeling stale and bored with your fitness regime, rather than beating yourself up because you haven't been doing what you hoped for workouts, consider mixing it up. I often have clients who decide that they want to branch out and try other fitness modalities and even put our training on hold. That's no problem. I understand it's a big world out there, and I am here for when you need me! Make sure you take care of you and do what your heart is calling for.





1 Make Fitness Fun: Could Novelty Be the Key Determinant for Physical Activity Adherence? Nemanja Lakicevic, A. Gentile, S. Mehrabi, S. Casser et al. Front Psychol. 2020; 11: 577522. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.577522

You might also like these pages.