“The same as I offered you before. The problem is that you come with a closed mind, which makes it difficult to give you anything.”
“What are you saying? I’m pretty open minded.”
“Extend you hand,” I said, motioning for her to do it. “Now make a fist, and no matter what I try to give you, keep it closed.”
After a few moments of hesitation, she did as I instructed. I made the gesture as if I was trying to give her something although my hand was empty.
“I don’t get the meaning of this game.”
“I can assure you it’s no game. It is one of the reasons why you are standing here, petulantly crying that it won’t come off.”
“I didn’t come to you, to get insulted.”
“But you will be leaving that way.”
“You’re doing it again. Closed minded to the very solution to your problem. Countless dollars wasted on a myriad of quick schemes to rid yourself of unwanted and unsightly cellulite. If you would have heeded the advice I gave you, how far along on your fitness journey would you be?
She opened her mouth to say something, but remained quiet. I gathered that I had her full attention and started explaining the pillars of fitness. I wrote them on the whiteboard, and began elucidating the importance of each. I had to make her understand that although I put them in a particular order, it had no relevance because each was interdependent on the other.
- Nutrition: I started with nutrition because this was the building block that would fuel all of her other efforts. She was of the mindset that she could eat anything, and was oblivious how it affected her body. She did not want to diet, let alone track her macronutrients. She claimed it was too much work. I explained that the old saying still holds true, “you cannot out-exercise a bad diet.”
- Cardio: She hated cardio for one simple reason. It always made her feel out of breath. I cautioned her that a hatred for anything is detrimental to her health. I told her that her body lacked stamina, and being overweight contributed to her shortness of breath. I tried to impress on her that cardio was essential in helping her get through the strength training sessions. She could pick whatever form at the beginning of her workout, but would have to do 5 minutes of each in any order: elliptical machine, riding the bike, and walking on the treadmill.
- Strength Training: The weights are too heavy. The machines too complicated. These excuses short circuited her brain, and made her a victim of any unscrupulous advertiser, promising a lean physique without any effort. “The weights will not lift themselves,” I admonished. “Unless you get used to going to the gym and kicking your own ass, you will be forever crying, ‘the fat won’t come off.’”
- Accountability: If you can’t hold yourself accountable, then hire someone who will. You come to me seeking sympathy, but as I stated before, I cannot give you what you seek. I demand accountability from the people I train. I also will not be tethered to you for life. My job is to teach you how to use the equipment, and to show you the most effective way to exercise. To make you understand the intricacies of building your desired physique, and not merely slinging weight around. Any fool can lift weights, but it takes a student dedicated to learning the art of bodybuilding, who can truly unlock the potential of his or her body.
I have listed 4 of the basic pillars of fitness. I could have listed more, but these four will suffice for now. Keep your fist clenched. Keep claiming that I have insulted you. Keep stomping out of the room, swearing never to return, because these 4 simple things, you simply will not do.
“You will shed a thousand tears, before we are through, but none will be sweeter than when you look in the mirror, and realize that with my guidance, your hard work and perseverance, finally caused the fat to come off.