If You Keep Doing the Same Things, You Will Get the Same Results
Posted April 20, 2023 by Matthew Romans
This is pure conjecture, but I believe if you asked 100 people why they undertake an exercise regimen, a large number of those polled would say they want to be stronger, fitter, healthier, and have more energy. These are perfectly legitimate and noble reasons to exercise, and I think most of us also, at least abstractly, recognize the need to maintain functional independence as we age. However, how many of us have a measurable and sustainable plan in place that can safely stimulate tangible results without a huge time commitment? What is the percentage of the population that has a grasp of what proper exercise physiologically can and cannot do? Once we enter those two questions into the equation, I think you'll see that number shrink considerably.
If you keep doing the same things you have been doing, you will get the same results. This is true in many facts of life, for both negative behaviors as well as positive actions. We can define the word insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. There are people who perform the same fitness routine without any noticeable positive physical change, and when you ask them why they continue to do it they'll say, "it works for me." I used to see it quite frequently when I worked in commercial gyms; the same members would show up day after day, pounding the treadmill and performing a haphazard weight training sequence for weeks or months on end. Some would give up, while others would get injured or ill due to overtraining and have to stop. I see people in my neighborhood jogging on a regular basis, but over time their paces rarely get any faster and their physiques look the same. Is this a good return on their time investment? Pursuing such a regimen provides very little cardiovascular and metabolic improvement, is time-consuming, and sooner or later will likely lead to an injury. Intuitively, most reasonable thinking people realize there has to be a better way.
Most of us are familiar with the law of diminishing returns. To paraphrase, it states that the gain on your investment lessens as you put more time and energy into the activity. This is true in business, investing, and in exercise. Many people begin an exercise program with high hopes and a great deal of enthusiasm. Sometimes we see the "six week syndrome", where people have unrealistic expectations of the time frame in which they expect to see positive results and stop before they have given their program a real chance to work. Other times they quit because the path they have chosen is not sustainable, or they overtrain and tax their body beyond its capability to recover. Unfortunately, most people who work in the fitness industry don't understand this concept any better than the average gym member. Commercial health clubs are ripe for this type of ignorance, and it's why I refuse to go within 100 yards of such a circus.
There is also what is known as the law of compound interest. It states that, "When you let money accumulate at compound interest over a long enough period of time, it increases more than you can imagine." This isn't the forum for discussing the fractional reserve bank system or the recent large bank failures, so I will refrain from going down that rabbit hole. When we hear the term interest we tend to associate it with money, but interest can pertain to any habit or action, particularly a positive action. If you produce more than you consume and save the difference, your purchasing power and independence will increase over time. If you read a little bit each day, you will gain greater knowledge and insight over your lifespan. If you strength train properly once or twice per week, you will incrementally get stronger. Adding a pound or two to the weight stack every few workouts may not seem like much from one day to the next, but over the span of several months that will translate into a significant gain in strength, functionality, and resistance to injury. It won't happen overnight, but if you give your body the resources it needs the changes will occur. Fasting intermittently a couple of times per week will not result in a great reduction of calories in a single day, but over time this can lead to significant fat loss as well as an improvement in hormonal health. When you're doing the right things, you need to keep doing them; don't be your own worst enemy!
Master yourself before you master anything else. If your current exercise program isn't stimulating the changes you want, be mature enough to look inward and realize that your present course of action is not working. If what you're doing is helping you to stay fit, healthy, and strong (particularly if you are a Total Results client), don't try to fix what isn't broken. When you have found a formula that works, the key is to stay the course. If you have created habits that are sustainable it will be much easier to maintain those habits. The desire to succeed has to come from inside you, and we will provide the educational resources to help you get on and stay on the right path. Control your own destiny!