The Psychology Of Fitness

Mindsets, Body Types and Everything In Between
You Must Own It – pt 10

You Must Own It – pt 10

This is the last post on Owning the Responsibility for your health and mastering fitness.

As I’ve stated in a previous post, the most important aspects for those simply seeking health and how to add exercise to your life so that it stays there, was to make sure that you have the first five steps of Ownership completed.

If you start exercising because of an external factor (step 1), surround yourself in an environment that helps you to workout harder and raise your standards of what fitness is (step 2), believe that you can grow in any role in your life and especially within fitness (step 3), while adding and building some internal motivation (steps 4 and 5), you will be so far ahead than others that just try to “lose weight.”

These first 5 aspects will keep you working out for years, if not a lifetime.

Now, if you want to master an aspect of fitness, such as running, body building or simply the cross-fit challenges, then the next 4 aspects are absolutely essential.

As a trainer, it’s always been hard for me when someone is already at this stage (have the first 5 steps down) and they want to push further (the last 4 steps), but aren’t necessarily willing to make the changes to see some of the results that they want.  It’s not whether or not I can get them to where they want to go, but “being in shape” takes much less commitment than lowering your bodyfat % by another 5%.  Being in shape is simply working out and eating “good.”

The difference of commitment is similar to someone that currently runs 5k’s and jogs 3 days a week, but decides they want to run a marathon.

The length and duration of their runs will HAVE TO be harder.  The workouts will be harder.  Their nutrition should be better planned.  Very simply, they will have to pay attention to more details – Bottom line.

In the first cycle of the last four steps, Step 9 (Passion and Desire to be the Best) comes before Step 8 (the cycling of internal drive, an environmental spur and the “Multiplier Effect”).   The concurrent rounds typically skip Step 9 as it is seen as a given.

The last 4 steps to Ownership and Mastery are:

A – Environmental Spur (Step 6)

B – The “Multiplier Effect” (Step 7)

C – A Cycle of Increased Internal Drive, Environmental Spur and an additional Multiplier Effect (Step 8 )

D – Passion and Desire to be their Best (Step 9)

Typically what occurs, is that an individual starts to have both a strong internal drive and enjoys the whole process of planning and setting up specific systems so he or she can continue to improve and hit a specific goal.

For example, someone that currently lifts weights, will start to enjoy the process a bit more.  They still have external benefits, but their drive comes from the planning and execution of their plans.  They tell themselves, “If I keep going at this rate, 4 days a week, I can add 8 pounds of muscle by the end of the year.  I’ll be in the best shape of my life.”

That is the end of step 5, the complete integration of Internal desire with external benefits.

Step 6, the Environmental Spur, comes along in almost any shape or form, that makes them want to do even better then their current best.

This is “Chaos Theory” in action or better yet, the randomness in life.  For the first 5 steps, there were almost predictable steps that you could take to ensure that you keep “fitness” in your life.

This environmental spur is completely random.  It could come about from a magazine you’re reading or a friend you’re talking to, amongst any other infinite possibilities.  You see a guy you want to look like and see what he’s done.  It’s that “A-ha” moment that you decide “I’m going to do a Bodybuilding contest.”

In Step 7 (The “Multiplier Effect), you start to feel that you’re better than those around you.  You have certain “advantages” amongst your peers.  This makes you want to push harder and gives you an “unrealistic, but higher achieving” optimism that adds fuel to your drive towards your goal.  This doesn’t mean that you have “advantages” over others who will be in the contest, just amongst those around you.  This is something that you perceive, and real or not, it helps gives you an extra push of motivation when you need it.

For some people, it’s simply their work ethic.  They “know” that they work harder than everyone else around them.  For others it’s their ability to plan and stick to their meals.  For others it’s their muscle attachments and how their biceps “pop.”

This “Multiplier Effect” can truly be anything.  Therefore, although this isn’t the exact definition of a multiplier effect, it’s that feeling of being “different,” of being “special” that keeps the individual hoping and believing that they can achieve their goals.

It’s that additional optimism that gives them the hope to push harder, go further and achieve more than they would have otherwise tried attempting.

Step 9, Passion and Desire to be their Best, is where the deepest parts of internal desire and the best parts of identified regulation merge.  The person not only identifies with the event (in this case, the bodybuilding contest), but where going all out in their max effort gives them such great pleasure that they can’t fathom spending any less time working (and planning) on becoming their best.

During the first round of this cycle, this thought process gets embedded into the person’s psyche and becomes what differentiates that individual from everyone else.  It becomes an integral part of “Who They Are.”

As such, when Step 8, or the cycle of Increased Internal Motivation, Environmental Spur and “Multiplier Effect” occurs, that person has completely and totally “Owned their workouts.”

The lifestyle is so far embedded into the person’s identity that working out or not is not even a thought.

The workout will happen.  Injured, utterly exhausted and hungry may be excuses to some.  To those that have “Owned It,” they’re just new challenges to be overcome.  Walls to be scaled and routes to be diverted.

Their primary question is how hard will they push themselves…which to people on the “outside looking in” is pretty damn hard.

That’s “Owning It.”

The only questions remaining are:  Are you “Owning It” or just pussy-footing around a true commitment to exercise?

And, if you’re not willing to “Own” all 9 Steps,

Are you willing  to at least “Own” the first 5 steps and make fitness an integral part of your life?

If not, when are you going to get started?  Don’t say, “Tomorrow.” 
Get Started Today!

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