We live in a world of quick fixes. Everyone wants everything done yesterday.
This can be a poisonous attitude because we are only setting ourselves up for poor quality work and disappointment when said deadline is not reached.
Rushing to get things done means that the attention to detail is poor and mistakes will happen.
This same “results yesterday” attitude is one of the most detrimental parts of the fitness industry.
Part of the problem is that strength coaches/personal trainers are not being up front with their clients.
When a client comes in off of the couch and wants to train for a month before a big event, the trainer is pretty much just stealing from the person without a long term plan in place.
Fitness is a marathon, not a sprint.
Now, some people are ok with a short term solution. I have had a lot of clients that wanted to do short term training in order to kick start their own training routine. Others have a good grasp on training and working out, but just want something different every once in a while.
There is nothing wrong with either of those people or providing that type of service.
The people that have long term needs and goals require a different approach.
There are tons of gym goers out there that have not done any type of training in many years.
Unfortunately, it takes time to reverse all of those years of detraining. The quick fix will not work.
Reaching the goal has no bearing on how hard the workouts are, whether there is a perfect periodization scheme in place, or anything else. It takes time.
The reason why: you cannot actually build muscle, build strength, increase conditioning, etc. on a muscular level in less than 6 weeks.
Any progress that is made within the first 6 weeks of training after a long layoff is purely the nervous system becoming more efficient.
Those with a more extensive training background may receive this phenomenon in less time, but it still occurs.
What does this all mean?
The brain controls any and all bodily activities. The rest of the body is stupid and needs the brain to tell it what to do.
The nervous system is what takes information from the brain to the muscles and other distal parts of the body.
The nervous system is responsible for how many individual muscle fibers are firing and how fast they can contract.
As training continues, more muscle fibers are activated and more quickly.
The nervous system is also somewhat slow to develop (and recover for that matter). This is why the first 6 weeks of training is purely nervous system training.
It could take less than 6 weeks for someone with a good training background to reactivate these systems, but there will still be a transitional period.
Now, there is a host of benefits for this. If the nervous system is running more efficiently then we will be moving and feeling better.
It also gives off the appearance of getting stronger since the person will be able to move more weight or the same weight with more ease.
Moving with more efficiency will also make the person seem faster since efforts are not being wasted into energy leaks. Efficient movement is fast movement.
On a muscular level, however strength and size are not being developed until the nervous system is ready. Once it has become trained, the fun can begin.
Not respecting this fact is bad for both parties in the trainer/client relationship.
For the client, they will not get the results that they want in a short amount of time. There is no strength program that is so good, it can combat basic physiology.
When a client has a short term goal in mind, and no training history, the process is set up to fail.
The person needs to know that they are in this for the long haul.
This can also create the notion that the program “doesn’t work.”
Sorry, but all programs work when seen all of the way through. This takes months to occur.
People mostly stall in progress when they hop around to different training types every 4 weeks.
The moral of the story here is that fitness takes a time commitment. Those that expect dramatic results in a short period of time will be severely disappointed.
The results are not going to come yesterday and a time investment in a long term plan is needed.
A training program really does not start until 6 weeks into it. Most people give up before this time.
Come up with a plan, use help if necessary, and stick to the plan for as long as possible. The first 6 weeks is your orientation before the fun begins.