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Are You Training for the Right Reasons?

Jan 06, 2022


During its more than seven years of business, Athletes’ Potential has had the opportunity to work with literally thousands of people. Through these patient experiences, we have accrued countless hours of repetition in helping people get out of pain and back to living an active and fulfilled lifestyle. We’ve worked with people with all kinds of different training backgrounds, differing life demands, and different goals for the outcome they want from their training. Through these hours of repetitions we’ve noticed some trends. 

There are certain building blocks – habits, training styles, and mindsets – that exponentially increase your ability to master your health and wellness, which yields results that are much more impactful than simply looking better when you stand in front of the mirror.  Understanding the three critical building blocks of health and wellness that we’re uncovering in this article is like a cheat code and here’s the cool part: It’s pretty simple. 

Remember though, simple does not always equal easy. 

Building Block #1: Know Your “Why”

This may seem obvious, but this is crucially important and honestly a lot harder for most people than they realize. Reason being, when we ask most people why they work out, we get responses like “to get/stay fit!” or “to be healthy,” and while we all like to look good when we’re naked, if that’s the furthest you’ve gone for discovering your “why,” you’re setting yourself up for burnout, poorer outcomes, and increasing your risk for injury. 

Instead, dig a little deeper for your true “why.” In human psychology, the term for this is intrinsic value. What creates intrinsic value is different for everyone but some common examples of intrinsic value include self-worth, community, and connection. When we relate this to our health and wellness, that’s where the real magic happens. 

For example, instead of, “I train so hard so that I can lose 20 pounds,” try this: “Nothing makes me happier than the time I have with my family. I want to maximize my presence, engagement, and capability of enjoying the activities that they enjoy doing.”  

It may seem like overkill, but the data is indisputable. When you direct your efforts towards intrinsic motivators vs extrinsic motivators (ex: someone telling you you look like you’ve lost weight), you’ll enjoy your time that much more when you exercise, you’ll have significantly higher success at managing your health and wellness, and you’re more likely to lose that 20 pounds anyway. ;)

Building Block #2: Simplify The Process 

There is so much noise out there. There’s so many people out there who are trying to tell you what you SHOULD do, what you SHOULDN’T do, and they really have no clue who you even are. This is nothing new though. In the 1950s, “gurus” we’re claiming the hula hoop was the key to unlocking washboard abs. In the 1960s, these same people were claiming you could shake your weight away with a vibrating belt. It’s a never-ending cycle that is myopic at best and predatorial at worst. Also, these same gurus have constant access to your attention through the device on which you’re either reading this article, is in your pocket, or is undoubtedly within arms reach. 

A beautiful benefit to understanding your true “why” from building block number one, though, is once you figure that out, it becomes infinitely easier to overlook the 18-year-old with no children or family and counting on them telling you that you if you don’t drink your warm lemon water, read 20 pages of your favorite book, and meditate for an hour before you start your day, then you’re unsuccessful in your health and wellness program. 

Obviously, being a little vicious here. I know plenty of young clinicians, coaches, and trainers who are incredible at what they do. 

My point being, managing your health and wellness can be complex and complexity leads to confusion and the opportunity for misinformation. After you do building block number one, the best way you can combat this complexity is to find an expert who will take the time to understand that your marathon training has just as much to do with being a better parent as it does with “staying in shape,” who knows that you train so hard in the gym because it’s your way of battling the high demands that work is giving you and who will set you up on an appropriate game plan.

Building Block #3: Have Fun

You could have the perfect nutrition plan, the perfect training program, and all the time in the world, but at the end of the day if you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, you’re still looking at a higher burnout rate, poorer outcomes, and increasing your risk for injury. 

Of course, not everyday is going to be rainbows and butterflies, but if you enjoy running and all you’re doing is strength training because your friend Joe told you it’s the best way to lose weight, then you’re missing a huge piece of the puzzle. Conversely, if you love strength training but all you do is running because Susan from Instagram said it’s better for your knees than squatting, you’re missing the point of spending time during the day to make yourself a healthier, happier human being. 

At the end of the day, exercise is man-made. Kind of interesting to think about; right? There’s very few absolutes and everything is adjustable to fit your body, your goals, and your intrinsic values. While squats are great, important, and everyone should be able to do them, it’s not the only way to improve your leg strength. Deadlifts are incredible, but pulling a barbell off the ground isn’t the only way to do them. 

At Athletes’ Potential, getting people out of pain is simply the start of how we impact the lives of the people who we work with on a daily basis. Once you are out of pain, not only do we have a ton of relationships with gyms in Atlanta with great coaches and training programs that we can point you towards, but we also have a number of services that provide you the opportunity to: 

  1. Build clarity around your health and wellness goals. 
  2. Be a part of a community of high-performing professionals who care about their health and wellness at the same level you do.
  3. Have a little fun in the process. 

If you’re in the Atlanta area and are interested in working with a unique professional that can help you not only get out of pain but optimize your health and wellness in all of the areas discussed in this article, we need to talk. 

Submit a contact request by clicking the button below and we’ll get you set up with one of our Doctors for a free 15-minute phone consultation.

Thanks for reading,

Doc Jake, PT, DPT, CSCS

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