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Why Do I Keep Needing to Start at Square One?

Your membership at this new high-intensity gym started great!  Everyone is really friendly and you moved from walking to running after just a few workouts.  It’s hard, but the nice coach is so cheerful, and the computer tells you that you just need to keep this going for one more minute and you’ll be at the magic 12:00 mark.  Okay, your left knee is feeling a little off, you’re not sleeping well, and your friends complain you’re really crabby lately.  Well, the coach said to just use the rower until the knee feels better.  Won’t hit your goals unless you keep hitting the gym to keep that fat burn going, right?

Actually, no.

You won’t hit your goals if you don’t address the cause of the knee issue.  You won’t hit your goals unless you learn to enjoy nutritious, natural food.  You won’t hit your goals if you keep on the road to overtraining, which is paved with high-intensity.

It should also be axiomatic that recovery is mandatory. 

Try as the fitness industry might to simplify things, there is no avoiding the fact that any physical goal – fat loss, a fast 5k run, whatever – cannot be achieved solely in the gym.  Any fitness plan starts with nutrition.  You cannot out-train a bad diet.  That’s axiomatic in the fitness industry.  It should also be axiomatic that recovery is mandatory.  If you do not allow yourself the rest required to handle the total stress in your life – not just your workouts, but life, work, family, traffic, and everything else – your body will give you the rest you need by breaking.  And that will keep you from reaching your goals as surely as never setting them in the first place.


The key is to improve your self-awareness: the ability to monitor and interpret the signals your body is sending you.  This is increasingly difficult in our society, which is dominated by mental activity, rather than physical.  Our minds essentially lose track of our physical selves, which is how you got to where you needed a fitness goal.  Your first goal should be to restore that connection and awareness.  When you notice how you feel after that sugary drink or processed food, it will be easier to avoid them and make healthier choices.  Goodbye forced “dieting,” hello natural, healthy “eating!”

Related: The Slipstream Difference: Coaching, Not Crushing

It is impossible to do this in a gym that puts a tracking device on you and says “hit this for that long”.  If you are on a day when that added stress is too much, it will break you.  Maybe not until after you reach your goal, and you’re satisfied with their product, but it is not sustainable for the long term.  Which is why the fitness industry runs in fads.  You get results, but then need a break, so you take it.  You didn’t establish new, healthier habits – because it was all temporary – and revert to old habits.  The same ones that got you where you didn’t want to be.  So you set a new goal, find a new gym offering the new fad, and get back to work.

It’s the fitness industry version of the finance industry’s IBGYBG (“I’ll Be Gone, You’ll Be Gone” when our bad decisions blow up, so why worry or blow the whistle?).  Well, you won’t be gone from your life when this bill comes due.  So get off the fad treadmill and start a program that offers a sustainable approach you can follow for a lifetime.  It starts with coaches who understand these truths, follow intelligent progressions, and know when to encourage you to back off.  That’s Slipstream.

To learn more about how we customize group programming for the individual, how we conduct personal training, or which is right for you, contact us at info@crossfitslipstream.com for a free, no-sweat discussion today!

–John Bryant

Founder & Head Trainer