• Why home fitness programs and meal plans don’t work

    Why home fitness programs and meal plans don’t work

    Programs are like gym memberships! They look good on paper but they rarely get used effectively. Do you feel good about flushing your hard earned money down the toilet?  Health and fitness statistics show that we are wasting our money on good intentions with very little follow through. Why listen to me? I may know a thing  or two about exercise, nutrition and lifestyle. I hope I do since I have been a professional fitness trainer for 15 years. Sure I can show you the proper way to lift weights or eat better, but what I do best is coach personal change. There is a process and it is beyond weights, cardio, and food. It’s less to do with “training” and more to do with “personal”. I believe all of us can achieve great things. Many people become successful and excel in different realm of their life such as career and family . They follow certain habits that breeds this success. I’m here to tell you that if you can be successful in other areas of your life you can make it happen with your fitness. You just need to harness your qualities in a slightly different arena. Please remember we never do it by ourselves. We need help along the way to be our best  and this is vital when getting in shape.

    When meeting with potential clients I’m often asked ” Can you provide me a program to do on my own?” Lets be clear, many of these people have no experience with fitness or have failed time after time with quick fix programs. They simply don’t know what works or how to achieve the results they want, especially long term. They have agreed to meet with an expert in health and fitness because they are struggling with their health and fitness and hope that I can help.  However, somewhere along the way they get scared. They are terrified of the committment to time, money and exercise.  Fear is a powerful emotion and it blinds them from making the best choice.  They convince themselves that a basic plan will get them fit and healthy. They fail to realize a plan is only a small part of the equation. They want the easy way, the cheap way, the DIY program. What they want is not what they need.

    In the past I have provided these programs and let me tell you they are frustrating for my clients. Simply they don’t work!  Over 90% of the time they either don’t do it, or they don’t do it properly. They get terrible results and that does not feel good, often further discouraging them from their goals. You don’t want this and surely I don’t either. I’m a results and experience based trainer and that means I want my clients to get amazing results  and have a fun experience that exceed their expectations. Providing a program to take away without adequate support, motivation, and expertise is a recipe for disaster and a losing proposition. Aside from not adhering to the program consistently, I often discover the exercises are done with poor form and without the appropriate intensity. Doing exercise wrong and without pushing hard enough is going to get you nowhere but injured and still out of shape.

    Now meal plans are even more complicated!  I don’t agree that this is the best option for most people to get long term results. It’s driven by short term goals and is often too overwhelming for the average person to follow with success. Nutrition coaching works much better as clients integrate the principles of good nutrition. A meal plan can be counter productive and often fail to address underlying social and emotional factors related to a person’s health.


    What is the alternative? Work with a trainer such as myself 3x/week to get it done right. Why does it work? It addresses all 5 key areas such as planning, support, motivation, expertise, and accountability. Get results because you  1) Do it- remember showing up if more than half the battle 2) Do it right- Focus on correct form 3) Do it right with a challenge- show up, have correct form, and work hard. 4) Get inspired to be active on your own and eat well. Get 10x better results when working with a trainer. What this means is you will have fun and get top results! Simple but effective.

    I will admit these programs work well for a few, very experienced and/or motivated individuals. In 10% of cases these people can do well and they give the rest of us hope that we can do it on own own too. Sorry, think again! They are not like you, and the sooner you except this fact the sooner you will lose weight or get stronger. I like the confidence that some people have that they can do it solo. I admire their will, but it’s usually nothing more than a dream. Don’t forget support trumps will power every time. I don’t like these odds and neither should you. I choose to make a smarter and better use of my time and my clients time.

    Most trainers provide fitness programs and meal plans online or in person. I was one of  them for many years. I have finally decided that I will not provide these services anymore. I don’t see it as a valuable return on investment. If they are adamant that they want a program I will kindly let them know that I do not offer these services and refer them to somebody who does. I define myself as a trainer not a consultant . I’m proud to be a professional trainer who enjoys coaching clients one- on one. I get to know my clients very well and guide them to achieve things they didn’t think possible.  Empowerment starts with showing you care, and a smile and a laugh go a long way.

    If you’re stubborn thats okay. If you choose not to listen, that is okay too. Good luck to you. But I believe you can do it. Only when YOU are ready will you move forward. If you want to do it then I can show you how to do it.  Start with personal training and NOT a take home program. Make the better decision and make it truly worthwhile.

    What’s your # 1 fitness goal?

    Yours in Health,

    Peter Koutras

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