Article last updated: January 2020 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
In the last 1.5 year I’ve had 2 near death experiences and while they’ve changed my life, they didn’t change my routine much.
No matter how bad my life or health get’s, I always stick to my fitness routine to the best ability possible.
Why? Because your fitness routine creates the structure of your life.
If you can stick to your diet and training, you want to put that same effort into your work and relationships.
When you let your diet and training go, you also let everything else go.
It’s all about keeping as much momentum as possible.
Now this doesn’t mean you need to be in the gym for 2 hours per day 6 days per week for the rest of your life (although it’s great for gains), but you should at least do your best to maintain what you have.
Maintaining what you already have is the most important during low times (when you have a major health problem, your wife leaves you and you lose your job) because once you get back on two feet you can pick up right where you left off and continue making progress.
Over time each period of progress creates a new, better version of yourself and eventually you achieve a body-transformation that you can maintain.
It can be illustrated like this:
Period of maintenance during low times > Period of gains during good times > Period of maintenance during low times > Period of gains during good times…
The alternative is what most people do… to let their fitness goals slide as soon as hardship comes into their life.
When you let your fitness slide during hard times, you show weakness during hardship which shows a weak character. (Unless you have a health condition that completely stops your from training).
The problem with this is that you never become a more fit version of yourself.
You are always alternating between periods of making gains and then losing those gains.
It can be illustrated like this:
Period of making gains when feeling motivated > Period of losing gains when going through hardship > Period of making gains when feeling motivated > Period of losing gains when going through hardship
Over time you don’t become a better version of yourself and eventually you give up on your fitness goals… and settle for a body that’s unfit.
Socrates strongly believed that every human being had a responsibility to live up to their physical potential:
“No citizen has a right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training…what a disgrace it is for a man to grow old without ever seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” – Socrates
I fully agree with this quote.
If I went through the rest of my life without being able to do a pull up or muscle up, I would feel like a failure and retire with regret because those were both dreams of mine.
So here’s what I suggest you do in 2019: Commit to always at least maintaining your gains. It’s OK if you aren’t always progressing, but at least maintain the progress you’ve already made while you figure out the next step.
Don’t let your fitness slide because of mental weakness.
If you need to, print out this post and keep it as a reminder so you make 2019 the best year for your fitness.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer