Why so many people fail in pursuit of their physique ?

If you have been involved in sports in general and in the fitness world as a NYC personal trainer in particular as long as I have you can not help but wonder about one thing( ok many things but regardless): the horrible success rate in the fitness world. If I had to guess I would say 95% + of all gym goers never achieve their dream look or come even close.

In comparison, many runners fulfill their dream of running a marathon, hiking Mt Kilimanjaro , swimming a certain distance and the like.

What is off?

A few things (if you rather watch the video it is here)

1. Establish parameters are missing. In most sports you start young and are being fed into a certain system. As an example, if you start kicking a ball around at age 4, parents and coaches will tell you that if all goes well you might get to play in the EPL or Bundesliga at age 20 after 15 years of solid training, improving your skills, competing at different levels. Conversely in the fitness wold people expect to look like a competitive bodybuilder after 10 weeks of training

2. Expectations are off. If you were to buy a pair of skis you wold not go up to Lake Placid and ski down the World Cup race but work your way up from the bunny slope ( those that start with the World Cup race are probably future cross fitters) .
A new guy joining the local swim team would be physically unable to swim Michael phelps workout so there is natural selection.
However anyone can join the gym and start doing Shawn Rhodens Mr. Olympia workout, conveniently overlooking that his guys has trained since 1992 and you haven’t.

3. You are missing the pyramid. All performance and success in general comes in form of a pyramid. You need a broad base to build a high peak. In gym terms that would be: learn to execute exercises. gain an understanding of nutrition. Perform full body workouts when you start. Make sure you can develop tension in the muscle
4.Bad examples : In the fitness world, since it is not an olympic sport coaching is basically the wild Wild West. anyone on youtube can be a coach without any credentials so the common wisdom is: I know this really big guy and does X, therefore X works. The truth is that in the fitness world due to drugs and genetics a lot of people get away with subpar training and dieting. In other sports, it would not work. Michael Phelps was born to swim but unless he puts in 8 miles a day he will not win the Olympics

What is to be done?
1. Take a step back and honestly evaluate where you are. Should you be on the bunny slope of higher?
2. Educate yourself. Leaner about training, nutrition, mechanics etc This page is a good start, Ben Pakulski, Brad Schoenfeld and Layne Norton also do good work.
3. Be realistic.  The amount of time you can invest into the sport is inversely related to how long it will take you to get there.
4. Stay away from the Instagram and Youtube coaches (expect me)
5. Keep in mind that is ok to fail!

Let me know how you do!