Having a mentor, taking an active interest by learning foundations, and working on mastery of the skills is the way to empower yourself for your long-term health and wellness. Let's talk about this in a bit more depth, shall we?

Goal setting

Embarking on your fitness journey can be overwhelming. Especially when you're trying to determine the most effective approach for yourself.

Often, we're inclined to seek advice from others - a close friend or even a fitness personality on social media. They may endorse the methods that have proven successful for them and it's understandable why.

Their path towards personal fitness may have been fraught with challenges and stumbling blocks. Until they discovered what worked best for them. Yet, does that guarantee it will work well for you? Not necessarily.

The more significant concern revolves around the notion of  "this is what your fitness aims should be."

Strong men doing Crossfit
Photo by Alonso Reyes / Unsplash

We find ourselves surrounded by awe-inspiring tales of triumph across all walks of life – celebrities, athletes, dedicated trainers and everyday people who've taken charge of their health in impressive ways. This is wonderful - it helps us to set aspirational goals.

But should we work towards the same goals? Not necessarily.

Start simple

More often than not, adopting someone else's goals seems like an easy route out. It provides an immediate starting point without much deliberation required. Which can be a great thing. It prioritises action over extensive planning. Which could sometimes lead to procrastination when embarking on this journey.

There might indeed exist some exceptions to my above observation but usually, our initial aspirations regarding personal wellness tend toward something along these lines:

  • I wish I could shed a few kilos.
  • I'd love to be able to touch my toes effortlessly one day.
  • I want to be able to run a mile without stopping.

But we often tend to overcomplicate matters. This complexity arises when we delve deeper into research or seek expert advice while doing our own thing or deviating from the provided guidelines.

Empty Road in South Africa.
Photo by Paul Fiedler / Unsplash

So, do we set our own goals? Or copy someone else's?

Do we find a coach? Or do our own research?It depends :)

So how does one align unique fitness objectives with appropriate tools and techniques without getting sidetracked by attractive distractions or overdoing it?
It's straightforward. Devise a plan, adhere to it meticulously and after putting in substantial effort, evaluate the outcomes. This cycle is then repeated as necessary.

Empowering oneself through fitness

One of my fundamental beliefs as a coach centres on empowering my students so they can independently manage their fitness regime.

At The Quad, we accentuate excellent methodology in movements by allocating ample time for learning these actions thoroughly until mastery is achieved. We employ an array of drills, progressions, and regressions in our teaching approach with students.

When students part ways with The Quad at the end of their journey with us, they carry away some fundamental lessons that range from:

  • efficient squatting technique
  • effective breathing method
  • Understanding the nuances between what is beneficial and detrimental
  • the capacity to differentiate fact from fiction.

Regardless of whether you've on this path for two years or a decade, we aspire to instil in you a sense of personal empowerment throughout your journey.

Firmly, I'm convinced that it's essential for all of us to be present here. You must comprehend:

  • The essence of effective strength training
  • Steps necessary for preserving your physical power
  • The importance and understanding of good mobility
  • Actions that can ensure the healthiness of your joints
  • The conditioning levels required by your body
  • Recognising what "well-being" feels like
  • Strategies required to get there.

In my somewhat biased view, the knowledge gained here is invaluable and necessary.

Mentor + Active Interest from YOU

Although I strongly advocate having a coach by one’s side; becoming an active collaborator in one's fitness expedition makes their coach much more efficient.

Throughout my coaching career, I've imparted (near) identical lessons to every single pupil. Those who exhibit remarkable progress are those who engage intensively. They are the ones who provide feedback about what works and what doesn't; those who take ideas into account and then exert efforts towards contextualising them before reverting to results.

And an exceptional quality they all share initially - they show up ready and keen!

So if you’re considering initiating (or reviving) your fitness pursuits – my primary advice would be: to formulate a plan. Then, carry out that plan!

Engage a mentor to guide you on this journey. They should help establish clear markers and objectives for you, allowing you to monitor your progress.

However, never outsource everything without paying attention. No matter how outstanding your coach may be, you must remain proactive.

Comprehend the reasons behind each recommendation given and continue refining the execution - enhancing your squat technique could be an example of this. Pay heed to both physical sensations and thoughts. Creating a robust feedback mechanism involving yourself, your body, your mental state and your coach will yield optimum results.

You may find yourself fortunate enough to have an exceptional coach who is genuinely invested in your fitness journey; someone who supports and encourages personal growth in fitness. The benefits derived from such partnerships are certainly worth it.

But without you playing an active role, it won't happen. Empower yourself on the fundamentals of fitness, nutrition, and wellness.