The Five “Why’s” of Training

Fitness & Training Tips
By Dan

About Dan

I’m one of our resident Exercise Physiologists, and also an accredited Strength and Conditioning Coach, Personal Trainer and Level 1 Weightlifting Instructor. Outside of the gym, I tend to go in search of good food and great coffee. And yes, Dan’s Shoulder Stretch is mine.
Here’s a simple, practical tool for you to use (and one I personally use with clients once I get to know a bit about them). But first, a bit of context.
Often, we don’t dig below the surface of why we do things. It might be that it’s “expected,” or “good for us,” at least in the case of training.
That’s fine, but it’s not a great motivator. It doesn’t get to the crux of why we really do things. Those who persist with exercise (and diet) tend to have a very strong (and personally meaningful) why.
A health scare. An athletic competition. A photo shoot. An abrupt realisation that they can no longer do what they want to do in their current physical condition.
That intrinsic drive keeps them going.
The Conversation…The 5 Why’s
While there are many manifestations of how this conversation can go, it often starts superficially, and gradually (after each why) digs deeper into the real truth behind the decision to train.
Sometimes, this real truth can be brutally painful. Consider this conversation (yes, I’ve had real conversations with real people similar to this before):
“Why do you want to start training?”
To lose weight and get fit.”
“Why do you want to lose weight?”
So that I feel better about myself.”
“Why will losing weight make you feel better about yourself?”
Because people will stop saying things about me behind my back at work. I’ll be more comfortable around my family and friends.”
“Why is that important to you?”
“My family and friends are the people I respect the most, and I want to be at my best around them. That’s important to me.”
[These conversations really happen. Rejection in a social setting can be a very powerful motivator for many people. It’s okay to acknowledge that. And yes, I’m aware that this one only took 4 whys.]
Your Homework
Ask yourself the question “why do I train?” Follow it up with another couple of why’s, until you get to the base reason why you train. Write that down, and each time you train, remember why you truly do it.
Motivation is a powerful thing when harnessed the right way…