The One Word That Will Change Your Approach to Fitness

Show of hands: Who’s ever skipped a workout? Come on throw ‘em up there!

You’re not alone. I’ve skipped many a workout in my day, and you might be one of the many people who skip workouts on occasion.

(Perhaps you just read the words “on occasion” and thought to yourself, “Ha! That’s 75% of the time!” Okay, I’m done trying to get inside of your head…)

Skipping workouts happens when we’re busy, tired, and can “just work out harder tomorrow.”

Intensity is sure to make up for it, right?

Maybe, but it’s not likely.

When it comes to working out, the one word that can change your relationship with fitness is consistency.

You Had To Be There

The many physical benefits of exercise never come to be if we’re not actually exercising, and the difference between exercising and not exercising isn’t actually about choice, but about vision.

Here’s a visual aid, in which you’ll be Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and I’ll be Tom Hardy:

“Dream a little bigger, darling” is the key to consistency, and that’s because we become increasingly more consistent as we move the way we plan from shorter timelines to longer time lines.

If you typically think day-to-day, think about a week. If you think in weeks, look at the entire month. If months make sense to you, start looking at entire seasons. The longer the timeline, the better prepared we are to navigate the challenges that life throws at us.

One of the reasons Snatched in Six Weeks works so well is that it brings a tight-knit group of people together for the most consistent program possible at MFF – six weeks of commitment.

Many of our most steadfast Ninjas have used Snatched as a jumping off point for months, or even years of consistency. There are Olympic athletes preparing for the games in Pyeongchang who have been training for at least four years of program design.

Could you imagine walking into classes at MFF and instead of hearing “Week 1, 2, 3, or 4” hearing, “Welcome to Ninja Essentials, this is Week 208!”

That thought is hilariously daunting to me, but I believe the extremeness of the four-year cycle illuminates the power that time gives us when it comes to consistency:

On a longer timeline, we have more chances to be consistent with our training.

This is bigger than Olympic athletes, or our super Ninjas who have been at MFF since the very beginning. This is about each and every one of us, if you’re in health care, finance, real estate, and the arts.

Every day we can make the choice to exercise or not, and that’s a 50/50 choice: Did you work out, or did you not work out?

If You Schedule It, Fitness Will Come

Planning a workout the day of? That’s a challenging decision.

Taking time on a Monday to choose four days to workout that week? That makes life a little bit easier.

Setting a reminder to sign up for a full month of MFF classes when the next month’s schedule goes live on the 15th? That can definitely make fitness easier.

You can even take it a step further and create a year-long calendar reminder that has a year of workouts.

If you know your dream schedule, make it happen! Don’t wait for MFF classes in MINDBODY; make that plan happen on YOUR timeline.

Why Does This Matter to Me?

If you’ve ever worked out so hard that you were overly sore and skipped your next workout, you could benefit from a longer timeline.

If you’ve ever replaced a gym visit with a visit to your massage therapist or physical therapist, you could benefit from a longer timeline.

Longer Timeline = Lifestyle

A longer time line gives us the unique perspective that moves beyond specific fitness or performance goals and gives us lifestyle goals. It’s not about getting abs for the summer, or losing those last 10 pounds, but about feeling better in 15 years, and about playing with your grandkids.

For some reading this, 15 years away might take you to 80 years old. For others, grandkids might be 45 years into your future. That 15-45 year timeline can do wonders for setting a perspective that’s truly about long-term habit building and success.

What About When Life Throws You a Curveball?

Then you adapt. You change your schedule when necessary. You shouldn’t skip your best friend’s wedding, your mom’s birthday, or seeing your favorite artist because you’re rigid in your workout plan. Move a few days around and carry on with consistency.

This is only possible, however, when you have a plan in the first place. It’s far easier to move one workout out of 20 for the month if you still have 19 that you’re planning on attending.

If that’s a daily decision, it’s a challenging one. Deciding on a Monday that you’ll work out four times that week? That becomes a little easier. Deciding on the 1st that you’ll workout 16 times that month? Priceless.

If exercise becomes a near daily occurrence, you’ve given yourself the gift of momentum, and that consistency of training begets more consistency of training.

Consistency is the king, the queen, and the single most important factor that determines your fitness success. Consistency is everything.

The Action Step for More Consistency

Pull out your planner. I’ll wait.

Now, add your workouts. Let’s go beyond a day, beyond a week; let’s think at least a month here.

For as long as is reasonable, schedule those workouts. If you’re signing up for group workouts, like the ones we have at MFF, plan beyond the month-long cycle, and set a reminder on the 15th to sign up for the next month’s classes.

Setting a plan is of the utmost importance because it can make or break your fitness habits, and that can quite literally add or subtract years from your life.

Imagine taking 10 minutes right now to live 10 years longer… That’s a strong case for consistency in my book!

How many workouts did you plan just now? Leave a comment below!

Maybe you’re still on the hunt for a fitness home where you can practice a greater level of consistency. If that’s the case, we got you, boo! To learn more about our class and training options at Mark Fisher Fitness,


Harold Gibbons is the Steward of Strength at MFF, where he teaches classes & semi-privates, manages the program design team for semi-private training, is the director of the Trainer-in-Residence program, and the founder of the Motivation and Movement LAB. When not teaching, he loves cuddling up on the couch with his fiancée Katie, sliding through the woods on his mountain bike, and considering why Thestrals are the best.


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