The best success plan for getting in top shape

Sylvan Lake fitness trainer discuses 'forced application'

I have many tricks to get me to my goals and achievements, and as a trainer since the late 90s, I have seen a lot of things work, and a lot of things fail.

As a human being, I have learned through personal experience and research that in addition to being mightily flawed, we are by design, very, very lazy.

No, I am not calling you lazy – I am saying that you are designed that way.

The human body is designed to be super efficient at everything.

This is great, and terrible all at once. As an ultra endurance athlete my heart has grown to be very strong and very efficient. A normal resting heart rate (RHR) is 60 to 100 beats per minute.

My RHR is in the 50s, and when I am really fit before a race, it’s in the 40s.

You see, by training for long hours doing the same thing over and over again, like running for six hours, cycling for 10 or swimming for four hours, my body adapted and became very efficient at doing those things.

My heart grew a bit bigger, and stronger. Instead of lots of little pumps per minute, it has fewer, but more powerful pumps per minute. That makes me more efficient over long distances. It’s not good or bad, it’s just what I have taught my body to become over the past 11 years of training and racing.

So if you have fallen into a life of non-activity, like I was forced to do since my crash in 2015, the body, again, is very efficient. It reduced my muscle, because it was no longer needed.

It started storing food as fat instead of burning it off – that’s easier to do. My metabolism slowed down and things shifted. Even in my broken shoulder and arm, it was amazing to watch the whole system around the injuries atrophy within a few weeks. My body turned off muscles that would pull on the broken bones, in order to protect me. Super efficient! (and according to my impression of me in the mirror, tragic.)

Thankfully, the opposite is true, and now that I am getting over the injuries, and back into training, my body is realizing that in order to ride a stationary bike as hard as I am demanding, it needs to grow stronger, more efficient muscles. Running again means I need to be lighter and therefore more lean, as well as muscles getting stronger and my heart once again becoming more powerful.

So to get back in shape, and in fact, to achieve any of my great successes in life, I use my favourite success principle: Forced Application.

Forced Application really comes down to deadlines.

I signed up for a 150km run in honour of Canada’s 150th Birthday coming up this summer. Why? Well, I have no idea if I can run that far. I have never done it.

I am out of shape, overweight and weak. That won’t work to finish that challenge on May 29th, so I had better get ready! That is forced application. I have also signed up for Ironman Coeur d’Alene Idaho in August this summer.

Why? Because currently I cannot swim, and have not ridden a bike outside since the crash. So now I have a deadline. I had BETTER re-learn how to swim, follow all of my physio’s advice and do my stretches in order to get my arm strong enough and flexible enough to swim and steer a bike, and I had better do it fast!

Otherwise, as a human being I would coast along just getting by. Doing what was ‘good enough’ for daily life and soon my shoulder would be frozen, my body weak and my racing days dead. I am just not interested in that outcome.

Forced Application works at my job all the time as well. I came up with the idea of creating the Passport to Fitness – sort of a scavenger hunt of fun fitness things to do for 12 weeks in order to get fit, have fun and win a big prize.

Back in November, I set a launch date of Jan. 23rd. That started the clock ticking and over the past two months I have been forced to make meal plans, recipes, schedules, create a book, create a stamp and so much more. Forced Application. Make a promise, set a date and grow to become the person you need to become, in order to succeed.

Scott McDermott is a personal trainer and owner of Best Body Fitness in Sylvan Lake.

Just Posted

WATCH: Alberta Party leadership candidates present visions to Red Deerians

Party members will vote for their new leader on Feb. 7th

City sells former RCMP building, land to province

Construction of new courthouse in Red Deer one step closer to reality

City increases parking rates by 25%

Red Deerians expected to pay increase in early fine payments

RCMP make arrests after bank robbery

Two suspects are in custody after using a needle to rob a CIBC in north Red Deer

WATCH: Lacombe and Red Deer Chambers prepare members for cannabis legalization

Luncheon speaker educates businesses on marijuana policies

Suspected Toronto serial killer targeting gay community arrested

A 66-year-old man is charged with first-degree murder in disappearance of two Toronto men

Barenaked Ladies, Steven Page, to be inducted into Canadian Music Hall of Fame

Canadian band to get top honours at 2018 JUNO Awards

B.C. out of the running for Amazon’s next headquarters

Toronto is the only Canadian city left in the running despite the province backing Metro Vancouver’s bid for new Amazon headquarters

Post interest rate hike debt tips

What to do about your debt and mortgages after the interest rate hike

Foreign workers sleeping in Alberta Burger King basement

Alberta Health Services said its inspectors found foreign workers sleeping in the basement of the Lethbridge restaurant

Court application halts release of bread price-fixing documents

Bread price-fixing documents won’t be unsealed Thursday, Loblaw says

Pharrell and N.E.R.D to headline NBA All-Star halftime show

11-time Grammy winner Pharrell and his hip hop-rock band N.E.R.D. will headline the halftime show at the 2018 NBA All-Star game in Los Angeles

Heritage Minister wants zero tolerance for harassment in entertainment industry

Heritage Minister Melanie Joly had two meetings to discuss harassment in the film, TV and theatre worlds

Most Read