Upping the Ante

Recently I’ve discovered that several of my clients and others I come in contact with have been working out on their own (wonderful!) but are limiting themselves to whatever I have told them to do in the past. For instance, if I suggested they do 15 tricep presses with 15 pound dumbbells, they are doing just exactly that, no more no less. For months.

The problem with this can be found in the old adage –

“If you always do what you’ve always done you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”


“Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Einstein

It’s all well and good to get to the gym and move your body but if you aren’t constantly challenging yourself with higher weights, faster speeds, or whatever makes a particular exercise hard you’re just spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.

Now you may be thinking, “I have to keep making it harder?! When do I get to just rest on my laurels?” I hate to be the bearer of bad news but you don’t. Not if you want to stay fit, mobile, and active.

I have two 87 year old clients right now who are probably the hardest working clients I have. My 75 year old also keeps me on my toes. These folks are simply incredible. At an age when most of us would think about resting, if not on our laurels, then certainly on our hind quarters, these men and women are more active than most of us ever are. The commonality between them is that they keep upping the ante.

For example, when I’m training someone, I often find myself repeating certain phrases like, “nice job”, “just a couple more”, or “breathe.”  This week both of my 87 year olds have independently called me on the carpet for saying “perfect!” Both said in no uncertain terms that there was no way what they were doing was perfect and that I needed to stop that and make sure they were doing it right. They wouldn’t settle for anything less than continuous improvement and I shouldn’t either.

So, sorry, but you can’t rest on your laurels. You’ll have to settle for working hard and finding satisfaction in a job well done instead.


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