Are You OVERTHINKING Your Fitness Goals?

You probably ARE Overthinking Your Fitness Goals…

If given the option, we’d all choose to have our life goals accomplished…yesterday.

Naturally, it’s normal to want the same for your fitness goals. Doesn’t matter if you are looking to lose weight, pack some size on those biceps, or throw up an all-time best on the bench press. We all want the fastest progress physically possible.

But, when does that desire to constantly push the boundaries of our fitness progress get taken too far? So far that it actually begins to hurt our results? For many, I’d wager you’re already there. Constantly nitpicking and overthinking your training routines. Wondering if you’re on the perfect diet. Over-analyzing your own basic daily behaviors.

This is a common problem which plagues many in the fitness community.

(Interested in the Philosophic side of lifting ? Click here for a related article! )

Fitness Should be SIMPLE:

Here’s the thing. Fitness goals, and the steps that need to be taken to complete them, are objectively simple. In fact, one of the most pervasive fitness goals, weight loss, is so simple it can be summed up in a sentence.

“Eat in a caloric deficit.”

That’s it. One sentence, an entire industry based around it.

However, just because something is simple doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easy. The weight loss solution “eat in a caloric deficit” is very simple. But, both the behavior change modifications, and time spent consistently eating in a caloric deficit make completing this “simple on paper” task rather difficult.

Still, despite any inherent difficulty we always want to return to the fact that our fitness goals and the steps needed to achieve them are just that…simple.

No horribly complex training plan needed. No picture-perfect unbreakable diet. No secret “fitness hacks” from some internet personality. Just plain straight forward work put in consistently over long periods of time and you’ll be able to realize just about any fitness goal you can imagine.

Joey Szatmary 2019 USS National Heavyweight Strongman Champion

Where It All Goes Wrong:

Unfortunately, the category I see so many individuals fall into is they get hyper focused on extremely tiny details of training…

“Did I take that protein shake at the exact right moment?”

“Is this one chest exercise slightly better than this one chest exercise?”

“Is this the right diet? My friend said this other one was better…”

“I think my knee caved in 1 degree on that squat, I’m no good at this movement.”

Just tiny minute details which…sure…technically this stuff can have answers to it. Could one option be minimally more optimal than another option sure…

But as a coach you never see someone who is experiencing a plateau,they aren’t seeing the progress they want to see, or they are just outright failing because one tiny detail in the grand scheme of their training was off.

I’ve never had to tell a client that their years of hard work haven’t been paying dividends because this whole time they weren’t drinking a protein shake at the right time. Nor have I said their quads aren’t looking as good as they want them to because they were doing walking lunges, instead of Bulgarian split squats.

“Should’ve been doing the Bulgarians bro…*smh*”

Lack of progress is ALWAYS because a basic fundamental of training was glaringly off.

My best example of this is a client who is trying to lose weight. It’s common to hear something along the lines of “yeah I don’t know what’s going on I’m eating less and I’m not losing any weight.”

My first response to this is always “okay approximately how many calories do you eat in a day and how many calories is your daily maintenance calories?” and about 8 people out of 10 are going to say they don’t know.

So, their problem is while they think they are “eating less” they objectively aren’t eating under their daily maintenance calories otherwise they’d be losing weight. But, because they think they are they now go off to look for something else to blame. “Well it’s probably cause I’m not eating these certain foods”. “It’s because I’m not on this certain diet”. “Maybe I’m not eating at the right times”. You can see how this gets out of hand. All the while the answer to their question is very simple. They just haven’t reached a caloric deficit yet.

Here’s the Solution:

Lack of progress is always seen in two main areas. Either you aren’t following the basics and you need to own up to it. Or you aren’t following the basics on a consistent basis (i.e. daily basis) and you need to own up to it.

Tiny little microdetails of health and fitness can come into play when you are dealing with high level competitors. Think those that have chances at national titles, they compete internationally, or they very simply are a professional athlete.

It is my belief that if you don’t find yourself falling into one of these categories just leave the nit picky details be.

The extra progress you’ll see from even diligently trying to optimize your training on every single level imaginable is hardly noticeable. Meanwhile, the upkeep on it takes a tremendous effort on your part. On top of that it get’s in the way of you living a satisfying life outside of fitness.

I enjoy this passion enough that I chose to make it my job but even I don’t find all these nitpicky little details worth the time and effort they take to implement. It essentially requires out of you that fitness consumes your entire life which shouldn’t be the case for most people.

“Fitness Should NOT Consume Your Life”

If chasing fitness glory down the road is your dream that’s what you’ve determined you’ve been put on this earth to do, then sure maybe the tiny details matter. But for the vast majority of you just stick to covering the basics. If you are honest with yourself about if you do actually have them covered you will never have an issue achieving essentially any fitness goal you want.

Take some stress out of your life, stop overthinking those fitness goals, and I promise not only will fitness be more enjoyable, but you’ll end up boosting your progress in the long term.

Click Here to check out the video that inspired this article! 

Matt Molloy

Matt Molloy

I'm a graduate the University of Pittsburgh with a major in Exercise Science. I’m a local guy (North Penn) and athletics has dominated my life. I've led teams in basketball, baseball, soccer, golf and my passion, long distance running. I've been strength training for 6 years with a focus in power-lifting but have recently stretched to strongman since joining the pride here at the Den. When I’m not in the gym I enjoy, spending time with my friends, music, and relaxing and playing some video games.