I was watching TV the other day and a commercial came on for the new Boflex Max Trainer. If you haven’t seen it, let me set it up for you. Like every other infomercial for fitness equipment, the commercial was filled with glistening 6 packs and bulging pecs from people who’ve clearly never once used the piece of equipment they’re pitching. It’s basically a hybrid of a stair climber and an elliptical and claims to give you every fitness goal you’ve ever dreamed of. Want razor sharp abs? Use this thing. Want to PR your 5k? Use this thing. Want huge biceps and a buns o’ steel? Use this thing. But what I found most offensive about this whole ridiculous display - and I actually rewound the DVR to make sure I heard it correctly – was their sales pitch: “Why do exhausting, high-intensity workouts when you can do long periods of rest with short bursts of effort.”
I’ve been a personal trainer for a long time. I’ve successfully incorporated interval training into countless programs. And, I know numerous coaches and trainers who’ve done the same. Interval training – the type of training purportedly done with the Boflex machine – goes something like this: work as hard as you can for a short period, then rest, work as hard as you can, rest, repeat. The emphasis here is on the effort expelled during the work interval. Never, NEVER, have I ever heard anyone promote the benefits of this training style by saying, you can get the results you want with “long periods of rest.”
Client: I want to get in shape.
Trainer: Interval training’s where it’s at, brah. I mean, look at all the REST you get!!
That’s when I came to this realization. The Boflex infomercial isn’t trying to sell us on the benefits of interval training or even the benefits of their product. They’re trying to sell an idea that if I simply buy their machine, I can get results without having to work hard.
Take a look around. Look at the individuals you aspire to be like. Doesn’t matter what your specific goals or training style are; there’s someone you look up to. The people whose results you admire – the abs, the muscles, the waistline, the strength, the speed, whatever – what do all these people have in common?
Working hard is a habit.
These guys don’t shy away from hard work. They embrace it. They make it part of their routine. They owe their successes to it.
And if you’re hoping to make a positive change in your life, you should embrace it, too.
Learn to love working hard.
In fairness, I’m sure that some people have purchased the Boflex trainer and had success with it. But I’m also sure those people didn’t buy into the idea that “long periods of rest” is the key to making gains. They knew how to work hard and how to do it consistently. So before you rush out and buy the flashiest new piece of at-home workout gear, learn how to make working hard part of your routine.
To get you started, we’ve created a “30 Days of Active” Challenge. The goal is to do something active every single day. Begin to develop the habit of working hard. Make effort a part of your daily routine. In 30 days, you’ll learn that fancy equipment is secondary to effort and that you can get a hard workout with just your body. So, turn off the infomercials and start embracing the idea that the only thing standing between you and your goal is how much work you’re willing to put in.