The web is littered with choice. With just a few clicks and a couple dozen keystrokes you can find pretty much anything your heart desires. In this day and age, we’ve come to expect an almost limitless number of options for whatever we’re looking for. Sometimes, this is a good thing. A simple search for “vegan recipes with kale and broccoli” returns over 1.4 million options to click…enough to ensure you could eat a different kale and broccoli recipe every night for the rest of your life. For those of you that are as food obsessed as I am, I’m sure you’ll agree this a good thing. But at what point does this plethora of choice become a bad thing? A Google search for “fat burning workouts” returns nearly 5 million results. Where do you start? What’s good, what isn’t? Which workouts were created by a professional with a PhD in exercise physiology and which were created by some 35-year old meathead living in his mom’s basement? And how do you know the anonymous PhD really isn’t a 35-year old meathead living in his mom’s basement? At some point, the virtually infinite number of options we’re given becomes a detriment. zzzzoverwhelmed, anxious, and confused are some of the most recurring themes I encounter when users talk about trying to find the latest and greatest fitness plan to help them ____________ (fill in the blank).
Whether it’s Pinterest, Facebook, your favorite blog, Twitter, or any of the hundreds of other options we have to seek out new information these days, fitness is everywhere. People are clearly more interested in, and more likely to seek out fitness information than ever before. Unsurprisingly, the number of fitness content creators ready to fill this demand is increasing as well.
Given the current landscape and the number of content creators pumping out the next “best” workout or fitness plan, there has become a dizzingy array of choices for the average exerciser to choose from. As such, the choice to start a new fitness plan or try a new workout has become absolutely overwhelming for a lot of people. Unlike walking into a grocery store and picking a can of soup from the 150 options on display, the decision to start a fitness plan is much more daunting. If the soup sucks, you throw it out, pick something new next time, and don’t think twice about the buck ninety-nine that’s been wasted. The thought of investing two months into a fitness plan, only to find out it was little more than a time-waster, on the other hand, is enough to paralyze even the most sure-minded individual.
Herein lies the problem; rather than make the (perceived) wrong decision, many people make no decision at all. They continue along doing what they’ve always done or bounce around from workout to workout, with no real direction or goal in place. They rationalize by thinking a little of this, a little of that will assuredly get them to where they want to be. Two months down the road, when they’re still not much better off than where they began, they assume they were using faulty workouts, hit the proverbial reset button, and repeat the cycle all over again.
What Makes a Great Workout Plan?
A great workout plan is designed with a specific focus, in my opinion. Taking a shotgun approach and trying to burn fat, build muscle, increase speed, agility, coordination, and balance, while also getting a bubbilicious butt in the process is the fast lane to nowhere. Sure, a fitness plan may help you in several areas, but it should almost always have a set focus. Doesn’t matter if it was created by the personal trainer at your corporate gym, or the meathead in his mom’s basement; if it’s built on the basis of knowledge, experience, consideration of a target audience, while maintaining a clear focus or goal, it’s got the potential to be very successful for you. Keyword in the last sentence is potential.
On the flip side, just because an “expert” has a PhD after his name or has been on the last four seasons of The Biggest Loser, doesn’t mean everything they produce is the word of God. Again, in my humble opinion, the best fitness plans on the web are generally those coming from content creators who have personally worked with a wide variety of people, approach each of their fitness plans with a clear focus, and don’t rely on gimmicks and/or fads to deliver results.
Understanding the Fitness Game
Sadly, some of the biggest content creators in the game are delivering substandard workouts and advice….and know it. They aren’t in the business of delivering results. They’ve gotten to such a point that people automatically assume them to be an authority figure and will throw blind faith into whatever comes out of them. These authority figures are the fitness magazines that line the shelves at grocery stores, the fitness site with a six-figure monthly SEO budget, or the celebrity trainer who is simply trying to appeal to anyone and everyone, all at the same time. Typically, when you’ve got advertisers paying you millions of dollars a month, your goals begin to change. You start creating content that attracts the largest number of readers or viewers. You write for the masses and forget about delivering specific advice. You use buzz phrases like “lose weight fast”, “hit the reset button on your life!” “drop 3 dress sizes in 7 days!” that stop impressionable viewers in their tracks. Think about it…how many times have you seen a fitness magazine make the same or similar claim on the cover of their magazine?
It’s not only magazine who are guilty of delivering fluff. Big online content creators hire cheap writers out of third-world countries to write articles targeting specific search terms so they shoot to the top of Google rankings. The goal isn’t to deliver high-quality content. The goal is attract the largest number of page views possible, and writing for search engines instead of people is what brings in the traffic (along with a hefty SEO budget). Beware of the fluff. Seek out blog writers or sites that speak to YOU. Listen to your gut and if you feel a blog or site is simply trying to target a key word (does the phrase “lose weight fast” just happen to appear in the article about 37 times more than necessary?) instead of deliver actually beneficial information, you’re probably right.
Find What Works For You
This article isn’t my declaration that Share It Fitness is the best and everyone else sucks. I’m also not saying all of the really big health and fitness blogs and websites on the web are delivering half-assed content. I’ve got a handful of health and fitness blogs that I personally read when I’m looking for a new take on something. These people are out there. They are big and small. They are writing to a videogamer audience. They’re writing to a meathead audience. They are coming in all shapes and sizes. There is someone out there who speaks to you and whatever demographic you fall under. You just need to learn to read between the lines when seeking out these sources of information.
As you sort through the hordes of information being thrown at you, in search of that next great fitness plan, a few things to be mindful of:
- Does the author speak to me personally?
- Do I feel like I’m being sold something?
- Does the fitness plan have a specific focus?
- Do I have a specific focus or goal in mind?
Decide what your top two goals are. Find a source that you can connect with and can easily relate to. Examine the workout or fitness plan in question and see if it seems to align with your pre-determined goals. Sounds easier than it is, but with enough practice you’ll develop an eye for this kind of stuff and may even turn into the informed authority figure in the process.
The Share It Fitness Way
I started this blog (and subsequent website) back in 2010. I distinctly remember freaking out when we had our first 100 view day. I also remember when achieving 1,000 monthly visitors was a huge deal. Over the past 3+ years, we’ve grown quite a bit. We’re now approaching 1 million monthly views, but really, nothing has changed. We’ve been delivering the same type of content all along. Personally, I feel the reason our fitness plans and workouts go over so well is because each one of them is personally created by myself or someone on our team, tested on our mostly willing supply of real-life clients, family, and friends. We then take feedback, analyze any results, and tweak things as necessary before anything hits this blog. Believe me, it’s often an arduous process, and there are probably more workouts and fitness plans that didn’t make it to the blog, than did. The end result of course, is a library of workouts and fitness plans that actually work for real-life people, just like yourself.
Of course, I’m always looking for ways to make things better and more effective. General fitness plans can be great and work wonders for a lot of people. That said, a fitness plan or workout that is 100% personalized towards you and your goals is always going to be better. The problem is, this type of expert personalization is often expensive. Hiring a personal trainer to do this for you a few times a week can easily cost more than your rent or mortgage. Finding a way to deliver personalized advice and workouts while making it affordable has been something I’ve been working on for the past nine months.
In the near future, we’re going to have something on the Share It Fitness website that I believe achieves this goal. We call it FitPlan, and it uses an algorithm-based approach to deliver daily workouts designed with your goals and abilities in mind. As your abilities improve, the workouts get harder. As your goals change, so does your fitness plan. Essentially, FitPlan is a newer and smarter version of the fitness plans you see on our blog now. We’ve been filming, writing, and testing hundreds of workouts for the past year. We now have a way that allows the system to pull from this database and tailor a specific plan to your specific circumstances. If you’re interested in trying out our FitPlan, we’d love to have you give it a go and provide us some feedback. Simply leave a comment below and we’ll put you on our initial list of beta testers when we release things in the next couple of months.
In the meantime, continue seeking out fitness content that comes from genuine, original, and trustworthy sources. Whether it’s here or someplace else is not what matters. What matters is you continue to improve yourself, reach for higher goals, and earn the body and health you deserve. Good luck and as always, please feel free to leave any questions, comments, or concerns and I’ll be happy to get back to you as soon as possible.