I’m going to deviate slightly from the weekly ‘Myth Busting’ series and touch on an issue that is really at the core of why I got into business, and remains at the core of what my business is all about.
I have literally just put my phone down and hopped onto the computer, after seeing another studio advertising their brilliant results of an “8 week transformation challenge”. The results were, granted, exceptional. Body fat down, muscle mass up, the person looked fantastic. I am not arguing with the results, any time a person can improve their health and wellbeing is a positive.
However, I have a challenge of my own for these businesses that engage in the ‘Challenges”…
Show a photo of these great results 3 months after the end of the challenge.
After all, what on earth is the point of putting in 6 weeks of gruelling effort, a (usually sizeable) financial commitment, and the blood, sweat and tears that go into rapidly changing your body in a short timeframe, if a few weeks after this all finishes you just end up back at exactly where you were before the challenge begun?
This is the issue that really drives me, and what motivates me to grow this business from a simple studio, into more of a movements.
People are hell bent on avoiding hard work for an extended period of time.
6 weeks of hard work to get a change in your body; “No worries”
8 weeks; “Piece of cake”
3 months? “Fuck that no way, that’s too long”
Why is everyone so reluctant to put in any sort of long lasting hard work, when it has been CLEARLY proven that in order to change your habits and overall health for the long term, it takes an extended period of effort?
The answer, I believe, lies within our society.
Think of something you can’t get INSTANTLY….
Literally nothing. Food, clothes, contact with friends, videos, information, car rides, the list could go on. Every single thing these days can be obtained with little to no effort whatsoever.
Unfortunately, this quick fix cancer has spread to the fitness industry. And it looks like it’s here to stay.
I will accept the notion that these challenges can be a great place to kick start people into a health and fitness regime; that concept has some merit to it. However, in my experience that is the exception, NOT the rule. For a large majority, once the strict, restrictive regime has ended and they go back to normalcy; they completely fall off the wagon and simply go back to all the same habits they possessed pre-challenge.
How many times have you, or know someone that has, done a 6 week transformation challenge? If the answer is more than once, then that is a problem.
You need to understand that these places running these challenges are BUSINESSES. You are merely a source of income for them. If you are continually going back to ‘transform’ your body through multiple challenges, then something is wrong. Something is not working. It is unhealthy, not sustainable and quite frankly dangerous to keep putting your body through the rollercoaster of extreme calorie restriction and gruelling training, followed by periods of overeating.
“But Sean, you run a business too, aren’t all your clients a source of income as well?”
Yes, of course they are. But the aim of my business is to get people results that will last a LIFETIME, not 6 fucking weeks. And to be brutally honest, I am struggling to reach as many people as I would like to with this message. This could be for a variety of reasons, but a large one I have identified is that my mantra of ‘long term, sustainable change’ is not pretty, sexy or appealing to the masses. A sad indictment on the current state of societal affairs.
Businesses run 6 week challenges because they know that a) people are drawn to the idea of doing little work for large reward b) they will get ‘results’ that can be posted on Instagram, which will lead to c) more people doing the next challenge, and so the cycle goes.
I refuse to buy into that cycle. I would prefer to go out of business than become a part of that shit.
No doubt, this post will be largely unpopular, as aside from people being all about the 6 week challenges; I have friends that run said challenges. I make zero apologies, however, and hope that they will respect my views, and reasons for them; same as I respect what they do as I know the end game they have, even if I may not agree with the means.
I will keep pushing for change. It may be hard, but hopefully; will be worth it in the end.