Why One-Size-Fits-All Workouts Fail (and What to Do Instead…)

Most of us are wary of using social media sites like Facebook and YouTube as reliable sources for our news but, surprisingly, nearly half of modern society is quick to consider the fitness advice they discover on these sites as completely authoritative. That is something that can lead to frustration.

One of the lasting effects of the pandemic is how it has shaped a society that’s now very focused on physical fitness, weight loss, and the improvement of our mental health. Those are positive aspirations, of course, but it’s also created a landscape that’s awash with heavily followed fitness influencers, celebrities, and “wannabe” personal trainers who post videos of workout routines they promise will work for anyone who wants to have the body of a Greek god or goddess in only 12 weeks.

For those of us taking to the internet to find a workout routine to build the perfect body or even just to lose a few pounds, we need to be able to segregate the good advice from the bad in an environment that is constantly bombarding us with information, much of it being less than credible or scientific.

One Size Does Not Fit All

When it comes to fitness routines, especially the ones promising extraordinary results, it's crucial to remember that a particular routine that may have helped one individual lose 30 lbs. may be a routine that is completely ineffectual for another person.

It’s a point clearly proven in a recent fitness study that was done on a group of over 700 participants, all of whom were leading largely inactive lifestyles. All participants were put on the same rigorous workout routine that became progressively more difficult each week. The participants were also adjusted for their age, gender, and body mass to ensure that the study was done equally.

The findings were alarming.

While the average aerobic performance of the group improved by about 20%, others accelerated their athletic performance by as much as 40 percent. The alarming part? For some, nothing about their performance improved. Nothing. How dispiriting. Imagine hacking through almost six months of workouts and watching your peers’ athletic performance significantly improve while you come away with nothing.

Doctors, personal trainers, and fitness professionals aside, much of society just isn’t quite up to speed on the real science of fitness and health. That’s why it’s so understandable to see such widespread adoption of specific routines promoted as “one-size-fits-all” by an influencer with thousands of followers. In other words, it’s only logical to conclude that if something works for one person, it will work for everyone.

Not so. Our genetics are all different and our bodies respond differently to various exercises and dietary restrictions. In fact, blindly adopting a new workout program can do us more harm than good, especially if we are experiencing existing health concerns. In fact, I came upon one London-based influencer who insisted there was no need to restrict your diet to get the body you want. I would hardly bet that such an approach is equally effective for everyone.

How to Select a Fitness Routine that Works for You

Our intention is certainly not to demonize social media as it can undoubtedly be quite resourceful in helping us find new ideas, motivation, and online communities can provide us with the support we need to continue. We’re simply saying that people are very likely to experience frustration if they follow a workout routine that was posted by some influencer on YouTube with the hopes of achieving the same results as the individual who posted it.

Before adopting a “one-size-fits-all” workout routine and then becoming frustrated with the results months later, take a moment to remember that how you approach your own physical fitness is always going to be closely married to your goals, your timelines, and your lifestyle.

Below are a few ways that are sure to help you find a workout routine that works for you.

Experiment with New Fitness Apps

One of the best approaches in finding a routine that works for you is to experiment with the wide array of resources that are available online and determine what works best for you. Ours is a highly digital society and we rely heavily on our smartphones to do just about everything in our lives. Fitness is no exception.

There are troves and troves of free smartphone apps that are designed to help people achieve their weight loss and fitness goals, and they all come with online reviews from previous users. These fitness apps can help us make more informed choices and allow us to track our achievements from anywhere. Fitness apps can offer everything from providing guidance on how to perform specific workouts to simply prompting us to get more steps in during the day for more weight loss achievement if it senses that we’ve been inactive for too long.

Be Physically Active…Consistently!

Let’s be clear. Whatever routine you choose, it must be a routine that is done on a consistent basis. This is especially true when pursuing fitness goals that involve shedding unwanted fat or achieving any noticeable amount of weight loss. Consistency is perhaps the most crucial component in achieving any genuine results from your fitness activities.

Some of us do struggle with consistency, but that’s not necessarily a curse. For those who do, focus on setting those small, achievable goals first. They can include getting in a 15-minute walk each day, or some other activity that you know is sustainable in your lifestyle.

Is it Time to Talk to Personal Trainer (PT)?

No one could have seen the canary in the coal mine back in December of 2019 when the COVID virus unexpectedly appeared in a Chinese providence and eventually forced gyms and fitness studios across the globe to go dark for months. Since then, personal training has gone through a crazy revolution. Fitness professionals and PTs have become very innovative in the delivery of their services and the methods they use to help their clients succeed in a post-pandemic society.

If you’re fed up with the results you’re getting from your routine, now may be the time to talk to a PT.

Fitness trainers and PTs have the credentials and expertise to develop and implement a customized workout plan that’s tailored to the lifestyles and unique goals of their clients and they’re an invaluable asset in helping you to avoid common pitfalls that can get in the way of your progress. Certified fitness professionals are projected to see employment growth of nearly 40% over the next 8 years. That’s a key statistic to suggest that PTs are very effective at helping their clients overcome the “one-size-fits-all” fitness mentality to design routines that work and will continue doing so for years to come.

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