Five non-negotiables for finally getting (and staying) fit after 40

You’ve tried all the workouts in the book. Why haven’t they stuck? Here are the 5 crucial pieces to making a training program actually be successful.

Chase Morlock

What makes a successful training program? What makes people stick to a workout plan? Why are some people able to walk into a gym and achieve their goals? Why do so many people fail? What causes people to skip their workouts or causes them to indulge in that extra drink or snack when they told themselves they wouldn’t? 

After owning and operating Rise for the last 6 years and after a decade of training experience, I have seen my fair share of success stories, and also my fair share of failed attempts at fitness goals. That’s what really got me asking the questions I posed above. It’s been an honor getting to work with so many people over the years at Rise who have stuck to their program and seen great success, but it makes me wonder why so many people out there just can’t seem to find a fitness program that sticks, even by the time they’re a middle-aged adult. 

I was listening to Dr. Andy Galpin (Professor of Kinesiology at California State University, Fullerton, and one of the foremost experts in the world on the science and application of methods to increase strength, hypertrophy, and endurance performance), and Dr. Andrew Huberman (professor of neurobiology and ophthalmology at Stanford University School of Medicine) in their 6-part podcast series about all things fitness. In this podcast series, I found an answer to some of my questions. Dr. Galpin and Dr. Huberman talked about 4 non-negotiables that any successful training program needs to have and I added a 5th that I think is a necessity. 

So let’s get to it. What makes a successful program? 

  1. Adherence: You could try out any program in the world and would fail if you don’t stick to it. We talk often about this at Rise. The people that succeed are the ones who put their training session on the calendar and it becomes a firm commitment in their minds. They shift their mindset to decide that they do not skip their training. And then suddenly it’s 6 months, 1 year, 2 years later, and they’ve met their goals and are onto setting new ones. Their secret? Adherence. They stuck to the program.

  2. Progressive overload: Simply put, you will not achieve your goals without progressive overload. What is progressive overload? It’s the gradual increase of intensity or stress over time to produce an adaptation. The adaptations we’re striving for are muscle gain and strength, which are crucial to our health as we age. You can use many different variables to produce progressive overload, such as increasing weight, reps, sets, frequency, range of motion, or time under tension, as well as decreasing rest time, improving technique, and changing the exercise modality. To reiterate, progressive overload is an absolute staple in your training program. 

  3. Individualization: Every single person is different and has different goals, which is why it’s essential to find a program in which the coaches can adjust the workouts to fit your individual ability level. The best way to get the results you want is by getting a plan created solely for you. This is exactly why we created our Summit Personal Training Program. We are able to sit down, talk about goals, gauge your ability level, and then produce a program designed to get you to the finish line of your goals and set you up for long term success with your health and fitness. 

  4. Choose a proper target: In order to successfully stick to a training program and develop the proper progression for your plan, it is crucial to have a realistic goal that aligns with what you want to achieve. Part of my job is making sure that our members have an appropriate target to shoot for that is safe and in their best interest for long term health. Here’s an example. I recently sat down with someone who loves running, which is awesome. However, she’d had multiple knee surgeries which were needed due to running injuries, as well as a hip injury caused from running. She came to me with a weight loss goal of 35lbs, which she was hoping to achieve through running. As a coach, I wanted to help her see that while running can certainly be in her future plans once it’s safe to do so again, it is not the safest or most effective way to currently work toward a weight loss goal. Then, we were able to discuss other cardio, strength training, and nutrition options that could help her reach her goals without putting strain on her existing injuries. 

  5. Have a great coach in your corner: I believe this is the most important factor of them all. A great coach will help you adhere to a program and safely progress through it, individualize a program to your needs, and help you stay safe and succeed by picking appropriate goals. A coach with proper training and education can also help you understand why you’re doing certain movements and their purpose, which I believe helps members to feel empowered and gain a sense of ownership over their fitness journey. A coach’s job is to help you arrive somewhere that you may not have gotten to on your own, and to help you get there faster. Coaches are there to make sure you stay safe and to adjust the plan when things aren’t working. I have had so many great coaches in my life from wrestling to football to business to nutrition, and I think the difference between the good coaches and the great coaches was that the great coaches taught me to believe in myself. They empowered me to succeed, and they were right there with me when I experienced losses and helped me learn from them. A mentor, a guide, a teacher, a coach… Whatever you like to call them, there is a need for them in nearly every area in your life, and I think especially so in the areas of health and fitness.

If you are ready to get started on a program that you’ll actually stick to and to work with a coach who will help you succeed, please reach out to me on our “Get Started” page. I would love to help. 

Coach Chase