This post is part five of a series based on my new FREE audio program.
Have you ever watched a plant grow? Not so exciting, is it? The fact is, growth happens slowly in nature and in our bodies. Thanks to marketing, though, you might have a different impression. Time-lapsed video and before-and-after images give the illusion that change happens quickly.
The exercise science Principle of Progressive Overload says that when you:
- challenge your body at the just-right level it can adapt to, it will get stronger
- challenge it too much, too soon, it can’t adapt and is more likely to break down
Yet, the idea of quick results is much more marketable than this idea that change happens slowly. In other areas of life, it is true—if you work hard, you are more likely to be successful. Fitness marketers combine our desire for quick changes with this “work hard” mentality and come up with some pretty “insane” exercise programs. Our most popular fitness programs today, perpetuated by reality TV, reinforces this ‘work harder, get more results faster’ idea about exercise. The Principle of Progressive Overload does not stand a chance against the power of this marketing!
Well, if we are going to work harder, we are going to need some incentive. Seeing the scale go down, giving yourself a “cheat day”, winning a competition are all great ways to make you want to work harder. External rewards like this are perfect to help you stay motivated, to ramp up your willpower, so you can get to a goal.
This is why external motivators are so luring. They work! But they are really faux results, not the kind designed to last.
Motivation scientists tell us clearly:
- External rewards lead to temporary motivation
- Internal rewards lead to lasting motivation
Internal rewards are not as tangible, so they are easily missed. When you learn how to use them, their power makes staying motivated so much easier! Listen to part 5 of my audio series to find out how to resist that lure of quick, faux results and start using your intrinsic rewards to get real, lasting results from exercise.
In the next session, we will wrap up this series with a helpful summary of all that we have covered.
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