Before starting my fitness training services business I spent 15 years in corporate finance management. I learned some important lessons in that arena I use today to manage my studio and my health as well. First, let’s introduce a few terms we can use for both fitness and commerce:
ROI (Return on Investment)
In the areas of finance I was in – cost accounting and financial planning – the three terms were of critical importance when evaluating a situation that needed to be fixed or drastically improved.
ROI is simply the level of benefit you enjoy in direct proportion to the resources you devote to the effort. So digging a ditch in firm dirt with a dull shovel is going to yield a small ROI. Grating the cheese for a master pizza chef and then getting to eat the final product yields a very high ROI.
In accounting and finance circles, the terms “Material” and “Controllable” operate in concert to help you to decide the wisest and most effective ways to use your limited time and energy to analyze and correct a problem or to improve a situation or condition . Material means that the dollar amount (value) in question is a significant enough level to warrant concern. And controllable is just what it sounds like – the degree to which you can adjust a condition or influence the outcome of a situation.
For many, getting a job that pays the bills is material but not controllable. Rearranging your desk drawers is controllable but not material to your day-to-day sense of well-being. Starting a computer repair business out of your garage that eventually makes you millions is both material and controllable.
Get the picture?
Guess what else is both material and controllable and yields a heck of a good ROI? It’s the combination of exercise and healthful eating. Saw that one coming, did you?
Take a look at the folks in the picture above. The before and after pictures are of the male and female winners, respectively, of a corporate weight loss contest I conducted at a local company a few years ago. They took the guidance I provided to heart, put the tools I gave them into practice and smoked the competition, both losing about 20% of their bodyweight in fat.
Maybe you’ve seen the senior citizens in the foreground of the picture before. I picked these magnets up in Capitola and have seen both images many times. The lovely woman is clearly a regular swimmer and the gentleman is the guy all the younger men in the gym look to for inspiration and encouragement. There isn’t one “youngster” under 60 that wouldn’t love to look like him when they get to be his age (I’m guessing around 70).
What drives people like this to achieve what many of us have given up on ever accomplishing?
It’s their recognition that they want that phenomenal ROI. It’s their willingness to embrace the fact that a vital, energetic, robust physical state is materially important. In fact, how many things are more important?
And, finally, it’s their determination to control what important things in their lives can be controlled.
Once you have all that, the work will take care of itself.
Dan is a nationally certified personal fitness trainer and former continuing education faculty member of the National Academy of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise. He is the owner and head trainer at Tri Valley Trainer in Pleasanton, which provides personal training, small group fitness and nutrition guidance. He can be reached at Dan@TriValleyTrainer.com