How to lose 42lbs in 6 months – Part 3

Ageless fitness in gillespie 2016

If you didn’t read part one, click here. Part two is located here. For a quick refresher, the tips we’re sharing during this series are not scientific facts based entirely on research done in a lab on the campus of some university. Instead, they are from firsthand accounts of members at our gym and other gyms who have lost a significant amount of weight. We gathered up our data, combed through it looking for patterns, and synthesized it into a few tips. You can consider this “the best practices for weight loss.”

Eventually, even with the perfect diet and cardio training, your weight loss will hit a plateau. At that point, you’ll come to a crossroads. Some people give up, and within a few short months, regain all the weight they lost. Others, satisfied with their success, continue their diet and cardio training while maintaining their current weight. And then there’s the third group….

Not at their goal yet, they realize they need that extra push. So what do they do? Join a gym,  step 3.

I’ll be the first to admit there’s nothing special about the exercise that takes place in the gym. Much like Weight Watchers and nutrition, the exercise we do at the gym can easily be done in your home. Physiologically, it’s the same. A squat is a squat no matter where you do it. You burn the same amount of calories when you hop on the treadmill for 45 minutes at your house just like you do at the gym.

The magic lies in the psyche. Purchasing a gym membership, and in turn, getting better results than you would doing the exact same exercise at home is thanks to behavioral psychology. Just think about…..


Precommitting to something is a powerful psychological tactic. People will go above and beyond to be consistent with their words and actions.

By joining a gym, you’re precommitting. You’re saying, “I’m going to exercise for 1, 6, or 12 months.” And when you go a week without visiting the gym, it’s psychologically painful because it’s not consistent with what you said you were going to do.

Plus, you also have the pain of knowing you’re spending $29, $35, or $39 per month for a service you don’t even use. The pain/frustration quietly pushes you out the door and into the gym.

By the way, you can up the ante on your precommittment by setting our your workout clothes the night before. It’s gentle reminder that you’ve already made the decision you’re going to the gym today. Every time you walk by it without walking out the door and going to the gym, you’ll feel guilty. Eventually that guilt will nudge you out the door and to the gym.

Social Peer Pressure

We call this “keeping up with the Jonese.” Humans are competitive by nature. Put a scoreboard up midway through a basketball game, and you’ll notice the intensity increase. Add a contest to even the most mundane task, and it instantly becomes a little more exciting.

Although peer pressure is commonly associated with negative actions, it can also be used for good. I guarantee you’ll run just a little bit longer or a little bit faster if everyone in your class is running faster or longer than you. That’s why we hire personal trainers and business coaches – we need that extra push. That’s also why we’re trying to add real-time heart rate and calorie burning to all of our classes – immediate feedback displaying not just your effort but everyone’s effort on a big screen TV on the wall gives you that extra oomph to get you closer to your goal.


No man is an island. Over and over again, research has shown that happiness is correlated with frequent, meaningful social interactions. Typically, the more friends you have, the happier you are. Loneliness is suffocating. It’s the undetected thief of happiness. Just ask any widow.

Our classes are like small communities. You’ll often see the same members attending the same classes at the same times on the same days. That routine allows members to create relationships that extend beyond the four walls at the gym.  And those relationships keep those same members coming daily. Instead of grabbing a cup of coffee with a friend, they hop on a spin bike with 13 other friends.  60 minutes later, they’ve discussed the weather, what they did on the weekend, and even burned a few calories. Sometimes you just have to get out of the house.


Sleep research is the new “thing” in preventive health. Most sleep experts recommend you only do two things in your bedroom: sleep and sex. Watching television, scrolling through your Facebook, reading a book, or even listening to music can interfere with not only how many hours you sleep, but also the quality of your sleep. Environment is everything.

It’s the same thing with your house. You cook, clean, lay on the couch and watch TV, play with your kids, and throw barbecues at your house. It’s hard to turn it into a gym because all of that sweating while exercising just doesn’t fit the environment. That’s primarily why most treadmills become a clothes rack. Think about it. You literally have a treadmill sitting in your living room. There’s not a single reason why you shouldn’t use it daily. But you don’t. Why? Because it doesn’t fit the environment. You aren’t in the mood to run and sweat when you’re in the middle of your living room watching your favorite television show. You want to relax, not run

The powerful effect of the environment was never more evident than when world-renowned violinist Joshua Bell’s played his $3.5 million violin for passerby’s in a Washington metro station and no one listened.

If no one will stop and listen to the one of the world’s best violinists for free because the music just didn’t fit the environment, how can you expect to stay committed to working out at home?

Of course, we’re also not naive enough to believe that more than just a few people have lost and maintained significant weight loss without ever stepping foot in the gym. It can happen. It takes a lot of willpower and planning, but it can be done. Though much like Weight Watchers, the gym tends to make it a little easier.