Estimated reading time: 9 minutes
No one just dips their toe into the world of fitness. Getting in to fitness is a life changing experience – for better or worse. You get into it because you want to look good naked and impress people or because you’re actually concerned about your health, but it does so much more to you than you think.
But when you introduce something new into your life things inevitably change. Here are 6 things no one tells you that change when you get into fitness.
Social Circles Change
Do you have a group of friends you’ve always been around? You likely all have that one thing in common that bonds you, like you went to school together, worked together or something normal people would bond over. Maybe you all have a thing you do like meet up on the weekends for drinks or maybe there’s one other person in the group who goes to the gym, so you start going with them.
When you enter a new environment like the gym something inevitable has to happen. You talk to new people. Whether its the trainer, gym staff or other members – you will inevitably talk to new people. When that happens, new friendships are formed and as you progress with your time in the gym you slowly form a new circle of friends.
It’s at this point, because you now have a fitness friend group you’ll probably start brunching at a local healthy café after Saturday morning workouts. You now also have meal prep on Sunday afternoon as well as a workout scheduled for Sunday morning which means going out on a Saturday night really hurts your progress.
You start to drift from the other group into your new group. Eventually you only see them once every 6 months and you’re totally kicked out of the group chat.
But that doesn’t matter because you’re in another group chat with your fitness friends and you send relatable fitness memes to each other all the time.
You Become Obsessed
Fitness is habit forming. Working out feels good and so does achieving things you couldn’t do a couple of months earlier. There’s an saying in the fitness world, “Once you see results it becomes an addiction”.
Sure, people drop off the bandwagon but for pretty much everyone, once you get in to fitness it becomes something you think about more often than not. You’re planning your next workout, thinking about your next meal, wondering if your program is as good as it could be.
It never stops.
People will judge you, they’ll form opinions about you as well, assuming you’re now self obsessed and vain. These people have clearly never lifted… It isn’t about that at all.
It’s about goal setting, achievement and accomplishment. Unfortunately trying to describe it to them doesn’t work because they just don’t have the same discipline you do. As Jocko Willink says, “Discipline equals freedom” and there is no greater freedom than the self confidence in knowing you are happy, healthy and capable.
Your Perception Of Others Changes
The more you get in to fitness the more you learn about the body. One stand out thing that you’ll start noticing is how you see others starts to change. Let me elaborate.
After a year in the gym you’ll be able to tell if a guy only trains mirror muscles (or beach muscles depending on the time of year). These are the classic bro body parts – Shoulders, arms and chest and traps, maybe abs if they’re a super bro.
Knowing what you know about fitness now, you’ll no doubt also know they probably can’t do a chin up or have a weak back from a muscular imbalance you can visually see now that will take them years to fix.
That girl who always does donkey kicks? You now see her differently too. You probably saw her when you first started in the gym doing glute work and thought she knew what she was doing, but since seeing her do the same workout for 12 months you now realise she has no clue what she’s doing and even less of a clue how to actually work her glutes.
You’ll also start noticing things about people who don’t train. You’ll notice the telltale signs of weak adductors and internally rotated femurs resulting in a knock-knee walk on people walking in front of you. You’ll notice anterior pelvic tilts on people with weak glutes and when you see someone with a well developed back you’ll immediately check glutes, hamstrings and quads because you want to assess whether they have a bigger squat or deadlift than you.
To top it all off your preference in a partner changes. Things you didn’t notice a year or two before are now things you’re looking for. If you’re single all of a sudden you’re checking the pics and reading the bio to see if they’ll be accepting of your workout regime and when you match and they’re not into fitness at all you get a little judgy of them.
You Become The Expert
Remember that group of friends you used to have? One of them has just started getting in to fitness and they want to know everything you know and they want to know it yesterday.
There is no end to the people who are getting in to fitness and each one that starts after you has less knowledge. The longer you are into it the more people drop out around you, elevating you to a supreme status in the eyes of others.
In the same way IT people get asked basic google-able computer, phone, internet and “how to” questions, you will now be asked the same kind of questions about fitness by those who have just started or who are thinking about starting.
It may be flattering at first, but be warned – The moment you give out your first piece of information or a tip you’re now on the hook for every other question that results from it.
Someone will ask you something innocuous enough, like “What’s the best gym in the area?” and you’ll say you think it’s this one. They’ll ask you why. You’ll say you like the equipment, the weights are new and the staff are good. Then you’re answering questions about the direct debit cycle, monthly costs, is there a referral discount and whether they can come with you one day to try it out.
Like it or not, you’ve got a new gym partner.
They’ll then want to join you in working out. Unfortunately for them, your program has been tailored around your current training cycle and it’s not necessarily for beginners. They’ll ask to come anyway and judge for themselves because clearly you’re underestimating their ability.
Now you’re stuck explaining how to Military Press to someone who has no business being under a barbell.
Now you’re their trainer because you were polite enough to answer a simple question. Avoid it completely, just give a vague answer and fake getting a phone call.
Your Wardrobe Changes
In recent years activewear has gone from something you just wore to the gym to something you can wear out. Sweat wicking, figure hugging, fashionable and above all else – comfy! Your new found activewear addiction will definitely change your wardrobe.
Most leggings are so versatile you can wear them out, to family things, to the shops as well as around the house. Plus in your now fully established social group someone always has a discount code for the big brands and knows who’s having a sale.
Slowly but surely you’ll get rid of all but one or two pairs of jeans. The casual shoes will go in favour of trainers and even your undies will shift to a more functional, fitness oriented pair.
On the bright side though, those expensive tops and pants you used to wear all the time will last you so much longer because you only wear them once a month when someone inconveniently has an event somewhere that you can’t wear your activewear.
Supplement Cupboards and Shaker Shelves
If you don’t have a cupboard dedicated to supplements are you really that in to fitness? Most people start with a tub of protein in the pantry but end up clearing out a whole cupboard in the kitchen as their collection grows. It’s inevitable.
You know people who have fridges dedicated to beer, so why do people judge you for having a supplement cupboard?
It doesn’t matter if you have 3 kinds of protein because you’re a connoisseur of flavours. Some days you want Chocolate, others you want Fruit Loops and the Vanilla from this brand goes well with cereal. Plus you have a high stim pre-workout for everyday use and a non-stim pre-workout for when you have to have a break from that one for two weeks.
Then you need a spot for your amino’s and the stuff you take at night to help you recover and sleep better. It quickly adds up.
Maybe you know someone with an excessive amount of coffee cups, you just have one or two for guests. You probably have a shelf packed with have 12 shakers though. All of which are branded differently because every time you make a purchase from your favourite fitness business they send you a shaker.
Just like that person who has an excessive amount of coffee cups, there’s just one you really use all the time. You can’t bear to part with it until it breaks or leaks on your favourite workout top – or until you accidentally left it in the car for 5 days with the remnants of your protein shake in it and are now too scared to open it.
A lot changes when you get into fitness and it’s for the better. Whenever you change something about your life there’s always someone who sees it as a negative, usually because they don’t get to see you anymore. Like I said in the first paragraph, no one just dips their toe in to fitness, it’s not a casual undertaking to sweat every day and break your body down to make it look and perform the way you want it to.
Unfortunately, some people will never get to understand how it feels to be physically capable, strong and healthy.