Why You Won't Do the Program, Part 5: It Doesn't Work Fast Enough

by Mark Rippetoe | August 30, 2022

lifter at the bottom of a squat

“I'm not losing weight as fast as I thought I would be. This doesn't work, and it's taking too much time.”

“As I told you when we started, weight loss is diet, not exercise. And you're supposed to be gaining muscle.”

“But that's not what They say.”

“They are wrong – about most things.”

Doesn't matter. You can explain things to the general public at any level of detail you're prepared to spend the time on, and it won't matter. A certain body of information is codified in the Conventional Wisdom at a very deep level, placed there carefully and painstakingly through every aspect of the media, for purposes of selling bullshit to customers.

Running makes you “lose weight.”

Exercise classes make you “lose weight.”

Stretching sculpts long lean muscle.

Pilates makes you stronger.

Yoga makes you stronger.

Lifting weights builds “bulk.”

Boys are mean.

So if you start a barbell strength training program with a client you have not selected carefully, there will be a problem with Client Retention. Client selection is difficult in a society where 80% of the general public willingly wore a rag over their mouths to prevent the spread of a viral disease. We know this, but the good news is that you don't need to train everybody – just a few of the people who are intelligent enough to understand what you're going to accomplish with them.

These people will not expect an overnight aesthetic transformation, since that's not what they wanted in first place. They will expect you to make them stronger, starting immediately, which you can and will do, with the aesthetic changes coming along as a consequence of the accumulating strength adaptation. Changes in appearance are profound, the result of the addition of muscle mass and the loss of bodyfat as dietary changes become embedded in their new habits. It takes time, as does everything that involves changes in physiology. The only thing that happens immediately is that you start to get stronger – every time, everybody. This is what you are selling, and they must understand what they are paying for.

And you explained this to them before they started with you. If they quit – frustrated and impatient that they have not become immediately skinny – they either didn't understand, or they didn't believe you. I suppose both of these are your fault. Client selection is of critical importance, and not everybody is eligible.

  • Part 1
  • Part 2
  • Part 3
  • Part 4
  • Part 6
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