What College Enrollment has in common with your Fitness Goals

What struck me, though, was how many parallels there are between the issues we face as a nation in College Enrollment and the issues we face in as a nation in Health and Fitness.

You could easily replace “enrolling in college” with “getting in shape” and get a decent feel for the stories we hear every day at Kai. Both are difficult life transitions, in neither case does success have much correlation to intelligence or effort, and both journeys have meaningfully better outcomes when a coach or “guide” is involved.

So, here we go: Why getting in shape is just like enrolling in college, in three points.

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Jonathan Smith
Kai Gym Equipment Walkthroughs

The gym can be a very intimidating place. The most difficult part for many of us is taking the first steps through the door.

There are some really intense gear in that joint, and most of it looks like it could squish you if you use it incorrectly. Meanwhile, all the people in there clearly know what they're doing and because you don't, they are all instantly judging you. Right?

Or, maybe that's just me? Doubt it.

Either way, the team here at Kai decided to make some simple videos to show how easy--and not serious--it is to adjust and use these machines. Take a gander.

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Levi Bethune
Looking for (fitness) love in all the wrong places.

In total, we spent around 50 hours interviewing everyday folks about their fitness goals, their lives, and their struggles (using a template like this, which I highly recommend for ethnographic interviewing).

That, combined with the 5 years I’ve spent personally coaching people, and I think it’s fair to say that I’ve talked to a lot of people about their fitness goals.

What have I learned?

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Jonathan Smith
Cheat Meals Are My Secret

I have spent the last 5 years attempting to reach a goal: I want to be, and remain, fit.

At times, I have been the embodiment of #fitfam. My workout regimen consisted of 5-6 vigorous gym sessions a week (a combo of weight lifting, cardio, and ballet training) with a strict 1500 calorie a day diet (no saturated fats or alcohol, and minimal carbs). In other words, my life existed within the parameters of my fitness plan. I vowed to attend no parties, to only order salads at restaurants, and to fast on vacations so I could maintain the ‘beach-bod’ I’d worked so hard for.

These “fit” phases, however, only lasted for 6 months at a time, before completely derailing after a sudden craving for Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food, or a late-night binge on Chicken Top-Ramen. The next 6 months would then consist of eating whatever I pleased (cookies, Chick-Fil-A, Coronas...) because I had broken the plan—so, why not keep breaking it?

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Lauren Gabrio
The real reason you can’t get in shape

Truly, I am fitter and healthier at age 31 than I was at age 21. To this day, I look and feel completely different than ever before.

Do you want to know I did it? My great fitness secret? Well, It certainly wasn’t my extreme discipline. I still often missed workouts and failed to meal plan. There was no strict diet full of acai and turmeric, nor some extreme celebrity training regimen I found on Instagram. And I still hate running.

So how did I do it?

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Jonathan Smith