We all go through phases, right?
Have you looked back at photos of yourself from middle school lately? If you looked at my eighth grade picture I bet you’d hardly recognize me, with my braces, acne, and bad hair.
Ah, yes… the phases of growing up!
If you’re like most people, you are probably thankful that those awkward years were just one of the many phases you went through in your journey to becoming a grown up.
Like the phases of adolescence or the waxing and waning of the moon, fitness has its phases, too. The phases of fitness aren’t all awkward or uncomfortable (although some sure feel like it at times), but with each phase we get closer and closer to being a “grown up” with our health.
The phases of fitness can even apply to other areas of life – reaching goals, starting a new job, changing eating habits, even parenting!
Timing is everything
Each of the 5 phases of fitness lasts about 2-3 weeks, and the timing can depend a lot on the individual. The phases are also somewhat fluid – meaning, they can have some overlap. The key is hat you WILL make progress through them if you are intentional.
If fitness is a journey and not a destination, then let’s learn how to make the most of that journey by navigating right through each phase with success.
So let’s see what they are, shall we (and before we start, you should know the phases are the same no matter our age)?
The 5 Phases of Fitness
Read on and learn what they are so you can survive them all (then click to get the free PDF cheat sheet)!
1. The Rally Phase (weeks 1-3)
In this initial Rally Phase, you are on fire! You can’t wait for Day One. You’ve created a workout routine, cleaned out your pantry, and planned your meals. Motivation and intentions are high and so are your emotions!
As your body adapts to its new routines you’re seeing the pay off when you begin to notice your clothes fitting better. Seeing these small victories helps you breeze through this phase with ease.
You feel unstoppable!
2. The Reality Phase (weeks 4-6)
In weeks 4-6, you are still working on your goals, but in this phase you realize it takes discipline to keep seeing success.
Alert, Alert! When you enter the Reality Phase it’s easy to start making excuses, but resist that urge!
I have a headache.
I’ll get back on it tomorrow (and it’s already been a week).
This self-talk will sabotage you right back to square one if you let it.
Body shock has already happened back in the Rally phase, and now progress is slowing down.
This is natural.
Don’t. Give. Up.
Grab the list of these phases of fitness and how to get through each one in a handy PDF: Click here to get it!
3. The Relax Phase (weeks 6-8)
In this phase you are probably seeing results and others are noticing (gotta love those compliments!). Progress may be slower, but still steady, as muscle definition starts to show. Added bonus: you’re sleeping better thanks to your great nutritional habits. Keep up the good work and don’t lose steam!
Beware, the Relax Phase is called that for a reason. This is the time when we begin to negotiate with our inner voice who is telling us “it’s all good” and we don’t have to push so hard anymore. Many people begin to taper off at this phase because they get TOO relaxed, but not you. YOU want better for yourself.
Don’t give yourself permission to put things on cruise control.
Continue your schedule.
Continue your healthy eating.
It will be worth it.
You’ll successfully navigate your way through this phase by maintaining the consistency you’ve conditioned your mind and body to expect.
4. The Resolve phase (weeks 8-10)
If you’ve made it this far, hooray for you! It was so tempting to ease up (or even quit) after you started to see progress, but you are beyond the Relax Phase now and you need to dig deep.
Don’t rely solely on motivation. It’s not always going to be the first one to greet you every morning. RESOLVE to make your habits non-negotiable.
Many people find this Resolve Phase the most challenging of all the fitness phases. If that’s you, I encourage you to gather up some reinforcements! Find an accountability partner, a team, a group of co-workers, whatever will help you stay in the game.
Remember, helping others to successfully get through THEIR fitness phases often has the effect of helping YOU, too!
So keep going and keep trusting the process – the next phase is going to be awesome!
5. The Rejoice Phase (weeks 10-12)
(Cue Cool & the Gang’s Cel-e-brate tonight, come on!)
The hard work is paying off! By now everyone around you has been boosting your self-esteem with their compliments about your noticeable changes. Some are even asking what you’ve been doing and maybe if you could show them how, too!
Your enthusiasm is contagious, after all, and why not? You’ve made your health a priority and it shows!
Maintenance Mode and Passing Tests
When you reach Phase 5, you will either have met your goal or want to go another round. Either way, you are in, or are close to, maintenance mode now. You have learned that going through the phases of fitness wasn’t easy.
At every step, you were tested. And at every step you have overcome challenges.
You’ve learned that the thing about going through any phase in life is that usually, another one comes right along to take its place. In the event you haven’t made it all the way to your goal as you had originally planned, you aren’t worried. You’ll just resume again and keep striving for progress.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope. ~ Romans 5:3-4
A growth mindset
In wellness and in life, there are no quick fixes that will bring meaningful, lasting changes, unless you first change your habits. Habits are changed one small step at a time, and with a mindset of growth and personal development, not one of looking back at past mistakes or striving for perfection.
Here’s to you!
By identifying each fitness phase and recognizing how to successfully advance to the next one, you will to continue to mature and gain the confidence you need to not only attain a healthy lifestyle, but to tackle other areas of your life, too!
You are no longer in bondage to the anxiety that once held you hostage.
So here’s to you! Here’s to progressing through the Rally, Reality, Relax, Resolve, and Rejoice phases of fitness. Here’s to you as you celebrate your achievements, meet your big hairy goals, and begin helping others.
Here’s to fitness becoming less and less about what you do, but more and more about who you are.
Which phase of fitness gives YOU the most trouble? Leave your “number” in the comments! :)
To your success and beyond,
Enter your email to grab the FREE PDF – How to Maximize the 5 Phases of Fitness: Click here to get your PDF!
Ready to take back your health?
Get free instant access to my online vault of guides, worksheets, and more for getting fit over 50 – plus updates, new articles, and my best tips for living fit, healthy, happy, & whole!
Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well. ~ 3 John 1:2