I AM KIND OF enamored with Studio X Fitness. In addition to a full weekly schedule of small group classes, they're known for personal training, including nutritional analysis, measuring your progress in inches, and—in the case of my own experience with owner Tim Irwin—the occasional email or instant message barking, "Get your ass to class!"
Irwin has a low threshold for bullshit and excuses, and his studio is a great place to address your body-related goals—they're into results, not blowing sunshine up your ass. He shared the most common truths that people don't like to face (but probably suspect):
1. You are doing this to look good.
It sounds less vain to act like you're simply concerned with your health, but Irwin says everyone also wants results they can see. "I've never met anyone who doesn't want to lose two inches off their abs." Just admit it.
2. You don't eat that well.
Chances are pretty swell that you think your diet is a lot better than it is. Irwin says he see lots of people who equate their patronization of organic and free-range foods as the same as healthy. "A block of cheese, almonds, and a glass of wine is still just fat and booze."
What's more, people have a tendency to lie to themselves. Irwin is a huge proponent of tracking what you eat. He even goes so far as to say he's never seen anyone not experience a positive result simply by keeping tabs.
3. Your grapefruit diet won't work.
Irwin says the number one thing he has to contend with is fad diets. "People want to do one thing really intensely... they're trying to overcompensate." And, while you can definitely see results from going extreme, it never lasts. The only way to make it stick is to make long-term adjustments. "Take a bottle of wine out of your diet per week, or make it half a bottle," he suggests instead.
4. You're not going to work out nine times a week.
Similarly, people have a habit of setting unrealistic goals when it comes to exercise. "They'll just feel bad about it. I always tell people to plan for something reasonable—once or twice a week—and stick to it."
5a. Women: Your calves are not getting bigger.
Irwin says women have a tendency to shy away from heavier weights out of a fear that it's going to make them bulk up, which is why one of Irwin's other favorite tools is a tape measure. "It's muscle they're seeing, it's tone."
5b. Men: Thirty minutes of intensity a week isn't a good idea.
High-intensity short workouts are popular these days—Irwin says he often sees men who go hard for very short periods of time and then do absolutely nothing the rest of the week. "If your body isn't conditioned for that, you're going to hurt yourself."
Studio X Fitness, 2839 SE Stark, studioxfitness.com.