The “Tinderization” of Training

The Tinderization of Fitness

by Dave Thomas
Owner, Performance360

We are becoming a swipe left society.

We want outcomes and we want them immediately. We want to skip all of the elements of work and just get to the end line. We try something. We don’t like it. Swipe left.


We move from diet to diet. Gym to gym. Routine to routine. Always expecting the next move to supersede the previous one despite an absence of adherence.

2015 marks the good fortune of our fifth year at Performance360, and over the course of the past four and a half years I’ve had countless discussions about goals. It’s one of my favorite things to chat about with members. I’ve had them with new members, veterans and everyone in between. I’ve had them about training for the rigors of NFL seasons. I’ve had them about being able to quit daily fast food addiction for the obese. I’ve had them about deadlifting 600#. I’ve had them about being able to do one push-up.

Over these goals discussions and subsequent outcomes, finished and unfinished, I’ve learned a lot about the human psyche when it comes to setting and reaching goals.

We bail easily.

We subconsciously protect our egos from failure by blaming circumstance.

That’s the cold truth.

We say that we want to reach a goal. We dabble in it for a little bit. Then, we swipe left.

We join a gym, try a diet, change our routine thinking that because it’s new, it has some miraculous genie in a bottle powers that grant your every wish just because you show up. Few things are more frustrating to me as the owner of a gym than when someone comes in, talks a big game, and then quits two months later because they, “Didn’t see results”.

Results aren’t a Halloween grab bag where someone hands you treats, you stick your hand in and grab what you want.

You don’t see results. You build them.

On the flip side, while I am eager to get a new member who has bounced around from gym to gym, I know that a track record of hit and quit does not bode well for sudden success at Performance360, regardless of how much I think our shit doesn’t stink.

Adherence trumps most anything, provided your plan doesn’t totally suck. Most of us just need to get better at adhering.

Let’s consider a few things.

Losing one to two pounds of fat per week is successful.

Gaining five to ten pounds of muscle in a year is successful.

Breaking a PR by five pounds in one year is successful.

Have a goal to perform one pull-up on your own? Awesome. Great goal. Now get ready to work hard for about one year if you’re a complete beginner.

See what I’m getting at here? Shit takes time. The cooler the shit is, the more time that it takes to reach and the more willing you must be to strap in and get to work.

If you’re in it solely for the end game, you will not enjoy your time in the gym. You must learn to enjoy work and little victories of self improvement.

Here’s the most important takeaway from all of this. Your results are on you. No one else.

If you’ve tried X, Y and Z and haven’t seen results, I have news for you. It may not be X, Y or Z. It’s likely U.

All too common is the person who wants success but takes no accountability to achieve it. You’re the one who must clean up your diet. You’re the one who must pay attention, challenge yourself and create success. Showing up is simply the jump off point. Once you’re there, you must constantly put yourself in a position to be working towards your goals.

Going through the motions may work initially, but it will not do for the goals you likely want to reach.

Have a weight loss goal? Best be ready to completely overhaul your diet, food preparation and awareness to what you put in your body. You will not reshape your body unless you change your diet. Ever.

Have a strength goal? Best be ready to hit heavy barbell lifts with regularity. Be ready to be uncomfortable and to wonder if you can hit the weight you’ve put on the bar.

Wanting results is certainly a fine first step, but it does not entitle you to them.

Goals should be challenging and when you hit them, you should feel fucking amazing. There is a reason we celebrate the hell out of our members when they hit clubs, goals, leaderboards and records.

Here’s a plan I suggest to all.

Write down three goals that you want and work with extreme diligence on achieving them. Do not bail. Do not be sidetracked. Do not fall victim to your own excuses.

Success is amazingly simple. It’s about holding yourself to your word with an unbreakable standard, and not swiping left at first sign of adversity.

It’s so easy to be another person in a long, long line of average people who quit and resign themselves to average things.

Aspire for your own high standards. Finish what you start.

Dave Thomas is owner and coach at Performance360 in San Diego, California. If you liked this article, please consider sharing it.

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