Are high expectations hindering your chances of success at the gym? Ditch the perfectionist act in time for summer with these tips from PT Jill Edmonds.

10 secrets to spring exercise success - Women's Health & Fitness


Are you a perfectionist when it comes to setting goals and trying to achieve them? This ‘all or nothing’ attitude often results in procrastination. Unless you can do it well, be the best or get a perfect result, you often give up.

High expectations

Perhaps you haven’t been doing a lot of exercise over the winter months and instead enjoyed a few too many stodgy carbs and red wines, so you’ve decided to get in shape for summer.

On Monday you go on a three-day detox and decide you’ll get up at 6am every morning and go for a 3km run. You decide to do a series of exercises every night when you get home from work – but because you want fast results you decide to do a lot more than is sustainable.

Can you see where this is heading? On your first morning it’s pouring with rain but you’ve told yourself you want to wear a bikini this summer, so you go outside and try to run in the rain. You can’t believe how hard it is and how short of breath you are because you used to be so fit.

You’re cold, wet and miserable, and quit at the halfway point. You decide you’ll do loads of squats and lunges that night to make up for it, but when you get home that night you can’t do as many exercises as planned because you are feeling faint from your detox – but you push on.

The next morning you get up and find you can’t even bend your legs as they’re so sore. You decide running sucks and go back to bed. You’re so cranky at work by Wednesday morning because you haven’t eaten any real food that your colleagues are avoiding you.

Saturday night rolls around and you’re feeling miserable and sore, and realise that after all the work you have done during the week you still don’t look like Jennifer Hawkins, so you might as well give up, have a bottle of wine and order in pizza.

All or nothing

Okay, so maybe you’re not quite that bad! But if you’re an ‘all or nothing’ kind of girl, you might be sabotaging your chances of getting a lean, healthy, fit body in time for summer. The good news is that you can tone-up but you need to create balance in your life and drop the perfectionist routine.

Consistency over time is the secret to getting a great bod. None of the fitness models you see in magazines are perfect all of the time. They train regularly and have days off for rest and relaxation. They consistently eat well but still enjoy sweet treats every now and then.

To set yourself up for success, devise manageable strategies to ease into your training and maintain a healthy eating regime to get the results you are looking for over time – rather than aiming for a quick fix where you will only be despondent about your lack of results.


Jill Edmonds is a certified Master PT and author of the successful e-book Unleashing Your Inner 30 Year Old – A rescue package for women. For more information visit and