Synergy... Kind of sounds like I’m going to talk about corporate strategy and team cohesiveness, and all that jazz, right?

As a point of fact, the very inspiration of this article series, Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, uses synergy as one of the interpersonal habits. While I believe it has merit, and I will touch on that aspect of it, I’m taking a whole different approach to the concept.

If you haven’t figured it out yet, this is the latest installment of my series 10 Habits of Highly Effective Exercisers.

In this variation of the concept, I chose another inspiration in Phil Kaplan. He uses the term to define three aspects that all must be in place, namely the right nutrition (or supportive nutrition, as he calls it), moderate aerobic exercise, and “a concern for muscle.” He uses the term synergy to describe not only the concepts themselves (which everybody pretty much knows, anyway), but also the relationships between them. In other words, you can do great workouts, but you don’t have the balance right between aerobic and anaerobic exercise, or you don’t understand the concepts of supportive eating, all of you efforts won’t pay off. One of Faizal’s favorite quotes is:

“You can’t outrun a doughnut!”

The point is, you can’t have a one-sided program. It has to be three dimensional; otherwise you lose out on a lot of opportunity. I’ve addressed the concept on a previous blog post.

Of course the other slant on this whole thing is the original concept, which deals with interpersonal skills.  How do we cram fitness into that category?  Isn't it just an individual effort.  Well, if Mrs. Clinton can say that it takes a village to raise a child, then I can say it takes one to lose weight.  There are all sorts of ways to incorporate other people into your fitness journey.  You could hire a trainer, nutritionist, physician, coach, or other professional.  You could find a workout buddy to take the journey with you.  You could enlist an "accountability partner" who gives you support from the sidelines. 

All of these people can help you accomplish more than you could without their help, but take note ... they cannot do any of it for you.  They are only levers to help you accomplish more.  You still have to apply the force to those levers.  The other thing to keep in mind is that all those people helping you can either be a blessing or a curse.  They are a blessing when they give you the support you need.  They become a curse when their well-intentioned advise starts confusing you and pulling you in different directions. 

You have to be the conductor of the orchestra; they are there only to help.