Let’s be real. Getting into the gym can be tough. There’s time commitments, financial commitments, dieting commitments, motivational commitments, etc. Even the effort it takes to simply move the weights or sweat it out on the treadmill is a huge consideration to make. But, once you’ve gotten yourself to a place mentally where you’re ready for all the effort, now what?
I couldn’t tell you the number of people I’ve seen firsthand that just float around the gym, aimlessly moving from machine to machine without an actual sense of purpose. Is that to say they’re wasting their time? Well, no, not quite. But are they making the most of the time they’re putting in? Absolutely not. Would an Army General march into battle without a plan? Would a coach in the Super Bowl wake up on game day and say to himself, “Meh, let’s just WING IT!”. Not a chance!
Proper preparation is just as critical an ingredient as any other element when committing to a fitness regimen. Here are six things to consider before you hit PLAY on your Gym-Time Playlist:
The rule of thumb is a higher number of reps per set equals a higher heart rate, which tends to burn more fat. Take as little rest as possible between sets (30-60 seconds) so that you can still complete a full set with good form. The inverse is, a lower number of reps keeps the heart rate lower, which allows for less cardiovascular effort and tends to break down and develop more actual muscle. Here, we can allow for 90-120 seconds of rest between sets to fully return our heart rate to a resting level, promoting the maximum muscular effort. Build your routine around those basic guidelines and modify it as you see fit for yourself.
Proper preparation is the difference between a good workout and a GREAT workout. Equip yourself with every tool necessary to give you every possible chance to succeed. Don’t sell yourself short: your own worst enemy is just ignorance. The answers are all out there, and you owe it to yourself to find them and apply them. Take the time to change your life today, and you’ll thank yourself tomorrow.
We’ve all got it: those few extra pounds we wish we didn’t. In a day and age where “body positivity” is being thrown around as a defense for obesity, it’s almost taboo to even touch on. But let’s face it – most of us are overweight, and all the trends are only pointing away from us as a culture finding a solution. When getting your favorite fast food DELIVERED TO YOUR DOOR is as simple as a few taps on your phone (because drive-thrus are neither quick nor convenient enough anymore), the never-ending pursuit of accommodation is what continually feeds the “NOW-NOW-NOW” immediacy we’ve come to require as a people.
That sums up the whole issue in a nutshell, doesn’t it? If getting IN shape was as easy as getting OUT of shape, we’d all be walking around like marble statues. Countless hopeful gym newbies sign up with some New-Years-Resolution-Get-Fit deal at their local big box gym, but fall off by the time Valentine’s day candy goes on sale in mid-February. Why? Because fitness is a process, not a purchase.
My own fitness experience follows along that story line too. With fitness videos that work you out in 90 minutes getting replaced by the NEW and IMPROVED version that does it in 60 minutes, then again replaced by the 20-minute version, what’s the message there? That all I need is 20 minutes of jumping around a few days a week to look like the guy on the cover of the fitness magazines? Count me in!
The moral of the story here is you have to mentally prepare yourself, more so than physically, for ALL of the effort it takes actually to commit to change. It’s more than a diet; it’s more than jumping around for 20 minutes, it’s more than mindlessly throwing weights onto bars and moving them around for a little while. It’s taking the time to research and understand just what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. It’s a mental switch you flip that says, “OK, yes, I’m doing this, no matter what it takes. And I’m not stopping until I get where I want to be.” That’s the hardest part, folks. We get frustrated and discouraged because whatever “it” is, “it” doesn’t work for us. So, we give up. We continually make excuses and rationalize our way out of following through with these commitments and promises we make to ourselves, and until we’re MENTALLY prepared to follow through with them, we’ll just end up spinning our wheels.
Don’t quit because the “gains” aren’t just rolling in. Don’t get discouraged because the scale doesn’t immediately say what you want it to say and the person in the mirror doesn’t immediately look how you want them to look. It’s ok to not go 100mph right from the start. It’s ok to not even EXPECT yourself to go 100mph right from the start. You’ve gotta crawl before you can walk, and walk before you can run. Commit to the change, however large or small; it’s all significant. Remember, the keyword is COMMITMENT. Not 50% effort, not 90%, but ALL in, FULLY committed. Start your healthy lifestyle by just committing to healthy choices, and I promise those decisions will take you exactly where you want to go.