You have come to burn through lactic acid, gasp for air, and let your eyes sting from the sweat on your brow.
If you want to imagine myself as Mr Burns there, tapping his fingertips together with a menacing smile, awaiting his newly motivated disciples to do his bidding as he watches them torture themselves, then so be it.
(and this is a big but)
…That is not how exercise should be. You do not have to have a drill sergeant, and you should be able to enjoy it.
I know! I heard it too. All of the beginners just gasped in unison.
Trust me, if you do not enjoy what you are doing, then it will never last. Forcing yourself to do something is the easiest way to convince yourself that it is not right for you. You will not be in the right mindset, and you will focus on all of the flaws, rather than all of the positives.
Instead, you should be finding ways to make it interesting for yourself. Everyone prefers different methods, but here is a list of a common few:
- Take part in a class
- Workout with a friend or family member
- Set yourself challenges
- Hire a Personal Trainer
- Complete exercises or use training techniques that you enjoy
Now not everyone wants to get all hot and sweaty with a load of other people. Some would much rather do that on their own (simmer the giggles people), but most tend to enjoy it with at least one other person. Some feel self conscious in the gym, and who can blame them, hell, I’m a trainer and I wish I had some of their physiques.
Instead of making yourself feel bad about not looking that way, use it as motivation. See it as a reflection of your future self if you work as hard as they have. They never used to look like that, and if they can do it, you can too.
So in short, if you have other people around you, you will feel like you stand out less as you will be a part of a group.
Others prefer to work out on their own, and fair play, if you have the determination, good on you. However, most people like the challenge of trying to beat the person next to them.
I will be teaching a class involving shuttle runs, and sooner or later I will have two men doing sprint finishes, lean and all, just because they want to outdo each other.
I find that this is the most effective way of training because it pushes you to try harder at everything. It gives us a realistic goal without even having to think about it. We live in a society that is driven by immediate gratification, so sometimes those long term goals are just too far out of reach for us. But who does not love to win?
Even if you do not do as many reps, or lift as heavy, did you beat what you did last time? Did you still train as hard as you could? That sounds like a win to me.
With some people it requires a Personal Trainer to get you to enjoy the experience. I believe that a session should not be gruelling and unbearable. Instead, it should suit your client in terms of what they enjoy. You will also find that the more sessions you do with your trainer, the better they can experiment and see what motivates you, what exercises you like, as well as what style of training you typically prefer.
Naturally, you can accomplish this all by yourself, and find what methods and exercises work for you. However, I do recommend that an exercise professional gives you your first session; this way they can make sure that you are performing the exercises correctly and safely.
For those more experienced with fitness, it is best not to get too comfortable. Take my advice for enjoying exercise, but there is a difference between enjoying a solid workout, and participating in a programme that is too easy for you.
As soon as you stop pushing the boundaries of your body, your progression will begin to slow until there are no more changes left to be made. The easiest example of this is using the same rep and set range, on the same weight for a year. Even to beginners, this sounds absurd.
How are you supposed to get stronger using the same training methods if you do not lift heavier?
How are you supposed to run faster if you only stick to 5mph on a treadmill?
Remember that your body needs to adapt. Over training aside, push your body to its limits and it will grow to overcome those restrictions that you are placing on it. Just make sure you enjoy the process, otherwise, sooner or later, your motivation will deteriorate.
To conclude, try new exercises, try new training methods, and change things around every month or two so that you continue to develop your knowledge and fitness. Whatever you do though, make sure you enjoy the exercise that you are doing.
No go and Enjoy fitness!
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