Guys, fitness is great.
You know it, I know it, everybody knows it! Getting in shape is awesome! Feeling good is awesome! Liking the way you look is awesome!
And obviously, I’m not going to sit here and tell you how to work out. If you like to work out through interpretive dance, that’s great! You do what feels good to you!
If you want to work out strictly with weights, that’s super! There are some great ways to do that!
It’s not so much about how you’re working out as it is about the attitude behind how you’re working out.
And that’s what I wanted to talk a little bit about today.
Chill Out With The Hardcore Workouts
Look, if you want to push your body as hard as it can go in a workout, be my guest. It’s cool that you’re devoted to getting in shape.
But here’s the thing – your body isn’t invulnerable. It’s not a machine where every ounce of energy you put into it comes out in pure chiseled muscle and toned stomach.
It requires rest. It requires recovery time. And it if it doesn’t get it, it gets hurt, or worse.
Point is – pushing yourself to the limit every time you work out, you’re working against yourself.
It’s Not Cool To Break Down
That’s why it bothers me to see this trend spreading across the fitness landscape, just like it’s spread across the landscape of America at large.
No pain, no gain!
Push yourself as hard as you can go, then go even farther.
If you’re not exhausted, you weren’t trying.
Pain is temporary, glory lasts forever.
These sayings might be motivational, sure, but the attitude they’re selling is sick.
They’re telling you to push yourself past your breaking point.
They’re telling you to keep going even when you need a rest.
They’re telling you that if you don’t feel like you’re about to die, you’re not working out hard enough.
And that’s crap.
Calm Down And Train Smart
In the long term, the gains you see from pushing yourself as hard as you can go are going to be in the number of injuries you suffer, the amount of time you spend wincing as you walk up and down the stairs, and in the number of times you consider quitting working out.
This idea that everything has to be a struggle, that working out is a war, is toxic. It’s an easy, bite sized piece of non-logic that gets stuck in your brain and undermines everything you’re doing.
Truth is, it shouldn’t be miserable to work out. You shouldn’t be cursing the day you were born every time you step into the gym.
Working out and getting healthy should be a natural, enjoyable part of your life – not one that you have to suffer through.
And the idea that the proper workout = suffering is only going to stand in the way of that.
Buck The Trend – Work Out How You Want To
There’s a mindset shift that works wonders if you put it into action.
And be warned – if you do it right, this will actually make working out something you look forward to instead of dreading.
Here’s what it is: instead of thinking about a workout as something to be suffered through, think about a way to get active and exercise by doing something you love.
Do you like playing a sport? Play it more often and with people that challenge you!
Do you like yoga? Create a schedule of yoga training and put your energy towards that!
Do you like dancing? Dancing is a great way to burn calories and tone muscle!
Whatever healthy activity you find joy in, find a way to incorporate that into your life regularly.
Your fitness doesn’t have to be about misery. Your body’s health isn’t an engine where you put pain in as the fuel and muscles come out as the reward.
Your Health Is About Your Relationship With Your Body
Listen to what your body is telling you!
Obviously, I’m not telling you to take it easy all the time. Getting healthy and achieving your goals is about confronting your limits and pushing past them.
But that doesn’t mean you should keep going even though every ligament in your body is screaming at you to stop.
Find a middle ground where you can listen to your body and know when it’s time to keep pushing, and when it’s time to back off and recover.
This is going to be different for everyone, but it’s the most important step that you can take in your quest towards fitness. When you know how to read the signals your body is sending you, you’ll avoid injuries and setbacks while making solid, consistent progress towards your goals.
Have Fun With It!
I’m serious! If you come away from this with one thing to remember, it should be this: Enjoy your fitness! If you can do that, you’ll never dread a workout again.
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