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.
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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.
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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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I see it all of the time, people push themselves and then they fall flat on their face with an unhealthy fitness routine.
People think that if they work out harder, they will lose weight faster. That is not the case, in fact, the more muscle you build the more fat that is going to be eaten by the muscle that you build.
I would say that if you have the right attitude, you can do anything. Having a positive one during your workout is going to get your the best results. An unhealthy workout, however, is not going to get you anything.
Not healthy and fitness should not be used together. That just spells bad things for the person trying to work their butts off for a good reason.
I would say that the number one thing I see in the gym is that person who thinks two visits is going to change their body. Working out is a work in progress, always. Do not take to the fitness trends and get lost along the way, it is not healthy for your body.
I messed around with trendy workouts for a while, but I ended that when I would just go back to my regular routine in just a few short weeks. I guess it came down to personal preference.
I have friends that push it ALL of the time. I also know a triathlete that pushed it too hard and his heart gave way. He passed away and that was a real eye opener for most people. Thanks!
Work smarter, not harder, right? This goes for just about any type of routine that you can think of. Getting hurt while you workout is not going to get you anywhere.
You can do a lot of working out, but if you get hurt or are exhausted, what is the point? You are not going to gain anything that way. Slow and steady is what I always like to say.
I think that if you are going to workout to the point that you break down and are not able to function well the next day, there is something wrong. You need to always take a day of break time from working out so that your muscles can adjust, right?
Yes, this is right. Your muscles will need time to “repair” once they are all beat up from exercise. A day is usually enough, but if you are working out hard each day, it could take 2 or 3 days for the full repairs to happen.
I can see this happening to younger adults as they are pressured into looking and feeling great! Doing too much can get you nowhere or even injured and then where will you be?
With the popularity of CrossFit these days, more people are lifting weights to get back into shape and maintain a good core. These are good starter tips!
I have always wanted to try Crossfit, but I never know where to sign up!
If you are not a normal gym-goer, you should always consult a trainer before you get started. Otherwise you could get yourself hurt and that is not good for anyone.
Did you know that there are more deaths these days from “extreme” workouts than ever before? So many people, young and old, are pushing themselves to the edge.
I agree that health is a relationship with your body. You are going to get more out of it with what you put into it. Healthy food in, great feelings out. Bad food in, bad feelings out!
It is a surprise how long some of the “fad” diets and exercise routines have been around. You would think they would have died off at some point.
I see a lot of friends and others at the gym that push it way too far. I always think, slow and steady wins the race. How much can you do if you are tired or hurt yourself?
I agree with you Jason. If you are going to push it only to get injured, you are not going to be getting ahead. It will not be healthy for your body either.