Fitness Motivation: How Should You Train?
Hey friends! I know I’ve been pretty absent, but I’m still here! Let’s waken this blog up with some fitness motivation!
If there is one thing I’ve learned over the 8+ years I’ve been in the fitness world (and let’s just hope it’s more than one! ;-)), it’s what keeps someone in the game.
- What is it that makes you keep coming back for more consistently?
- What makes you quit or take long breaks from fitness?
- What SHOULD you be doing to ensure you’ll keep on keeping’ on?
I believe there are two distinct questions that you must be able to answer YES to in order to determine if you are training the right way…
- Does this training support your goal?
- Do you enjoy it?
Let’s dig a bit deeper into each of them.
Does this training support your goal?
I believe all goals are equal. No goal is better than another and to each his own. I find SO often in the gym that people shun you for not wanting what they want. They walk around with that air around them, they look down on you, and most of all, they actually think they are BETTER than you. I find it extremely frustrating, but I’m confident enough to not care. Unfortunately, there are people in the gym that are already feeling subconscious enough and don’t need the added pressure/shaming. Just because you love bodybuilding, does not mean that the man training for a powerlifting meet is inadequate. Just because your goal is to go to the Crossfit Games, doesn’t mean that the girl that just wants a better butt’s goal is any less important. The gym is a big giant YOU VS. YOU. It isn’t about anyone else and your goal is the only one that should matter.
Now that I’ve got that out of the way, there IS a time when one type of training is better than another, and that time is when you’re looking at how you’re getting to your goals. If your goal is to get stronger and do a powerlifting meet, a bodybuilding program is not going to be sufficient. If your goal is to run a marathon, only lifting weights probably won’t help you get there. I like to think of training as a pyramid. Like an actual 3D pyramid that you learned about in geometry. The top of the pyramid is your goal, whatever that might be. The 4 sides are your 4 main avenues of achieving that goal. For example, let’s say your goal is to do a bodybuilding competition. One side of your pyramid would be your bodybuilding training program, another side would be your diet/cardio, another side would be your posing, and the 4th side would be some type of muscle health action like yoga, foam rolling, or sports massages.
Do you enjoy it?
This might be the biggest factor in it all, depending on the person. While you will never enjoy EVERY training session or exercise, while there will be pain (the good kind), while there will be days where you’d rather just sit on the couch, overall you must enjoy what you’re doing (and I guess this applies to more than just working out…). Take me for example. If you told me I had to do pilates every day for my exercise, it is highly probably that I would end up missing it more often than going. I’ve tried several different training protocols over the years and at different times, I’ve enjoyed different ways of training. Currently, my favorite way to work out is to start with a heavy lift, then move into some medium weight/rep range supersets or plyometrics, and finish off with higher rep accessory work. Is EVERY training session built this way? No. But the majority of them are. I like them and they support my goal of getting stronger, being functional and agile, and giving me the aesthetic results I want. I also do things I DON’T like, but that I NEED to do to support my goals such as flexibility work (need to keep my muscles healthy) and dieting (I want to look a certain way), but liking the majority of what I do is KEY to long-lasting commitment.
You’ll never enjoy every piece of the puzzle. If you do, more power to you, but it isn’t likely. But do make it a priority to enjoy at least one piece. Maybe that piece is feeling like you could deadlift a car (or if you’re super duper strong, actually deadlifting a car) or maybe it’s hiking in beautiful scenery. WHATEVER it is that you love, you must incorporate it. If not, you’re more likely to fizzle out. If you really hate something, it’s hard to stick to it. If you at least like parts of something, it becomes easier.
Wherever you are in your fitness journey, make your own personal goals a priority and work on finding a way to achieve those goals. We are only given one body and you don’t get a do-over.
Find something you love, find something that will help you to get where you want to be, and then just #riseandgrind.