Saturday, February 20, 2010

Just get your butt to the gym

I turned 28 this month, earning me the affectionate title of "Old Balls." (Use your imagination)

February also marked my 13th anniversary of having (and using) a gym membership. This means that I've formally been lifting weights longer than any other activity. Baseball falls to second as I regularly played from 6 years old to 18 years old.

I've been consistently busting my hump in a gym me entire adult life. I don't see this as a great accomplishment, however, as it is what it is.

Excuse me while I get off the floor after being knocked down by the cliche committee, but I honestly mean this.

Do I like working out? Only when I like to work out.

Huh?

You see, I've realized that people have this wild notion that I love to work my tail off every day in a gym (OK, six days a week now).

And I do love going to the gym, but there are days when I hate going to the gym and would like nothing better than to pull the covers back over my head and pull a Rip Van Winkle.

The only thing that prevents me from doing so on those days is the habit of going to the gym.

And that's what it takes.

I've gotten to the point where I simply can't start a work day without sweating it out first.

And you can, too. It's easy after it's really difficult.

Trust me on this. Going to the gym is the same as anything else. If you can just do it consistently for two weeks, it becomes a habit, and your body will crave it.

So here are my suggestions:
  • Go before you go to work, school or whatever. Start your day with a workout. If you do this, and then you try to stop, your mind and body will fight you to keep going. If you do it at night, your mind and body can't fight you if you stop because you can just end the day by going to sleep and not thinking about it.
  • Just Do It. (Here's a 20, Mr. Knight) Seriously. Get up two hours earlier than you usually do. Even if you just get to the gym and pedal on a bike for 30 minutes. Even if you just get to the gym and sit in the steam room for 30 minutes. Even if you just wake up and stay awake. Train your body to adjust.
  • Don't worry about results. Seriously. Even if you go to a gym for a year, and you don't see any muscle gain or lose an ounce of weight. Your body will push you when it's ready. And you'll push your body when you're ready. Let me make this clear. There will be days when you go to the gym and you won't want to be there and neither will your body or mind, and you'll ghost walk through workouts. As frustrating as this is, it's fine. Then there will be days when you body just doesn't want to be there, but you and your mind really want a good work out. It's then that you'll push your body. Finally, there will be times when you're mentally not there, but your body will be bored with your workouts. Then you'll try something newer and/or harder to satisfy your body.

That's it. Three stupidly simple steps. Just make it a habit. Get consistent. Don't worry about nutrition or anything else. Just get to the gym consistently. You'll learn a lot and grow out of just consistency. You'll want to know how to get more serious as your workouts get boring.

And if you can find a partner, more the better.

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