Everyone is at different stages in their lives and have different responsibilities. So that means certain life strategies will only work for certain people. Obviously there is no one perticular way to handle challenges that you may face or juggle all those responsibilities and what not. There are many ways to skin a cat, so being creative and having fun is essential in prolonging a positive mindset.
When it comes to health and fitness we all have the same basic goals but being that we are facing different situations it is more likely than not that in order to reach our goals we have to try different means and measures.
Some people will work out early in the morning and others late at night. Some people may only have the weekends to get some type of exercise in their busy lives. But within a year or two it can all change. Now the guy or girl who trains at night has to start training in the morning. Instead of working out 5 days a week they now can only manage 3 days a week.
Adapt & Overcome
When things in your life change, you have to change too. Think of yourself as a sitting duck if you don’t evolve. Adapt and overcome is the operable phrase here. The idea is that we all live different lives and we are facing different challenges or issues that make exercise feel like it’s the straw that broke the camels back. Kids,work,family and friends,making dinner,bringing the car for an oil change, and you have to sleep also right? Then you are supposed to just step out and go workout for and hour and then have your post work out meal and shower and step back into what seems like the most hectic time of your life!
How do you CONSISTENTLY keep up with your work outs and have enough energy and time to do it??
There in lies the crux of the situation. The challenge isn’t whether or not you can add 10 pounds to your squat or dead lift (although that would be optimal). It’s not if you can run a mile a minute less than last time. It’s not about if your pectorals are symmetrical and if your delts are not striated enough. The challenge has nothing to do with the weight you’re lifting at all! Get that out of your mind right now. Unless you are entering a competition and are at least competing at an amature level (in which case completely forget about what I’m saying) you are not focusing on the REAL challenge.
I know this may not make sense right now because we have all been exposed to the same minutia when it comes to health and fitness. For example, an article about getting a 6 pack is all about diet and exercise, like it should be. But what the article fails to consider is , when do you have the time and above all, you are still working on just getting a barley visible 4 pack!
What Is The Challenge ?
The challenge, that us normal, but very hardcore people face is this….”How do I make enough time to workout 3 to 5 days a week consistently , have enough energy to do it and have enough energy afterward to spring back into my hectic life?” That’s probably not a good title for a book but doesn’t it hit the nail right on the head?
When you look at it like this doesn’t it change your perspective on what the challenge is?
Sure you want to make progress in the gym. I always try to add a little weight or another rep or two. I always expect a little punishment when I get under the iron, who doesn’t? But there is no way I am going to put any added pressure on top of what already seem to be way too much pressure.
Woody Allen said “80 percent of life is showing up.” This is true! I’m not sure if his percentile is accurate but it just means that once you show up that majority of the battle is completed or won.
Now , we discussed the issue Lets actually look at a few ways we can make the challenge of “showing up ” a little easier.
Change A Negative To A Positive
Surround yourself with people who share the same interest. When you see others who are in the same boat you can visualize yourself in that spot. Things are tough enough so the last thing you want to do is be thwarted by naysayers and negative people.
If you can’t surround yourself with like-minded people then you need to insulate and become a strong-willed leader to negate the effects of any negativity that may trip you up.
Lost In Da Funk
Being tired after a busy day working and running around is sometimes the death knell for an end of the day workout. You still have to pick the kids up from school or football practice and you have to make dinner, your tired and you want to take a half hour nap to re- charge. Look, sometimes you just gotta take a nap, do it. You know when your really tired. But other times that sense of fatigue that is keeping you from your workout is more of foggy cloudy fuzzy feeling that you get from a long day,. Yes your tired, but it is more of a mental thing than a physical thing. This is where our pal Woody Allen would step up and say ” Hey buddy! Just show up, just get in there and your more than half way there!”
I would say that 9 out of every 10 workouts start off with me feeling a little , well lets just say, dragging ass. It is very rare that I am all jacked and pumped up right before I workout. But every time I finish my workout…. I am jacked and pumped up! If I feel like I am dragging I know that it is because of the day I had. Life may be hardcore but sometimes it is just plain boring and monotonous. But when I walk away from the gym having hit it hard once again I am lit up like a roman candle! I am in a great mood because exercise makes you feel good. And you realize that you weren’t tired but just in a funk.
The Training environment
If you belong to a gym that you don’t like or maybe you lack motivation because you train at home then finding something different may be the order of the day. If your training environment isn’t working for you then change it! Find a place where you like to train, where you feel comfortable and where you WANT to be. Again , take a look at the people who are in the gym , maybe this is not your crowed. Surround yourself with the right people and you can go a long way.
Lost In Time
If your schedule is hectic because of kids and family then consider making a deal with your spouse. Explain your need to exercise consistently and show them a schedule. See what kind of compromise you can find that will propel your workouts much farther.
Get Your Team On
Invite a friend. I write this one with a bit of caution. Yes having a friend as a workout partner is great. If you peruse the internet you will find this advice is very prevalent. But if this friend is the only thing keeping you going then you best beware. If this friend should happen to stop working out for any reason then you will be doomed to quit as well. Not good. If you have a friend that is on the ball then go for it! Great things happen when people put their heads together.
The Punch Clock Blues
See if you can change your hours at work. If you start at nine and finish at 5 ask your boss if you can start at 7 and finish at 3 or start at 8 and finish at 4. You never know he/she may just think it’s a great idea. I used to work where at 5 pm we were still getting calls from the west coast. A colleague of mine started his day at 10 am and stayed untill 7 pm to pick up some extra business. The boss loved it and so did my colleague , he spent a good 2 hours at the gym every morning and he would eat his dinner at his desk and avoid all the traffic when going home!
Join a team
Like getting a friend involved joining a team can do wonders IF it is the right team of course. What kind of team? Anything as long as it is involved in physical activity and I mean real physical activity. I’m not taliking about the local bars dart leauge here!
All you need to do is look around there are teams everywhere. Softball/baseball, skiing, running, cycling (road & mountain), swimming, basketball,tennis, powerlifting, MMA/martial arts and much more.
With this strategy try to look beyond the idea of getting your game on and think what else this move can do for you as well. You may make a lot of new friends that you have things in common with. People will get to know you and you may be offered great opportunities like a new career or meeting an awesome love interest!
People who are motivated to play sports have a positive mindset as opposed to those who sit in a bar all night. This brings you full circle and back to the first tip of surrounding yourself with positive people and getting the negative ones out of your life!!
Do Your Chores (be your own mule)
Make physical chores your workout.
We had a huge maple tree come down in our yard from Hurricane Sandy. I had a tree company take the rest of it down and cut i up. I saved a couple hundred dollars by having them leave it laying in the yard.
They were a little confused but hey that’s not my problem.
Most of the logs were very big and heavy. I will guess and say anywhere from 40 to 100 pounds. And there was a shit ton of em too! I spent about 2 hours dead lifting each one and strong man carry them to the back yard where I set up a log pile. My neighbor asked if I needed a hand or a wheel barrow. I declined his offer and explained that I was exercising. He too looked confused and just shrugged his shoulders, oh well, not my problem.
Another example is I was putting new shingles on a roof for a friend. He wanted to rent a Mule which is a special ladder that will shuttle the heavy packages of shingles to the roof for you. I told him to save his money because right here is your mule buddy!! Each package weighed 65 lbs. so I carried up 3 at a clip until I was tired then dropped it down to 2 then finally 1 package. Not only was it a killer leg work out but it really was an overall body workout. Of course my friend thought I was nuts but then I explained to him what my thinking was and he sort of saw things my way…….. sort of.
Find A Way
Adapt and overcome , be creative and find a way. All weight training is, is putting a heavy load on your musculoskeletal system and moving it around until you are tired. It basically is a replacement for doing physical labor but with a touch of science added to it. Always go with the idea that something is better than nothing then take that to the next level that something a little extra is better than a little something and so on and so forth.
Don’t beat yourself up if you miss one , two or even three workouts in a row because life is happening. Even if all you did was take the stairs instead of the elevator you did a good thing my friend and you should be proud!