I’m a chronic, enthusiastic, I-genuinely-love-it, name-my-first-child-ShakeWeight, type of exerciser. I chose fitness for a career, I participate in multiple adult sports leagues, and I’m competitive to the level of playing Who Can Unload The Dishwasher Faster? and No One Goes To Bed Until Someone Has Correctly Identified The Next Fifteen Songs That Play On The Radio.
In spite of this love of exercise, I’m famous for fitness procrastination. I find it nearly impossible to start a workout. If I’m supposed to train at 1pm, I’ll be face down in Bachelor Twitter at 1:20pm. Or I’ll sit in the staff office…
As a longtime strength coach and personal trainer, people ask me one question more than any other question. It’s not what you would predict, like “Can I get rid of my muffin top by doing crunches?” (Nope!) or “Do I have to do burpees,” (Nope!) even though I hear those questions all the time. And I’ve gotten just about every kind of bananas-level question too, from “Will exercise keep me from getting pregnant?” (Oh, honey…) to “Will you please only wear short skirts when you train me?” (Sir, I have notified the police.)
But none of these is the most…
Companies that embrace Light Low Calorie Cooking are super into carbohydrate replacements. Cauliflower rice, eggplant chips, portobello mushroom bread slices. It’s an intoxicating prospect. Replace your carbs with vegetables, eat the same foods you love, end up with a healthier diet! Boom!
Except I have questions. What’s the real point here? Because it doesn’t feel like increased vegetable consumption to me. You could just suggest that your readers roast some brussels sprouts to go with their rice. No, these ideas always sound suspiciously like “Rice will make you Fat. …
Check out any sample exercise program, from marathon training to powerlifting, and you’ll see that Sunday is The Day Of Rest. No matter what might be programmed for the rest of the week, everyone always chooses the Sabbath as the guaranteed day off.
This is a huge mistake.
Sunday is the greatest day to work out and it’s dumb to waste your rest day on it.
The other days are full of flaming garbage, which makes them ripe for a break. Like the days when your last work meeting runs long with people talking about their unbearably boring weekends; meanwhile…
Most research in health and fitness tries to answer questions about long-term exercise: what happens to your body when you work out for months, years, or a lifetime? In other words, what comes from the long game? The long game is essential when it comes to health.
But the long game can also be overwhelming and easily derailed. Two years, five years from now? Who is able to motivate their workout today when it won’t matter for five years? It’s too far away to feel like it matters. It’s too easy to say, “I’ll do it tomorrow.”
So what gets…
We’ve all heard of “muscle memory.” The idea that your muscles don’t forget how to ride a bicycle, no matter how long it’s been since you rode one. But does muscle memory exist in a useful way, like making it easier to go back to the gym now if you were a high school cheerleading sensation then?
Or does it only remember how to do an activity that you’re usually…two-tired…to practice anyway?
A common refrain when people have been away from athletics for “too long,” is that they’ll never “get back” to their previous bodies. They wonder if there’s…
“I’ve hit a plateau,” she sighed, after missing another lift / petering out before reaching a mile / looking at the Colorado River basin. (Are obscure geography jokes still in or…?)
People hate plateaus. Personal trainers and fitness magazines vilify them. Everyone seems to think that a plateau means all our work is for nothing and our body despises our efforts and it’s probably our fault.
This is bullshit.
I googled “exercise plateau” to get a few examples of the narrative.
“How to break through a workout plateau”
“7 reasons you hit a workout or weight loss plateau”
In Pt. 1, I wrote that you are better off giving yourself some dang flexibility when it comes to gaining long-term body changes. When nothing changes, we want to stop. But what if something is changing and you just didn’t know to look for it?
Sometimes the changes you want are hidden in a dark forest, far away and impossible to see. Happily, there are fireflies that show you where your next step should land on the way.
So, what lights up when you exercise, and when?
Get ready because this shit hits the bloodstream RIGHT AWAY. There is a…
If you haven’t given up on 2021 entirely yet (no one would blame you if you have), you’ve probably made resolutions about self-care.
A friend just told me that he is wants to pursue athletics on the highest level that he can. He wants to make every decision in his life based on how it will help him be a better athlete: the meals, the sleep, the exercise, the short and long-term programming, etc.
I said to him, “What’s the end goal? Do you want to see how good you can be? Or is there a specific goal?”
Well, we’re deep into New Year New You season (even though it might actually be December 34th, 2020 and we just haven’t found out yet). I thought I’d toss up two quick reminders:
1) Don’t trust people who think orange is the best Starburst flavor.
2) New Year New You is a terrible platform to stand on.
New Year New You sounds like it’s brilliant. As a kid, I was convinced that getting to September was gonna change everything I hated about childhood. September! This year I will have friends. This is hard to believe, but it turns out that…