Thursday, 28 October 2010 00:00
If you work your biscuits off and take your workouts seriously, you will work your biscuits off, or build muscle, or build strength, or increase endurance, or whatever your goal happens to be. You don't need technology...
Or to be made to feel comfortable, or safe, or put at ease.
In fact those are some things that are the exact opposite of what you need to reach your fitness goals.
You do happen to need:
1. Focus (the goal itself plus motivation)
2. Structure (the right plan and information)
3. Hard work (equipment that facilitates the exertion of effort).
So, with that in mind:
Avoid Gyms with a lot of Technology
What is the reason for the new trend of gyms offering an individual cable TV on each and every piece of cardio? To distract you from the fact that you are doing cardio, of course. That would be a great idea if your goal could be reached by not paying attention to what you're doing. Unfortunately it cannot -- and I mean cannot -- be reached by distracting yourself. It can only be reached by paying attention to what you're doing.
Avoid Gyms that Want to Make Working Out Easier for You
Working out requires hard work and a time commitment and anyone who tells you otherwise is lying to you. Classes are OK, but you actually don't need them. If they're there and you want to participate and enjoy them, that's fine. But remember you don't need them. What you need is equipment or classes that require you to put out physical effort. That sounds like the definition of the opposite of easy. Avoid gyms that want to make it safe for you. "Safe" is the word used for marketing in the fitness industry to reinforce one illusion and to create another:
1. It reinforces the illusion that you are in some kind of danger to begin with in "those other gyms"
2. it creates the illusion that you'll be "safer" in their gym. Now you might ask what's wrong with:
1. Feeling safe, and
2. technology making workouts more comfortable, and
3. doing a workout if there is an easier way to do it?
The answer to each is as follows:
1. Besides the fact that you are neurotic if don't feel safe where safe where not real threat exists, feeling safe is not a prerequisite to achieving your goal. You can achieve your goal in the presence of dangers, real or imagined. I'm going to shoot straight.
In my 23 years of spending a lot of time in a lot of gyms, I have never heard of one case of a gym that was truly unsafe in any real way to any man or woman. Ninety-nine percent of the people who feel unsafe in this or that gym are neurotic. Those grunting guys are probably nice guys working out hard. Maybe working out hard just in their minds, but I'll bet they are still not dangerous. Unless your gym has a legitimate, obvious, real gang element in it then the threat is all in your head. So don't let that be an excuse to not get to your goals.
2. THE BODY FOLLOWS THE MIND. Keeping your body in a "comfortable" state is what got it into the condition it is now. So it naturally follows that comfort is actually something you should run from. Avoid it in ALL of its forms ESPECIALLY mental. Mental comfort is the very thing, by the way, that many gyms close you on.
3. THE BODY FOLLOWS THE MIND. You can go back and reread the answer to #2 this time, however, replace the words "comfortable" and "comfort" with "easy" and "ease." Remember you don't need technology, ease, or comfort. Those 3 things are the very things that got you into the condition you're in today. You do need focus, structure, and hard work.
Don't 'peace out'.
Tim Pierce has been personal training clients for 9 years in gyms and privately at their homes, work places, or community park, first in Southern California and now in New England. He established Fit True as a site to give access to fitness enthusiasts to counteract the mountains of misinformation in the fitness industry. Check it out at www.fittrue.com.
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