If You’re Gonna Work Out, Work Out!
A couple months ago I wrote an article for TSB titled “Pump It Up or Pound the Pavement: Just Do Something!” where I argued that as long as you’re working out, be it via weightlifting, beach volleyball or hour-long sessions of “Dance Dance Revolution,” you’re doing something good for your body.
And while I still definitely believe this to be true, I think I might have been a little too easy on you readers. Sure, playing a game of basketball with your friends offers fitness benefits, but not nearly as much if you’re tip-toeing around the court at a snail’s pace, lobbing the ball like you’re playing one of those arcade units at Chuck E. Cheese’s. If you want to maximize your results, you need to go outside your comfort zone.
Surely, you’ve heard of and/or belong to Gold’s Gym, Planet Fitness or one of the myriad fitness chains nationwide, but how about Gym Jones? This Utah gym, spotlighted in a recent New York Time article has a reputation for pushing its members (who need an interview or referral to join) to the extreme. Take, for instance, the Jones Crawl:
“Three rounds of dead-lifting 115 percent of your body weight 10 times and then jumping on and off a box 25 times as fast as you can.”
Why not take a cue from these fitness devotees and give yourself an extra push when you work out?
How did you feel afterwards the last time you lifted weights, ran a few miles, etc.? Did you walk away sweat-free, feeling like a million bucks? If so, buck up and start pushing yourself a little more.
While I don’t suggest pushing yourself to the point of tears (really, you can seriously injure yourself), the only way you’re going to progress in your physical fitness is by pushing yourself beyond your limits. Add more weight, up your mileage; don’t stop just because you’re a little uncomfortable. Hell, have you seen “The Biggest Loser”? If some soccer mom from Iowa can take on the load its trainers maintain, you have no excuse. Whip yourself into shape, literally.
No matter how hard you think you push yourself, I bet there’s at least one guy at the gym whose regiment makes yours look like an elementary school Phys.Ed class. Here’s a test: If you can sing along to the song playing over the PA system or from your headphones, you’re not working hard enough. See that dude next to you with the beet red face, grunting like some orc from “Lord of the Rings”? He’s got the idea: Comfort has no place in a solid workout routine. I don’t mean comfort as in wearing comfortable clothes, for example. Surely, you should dress comfortably and practice proper form. Just make sure you don’t walk away feeling like you’ve just been pampered at a spa. You’ll feel great in the long-term if you work hard along the way.
You don’t need to be a member of Gym Jones to get a workout worthy of the action stars and military personnel it represents. All you need is knowledge, discipline and commitment. Don’t baby yourself, push yourself. If you can walk away from a game of ping-pong sweating bullets, you’re on the right track.
About John Brhel John Brhel is a freelance writer from upstate New York that enjoys picking apart life's idiosyncrasies and listening to Huey Lewis & the News.