“It’s too cold”
“That looks tough”
“I don’t want to do burpees”
“Oh shit… thrusters and pullups?!?!?!”
” I don’t have the time”
“It’s too expensive”
And MANY other things and excuses we could come up with. You know what they say about excuses… me either.. it’s ok!
Truly, one of the greatest things we are good at when it comes to our fitness and health is coming up with excuses that get in the way of us taking care of ourselves. We find things to occupy our time and instead of putting our health and fitness first in our lives as a priority, we tend to put it on the back burner as “I’ll start tomorrow”. For many people, tomorrow turns into next week, which turns into next month, and so on…. you get the picture!
1) Fear- we have discussed this before as a part of the mental game of fitness. BUT this one pertains a little more to gyms of our nature, Strength and conditioning facilities AND CrossFit gyms. I will throw this two gyms into a similar category for this discussion, and maybe throw in the Globo gym, the MMA gym and many other styles of high intensity and functional fitness gyms.
a) We see a trend of people saying they are afraid or intimidated by these styles of gyms. – They feel they must be “In Shape” before they join a high intensity fitness gym. My question is this. WHY? Aren’t we finding a fitness solution and a fitness program we enjoy doing? Not only that, aren’t we looking for a program to fit our goals and fitness styles? Also, make sure you do research on the gyms you are intending to join. Not all high intensity fitness gyms are the same. Some are geared to have more complete programs, some are based on the CrossFit® Methodology, some are based on strength and conditioning foundations that take into account your individual differences (Perhaps there is a an FTF gym near you that does this) , Some are based on other functional fitness systems (TRX, Boot Camp, etc) It will do you justice to research these facilities before you make a choice to join. Try out a class, see what the coaches are all about. Try out a free session with a trainer. But don’t feel like you have to “get in shape” before you make a change to get in shape, whatever that is for you.
b) Fear of injury- This is a valid concern. If a fitness program is based in the principles of Specificity and overload principle, and appropriate training is applied, the risk of this should be decreased. What should be understood is there is risk in ANY type of fitness from running to yoga. Injuries happen in every type of fitness. What is important is to understand risk versus benefit. Our job (in particular at FTF) is to maximize benefit and minimize risk. We provide a progressive overload program with a periodization plan and a balance with volume and intensity. Research the program you are desiring to participate in and ask why it is programmed the way it is. What’s the science behind it. How is it going to maximize your benefit and decrease your risk of injury. Spend time with the owner and learn their philosophy if you can. Take it slow in the beginning and allow your body days of rest to recover in between high intensity exercise bouts. Manage sleep, drink a lot of water and watch what happens as you increase your ability to become the “Fitness” you want.
c) Fear of looking silly in an environment- OK, so let me tell you about a few classes I have taken, a few when I was working as a fitness manager at 24 Hour Fitness in Folsom, a few when I was living in Fresno at FTF Clovis, and even as recently as this year with some of my friends and my sister down here in FTF Pasadena. So, there I was, a trainer and fitness manager with aspirations of becoming a bodybuilder. So I was much larger than I am now. I was weighing in at about 195, and moved very methodically. One of my clients at the time loved taking a class from Eddie Clark, one of the best “aerobics” instructors in the Sacramento area. Well, I told her if she reached her goals, I would join her for one of Eddie’s classes. Well, apparently that inspired her, because about three months later, I found myself in the back of an aerobic dance and fitness class. If any of you have seen me move, I am the perpetual white boy with hips that only work when I am moving weight around quickly, especially back then. (I have since learned how to do the chicken dance, two step, swing and can do the macarena, but that’s about it) So, there I was, in the back of this class, with Eddie shouting out and moving like a dance God at the front of the room, and I am trying desperately to keep up, with kicks to the left and kicks to the right. I think I kicked two or three of the other members while trying to do a turn with a back flip or whatever it was (Because it might as well have been even though i think it was just a hip turn) Well, come to find out, when I turned around and as I am trying to shake my ass and learn new dance moves, behind me, I knew there were windows that were pointed towards the rest of the gym. I had made enough of an ass out of myself in theis class that there were about 30 people lined up outside of the window chuckling at my misfortune of coordination or lack there of. I politely waved and kept doing my thing.
Class number 2- Yoga. WHAT THE FUCK!!!! OK… I have done yoga before, but nowhere nearly as laughable as when I took it with my sister at FTF Pasadena. My sister and I are a little opposite in terms of our approach to life. For those of you who know me, Know I am fairly intense, passionate and of course a little excited. My sister, bless her soul, “heyyyyyy brotherrrrr. How’s it goin man” in a very chill voice. Everything she does is mellow, chill and zen. She has found the same passion for fitness as I have and loves to teach yoga. Well, If you can imagine someone with my energy level, who works out a few times a day, and has no patience for sitting still and how I might perform in a yoga class. First, I had to figure out what Chataranga meant.. because I just wanted to know. then I had to try to get in downward facing dog. Now bear in mind, I have short legs and long arms, so this is not the most comfortable of positions for me. My hips are ultra tight, and my shoulder flexibility even after working on it because of injury is well… less than maximal. SO, here I go into downward dog and sure as shit, my hamstrings cramp… I mean not like.. oh it will go away in a second, Like GET A RAZOR AND CUT MY HAMSTRINGS OUT NOW cramp!! (I know you’ve had that before) so I start dancing in place.. which we have already discussed my dancing abilities.. so imagine now that I have a broken wing and am dancing on it!! As that subsides, I then decide I am really going to focus and pay attention, so I do… and as we get towards the end of it and we are doing our relaxation phase, I literally start snoring… not figuratively… LITERALLY start snoring like I was in full REM sleep… so loud I woke myself up!!!
Class number 3- Zumba…. with Fatima Montenello when she was teaching Zumba at FTF Clovis. OK.. remember I said I can’t dance… yeah.. Zumba didn’t work out well for me either. I had a blast but… well.. let’s just say i entertained everyone for an hour!
So the fear of looking silly in a class, to be honest with you, no one in the gym really gives a shit about what you look like while doing the class… they are so focussed on not looking silly themselves that they aren’t paying attention to you…
We are going to discuss more about fear in part 2 of this article, BUT I want to move on to a topic that I think hits us in the fitness industry as an interesting excuse:
2) “I don’t have the money” – Hmmmmm let me think about this for a second. IF you are looking into a membership at a gym and in particular a strength and conditioning facility that runs classes and/or looking to hire a professional coach/trainer I am going to break this down to the ridiculous.
Gym membership at the average functional fitness facility – around $150 per month (I said average… this is regional and also company dependent and depends on the philosophy of the owner) -
OK guys… $5 a day to be coached at a professional facility. yes, to improve your health, you need to give up one of the following: one cup of coffee from Starbucks (Albeit hard, start drinking coffee from a coffee maker at home) , One soda at lunch and one at dinner (Trade it out with water and you’ll feel better too) , one extra drink the night before (Yeah, a glass of wine with dinner or a beer with dinner can add up quick and it’s not good for your results overall) , Let’s face it.. one night out a month ) On my nights out, I think Wells Fargo sits right there and just waits to cut up my ATM card) , 6 times of eating at home instead of eating out (the average meal out is about $20 and the average at home meal can be made for 5-10$), Two Monster Energy drinks a day (you’ll have that from the new energy level you have from the fitness program you are embarked on). THIS is the cost of your gym membership to these facilities. Now, imagine if you did ALL of that at the same time. Trainers are a LOT more expensive than a membership to a full functional fitness facility but definitely have their place and their purpose on the road to your fitness goals, but as you can see, it might be easier than you think to start cutting costs and finding a way to improve your health and fitness. This is only PART of the cost savings you’ll have…
I will delve into more topics in part 2 in a few days!! For now, please enjoy and start thinking about what excuses you make to get out of your health and fitness program. Add some of those excuses to our Comments. we want to hear what blocks you from your program!