It’s important to stay true to yourself or as many would say, “keep it real.” The keyword to the following words to the wise is, real. For the most part, most of us aren’t fitness models or professional bodybuilders. We’re just regular, real people that want to be healthy, feel good about ourselves and look good with our shirts off as a cherry on top. Initially, the following advice can be understood to be mostly useful for novice trainees but, intermediate fitness trainees can more than likely pick up a thing or two.
Over the next few days/weeks, I will be posting one new tip on how to achieve personal fitness success by simply being real with oneself. The first part of this series will take a look into how to prevent oneself from limiting their progress.
Do it for yourself and only yourself
Newcomers and potentials (those who have yet to step into an athletic club) can feel easily overwhelmed with the thought of exercising in a gym with other people because of the fear of being judged. (Some gyms cater to such mentality, while arguably only creating a new form of judgement) This is a completely coherent emotion as the whole concept of being “in shape/ripped” is rooted from the idea of other people judging how you look.
Intermediate lifters and gym-goers are not to be excluded from the same frame of mind. There’s always those who need to be stronger and lift heavier than that person on the bench one over. Also similar are those peering over at their neighbor’s treadmill computer to see their distance and speed. We’ve all done it at least once and it isn’t completely our fault. It’s just our subconscious “survival of the fittest” or competitive spirit which can be healthy to a certain degree. But as the topic of this series is on being real, the underlying truth to this behavior is due to our ego.
There is always going to be somebody stronger, bigger, thinner or more cut than you. In spite of the fact, you must be honest with your own abilities and throw your ego out the window. It is always important to push yourself as hard as you can, while being reasonable with your ability. By overexerting past your physical readiness, you will only be setting yourself back practicing poor form and/or worse, injury. Increasing your lifting resistance or intensity should be done in small increments not to only prevent injury, but to uphold the longevity of your gains. In practice, instead of adding another 20lbs or 10lbs to your lift, try smaller increments such as 5lbs (Yes, 2.5lbs plates do exist). Compete with yourself and not the grunting maniac working out beside you. The next time you feel like that dumbbell you just picked up is too heavy for your abilities, it probably is. Focus on practicing proper form, then slowly work up to heavier weights. Same applies to other exercises such as cardiovascular activities. Your intensity and duration should be respective to your body’s current physical capabilities. It is possible to stay within your limits while remaining challenging.
One can never successfully make a change in their life unless they truthfully and wholly believe that it is something they want to do for himself/herself. Despite being somewhat of an oxymoron in the fitness world, stop concerning yourself with what other people think about you. At the end of the day, it’s your body and your life. Do what’s best for you and only you.
I hope you all enjoyed the first part of the “Keeping it Real” series. Keep posted on this series as this is only the beginning.