Yesterday I had my interview at the gym where I used to do my personal training (where I got my start, actually) in Bangor, ME. The interview went great and I really enjoyed meeting the new (to me) personal training director that I’ll be working under. He gave me the green light to get started. Needless to say, I’m excited about the new opportunity!
After the interview, I decided to have a workout and just hang around the gym for a while to get the feel of it. Not a lot has changed in the three years since I’ve been there except lots of new faces. I did run into one of the members that I was friendly with way back, though, and I got to thinking that he’s an interesting case.
Mike is a great example of how to make fitness a lifestyle without making it your life. He’s a big guy, likes to lift weights and does his cardio work, and stays in very good shape by most people’s standards. Here’s the thing, though: Working out isn’t Mike’s life.
Mike is a busy business owner with a significant other, kids, and whatever other hobbies he has. There’s no question he’s a busy guy. Even with that busy lifestyle and no matter what else is going on he comes to the gym on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and spends about an hour and a half or two hours there. His workouts and days of training are like clockwork. He doesn’t spend all of his time fretting about what he’s going to do for a workout, whether he needs 38 grams of protein or 43 with his next meal or anything in between. He just comes in consistently and gets what he needs to do done. Training is what he does because he enjoys it, he stays healthy, and it’s a good social outlet (Mike can and will talk to most anybody).
What I’m saying is that you don’t have to make exercise rule your lifestyle, and that’s what holds most people back from successfully becoming fit. They feel that they need to radically change their lives and devote every waking second to the gym, their diets, and their new fit lifestyle. That’s simply not sustainable for most people.
The trainers that you see whose lives revolve around fitness aren’t the rule, they’re the exception. We actively enjoy the pursuit of fitness, whatever form we gravitate towards. For us, this is our hobby. Some people collect stamps and read historical literature, I read about business and fitness. I read about these things and think about these things because I enjoy them. While I realize that these are enjoyable activities for me, I don’t insist that my clients follow suit as they might not enjoy them as much as I do.
Make fitness work for you, not the other way around. Take a lesson from Mike: Find a way to make fitness a fun activity for you, schedule time to take care of yourself fitness-wise, and follow that schedule. Then you’re done! Cross it off the list and head on to the next part of your life until you are scheduled to train again. Making fit decisions is a lifestyle element, but it doesn’t have to be your entire lifestyle. Make your fitness like clockwork and you’ll see real, lasting success.