And on the seventh day, God created the gym

Rosie’s take on… Different ways of working out 

There are so many different ways of being ‘fit’, and so many different ways of achieving it. But it seems to me that some ways are respected on a higher level. And I’m here to tell you why that’s wrong. 

My workout style has been changed up a lot. Initially I used to go to a 24 hour gym at random times of the day, and flit from machine to machine working each body part as I pleased. But after a while I found I got comfortable and I was being too slack. Yeah, I could say I’d been to the gym six times in a week. But I was never getting any fitter or stronger, and I would give up when I started to get tired. So I tried a Les Mills Body Pump class with a friend, which includes using weights to work a muscle group in each track. It destroyed me. I literally couldn’t move for two days. The thing about classes is, you can’t slack off. You can’t give up just as you start to work, you have to keep going with the rest of the class. And I discovered that’s what I need, the push to make me work hard, as I simply couldn’t make myself work that hard when I was alone. I even worked out with my sister a few times at the gym in the hope that having a ‘gym buddy’ would motivate me, but I would still find myself slacking off when I started to work hard. And I would always feel a million times better at the end of a tough workout class than I did at the end of my slack solo sessions at the gym, where I was growing increasingly irritated with myself for being lazy and not making much progress. That’s not to say that I believe everyone should do classes because they have to work hard, but for myself it is the motivation I need to get a good workout out of my time. If you can get motivated enough to have a good workout by yourself then good for you Glen Coco, you go Glen Coco. I respect and envy you. But I know that personally I absolutely would not get out of bed at 5am for my own workout, but the motivation of going to a class at a set time gets me up at 5am most days of the week. 

I used to do three pump classes a week, and that was good for a while. The workout continues to be a challenge because you progress to heavier weights. Then I decided to add some cardio to the mix, after I realised that there was no point in me being strong if I still got puffed walking up stairs. I added in two early morning spin classes a week to get my cardio fix. At this stage I didn’t particularly like cardio because I was so bad at it, so only twice a week was manageable. 

I wanted to add more classes to my schedule after my work hours changed and I started to miss some pump classes. My gym offers heaps of different classes, and another I was interested in was Les Mills Body Combat. I watched a YouTube video on it so I could get a feel for it before I went so I wouldn’t make an ass of myself if it was something completely different to what I was expecting – if you’re wanting to start a class I highly recommend searching for videos online beforehand, it was so helpful. It told me not to wear short shorts and when I made it to my first combat class and started doing all sorts of kicks and shit, I was glad I had worn my leggings. (I’ve since learnt through my own experiences that as long as the shorts have built in underwear, you’ll be fine). Another class I added to my schedule was Grit, which is high intensity training – the class is only 30 minutes long, but trust me when I say that is more than enough time. Recently I’ve added in a short ab class on Sunday’s, which means that I get to focus on my core for a while which my other classes don’t, but I don’t have to commit too much of my Sunday (usually my day off) to the gym. I’ve also tried a few classes I don’t like, so I’ve never gone back to them. (Like Les Mills Step, for example. A nightmare for someone who, like me, is extremely uncoordinated and therefore extremely likely to fall off a little step if you’re trying to jump all over it). 

I often go for walks around my area or do small workouts from home on days I can’t make it to the gym or need a break, but most of my workouts these days are in the form of gym classes because I’m so motivated by them, and I genuinely enjoy them. My gym has some seriously amazing, motivational instructors that continually make me want to go back, and I am so glad because otherwise I’m sure I would have given up by now. For some reason, workout classes have this stigma attached to them as if they are slack and for the weak and not a ‘real workout’. For people that believe that, all I want to say is please please come to a week of my workout classes with me and see if you change your mind. I’ve been doing the same classes for months but I still experience muscle pain nearly every time, because not only do the instructors change it up but as I progress and get fitter, I push myself that much harder. I’ve seen more progress in a few short months of doing my classes than I did in the whole year I did my own workouts, because now I’m making myself work. There are about 10 classes a week I try to make, but my work schedule often changes and apparently I need to keep a job in order to live (I know, so unfair), so some weeks I may only make 5 classes. 

So whether you workout once a week or seven times, go to the gym or workout from home, spend thousands of dollars on activewear (like me) or wear your oldest trackies, lift weights or do cardio, lift heavy weights for minimal reps or lift moderate weights with lots of reps, do classes or workout solo, or do a mix of everything in between, you’re doing it right. You’re doing something for yourself, to better yourself both physically and mentally, and that comes in so many different forms. So just because you can’t lift as heavy as someone else, or you can’t run as fast, or you can’t do as many push ups, or you hate doing classes, or you can’t workout alone, it does not mean that you are doing anything wrong. Mad respect to you for doing it at all. 

  

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