BY JESSICA BARBER, Owner, CrossFit Polydamus
My husband and I were watching Naked and Afraid the other night and it said that “men are better at reading maps and women are better at remembering the route.” As much as this is a blanket statement, I get it! You know those times where you look at a map and are literally so confused at where your own existence is at that moment. Like the map is a giant labyrinth and you’re lost somewhere in the world buried under a pyramid for all you know. For a beginner or a newbie, this is exactly how the fitness world can seem.
Just think about this. You get up the courage to start doing something about “it.” You have everybody and their brother selling you something online. You have multiple types of gyms to choose from. You are being persuaded to try this and that for “30 days” when you’ve already spent your whole life miserable, and you don’t want to waste another month. There are so many options (yoga, Pilates, HIIT, CrossFit, weightlifting, running clubs, kickboxing, dance classes, you name it) and you just want to be steered and guided to a solution.
Again, you’ve finally gotten the courage to do something about it and your time is precious while you have the drive. I totally get it!
But how can you know what to do without wasting tons of time? How can you not be sold on something and find what truly works for YOU? What is the ideal program for each person in the world?
Take a deep breath and ask yourself these three questions.
- What naturally brings me joy?
- What can embrace me in the beginning and challenge me in the end?
- How do I see myself doing this mode of fitness for one month, six months, two years, life?
For me, lifting weights in short duration brings me joy. I love the feeling of checking off my reps/sets and getting it done (Hello, Dopamine!). I also, years ago, was a complete beginner to the world of Olympic Weightlifting. I knew how to lift weights, but when it came to technique with a barbell, I was clueless until my hubby brought me over to the dark side. And I maintain balance with daily walks, yoga stretching and HIIT workouts. It’s what I love and what brings me joy. This is how I workout EVERY week of the year.
My workout regime is simple, it is flexible, and it is results driven. If I need more unwinding because life is crazy, I do more yoga. If I want to drop a few pounds or tone my legs a little more, I do more HIIT workouts, and if I just need to reset my mind (because that’s a big muscle, too!), I get longer strolls in. This is called intuitive training.
If you don’t love the exercise you’re doing, you won’t stick to it. And if you won’t stick to it, you’ll never reach your goals.
Find your mode of fitness by asking those three questions. Let it teach you tenacity, grit, resiliency and how to push through the hard parts. Let your fitness become a part of you and transform you for the better.
Don’t let the fitness game confuse you, chew you up and spit you out. Cherry pick what works best for you and be intuitive with it! Remind yourself that it is your choice, your time and your body to do with as you wish. Find your slice of the pie and own it!