|« Mad’s Fitnasty Journey: interval training||FREE Spring Boot Camp Kick-off! »|
I’m BACK baby! I’m so excited to start writing on the Fitnasty Blog again, and will start with at least one weekly blog post for you guys. My first was prompted by one of my OG, original gangsta boot campers, Camille. She thought it would be nice to have a way to be motivated on a weekly basis to challenge herself and her workouts, and also maybe to be reminded about exercises she might be neglecting. Girl, I’ve got just the thing for you. And you and you and all of you too!
How to even out the muscles of the temple that is your body
Part of what makes the difference between a fit person and a seriously strong fit person is well-roundedness. And unless you’re getting pushed and challenged in ways that you don’t necessarily want to be pushed or challenged by a trainer or through regular fitness classes like CrossFit or boot camps, it’s pretty likely that you’ll tend to avoid exercises that you don’t like. (Trust me, I do the same thing.) And chances are, the reason you don’t enjoy them will be at least partially because whatever muscle group or muscle type you’re working isn’t as strong as it should be.
When I first started getting my ass kicked by working with a trainer (at Gold’s Gym like, a MILLION years ago when I was a pack-a-day smoker who drank like a fish and was 20 pounds overweight, too!), I remember that I absolutely hated doing anything that involved a row-like motion. I’ll never forget the light bulb that went off over my head when my trainer told me the reason: my back muscles probably weren’t very strong. Oh, yeah! That makes sense, huh?
So I started doing a crap-ton of rowing movements and a lot of work on increasing my upper back strength. Lo and behold, in the subsequent months, not only did I begin to enjoy the feeling of strength coursing through my body on days when I lifted back, but I also started collecting compliments on my toned upper back! Awwww, yeah baby. Both felt awesome.
So what’s the moral of the story, Madelyn?
If you hate an exercise, DO MORE OF IT! Actually, do a shit-load of it! Do it all the freaking time! But if you don’t want to quit your day job just to perform your most hated exercise 24 hours a day (which I suppose I can understand… ), here’s an excellent solution!
- Make a list of the exercises you really hate or just don’t feel like you’re very good at/strong in. Burpees are always a good place to start! For me, it would be jumping (plyometric) lunges or high knees. Or think of an instance where you felt like I did when I was doing rows in the gym with my trainer: how about push-ups? Turkish get-ups are an exercise that almost always elicits grumbles from my clients, too.
- Pick a day of the week to work on them. On this day, you’ll bust out 100 of whatever exercise it is, all in a row (you can split it up into sets if you need to of course, but we’re not talking about doing 5 in the morning, 10 an hour later, 15 at lunch, etc.). If it’s an exercise that isolates a smaller muscle such as triceps or biceps, make sure to listen to your body and don’t work through pain to the point of injury. It might be better in that case to do 4 sets of 25 or whatever. If you’re feeling like a rockstar, do more! Do 150 or even 200! Or if you’re more of a beginner in the world of fitnastiness, it’s totally cool to cut it back and start at 50 or even 25. Do this for a month or two and I guarantee you, that exercise will not be nearly as dreaded as it once was, and your body will be much more well-rounded because you probably strengthened an area that was underdeveloped. **Important: this time is NOT meant to be a substitute for one of your regular workouts, it is ADDITIONAL. If you’re subbing out a full workout, it kind of defeats the purpose, yo.**
- Keep track of your stats. For example, time yourself for the full hundred and see how much faster you get each week. Also, if you start out working in 10 or 15 rep chunks, make a note of that and see if you can’t improve on that as well. Maybe by the end of a couple months you’ll be doing 50 or even all 100 in a row!
- Amp it up, yo! For the advanced athlete, simple double the fun: pick two exercises and two days a week!
Have fun getting fit as a fiddle my friends! And if you think about it, post a comment about what you’re working on, or shoot me an email at email@example.com to fill me in. Nothing makes my heart go pitter-patter like hearing about you guys enjoying some good old fashioned hard work.