Sustainable Workout

Working Out – Don’t Try And Be a Hero! Unless You Are One…

In my opinion, there are two types of people who workout. Those with ‘drive’, and the rest of us.

Now the people who are lucky enough to possess this insane amount of ‘drive’ are a people all of their own. They are the ones you see chugging back apple cider vinegar every day and going for 6am runs up and down volcanoes.

This is great, and it works for them. But there is one problem with taking workout advice from people like this. And that is that they assume you are as focused and determined to get ‘ripped’ as they are. Because of this, they’re happy to tell you all the minute differences between BCAA efficacy in various protein powders, and which combination of reps will get you optimum muscle growth.

However, amongst all this they sometimes miss the point, and that’s that a lot of us just want to look a little bit better. This can mean losing a bit of fat, toning up some muscles, feeling a bit fitter, and sustaining this.

And there’s that important word, sustaining. Nowadays people seem so determined to get absolutely ripped for the New Year’s music festivals, that they have two modes… Bulking up on creatine all winter then intensively cutting and popping fat burners in preparation for summer.

This is very effective, and the results show, but there still remains a massive part of the population who just can’t sustain and stay committed to these kind of extreme workout cycles. This is because they just don’t have the same level of motivation. For these people, working out is far down the tree of priorities, and this can be a hard concept to grasp for the people who see staying cut as the be all and end all.

Because of this different perspective in priority, trying to workout the same way as their ‘driven’ friends almost never results in success. They may turn up for a few leg workouts and microwave a few sweet potatoes, but because deep down they just really don’t care that much, sooner or later these activities just seem far too strenuous to be worthwhile.

At this point they tend to take a perspective of ‘well I gave that a try’, and that is the end of their workout efforts. This is a dangerous cycle, and really is the workout equivalent of yo-yo dieting. If you think about it, they follow the same basic pattern:

– Dedicate themselves wholeheartedly to an extremely strenuous regime

– Get some immediate short term results and feel encouraged

– Find their enthusiasm and determination starting to wane, and that what they are doing is just too hard to be worth it

– Become less and less disciplined, and ‘cheat’ more often

– Eventually give up

– Return to their old habits with a vengeance, and more often than not end up in worse shape than before

Sound familiar? I have seen this pattern happen to myself enough, as well as in friends, to know that this is not a good way to try and get in shape.

I think for people who don’t possess the ‘drive’, we need to look at the analogy of the yo-yo diet, as opposed to a sustainable diet. A sustainable diet involves far less sacrifice. It is often a case of making easy little swaps here and there, and just generally being aware of the nature of nutrition and making better choices. It is not about an ‘all or nothing’ approach at all.

In workouts I think it’s the same. If you lack that dive, you shouldn’t have to mentally prepare yourself for each workout, knowing that you are going to absolutely thrash your body. As I keep saying, this is not sustainable for everyone! But conversely, you should make yourself aware of what’s effective and what’s not, because working out in any form to not get results is equally likely to make you give up. If you find a balance where you can come away from workouts feeling good, and like you had fun, you will find a lot more long term success.

To me this means variety, but done well. A jog on a treadmill and maybe even a few sprints that you can manage will keep you in good shape, but you also don’t need to absolutely kill yourself. Just do what you enjoy doing and look froward to doing, and that you can STICK TO, and you will be a lot better off than just another victim of the ‘yo-yo workout’.

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