In the past we did a “Plank Off” challenge here in our fitness center at Elite Sports Clubs. Now I know the plank may not be your favorite exercise, even if it is good for you. But I can’t tell you the number of people who gave up before they even got started. Excuses started flowing like spring rain: “Well, some folks can already do a longer plank than I can, so why even try?” or “Oh, I’m not good at those. Forget it.” (Insert raised eyebrow here.) Excuse me? Isn’t that the whole point of this? We’re here to improve, to strive for better results, greater strength gains—what all of you need to do is work on your Sweatitude!
People, it’s not about how well you do at the beginning of anything that matters; it’s about your effort, your method, and your plan. It’s about continually striving for more, better, stronger, faster. If I said to myself 20 years and 150 pounds ago, “I might as well not even try to lose weight. After all, I’m fat.” I wouldn’t be here as a trainer right now! This one is a classic: “I need to get into shape before I start an exercise program.” What?! That’s why you’re here! I start people at any level, even if that’s seated. I even work with people post surgery and in Physical Therapy. For goodness’ sake, folks, let’s get with the program!
So, how do you improve your sweatitude? How do you begin to work on something that seems insurmountable? By focusing on the things that you can change—those things that you can control. The first step is simply to begin. And that means creating a plan for yourself, so you know what those first steps will be. You can go to a Personal Trainer for a plan, or you can begin on your own. Below is a list of things you could do by yourself to begin:
- Pick some exercise classes at your facility that sound like fun. Mix up the choices to include weights, cardio-respiratory exercise (like Spinning or Zumba), and stretching (like yoga or Pilates). Start with 3 days a week, picking classes that work into your schedule. At Elite, we have Group Training that costs less than traditional training, and incorporates all three of the components of fitness (cardio, weights, and stretching), so that’s a nice option with a bit more guidance.
- Schedule a time—preferably the same time—3 times a week to walk into your facility. Get on a treadmill or an elliptical, and do 10-20 minutes, depending on your initial fitness level. Get into the habit of walking in that door, consistently, 3 times per week. Join a local walking group, or create one with friends. You can start outside, and when the weather is inclement, mall walking or coming into the club to walk on treadmills together is a great option.
- Write down your plan, and include copies in your calendar. Schedule your workouts like appointments that cannot be missed. This is your health and well being we are talking about here, and you need to take charge and commit to yourself!
- Replace your negative self-talk with positive affirmation. Every time you think you have failed because you missed a workout, ate something “wrong,” or fell prey to your own sense of not being “good enough,” I want you to replace that with a positive thought that affirms your goals. “I only worked out two days this week because the week was super stressful. I really blew it!” becomes, “I was able to work out twice this week, even though my week was really stressful. Next week, I’ll get to the gym even more!”
Just because you are far from your goal, whatever that might be, doesn’t mean it’s not worth starting! This is not an all-or-nothing proposal. If you incorporate small changes, little by little, you will be amazed at how fast those begin to accrue into great results! If you start today, in 3 months you will be that much further ahead, instead of still beating yourself up about how unhappy you are about your diet, your exercise program (or lack thereof), your body image, your clothing size—whatever you are ruminating about can be fixed with some effort and a little bit of knowledge. But you need to start NOW!Set up a Free Fitness Consultation
Written by Melissa Abramovich, ACE CPT, NASM CGT, AAHFRP Medical Exercise Specialist at Elite Sports Club-River Glen
Melissa Abramovich went into Personal Training and Group Exercise instruction after successfully losing 140 pounds through healthy diet and exercise. Her desire to help others drove her forward into a career helping others to make healthier choices. She is an ACE certified personal trainer and now also a Medical Exercise Specialist (AAHFRP), helping clients with a myriad of health issues at Elite Sports Clubs. She holds a Bachelor’s degree, and many group exercise related certifications as well.