Sunday, March 20, 2011

The Perfect Workout

I have received many messages asking me what I do for my workouts.  The answer is, I do what feels right.  The mind and body connection is very much a real thing.  If you are doing a workout that you find too repetitive, boring, or a chore for which you don't look forward to, you're not going to get the most out of your workouts.  You may get some results, but the best results will be achieved when your spirits are up, when you are in a good place while exercising, while your mind is in harmony with the activity you are doing (which goes for just about everything in life).

The mind craves variety.  It also craves chances to prove itself with new challenges.  When I workout, I use both these principles.  When I first come to a gym, I take a tour of all the equipment.  I write out what workouts I want to do on what days.  I take these workout routines with me, and I increase the weight or the repetitions a little more each time I come back to that exercise the following week.  I keep a small notepad with me to keep track of the weights and reps for each exercise.  I feel really good every time I'm able to get the weight to a level that I didn't think I previously could. 

Sometimes though the routines do get boring.  I feel tired of doing those exercises, and I find myself cheating during the workout and thinking of other things instead of concentrating on my body.  At this time I know a change is needed.  I go back to my routines and redo them.  I replace exercises with similar ones, I exercise different muscle groups together, or I redo the routine completely with all new exercises.  Sometimes just a certain exercise I'll grow tired of, or that day there will be too many people using the machine I am scheduled to use, in which case I try something new that week, which I may or may not return to the following week depending on if it was enjoyable.

Your workouts don't have to be super strict either.  If for some reason you can't make it to the gym or it's just not the right mood, it may be better to skip that day.  I sometimes take a few days to a few weeks off from the gym if I'm just not feeling it.  The time away not only helps your body repair muscle fibers, but also will revitalize your joy for working out; the longer you spend time away from the gym the more fun it will be when you return.  So if your body needs a break, take a break.

Follow these simple ideas to achieve your best body:
1. Set goals to achieve with exercises.
2. Change things when they become stagnant.
3. Take breaks when needed.

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