IN TWEET: IRVING DER SHARES PRACTICAL INSPIRATION FROM HIS OWN FITNESS JOURNEY. IN HIS WORDS: “GETTING OFF MY ASS – ONE FAT MAN’S STORY.” PERFECT FOR THOSE WHO THINK THEY CAN’T DO IT!
EDITOR’S NOTE: I COERCED IRVING INTO SHARING HIS STORY BECAUSE I WANTED TO END SPRING CLEANING WEEK ON AN INSPIRING NOTE AND REMIND YOU THAT WELLNESS DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE. NO MATTER YOUR AGE, GENDER OR BODY TYPE, THERE IS A DOABLE FITNESS AND NUTRITION PROGRAM OUT THERE FOR YOU. I HOPE THIS WEEK OF SPECIAL POSTS HAS, AT A MINIMUM, GIVEN YOU A PLACE TO START. AS ALWAYS, CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE STARTING ANY DIET OR EXERCISE PROGRAM.
Why get up? Why try? Isn't it much easier to sit on the couch and eat pizza and drink a 32oz Big Gulp of soda? Well, it is hard. It is downright PAINFUL to actually get up and be active. I won’t get into any nutrition or diet information as I am not qualified (plus I cheat weekly and am not the best “nutritious eater” out there). With that said, I try to workout at least 3 or 4 times a week and I do pretty meaningful workouts where I am trying my best to push my strength, agility, speed and power.
TRY: Which I guess is a lot better than doing nothing. I started a blog a few years ago. Just a personal diary of sorts, covering things that I was doing in life. Photos of my interests like cars, food, sneakers, poker etc. Typical guy stuff. But in the last 2 years my blog has become more and more about posting fitness information. It’s a diary of sorts, covering my personal experiences and workouts. I use it as a database of workouts just in case I need to go back and see what I did or if I need to remember certain movements or even share my program with others.
I would never call my blog "successful" but I have a couple readers and have inspired a few friends to try something different and they see that hey, if I can do it, maybe they can too. So I am happy it’s had that impact.
Here are some tips, tricks and strategies that have helped me and will hopefully help you!
READ/TALK/LEARN: Before starting anything, know what you are doing or at least read up on it. We are living in a great time where the internet gives you access to most information with little more than the click of a mouse. So READ! There are so many good websites with information on all kinds of fitness-related topics. YouTube is also full of good info. Here are a couple of sites that I like and personally read (CLICK on each hyperlink to visit):
GIRLS GONE SPORTY (great for women)
One caveat: not everything on the internet is real or good for you. So take it all in with a grain of salt and be open to anything. Just remember to educate yourself as best you can!
TRY EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING: Ever wanted to go hiking or kayaking or take a boot camp class in the park? How about yoga or Pilates or spinning? Don’t be scared. Just TRY IT! Best part: with all the coupon sites out there, (Groupon, Living Social, Amazon Local and Google Offers) you have tons of options that will let you play and experiment at discount prices.
Don’t commit to a crazy Pilates gym or a spinning studio long term when you can pay $50 and go for 5 classes on a coupon offer. That way you can try all fitness buffet style. One month go to a bootcamp, next month take Pilates and the following month do kick boxing. If you find something you love, stick with it but experimenting minimizes getting discouraged or ending up in a fitness rut.
Use the same approach for gyms. Many participate in the various localized online coupon programs and/or offer limited memberships. What better way to try a gym, check out the members, try some classes and have zero commitment? If you are not sure what you like, try as much as you can and do it all on a discount!
BEST EQUIPMENT FOR A WORKOUT? YOUR OWN BODY! I have no patience for the “I hate gyms” excuse. Same goes for “I don't have space for a gym” or "I can't afford a weight set." Some of the best workouts I’ve had were ones that didn’t involve a free weight or a machine of any kind.
How many push ups can you do? Pull ups? Sit ups? There are so many things you can do at a public park, in your office, hotel room or at the side of your bed that require only one piece of equipment: YOU. There are tons of sites that list bodyweight workouts. Start with these (CLICK on each hyperlink to visit):
BUY A JUMP ROPE: Seriously, ask any trainer. A jump rope is probably the best investment in "gym equipment" that won’t break the bank. They are super light and easy to travel with or throw inside your gym bag.
Depending on where you like to workout, you need to get an INDOOR rope or an OUTDOOR rope. I have 2 ropes, one for each. They are technically both indoor ropes but I use one more freely and save my other rope for strictly indoor. Why do 30 minutes on a treadmill or the elliptical for your cardio? Jump rope for 10 minutes and you’ll be warmed up while also improving your coordination.
There are many different types of jump ropes. I personally use the "speed rope" variety that many crossfitters use. Here are a couple of examples of what I have (CLICK on each hyperlink to visit):
Don’t forget: the key to a good rope and success in jumping is CORRECT SIZING. Yes, back in grade school, you just grabbed a rope and went out to jump. It doesn’t work that way as an adult! Once you have a correctly sized rope it makes using it much easier and gives you a better workout. Trust me, once I had my ropes properly dialed in, my jumping was better and more comfortable.
EDITOR’S NOTE: IF YOUR ARE TALL LIKE ME (I’M 6’4”) YOU MIGHT HAVE TROUBLE FINDING A JUMP ROPE OF THE RIGHT LENGTH AT YOUR LOCAL STORE. CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE SKLZ WEIGHTED SPEED ROPE THAT I USE AND LOVE. IT’S AROUND $15 ON AMAZON AND IT’S GREAT FOR HEIGHTS UP TO 6’6”.
FIND A FRIEND OR FRIENDS: Look, there are very few lone wolf workout people out there. It’s one area where flying solo usually doesn’t work. Most of us don’t have the discipline, determination or focus to actually workout alone, on a consistent basis. The same goes for “DVD only” fitness plans where it’s just you, the TV and DVD player (or gaming console). Ask yourself: “left to my own devices, will I really move the couch/table every night, pop in a DVD and work out?” Realistically, most people won’t.
I’ve known so many people who have grabbed a DVD or their Kinect, all gung ho and ready to take on the world. Two weeks later, their shiny new toy is collecting dust. Ideally, you would find a great certified personal trainer or a reputable online system like Beachbody where your individual workout plan is monitored and enhanced by 1 on 1 coaching (CLICK HERE to read more about this from Erika Jacobson in an earlier SPRING CLEANING WEEK post).
What do you do if those are not options you can afford or you are simply not ready to take that much of a plunge? What if you’re nervous or scared of going to a gym or joining a class? Then you’re stuck, right? WRONG.
Trust me on this, above everything else: find like minded people and workout together. Peer accountability is a powerful motivator. If you make plans with your buddies to go hiking on a Sunday morning, you are more likely to follow through than you would be if you planned to go alone. The alarm goes off, you are tired, hung over or just lazy and want to sleep in. Then you think about your buddies giving you crap for trying to worm out of the hike and you find the motivation to get up and go.
Accountability is key. Having like minded friends on the journey with you gives extra motivation to go go go. Even if you find yourself having to go it alone, I say take a class at your gym or a local boot camp. Go in, take it. Get beat up. Feel like crap. Then go again. And again. I promise by the third time, you will have meet one or two people in that class and now you’ll have new friends and won’t have so many solo flights to trip you up. Having friends at my side and working out with me is what helped me get this far. It just may be the trick that gets you up and started on your own personal fitness journey.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Irving Der lives in the Pasadena, CA area and has had a successful career as a publicist in the entertainment industry. You can follow him on Twitter or check out his blog for additional workout tips, hints and inspiration. Irving would also like to give some kudos to his trainer and has asked we post his contact information here. Of course, we are happy to: BRANDON HENRY (click on his name to check out his website or contact him at email@example.com.
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