Know Thy Self

As a personal trainer, my job often entails helping individuals lose weight, start a fitness routine, or reach a personal fitness goal, among other things. One of the problems I usually come across (especially in Manhattan!) is that overly-ambitious starter.

You know these people. After a long hiatus from the gym or never having ever worked out before, they come out of the gates full blast, ready for everything. They sign up for a month of boot camp classes, 3 days a week of workouts with me, promise to run 5 days a week and double down with yoga every other day.

That’s a lot of working out, even for a seasoned veteran. But no, the overly-ambitious starter is gung-ho and ready to go.

And a three weeks later, they drop right off my radar and are never to be heard from again.

You see, these people don’t know themselves at all. Not their fitness selves, anyway. You have to start with the truth about you, about your schedule, about your goals and about what you’re ready to commit to in the fitness world. Without honest answers to the following questions, you will not have a successful fitness routine.

  1. What do I like to do for exercise?
  2. What do I need to do for exercise?
  3. How many days a week and hours a day can I commit to working out?
  4. Do I prefer to work out alone or in groups?
  5. What are my fitness goals?

I guide people through these questions and then we come up with a fitness routine that they can stick to in the long run, not the short term. I also find that they are far more successful if I start slowly and add on as we go along. Usually, every 3-4 weeks I try to make a change to their fitness routine. I add a class, provide a really challenging high intensity interval training (HIIT) workout in our sessions, or change their cardio routine just enough to keep them challenged.

The point is, you can’t expect your life to change overnight. If you have a new baby, you’re probably not going to be able to work out at the same intensity or for the same amount of time that you did pre-baby. You’re tired. Give yourself a break. Maybe workout twice a day for only 25 minutes each so that you aren’t trying to squeeze a full 45-50 minute workout in when you’re also breastfeeding. Do you hate to run? Don’t do it. Swim, walk, cycle. Does working out in a class setting deter you from going to the gym? Get your sweat on one-on-one with a trainer or grab PX90 videos and do it at home.

Know thy self and work with what you got. Set yourself up for success, not failure.

Now go out and run!

100th Blog Post

Wow. 100 posts. Who knew I had so much to say *snort* besides, oh, everyone? Well, happy 100th Blog Post Day to me. Do I get a cake? Don’t TV shows celebrate their 100th show with a big cake and a party? I love a party. And cake. All parties and cakes can be directed to my apartment this evening.

Today also happens to be the 7 year anniversary of JB & my first date. Awwww…yay us! That’s a long time and a lot of stuff in those 7 years. We don’t celebrate this anniversary anymore (we have a BIGGER one now) but it’s always fun to think back on how it all began when he picked me up in a bar down on the Lower East Side before I said to him, “I gotta go home and sleep so I can run 15 miles tomorrow.” Clearly my little running habit did not intimidate this Marine. Second date = 12 mile run in Central Park. Swoon.

And this weekend was awesome. Let me tell you all about it but let me first suggest this: try something new this week. Variety is the spice of life and of your fitness life, too! Running is so great and I feel better out on the roads than most anywhere else in the world, but I feel so great out there because running isn’t the only thing I do.

Example, this weekend:

Ya’ll read about what a bananas schedule I was going to have on Saturday and BANANAS it was! I did it ALL and then I slept for 10 hours, took a 2 hour nap and generally laid around all day on Sunday with JB. Perfect.

First, let me show how luluelmon athletica celebrates a store opening with a Soul Cycle class in the middle of Madison Avenue.

     

Me (2nd row!) and the Harlem Gospel Choir, who sang as we spun (spinned?).

        

Pretty badass.

And then I had the distinct pleasure of attending the fabulous Aleah Stander’s “B” to our BRICK class at Flywheel Sports, my own personal heaven. This is what 45 sweaty rock stars looks like. And what I look like after a class. Sweaty. Beast.

     

Good thing Flywheel is a judgement-free zone where sweat is concerned! Then we were off to the “R” portion of our BRICK. Central Park was sporting a perfect Fall day for us.

      

There is nothing more inspiring and beautiful than people trying new things and pushing their bodies to new heights. I want to encourage all of you go out and try something new. Your own BRICK workout (or come to our next one on Ocotber 29th!). Try an indoor cycling class. Join a tri team. Rollerblade for the first time. Go for a swim in the ocean (not just a dip). Do yoga. Take a dance class. Try a martial art. Do a trapeze class. Ride a horse. Sign up for an outdoor boot camp class. Do something else. Your body will thank you.

Fitness is supposed to be fun. If it’s not fun, you’re doing it WRONG. So, mix it up and seek out other forms of activity. Avoid the rut and try new things. That is my challenge to you. What will you try this week/month? Think about it and let me know!

Now go out and run!