By Zach Columbia BS NASM FPT
Love what you do, but make sure it sucks! You’re probably thinking to yourself, “Huh?” Each week we’ve been presenting a micro topic at the gym with the goal of creating small changes and keeping our members on track. We started with how to set goals, and have progressed on how to plan, how to stick with the plan, and how to take a balanced approach in and out of the gym. Last week, we discussed intrinsic motivation and why understanding what motivates you is so important. Now, we’re on to a topic that’s near and dear to my heart; doing what you love… Of course, there’s a caveat.
Let me break this down for you…
When it comes to working out, you either do it because you love it or you do it because you love what it does for you. (Hopefully it’s both!) Actually, that’s true of most things in life. If you think about your job, you may love it, you may not love it, but you love that it provides you with money to buy the things you love. There is always a relation of why we do what we do. Some people love different styles of exercise; like boot camp or power lifting, body building or endurance cardio. On the other hand, some don’t really love working out, but they love the camaraderie of working out with other members. Regardless, when it comes to health and fitness, and accomplishing your goals, you either have to find some form of exercise you absolutely love participating in, or you have to shift your focus away from the actual activity and onto what it is that you get out of it. That’s the first part.
The second part, you have to make sure it sucks.
There is a simple metaphor here that I think will help you understand. If you go into the gym and lay down on the bench to do a bench press, there is an optimal weight that you should lift. The weight shouldn’t be so light that it doesn’t challenge you at all, but it also shouldn’t be so heavy that you’re going to get hurt. When you find that sweet spot in the middle, your efforts will result in positive adaptation. Do this on a regular basis and you’re muscles will get stronger and more toned, your heart and lungs will adapt, your hormones will balance out, and your psyche will improve. I say just about every day in the gym, “If it doesn’t challenge you, it wont change you!”
The flip side of that is, “If you don’t love it, you won’t do it!” Both are important and both are necessary. If you’re going to stick with something, you have to do what you love. If you want what you love to move you in the right direction, then you have to make sure it challenges you!