When was the last time you went to the gym? Considering the blog that you’re reading right now, I’m guessing your last workout wasn’t too long ago. Here’s another question: When was the last time you thought about why you were in the gym?
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We all know – even the non-lifters – that regular exercise is good for us. And those of us who are in the gym regularly all have our own reasons. Maybe we started lifting weights because we were the littlest kid in school. Maybe we got into fitness to lose weight or just become healthier. Perhaps we were just trying to impress someone. Whatever reason you may have had for starting your fitness journey, it was important enough at the time for you to commit to clean eating and hours of hard work. You made the decision to reshape your body with a particular goal in mind. So what was that goal?
The fitness community has long been divided over the question of which training style is better. It’s a debate that will probably never be resolved. But figuring out how you should train personally is much simpler, as long as you keep your goals in mind. Too often, though, people in the gym change their routine to fit someone else. They follow some fitness trend, or base their workout on what they see someone else doing. In the fitness community, it’s often too easy to compare ourselves to someone else. The problem is, no two people have the same history, or the same goals for their future. On your fitness journey, there are only two people you need to compare yourself to: the person you used to be and the person you want to become.
If your goal is to become as strong as you can, why are you wasting your time on the stair-master? If you want to lose weight, don’t worry about your one-rep-max. If you want to be the next Green Arrow, be sure to master the bodyweight exercises. In short, whatever your goals are, make sure your training matches up. Evaluate honestly where you are, know for sure where you want to go, and do your homework. After that, all you can do is stay committed and keep putting in the time. Always be open to learn new things, but don’t let anyone talk you into training for their goals instead of yours.Follow @AboutLifting
So, what is your goal? That was the question that started this whole discussion. For a long time, I trained exclusively for strength, even though my goal as a Hero In Training was to live prepared for anything, and always ready to help someone in trouble. I realized that my training didn’t match my goals one day on a long, mostly-uphill hike. If I could benchpress twice my bodyweight, but couldn’t go for a jog without getting out of breath, I wasn’t living prepared for anything. After some thought, self-reflection, and research, I changed my approach to fitness.
Now I train with more of a military style, mixing running, classic weightlifting, and bodyweight exercises. It’s a method that works great for me; I feel great, and every workout gets me closer to my goal of living prepared and helping others. But that’s my goal: what’s yours?
Samuel Kennedy has been a fitness enthusiast since kindergarten, and now works to help people improve their lives through exercise. A #HeroInTraining , founder and editor at Building You Better.