By Corey Springer
Owner of: Apollo Fitness Barbados & “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums.
Written: Wednesday July 15th 2009
Re-written for: Kurama Magazine
Hey all. Today’s article comes to you courtesy of lazy clients the world over.
I’m currently typing this up mid-stride on the treadmill. Why?
Well, I incurred a slipped disc just over a week ago… the second in 3 months mind you… and, as part of my rehabilitation my chiropractor prescribed one hour of cardio per day.
That’s right…no bed-rest… No laying on my back bemoaning my misfortune. One hour of cardio per day. Clearly she’s trying to kill me right?
On top of that, she prescribed mobilization exercises and stretches thrice per day. Is that all? Hell no. My doc added self-myofascial release (i.e. self-induced deep tissue torture) on top of all of that.
A long story made short?
She made me accountable.
She cleared me to return to weight-training two days ago… so now we’re tossing an elite workout on top of the rehab.
While plodding away here, sweat blinding me, my mood’s turned quite bitter.
Why you ask?
Well while I plod away here in pain, a bunch of excuses I’ve heard from 100% healthy clients all came flooding back.
“[Insert exercise] doesn’t work for me.”
“I don’t ‘feel’ [insert exercise]“.
“I can’t”… blah, blah, blah!
What. *Can*. You. Do?! That is my question to you.
In a sea of “can’t”s… What *can* you do?
*Client refuses to make eye contact*
Ok… Let’s not turn this into a guilt trip. That isn’t what this article is about.
Proceeding under the assumption that your excuses will be horribly poor… let’s try to make your workouts work!
Pet Peeve #1: “the treadmill does nothing for me!”
Yea.. of course it won’t “do anything” if you set it to warp speed and then proceed to grab on to the bars while your feet chip along uselessly.
*pauses so the imagery can sink in*
I see this approach utilized in ALL gyms… all gyms, without deviation.
Just like lifting heavy things, people like to brag about their maximum(s). In this case, they talk smack about how fast they can go.
They turn the most natural form of exercise into a farce.
So… How can you make it productive?
This may be a novel concept, but bear with me.
It’s called: WALKING!
Let me extrapolate a bit further.
I’d like you to:
- Increase the treadmill’s incline
- Lower the treadmill’s speed (to one where holding on isn’t required)
- Let go of the hand rail
- ACTUALLY WALK!
Many times more effective?
What makes it ‘better’?
I’ll tell you.
Holding on for dear life:
- Negates torso twisting
- Reduces the need for conscious torso stabilization
- Reduces arm pumping and scapulae retraction (etc.)
… thus reducing muscle recruitment.
Reduced muscle recruitment equates to reduced calorie expenditure, and reduced substrate utilization.
Need I say: /Fail?
Pet Peeve #2: “The gym is boring!”
And being fat is exciting?
I KNEW I was missing something all these years!
Seriously speaking though: Who needs a gym?
You can work out at home.
For less than $100 you can set up a callisthenic Utopia: 1 swiss fitness ball, 3 resistance bands; 1 floor mat; and a couple pairs of dumbbells.
That’s all you need.
Not a home-body? Then take it outdoors!
Make the world your gym.
Parks, beaches, car-parks… Possible gym alternatives are endless!
Pet Peeve #3: “Cardio is boring man!”
…but apparently so is work and school. Yet still you go there 8 hours per day, 5-6 days per week.
What’s 30 minutes of cardio by comparison?
Why does cardio need to be boring anyway?
When I think about cardio, I think about it in the same manner as I think about sex… and any other thing that I consider essential to my way of life.
Would you do sex the same way, day in and day out?
If you answer ‘yes’ to this question… then this is the wrong article for you.
Kindly scroll up to the upper right of this window…and click the ‘X’ that you find there.
Back to the topic at hand: I’m sure you don’t do sex the same way every time… You like to keep it interesting and fulfilling.
I’d suggest that you approach cardio in the same way.
…but, keep your clothes on please. LOL
- Take up a new sport.
- Walk outdoors.
- Utilize trail runs and hill sprints.
- Push your car for a couple lengths of the car park of the gym.
- Flip tires.
- Take a sledgehammer to a large tire…and smash the fucking hell out of it.
- Jump rope.
- Wrestle with your kids or significant other.
Again, the options are endless!!!
Pet Peeve #4: “I don’t have the time!!”
When I hear this one, I usually immediately start to stare at the ceiling… waiting for an archangel to smite me for having unkind thoughts.
It never happens fortunately.
Anyway… I’d put this question to you: How much television do you watch?
Heck… I’ve got a couple more questions:
How much time, outside of work/school, do you spend in front the PC?
How many nights do you hit the bar with your mates?
How many times per week do you go to the movies?
Do you have time for video games and/or computer games?
If any of these options consume more than 15 minutes daily… then you have MORE THAN ENOUGH TIME TO EXERCISE.
It doesn’t take 90 minutes per day… 30 minutes will do.
Find me 30 minutes, and I’ll find your inner slim person.
Pet Peeve #5: “I don’t have a clue what I’m doing!”
An FYI: You’re in good company… as most people who join gyms have no fucking clue what they’re doing.
Heck, most of the people who’ve been going to the gym for years still have no clue.
I’ve come and found people doing the same shit day in and day out for 2+ years… who look the same way 2 years later.
Sometimes they aren’t to blame entirely. Most of the time however, they are.
Some people stick with personal trainers who do nothing for ’em. Why? Because they’ve become comfortable with said individual.
Some people have personal trainers who train ’em really well… but have no clue when it comes to dieting. So these people lose no fat.
Some people come to the gym simply to socialize.
The good thing is, you don’t *have* to be one of these people. You have a hand in whether you fail or succeed.
My advice to you would be that you decide why you’re there from the minute you first join.
Pick a personal trainer who has a track record of getting people in shape… not the most ‘fun’ and ‘out-going’ personality in the gym, unless they are one and the same.
There will always be obstacles… many of them, of our own making. Success comes when we recognize and surpass these roadblocks.
I’ve given you the tools. The ball is now in your court.
Owner of: Apollo Fitness Barbados & “The NarkSide” Fitness Forums
Related Articles by Corey Springer:
“You are what you assimilate!” by Corey Springer
“Getting a Grasp on the concept of Dieting” by Corey Springer
“10 Excuses Fat people make & 10 rebuttals” by Corey Springer