In my opinion, the actual run (or workout) is not the hardest part. It’s getting there. It’s putting your workout clothes on, and stepping away from the computer, kids, and responsibilities to START your workout.
Once I’m “there” (whether on the road or in the gym), I love it – but it’s like there is an invisible forcefield at the front door that makes it so challenging to step through that door and transform into the fit girl I love to be.
May the Force Be With You
For some people, there is an evil forcefield that seems to block them from going to the gym. It comes in the form of work, kids, laziness, fear, embarrassment, procrastination, guilt and many other forms.
BUT, once you have made a commitment to show up, the forcefield is broken. The same way Snow White could be woken from the curse with the most simple task, with true love’s kiss, YOU can break the curse by an equally simple task. You just have to show up.
Don’t Think So Much
I think we overcomplicate things. We spend too much time worrying about what we are going to do when we get there, what we are going to wear, what our kids are going to think when we stick them in day care, what we have to cook for dinner, how we will squeeze it all in, what we are going to look like when we are floundering around the gym as a newbie, or how we are going to feel – embarrassed, fat, weak or out of shape.
Some people even think they need to lose weight BEFORE they go to the gym! That’s like trying to get well before going to the doctor. All these silly thoughts do is allow that forcefield to go up.
Just Show Up
It’s time to tear down the walls of intimidation, fear, laziness, and excuses – and just focus on one thing: Show Up. Day after day, just keep showing up. Once your feet hit the pavement, it’s golden. Once your body walks through the gym doors, you are set. The rest is easy! Most people would agree that they enjoy the feeling they get when they workout, they just have a hard time with the “starting” part.
The shoes in this pictures are the Reebok DMX Sky. They are really cool shoes that use air as cushion. I’ve been having ankle issues and I wore these yesterday and had the first day in several days with no pain. So, if you need extra support and like extra cushion, I’d definitely give these shoes a try. Very cool kicks.
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
I woke up today to stormy weather. Thunder and lightening woke me up. Steve left the house to go to the gym this morning around 4:45am to train his first client, Corinne. When he arrived, there was no power. It was storming like a hurricane and completely pitch black for blocks. Did that stop them? Nope! Steve pulled out a flashlight and they trained in the dark.
So next time you think you have an excuse to skip your workout, remember you can do whatever you want if you want it bad enough. 9 times out of ten, it’s not about whether you can, it’s just whether you will.
How much time have you wasted contemplating something you know you should do?
How much time do we waste creating excuses to get out of what we need to do?
How many times have we spent more time thinking about doing something than actually doing the something?
We sure wast a LOT of time!
Listen, if you WANT to be fit, quit wanting and start working on being fit. Whether you can or not rarely is even a question. It’s just a matter of whether you WILL. As long as you make your workouts optional, you are allowing your success to be optional. Quit wasting precious time. Just show up!
As most of you know, I have the privilege of trying some of the newest trends from Reebok. One thing you might not know is I’m not required to tell you how much I love their products, even if I don’t. I just have to test them out, be honest and share what I like. The problem is, I love almost everything they send me! Seriously! So, with that said, I thought I’d share my top picks for the first quarter.
The following products are not just products I’ve received, but new products I admire and plan to get – AND my Product of the Year (so far!).
Bonnie’s Top 5 Reebok Picks
1. PWR Legging – If you don’t want to talk to anyone at the gym, then you may not want to buy these leggings. I got so many compliments on these workout pants the first day I wore them! Everyone was asking me where I got them. Between the cool print and the single black-cuff bottom, this pair of leggings is a statement for sure – and it says COOL!
2. Reebok CrossFit Spotted Sock: Stripes are overrated, right?! But, something you DON’T see a lot of is SPOTS! They have spotted socks in red & white and green & purple. They also have different patterns and styles including compression socks and just high socks. They even have them in solid HOT PINK for pink-lovers like ME! Men, if you want something a little less (well, girlie), check these red, yellow and black bad boys out: Reebok CrossFit Front Stripe Sock
3. ZigCarbon Running Shoe. Ok, I have not tried these yet, but Steve got his last week and LOVES them – and they are on my wish list for sure!! The Zigcarbon is super light (under 7.5 ounces) and has a full-length unique military grade carbon fiber plate for structured support in the midfoot, and forefoot and heel foam pods for excellent cushioning and shock absorption. Although Steve loved the regular zigs, he felt he needed a little more support – and he said this shoe did the trick for sure. This shoe is designed to take a beating with more durability and support.
4. Strength is Beautiful Tank. This statement alone is awesome – but then the top has a cool cut too. I love the color, the cut, and the message! But, this tank is not just cool, it’s practical. The idea behind their CrossFit line is not to just offer CrossFitters cool clothes. It was to learn from some of the toughest athletes who really put their body to the test, and create what they needed in workout gear. As a result, they learned tops need to be more fitted and longer so they don’t rise up while doing handstand push-ups or burpees. They realized they needed to develop pants that you can squat, jump and run in that won’t slide down your bottom exposing your butt crack or busting a seam. They use technology that fitness enthusiasts appreciate. This is not your ordinary generic workout clothes to walk in, this line is designed to work for you, not against you. So, all in all, you don’t have to be a CrossFitter to appreciate this gear – you’ll love it no matter how you train.
5. Strength Track Jacket - So far, this is my favorite jacket I’ve gotten from Reebok. Partly because I love the single-sided inspirational ghost pattern, but mostly because it just looks SO sharp on! It comes in black, white & coral (I have it in white). As a fitness professional, I’m always looking for sharp fitness apparel that I can wear and still look professional. I literally can finish a workout, slide this bad boy on and I feel dressed for success in seconds. Love it!
My Product of the Year (so far) is…
(drum roll please…..)
The Reebok DMX Sky. DMX Sky outsole contains three independent moving channels that transfer cushioned air where you need it, when you need it – and a Carbon rubber outsole for traction, grip and durability.
First, I must tell you how I tried these puppies out. I actually switched shoes with my mom (pictured above on the right) and wore one of her new Reebok shoes AND I wore one of the DMX Sky shoes on part of my run to see if I could feel a difference. The answer was a big fat YES, BIG difference! Definitely LOADS of cushion for all you cushion lovers (which I need since I hurt my ankle). I could tell you how they work, but I think Reebok experts explain it the best. Check it out!
FitFluential LLC compensated me for this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
If you are like me, you get tired of your same workouts and like to try new things, so occasionally I post my workouts for you guys to try out – or mix a new move in. Here was my quad & ab workout this week – as well as a workout by Steve that you can do at home!
Leg Workout: Do 3-4 sets of 18-20
Begin with a Warm Up
(I normally just do leg press with no weight)
- Heavy Leg Press
- Single Leg Leg Press (LOVE THESE!)
- Walking Lunges with 20lb dumbbells
- Leg Extensions (Toes pointed out)
- Leg Extensions (toes pointed in)
The thing I dislike just a little more than legs (which I reallllly don’t like) is abs. I seriously dread it – so much so, that I made “doing more abs” one of my New Year’s Resolutions. My workout wasn’t anything special or unique this particular day, but I got it done!
- Plate Crunch 3 sets of x 25 with 25lb Plate
- Ab Machine Crunch 3 sets of x 25
- Incline Sit Ups with Twist 3 sets of x 25
After my workout, I did 30 minutes on the elliptical. YUMMY!
Butt, Leg & Abs Workout
Don’t have access to gym equipment? Try this workout at home!
- 15 Skaters
- 5 5-Second Crescent Pose/5-Second Warrior 3 Combo on one leg only
(Repeat above & do other leg)
- 15 Slam Ball (or Plyo Jump Squats)
- 15 Slam Twist Abs
- 15 Double High Knees
- 15 Stomps (one side)
(Repeat the above couplet and do the other side)
Repeat 3-5 times for a complete workout.
How many times have you left the gym feeling discouraged? Whether it was because your workout got interrupted fifty times, or you were lacking the energy you needed to hit it hard, it’s easy to forget you did something truly amazing – you showed up.
We all tend to focus on abilities, power, strength and performance, and forget that a bad day in the gym is still better than most people’s average day. There will always be someone faster, stronger, more powerful and more athletic, but most people’s weakness is not how they perform once they get to the gym – their weakness is not getting to the gym at all.
You strive to live healthy, lift strong and train hard, but you can’t forget the commitment you’ve made to keep showing up. Every day you show up, whether your workout is good, bad or ugly, you should celebrate because you followed through – and that requires a strength of it’s own. (love this pic from Patty’s page, Reach-YourPeak.com). Everyone who finishes their workout should get two thumbs up!
While your performance may determine the pace of your progress, your consistency is the most powerful component of your workout program.
It takes discipline to wake up an hour early so you can run before you get the kids up. It takes determination to go to the gym even after a long hard day at on the job. It takes willpower to look past the pizza everyone else is eating and focus on the prize. Even on your weakest day in the gym, you are strong as an ox.
2. WEIGHT: When doing lunges, step-ups and single-leg workouts, put all your weight on the working leg. Many people will shift their weight on the opposing foot to give the working leg a rest. Or, they will step up, and then step their weight down. To amp your workout up, using step-ups for example, only tap the back foot on the ground instead of shifting your weight back on the ground. You will feel a noticeable difference just focusing your weight on the working leg without even trying a new exercise.
3. ROM: ROM stands for Range Of Motion. If you want to really work those glutes, it’s important to squat and lunge as deep as your knees will allow. The deeper your squats are, the more you’ll work the glutes, hamstrings and inner thigh.
CLICK HERE to view my Butt Blasting Workout for Designer Whey
I’m better than you.
My training is harder than yours.
My gym is cooler than yours.
I have more trophies than you.
I run faster than you.
My class is the more popular than yours.
I’m stronger, faster, better…
I’m seeing a nasty trend in the fitness industry. It’s this new elitist mentality. I know professional athletes that are more humble than some of these people. Their puffed up heads (and bodies) make them a very easy target for office jokes. While we can all laugh at Hanz & Franz, this growing issue is no laughing matter at all. It’s serious business that deserves a serious warning.
While I might not be able to help the people who have joined whatever fitness cult they are a member of, and are in so deep they don’t even realize it, I sure as heck can help prevent new potential cult followers by warning you to not fall in this yucky trap.
Welcome! (or Not)
When it comes to fitness, most of you know I often compare gyms to churches. There is a really good reason for that. Church and gym members have a very similar characteristics. Both are there to help people. Each one provides education, support, guidance and an opportunity to socialize with likeminded people. Because of this, you see a lot of changed lives, which is very powerful.
However, since both churches and gyms are made up of a bunch of humans – none of them are going to be perfect, and people will make mistakes. All it takes is a few bad apples to ruin the happy pie. These people can either INFECT the entire group (and the entire group can take on those bad traits or beliefs), or the group can AFFECT them (in a positive way) and they can remain solid and grounded.
I’s all about how the people interact with each other. Are they welcoming, do they make you feel comfortable? Do they act better than “non-members”? Do they make you want to come back? Since both churches and gyms can be very intimidating places for a newbie, it’s super important to be aware of how we may come across to the “unbeliever”.
Unfortunately, many people are under the impression they are super friendly, welcoming and comfortable to be around, but that’s because they are too comfortable in their own environment to notice how anyone is feeling or acting. My Great Dane was the same way. He had no idea how big he was so, when he wanted to visit our neighbor’s chiwawa, Nikki, he had no idea why she would freak out at the site of him. He just wanted to play, but she was scared to death of him.
With my personality, I am constantly looking at how people react after they walk in the gym. I watch how they look at our staff, at the equipment, at our trainers and even our members. Do they look scared? Are they overweight? Do they appear uncomfortable? Is there anyone in the gym that might scare them like my Dane scared Nikki? How can I set them at ease and let them know we won’t bite?
It doesn’t matter how great your workouts are if you if you can’t make people feel comfortable. People HAVE to feel comfortable, confident, proud and successful (no matter how big or small the success) or they will never come back.
Why Can’t We All Get Along?
Think of various types of fitness activity as different denominations. You have powerlifting, bodybuilding, figure & physique competition training, boot camp, CrossFit, spinning, yoga, Zumba, pilates, step class, running, circuit training, TRX training, Bodylastics band training, kettlebell training, triathlon training…the list goes on and on. For some reason, people will find something they love SO much, they treat everybody else like total morons if they aren’t doing what they are doing. I guess it’s their way of trying to convince them to join their groupies, by bashing everyone else so they eventually will try it “their way”. This is where the snob-like mentality comes in. In the church, we’d say someone was acting “Holier than though” – and I’m seeing this in the fitness industry way too much.
If your foundational beliefs (like being active and living healthy) are the same, you are all the same team. Realize, there has to be different strokes for different folks. We are all very different, our needs are different, we are motivated by different things, we have different strengths and we need different workouts to fit our different personalities and goals.That’s why there is a church on every corner, and that’s why there are ton of gyms. Fitness is not one-size fits all.
We’re All Winners
Shouldn’t we be excited someone just works out? Shouldn’t we be happy that someone found something they like? The answer is YES! And the honest truth is, people should never be so narrow-minded. Thinking “your way” is the only way is legalism – and we need to break free from that. Fitness is supposed to be a healthy lifestyle – not prison. Gyms are not a country clubs for the rich, strong, fast and best. They are a place for people to make improvements and get positive support and reinforcement, not judgement.
I honestly believe this type of mentallity happens accidentally. When something changes someone’s life, they want EVERYONE to try it. Like a born-again Christian can go overboard and come across judgmental or pushy, so can a new fitness fanatic. Their heart might be in the right place, but they totally lose sight of life outside of their little world. They come across judgmental, preachy and obsessed. Then it gives the whole group, or brand they are promoting, a bad name.
Are You A Turn-Off or Turn-On?
We need to be careful how we live fitness in our life. We may be the only fitness representative of our gym, or workout program, someone sees. It’s best to lead by example rather than with our mouth. If we live it right, people will be dying to try what we’re doing – but if we don’t, we might be a complete turn off, and people will never want to step foot near our gym.
There are SO many great fitness facilities and programs out there. Although I may personally like some more others,that doesn’t mean any of them are better – they are just different. Remember, they have one awesome thing in common; they are ALL getting people healthy and making a difference.
If you are curious how you, your trainer or your gym is doing, don’t ask the members or staff – ask an outsider. If you get a lot of guests, but they don’t return – there is something wrong. OR, if members don’t bring guests, there is something wrong. It could be they know their guest won’t be comfortable. If you can make guests happy, you can make everyone happy – and really make a positive impact on your community!
Is your training a turn off or turn on?
Are your peers attracting people to fitness, or steering people away?
Do you speak a different language? Using words only “your peeps” understand?
Do wear different clothing to fit your “fitness lifestyle”, as if you live in a different country?
Do you like to show off your strength/size/flexibility/abilities, etc? If so, how do you think others respond?
Is your gym welcoming? Are your friends encouraging to newbies?
Can you remember what it was like the first day you walked in your first gym, or class?
These are just a few questions that I encourage you to ask yourself. The world of fitness is already intimidating enough, so let’s work hard to make fitness as warm and friendly as possible so we can keep making a difference!
If SO many people want to get fit, why aren’t they all members of a gym? I believe there are 5 main things keeping people from the gym. Since some of these reasons could be a sensitive topic for some of you, I decided to mix in some fun cartoons to lift your spirits and help make receiving these tips a little more fun – because, in reality, we can ALL relate to at least one of these issues.
1. PRIDE: “I’m out of shape and embarrassed.”
If I had a quarter for everyone who has said “I just want to lose 10lbs before I join a gym”, I’d be RICH! I am not sure why people feel they need to get in shape BEFORE they join a gym, but that is such backward thinking. That’s like saying I’m going to try to get smart before I enroll in school. Really?
My grandmother once said, “a church is a school for sinners, not a place for saints”, and that concept also applies to the gym. The gym is not a place for the fit, it’s a place to GET fit – and STAY FIT. It’s the place you go to get fixed. Unfortunately, people’s perception of the gym is that it’s a place for bodybuilders and fit people. Do you think they were BORN fit? Of course not. They once started out just like you. If you think you are “too fat” to be seen in the gym, or too out of shape to take a class, that is EXACTLY where you need to be – and I promise you, they will welcome you with open arms!
2. LACK OF KNOWLEDGE: “I don’t know what to do.”
Of course you don’t know what to do. Did you get a personal training certification? Did you study exercise science? I bet you have a different expertise – we all do. I tell you what, if you are in the auto repair business, I promise to come to you to get my car fixed, if you promise to come to me (or a fitness professional) to get your body fixed. Honestly, if you knew what to do in every specialty, you wouldn’t need your mechanic, accountant, doctor, lawyer, teacher, preacher, tailor, realtor, banker, builder, repair man…
The point is, it’s totally understandable that you may not know exactly what to do. That is what fitness professionals are for. The awesome part is, you won’t need them forever. A good trainer is like a good teacher – they’ll teach you everything you need to know to eventually “graduate”.
3. MONEY: “I can’t afford it.”
We all fuss when we have to spend money to have something fixed. Whether our body breaks down, or our car does, it’s no fun to spend money on maintenance. We sure like buying new things, but we hate fixing old stuff – including our old out of shape bodies. However, as valuable as your car is, don’t you think you are that much more valuable? Besides, leaving your body broken will actually cost more in the long run. The same way ignoring a simple issue, like a tire that’s out of balance, can cause a lot of big ticket damage (like uneven wear on your tires and damage to your suspension), ignoring your body now can cause a lot more damage down the road. If you really want to save money, you can’t afford NOT to invest in your body.
4. TIME: “I don’t have time to go to a gym.”
This is one of my favorite Randy Glasbergen cartoons of all time. We act like we actually have options when it comes to getting fit, but do we really? What are the alternatives? Poor health, feeling bad, muscle deterioration, weight gain, health issues, low energy, loss in strength and stamina, depression, and even death.
You will succeed when you esteem your body as high as your most prized posession. You make time to work so you can get paid. You make time for TV, or other simple pleasure, so you can relax. You make time to eat because you don’t like being hungry. So, you need to make time for fitness if you don’t like feeling unhealthy. It’s not about if you HAVE time, it’s about whether you decide to MAKE time. Your health should be a priority – because, without it you have nothing.
5. AVOIDANCE: “I prefer working out at home alone.”
First, I must say, there are some people who do very well working out alone. However, in my experience, most people do not. Even if someone genuinely prefers to workout alone, they may not be successful at doing so.
The real question is, why do you prefer working out alone? Many times it’s the result of one of the above excuses I’ve already addressed. Some people just like running, or an outdoor activity. Sometimes it’s purely out of convenience. Your fitness success isn’t just about you doing what you prefer, or what’s convenient, it’s about what you need to get results you want. This means what you WANT and what you NEED may be 2 different things. I like to lift weights, but my body needs cardio and stretching. If I only did what I wanted, I’d be fatter, bulkier, have poor stamina and have very tight muscles. Ha!
In addition, most people do better with a support system. Whether that support system is a gym, a workout buddy, a running group or a weight loss support group, most people need a certain level of accountability. If you are working out in private, there is a chance you are doing so because it’s a little easier to fail in private.
If you really want to get to the heart of this question, you have to honestly ask yourself more questions like, “Do I like working out alone because it’s less intimidating?” “Do I like working out at home because it’s more affordable?” “Do I prefer working out alone because no one will notice how out of shape I am?” “Am I avoiding the gym because I had a bad experience before?” The list of possible reasons is endless.
While having a home gym is great, and it can work for some people, there is a reason a gym setting is valuable. More equipment, more personal attention, more guidance, more options, more people to see you (for accountability), more support, more motivation, and fewer distractions (like the phone ringing, dryer going off, baby crying, etc). Again, this doesn’t mean working out at home alone is a bad thing, but it may not be right for you. To find out if it’s what you need, you have to be completely honest with yourself. Do you really think you’ll reach your goal at home alone? If you aren’t 100% sure, then you may need to get out of your comfort zone and do what you need to do to reach your goals this year.
When I was growing up, I always said “the grass may be greener on the other side, but it still has to be mowed”. I have no idea what made me think of that, but I remember as a kid knowing that just because something looked better didn’t mean it didn’t require work.
Like our yard, our body is a direct reflection of how well we take care of it. We can nourish it, sculpt it, cut away dead grap, get rid of the garbage and maintain it to look exactly how we want it to look. OR, we can ignore it and let it grow out of control, unshapely and malnourished.
Next time you see a physique you like (like this smoking hot mystery chick I found), remember you could most likely look like that too if you took as good of care of your body as they did.