Archive for the tag - habits

5 Fitness Habits to Drop NOW!

lift-heavy-shitGoing to the gym is a great habit to create. But not everything that people do at the gym helps to support their fitness goals.

Here are five common fitness habits that are good to break.

  1. Using the elliptical. If you’re new to the gym or have injuries that prevent you from engaging in a high intensity workout, then using the elliptical is fine. For the rest of us, let’s face it… The elliptical just doesn’t accomplish that much. The elliptical is popular because it’s easy. And although it’s better than sitting on the couch, it’s a poor substitute for something like hill sprints on a treadmill.
  2. Working out with your smartphone. Depending on your goals, you might rest for something like 30 or 60 seconds between sets. Having a smartphone in your pocket and texting during breaks will undoubtedly extend those rests and decrease the intensity of your workout. You’ll spend more time at the gym and get a less effective workout. It’s also a distraction that can make it harder to focus. Leave your phone in your locker.
  3. Getting into workout ruts. If you want to look different than you look now, you will need to do something different than you’re doing now. The biggest and most common workout rut is not changing your workout to help you progress toward your goals. If you want bigger biceps, then you’ll need to progress to heavier and heavier weights until you reach your goal. Your muscles only grow when they’re forced to grow, so constantly progress and evolve your workout to get the results you want.
  4. Holding your breath. If you don’t breath, bad things happen. As logical as this is, many people hold their breath during challenging exercises, like the bench press. Resist the urge! Breathing keeps your blood oxygenated and your body moving. Without proper breathing, exercises actually become more difficult – and you may become lightheaded or even faint. Breathe!
  5. Lifting too light. If you’re looking to increase the size of your muscles, then you’ve probably been told to aim for 10 repetitions or less. This is true. But it’s also true that your muscles should be fully fatigued on your last repetition. If you’re aiming for 10 repetitions, then you should be unable to complete to complete an 11th repetition in good form. If you can keep going, then it’s too light. Lift heavier. And keep increasing the resistance over time as your muscles become stronger to keep within your target rep range.

What are some more fitness habits worth dropping? Let me know in the comments below!

Simple Trick to Create a Fitness Habit!

57c80cc8894d754a1e99ef7cb16a3d45An object in motion stays in motion and an object at rest stays at rest. Well, the same is true of our bodies; it’s hard to break our old, sedentary habits and replace them with new, healthier ones.

So try this.

They say it takes 21 days to develop a new habit. Clearly, this number is going to vary from person to person depending on a very wide range of factors. But let’s roll with it.

Take 21 post-it notes, use a pen to number them from 1 – 21 and then place them on your wall. Go ahead and do it right now.

For the next 21 days, you’re going to do some sort of physical activity. Some days, you might go to the gym. Other days, you might just take a walk. Or do some jumping jacks or squats in your living room. Or even dance around the room to your favorite songs.

Regardless of the activity, you’ll do something that gets your body moving and your heart pumping. And once you complete the physical activity, take down the post-it note for that day. It’s like a countdown.

After 21 days of physical activity, you’ll have taken a big step in a healthier direction – and you may even have a new habit. After all, a body in motion stays in motion. So let’s get moving!

Good Habits are Contagious.

urban-yoga-philly1Did you know that habits are contagious? Good or bad, we tend to mimic the practices in our social circles.

A recent article noted that if one of your friends becomes obese, it increases your chances of becoming obese by 57%. Obviously, there could be a number of reasons for this apparent association. For one, eating regularly with a friend who overeats or who makes unhealthy food choices might shift the way you eat. Or maybe having an overweight friend changes your perceptions of obesity.

Whatever the reasons, researchers found that obesity was contagious by a separation of three degrees. In other words, if a friend of a friend of a friend becomes obese, it measurably increases your likelihood of weight gain. Even if you don’t know that person.

Luckily, the reverse is also true! In a separate weight loss study of diabetes patients, researchers found that the patients’ spouses lost an average of five pounds. It’s not surprising considering the couples likely cook, eat and spend time together. Maybe they’ve joined a gym together or have taken up afternoon jogs or walks.

In a very real way, the company we keep influences our habits and the quality of our lives. This isn’t to say that you should only be friends with fit, healthy people – but it certainly couldn’t hurt to befriend a few of your fellow gym-goers. Their good habits are very likely to become your good habits.

Hopeless about Working Out.

Dear Davey,

I have been trying to write this for a while now. I just haven’t been able to find the correct wording I’ve wanted to use.

It is frustrating and intimidating when I go to the gym and see all of these muscular, fit guys. They all have been working out since they were in their teens and have >8% body fat. They know what they’re doing because it seems they’ve had years and years of instruction and their bodies have adapted to their fitness lifestyle.

Then I walk in.

Embarrassed to be even near them, I am in my late 20’s, 6’4”, 320lbs and approximately 25-28% body fat (by skin fold calipers). I am a self-conscious overweight gay man in a conservative Midwestern city and I’ve been single all my life and I don’t have a support system. I hate hearing “I’m sorry, I just don’t date fat guys.” I have never played a serious sport; I sat inside, read, played video games, and ate my feelings. I have been trying for years to get into an attractive shape.

I know I have an awesome personality, I just want a body to go with it, you know? I have a large frame and I could look wonderful if I could just get myself to do it. When I go to the gym, though I get jealous and annoyed at people who look like you do. I become hopeless that no matter how hard I work I just won’t look like they do because I haven’t been working out since I was 12. I just want results now, even though I know that obtaining what I want to achieve will not happen overnight or even in a year for that matter. How do I get over this fear and jealousy?

From,
Scott

Whatever your excuse is, it's time to stop believing it.

Dear Scott,

After reading and re-reading your email, I’m most struck not by your hopelessness, but by the many excuses you use to justify it.

When I was younger, I wanted to get into shape to look like the chiseled Abercrombie models plastered across my local mall. Like you, my motivation stemmed from a desire to look a certain way. But, as I worked out and transformed my body, I was surprised to discover that exercise is about more than the superficial changes. I suddenly had more energy, zest, confidence, better sleep habits and improved focus. Beyond transforming my body, exercise and proper nutrition transformed my life.

And like you, I had my excuses. Yours involve:

  1. A history of being sedentary,
  2. A lack of support,
  3. The need for instant results,
  4. Lack of fitness knowledge,
  5. And jealousy.

As a personal trainer, I can tell you that I’ve heard all these excuses before. You’re excuses all have one thing in common: They’re bullshit. And I know this because I’ve used many of them personally.

To your four excuses, I say this:

  1. Just because you haven’t exercised doesn’t mean you won’t enjoy fantastic results. In fact, since you’re new to exercise, you will notice huge changes fairly quickly.
  2. If you don’t have a support system, join the club or build a new one. Or be you own cheerleader in chief.
  3. Though you won’t have your dream body overnight, each day is a day closer to your goals. And a year from now, you’ll be glad you started today.
  4. If you feel like you don’t know what to do, educate yourself. There are a million resources, books and articles that will give you the information you need. In fact, I’m going to send you a free copy of Davey Wavey’s Ultimate Guide to Working Out to get you started.
  5. Don’t waste your energy cultivating anger or jealous – especially about the way another person looks. If anything, be happy for their success and tap into their wisdom. After all, habits are contagious!

You have the ability to shift the conversation in your mind, and I suggest you use the power of your thoughts and intentions in such a way that they support the changes you’re looking to make. Choose and cultivate those thoughts that bring you closer to your goals. Instead of sabotaging yourself before you begin, use the power of your words to your advantage – and be driven by the many, many improvements in the quality of your life that exercise will bring. Rather than make excuses why not, make reasons why.

Let the light that is your amazing personality (you yourself admitted you have an awesome one) burn so bright that it illuminates your pathway to success. I have no doubt that you can do this. I believe in you. The only question is, do you?

Love,
Davey Wavey

If you have an exercise question, ask Davey!