Good morning! I hope you all had a great weekend It’s still freezing around these parts (actually, below freezing!) so we had a “hunker down” weekend of movies, playing euchre with friends, and cookie baking! Not a bad way to spend a weekend at all in my book
I also got in a great full body workout on Saturday, and plan to do another this morning after teaching and training.
When I think back to when I very first started training in the gym – for high school volleyball – I remember the very first reason I started training at all: because it was required of me. Two or so days out of the week, the volleyball team would be up in the weight room, slinging around weights, a practice I took with minimal seriousness.
Then, in college, I worked out to burn off all of the beer I was drinking. I’d run or hop on the elliptical, and then would go to some of the weights, then I’d take the bus home, ready for my next keg stand. After college, my training reasons have been anything to become more flexible and calm, by practicing yoga, and to run a half marathon, by, well, running.
My reason for training (in the present?) I’ve got a few of them.
- I train for a sense of achievement in my body. It’s a thrill seeing my numbers go up in deadlifts. To be able to pull my body weight above a bar with a chin up. To jump around like a crazy person and feel winded and wonderful.
- I train to feel bad ass. It’s the truth! I love to lift heavy, and after doing a set of squats, I get the feeling of badassery. It’s a glorious feeling.
- I train so that I can move better. I’m a huge stickler for form, and the main reason is that I stay injury free. My training in the gym allows me to go on strenuous long hikes, move heavy boxes while moving homes, and hopefully, to ski this winter.
- And of course, I train for health. I love to lift weights in a way that’s good for my bones, muscles, and heart.
Alas, this post isn’t about comparing reasons, or saying that one reason is better than another. You might be training for a marathon, and run 40 miles a week, while your friend might be training by attending group fitness classes, to socialize.
The one commonality of them all? The presence of a reason for training at all. Having a reason is the only way you’re going to really get what you want out of your workout. I’ve trained without reason before, and absolutely 100% of those training sessions were unproductive. Without a reason, we’re just floundering around, sometimes making it to the gym (or road, or mountain, or wherever you train,) but more often…not making it at all. It’s even much more important than having a program, and that’s important!
Actually, the very first question I ask new clients when I meet with them is: “Why are you here?” They usually reply that they want to lose a few pounds, tone up, or become stronger. Those are all great reasons. But I like to dig a little deeper, as I do, and keep prodding.
“What made you walk through that door today?”
Having a reason not only gets you to your training, but it also helps motivate you to push harder during your training session. When my reason for training is at the forefront of my mind, I might add a little more weight to my deadlift, or video record it, so I can really make sure my form is impeccable.
Going back to your reason also helps you to make sure your goals align with your behavior. If your reason for training to get strong and lean, but you’re doing endless amounts of cardio and maybe picking up a few light dumbbells afterward, you might need to re-think your behavior (or your reason.) Or, if your reason is for general health and meeting new people, but you come to the gym with headphones in, then again – rethink that reason! And so on.
Tell me your training reason?