Should you go to the gym today?

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Something I’ve heard numerous times as a personal trainer is “Should I go to the gym today?” Most of the time, the answer is a resounding “YES!” The grind includes the whole week, after all! But there are always exceptions to the rules, and there are times even I might say “consider staying home today.”

Here’s a few things to think about if you’re considering whether to show up to the gym, or whether you need to stay home for the day:

Do show up if you have never been to the gym before – Look, I get it. You don’t know where to start. You don’t understand what half the machines do. And worst of all, what will the other people there think?

Let me reveal something to you that many people don’t think about. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lou Ferrigno, and even Brian Stecker had a first day working out. And they likely had no idea what they were doing at first. Everyone has to learn how to properly curl a dumbbell, how to do lunges, even how to do a push up correctly.

There’s no such thing as a dumb question. That’s what personal trainers at Boomer Fitness are here for, after all! We want you to succeed, and the first step in making that change in your life is asking “How do I do it?”

Do show up if you’re tired – It was a long day, and you have been stuck at work for eight hours. You just got home, and you know that as soon as you sit down on the sofa, you likely won’t be getting back up until it’s time for bed.

Wait! Don’t sit down. Get your gym clothes and get ready for the gym. Yes, I know you’re tired, and I know it was a long day. It might even be the last thing you want to do right now. But that’s the time you need this workout the most! The hardest part about going to the gym is getting out your front door. Once you’re at the gym, it’s a piece of cake! You’re here, you might as well make yourself busy. There will never be a workout that you regret doing.

Do show up if you’re sore – If you wake up and you’re sore from a prior workout, thats a good thing. Believe it or not, thats your body telling you that you’re making progress on your muscles. Instead of taking the time off, stretch before you start your time at the gym. You will notice that once you’re in the zone, you won’t feel as sore anymore.

Don’t come if you’re sore – There’s the good kind of sore, and there’s the bad kind of sore. That might seem contradictory, but there is a huge difference. Check out my blog post on the matter, and be sure to ask me or one of the personal trainers here about what the difference is. If you’re feeling the bad kind of sore, then do your body a favor: sit this one out for now.

Don’t come if you’re sick – I admire your dedication, I really do. Powering through your cold might seem like the right thing to do. But germs have a funny way of sharing themselves with your friends, especially if a location where you’re going to be exerting yourself.

Do yourself and your fellow gym goers a favor: keep your germs to yourself! Take the time that your sick to focus your ability on something you can do in your home. Do some stretches, or plan your nutrition for the week. Besides, the next time you come in, you will be 100% ready for the days challenge.

Fitness is about pushing yourself, even when heading to the gym is the last thing you want to do at this moment. If you’re tired, a little sore, or have never been to the gym before, then lets get started! But if you’re pushing yourself too far, or your body just isn’t up to it, there’s no shame in waiting until you’re physically up to the task.

Routine, and Why We Break it Up.

iStock_000004151784XSmallRoutine is something we all have. We all get up in the morning, shower, brush our teeth, grab some breakfast, and proceed to our daily lives. It’s the easy path. It keeps us on track through our busy schedules.

So as you head to the gym, you might have your own routine you go through. You spend 20 minutes doing cardio, work the same three or four exercises at the free weights, maybe 10 minutes on the row machine, and then stretch out and cool down. Day in and day out.

Let me share something that might change your perspective on personal fitness. The more you do something over and over again, such as riding that bike machine during spin class, the more efficient your body becomes in performing the activity. In other words, the more you do it, the easier it gets. Sounds good, right?

Well, not exactly. The more efficient your body gets at doing the same activity over and over again, the less energy you’re going to be expending while doing it. You’re going to be getting faster and faster the more times you hop on the bike machine, but your body is going to be doing less and less work.

To use an analogy, think of your body as a river. When you’re working out, your body, like a river, wants to take the path of least resistance. Your body will try to go around excessive burning of energy like a river flows around a rock. Your body isn’t trying to sabotage your fitness; it’s just trained to do things the easiest way possible.

Think about what that means for your body. When you’re expending less energy, you’re getting less out of your workout. Your body is going to be able to store more energy because you’re expending less. And even more importantly, you’re only going to be working out a few different sets of muscles if you only do the same six exercises. What about the other 650 muscles we neglect?

If you want a routine, there are several corporate gyms in the area that can set you up with their one-size-fits-all classes. You will get your spin class, your row of treadmills and ellipticals, and a generalized fitness plan that can be applied whether you’re 16 or 60. But we both know a one-size-fits-all plan is not the way to get results.

So why don’t I have spin class? Because I’m here to help you reach your fitness goals, not to train you in becoming a master cycle-machine user! Routine isn’t what we do at Boomer Fitness because routine doesn’t work.

This Thursday, check in with my blog, where I’ll tell you about how we escape routine, force the river to change its direction, and how we do fitness the right way.