Should you go to the gym today?

20150519_103451

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.

Completing a 5k: The Biggest Competition is You!

iStock_000009546366XSmallSpring and Summer is a great time to get outside. Despite the rain, overcast skies and even the wind that comes with early spring, we still get some beautiful days outside which give us a taste of summer time.

One staple of the warmer season are the multiple marathons, triathlons, and 5ks that make an appearance around the Portland and Vancouver area. Whether it’s for a great cause you believe in, or just because it’s something to do, 5ks are a great way to put your fitness to the test.

Some clients at the gym like to get themselves prepared for a local 5k, but I have noticed others don’t even consider the opportunity to take part in a 5k. I like to recommend participating in a 5k for a couple reasons:

It’s A Way to Challenge Yourself – When I bring up running a 5k, a lot of clients outright say “I can’t do something like that,” or “I’m not a runner.” But this kind of outlook misses the point of taking part in one of these events. Running in a 5k is about beating your own limits, not about beating the others in the competition.

Just by signing up, you’re already beating the prior version of yourself who was so adamant that you could never take part in a 5k.

It’s a Tangible Goal – A running event like a 5k as a scheduled start date. It has a measured distance (5 kilometers) and a detailed route, so you know exactly where you’re going to be running. Why is this important?

Because when you sign up for a 5k, you know exactly what kind of improvements you will need to make in order to participate in the event. You and I can work on endurance and spend a little extra time on legs. If you’re feeling some extra incentive, you can even practice on the route before the event even happens, so you can anticipate the kind of track you need to practice for.

It Gives Measurable Improvements – When you first start training for an event like this, I like to measure where you start off, so you can compare it to where you end up on the day of the 5k. Not only is a 5k event a great way to set goals, it’s also a great way to measure how much improvement you make leading up to the event.

Think about it like this: When you sign up for a 5k, you know you have to eventually get up to travelling 5 kilometers at a set pace. That’s a long distance, but we don’t do it all at once. Instead, we make a goal of getting to 1 kilometer, and then we move up from there. Eventually, getting 5 kilometers won’t be so far out of your grasp.

Finishing is Better than Never Starting – Whether you sprint, jog, or walk across the finish line, you are still beating the version of yourself who never started. It doesn’t matter to me what pace you take during the 5k, as long as you are pushing yourself to do the best that you can.

The pace that you finish only matters to one person: yourself. If you have kept the best pace you can and completed the 5k, you have already beaten your prior time. No one can beat that.

Competitng in a 5k really is a no-lose scenario. Most runs in the area are meant to benefit a local organization, like MS research or the Humane Society run. You get a chance to spend some time running outdoors, and most of all, it gives you a goal to work toward. Where can you go wrong?

Let me know when you’re ready to take part in a 5k, and we’ll start a timeline to get you ready for the occasion!