Note: This blog post is very different from the podcast.
People generally don't like philosophy. They don't want to examine their life. It is a whole lot easier to pick apart someone else's life on tv than stare in the mirror. I get that.
But this isn't sitting under the Buddah tree for days upon days. This isn't negative and I don't want to get in touch with your inner child.
All I want you to do is take a few minutes and get an idea of what you want to look and feel like. More to the point, get a realistic idea of what you are willing to do to achieve this. Everybody thinks about this but few people actually formulate what they want. Given your situation and the where you are in your life, what would make you happy?
"Dude, I want to get shredded. I want an 8 pack and I want chicks hanging all over me and guys to be afraid of me. I weigh 140 pounds and work a job and go to school. I have 20 minutes to workout and I can do that 3 times a week."
You may be laughing but this is not uncommon. The goal is unrealistic and the time frame is unrealistic. His understanding of exercise is minimal at best. This does not make for a philosophy. This makes him a sitting duck for supplement companies promising to "Jack You Up". He may say this and get high 5's from his "bros", but it is not system of thought. At best it is a weird daydream/fantasy.
"I want to use weight lifting as a way to get stronger and shape my body. I don't care about being the strongest or biggest guy on the block or having an 8 pack. What is important to me is to have a strong body that feels good, moves well and functions without pain. I want to enjoy life and eat what I want without feeling guilty. I will do this as long as my body fat stays between 10%-12%. Any higher and I will take corrective action. I will live a healthy, fit life without obsessing over every detail."
That is my personal fitness philosophy. This way of thinking makes fitness a tool for me to use to improve my life, not tie me down.
Tips on creating a philosophy of fitness
1. Make it realistic. You can always upgrade later on. Make it "Good Enough".
2. What type of exercise will get you there the quickest?
Example: Don't choose running if you want to build muscle.
3. Is that type of exercise appropriate for someone who is your age, health and experience level? Do you need to work up to it?
Example: Don't join CrossFit if you are 50 pounds overweight and never lifted a weight in your life. Work up to it.
4. Can you fit that type of exercise into the times you have available to workout?
Example: Don't expect massive change with 20 minute workouts 3 x week. Even if you hear it on an infomercial at 3 A.M!
5. Are you going to like it or can you make it work for you? I don't expect my clients to laugh and giggle at the thought of doing squats.
Quick Tangent: Does it bug you when you watch a workout DVD and everyone is smiling and high fiving each other? Yeah, me too.
Chances are you don't look forward to brushing your teeth or taking the trash out but you know you need to do it. All I am asking you to do is get started. Once you get into a routine, you will recognize the fitness landscape.
Get in the game, then make changes on the fly.
Example of a good change on the fly:
"Kettlebells look interesting. I already have a good strength base, let's try this out."
Bad example of a change on the fly:
"Dude, Shaun T is ripped. I can get that in 10 minutes a day? Screw the weights, man, I am doing jumping jacks!"
I hope this helps. If you need help, get in contact with me. I offer online and in home training and do consultations over the phone.