Today I’m setting out to build the definitive list of the 10 Fitness Commandments… I have no idea how many I’ll actually reach, because I’m starting the list with only one in mind. As others come to me, I’ll add them to the list. By the time I’m done, who knows – maybe I’ll hit 10, but the Vegas odds are against it.
Anyhow, without further ado, here is the First Fitness Commandment…
Do not chase shiny objects.
One of my biggest sources of frustration as a fitness professional is the sheer volume of short-term fitness products that are marketed to us.
Regardless of the effectiveness of many of these products (which range from “very effective” to “probably psychologically damaging”), most are never intended to be used for longer than a couple months.
Even if you’re a fan of the P90X/Insanity workout DVDs, the smart money says you haven’t been doing them for years (if the title implies 90 days, it’s unlikely that its creators are preoccupied with what happens afterwards). Maybe you have a Shake Weight (hopefully received as some sort of gag gift). It’s probably collecting dust somewhere. Maybe on that treadmill you’re not using.
It doesn’t matter if we’re talking about exercise equipment, workout DVDs, fitness magazines – the common thread is that they all have the staying power of milk on a hot day (I haven’t posted in over two months, so you’ll have to excuse the quality of my analogies while I get my sea legs back under me).
The people who are in the best shape are almost exclusively the ones who have been involved in their fitness regimen for over a year. They’ve made a huge long-term commitment, and fitness is a long-term proposition. Sure, it’s easier to push yourself for a few months and then chase the next shiny object that comes your way when you get bored with what you’re currently doing, but that’s also the best way to spend the majority of your adult life out of shape.
Pick a program that works for you. Choose something that somehow challenges total body strength and stamina. There are tons of programs that meet these criteria. Traditional strength/cardio programs meet it. My program meets it (wink, wink!). Heck, as much crap as I throw towards P90X, that meets it, too (just avoid the Ab Ripper parts). But whatever it is, the next part is the most important – STICK TO IT!
And not just for the requisite two or three months. Do it for a year… two… five. You can and should change it up a little (don’t just do 3 sets of 15 reps of biceps curls for the next five years and expect to get a lot out of it), but the most important part of whatever program you choose will be sticking to the basic framework for as long as you realistically can.
Well, what do you think of the First Fitness Commandment? Anyone want to start a pool as to when you’ll find out the next one? Dibs on a month. Just kidding (hopefully).
‘Til next time!