The Enjoyment Advantage
I am often asked questions in the gym when it comes to attaining results. I can say that I could fill multiple blog posts with questions alone but I will avoid that path. This to me is a good thing as the recipe for success is the bottom line for most people in the weight room. While there is no perfect answer, there are certainly a lot of them that can help. I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about one answer in particular that has become a bigger and bigger part of what I do in the gym. While success is important, I must say that success does seem to get in the way of enjoyment in the gym. Personally, I can say that this is something that I have overlooked in the past. I have written programs and executed sessions that were very specific to goals but have realized that success goes well beyond exercise prescription. I now realize that happiness within a fitness program is as important as hypertrophy. Whether it is someone dealing with a lot of work stress looking to just move around and have a conversation or someone looking to put in the effort of a lifetime. I have realized that it is my job to cater to that and make that individual feel great about the effort that they had just put in. And regardless of the effort on any particular day, these people stay consistent and more importantly see success. While a fitness program requires sets and reps, it also requires positivity and enjoyment for it to be a true success. If you are looking for success in the gym, I would recommend these exercises within your program.
Try to keep track of your progressions, how good you are feeling, muscle gain/weight loss. The ability to document the positives of your workouts will help fuel your appreciation of your efforts and help develop a culture of fulfillment.
2. Grateful Log
Try to document three components of your life that you are grateful for on a daily basis. I have been experimenting with this one myself and I love it. It has made me realize that even during more difficult days that I have a lot to be thankful for and that life is pretty damn good.
3. Find Activities That Bring A Smile To Your Face
I have seen people get into exercise that they dislike based strictly on the fact that it may bring results. The problem that I see with that unless it becomes enjoyable, it just isn't sustainable. Start off by getting into activities that you enjoy doing. Sidetrack some of the expectation of success and let the enjoyment of what you are doing help get you to where you want to be.
4. Feel Better Walking Out Than You Did Walking In
It may be movement to eliminate pain, it may be to reduce stress, it may be a workout that tests your capacity in every sense of the word. Whatever it may be, if you can tailor your exercise to that certain satisfaction that you are pursuing, chances are you will be feeling pretty good about yourself when it is all said and done. For those of you who have felt that, its a great feeling isn't it.
I love the science of exercise however, I believe that the art of exercise is the unwritten ingredient to success. The ability to integrate components such as fun, enjoyment, fulfillment, and happiness into what you are doing, the science will take care of itself.
The destination is easy if you are enjoying the ride.