This post is about me snapping my longstanding relationship with the gym. Rather than crying my eyes out, I would take this opportunity to share things that I know about diet and fitness. I would try and relate it to life, so that a fitness non-enthusiast who comes across this might find it helpful.
I might as well divide this post into easier chunks for better readability so that you people don’t bleed and I would take care that I don’t whine much.
I was in college and I used to practice/play Football / Soccer every single evening. On off days, we played all the time. Soccer was a passion (and still is) then and the automobile world had not swallowed me as much as this game had. One fine evening, I am late from college and I reach the ground to find that the game is already half way. I was told to wait as a substitute, and I was pretty sure that in normal practice matches substitution never happens. It was spine chilling cold and I just didn’t want to go back to my room. Instead I check out our new college gym.
Hmm…. It sure didn’t impress me in the start. I saw a couple of college mates, I had a chat and tried some workouts.
Looking back and counting years, it’s been 7.5 years or more that I have been maintaining this close to my heart. I could say that I was active for 4 years and rest of the time I was on rest/ leave/not in a position to go to gym. I have had very trying times in my life but I never let that affect my routine of picking up weights till recent times.
Recently I have this weird feeling of boredom and sense of dissatisfaction while I am in Gym. Earlier I used to have a particular motive on what I should hit that day and I used to plan the diet one day in advance. I was doing no more of that. Hence I felt I need to stop, rather than holding on to it in a way which would make me feel worse.
Finally, here are my experiences (I will try and correlate it with normal circumstances as much as possible) and other stuff I learnt over these years. These may be things you already know and I’m unsure of how informative this post might prove, but here you go:
- Go to the gym at least once in your lifetime. Athletes, Swimmers, Footballers may not need this but I am sure they do lift weights once in a while, which is a whole different ball game. I am talking about a normal joe who follows 10 hour office work routine in life. Going to gym, lifting weights are anaerobic form of exercise instead of which I would recommend aerobic exercises like running, swimming etc. But hit gym at least once in your lifetime to feel the sore muscles 😉
- More than men, it’s important for women to hit the gym. Working out with small weights and normal exercises helps overcome joint problems in the longer run. Emphasis on smaller weights and normal, light exercises.
- Transformation doesn’t occur overnight. Many people I know got demotivated at the end of 2-3 months because they didn’t see visible change. If you didn’t know this already, it took Arnold Schwarzenneger 15 years to get to the point where he got noticed and appreciated. It takes time, so be patient and keep faith.
- Gym just contributes 30% to 40% and the rest is your diet and rest. I was very much stupid in my earlier days that I would work out and not think about nutrition, resulting in muscle wear. So whenever you work out, plan your nutrition and rest properly. Sleep 7 hours at least and rest the muscle which you have worked out for 48 hours at least if not more.
- Get the form and technique right. This is important cos it can cause serious permanent injury. You are dealing with weights and remember if an exercise is hard for you, pains on your bone joints and you don’t feel confident, I suggest you skip it as there are 10 other exercises that you can do. Be sure to ask your instructor and make sure you have understood the form and technique. Also ensure you have someone watching you while you are doing weights that you are not confident of. I have injured my shoulder joint and I wouldn’t want anyone to take that stupid risk simply because it’s not worth it.
- Don’t spend more than 2 hours in the gym. Don’t ask me why, but just don’t.
- Focus. To tell you more about this, I would get distracted easily when I used to sit down with my school textbooks. But while driving, training soccer, training in gym; I was so into it that I would lose contact with the real world. I would dedicate a 101% of my focus to them things. So my point is that, please don’t be day dreaming in the gym. It can prove dangerous. If you can’t concentrate, leave.
- Avoid smoking and drinking. It doesn’t go well with Gym. Eventually you will quit one.
- After you have achieved your goal, I would suggest you try and maintain it rather than pounding on more weights. Over the years, heavy weight lifts can cause bone joint inflammation (heard rumours). If it was me, I would reduce resistance training to 2-3 days a week and concentrate more on aerobic exercises, had I achieved my goals.
- It’s still a debate whether supplements like Protein shakes should be used or not. I have used supplements and I have seen results. When you are buying supplements, be sure to research really hard as to what you want that supplement for? For example, there are heavy mass gainers, lean muscle mass gainers, fat burners etc. Please make sure you work out really hard as these supplements may have high calorie and sugar contents. Also please beware, once you start using supplements it will become your source of confidence to hit the gym and prolonged use will leave you craving for it, you won’t be able to do without it. One of the reason for me quitting the gym.
- Gym will instil a great amount of confidence in you. It will make you look smart (at least you think) and you will feel confident around people. The best time to work out is morning when your blood circulation and oxygen flow will be high and stomach empty. There is nothing more inspiring like marching to school/ college/ work after a great session of work out.
- Though people think going to Gym is a waste of time and money; and greater work outs can be planned at home, it seldom works. The first reason I see is that you pay up in gym and hence you would value your money. Second reason is that people around you can motivate you. At home, you have the diversions that help you get distracted unless you are highly motivated.
- Going to gym can also help socialize a bit. Though it is not the primary aim or it shouldn’t be, there are chances that you meet people who have same goals and can work together to yield better results.
- Last but not the least, there is nothing more amazing in life than looking in the mirror and seeing a drool material after months of work out. The happiness can’t be mentioned by words, one needs to be felt.
I wish I could hit a refresh button and start over again. I wholeheartedly hope it happens and when it happens I will strike through this sentence and leave the date.
A disclaimer, please don’t go by any of the instruction I have mentioned as I have no idea of what I am talking about. 😀