Fitmark Ambassador Daimon Smith offers some tips on staying fit.
My on again/off again love affair with fitness came by way of being a dancer. I was an amateur dancer for several years and was given the choicest of roles because I was a man and I could pick people up. Then I went pro. And I had competition. And the ballerinas are heavier (because they’re actually very muscular and solid). I had to get into actual shape, not just good enough shape. That’s when I found the pitfalls with being a beginner. Working out is hard, getting into shape is really hard and there are little things that made me quit on several occasions. It wasn’t until a few years ago I made the commitment to fitness and nutrition and began to take this thing seriously, but the pitfalls were still there.
Pitfall 1: Time
I would get into ruts where I didn’t get to the gym because I waited too late and the gym was going to close soon. I fixed this by choosing a gym that was 24 hours. It took my excuse away. There was literally no way to escape the fact that I have at least an hour where I could be working out, so there is no reason that I can’t go get some work in. You don’t have to be in the gym for hours and hours to get in shape. It just takes a little bit of time every day. I can get through just about any regular workout in an hour, longer if I go to the steam room and take a luxurious shower. At the point I’m just pampering myself…which is good. I like to think of my workouts as taking good care of my mind and body. I’ve earned it…and so have you.
Pitfall 2: Plateaus
Everyone hits a plateau where you no longer see improvement, you don’t lose anymore weight, you don’t gain any more endurance…and it’s frustrating. Because I’d seen this happen within myself over and over again, and I would start slacking on my workouts over and over again until I would eventually quit, I decided that I need to fix this if I wanted to stay committed. So instead of doing the same workout for the rest of my life, I change my workout completely at the beginning of every month. I change from doing a routine of isolations to a routine of full body circuits to a routine of body weight exercises. I switch my cardio at least weekly if not more often, as in every cardio workout I’m doing a different type of exercise. Doing these things not only help me to push past plateaus, but also keep me from getting bored with my workout…which is a plateau all its own. If you’re bored, you’ll stop doing it, simple as that. Working out is hard, it doesn’t have to be boring too.
Pitfall 3: Body Image
My whole life I’ve been in the struggle of thinking that I’m either too skinny or too fat or too any other number of low self image things that make me want to quit. You have to realize, and realize early, that we’re not all built the same. My personal fitness is going to look different from yours. I have really muscular legs, but I was a dancer for 17 years, so that’s bound to happen. I can’t judge what my fitness level is by looking at another person and comparing myself to them. Some people are big, some are small, some are skinny, some are more barrel chested. We’re not all the same, and if you try to be the same as the next person, you will experience a large amount of frustration and failure. When you’re embarking on a healthy lifestyle, the only person you’re competing with is you. Find YOUR weaknesses and work on them. Make them your strengths. Make it so that you love your own body, no one else can do that for you.
Removing these obstacles from your life will really contribute to your success in becoming fit and living a healthy life. I like to call these little fixes my “cheat codes”. I see where I’m having trouble maintaining my commitment to myself and I develop ways to get past them. In doing this, you will find success time after time.
Put the work in,
Fitmark Ambassador 2013