Fitness is hard to start and even more difficult to maintain. Hello I'm Mark Jorgensen, the Webmaster of this website. I've been into fitness all of my life. My wife has been a certified personal trainer. I sat down and thought about all the things I do to keep exercising year in and year out. The result is this web page, which will teach you everything you need to know about how to start exercising and keep exercising for the rest of you life.
How to start and stick with an aerobics program
Many of you have spent time and money on losing weight and find the result not being exactly what you wanted. You not only want to be thin, you want to be firm. The only solution for you is exercise. Even body sculpting surgery will not supply a firm body. Many of you were in the position of being overweight partly because you ate too much of the wrong foods. Overlooking genetics, most people are overweight because they don’t exercise. Many were fit much earlier in life when it was easy. They forgot how much of a commitment it is and expect it to be as easy as it was…before they really got out of shape. I’ll make no bones about it. This is an uphill battle that can only be won over the long run. Many of you have been beaten time and time again. You know you just can’t do it and you really want to. This writing is about what people like you must do to start and maintain an aerobic program. It is geared for working out on an elliptical machine but will also apply to jogging or running. I do not recommend jogging or running on a treadmill because of the inherent danger of falling and being thrown off.
How do you develop the ability to stick to an exercise program?
You must have known someone that has the discipline to exercise on a continuous basis. They may have talked to you about it, typically by telling you that they are busy on a particular day or hour because they have to workout. It is a facet of living that many people just can't bring into their lives. You may be one of those people that just can not sustain an exercise discipline no matter how hard you try. You may trivialize it as an easy thing anyone can do, something that requires little thought. But for some reason you just can't bring yourself to doing it for an extended time. Why is that? Maybe it's not as easy as it appears to be? Could there possibly be mental disciplines involved that you are not aware of? I am a person with very mediocre genetics that has worked out all my life. Why did I start exercising? I was small as a child and I was raised in a fairly threatening industrial area. Let's look at some of the things other than fear that has kept exercise in my life. First of all you must mentally position yourself to do exercise.
Fitness is ritual...NOT pleasure
This is THE mantra for anyone who desires to make fitness part of their life. Seeking to derive pleasure from physical exercise is the biggest mistake a person can make when trying to build the discipline to exercise into your life. Why is that? The best way to explain this fact is to use a comparison to Manic Depression (Bipolar Disorder). I am not a doctor or psychologist. This is an unprofessional comparison. Mania occurs when you feel overly good and confident about yourself and life. Depression occurs when issues you haven't been able to resolve enter your thinking and totally consume you. Issues that cause depression are usually not resolvable or at least not resolvable by the victim of deep depression. Not wanting to recognize the fact that issues are not resolvable people use defective reasoning to rationalize negative events so they are resolved within their mind. A tremendous mania can result from artificially solving lifelong issues. Then reality sets in because the issue is only tenuously resolved within the mind and some unconsidered factor or desire comes to mind or an additional outside event related to the core issue occurs crashing the resolution. Depression always ensues after such a crash. Each time the cycle occurs the disparity between the high of the artificial resolution and the low of the depression can become larger and larger consuming the victim at a larger and larger scale over time.
What does this Psycho mumbo-jumbo have to do with fitness?
Let me continue. If you have attempted to exercise throughout your lifetime and failed, you have to know the solution to get you to exercise will not be simple. Everybody that has never exercised starts to exercise either in the mind state of "gung ho" or the state that "this will be easy." In either state, it never fails that they start in a state of total mania. They believe they will quickly and easily become fit. If you have never exercised throughout your lifetime, your body AND mind has been trained to not exercise. Your whole physiology is that of an entity not in motion. Some scientists believe that your genetics become altered. Keep in mind that nothing worth possessing is easy to obtain, particularly resolutions to lifelong issues.
Exercise appears to be one of those things you can't fix...
...but it CAN work if you have faith and discipline. You can have faith in people to do the right thing but they may do the wrong thing...you have no control. The problem with this in exercise is that people pattern their beliefs about it along the same lines as life's issues with people. Why? Because cycles of failure to exercise can appear to behave much the same as cycles of failures in relationships. In life when you are discovered to be wronged by caring people they will right the wrong immediately and everything can be instantly resolved. Issues with bad people may never be resolved and over the long run they always fail. With exercise, neither state exists. Exercise never offers an instantaneous resolution. Success with exercise is always a long-run game. But, the wonderful thing about exercise is that you are in complete control. It will never fail to work for you if you learn how to apply that control. You must learn to deal with cycles of what appears to be instant resolutions (mania) and the illusion of total failure (depression). The key to success in exercise is controlling your reaction to mania which is key to eliminating the downside of depression.
Never! increase exercise because of what you think is success
It never fails...a person who has never exercised will prematurely increase the amount of exercise they do and then quit. This scenario happens even more with people who were at a previous time in their life physically fit. They remember the state of being fit but forget the discipline and the emotional game it takes to get there. These are key to mastering a sustained exercise ritual over time. Never! ever relate a positive state to exercise. Doing so is like a person involved in religious ritual fully expecting the supreme being to materialize. That person needs to realize that the supreme being is already here! Fitness is a continuum as are the thinking and actions necessary to gain and maintain the state of being fit. Expecting to attain a state of physical awareness of "being fit" is as silly and anti-productive as thinking the supreme being will materialize before you. You will experience what you "think" is that state but over time it will prove to be false. Depression follows. This is the point that many people quit exercising because of their unrealistic expectations. In order to experience the gain exercise will deliver, you must not relate any sort of mental or physical state to it...like religion it is based on a ritual and will only work through control of your thinking.
Exercise is a long-run game that will work for you
Just the opposite of irresolvable issues in life, exercise will yield a positive resolution over time. In fact it only works over time. People frequently become conditioned to believe that long-run solutions don't work. Exercise requires a ritualistic state that must exist at least two years for its true benefit to be realized. People either make exercise way too hard or way too easy. There is a middle-ground path that you must learn how to see and follow in order for you to succeed. You must learn how to control your thinking relative to exercising. You must know that unlike most issues in life this one is only resolvable over the long run. You must learn to never expect anything from your exercise. It is in fact really not resolvable nor does it ever deliver a comprehendible presence of any magnitude. Why is that? Because your comprehension of being fit alters as you become fit. Einstein didn't think he was intelligent, because as his intellect expanded so did his ability to comprehend how much there is to know. Exercise works the same way. As you become fit, you become more aware of higher standards of fitness. Identifying yourself in the scale of being fit can be the cause of depression that will cause you to quit. You must not think about a future state of fitness you want to obtain. You must only think of physical motion in the moment. You must develop sets of physical motion without setting a goal of obtainment. You just do it as a ritual. You don't think about the time involved. You don't become over exhilarated. You just do it.
Balance is the key to Exercise
How do you develop balance? First you must change your vision of exercise. You must accept and internalize exercise as part of your life...forever. If you view it as something you are doing temporarily just to try it out, at the outset, you establish it as something you are going to stop doing. Exercise cannot be viewed as an experiment. There is no experiment possible. Without physical motion your body wastes. Without musculature there is only soft unsightly flesh. Exercise is the only counter measure. Diet can only take you so far. So the first step in creating balance is the acceptance of the ritual...for life. Truly internalizing a decision to do something for the rest of your life is not a trivial thing. Because if you do not truly commit, you enter a quasi state that is most destructive relative to the goal. People in this state exercise only to prove that it won't work for them. They build internal mechanisms that stop them just at the point of success. Exercise requires an art of understanding and expanding your comfort zone or "discomfort zone." You must exercise just beyond the point of discomfort and no more. That's right, exercise requires you balance discomfort.
How to Determine your REAL discomfort zone...START
In the Worst case, you could become a biological entity floating in a vat of glycerin solution receiving all your nourishment intravenously with your brain wired to an artificial reality computer that plays old John Wayne movies. Your skeletal system melted away, just a blob of flesh with no muscle. Actually your skeletal system benefits from anaerobic exercise almost as much as your musculature. You can increase bone density only by stressing your bones (along with calcium supplementation). Exercise is the only way to protect against broken bones as you get older. Many people start exercising in a condition not too far from what I described above. Any motion breaks them out of their comfort zone. It is very difficult for these people to develop a tolerance to physical motion. It is only through persistence that they can raise their discomfort zone to a level where they will experience an effect using exercise. Here's how to start. While I believe anaerobic exercise is more important for physical appearance, your core strength and heart health depends on aerobics. Your ability to do anaerobics is based upon your core strength. So to be able to effectively lift weights or do other resistance exercises such as push-ups, you must start by developing your core strength with aerobics. To start...START.
You must master your breath, posture and form
Most people don't think about how to do it right and then wonder why they fail. With all higher intensity exercises, you must learn how to control your breathing. Establishing a set number of motions for each inhale and exhale is paramount to success in aerobics. Always use an uneven number of motions so you don't favor one side of your body over the other. In other words exhale while alternating exerting your left and right side. Never use an even pattern where you only exhale while exerting one side. In example, when I run I will stride three times while inhaling and stride two times on exhale. Using this uneven pattern of five, I alternate exhaling completely on each leg, left and right. You expend more energy on exhale. So if you want to maximize, you must balance your exhales so they occur evenly on each side of your body. Extra exertion on one side will cause you to tire quickly and results in uneven development of one side of your body more than the other. Always run within your breath. You must never completely empty your lungs prior to or during your last stride within an inhale/exhale cycle. This will stop you faster than anything. If you are out of breath on the last stride, reduce your rate or use another pattern. For example you could reduce your number of strides to the odd number of three over the period you breath in and out. I use running in this example because that is what I did when I first started aerobics. These principles apply to all aerobic exercises.
You must also think about the position your body must be in throughout the motion of an exercise. Most people can't get an effective rate of exercise because they are fighting their own incorrect posture and form. Research an exercise before you do it. Find out exactly how to position yourself throughout the motion. Learn the natural motion required to eliminate fighting against your own poor form. Always stand erect on a machine or when you are running. Never lean forward. You might see athletes running fast and leaning forward. They do this over short bursts only. This will tire you faster than anything. Pattern yourself after a bird when they run. Don't lean forward or backward...be perfectly balanced. Tension is another thing that will kill your workout. Although it may seem the opposite of reality and impossible at first, you must learn to relax your entire body. Never suspend your arms in an unnatural position. You will see runners tight fisted and working their arms furiously as they run. This is wasted energy that will shorten your workout. Let your arms relax and fall low into a natural position that requires no musculature exertion to maintain. Let your hands lay flat with a slight natural slant. Don't tighten them into vertical fists. Pretend that your hands are actually touching earth. Let them lay naturally like the paws of an animal when they run. Elliptical users will position their hands as directed by the users manual for their machine. Over time your good form will become natural to you and you won't need to waste energy thinking about it.
The balance of Intensity and time effectiveness
Walking is a great exercise but as you become fit you may find the time required to maintain fitness at a higher level using walking is prohibitive. Typically to gain time effectiveness you will need to find an aerobic that is more intense than walking. You must be able to do your exercise even on days you have many other things going on. Moreover, the exercise must take precedence over your other activities. It is a ritual whose denial must be the last thing on your list of things to do. You must never figure ways to subordinate it by rationalizing that your other events and duties are more important....they are not. It is very easy to realize that you cannot do a three hour walk if you have a full schedule in a day. It is much harder to not do a thirty minute aerobic on an elliptical machine. In fact if you chose exercise that is incompatible with your schedule, you are doomed at the outset. Again being "Gung-ho" will destroy the discipline. Do you really think you can do a three hour walk every day? You must realistically consider your available time when planning your exercise ritual.
Do it at the Gym? or at home?
Consider the time it takes to get to a gym and the time it takes to dress. Many people thrive on the health club environment. I have never had the time it takes to use a health club. In fact, I do my weight work out (anaerobic exercise) while I work on other things at home. If I didn't I would have no time to do anything but work and exercise. Not that I haven't belonged to a gym, of course I have. I have found them to be too time consuming relative to my other interests and responsibilities. I like being able to start exercising whenever I want and stop and then very quickly do something else. I just walk over to a machine and start exercising when my motivation is peaked to do it. I have found it easier to make the decision not to exercise when I have to include travel and dress for the event. When you make a life long decision to do something, you think of it in different terms. When you cost out exercise equipment over a lifetime, it is much cheaper than health club dues. On the other hand, a health club can be a place to meet people with the common interest of exercising. Beware of becoming dependent on having other people involved with your workout. Your motivation can be affected when they quit or move away. You must never allow anything from the outside to affect your workout. I prefer to workout alone just so that nothing from the outside can affect me. People leaving can really affect you...especially when it comes to exercise.
It feels so good that I could do this forever...
...STOP! Apply the first principle of balance and cancel mania when on occasion you have an exhilarating workout. You are hot and sweaty and you feel good! Instead of doing your regular 25 minutes on the elliptical, you know you could do it for 35. Let's say you push yourself, do the 35 minutes and totally exhaust yourself. The first reality you should consider is the fact you made something easy...hard. You could have walked from your workout with extra energy instead of exhaustion. Most people quit exercising because of feeling exhausted, and this is how that happens. Take the extra energy home with you. Do something with your family. Go out with your friends. Meet someone new. Never make yourself too tired. The second reality is that you might not feel so good the next time it comes to working out. You might be tired because you overworked yourself previously. Your body chemistry might not be as high as it was. You also might have an event lesson your ability to workout. Your boss might become mad at you or you might be fighting with your significant other. You come back to do another workout not so high (manic) or even depressed. Because of having overworked yourself previously, you might not be able to even complete your original workout of 25 minutes. Oh that will really depress you. You took that high (mania) of being able to easily complete your workout and turned it into failure and depression. You might even blame your problems on your workout. If you were not so tired, things might have happened differently...and so it ends. You must identify workout mania and kill it on the spot...stop it the minute it enters your mind. Never let yourself become enthralled over a workout. NEVER increase your workout because of one good session. You must be able to do your workout even when you become depressed. Always remember that at times life can be full of hassles and pain that can cause your system to be down. If you set levels of exercise based on your system being up you are doomed to failure.
Over exercising must be avoided at all costs
There is a zone that represents the correct amount of exercise that we will call the "Impact Zone." In most things where there is a range of outcomes you want to be in the center of possible outcomes. With exercise you want to be on the small side. You want to do as little as possible to get results. You only need to exercise up to the point of impact...and no more. Over exercising will actually deplete your muscles rather than build them. With aerobics the limit is absolute. If you workout beyond a certain point you will loose musculature. With anaerobics (lifting weights) the limit is more relative. You can expand your ability to workout and grow muscles over a much larger range than aerobics. But there is an absolute limit to ALL exercise. If you go beyond that limit, you will be depleting your musculature instead of building it. Many new starts go completely manic and overwork throughout their entire startup effort. All of their workouts are too much. At the end of their short glorious effort, when in the depression phase, they proclaim that exercise just won't work for them. They think a few short weeks or months of super effort will yield accelerated growth when absolutely the opposite will always be the result. They want to reverse years of inactivity in a short burst of time. It takes a couple of short years to reverse many years of inactivity. Experts state that 30 minutes of exercise at a target aerobic heat rate for your age should be the goal. I personally believe you should add 5 minutes for a total of 35 minutes so you have a built in warm-up period. For my aerobics I exercise for 43 to 45 minutes 3 days a week on an elliptical machine. I use elliptical machines in the examples for this writing. The time concepts can also be applied to jogging or running.
The secret to mastering exercise is to not add weight or distance before you are ready. But, you must be willing to continuously increase your workout into your expanding impact zone or you won't become fit. At the end of your exercise you will either be depleted or feel you can do more. As I have explained, never go ahead and do more. Stop and record that you could do more. After three consecutive workouts that end with you feeling you could EASILY do more, add a small increment of distance (or weight) to your workout. I add two tenths of a mile in the case of running or an elliptical. Mania can cause you to add too much and it turns into despair when you can't do it again in the short run. A small increase is unlikely to end in failure and despair. No matter how high you feel, only add a small increment of distance (two tenths of a mile). Cancel the mania in your mind and just walk away from the workout when you are done...go do something fun. Start the process again. Using the increment method you greatly lessen the possibility of injury.
When you are out of shape and begin jogging, running, or an elliptical workout you will get on the track or machine and you will go a little over five minutes and it will become unbearable. You will know that exercise is a big mistake for you because it feels so bad. You will be boiling hot and every effort will come from a state of being out of breath. Many people stop here...it is just too much for them. Brace yourself for this. You must learn to live in this state for a long period of time. It will go away, but don't be looking for the end or you will stop. Accept it as something you must live with...your ritual, your discomfort zone. Like all pain, it will persist as long as you are thinking about it. Mastering aerobic exercise requires you gain the ability to clear your mind...to not think about your body's discomfort. You think about your breath and the number of repetitions you make each breath and your form. It is real true meditation and the benefits extend far beyond the act of working out. You can counter many problems in life if you learn to endure. One day you will be working out and become aware that discomfort is much less present. It will never go away, but you learn to master it. This is when you must control the urge to do too much (mania). You will bring the discomfort back in all its burning glory if you don't. Oh yes the liver...I have to tell you about the liver. When you start an aerobic exercise your liver almost immediately fills with blood. For some this can be very painful. The only way to deal with this is to exercise until the pain goes away. Don't push it...steadily exercise until the blood is released and the pain subsides. This pain always happens to me when I run but never happens on the elliptical. If the pain persists, talk to your doctor about it.
Count the distance, NOT the time
Rate is the distance divided by time. Forget the time, count the distance. Time will naturally become smaller as you get fit. I do 8.5 miles on my elliptical at an average of 11 mph. On a good day I do it in just over 43 minutes. On a bad day I do it in 45 minutes. But I always do a set distance. If you are really out of shape, you will have problems doing five minutes. On your first workout do as much as you can do. Don't be stupid and do too much. This is the most vulnerable point for you if you are in really bad shape. So first get a check up by your doctor to make certain you are healthy enough for a rigorous workout. Even if you are deemed healthy enough to exercise you are more at risk relative to your heart when you are just starting an exercise program. For an elliptical, and depending on the machine you are using, your starting speed should be 6 to 8 mph. You should increase your speed to 9-10 mph over a year. Workout just as long as you can stand it and record your distance and time. Do the same distance until your time is consistently above that of your first workout. When you have done three workouts in a row where you feel you could do more...add distance. Remember, you must feel like it would be easy for you to do more. Don't add distance if you are tired and fighting it. If you are continuously tired and struggling you are doing too much....cut it back by two tenths of a mile. Let me reiterate, execute three consecutive workouts where you feel you have the energy and strength to add more distance before doing so. The trick here is to only add distance when you have proven you can handle it. It's best to keep doing the same distance for months and months before adding something you can't maintain. Using this method your progress will always be positive, you will never be mentally defeated. Remember you are doing a ritual and there is no such thing as short-run gain. Remember to control your mania. You are not looking for any gratification or stimulation from your workout. You only want to get it done and then quickly move on to something you want or need to do. Once you get over the extremely painful time of starting your program you will find yourself slowly and steadily gaining distance and increasing your speed. Remember, you don't think about the time or distance, don't give it any meaning, positive or negative. Just mechanically add distance as you qualify yourself to do so according to this plan. Again, make your aerobic as short (forget sweet) as it can be and move on to something else as quickly as you can. Remember these same concepts work for running or jogging as well as an elliptical machine.
Counting the beats of your heart is a wise thing to do
Set your rate of exercise to your target heart rate. You should know exactly how much and if you are over stressing your heart. There are many articles online about this subject. But the best authority is your doctor. Don't begin a fitness program without ascertaining you are healthy enough to do it. Go to your doctor and get a physical first. That being said, let's talk about sweat.
Entering your discomfort zone requires sweat
No kidding you have to sweat...a lot if you want to burn fat and get firm. You should at least have a ring of sweat around the top of your underwear after you workout. Actually, the bulk of your underwear bottoms should be saturated. This is not an exact science because some people sweat more than others. With aerobics, if you are not sweating, you are not working and will obtain very little. Sweat in this case is your friend. You should welcome it because it is the best indicator that your rate of exercise is intense enough. No matter how tired and uncomfortable you become, avoid thinking about the end of your exercise session. The trick is to not think about physical discomfort but to meditate on your breath and form. Exercise is by nature a continuum If you think about the end you will end it.
Countering Depression with a MINIMAL WORKOUT
The downside of mania...the day comes when you feel you just can't do it. It will happen to you and this is how you counter it. You first determine just how much of a workout you could do on the worst day. Imagine you are just coming off the flu or something. What is the minimum distance you could go? My typical workout distance is 8.5 miles. I figure I could always do 7 miles...no matter what. So no matter how bad I feel other than being truly sick I will do my minimum workout because I know I can do it. I do it because I KNOW I can. It's OK to do your minimum workout every once in a while to carry you through. Typically, because you did less this time you will not have any problems doing your full distance on your next workout. If you do have problems next time, reduce your workout and re-start the three cycle rule. Your mania has caused you to take on too much. When I feel I can't do a workout, typically on a cloudy or rainy day, I will start my minimal workout. As I get going the fuzzy feeling that caused me to not feel like working out goes away. I usually go ahead and do my whole workout and boy do I feel good about it. This is a mind trick that works almost every time. Every once in a while when I do my minimal workout and feel I can go on, I quit anyway just to make certain I know it's OK to quit short...just so I establish the tool as real and will always work for me.
You must also counter depression on days you just can't pull it off
There will be days you don't realize you are genuinely sick. You will start to exercise and not be able to complete even your minimum workout. This is another time you must learn how to walk away. You must kill the depression about not working out in your mind. Walk away from the workout and be sure to come back on your next scheduled workout day. Walk away from the depression by knowing you will be back. It is most important that you not miss any more days than necessary to get over your illness or you will lose discipline. Never try to make up for a missed day. If you are mixing aerobics and resistance exercises, just come back into your schedule and do the next set of exercises you would normally do on that day of the week. Don't do the set you missed. If you are sick for a few days you may lose ground. At first you might try applying your minimal workout tool if you can't do as much when you resume. If you can't maintain the same rate you must reduce by two tenths of a mile and start over using the 3 set rule. Don't worry, that two tenths of a mile will be back before you know it. If you frequently miss workouts this way, you may be on the downside of your mania. Again, you must then reduce distance or resistance and continue using the 3 set rule. Walk away from the depression. Don't let any reductions phase you. Just come back and do the ritual without thinking about it. You have the power to reduce a little and continue growing forever without even thinking about it. Continue...don't let it phase you. I am teaching you every counter you need to do so.
Aerobics...the plan in a nutshell
|Ritualize it||Conceptualize your workout as ritual not pleasure or sport. Eliminate all expectations from your workout. It is something you do as a ritual like religion. If you don't have time to exercise give up something else. Use an exercise that is time effective so you can live it.|
|Starting out||Study and maintain the proper posture and form for your exercise. Master your breath. Inhale and exhale over a set but uneven number of repetitions. Determine a proper rate for a beginner. Extend your workout into your discomfort zone. Record the distance and time. Reduce the distance by two tenths of a mile if you are too out of breath or hot. Never think about the end of your workout.|
|Adding distance||Add two tenths of a mile after three consecutive workouts that end with you in a state of being comfortable were you are not completely out of breath or too hot. The later workouts should be at the same rate or preferably a higher rate than the first. You should progressively increase your rate as you become fit. You should always maintain a target heart rate. You should always be sweating throughout the last two thirds of your workout. If you have problems re-read this writing.|
|Schedule||Start with 3 workouts a week every other day.|
After 2 to 3 months add a workout instead of distance as outlined above for a total of four. Do the extra workout at the beginning of the week and space the rest every other day.
After 4 to 6 months add another workout for a total of five.
After 8 months to a year begin anaerobics (weight training). You will cut 2 of your aerobic workouts and do resistance training on those days instead. Resistance training will be the topic of another writing (that is if you like this one).
Laying on the machine...the opposite of mania
There are people that that are never gung-ho. They always figure a way to not do enough. They have never even once in their life broken out of their comfort zones. Others breakout and do an acceptable workout for a while and then slowly and surely they wind down until they are doing nothing. Both types end up working out with too little intensity over too short a time. They go too slow and never quite far enough. They continuously prove to themselves that exercise won't work...that is their goal in exercise. Many such people will never be able to bring themselves to exercise. If you are one of these people and can't defeat it...walk. Take a three hour walk three to five days a week and enjoy the air and being outdoors. But, do not think you will not pay a price in the quality of your life if you do nothing. You will never know the benefits of being fit unless you become fit. For it to work your rate of exercise must be effective. Don't prove to yourself it won't work. Unlike most problems in life, this is one thing that absolutely will work given the appropriate amount of time and intensity. You must break out of your comfort zone. You must remain out of it. This is not just a one time event. Exercise is mentally controlling the effect of your discomfort. When you become comfortable you add distance or resistance...that's the game. Break out of your comfort zone. Being too comfortable can kill you.
Avoid changing exercises until you have mastered one
You will hear people talk about "shock value" and while it is true that radically altering workouts increases the impact of exercise for people that are at the pinnacle of fitness, it's a great way to hurt yourself if you are out of shape. The idea is that your body learns an exercise and becomes used to it. Because the exercise becomes learned the effect or impact of it becomes reduced. The belief is that you can shock your body into higher gains by alternating exercises. Most of you will start working out and not get into an impact zone for weeks and weeks. You want your body TO learn the exercise so you can sustain it into your impact zone where you will begin the conditioning process. Study and choose the right aerobic exercise at the outset and stick with it for two years before adding or changing aerobic exercises. Actually, before you start doing another type of aerobic exercise you should add resistance training. It will be tempting to use changing exercises as a way to avoid increasing the intensity of your workout. Many people switch from one exercise to another without mastering any of them. Mastery is key...it is impossible to develop a ritual and gain conditioning doing something you haven't mastered.
ONE LAST TIME...After exercise just walk away
Don't extend it any further than it has to be. Go and do something you enjoy or something that needs to be done. Minimize the affect your commitment to exercise has on your life. Don't hang around the gym. If you do, at some time you may start associating idle time with workout time. Don't do that. Hang around somewhere else or absolutely develop the discipline to see that time as other than workout time. Take your friends from the gym out somewhere away from the gym. Considering idle time as workout time is a way people rationalize themselves out of exercising...they just don't have the time. Don't make working out a bigger thing than what it really is.
Don't look for results...
...they will only arrive when you least expect it. Typically when you are out somewhere and dressed well, you will make a move and feel the fabric of your clothes tug against a tighter body instead of gelatinous flesh. You will feel the tone…the muscle beneath and know you look better. Sometimes people will tell you that you look fit. You might not believe them because of the “Einstein” effect we discussed earlier. Remember Einstein thought he was a dummy. It’s like an anorexic thinking they’re overweight. For the same reason, as you gain fitness you may never view yourself as being fit, no matter how fit you become. It might help if you conceptualize what you would or will be if you don’t workout. If you never expect a thing from your workout ritual, one day you will possess the state of being fit. But you may never realize it because you will know there are always higher levels. I know this seems cruel but the same rules apply to anything in life involving accomplishment. But, if you look for accomplishment you will fail. Seek discipline...there is no beginning, no end and no comprehendible gain, only the continuum of the ritual which is the accomplishment. This is how you must think.
Working out is not easy, if it were you would be fit now
But, being fit takes less time than being out of shape. I am attempting to teach you everything you need to develop the correct thinking about working out in one short concise writing. Still, some of you are going to throw out the time excuse as why you just can't do it. I have had some very dear friends that were overweight and/or out of shape. I found the amount of time they spend in anguish over their appearance greatly exceeds the 35 minutes it takes to do an aerobic workout. If they attended a three hour event they spent a large chunk of that time self absorbed in how bad they feel they look. You can save a lot of time by dealing with it. Think about the amount of time you put into thinking about your lack of condition. Is it more than 35 minutes over a two day period? Maybe you should begin the ritual and start saving your time. You could be adding decades of quality time to your life. What is 30 to 40 minutes compared to the time you are in agony for being out of shape? Why not cultivate quality time for when you get older instead of being crippled early by age? You can start at any age.
Before using this information or beginning any exercise program, consult your physician. This is especially important for persons over the age of 35 or with pre-existing health problems. Mark Jorgensen, Dr. Terry Simpson and all of his affiliated organizations assume no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained by or through use of this information.