It needs to be said, so let’s come right out with it: fitness is boring. That sounds like a complaint, but it’s not. It’s the greatest thing about fitness. You can scour the internets for the best new way to get six pack abs or how to deadlift a unicorn, but rest assured… The best and worst thing about fitness is that it is totally boring.
Unfortunately, boring doesn’t sell books or magazines. What you usually see are headlines that seem to describe something revolutionary. I know; I write them. In fact, I’ll do it again. I’ll let you in on one little secret: that’s how we sell fitness. But, let’s shoot straight for a minute.
The basic rules of physics, which dictate the rules of kinesiology [read: fitness nerd stuff], have not changed in your lifetime. Also, you are not alone with the things that derail you from your goals. There are no secret tricks to fitness.
I’ll say it again, fitness is boring. You want it that way.
The Basic Rules Don’t Change
The basic tenets of movement never change. There are two ways to move weight with respect to your body: away from or toward. We push weight and we pull it. (Don’t talk to me about “around.” That’s just a suspended version of away.)
In this world, we move through three planes of motion, side-side, forward-back and rotationally. Energy consumed by the body is measured in calories, and so on…
You can bench press on a flat bench, incline or decline, but you are using the same chest muscles each time. There are no lower chest muscles and you can’t develop fibers in one part of your muscle bellies over others. That would be life trying to blow up one part of a balloon over another.
This list goes on, but these things are facts of the human body. They won’t change.
We All Stumble on the Same Things
Take comfort in knowing everything that has ever frustrated you about your own fitness program is the same thing that has frustrated many people since long before you were born.
You’re not the first person to loathe working out or the first to skip a few. You’re not the first person to work so hard to achieve a goal, only to lose ground on it shortly after ringing the bell. You’re not the first to give up.
Making changes to our habits goes against the basic wiring of our brains. We are wired to do the same things over and over, even if they hurt us. [Cigarette, anyone?]
Doing the same things opens our senses to experience new things. It’s why we search for new things all the time, like secret new workouts online.
There Are No Secrets
Pick up any fitness magazine or surf any fitness related site to find multiple hits for the word secret. Readers love to believe that there is some new secret about fitness. I know; I read those articles too, even though I know exactly what the author is doing.
It’s tempting to believe that some celebrity trainer has figured out the secret to everlasting fitness, but the truth is less exciting.
There are no secrets. You already know most of what you need to know to stay healthy. Knowledge, unfortunately, doesn’t guide your willpower or habits.
Don’t be discouraged. None of this is to suggest you stop searching for new experiences.
Take 90-days of yoga when you normally lift weights or lift heavy when all you do is train for endurance. Change is great. Anything different from the norm will bring untold benefits, not to mention keep your program fresh.
Variety may be the spice of life, but keeping your training environment variable is the secret to keeping exercise fun. Just don’t go hunting for unicorns.