Comparing Yourself to Others: Always Great for the Self Esteem

1 04 2008

Here is a great program for young girls that uses running to help with character development and self esteem. Click here to check it out.
So health benefits motivate me to work out, blah, blah, reduced cancer risk, blah, blah, stress relief, but what motivates me to push through each individual workout when I am at the gym is completely selfish and superficial. And that’d how I like it.
1. I always do my Cardio next to FloJo. I have never been an endurance athlete; the longest I would ever need to be working full out would be a 1 minutes 30 second floor routine, or the 5 second sprint down the vault runway. I get bored very easily and need something to keep me going. I wouldnt say I am competitive, but I will definately go for longer if I think someone is watching. I walk up to cardio machines, survey the runners/ellipticalers/bikers and find the sweatiest, fittest looking one. I hop on the machine next to them, if it is available,  peek over, make a mental note of how long they have been going, smile sheepishly when they give me the stink eye after inevitably catching me looking, and  start peddaling/running/ellipticalling. My pride keeps me from getting off before they do. I can’t start after them and quit before them. That’s ludacris.
2. I stretch and do floor work next to Olive Oil and Cisco Morris. I dont know if anyone outside of the Pacific Northwest knows who Cisco is so here is a sampling.


Imagine that face with a mild speech impediment and a love for ferns.

I actually met him once when I got lost in the U-District and had to stop at a Starb’s for directions. He gardens on TV. I garden and Im not on TV. I’m bitter. Anyway: the stretching area is next to the main walkway and is always lined with old men in tiny shorts doing their junk-exposing stretches or “pilates” and younger women doing abs and stability ball work because they dont want to “bulk up.” Stretching is relaxing, and for some reason my affect screams, PLEASE TALK TO ME OLD MEN, I AM JUST LIKE YOUR GRANDDAUGHTER, so a conversation is almost always struck up, despite the i-pod in my ear. Stretching should take a while, 10-30 seconds per stretch, so the conversation helps pass the time so I get in a nice good stretching session. And no other time in the real world can you just get up and walk away from someone you were talking to without being “rude” or “verbally abusive” or “not a good friend.” I have a short attention span. A real friend would know that.
3. I lift weights next to know-it-all men with no testicles. Everytime I walk into the free weight room at the gym, it gets about 8 times louder. Men sniff female, and the sounds of hurling weights, grunting and tendons tearing away from bone fill the air. I cant make fun of them too bad because thats the exact reason I go back there, everyone starts showing off. Not many women go into the free weight room because it is full of juiced up guys with awful form, gawking. I make it my personal mission to show them that little girls can lift weights, too. It helps me keep proper form and lift more challeneging weights to really stick it to ’em. Show off? Maybe, but it keeps me in there longer and atleast I keep quiet about it.
Whatever motivates you to work out harder/better/faster/stronger (Daft Punk reference anyone? If you say anything about Kanye West I will hunt you down) harness it and use it. Just dont tell people what it is because then they will think you are full of yourself, like all of you think I am right now. But, hey, I get my workout in everyday. 


I Will Be Like Dr. Phil, But With More Hair and People Will Like Me

31 03 2008

So I have been poking around the internet in search of fitness blogs that I would enjoy reading. Mizfit is great, (hello!) but she is the only one I can find that I myself would (and do) read, and if I, a personal trainer, find other fitness blogs a self-righteous snoozefest, Im sure you all do, too.
I think my main qualm is that everything is too calculated. Its anything you can pick up in a magazine and read, and everything is broken down into minutes, heart rates, incline, reps, sets, calories, ad naseum. I think the fitness community is too elitist. Those that are knowledgable and have that information to offer seem to be more interested in showing the reader that working out is hard, and since they are so buff, they work out harder than you. If you are not working out as hard as them, you are weak, get out of here. Be intimidated by me because all of this information is confusing to you, but I am writing about it like its nothing because I am smarter than you, there for you do not deserve to be fit. Run away, puny weakling.
Or they just know how to cut and paste.
Our job is to take this information that admittedly is a bit confusing and involves a lot of variables, and break it down into just what you guys need to know. In order to lose weight or gain the health benefits of exercise, you dont need to know your maximum training heart rate, your VO2max, or your “fat burning zone.”
I feel this is why people dont work out. They hear all of this information floating around, get confused and intimidated, and think they cant ever do it.  This is what leads them to quick fixes and easy tricks. The terms quick and easy insinuates that weightloss and fitness without gimmicks is hard, if not impossible, without them.  I dont think we in the fitness industry are making an effort to bridge this gap. 
Which leads me to my million dollar idea, because everything I do is in hopes of getting a million dollars. This is completely irresponsible journalism here, which is perfect because I am not a journalist, because I havent technically read the book, but I will write the fitness sister to Skinny Bitch. It will be called Shut Up and Move. Or just Shut Up.
I have some insider info: for all of you that are not athletes, and I mean college or pro, or for the younger readers, highschool athletes, you dont need to know your heart rate. You dont need to know what moves are going to bulk you up and how to avoid it. If you aren’t training to be a figure model or a weightlifter, women, you will not bulk. There’s just not enough testoterone in your lady body. You don’t need to know your fat burning heart rate zone. Stop making it harder than it needs to be: just move.
Move all day long. I do not pay any attention to my heart rate or my mileage for running, or any of that, and i consider myself a non-competitive athlete. I wear a pedometer everyday because I am a busy gal. If I can sneak in some movement a little throughout the day, it just adds a little boost to my workout at the end of the day.  I do not substract how many calories I burned from every day activity from my workout at the end of the day. This would instill doing the bare minimum all of the time. I keep track of nothing except how I feel. In the morning, I reset the pedometer with no thought of how many steps I did yesterday. I run to relieve stress, I weight train to be able to get through everyday activities with ease, I work out to improve my quality of life. Its as simple as that. I just want to live a long time to bother you all for as long as possible.
A good workout is one that makes you sweat and leaves you wanting more. You may hate it while you are doing it, but afterwards, if you can nod your head and say with certainty, that was a good workout, you’re there. People do this with food also: how many grams of fiber and protein do I need a day? That’s not your biggest problem right now. Just eat less or cut out the crap. Don’t make it harder than it needs to be. As you can eat intuitively, exercise intuitively.
You may scoff and say, “But wonderful all-knowing Kelly, you do not need to lose weight, so of course it is easy for you,” to which I would reply, “but, alas! While I do not need to lose weight, I create plans and routines for people that do all day long: this is my career. And I find that through instilling this principle of exercising to feel better, about your day, your body, or yourself, people stick with it longer and enjoy their workout.” I want everyone to get to the point where they look forward to their workout, and the only way people are going to do that is if the focus is off the numbers. They will follow, I promise, but only if you stick with it. The only way you will stick with it is if its fun and makes you feel good. 
And if you don’t have to think too much. Because at the end of the day, we are still Americans.


Tony Little cracks me up.