WITH TARGET FITNESS
In the new year we will be setting some time aside to provide you with news, hints and tips from the fitness industry as well as keeping you up to date with our plans here at Target Fitness. Keep an eye out for updates...
Snow day musings...
Today was supposed to be a gym day. I had my day all planned out with military precision, in order to fit in a workout amongst everything else that had to be done.
But it wasn’t to be. The weather is against me! There’s snow on the ground, the roads are dicey and the kids are off school on a ‘snow day’. It’s a day for snowballs and snowmen, drinking hot chocolate and watching movies in front of the fire; it’s not a day for the gym!
A few years ago, this disruption to my planned routine would have thrown me into a right old dither! But those were the days when ‘exercise’ meant a long run, a gruelling spin class or half an hour on the cross trainer - all intended to punish myself and ‘work off’ the chocolate digestive or two that I might have eaten the day before. Missing a workout meant prolonging the guilt of having eaten something ‘bad’ and sinking further into the pit of self-loathing that would accompany eating ‘bad’ food. It would also have meant a day of consciously over-eating many of my so-called ‘naughty’ foods because, quite frankly, I’d missed a punishing workout so I might as well make myself feel worse!
If only I’d known then what I know now. A few years back I began training once a week with a wonderful personal trainer (these days I help run his gym business, but he remains my PT too). I discovered the joy of training with kettlebells and quickly fell in love with strength training - so different from anything I’d done before! I loved feeling my body get stronger, I loved the physical changes that I began to see, I loved how my body just seemed to move better, and I loved the sheer escapism of concentrating on what I was doing as I worked on my technique. Slowly but surely, I began to view exercise not as a punishment for eating, but as a celebration of what my body could do. I started to really enjoy training, rather than reluctantly exercise as a means of punishing myself for what I’d eaten because I felt I should. One PT session a week became two, and soon I was training on my own as well.
This shift in focus was, very genuinely, a life changing experience for me. In part this is obviously because it lead to a new career in fitness; but more importantly it gave me (post two kids and a traumatic few years with a very poorly child) a renewed sense of self confidence and self worth. I grew to love myself. Now, at 40 years of age, I can honestly say that I value myself so much more than I did at 30. I love my body - what it can do, how it looks, how it has changed over the years. I can also sit back and think that I’m a pretty OK person. I don’t always get things right (who does?!) but I always do my best and I think my best is good enough.
These days, I exercise because I love it, not because I feel I should. My passion is strength training (I still love my kettlebells!) but I like to run as well. I also continue to love a good spin class, but time prohibits me from going as much as I’d like. The difference now is that do those things because I want to; because I find them fun and because I love seeing the amazing things my body can do. I can also eat a treat or two without feeling the need to beast myself in the gym because - you know what? - it’s all about balance and I deserve it!
So yes, today is a snow day and there’s no gym. But today I shan’t beat myself up because I’ve not burnt off a chunk of yesterday’s calories. Today I shall play with my kids, drink hot chocolate and, quite probably, eat cake! And that’s fine, because the gym will still be there tomorrow and tomorrow is another day.
"Training" – and what it means to me
Lots of us "workout". Less of us "train". If in one week you go to the gym a couple of times, do a spin class or two, throw in a bit of yoga or pilates, and maybe go for a run, then you've certainly "worked out" but have you necessarily "trained"? To be clear, I'm certainly not knocking "working out" – in this sedentary world in which we live, anything that gets you moving is definitely a good thing! For some people, just being active is all they want or need, and that's just fine. But for others, me included, "training" offers something more. It's lured me in and now I don't ever want to stop!
So how is "training" different to "working out"? Training is rehearsing the same variety of exercises, on a regular basis, tweaking them here and there to make them harder/easier or simply for a change. Anyone training generally has a set goal in mind (whether it be to run a race within a set time, lift heavier (aka get stronger!) or maybe, depending on the individual, lose a certain body fat percentage/increase muscle). With "training" (as opposed to just "working out") you focus on good technique and can clearly monitor progress – which is fantastic, as you can really see the results of your commitment to exercise, whether it be running faster, or achieving a personal best on the weights.
So why do I find "training" so good for me?
As a Mum of two young boys living a busy life, I love the structure and routine it adds to the chaos of my week! It gives me structure and routine in a way that ad hoc "working out" wouldn't do.
I love the fact that I have goals that are MINE. Not my kids' goals, not family goals, just mine!
I'm so keen to do well and see results that I really focus on technique and what I'm doing – which means its a great mental escape from all the general day to day junk that is on my mind!
When I'm training in a group, I love the common focus and the resulting camaraderie and support. Though I equally love the peace and solitude of training on my own!
It really helps me to have a sense of purpose when I exercise – training gives me this.
I love seeing results! In both body shape and strength. It means I'm much more inclined to carry on because I can really see the fruits of my labour.
At Target Fitness Gym, we are committed to "training". Every single member follows a fully coached, progressive programme, attending three times a week. We coach the right technique so that you can progress week by week and, therefore, really see results. We like to think that, once you've started (and like me!) you'll never want to stop!
We'd love to tell you more about what we can offer so, if you're interested, please get in touch!
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