This may come as a shock to many of you, but most (if not all) personal trainers would rather do just about anything other than their workout. Surprising? I guess you figured we trainers are the epitome of discipline, bastions of sweat and sacrifice who spend all of our free time pursuing fitness excellence. While most of us do subscribe to a higher standard of fitness, we are human, and are prone to all the same faults and inadequacies as everyone else. I get tired and lazy (a lot), I procrastinate and I often let my priorities get out of whack.
In fact, on most days I wish I had a personal trainer in my corner. Not to design a program, but to just be there to make me accountable. To give me that extra push on the days when my inspiration is less than optimal. I think I can speak for most personal trainers when I say that after standing, bending, crouching and lifting in a crowded gym all day, my idea of winding down does not involve repeating these actions – and with heavier resistance. Nope. All I want to do is sit down, put my feet up and absorb some peace and quiet. That sounds reasonable, doesn’t it?
Well, I usually push myself to do the workout anyway. Do you know why? The same reason that you do – the feeling of complete satisfaction I get from finishing a project I was so afraid to do. It’s that same feeling I get when I clean my car. After watching my car collect dirt for 2 or 3 seasons, something finally motivates me do something about it – the feeling of accomplishment. Exercise is no different.
Controlled exercise, while required for longevity in our modern world, isn’t exactly natural to us. In addition, it is human nature to take the path of least resistance unless motivated to do otherwise. This presents challenges for many of us, including trainers, in implementing and maintaining a regular fitness routine.
Many trainers, including myself, have been training hard for so long that further progression becomes impossible. Imagine how uninspiring it was for me when, 7 years ago, I had to acknowledge that I had reached my genetic potential for fitness gains. I reached my peak – no more gains for me. Today I still train hard and often, but the results are stagnant. Even still, I have to find the motivation to maintain my fitness level. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? This is why some days, I just hate having to exercise.
Even celebrities hate exercise, which is why many of them have personal trainers on call.
The point I’m trying to make here is that exercise can be painful and exhausting, but I never met anyone who said they feel worse after a good workout. If you’ve exercised yourself, I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s how you feel after that is your reward. The feeling of getting an important job done, the knowledge that you’ve invested in your health and wellness and the feeling of belonging to a growing population of people who don’t give in to mediocrity.
When you anticipate these benefits, exercise can be invigorating, therapeutic and fun. In fact, it’s for these very reasons that exercise has been my therapy of choice for most of my life. At this stage in my life though, it takes a little more push to get me going, but once I’m in the zone there’s nobody better!
While many of us can’t afford to have a personal trainer make us do the things we know are important, we can make the decision to become self-motivated. I know I will. If you’re just getting started, or thinking about starting an exercise program, you have so much to look forward to. Unlike me, you will make progress for years to come and this alone can be very motivating. I wish I could go back to those days when everything was fresh and new and just about anything I did worked.
So remember, if I can motivate myself to workout, anyone can!
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