Seems like in the past we have pushed physical fitness pretty hard….. So hard that we had triggered a pendulum swing that began the fat acceptance movement. This, seen as harmless, gave individuals to believe that being overweight was a good thing and was an acceptable way to live. Another post will cover this topic. Fast forward a few years and you now have the present. We are now battling the pendulum swing from our main objective to begin with. Now we are finding any and every reason to workout, but does that mean our reasons are justified? Physical fitness is great for everyone and I believe everyone should workout, but there are reasons to workout that have just became too disgustingly overused. These reasons have nothing to do with the whole concept of physical fitness and will lead to short term success, but long term complete failure. There are too many reasons to workout that I could list, but these would be too minor and would not fit the general public. With this in mind I found the three top reasons that people say they workout, but fail miserably due to the reason they had used to begin their journey.
The absolutely overused and repulsive reason to workout……is…..working out to look good for the opposite sex! Sounds familiar, right? Seems like everyone is out to lose weight for summer just to look good. This may seem harmless, but takes away the whole reason for physical fitness. Exercise should be about displaying performance and functioning more efficiently. What individuals do is disregard their efficiency to lose weight however they can in order to be more appealing. Though this can get you started on your soon to be short fitness journey, this plan of attack will fail in the long run. You will eventually find a partner, which will make most individuals feel “good enough”. Don’t just take my word for it…look around you! Every single friend I have had stopped working out (male or female) when they entered a relationship. Believe it or not but you will age, you will wrinkle, and you will die. This is the way of life, and this will be the end of your reason to train. Aesthetics will not last forever, but a desire to be as fit as possible and to be in good health will.
The runner up for being the absolute worst reason to train is……training to lose weight! WHAT!? Yes, you heard me. Training to lose weight is most people’s attempt to out work a bad diet. Contrary to common believe, you actually lose weight by being in a caloric deficit, not because you work out. Working out is a tool to help your efficiency at burning fat and building muscle. Most sedentary individuals will improve their body composition by exercise, but this will not be your only source for progress. Most individuals will not lose weight from exercise alone. People who start to exercise just to lose weight will start a diet to aid in the process. The diet is what will be their main source of weight loss while the exercise is some extra energy output and increased heart health (which is good, but is not relevant to their main reason to work out, being them working out to beat their bad lifestyle). This reason seems like a life long commitment, but what happens when your metabolism slows from age. What happens when you can’t workout that intense and even getting out of a chair is a difficult task. This will lead most to call it quits and enjoy all the food they want as they’re ready to retire. Those who work out for the sake of performance would take the challenge of increasing their ability to get out of a chair easier. This is a somewhat extreme example, but shows that like the reason above, this reason will lose value as you age. Another good point for this being a horrible reason to work out is starting over. Most people who hit their target weight through hard workouts and diets eventually slack a little bit (or reward themselves with food) and have to restart their process. This will prove to be a reason to fail due to inconsistency and motivation drops every time the individuals must restart the struggling for progress they had already attained and lost.
This has got to be a big slap in the face for most people. I had used this reason to train throughout the majority of my fitness journey (though i have only been training intense for 6 years). I had learned last year why this reason was a complete joke for most lifters. Using stress relief as a main tool for training motivation works well. Well, lets face it….it works pretty damn well! I had used it the whole time I trained and still do when I am careless. But this has to be one of the worst main sources to start training. I never started training for this reason, but later used it to get me through tough training session, training cycles, and even a whole year worth of training. I believe using stress as motivation to train intense is amazing, but starting to work out because you are stressed is a completely horrible idea. “Well, what is the difference?” When using stress and anger as a tool to get through teeth gritting, vein popping, and head throbbing workouts, you should already have a big concept of how to use it in an efficient way and how to train smart/safe. Most who start working out because they wanted stress relief will tell you the same thing when you ask what they are doing. “I just want to let out some steam” or the infamous “just going to work out until it hurts”. This may make them think they sound bad ass, but this is far from the truth. Training in this manner will be a sure way to injury. If you happen to not get injured, then you will most likely become less and less motivated to continue working out just to let out some steam. Burning out or losing the stress you used as a reason to work out will lead to failure in your journey. When that stress is gone from your life, or you get burned out from beating yourself up….you too will quit.
To conclude this post I will say we all have reasons to exercise, but not everyone has a reason that will last them a lifetime. Be smart about your reasons or your motivation will fade. Remember that every single day of your life you will have to remind yourself the reason in which you decided to improve your physical fitness and health….will it motivate you five years from now? 20? The rest of your life?