Beginning October 1st, 2009, we will be in what has been referred to as THE HARD ROUTINE. This is a two-month fitness, health, and wellness campaign to help jump start some positive habits before the holiday season.
Begin with this, taken from an article called The Hard Routine by Jason Dougherty:
- Recognize that there is a benefit to not getting everything you want.
- Understand that mental toughness is born of adversity; that it will atrophy if not constantly engaged; and that it carries over to everything you do.
- Objectively scrutinize one or a handful of things in your life that you think you need but could actually do without.
- Deny yourself those exact things for a specified period of time.
So here is what OUR Hard Routine is all about. Pick some clearly defined behavior and habit changes within both DIET and ACTIVITY categories. Some of the changes will be to add certain foods and activities, and some changes will be to abstain from certain ones. It's completely up to YOU to make those "rules" and guidelines. I will be here to help you articulate to YOURSELF what your rules might look like be based on your current lifestyle and body type.
- Why a formalized campaign? Because doing this by yourself is a real bitch. Doing this alongside a spouse, coworkers, friends, or family creates a postive support network to make healthier decisions TOGETHER for the two months. "Hey Joe, you want pizza?" "No, how about grilled chicken instead." "Yeah, you're right....sounds better." Even if your support group is merely online or through emails, it holds you more accountable than going at it alone.
- Why a specific two-month session? Because goal-oriented training and conditioning must be related to a TIME or an end date. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it is December 1st! On December 1st, we each can re-evaluate what went good and where we need improvement. We can probably all make difficult decisions regarding food and activity for two months....right?
- What are the physical workouts? They are whatever you want them to be. For some of you, you are already doing some terrific exercise sessions. For others, you need to get off the couch. Yet, for others, some changes in your boring or ineffective training must be made to produce results. Some of you believe the elliptical machine is a path to fitness. You are wrong. It may be a start, but it is VERY ineffective at producing results. It mostly wastes your time. Let's do things right!
- I need workout ideas. Maybe you need strength workouts. Maybe you need cardio workouts. Maybe you need a beginner workout that is easy to follow. Maybe you have access to a gym or health club, or maybe you need to do the workouts at home. I will help you along based on what your physical needs are, as well as what equipment you have access to. Maybe the Prison Workouts (without kettlebell and with kettlebell) are a good start??
- I have no idea where to start regarding workouts. I'll help you. Just ask. Don't let that keep you from participating. No one is too far out of shape to begin. Sitting on the couch is a one way street...getting fatter and more out of shape!
- I'm a woman and don't want to get bulky muscles. Many women are under a wrong impression that weight training produces bulky muscles. That is false. Women need weight training moreso than men. It would take a tremendous amount of serious weightlifting and protein supplements to get bulky. Likewise, the words "toned" or "toning" exercises are also false. There are only two ways to get so-called "toned." You must gain muscle, and lose the fat that surrounds those muscles. Weightlifting for women is a virtual MUST.
- I have a big butt/tummy/thighs. What should I do? Well, first off, there is a rumor that situps or ab workouts will flatten a flabby tummy. That is called "spot reduction." It's the thought that the ThighMaster gives you thinner thighs. It too is false. To get thinner thighs, you must lose the fat that has settled there. We each have a genetically predetermined place that our fat settles. For me, it's the "spare tire." For many women, it's "grandma arms" or "thunder thighs." If you attempt to workout those specific areas, you will find it discouraging...it doesn't work. Never has....never will.
- What is the diet? We each have different eating downfalls. For me, it's ice cream and baked potatoes. Healthy eating choices are critical to making body changes. The diet is what you make it. For me, I'm avoiding alcohol, ice cream, sweets, and chocolate all together. I am limiting starches such as pasta, pizza, and potatoes to only a few meals per week. I will also limit bread and fried food intake. I am also making efforts to add leafy vegetables and nuts every day. But those are MY rules. You need to come up with your own! I'll help you.
- Should I keep a journal? Absolutely!! Keeping tabs on your food and your activity holds one more accountable. It can be as detailed as you are willing to make it...but keep it realistic. If weighing your food on a kitchen scale is your plan, that's a big commitment. Maybe tallying calories is even too much. I find it really hard to write in "large McDonald's chocolate shake" on my food journal. I find it harder to write down 1160 calories!!! Also, keep a log of your workouts. It keeps us all honest, and tracks progress too.
- This sounds challenging. No kidding! If it were easy, everyone would look like the cover model. Make the commitment to be healthy. It's for two months.....
Check back often to see what else is new. Click on the Wellness Campaign label in the right column to see posts regarding this two-month session. I will be accepting email addresses to be added to a HARD ROUTINE email list. Just post a comment to this post to be added. Or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org