Making it to the gym regularly or committing to a personal trainer can be quite a big deal for a lot of people. It’s not easy. Just getting to the gym 3 times in a week can make a person feel better and be a significant step toward reaching their goals. I am here to tell you that if want to make a real change; 1 hour in the gym is not enough. It’s a great start, but what are you doing the other 23 hours? Does your behavior match your goals?
Now I’m not talking about an all out assault on your current lifestyle. People are busy with important things like watching football, work and their kid’s activities. But, if you desire a change in your body, whether it is to lose weight, reduce pain or become a better athlete, ask yourself “Am I sleeping enough? Eating quality foods like fruits, veggies and meat? How much alcohol do I drink weekly? Do I sit too much or for too long with poor posture?” These behaviors have to be taken into account.
Over the years I have suggested to many clients that they buy a foam roller. On occasion I have bought them for people myself. Foam rolling is something simple that everyone can do for just a few minutes a day. More recently we here at Ambition Athletics have given certain clients “homework” to do. Mainly just simple mobility or breathing exercises to do during some down time at home. Quick, simple, effective.
A more obvious consideration outside of the gym is food choices. Probably everyone has a friend that they would consider to have a good body and that person eats right and does lots of traditional “cardio”. While traditional cardio has been proven obsolete for superior body composition changes, it’s still possible to make some great changes with just a good diet and a training program that leaves much to be desired. I have found that many people, in an effort to lose weight, don’t eat enough.
On the opposite end of the spectrum you’ve got many young male athletes that are looking to gain some size. Well, that can require quite a bit of eating on a regular basis. The athlete has got to plan ahead and be diligent or the weight will not come. It can be a long process but instead of “going for a run to stay in shape” this athlete should be sitting down to eat.
No matter how many hours you spend in the gym, it’s the outside that counts. (Just like my Mom told me about people, right?). Regardless of your athletic ability, take care of yourself the other 23 hours with things like massage, stretching, joint mobility, and a solid diet. Understand that sitting for long periods of time can wreak havoc on your body in the long term. You might make it the gym for 3 or 4 hours a week and maybe even have a knowledgeable, kick-ass trainer like those at Ambition Athletics, but if you aren’t aware of your body the other 23 hours of the day then you aren’t serious about your goals.
– Mike Baltren