Do you know how to exercise? Like, really exercise? Probably not but don't feel bad; most people don't. I'm not trying to be mean, I'm just being honest. Listen, if everyone knew how to eat and exercise then we wouldn't have climbing obesity numbers. The fact that numbers are going up also tells me that the people that are supposed to be helping others lose weight don't know a whole lot either. In part 1 we talked about the importance of knowing how to cook. In part 2 it's all about the #gymlife. Why you are losing the battle not the weight-
Reason 2: You Don't Know How To Exercise.
For some reason this topic really rubs people the wrong way. You can tell someone they don't know how to cook and they'll say, "You are absolutely right kind sir, please teach me." but if you tell someone that they don't know what they are doing in the gym they get all pissed off like you just insulted their mother. Just because you know how to operate a treadmill and elliptical and you know how to use all the machines in the gym doesn't mean you know how to exercise. In the same token, just because you know how to do a wide variety of barbell and dumbbell movements doesn't mean you know how to exercise. Now don't get me wrong, these are important things to know, but if you don't know the point of exercise, as in why you are there to begin with, then you are always going to struggle with weight loss.
Everyone wants weight loss to be this simple calories in vs. calories out equation but that is a very over simplified and very, very over-used answer to the question, "How do I lose weight?" This over simplification is being taken too literal by too many people with calories in being food and calories out being exercise, so we get this prescription of diet and exercise to help shed the unwanted weight. Here's the problem. When you follow this advice exercise becomes part of this math problem that you think you can solve and this is where you screw everything up. What I mean by saying "you don't know how to exercise" is that you don't know the point of exercise and that makes all the difference. The point of exercise if you really want to lose the unwanted fat has never been and should never be burning X amount of calories. The point of exercise is this: to get better at exercise. If you enjoy running, do you have a calorie goal, a distance goal, or a time goal? Do you think the fittest runners on Earth have a calorie goal? Do you think the fittest in their respective sports ever have calorie goals during their workouts? Hell no! They are crazy fit and look it because the only goal they have when they exercise is to be better at exercise. The main reason Crossfit is so effective is for this reason alone. The main reason bodybuilders look so fit is because they are in the gym for improvement purposes only. You don't have to Crossfit and you don't have to be a bodybuilder to look good naked though. You can just be the guy or girl in the gym just busting their butt to be better just to be better. Can you do a real pull-up? No? start learning. When you can do 1 shoot for 3, then 5. Can you squat your body weight? You can? How about 10 times or even 20? Can you run a 7 min mile? No? Start at 9 or 10 min and start whittling away. You get the point. Start making goals and then start working towards them.
I'm going to let you in on one more fitness "secret" before I finish up here. You are never going to be as fit as you want to be. Bummer, right? Not necessarily. Once you start exercising to be better at exercise you're going to start hitting these goals. Then you are going to make more goals. Then more. You will eventually realize that you and your body can do some really remarkable things. When you take on this mindset of exercising to be better at exercise then your goals will increase and change. You get fitter and your idea of what is fit changes as well. This is how you get in shape and stay in shape for the long haul. Consistently striving to be better. I don't have any super awesome exercise tips in this post. I really think exercise has been grossly over complicated. I honestly think it's as easy as just always aiming for better. Let me also say though, I'm not referring to always going in to the gym to lift more than you did last time. Get better at every aspect of exercise. Always try to improve your form and technique with every exercise you learn and even on the ones you already know. Same goes for your flexibility. You have no idea how much higher your ceiling will be with your overall fitness potential when you make proper form and adequate flexibility a priority as well. In part 3 we will tackle the all important Mr. Sandman and how sleep or lack there of is effing up your weight loss.