It's a small wonder people make such a big deal about working out. We're not going to say the whole world is in phenomenal shape, but we will say that people are generally much stronger than they think. It's not the thought of having pick up dumbbells that's weighing us down and holding us back: it just fear, plain and simple. Fear of trying something new, fear of failure, fear of having to disrupt your life. In other words,it’s you.
You already lug around serious loads. Whether it be the physical load of children, or groceries, or extra body fat or the tools required for your job, you already do some degree of resistance training on a daily basis. But when you’re asked to pick up some weights and actually workout? You can’t do it.
You can’t do it because you also carry around a mental load. As physiotherapist Amy Morin points out, “Choosing to avoid uncomfortable feelings offers immediate short-term relief, but avoidance can have long-term consequences.”
We see this all the time. People are are unhappy with their present level of health and fitness, but they think they can’t endure the discomfort of beginning a new exercising regime. So, they don’t workout, and this provides short-term comfort, but in the long-run, they become more and more unhappy with themselves. If you can endure this extensive negative stress, you can sure as hell take the positive stress of a few weekly HIIT sessions — and you will surprise yourself. Even the most hardcore couch potato out there is capable of surprising feats of strength.
We’re not going to say your foray into fitness going to be flawless or even fun at first. Chances are, you’ll need to push yourself to keep going. But remember, if you can spend years beating yourself up for things you haven’t done, you can certainly use a fraction of that mental energy to prod yourself forward.
Here are two simple tips to help you get started:
Set long-term goals, but focus on the short. Your long-term goal may be to lose some extra fat and increase your strength, and that’s great, but that’s also not going to happen right away. Make sure you also have realistic, short-term goals to keep you motivated. For example, a goal could be: “I am going to do a 12 minute HIIT workout today before noon.” That’s it. That’s all you have to do. Once you crush this single goal, you’ll be motivated to set yourself another. And then another. Your long-term goals will simply fall into place.
Get some gear.One of the best ways to increase your chances of success is to hold yourself accountable, and getting your hands on some workout equipment is a great way to do this. Not only is it a reminder of the investment you’re making in yourself, but it will also help you get the results you want, faster. Start simple, with basic equipment like dumbbells. These can be used for a solid spread of HIIT exercises.
And remember,never underestimate your strength.Don’t get weights that are too light. If you can lift a big bag of flour above your head and onto the top shelf of your pantry, you can likely lift a 10lb dumbbell.
We’re realists. We don’t expect you to fall in love at first burpee. In fact, we don’t even expect you to love every single HIIT exercise you do. (We don’t!) What youcan expect to feel right away, however, is better. There’s nothing like a healthy hit of post-workout endorphins to ignite your fire, and there’s nothing like the comparatively fast and furious results you’ll get from HIIT workouts to keep that fire burning.
So get up, and get building your victory pyre. Remember, you’re stronger than you think!
Try this no-equipment back exercise in your next workout and start building a stronger back and core. Jenny Lam shows you how it’s done!
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