5 Fitness Tips To Help You Meet Your Inner Channing

Man working out at gym

Getting the right mindset is an essential part of working out. (Photo courtesy istolethetv/Flickr)

I’ve never been one who understood folks who say that they absolutely love to workout. For years, friends have told me I should join them in some kind of activity, whether they run miles on the road, clock hours at the gym or play tons of sports. I just never really got the attraction.

Sure, I’d see the guys gracing the covers of fitness magazines like Men’s Health and think that I’d like to look like that one day, and sometimes I even made half-hearted efforts to get fit. Yet I never persisted at it because deep down I thought genetics would never allow me to look like Hugh Jackman in Wolverine or Real Steel. Besides, I’m not the most coordinated person on the planet, so the thought of playing sports of any kind filled me with the same dread I always got in eighth grade when Coach Domanski would bring out that dreaded red rubber ball and say it was time to play dodge ball. Needless to say, I hated that ball!

Recently, however, I’ve come to realize that the biggest obstacle between me and the body I want is my own mental barriers. I mean, I can come up with tons of excuses not to workout. As I once heard comedian John Pinette say in one of his standup routines, I can quit working out at anytime because I have willpower.

Two months ago, however, I really started taking stock of my life and decided that I needed to make a change. So I joined Anytime Fitness and hired Dakota, a twenty-two year old trainer. “What’s your goal,” he asked me the first time I went in to workout with him.

Gee, I don’t know. Make me look like Channing Tatum, I joked. After all, who doesn’t want to look like Magic Mike? But could it be done?

Dakota just nodded and smiled and said that we’d get there. Although I’m not there yet, I am learning a lot. After nearly a month of training, here’s what I’ve learned:

1. Trust your trainer.

Dakota is becoming my new best friend and after my wife is really my biggest cheerleader. That’s important. When he’s pushing me harder than I ever have pushed myself before during one of our insanity training sessions (‘Water and breaks are for wimps,’ Dakota says) I dig in a little harder and push through the session until my body is totally spent. In the very first week I started to see results because I did exactly what my trainer said. After all, isn’t that what you pay him for?

2. Crank up the tunes.

When you slip in the ear buds and listen to your favorite songs, the workouts seem to go a lot faster. Plus, if you add songs to your playlist that you absolutely love, you’ll find yourself singing (or at least humming) along, despite the sweat pouring off your face when you’re pedaling the elliptical machine as fast as you can! University of Wisconsin Professor of Kinesiology Christy Greenleaf told Runners World, “Any way that you can focus your attention on something other than how your body feels will help.”

3. Employ the buddy system.

Whether you cart your buddy or spouse/partner to the gym with you, it really helps you stick to your diet and workout regime when you know that you’re not alone. I take my wife to the gym with me and together we’re creating meals that curb our hunger without adding tons of calories, plus we push each other to do our best to reach our fitness goals.

4. Create a culture of health and fitness.

At the company where I work, many of my co-workers have joined gyms or attend fitness classes like hot yoga as we work to shed pounds and live healthier. Therefore, rather than just talking about the news, we find that we’re talking more and more about what we eat, how often we train, and in some cases how we can kick habits like smoking.

5. If you fall off the treadmill, climb right back on.

During my first month of training, I got a horrible virus and had to miss several training sessions. Before, I would have just stopped going to the gym, thinking that it would take too much effort to get back to where I’d been before I was sick. The same could have happened if I’d had to take a business trip, a family vacation, or any other number of excuses. Don’t do that to yourself. Just hit the reset button and let go of the past. As trainer Jeff Gaudette says, “Focus on what you can control today.”

I promise, if you can remember these five tips, it will really push you toward better health and a thinner you. The little voice that tells you to quit may creep up and whisper in your ear from time to time, but with help from your trainer, buddies, family, and co-workers, you can persevere and make strides toward meeting your inner Channing.

About Jathan Fink
Jathan is a journalist, philanthropist, and entrepreneur. He is also a travel junkie, foodie and jazz aficionado. A California native, he resides in Texas.

One Response to 5 Fitness Tips To Help You Meet Your Inner Channing

  1. arthur says:

    Then far more friends can easily talk about this concern

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