Do you exercise? How do you exercise? Do you use variety or do you do the same thing day in and day out?
I believe a lot of people lack variety in their exercise schedule. I hear a lot of people who walk every day. Walking is good. It can give you time to visit with friends while you walk or think and walk or pray and walk, but if walking is your only form of exercise you are lacking variety. There are others who enjoy weightlifting and they do it every day just using variety with what muscles they are working. There is nothing wrong with weightlifting, but if that is all you do, you are missing out.
“One of the challenges of trying new things is taking risk. Variety requires you to push yourself outside your comfort zone, which means that you’re not always going to come out the gate looking awesome. In fact, you’re probably going to fumble and fall quite a few times. Who cares? How are you going to live your purpose if you don’t face your fears? How are you going to get better if you don’t get better?” – Tony Horton (The Big Picture)
Like most people, I enjoy sticking with what I know because it is familiar. I work-out at home with a variety of weight training and cardio. Last year I stepped out of my comfort zone and my husband and I started meeting with a personal trainer together bi-weekly. This really pushed me. It forced me to exercise in front of someone else, and not just anyone, someone who knew exactly what she was doing.
I learned a lot about myself. I learned that I was not in as good of shape as I thought I was. In fact, I almost passed out during one session and had to sit the second half out while Dustin finished the session. I learned that my breakfast choices needed improvement, as well as my after dinner snack choices. I learned that I wasn’t performing a few key movements correctly. It’s amazing how ½ inch difference higher/lower or forward/backward can make all the difference.
I was reading an interview with Nick Clayton, who is the Personal Training Program Manager for National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) and he was talking about how one of the hot trends in the fitness industry right now is small group training. While I have never trained in a small group setting I can see some of the benefits on why it is so popular.
- One-on-one personal training can be expensive. The trainer that we worked with for a short time was $65/hour for individuals or $85/hour for couples. That was a lot of money and not something I was comfortable paying for a long term period of time at this point in my life. However, the same trainer offered small group sessions that were $25/hour session.
- It can be motivating to workout with other people. I find that when I am at home in my living room alone it is easy on days when I feel a little lazy to take it easy on myself. The days I went to the trainer’s with Dustin even if I felt lazy I was more motivated to keep going because someone else was there who wasn’t being lazy. Not to mention the trainer was there pushing me a long.
- It’s a great way to make friends with similar interests or to spend time with friends you already have. Working towards common goals can bring friends closer and give you something to bond over.
- Winter in a lot of states can be rough. When it’s cold, snowy, and dark by 5:30 it can be discouraging to do anything and there is a lot less opportunities to interact with other people. A small group session would allow you to keep up with exercise (which is a great mood booster during those long dark winter months) and be around other people instead of closed into your house.
- A small group session could be less intimidating. Dustin wasn’t able to make one of our training sessions so it was just me, and it was a lot more intimidating. Our trainer was super friendly, but when I was the only one there she was focused on me the whole time, which was a little overwhelming. It you are in a small group setting you get the advantage of having a trainer guide you and assist you, but you don’t have their eyes on you at every second.
I think I might be adding small group training session onto my list of things to try in the future, just for something a little different.