Fitness: You Are Your Most Powerful Tool

A friend of mine approached me and asked one of the most common question a beginner could ever ask:
"Should I enroll in a gym or buy my own equipment?"
Based from experience, it doesn't really matter. I have met and read about a lot of really incredible individuals. Each one had a thing to say in the matter. But in the end, it's all about getting yourself to move.

At home, your greatest enemy is not your couch or bed. It's you. If you condition yourself to workout for 30 minutes straight, you would have achieved your purpose.

This cable machine had its other end broken but it won't stop me from having a good workout
This cable machine had its other end broken but it won't stop me from having a good workout

At the gym, the guy showing off his most aesthetic physique is not your enemy. It' still you. Everybody starts somewhere. Even the most seasoned athlete in the gym was also a newbie back then. What will set you apart from those that gave up and told themselves they'll never have a physique like that is the drive that you will have that someday. You already took a step towards your goal and you found yourself in a gym, the next steps will be a lot easier. Just keep going.

What Exercise is Best?

My friend took notes as to what workout should he do for each body part. I always told him to choose just one. It's all about form. Today, I don't need to go there to the gym with him to show him proper form. He can look at Youtube greats like Steve Cook and Jeremy Buendia and copy how they do a particular workout. But it's important to not overtrain. 

I do at least 4 types of exercises today for each body part because I have hit plateus in my progress. Choosing one makes you master that one first and then you can add another exercise once you hit a plateau too. But I've learned, after all these years, that it's not really what exercise that counts. Your body has to be well-conditioned. You have to stop your vices. You have to watch what you eat. "Garbage in, Garbage Out" adage is very true. Because, I had that same flaw before and I experienced it first hand. It was only when I started to take note of what I am taking in was I able to progress in my workouts.

It felt really good to lift 220 pounds for a chest press for the first time, even if it was 2 reps only. Guys at the gym know I don't like somebody spotting me. I conditioned myself, for every set, that if I don't do it properly, I would die. That kicks the adrenaline up in my system for every single set. But I did have my moments when my wrist or triceps would almost give up and somebody was there to save my ass. But that's just me, you need to think about safety first.

I used to hate aerobic exercises, such as threadmills or running. It was only when my fitness was tested, when I underwent fire school, that I realized that I had not been taking care of my heart and lungs. I began to appreciate it after that and I started to work on that weakness. Today, I love to run. It's burning my leg muscles but I love the effect it does on my heart. The recovery during hard workouts at the gym are now faster. Whenever I am stressed for whatever reason, I take my heart rate and I found myself having a lower heart rate than somebody else placed in that situation. My lungs are splendid. I could now enjoy hour long runs without panting and screaming for air. I am an asthmatic but exercise now doesn't induce an attack.

Whatever exercise you choose, you choose it because it's best for you. Do not overwhelm yourself in the complexity of a Crossfit training circuit or an hour-long Zumba class. Good trainers will never overtrain you on your first day. They will teach you to start small and work your way from there. Don't pressure yourself to have an overnight success. 
"Small progress is still progress."

Improvise With What You Got

A gym session of only Php 35 can be too much for some people. But I have met people who had great bodies using only makeshift barbells and dumbells using milk cans and steel tubes. All that you need is determination and basic knowledge of the six major muscle groups. Some people don't even use weights and enroll in a great calisthenics program. As long as you can see your goal, it doesn't matter what tool you use. Just go out there and move with a purpose.

Take Good Care of Your Greatest Asset 

Your body is your most greatest asset. Take care of it. Proper nutrition and exercise is the secret to a long and meaningful life. You can work your ass off to get mountains of money. But in the end, it will all be for nothing if everything you earned will just go to medical bills and a very beautiful tombstone. Life is supposed to be enjoyed. You only need to invest at least 30 minutes of your time each day to give your body the care it needs. As long as you take care of it, it will take care of you.

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