Coach’s Corner – With Love from a Gym Rat

JD Fox - Coach's CornerJ.D. “Jim” Fox, Head Coach, Next Act Coaching

Many coaches will applaud all of you who bought gym memberships and training packages as part of your New Year’s resolution to get in shape.

Not me.  I mostly just shake my head.  Along with being a coach, I’m a gym rat (at it almost daily), and know that most of you will burn out and bag it within a month.

The gym owners love you. They’re volume businesses and you’re Christmas in January to them:  you buy a membership you won’t use.   Regular gym-goers like me will do our best to put up with you, hope the weights you drop on your feet this month are light, then breathe a sigh of relief when you disappear.

It doesn’t have to be this way, and the science backs me up.

Gretchen Reynolds tracks fitness research for the New York Times, and says: “there may be something unique about pushing yourself at least a little extra that alters and ramps up the benefits of exercise, beginning deep within our cells.”

The upshot:  DON’T go nuts, make yourself crazy, and risk physical injury on your not-22-year-old body.   DO make small, successive changes to your level of physical activity.  If your idea of recreation is couch potato-ing it through football games on TV, yeah, duh, maybe you should rethink that.

So, if you’re already in the door of your neighborhood gym, think about upping what you do in a reasonable way.   Something that you have a chance of sticking with for more than a month.  Something that you think is kind of fun and self-reinforcing.  Something you don’t dread doing on the fifth round.   Ask your trainer about all those somethings; options abound.

We gym rats will bitch a little about you NOT disappearing with the rest of the New Year’s Resolution crowd, but we’ll get over it.