Consider this: if you typically do a
one-hour cardio workout, lift weights for a half hour, and finish
off with abs, you probably burn about 800 calories in your workout.
If you usually do two hours of weight lifting, you're probably
looking at the same number, give or take a couple hundred calories.
Don't forget that getting yourself over to the gym, jumping in the
shower, and flexing your muscles in the mirror counts toward that
Moreover, when you work out at
this level, you typically go home and want to eat healthier than you
would have if you felt guilty for ditching the workout. Let's say
you skip the gym, go home, and eat a couple of servings of chips and
cheese dip instead. That's about 300-400 calories you never would
have eaten if you had gotten your act together. All together, that's
about 1200 calories you just added onto your day, more than Calista
Flockhart and Kate Moss eat in an entire day.
If you get yourself into this bad
routine just one day a week, you will pack on eight pounds in six
months! Now, if you only work out four days a week and decide to add
a solid fifth day into your workout routine, you could be shredded
in six months, thus walking by Adonis and making him feel like A
They say you
typically take in 1500 calories extra on Thanksgiving Day, but we
all know that 3500 calories equal a pound, so why do people get fat
after one day of bad eating? The trick is, bad eating and bad
attitudes compound. Many of us suffer from the all-or-nothing
syndrome. Either you eat your bran for breakfast, your grilled tuna
without mayo for lunch, and your grilled chicken for dinner, or you
eat bacon and eggs, Count Chocula and crumb cake, a couple of
cheeseburgers, and God knows what else in the span of a day.
Usually, good behavior spawns better behavior, and vice versa.
Sometimes we get caught on the downward spiral and say, "Forget it,
I already skipped the last two days, I may as well skip the gym for
the rest of the week and be good all next week." Does this sound
familiar? Do you think that it's part of Mr. Universe's mantra? I
don't think so.
us need more inspiration than others, myself included. Here are some
motivational tips you haven't yet heard:
Be a bike potato: New York Sports
Club and several other gyms have recently updated all their cardio
machines with TV monitors, and CD and cassette players. So even if
you really don't feel like going to the gym at all, just sit on your
butt (the butt being on a Lifecycle), pedal away, and watch the
Think of a person who doesn't want you to look good, maybe an ex, or
an ultra-competitive "friend." Now think how happy he would be to
see you skipping the gym or looking less than buff. How many times
have you heard someone say, with a little smirk, "Oh, did you see
Betty Sue? She must have put on fifteen pounds. She looked
terrible!" Do you want her to start saying this about you?
Discover a looker at the gym:
Every single time I go to the gym, I see this one guy who walks
around without a shirt and runs on the treadmill near me. When I'm
too lazy to feel like concentrating on "what my body is saying to
me" like they tell you to do in every magazine, I have a great time
concentrating on him. Sometimes gyms are better than bars for
meeting people. And we all know which is better for your gut.
Find a competitor: Whether it be
the snotty girl who always looks you over when you wear the spandex,
or the guy who thinks he's the hottest thing at the gym, it's so
much fun to race them, out-bench them, or just strive to look better
than them. Sure, that's not the most sportsmanly advice. But we're
not trying to hook up with these people (see above); we're just
using them to make our workout more exciting.
Change it up: Instead of running
five miles at 7.5 MPH every single day, throw in some hills or
change the speed with a predetermined plan. Don't just tell yourself
you'll change it once you get going, that plan often gets forgotten.
For example, tell yourself ahead of time that you will put the
incline up to 3.0 every five minutes for a minute each time. This
really makes the other minutes go fast, you'll feel like you are
flying downhill. Or, if you have a certain routine, such as "chest
and back" on Monday, "traps and tri's" on Tuesday, etc., you should
change around which muscle groups you link together. You'll see
results faster, as your body has to make the adjustment.
Skip with good reason: If you're
going to skip the gym, do something besides sit on your hyena. Go to
the mall or the CD store or WHATEVER that doesn't involve nasty
snacks and a food baby at the end of the night. Do something
worthwhile that will justify your skipping the workout altogether.
Time crunched? Let's face it.
There will be days when we can't work out due to working late,
getting drinks with the babe in the office, shopping for last-minute
birthday presents, or whatever. When this happens, you can always
squeeze in some crunches and push-ups. Push-ups are one of the most
efficient ways to get your shoulders and arms tight when your
schedule is even tighter.
Check yourself out: Go ahead. Nobody's looking. Find
something that you really like about yourself; don't obsess about the
little fat layer over your belt. When you find a body part that you like
and realize you have gotten it from hard work, you will be much more
likely to keep moving. When we squeeze every little pocket of fat on our
bodies, we start to feel crappy and convince ourselves we are
unattractive. Ironically, we are less likely to work out when we feel
out-of-shape, then when we are happy with ourselves. It sounds illogical,
but it's human nature. Of course, human nature entails skipping an
occasional workout and eating lots of greasy food. Just make sure that if
you let this happen, it's not a weekly phenomenon. If it happens once a
month or once every two months and you push yourself a little extra the
next day, you will still be in good shape. And if you stop being jealous
of Brother Adonis and start focusing on yourself, you will be in fantastic