Flexarian Fitness + – Challenging The Norms
1. Immerse Yourself In All That Is Relevant To Your Progress
Thinking that one needs a personal trainer to guide our progress is misguided and a quick fix to what must be considered from the outset a lifetime engagement with the physical aspects of what is means to be human. Becoming engaged with what you are doing has to be the state of mind. The flexibility that the physical possibilities contains means there is something for each and everyone of us to engage with both as a starting point and as a progression. Sadly we all focus on those we consider out of reach and are put off by their alleged exploits. In reality it doesn’t matter a jot what others are doing. You are unique and what you consider for yourself is your business. There will always be those at the gym that are at the opposite end of the fitness spectrum to us – unless, of course, we progress to that place ourselves. The point is the more we engage with the subject of our personal fitness – the more likely we are to include the physical in our lifestyle rather than yo-yo in and out of periods of activity and inactivity. Nutrition, fasting and what you do when you are not at the gym, running, biking, hiking or whatever is also relevant to the big picture.
2. Self-Discipline Comes Before Freedom
The key to longevity with exercise and nutrition is flexibility and being able to utilise the variety that is available to all of us as tools to reach our potential. As with all freedom the discipline to know the rules allows us the freedom to get where we want our own way. For instance if you are a weight trainer the discipline is in working out the entire body regardless of strengths and weaknesses or cultural expectations which often lead to a disproportionate and often unhealthy fascination with particular bodyparts. Currently I see women spending hours or entire session on glutes and legs with the skinniest arms and upper bodies imaginable and with guys working upper bodies to the detriment of legs and fitness. I watch guys train their egos and traps with massive weights resulting in them looking round shouldered and very odd. With women it is often cardio, bums and maybe a little leg work but heaven forbid they ever get strong or push it too hard. Sorry girls- but read my different for girls blog and train for yourself and not the current trend in the media. Guys too. Once you have disciplined yourself to train using a balanced workout head to toe. Then that becomes the only rule. Maybe even put your current weaknesses first in your session. I did exactly that with a supposedly genetic weakness and now that weakness is considered along with the rest of my physique much to my surprise as I still remember it as a weakness. I think that is a good example of -FIT HAPPENS- in action. A good balanced physique has no strengths or weaknesses when compared across the body. One outstanding bodypart can equally be viewed as having many weak body parts. I never did have a goal over and above prioritising and training that body part first and as consistently as every other body part. With good intensity. The same body part is still trained early and consistently in my workouts some 40+ years later lest it fade away once more.
3. The Big Picture
I have experienced that the best way to set yourself up for failure is too much focus on small goals or maybe any goals. Such as weight lost, weight lifted, running speed or any other such short-sighted goals. Your goal should be loftier and in your head – a dream if you like. Ultimately you will achieve all of the little goals mentioned and much more simply by consistently adhering to your new lifestyle habits. There is no failure. I have worked out for over 40 years but if you asked how much I can lift or how much I weigh I would only be able to have an educated guess. My focus is best used elsewhere. Such as the actions I need to take to achieve those goals – goals that will need no thought if my actions are within a set of limitations that I set for myself. These are informal and flexible limitations. Any goals become subconscious and as such more effective in shaping your behaviour and who you become. A Flexarian knows that it is your subconscious that runs your life – programme it well. These programmes, or if you prefer this conditioning, will become part of your auto-pilot.
4. Choose Your Training Partner Well Or Stick To Being A Lone Ranger
I began my training with a friend and we spent more time giggling and being in awe of others than training. Next, I moved on to train with a guy that was the opposite structure to me and did not train with much flexibility. We squatted, deadlifted and bench pressed for years. I made small gains but nothing compared with what was to come. Eventually, due to life changes, I had to train alone for a while. I never bench press, I squat but my leg workouts have amazing variety and flexibility nowadays. I deadlift but only for hamstring and glutes. My only rule became balanced workouts – the rest I put together as and when I feel like it. I never do any exercise that I am dreading and I never seem to dread any exercise. There are always other ways to train. My training partner became Julie, my wife when we met. Why is Julie a good partner? She is an optimist. She works hard but we never try to lift more than the other but rather we work to be the best we can for that day. More than anything a training partner should be optimistic, reliable, supportive and switched on to the needs of both partners. Add to that honesty to make sure both put good form before any cheating to lift more weight.
5. There’s More Than One Way To Skin A Cat (strange saying)
Whatever the latest trend or what the experts tell you is the best way to train and eat – take it from me there is no best way but rather lots of good ways that offer the variety that will enable you to remain engaged and enthusiastic about your training. There is a world out there of options available to you to prevent boredom and to keep you progressing and motivated. Engage with your fitness and the world of options will open up before you and you can become expert for yourself. Just don’t be that person that then thinks everyone is training wrong and they are the only right ones. An example – you are having a day when you don’t feel strong and dropping the weight on everything will be somewhat demoralising – Change up the reps – perform 30 reps on everything – or just do as many exercises as you can think of for a 30 reps circuit. Light weights and keep moving. There are literally dozens of training options to prevent you becoming stale with your exercise. If you are about to exercise and the thought of what you have planned is not exactly inspiring. Do something else and enjoy the change.
Above all else believe in what you are doing – that includes each specific thing at any given moment but also the whole flexarian approach to your health, fitness and physique. The sky is not the limit – The Mind Is! If you are constantly questioning what you are doing it will not give you the results you desire. Just do it and believe in it or change it for something new to believe in. The change is a boost for your mental and physical state.
Everything changes! Embrace it.