Mark Domme is a 45 year old husband and father of three. He has been competing as a bodybuilder for 5 years in the Open Middleweight and Masters 40-49 classes. His daily obligations have him up at 4:30 every morning. His dedication powers him through each day.
If you are visiting this website and reading these blogs, you are at the very least dipping your toes into the waters of a fit lifestyle. Perhaps you have already built a solid program and are looking for ways to improve it. Whether you are an elite athlete seeking improved performance, a regular fitness enthusiast training for yourself, or a housewife or businessman who just want to drop a few pounds, the key is to make your exercise, training, and nutrition program an integrated part of your life. To do that it must be enjoyable and sustainable.
As we are all mammals with high functioning brain, pleasure is near the top of the list of things we seek. We do not like to subject ourselves to something that does not give us some type of pleasure—be it physical, mental, or social. The great thing about living a fit lifestyle is it can be a source of great enjoyment in all three of those areas. The key to enjoying this way of life is finding activities and nutritional strategies that you truly enjoy. A runner enjoys running and reaps the benefits of it’s aerobic training. A bodybuilder enjoys lifting weights and has the muscle to show for it. The housewife that gets her exercise fix at the gyms’s Zumba class loses that bit of body fat she has been struggling with. What do all of these scenarios have in common? The participants all are doing something they enjoy and have woven it into a part of their lives.
And because they enjoy it, they continue to do it. Hopefully for life.
What can you do to make this process enjoyable? Number one is to find at least one physical activity that is fun and pleasurable to you. Too many people see physical activity as work. If it is something you enjoy it will be something you look forward to on a daily basis. A great way to get started is, if you are not already a member, join a gym where you can be exposed to any number execise modalities under one roof. Group classes, all modes of cardio, and weight training are available at the times that fit into your daily routine. This allows the beginner to mix and match to create a program that is enjoyable. The great thing about the gym atmosphere is that it brings together a group of like minded people that will further motivate and encourage you to reach your goals. Become a regular and you almost assured of meeting and bonding with others. It creates an enjoyable social environment, a place you look forward to going.
Stress is a major problem in most of our daily lives and finding an outlet for it is key in our pursuit of health and fitness. I talk to many regular gym goers, athletes and bodybuilders at all levels and almost all of them see the time they spend in pursuit of their training goals as “their” time. Whether at the gym in the squat rack, out on the trails for an early morning run, or or trying to focus on a group classes choreography, you are focused on the present and the problems of the day are pushed to the side. The temporary relief of life’s stresses and the endorphin boost of a tough workout can go a long way in boosting your outlook on what the rest of your life brings.
The point is – find what speaks to YOU. Were you a high school or college football star who really enjoyed the weight room? Get back in there and start a regular weight training program…who knows, you may find yourself on a bodybuilding stage or in a powerlifting meet. Were you a district cross country champion? Lace up those running shoes and sign up for a local 10k. Like to dance? Zumba, BodyPump, etc. offer a great way to move your body. Like the combat sports (MMA, Boxing, etc)? Gyms are popping up all over and let you train like a fighter whether you intend to compete or not.
Whatever your goal may be, there is a way to jump in and enjoy fitness. Trust me, there are always ways to find 3-5 extra hours per week to dedicate to yourself.
It may seem like a simple concept, but I have come across many people who are training in a way that is not who they are. The key to finding enjoyment in a fitness lifestyle is finding that activity, sport, class, or competition that keeps you coming back for more….not because you feel like you have to, but, because you want to!