This is going to seem redundant, mostly because production in life comes from consistency. Scalesonfire.com is about consistency (even if the posts aren’t), but exercise is about practice, and workouts are for people who exercise already. That practice though is a tricky thing. For people struggling with weight, it is very difficult to find perspective on practice, mainly because their regular practices already involve so many deeply negative things. People with overwhelmingly positive practices rarely struggle with anything. Since most are simply trying to lose weight and look “better” without the practice, I will use this post in my series on practice to discourage anyone with this warped thought process by giving a a set template for fitness and remaining steadfast to this idea. There’s are ways everyone can make this work, and that way is to generalize the average fit person’s year.
Rest days are key, so you’ll need sixty-five of them to get the most out of all of these things you’re doing. But before you judge that number, try to put it into the perspective of a year. It’s more than one and less than two days off from everything for the week. It might make you tired, and you might feel like working out has gotten a little hard core for you, but you’ll adjust just fine after about a month.
Then, fifty times a year you’ve got to do workouts. Here this is slightly less than once per week. Workouts are fun, challenging tests of your abilities. They can not and should not be done daily, and hence, will not produce the effect that most desire from them. They should though be done with vigor and focus because these things are what workouts build.
The staple of your fitness regimen should be your daily, personal practice. It should be at least two hundred and fifty times or about five times per week. If you’re a runner, you’re thinking of five runs at various speeds and distances where you practice every technique from breath to form. If you’re a yogi it’s five yoga classes where you’re out to fully open your mind to the yoga you practice. If you just want to be strong, lean, hard, etc., then it’s calisthenics at home, working on form, range of motion, control, and finally, numbers.
Committing to that sort of year is tough, especially because most can’t predict their entire year. Committing to that sort of lifestyle though is generally possible. Understanding what you want from your year will eliminate the guilt, anger, self-loathing, and the rest of the negative feelings from exercise. It is so simple to operate this way because now your goal in fitness is to build this sort of year. Things happen on less of a schedule and more based on trust in yourself. “Two times this week is not enough, I’ve got to run five times,” you might say, which is a far cry from running once, failing because you tried to do too much too soon, then failing going forward because you’ve added so much negativity toward the activity between time one and time two.
The very notion of planning out the fitness year goes against what generally sells in the fitness industry. Programs like P90X, extreme fitness to the fat world, is only extreme because in terms of selling fitness, a ninety-day program is an eternity. On average, people, no matter what their level, expect to be fit within a month. Knowing this, “get-thin-quick” schemes (whether they be diets, workouts or an unhealthy combination of both) are usually set out over about half that time. My own body did not take a week and a half to build, but this building only became an easy task when I came to understand that placing a time limit on a life-long commitment is an entirely stupid notion.
Approaching fitness in every other way means that at some point, the process will stop, end, or falter before the end. A fit person must see their fitness year in perspective, and the effective personal trainer has no choice but to offer to the client a life without cop-outs. Fit is something you become. The goal should be to not only change the body permanently, but to reset it. The only way to see this reset is to make evaluations after a year or, not at all. Really, why evaluate something that doesn’t stop?
Exercise four, five, or six times more than you rest, anything else might not make you fat, but it will keep you fat.