Thursday, October 28, 2010

How To Push Past The Pain

The article (linked below) in the NY Times focuses on elite athletes. It goes into depth about the physical (muscle) pain that must be endured during training and competition in order to succeed in competitive sports. The most significant point in the article is that these elite athletes are not exempt from the excruciating pain of hard physical training: they simply learn to accept this feeling. They understand that training under grueling conditions is just a step forward in the path to success. Pain is no longer an indication to rest, rather it is a feeling that actually triggers athletes to work harder.

The act of working harder when feeling pain draws the line between most people who see results and most who don’t. This “pain” also refers to emotional discomfort as well as the muscular toll of either a strict training or dieting regimen. It’s extremely difficult to be challenged yet still maintain enough discipline to overcome what’s in the way.

If you want to reach a goal or be in shape it helps to accept that it is going to be really hard! Allowing yourself to endure pain (whether it be mental or physical) will prevent that first instinct to give up when something becomes difficult. If you really think about goals, isn’t the whole point of it to challenge yourself? When someone loses 100lbs or runs their first marathon, are they going to say it was easy? I doubt it! And that’s ok. It separates the strong from the weak. It explains why the percentage of marathon runners and successful dieters in the world are the minority. But that doesn’t mean that who ever is in the “majority” is stuck there.

So, the next time you decide to embark on a new challenge, ask yourself- “Are you ready for this? Are you ready to do something that is going to be hard, yet still keep on pushing?”

Perhaps understanding what a challenge consist of is will help prepare you.

Fantastic quote from the article

“Can you train yourself to run, cycle, swim or do another sport at the edge of your body’s limits, or is that something that a few are born with, part of what makes them elites?

Sports doctors who have looked into the question say that, at the very least, most people could do a lot better if they knew what it took to do their best.”

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Lose Weight To Actually Keep It Off.... Crazy!!

"Slow and steady wins the race" in the battle of the Tortoise and Hare. The tortoise wins because, clinically speaking, the hare burns too much muscle mass during his poorly fueled sprint. He burns himself out while the tortoise methodically takes steps forward by racing at a speed that is realistic for him. This children’s story, through the eyes of a creative (or twisted) personal trainer, can offer dieters wisdom in how they approach their own weight loss program.

An Article for "Runners" To Lose Weight Slowly

I posted a link to the article above because it stands out amongst others due to the comparison made between a "dieter's" strategy to lose weight and a "runner's" strategy to lose weight. The "dieter's" weight loss goal is to drop pounds fast and focus on short-term goals. This method is much like the hare’s: impatient and hasty. However, like the tortoise, the "runner's" idea of losing weight is to drop pounds slowly and then focus on a "postloss plan". Postloss plans are simple. The main requirement is to be aware of what you are doing to your body. Too frequently do I see people reach their goal and then unfortunately let their guard down to the point where they take steps backwards.
Very seldomly do I read a weight loss article that focuses on long-term goals and how to maintain a goal once it is reached. It is important to demystify fad/speed diets because research shows that the majority of dieters are yo-yo dieters who reach their short-term goals by engaging in some sort of drastic behavior and then gain it right back! Anyone can lose weight, but few can keep it off. Although most people on a weight loss plan hope to see huge and rapid changes on the scale, losing weight slower and healthier will absolutely help keep weight off. The more realistic someone's lifestyle is while they lose weight, the easier it is to maintain weight loss.

The moral of the story is: if you are on a weight loss plan, you should consider if your priority is to lose a lot of weight very quickly, or to be patient like the tortoise and win the race in the end.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's Great To Be Back!

Hello all!

The Priority Fitness blog is back! Thanks for making it through the rest of the Summer without us!

I wanted to make sure that our first blog of the season is posted before October is over for a few important reasons. The first reason is that the NYC Marathon is creeping up and there are very important tips that we plan on sharing in the near future. The second reason, which we shall dive into right now, is the significance of October and your long term training routines.

October is the silence before the big storm. You may be asking "what storm?", NY just had a horrendous storm two days ago! Well, that's a valid question... The storm I'm referring to is the "Holiday Storm"- Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukah, New Years, etc. These are the holidays where so many of us (well, hopefully not us) eat and drink whatever we want, yet constantly rationalize our actions by saying "this is all going to stop at New Years!" and then gain 7-10 pounds... What a toll that puts on our bodies! To top it off, a lot of us follow this cycle but then do not even lose all of the weight later in the year. If you are trying to pack on pounds progressively through out the years, you have found the secret.

But why not avoid the unnecessary weight gain? Wouldn't it feel great to actually start the Spring season already in shape? It's very possible. For most of us, it just means to keep on doing what we are doing. If we are already working out, keep it up. The key to not getting sidetracked is to write out weekly plans for your workouts through out the holiday season. This will put so much in perspective. It will be the difference between skipping a workout to eat leftovers and going our for a long run. The key is to keep your workouts a priority and to not let the holiday meals and parties consume you (even though we are probably the ones who would be doing most of the consuming). If you want to, or are already working out 4-5 times a week, write down the days you want to do it during the holidays. Just because Thanksgiving weekend lasts 4 days, it doesn't mean that you need to skip 4 days of exercising. You can even plan to run a Turkey Trot the morning of Thanksgiving, which is a great way to fire up your metabolism for the rest of the day.

Practicing your Fall/Winter workout routine now will be a great experience for you to perfect it when the Holiday Storm hits.