I spent much of the latter part of 2011 and 2012 trying to learn to love strength training. I was trying to motivate myself through logic– science proves that lean body mass (muscle) burns more calories even at rest, so who wouldn’t want to have as much lean body mass as possible?
There’s only one problem here: I don’t get the same feeling of satisfaction from strength training as I do from running. Because of this, I was less likely to do my workouts as planned. And I think we can all agree that not doing the strength training means not getting the benefits of building lean muscle mass; therefore, doing “less good” cardio workouts is still better than doing no workouts.
Throughout this process of starting and stopping and restarting the strength training programs, I reminded myself of my motivation to exercise: I want to be healthy and strong and feel good in every day life. Adherence to a workout program is necessary to reap both mental and physical benefits. I needed to let myself be okay with “failing” strength training– I tried, I got through it, but I hated it.
Because I am motivated by the mental benefits and emotional release exercise provides, it’s important to me to make sure my workout calendar is populated with workouts I want to do. Sure some of them will be hard and I’d like to sit on the couch instead, but knowing that I enjoy the process of the workout gets me out the door.
In the first meeting with a new personal training client, I spend time finding out what their goals are, what types of exercise they like and dislike, and how they are motivated. I just had to spend a year learning that these issues are important to my own training, too.
Good health and great happiness to you.