Seasonal Challenge!

Aerobic In The City
Image by MR MARK BEK via Flickr

It’s easy to get complacent going into the holiday season. Distractions, food, family, friends, and parties all conspire to encourage us to put off making real fitness gains until the new year.

My challenge is this: let’s use the next 6 weeks to get into the best shape of our lives. Here’s my advice. First, if you need to lose weight, don’t focus on denial. Focus on content. Whatever you eat, enjoy. But only eat half of every meal. Only eat half of every desert. Only eat half of every snack. It’s not hard, at least it’s not if you believe you’re worth the effort it takes to pay attention to yourself.

Then follow these instructions regarding working out:

Identify your type:

US Navy 021101-N-5152P-003 Sailor trains aboar...
Image via Wikipedia

Are you an aeroboholic; someone who loves cardio to the virtual exclusion of other activities, even though you know you need weights too?

Are you an aerobophobic; someone who avoids cardiovascular exercise like the plague?

Now that you’ve identified your exercise personality type do this. Commit to 4 days a week minimum.

If you are a aeroboholic by nature, switch to 3 weight training workouts (not classes) and only do 1 cardio workout. If you can make it in more often, add 1 cardio, then 1 weight lifting. When you do your cardio, increase the intensity of your speed, elevation, and resistance, even if it decreases your duration a bit (keep 30 minutes as a bare minimum, however). When doing weight lifting, add an additional set to every exercise, and make that last set much more difficult than you are used too.

If you are a self identified aerobophobic you will, for the next 6 weeks, divide your workouts 50/50. Pick one aerobic activity that you dislike least (class or machine)¬†and really push yourself hard. Continue to lift weights as normal twice/week. If you can add additional days, only add cardiovascular work, but don’t be afraid to do intense intervals. Sprinting can and will develop muscle.

In 6 weeks, both types will see dramatic improvement in terms of appearance and performance, when you eventually return to your normal routines.