Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Put Some Spark in Traditional Exercise: Are you a goal-oriented person or do you want to be flexible?


When you ask yourself this question, I hope you say that you are more goal-oriented. I truly believe that a goal-orientated person will be more successful with exercise. It's really tough to stay with exercise if you are doing a little of this and a little of that with no real goal or reason in mind.

It's likely that the first couple months of exercise will yield good results. If you're still with it at this time, further results become difficult. This is true because the body adapts and doesn't need to change.

"The human body is very good at adapting to the stresses it experiences," says Lisa Packheiser, a certified athletic trainer. "Performing the same activity repeatedly at the same level makes the body more efficient, which eventually results in lower caloric expenditure from the activity. In fact, research shows that by sticking to just one activity, the number of calories burned by exercisers may decrease by as much as 25%." Having various goals helps you to focus and make the necessary changes.

I do, however, believe that being flexible can make it easier to exercise because you are not tied down to a mundane routine. You should note that being goal-oriented doesn't necessarily mean you can't be flexible.

If you are a goal-oriented person, any type of exercise will work for you. The key is to make sure you know what your goals are. We discussed this in Chapter 7. Create a vision and from this vision you can establish goals that will be used to monitor progress toward seeing the vision become a reality.

You need to chart and monitor your progress. Do this by having a workout log. It can be used for charting your aerobic activity, weight training, outdoor activities, or group classes like yoga and Pilates. Charting will allow you to see improvement on a weekly basis. Seeing this improvement on paper will create excitement. This excitement leads to enjoyment


On the other hand, if you are not goal-oriented and want to be flexible with your exercise, you can still see results. The results you see may be more sporadic and less noticeable without goals to mark your progress. That's okay. You are what you are and if you want to be flexible then so be it.

I would recommend that regardless of what exercises you choose, write them down. Use this information the next time you exercise to take it one step further. For example, if one day you decide to strength train the chest and arms (also known as the beach workout), make sure you write down how much weight you lifted along with the number of sets and repetitions you did so that the next time you work out you can increase the effort. Increase effort by adding weight, sets or changing the reps.

If you choose to be flexible from week to week and do not have any real goals or scheduled exercises in your routine, that is fine providing it works for you. It can work to your benefit because you are doing what you want to do whenever you want to do it. This can make it interesting. Just beware that you should incorporate each component (i.e., cardiovascular, strength and flexibility training) each week. It is also important that as you spontaneously choose what you want to do, be sure to work each muscle group regularly and chart the progress you make.