It’s been 10+ years now.
Thousands of hours and dollars spent learning with some of the best people I’ve met. Friends, bosses, colleagues, clients, family – there is a different need for every individual out there.
I’ve got a running count of different ideas, concepts and plans built for single every person I’ve ever had on roster as clients in my Google Drive folder. There are tables, spreadsheets, measurements and different approaches built upon their individual strengths, weaknesses and specific goals.
But today, we’re not talking specifically about training.
Each person in my life serves a purpose that fulfills a need in my life. A supportive partner. A daughter who fills my heart. A family who serves as an outlet for frustration, laughs and general support. And you. Whoever you are. I am happy you are with me, after all this time.
And from there spawns an idea as to how to move forward, by defining yourself and your fitness.
Where does the idea of fitness fit within your life? Are you the type of person who loves to be active and go to the gym more often than not? Or are you the person who needs supportive direction with an aversion to the idea of lifting a dumbbell?
Exercise is more often than not talked about as the best, most effective way to improve your health. The American College of Sports Medicine recommends all people get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity every week. And I’ll tell you a secret – What that doesn’t recommend is time in the gym.
You don’t have to be a buff gym goer or IG model who cakes protein powder into their tooth paste after breakfast for the gains(honestly if you are, you may have a bit of a problem. I don’t think I’ve even tried that in my most fanatical moments).
I have this overarching idea that there are three levels of people in our world when it comes to exercise.
Level 1 – People who don’t hit the gym, and don’t necessarily care to. The idea of exercise isn’t a part of your daily plan. There are bigger things to worry about and things to tackle outside of worrying about health. You’re someone who needs to inconvenience yourself to force exercise into life. You cook up a storm, you sit on the couch, have an inactive job or have no underlying drive to do anything remotely athletic. AND THAT’S OK. You understand how important physical health is to you, you may just not have the drive to take action outside of your daily activities and hobbies. Or you may not know how to take action? Good news – you ain’t gotta be a gym rat. Gardening can be a great addition to your list of active hobbies. Shopping at the mall. Cleaning house or tackling house work and projects. What’s measured is movement and heart rate – not the number of times you hit the gym.
Level 2 – People who take action to move. I’d say this is probably the widest range of folks. You’re not necessarily a gym rat. But you can be, in order to help support the physical goal. I’d throw professional athletes in this category. They get stronger to support themselves in their sport. They may be gym rats too – but their driving force is to improve their game. I’d also throw in the person who enjoys hiking and makes it a part of their monthly plan. Or enjoys walking in the morning in order to clear their mind. You experience health benefit from being consistent. Your driving force or event is not gym specific but can be enhanced through properly progressed strength and conditioning. You seek means to keep yourself accountable to activity because it has a place in your life.
Level 3 – These are the folks who are motivated by the gym. On the grind more often than not to improve their physique. Or improve their gym-related numbers. They show up more because their chosen life experience revolves around improving their health with consistent gym attendance. I’d throw competitive bodybuilders, powerlifters and crossfitters into this category. It doesn’t mean you have to compete – but you show up because your numbers mean something to you. How much you deadlift. How fast you can perform Fran. These folks work constantly to improve their numbers, showing up to compete with themself or others.
In different stages of my life, I’ve found myself in a different category at different times. Because you don’t want to do anything super difficult physically doesn’t mean that you can’t be successful. It just means that you can be real with yourself and go for a walk with your coffee instead of sitting around living life through your phone. Don’t care to hit the gym? Cool beans, go do some gardening! Take the stairs. Park half a mile from your destination. Breathe under a tree in a park. Whatever fills your cup.
My personal journey has explored the depths of sacrifice in the gym, the escapism of trail running, and the wonderful health benefits of team sports and a shared experience. In the last ten years, I’ve been in each different level, finding ways to support my own needs.
Some people need support to increase their overall output.
Some people need to understand how movement improvement can help support their active endeavors.
Some people are truly motivated by the gym experience and lets that drive their action.
One thing holds true as much as anything – If you don’t understand your needs, how likely is it that you’ll understand how improve your health?
I’m trying to think of ways to serve different levels of clients and hope to answer some of those questions moving forward. Where does fitness lie in your life? What things do you look for in a fitness community? What is your level and where do you
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