My boss, Jamie Fernandez, is always giving me a hard time about riding hundreds of miles on my tricycle. Tricycles come in all shapes and sizes. Mine just happens to be in the shape of a Fuji carbon frame with some really sweet Reynolds wheels. We often talk about the hours that I spend riding my bike. He usually makes fun of me in some way, but at the end of the day, he understands why I do it. I am PCP Racing’s Team Director. We are the local racing team in Albany. Racing is hard and not for the faint of heart. Training takes hours and hours on the bike. In addition to the time that is needed in the saddle, strength training is crucial for more powerful cycling. What do I spend a large part of my free time doing? Riding a bike and lifting weights. Why? Because those two components help me reach my goal of becoming a stronger bike racer.
At my job at Impact Sports and Fitness, I see new clients all the time. Everyone has a different reason for coming to the gym. Everyone has different goals. My job is to make sure their training makes sense and paves a clear path for them to successfully reach their goals. I can’t do the work for them, but I can certainly steer them in the right direction.
My friend, Lisa, has four kids with the oldest one being five years old! She has had four c-sections and just started working out in March. She has lost two pants’ sizes. Her goal? To get that pre-baby body back. Clearly, Lisa doesn’t need to ride a bike for hours at a time, but she does need a good workout program that includes strength and metabolic training. And that is what she is doing.
Michele is another friend of mine. Michele is getting married in October. I remind her of that wedding every day that she trains… “Wedding Body! Working on that wedding body!” We laugh, but her goal is clear. She wants to be in the best shape of her life on her wedding day. Looking beautiful in that wedding dress is her goal.
I just started training a couple of newlyweds. They’ve been married three weeks, and their goal is to get back in shape after being in school for the last several years. She is a pharmacist, and he is an attorney so they have definitely put their fair share of time into studying. Their goal is very similar to most of the clients that I train…. they want to get in shape.
What are your goals? Why do you work out? Have you ever stopped to ask yourself these questions?
Susie Homemaker who wants to lose a few pounds and improve her overall fitness doesn’t need to worry about her “one rep max” in anything. She needs to focus on cleaning up her diet, getting in some cardio and working on some total body strength training. Why? Because those are the tools that she needs to use to reach her goal.
On the other hand, Joe Power Lifter, will have a totally different approach to working out as his goals are completely opposite Susie’s. He would need to work on his max weight on the Olympic style lifts. Joe would be wasting valuable training time spending hours running on the treadmill.
Susie and Joe need very different training plans because they have very different goals.
Everyone needs to see that there is no “one size fits all” answer for fitness. With training, always ask yourself the question… WHY? Why are you doing what you are doing? There are so many different tools available for athletes today. You can put them in any combination that you like as long as it works for you. My primary tools consist of riding a bike and lifting weights. Before I became a cyclist, I was an avid runner, and running was one of my primary tools.
Unfortunately, everyone faces setbacks in life. I see how differently people handle pains and struggles just in how they approach working out. Some people use pain and struggle to motivate them to be better and to do more. Others use these times as excuses to miss a workout. We all have our own issues, but how we choose to handle them defines who we are. Sometimes you have to learn to be comfortable with uncomfortable if you want to reach your goals.
Define your goals. Decide if what you are doing is going to get you there. Be willing to face pain and struggle. Be open to change if you aren’t on the right path to reach your goals. No one said it would be easy…. But it will be worth it.
Happy Mother’s Day, Mama! I love you.
Michele Moulton is a certified group fitness, boot camp, TRX and Spinning instructor with more than 23 years of experience in the health and fitness industry. She is the head trainer and lead instructor at Impact Sports and Fitness. She also is the mother of two boys, Austin and Harrison.