Sometimes the right way to achieve your goals isn’t the only way to hit them. Chassidy Smothers explains why gut-busting interval running might not be the tack you should take to get fit.
All too often people get discouraged by their exercise regimes or diets purely because they’re completely impossible to enjoy or very hard to maintain. This is often because they decided to take on a certain approach to training simply because it was the most popular at the time, or they were advised that a particular technique was the right way to achieve their goals quickly.
Granted, the rise of social media has created great sources of motivation and information, but it has also facilitated a war among training styles. People lock in to a style of training and swear by it. They proclaim it’s the only way that works, and all other methods are wrong. I’m sure you’ve seen it many times: BroScience vs. If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM), CrossFit vs. bodybuilding, cardio vs. weight training, high intensity vs. steady state, and the rivalries continue.
Embrace the differences
While there’s an abundance of different nutritional programs and workout regimens, it’s almost impossible to say that a single style has all the answers and that the other methods are utterly wrong.
Of course, science can and does prove that certain training methods can be more effective than others when it comes to improving a person’s particular results in a specific timeframe. However, it’s highly important to recognize your personal goals, what works for you and, in particular, your mindset. As the old saying goes: Your mind will give out long before your body does.
But it’s possible to avoid having to attempt drastic measures to obtain a fitness goal.
The common sense approach
Specifically, if you are looking to just become more active, a daily walk might be perfect for you. Building up a nice steady heart rate for 30 minutes might well be the simple fitness fix you need.
If you want something with a higher intensity and a little more challenging both physically and mentally, CrossFit might be most suitable.
Traditionally, if you’re chasing aesthetics or competing, bodybuilding could be your niche, or maybe even a combination of styles. I prefer to take on an extremely strict diet, weightlifting regimen and a high intensity cardio program when I’m training for competitions.
However, when I’m not preparing for a contest, or when I’m working with the majority of my clients, I take an IIFYM approach and add steady state cardio, group classes or yoga as a way for me to meditate or simply enjoy myself actively.
We’re fortunate that so many training styles have been developed over time. From Body Pump and Zumba to Olympic weightlifting, it’s important for you to find the style that matches your goals and personality. And it’s equally important that you don’t ridicule others for not choosing the same methods as you, because any movement or activity is better than being sedentary. What works for you is the right way, despite what others choose as theirs.
Choose your path and stick to what makes you happy.
Find fitness articles and more in every issue of TRAIN for HER magazine.