Thursday, January 4, 2018

Crunch: New Year’s Resolutionaries

Hannah and I went to the gym together this week—for the first time in a very long time.  I’ve been trying to get her to go with me for the past several months now, and I’m glad that she finally agreed.  Spoiler alert: my eldest could use a little more exercise.  She does gymnastics once per week, and she does basic calisthenic conditioning a little more often, but her routine is not quite a lifestyle.  It’s fine as far as it goes, but it’s not necessarily enough to ensure her long term health, nor is she consistently building the habits that will make her a lifelong athlete as an adult.  Her timing was extremely fortuitous.  Crunch has been running a deal for high schoolers ($100 for a year with student ID), and this month in particular, the sign-up fee is just $1—not just for high schoolers, but for everyone.
That is awesome.

Hannah needs to get stronger before she starts
doing push-up workouts.
I don’t know if Hannah agreed to lift with me because it’s a New Year.  The gym is always packed just after New Year’s with folks looking to make a fresh start with their personal fitness, and this week was no exception.    I call these new folks New Year’s Resolutionaries.  They don’t typically last more than a few weeks.  That's not their goal, I know.
I’ve said before that fitness is a lifestyle.  But if you’re just starting out, and you want to stick with it, it really helps to have short-term goals as well as goals that look to the future.  Hannah wants to feel like she’s fit enough to apply to West Point and to conceivably make it through Beast Barracks.  That’s great, but it’s not immediate, which maybe explains why she feels like she can keep putting off going to the gym.  Speaking personally, most of my goals are race-oriented, with the caveat that I want to stay in the gym twice per week while I’m training in the pool because I usually feel better in the water when I’m also lifting weights.  But that's not immediate, either.  
Fortunately for me, I finally started benching again last week.  That brought out a legitimately short-term goal in the weight room, which in turn has me excited about getting back later this week.
I’d like to get comfortable benching 185 lbs. again.
This is by no means an inconceivable feat.  I usually do dumbbell press when I work chest and shoulders because I usually work out by myself.  But I hit the actual bench press last week for the first time in a long time, and I worked up to a max set of 8 x 135 lbs.  I felt pretty good about that.  This week I did two sets at 135 lbs. and one—very short set—at 155.  With concerted effort, I expect I can get back to 185 lbs. by spring.  That's my goal.
Now I need to help my daughter Hannah set a short-term goal for herself, and if you’re new to the gym like she is, you need to think about doing the same.  By the time you reach your goal, you’ll have developed useful habits, and that’s how you start building the right kind of lifestyle.  Hopefully, you find an exercise that you enjoy, too.

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