There’s No “i” in Team, but There Sure Is in “fitness.”

There’s No “i” in Team, but There Sure Is in “fitness.”

challenge your body challenge zone

Fitness is one of the most individual pursuits. It’s not like team sports where even the greatest athletes are limited by their reliance upon their teammates. Fitness is simply you against you, you against “getting better,” or you against an unbiased, impartial movement pattern. The problem is…we lose to ourselves far too often. We give up, we quit, and we stop short. We quit challenging our bodies when the going gets tough. Or, sometimes we don’t even try something challenging.

You may not like hearing it, but the biggest obstacle in your fitness pursuits is you. You have all the aspirations, but do you have the fortitude to endure all the work and effort it will take to achieve those aspirations? Do you even have any idea of the discipline and commitment they will require?


This is my advice to you: Learn to embrace your “Challenge Zone”

First off, what’s your “Challenge Zone?” It’s simple.  It’s that point when performing any exercise and you start to feel uncomfortable, challenged, discomfort (but not injured), and begin to have thoughts of quitting. That’s the Challenge Zone. Learn to embrace this mental experience because this is where you get better.

Everyone has, at one point or another, participated in the exercise and felt like quitting. Maybe you were tired, or maybe it was tough. You’re not alone, we’ve all listened and quit before… But don’t. Ignore that message, postpone that message, keep going ten more seconds, one more rep, one more step, one more minute…just do MORE. Don’t quit when things get tough. Challenge your body to adapt to new training demands. Afterward, you will look back and realize, “I didn’t know I could do that.”


Stop Denying That Your Diet Sucks

Harsh wording, sure, but too many don’t ‘get’ this message. Without getting too complicated, let’s break it down into this: Are you achieving your goals with your current diet? No? Well then stop acting as if you have it under control. If you want new results, you need new training and dietary habits. Accept this and don’t look for shortcuts. If you want certain physical accomplishments whether based upon performance or aesthetics, be prepared to alter and improve your diet.

People make sacrifices to achieve their goals. That’s how life works. If you’re not prepared to improve your diet, you’re not preparing to accomplish your goals. If you think, “My diet is pretty good, I don’t need any help with that” you’re basically saying, “Thanks, but I just want the results without the commitment and discipline.” These people remain stagnant in their pursuits. The choice is yours. Any goal requires sacrifice. With health and fitness goals, diet and training require much effort, discipline, commitment, and sacrifice. Make them or adjust your goals to mesh with your ‘easier’ lifestyle.


Stop Thinking Your Aerobics Class Is Going to Take You to the Finish Line!

No one wants to be the bad guy, but your aerobic training…it’s probably not going to take you to the promised land all by itself. Taking an aerobics-type class is but a start, apart, of your fitness journey.  It’s beneficial for sure, but it’s not the answer alone.

You need to lift weights. Weights offer you the opportunity to constantly adjust and challenge your body. If you want to get stronger, build muscle, and burn more body fat…you have to challenge your body to adapt to greater physical demands. Movements that don’t challenge you…won’t improve you. Don’t judge your workout by how much you sweat, you can sweat standing still outside in the sun!

Look around any gym. There are diehards who attend just to spend an hour on the cardio machines. Let’s not even get started on those who come to the gym to walk or run in place… We all know better by now, right? Let’s make this argument simple. Think of someone whose body you would like to strive for and achieve. Are they side by side with you on the treadmill for an hour every day? Probably not. I’m guessing they go lift something heavy, frequently! Pay attention!


Challenge Your Body, This is 100% About You!

Fitness is all about many ingredients to your “recipe” for success. It’s an individual. You put in the work and you get all the results. No one else. Pick and choose what you like, what works, and what you enjoy, but don’t be blind. Open your eyes and ears to what will help you, what will hurt you, and what will do nothing for you. Educate yourself, try new forms of exercise, and realize there is no universal answer for everyone. We all have different likes/dislikes, strengths/weaknesses, and ambitions. Just don’t lie to yourself. Admit that the more lofty the goal, the greater the sacrifice required.

So don’t be afraid of the unknown, you might find out it’s not so scary. Every day is truly a chance to get better, so take advantage. Bust your ass in the gym, make better dietary decisions, learn more about movement and diet, because no one else can do it for you. So step up! Back up your talk with actions, and show your commitment to yourself. After all, there is an “I” in “fitness.” And “win.”



Article by  Paleo Bodybuilder Mario Singelmann 





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