Commit to Fit | Week 21

Author | Commit to Fit 2013 Winner, Judith Zissman

I suspect trainers mostly have a mix of clients - there are people who love exercise and want someone to push them harder or faster or for more specific goals, and there are people who hate exercise and need the external accountability of working with a trainer to even show up at the gym, and then there are the rest of us somewhere along that spectrum.

For most of my life, I’ve been pretty firmly in the hating exercise camp. I suspect I’ve frustrated trainers that I’ve worked with before by a) not even showing up for a significant portion of my sessions, b) whining the entire time about how much I hate whatever it is we’re doing, and c) just generally being uninterested, unmotivated and uncommitted in the process of improving my fitness. I did it grudgingly because I knew I should, not because I wanted to.

That’s different for me now. For the first time, I feel genuinely interested, motivated and committed to this work, and I show up, do the work, and most of the time I don’t even whine (much) about it. I don’t know exactly why it took me so long to get to this point, but I’m glad to be here now, and the whole thing is so much easier when you’re not fighting your own self every step of the way.

I’ve even reached the point where I can say there are exercises I like. Primarily, they’re the ones where I feel really strong and powerful as I move through them.

+ Squats: There’s really nothing else that provides whole-body benefits like squats, and you can do them anytime, anywhere. When you get bored, you can mix it up by adding weight, balance challenges or obstacles to climb on/over. More on squats.

+ Side plank: I like the way I feel my entire body engage as I hold this position, though it can be hard on my wrists. I also like the challenge of exercises that sustain rather than repeat - going from 15 to 20 reps or increasing weight on a lift doesn’t trigger the “YOU CAN DO IT!” voice in my head in quite the same way as holding a challenging pose for another ten seconds. More on side plank.

+ Medicine ball rebounder: I like this because it feels like a game, and because it gets my heart rate up instantly, so I feel like I’m sneaking in some cardio along with my strength training. Also, it’s fast. If all of my exercises were this fast, I’d finish my whole workout in ten minutes!

What exercises do you like?