Monday, November 11, 2013

The Perks of Being a Fitness Chameleon

Style is a heavy word, it carries a lot of connotations. When you find something you like, you stick to it, it becomes your style. But what if you like a lot of different things, can "chameleon" be a style?

In the fitness world, it seems that most people have one or two things that they really really love, and they do only those things. That's where we get terms like meathead, cardio bunny, yogi, marathoner, swimmer. But what happened to cross-training?

Dr. Boyfriend has been listening to an audio book lately and let me listen to a chapter with him last night. The book was "Rich Dad, Poor Dad" which doesn't seem to be related… but hear me out. Robert Kiyosaki talks about how much it pays to know a little about a lot of things instead of a lot about few things.

E.G., the advantages of being well-rounded over being specialized.

Being a well-rounded Fit-Gal (heehee!) is hard work! I try to keep my workouts fresh, make sure to try new classes and exercises so I don't feel like my workouts are getting stale, and I work to keep my physical activities varied. Some weeks will include hiking or maybe a long walk with a friend, some will include spin class, some may include Body Combat (note to self… haven't done that in a while!), some may include a full hour yoga class… all weeks include weight lifting, running, and mini yoga breaks (5-10 min) on most days.

The hardest part of introducing variety in your workout is getting yourself to or through the first new workout. Going to Body Combat was hard for me. I tried going to a friend's Turbo Kickboxing class a few years ago and I could barely make it through the warmup. That stuck with me and I had just made up my mind that I could never do a thing like that, that I wasn't capable. But I'm glad I sucked it up and tried the class out. I was too busy watching myself in the mirror trying to learn the choreography that I had no idea how the other students in the class were doing, and I'm guessing they were just as self-focused as I was!

One way to make trying a new fitness class, or workout, easier is to do it with a friend. Case in point, my friend Emily and I tried a cross-fit style workout she wrote… one of us hit herself in the face with the barbell and the other caught a 20lb medicine ball with their face doing wall balls. It's easier to laugh about doing something dumb if you've got your friend with you, after you guys make sure one another is ok of course. :D

Another way to try something new is to do it at home first. There are a plethora of fitness classes that you can find online and try out before going and participating in the public setting of the gym. I totally want to try Zumba one day, but you can bet your butt that I'll be trying that at home in the comfort of my own living room first! Maybe get some friends together and make a girl's night out of it.

It has taken me years to figure out this schedule that works for me. The best part is, I'm not even "done" making my routine and I never will be! There will always be new classes and new workouts to infuse life into my gym time. That is so exciting to me.

Better than going to the gym for another treadmill/elliptical workout, right? Not that those don't have their place, but variety is the spice of [gym]life.

Speaking of spicing things up, anyone out there ever try SoulCycle? I'm absolutely dying to give it a try!

My Gym/Fitness To-Do List:
-Cross-fit in an actual "box"
-Hot Yoga
-Aerial Silks Yoga
-Reformer Pilates
-Aqua Cycling
-Boot Camp
-Stand Up Paddleboarding


  1. I did SoulCycle for the first time when visiting NYC in September. It is amazing - you have to go! I liked it so much I went three days in a row and am really looking forward to a trip back when I'm there again in January.

    1. I have yet to hear anything other than "amazing" be used to describe it. I can't wait until I get the opportunity to go!