There are two camps of trainers within the health and wellness industry – those who think “doing what you hate” means it’s what you really need to do, and those who’ll tell you there are so many options you may as well not choose to make yourself miserable.
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Maybe it’s time to make a move into the latter camp. It has a lot more benefits than you think. However, both approaches can be correct. Designing a healthy lifestyle is a lifelong strategy. There’s no perfecting it. In some cases, if you hate a particular exercise or yoga pose more than any others in that workout “family,” then that certainly can mean it’s where you need to strengthen and grow.
For example, if you love lifting weights but can’t stand any lifts that focus on your triceps, that very well could mean your triceps are under-developed compared to the rest of your body. It could also mean you have an injury (diagnosed or not) in that area, you don’t particularly want to focus on your triceps, you haven’t been taught the correct movements for that exercise so it’s uncomfortable, or a combination of the above. The point is this: There are any number of reasons why you hate working out your triceps more than any other part of your body.
The same example can be applied to cardio workouts, yoga poses, a particular crossfit WOD, or anything else. Figure out what you don’t like about it, and ask yourself if it’s in your best interest to keep putting it on your regimen. Some people don’t like the look of bigger, more developed calves on themselves. Still, they include calf lifts in their leg day routine for a long time because that’s what we’re “supposed” to do. We don’t always do what makes sense.
Doing what we hate is usually more challenging, feels like it’s harder and takes longer, but can ultimately make us feel more successful. After all, we give ourselves a lot more pats on the back when we “suck it up” and get through a task compared to a task that we actually enjoy. Think about your school days. Getting through a class you hated seemed a lot more respectable than sailing through a class you loved. It didn’t matter that you got an A in both. The class you hated seemed more difficult, and in turn like it mattered more. It’s a bit of self-martyrdom, regardless of whether the process and end result is beneficial to us.
With workouts, there are nearly countless options and approaches to get results whether you’re after overall weight loss, building general muscle mass, or focusing on really toning up particular body parts. Everyone’s bodies respond differently to exercise, too. While someone might swear that walking lunges and squats are the only way to build bigger glute muscles, someone else might be addicted to ankle weight exercises. Play. Experiment.
Remember that our bodies are really good at getting used to certain workouts, so no matter what you’ll get better results and less boredom the more often you shake it up. Make sure you use proper form every time, but you’ll know innately whether a particular workout “did the job” or not. If not, then why keep chasing it? Do something else.
We’re told over and over again that we need to exercise more, work out more, build more muscle and get that fresh air. That’s true for many of us, but most of us also have a limited amount of time each day for fitness. Make every minute and move count. If you hate a particular move, try an alternative. We have enough in our life that we dislike but have to do, why are we choosing to add in more?