"I'm going to kill you if you make me get on that treadmill." That threat came from *Bonnie, a long-time client and one who, as of yet, had never resorted to physical violence. "You would go to jail," I informed her, to which she replied, "Death by treadmill is justifiable homicide."
Bonnie was experiencing something all of us feel from time to time - A sudden, severe allergic reaction to doing the same thing we've done too many times to count. Her violent feelings cause me to stop and reflect on her workouts, realizing how long it had been since I'd challenged her with something new and different.
Thinking about that, ask yourself that same question: When was the last time you challenged yourself? When was the last time you actually got excited about or, at least, paid attention to your workouts? When was the last time you tried something new? With Bonnie, I changed things up by meeting her at the local high school track and taking her through a circuit workout: One lap walking, one lap jogging, then alternating a quarter lap of walking lunges with a quarter lap of sprints. I had her run the stairs on the bleachers and mixed it with dips, pushups and step ups between laps. At the end of the workout, she was breathless, sweaty and surprised at how good she felt, even though I pushed her much harder than usual.
Getting out of your comfort zone, even if it's only for a few minutes, can rejuvenate your workouts and show you just how much more your body can do. Pushing yourself will make you stronger, not just physically, but mentally and you'll go back to your old workouts with a fresh perspective and a new appreciation for how strong you really are.
Take the Challenge
I'd like to offer you a challenge. This week, I'd like you to push yourself at least one time. How you do it is up to you - it can be a big challenge or a small challenge but, either way, do something new and see what you're really capable of. Some ideas:
- Try a new activity - A class at the gym, a machine you've never tried, an exercise you never thought you could do, etc. If you need some ideas, check out the workouts and exercises in my Workout Center or choose your own.
- Try heavier weights - If you always lift the same amount of weight, pick up a heavy weight, just for one exercise, and see if you can completely fatigue your muscles. Just make sure you keep good form for every rep.
- Add a burst of intensity - At the end of one of your usual workouts, tack on some high intensity exercise - run up and down the stairs, do as many pushups as you can, sprint as fast as you can for a minute or try a full minute of squat thrusts. Do something that really gets your heart rate up, even if it's just for a few seconds.
- Try the 30-Day Fitness Challenge - If you're looking to shake things up even more, this e-course offers both physical and mental challenges for the next 30 days.
- Set a new goal - Is it time for a new goal? Try a 5K race or join a local cycling or running club. You could even set a goal to be able to do a certain number of pushups or chin ups - whatever it is, make it something you'll really work for.
These are just a few ideas, so think about what would challenge you right now. Wherever you are in your workout life, make your goal to challenge yourself this week to see just how far you can go when you put your mind to it.