There is a stigma, whether you think it is positive or negative, to being a “gym rat”. Working in the fitness industry for many years, I’m sure I was thought of as that. And for as many hours as I spent working I definitely felt like a gym rat! The question for many is “Can I be healthy and fit without becoming a gym rat”?
There are a number of things that go along with this so it isn’t a simple answer. First, you have to decide what your goals are. Are you looking to lose weight? Do you want to gain muscle? Do both? Are you looking to compete in some event whether it is cardiovascular or a bodybuilding event? Do you want to live a healthier lifestyle? Once you have this answered then you decide how much time you have to devote to this. Why is this important? Let’s say you want to run a marathon but you only have 2-3 days a week to train. When you look at any marathon training schedule, you need much more time than that. Not to say you can’t be healthier but you may have to change your goals, at least for the time being.
Now comes a big part. Finding a fitness professional that can put you on the right track and be honest with you is crucial. There are many fitness trainers out there that make promises, whether they are stated or not, that you can look like him or her. Let’s face it, you most likely want to work with a fit trainer. You see all these muscle bound men and women and you think “if only I work with them, I’ll look like that”. I have had a number of first time clients that treat the initial meeting as a job interview. They are hiring me for a service so they want to find out what I think! This is what everyone should do! There are many questions you may want to ask during this time but if one of your reasons to train with this person is because you want to develop the physique they have, you need to find out some things. A legit question would be “how much time do you spend working out and what do you do”. You want to know this because that is most likely what it takes to have that physique, and keep it. Along with that is to find out how long they have had fitness in their life. When someone starts working out at and early age, and consistently keeps up with it, as they get older they can maintain that level, to a certain degree. It doesn’t mean it is easy. I love seeing memes on Facebook of the “bodybuilding grandpa”. These look great but most of the time those people have been training for their entire life, so when they are 60, 70 years old they have a lot of muscle tone. If you decide to start lifting weights late in life, you can certainly reap the benefits, however to become a bodybuilder you will have to spend a lot of time in the gym, or be a “gym rat”.
Set yourself up to succeed when it comes to your fitness goals. That goes a long way to making them happen!
Until next time…