Well the clock just ticked into March and that means me and my little training buddy (whom I will simply refer to as “Dave” thanks to my congenital lack of respect for his personal privacy) got a whole new mess of exercises to learn. Now personally I love getting a set of fresh moves.
And it’s not that I’m a hyper-keener or something. Sure, I like learning new things and acquiring new experiences and all but the main reason they garner my affection so is that as an inherently lazy sod the first couple weeks doing them usually allows for a ton of rest time as we “perfect” (wink-wink) our overall form. Compare that to the ones we already know that simply grow in weight or complexity from week to week. Seriously, some of the hardcore ones even give me night sweats just thinking about them…. (see wall pushups and nearly anything involving the general area around my waist…)
Changing Up the Program Keeps Things Fresh
I certainly understand the accepted reasons for changing things up. I mean, if we just concentrated on the exact same movements, day in and out, for months on end we’d either overwork certain areas of the body well-past exhaustion or develop some sort of weird muscle enhancement that looks more like the results of an experimental drug trial.
Another risk-factor, at least to my mind, is the opportunity to get sloppy as you rush through stuff ‘cause now you think you know it all. Basically, by getting too comfortable at the gym you become “that guy.” You know him, the silly knob that always uses too much weight in some bizarre quest to either pop a ring of blood vessels in his neck or perhaps detach his quadriceps whilst screaming like the Hulk?
Trainers Help Keep Things Fresh
Finally, let’s not forget our trainers. Having regular new exercises helps a trainer stay relevant. Consider. If all they did was lead us through the same six exercises every day what in the bloody blue hell would we need them for besides keeping the Gatorade chilled and the towels folded? To count reps maybe…..but precious few have mastered this particularly mundane skill. (…and yes I am looking at you, Mr. New Haircut Boy).
New Ritual Keeps Things Fresh
Indeed life at the gym can get pretty freakin’ boring pretty freakin’ fast, so having a crew that works to keep it interesting is genuinely appreciated. And in all sincerity, I do have to give a lot of credit to OPP on this front. As an example, just the other day they invented something out of thin air. Dubbed Bon Jovi Burpees (which are even more horrific to do than to say) the base idea is that every time a Bon Jovi song comes on the stereo everyone – and I do mean everyone (trainers included) is required to immediately drop what they’re doing and commence burpee-ing, an activity as deceptively simple as it is shockingly uncomfortable. The whole thing is kinda nuts, which of course I enjoy, in a sort of workout-y, flash-mob kind of way. Still, I have actually adjusted my post-workout behavior considerably due to its existence. Gone are the days of leisurely chats over towel-downs or protein shake suck-fests. Now I’m just trying to get outside and gone before “You Give Love a Bad Name” explodes from the speakers.
Having the attention span of a Ritalin-starved 4 year-old (BTW, is Ritalin even a thing anymore? I wonder….) means working out is not just hard physically but mentally too. And when it becomes too predictable most of us are pre-disposed to quit. I know in my own life I have to change up certain things regularly just to keep from going crazy. Variety is the spice of life, he clichéd. So, for at least the next couple of weeks I plan to enjoy my new moves and will even work hard to master them. And I might also find some way to enjoy flapping my nether regions up and down as ol’ Blaze of Glory sings his songs of love and rebellion. But rest assured, such emerging maturity will not stop me from dreaming about what’s out there, just beyond the accepted fitness horizon. Could it be an all new work-out discovery that finally uncovers the cardiovascular importance of a “nacho set” (as in nachos w/ cheese) enjoyed between normal reps? How about a new rule that every time Katy Perry comes on the stereo I get to have a power nap? Do some stuff like that and you’ll have me at the gym for life. Or at least until my heart finally quits, whichever comes first.