Have you ever noticed that your fitness fanatic friends always have a crazy smile on their face? Like they’ve joined a cult? And, let’s be real, they kind of have. Whatever they prefer: yoga, barre, boxing or Pilates, they want you to belong, they need you…they need your soul… I feel like any time I enter a conversation about fitness, everyone is trying to convert me. And I know it’s just the endorphins talking, But it’s overwhelming.
Unfortunately you can’t fake the actual working out. I mean you can tell people you’re doing it but then if in a month or two you still look the same, people might start to catch on. Believe me, I’ve tried it.
But if your sister swears by Pilates or your best friend has a membership to Soul Cycle, it might be helpful to know what they’re talking about. Simply because revealing your ignorance of their fitness passion will result in a self righteous speech about calories burned, muscles mass and how all other types of workout are inferior. That’s the thing with fitness buffs, they believe that the only right way to work out is to do what they do. The best way to approach this conversation is with a basic knowledge of fitness and the latest trends as to avoid the reproaching speech about why jogging is the most freeing and enlightening experience in the world or how Crossfit is the future of fitness. Well-rounded gym rats will have a routine, especially if they have educated themselves (believe me, they have), they’re usually not doing just one thing. Asking someone his or her routine is a great conversation starter, especially if you lead off with a compliment.
You: Jeez, you’ve got killer arms, what do you do?
Fitness Crazy: It is a combo of yoga, pilates and 2 days of weight training, I also have these protein shakes…
Oh yea, they’re REALLY into nutrition too and probably own those barrels of powders that taste like clay. But for now, let’s focus on the fitness.
On the flip side, fitness nuts are some of the most motivated people I know. Even when you’ve had a bad day, they seem to be able to cheer you up….there is something to be said for all those endorphins man.
There are a few approaches to working out depending on what you want to do. Lose weight? Tone? Gain weight?
If you want to lose weight, the idea is to burn more calories than you take in. High impact cardio workouts are best for burning calories. You need to get your heart rate up to a certain target “zone”, this all is figured out depending on your age, weight and activity level. Honestly, most cardio machines at gyms have a little graph on them that can help you figure out how high your heart rate should get during your workout.
To tone, you are going to concentrate on your muscles and strength; tightening up your main muscles groups. While it might seem like it is making you look like a body builder, it isn’t. The goal is to get lean and turn fat to muscle. The more muscle you have, the more calories you burn. So strength training and toning usually go hand in hand with cardio.
To gain weight for “Bridget Jones Diary”, Renee Zelwegger drank milkshakes and didn’t workout at all. But I think the gaining weight that fitness buffs refer to has to do with gaining muscle mass. Here’s the kicker: muscle weighs more than fat. To gain weight you have to consume more calories than you burn. But to avoid those extra calories being stored as fat, you have to lift weights, heavy weights, and do fewer repetitions. This is where most of those terrible protein shakes come into play.
Everybody’s got some workout they swear changed their life. Throughout the years, I’ve had several: Jazzercise, Tai Bao, and now, I’m really into boxing (it’s changed my life). Here’s what fitness crazies are talking about now.
Barre: Ballet-inspired, barre workouts focus on developing lean muscle mass, while working on balance and flexibility. Celeb devotees include Kelly Ripa, Natalie Portman, and Drew Barrymore.