I’m a writer, which means I have Writer’s Butt (a documented phenomenon, similar to Reader’s Butt, I’m sure). But I’m also a fitness instructor, which means my Writer’s Butt isn’t as bad as it could be. Here are five tips to combat Reader/Writer’s Butt and get the most out of your workout.
- Set Goals: Do you want to lose weight? Get stronger? Whittle your waist? Get fit? This impacts how much you need to up your cardio, increase the weight you lift, target trouble zones and/or change what you eat. Bonus tip: always change what you eat to amp up your results. Replace chips with nuts (good fat), soda with Mio (carbonated water plus a squirt of water enhancer tastes just like soda), and your favorite Starbucks drink with the skinny version.
- Start Slow: Figure out what motivates you to exercise. Don’t just show up at a class without knowing what you’re getting into. You want to find something that fits your ability and makes you smile. If you like to walk outdoors, walk outdoors. If you hate to step to the music, don’t force yourself into a step class. Similarly, if you aren’t a runner, don’t sign up for a 5K.
- Seek Variety: There’s been a lot of research into the science of muscle tone. One I find the most interesting is the 6-week theory. Basically, your muscles get smart after 6 weeks of the same routine. Yes, that means the step class you go to with weights 2x a week is no longer effective if the instructor isn’t varying the workout. Yes, that means the circuit you’ve been doing in the weight room for years has reached a plateau…long ago.
- Think in Intervals: World class athletes often train with a High Intensity Interval Workout. What does that mean? If they don’t offer a class like this at your gym, super-charge your workout with 10-30 second high intensity bursts – go faster, kick higher, dance with more hip action. For example, in the midst of climbing a hill in spin class or while road cycling, go faster for 10 seconds. Wait another 20-40 seconds and do it again. If you walk to music, pick up your pace on every chorus, slow back to your regular pace on the verse.
- Say Hello: You’re more likely to show up consistently at the gym (or at the park where you walk everyday) if you interact with other people. Say hello. Start up a conversation. If someone misses you, you’ll show up more often, and be more likely to meet your fitness goals.
Do you have any helpful workout tips you'd like to share?