Barbells, Burpees, and Bear-Crawls, Oh My!
In the pursuit of better bodies and better health we often stagnate our workouts. Many of us are guilty of bee-lining to the nearest gym to do as many bicep curls and bench presses as we can and then acting surprised when we don’t see the results we want.
As men it seems that most of us only learned about three muscle groups growing up: chest, arms, and abs. And sadly this limited view of the body is reflected in our workouts. Heading to the gym and working out on our own, for many us, has never felt harder. What with school, work, families, and the increasing number of demotivating images of perfect men that surround us, it can be difficult to start and maintain our fitness goals.
So if you’ve noticed that your workout routine isn’t bearing the fruits of your labor or if you—like so many of us—are just now realizing that it might be time to get back into shape, consider the following options as kickstarters:
If you haven’t seen advertisements for group fitness then I’d like to know what remote island you’ve been vacationing on so I can visit it myself. Group fitness gets a bad rap in the man’s world; it’s often associated with large gatherings of middle-aged women dancing in step to a young, strangely excitable instructor. But group fitness can be one of the fastest and most consistent ways to get and stay in shape.
Most locations (places such as the widely available Orangetheory Fitness) offer classes daily that allow people to come in, workout both cardio and weight training aspects, and leave without any further hassle. And it isn’t just large corporations that offer classes. Local gyms and fitness studios have taken up the call and are now whipping people into shape. Group fitness is an excellent choice for beginners, those who haven’t been active for a while, and/or those feeling bored with their routines.
Know those crazy people who are always posting pictures of themselves covered in mud, grinning from ear-to-ear after the successful completion of a race? Ever noticed how they are usually in great shape? This isn’t a coincidence. Many people find sitting on a communally sweaty bench and “pumping iron” for an hour to be pointless and monotonous. To those people I say, “I agree!” Some of the best exercise one can get is when we’re working towards a goal. Functional Fitness is fitness with a purpose. Rock Climbing isn’t just for those reedy looking hipsters carrying yoga mats; it’s a full body workout that tightens and hones nearly every muscle in your body. Same goes for swimming; an especially great workout for anyone suffering from joint issues or injuries. Attending Spartan Races, Tough Mudder’s, and other obstacle course based races are fun ways of staying active as well. Plus, you get to feel like your favorite superhero in training while you’re doing it. Functional Fitness is a solid choice for people who find they can’t stand being inside all day, are training as athletes, or like to be distracted while they are working out.
App Driven Fitness
Like everything we can still say “there’s an app for that” when it comes to fitness. The range and types of apps available for shedding weight and building muscle are numerous. Want to up your cardio game while also training for a zombie apocalypse? Try Zombie Run. Zombie Run is a fun app that sends you on missions, tells you when to pick up the pace, when it’s safe to jog, and when you’re about to be eaten alive. There are also apps for those of us who have the motivation but not the imagination. Jefit Workout is a fantastic app that allows users to create workouts on their phone, track reps, and watch videos to see exactly how to perform certain techniques. Apps are great for those of us who like to workout solo, need a boost in creativity, or just aren’t feeling confident enough to venture out to some of the more alternative methods of getting fit.
Written by Necko L. Fanning
Necko is a veteran, LGBT activist, and writer. In addition to his work as a freelancer Necko writes fiction with the purposes of providing strong LGBT and female protagonists to the world. More of his work can be found at neckofanning.com.