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The Best Exercise

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I had a bit of a shocker today while training a client. He arrived at the gym and I put him on the rowing machine. He rowed quite vigorously for five minutes and I told him to keep going. I wanted his warm-up to be ten minutes. We don’t always warm-up on the rower but fairly often. I assumed he liked the rowing machine, he never said otherwise and he is very good at it. When I told him five more minutes, he looked at me horrified. “I hate the rowing machine,” he said.

I couldn’t believe it. I had no idea.

I am all in favor of trying everything at the gym and balancing your cardio with lots of variety but sometimes there are things you just don’t like. Especially if it’s your warm-up, you need to do what you like. It’s the first thing you do in the gym so make it something that feels good. If you love to bike, jump on that bike. Love running? Run! If that cross trainer makes you feel healthier with every stride, then hop on. This is San Francisco, so maybe your gym is at the top of a big hill. Well, park the car and hike it!

There are benefits to every piece of equipment in the gym, but if getting to the gym is hard enough for you, then make sure the first thing you do is something you enjoy.

I love to dance and so sometimes to warm-up I will put loud music on and dance around my room as if I were J-Lo, then I walk super fast or run to the gym. By the time I get there I am warmed up, stretched out, and excited about working out because I already feel so good.

Other times I will do five sun salutations or skip all the way to the gym. I hate the bike but when I pretend I am winning the Tour de France and I have to beat my last time, it’s not quite so bad. (However, I am still not good enough to do it very often.) Yesterday I put the treadmill at a high incline and pretended to hike up Everest.

Maybe no matter how you visualize it, the rowing machine will always make you run for the door, if that is the case, then stay away from it. There is something that will make you feel good and give you a great workout, you just need to try out lots of things and you will eventually find it.

The best exercise is the one you will do.


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