Quite a few people would probably be taken aback by that question, perhaps responding with a vague answer such as "to get in shape." What does that mean, though? A powerlifter and a gymnast, for example, are both "in shape" in very different ways.
Knowing the why you workout is important, because it will determine the how you workout. Individuals need to really think about what they specifically want to accomplish, do their research, and figure out the best way to proceed.
For years, I floundered at fitness, mostly because all I knew is I wanted to "get in shape." I didn't really know what I meant by that, so I just ran around, went to the gym, goofed around with weights and machines, and didn't get anywhere.
What helped me focus was getting serious about my martial arts training. I decided I didn't care about having a six-pack, being able to run a marathon, or benching 300 pounds. I just wanted to be a better fighter. And I don't mean I wanted to get fit like a professional, UFC-level fighter. I simply want to be fit enough to do well when I train or spar with friends and be reasonably prepared in the event of some sort of actual altercation. To accomplish this, I needed to concentrate on endurance, explosiveness, functional strength, and flexibility.
This realization made a world of difference. I ditched the gym and started concentrating on bodyweight exercises and conditioning. I added kettlebells to the mix, and got more consistent in my yoga practice.
|Doing a Pull-Up during my coffee break at work.|