Take your mind off of weight, inches, and body fat percentages, and put the focus on MOVING—dancing, rock climbing, in-line skating, running, team sports, mountain biking, etc. I personally happen to enjoy the graceful sport of table tennis. I don’t care what you say, it’s a sport! Think more in terms of “can do” and less in terms of “look like.” Sports are fun and help develop balance, coordination, and stamina—which helps accelerate and maintain your fitness. Go outside (or inside) and PLAY!
Every Sunday I head down to the original Muscle Beach in Santa Monica and meet a group of friends for a two-and-a-half-hour fitness extravaganza. We do a crazy combination of pull-ups, handstands, swinging plyometric dips, 15- and 25-foot rope climbing (hands only and sometimes upside-down), tons of wacky push-ups—we even throw in a back flip or two, and finish with a rendition of Ab Ripper X. Anyone that has attended one of the Santa Monica Fitness Camps has seen it firsthand. It’s extreme with a capital X. I love it, because it hurts me so good. This is NOT a routine I would do alone. I show up every Sunday morning to hang with the crew. As hard as the workout is, we’re there for the camaraderie, laughter, and encouragement.
We look at Sundays as an opportunity to incorporate sport into our weekly fitness routines. What started out as push-ups, pull-ups, and dips, has turned into (thanks to Chuck Gaylord) gymnastics for old guys. Sport is the main reason I stay fit. On the occasional Wednesday night, I meet up with a group to go rock climbing. Every fall, I get together with ski buddies and come up with ways to get our legs ready for the hill. Where do you think the Plyometrics workout in P90X came from? The Plyo/Legs routine in the Master Series is what I used to prepare for this year’s ski season.
To me, there is nothing better than the great outdoors. My sports involve cool crisp air, gorgeous views and climbing up or ripping down mountains. When I’m skiing or rock climbing, I’m one with my surroundings. I’m happy as a clam and at peace with the universe. I also try to mix in other sports like inline skating, ping-pong (trust me, it’s a sport), basketball, and mountain biking. These are sports I love to help me stay in shape. I encourage you to get involved in SOMETHING athletic—anything that would be fun and enjoyable for you. Try to care a little less about weight loss and more about accomplishment. There are so many different kinds of sports to choose from. Set a goal, take a class, sign up for a race, anything that gives you a reason to focus on “can do” and not so much “look like.” If you shift to an athletic mindset you won’t obsess about calories, inches, and your weight as much. “Can do” numbers like reps, range of motion, and amount of resistance become more important. Athletes care about improving their game, not how they look in their climbing gear.
If you can find one thing/sport that you really enjoy, then your day-to-day workouts will be less of a chore and more of a means to an end. Sports will also give you the opportunity to better connect and share with a partner. Whether you’re single or partnered with someone, it will give you a chance to meet like-minded folk. The people I know who have a regular sports pursuit are consistently fit over time, are rarely depressed or anxious, and meet tons of amazing people in the process. (See Fitness Camps)
For some of you the excuse of time or money, or fear of looking uncoordinated in front of other people will keep you from trying something athletic. There were tens of thousands of Power 90 and P90X customers who had those same fears. They stepped through the door anyway, and found a brand-new and exciting reason for staying fit and healthy.