Changing Your Fitness Style is OK and Part of The Journey
Change in terms of your training style can and should change! Recently I came to the realization of how far my current training style is from when I started out (started getting into fitness back in 2009). In my early 20s it was all about “toning” and looking the part. Lifting light weights, repetition after repetition and a cardio junky. Now in the start of my 30s it’s more about being strong to function in my day to day life as a mom (kids are heavy and awkward to carry!), and enjoy exercise (who knew I would love to back squat and deadlift when all I was doing was 3 sets of 20 with light weights). Now it's more about feeling strong and empowered to conquer my day, its about mental health and physical health and not just about how I look.
There isn’t one right way to train. Everyone’s preference of what they enjoy or how their body responds to fitness changes (and changes through stages of life). What I once thought was the best way to train, definitely isn’t what I think today. What your trainer might think is right for you, but doesn’t feel right to you - MAY NEED A CHANGE. Just because your friend does CrossFit or your cousin does KETO doesn’t mean it is right for you.
Back when I first started to get into fitness, it was just a way to feel a part of school - ya know the college life. I didn’t live on campus, but when I was at the gym I thought I was in the big leagues. As the college years went on and my studies progressed in public health and nutrition, I learned more and more about how beneficial exercise was for you. I stopped using machines and started joining some classes and really started to find a passion for exercise. Once I was in my final semester I had an internship for a health coaching company where I was able to start teaching my own classes. MAN THOSE CLASSES WERE POORLY DESIGNED. I thought I knew it all. I looked the part and talked the talk. However I was giving them what I would do, not what necessarily was right for them (rookie mistake!). Looking back now I wish I knew that exercise (even in a class) should be done with a purpose, not what is the current trend.
Here is where I am really going with this blog post. Back in my early 20s I thought exercise was more about looking the part. You know “toned” arms, long legs/skinny waist. The type so many women start out wanting to look like. While I may have looked great (at least I thought so), I had no endurance, I couldn’t lift heavy weights and I did way too much cardio!
Flash forward to early 2014 (age 24) I entered the big leagues. I became a certified personal trainer and finally had an idea of how the body works, adapts to nutrition and exercise and how to transform myself/others. When I first started out I had no real “style” of training. I started to just do what the successful trainers at the gym were doing - it was great I finally felt like I was getting stronger. But truthfully I was ALL OVER THE DAMN PLACE. Still felt lost, still following the crowd and not listening to my body. I was always sore and never really stuck with a plan (even though that’s what I was teaching people to do!).
Now at age 30, 6 years into a personal training/nutrition career, and 10 years of a true passion for health and wellness I finally have learned to just DO ME. I have learned how my body responds to exercise (how it makes me feel and look). I have realized that just because someone else trains one way, doesn’t mean that it’s right for me. I have learned that depending on what stage of your life you are in - IT IS OK to shift and change your ideas of how you should eat and exercise.
It’s hard now-a-days with all these fitness influencers on Instagram. Everything looks fun and we are drawn to wanting to look like the person who is “influencing” their style of exercise. While it is not wrong to be inspired by someone else, just always remember to look within and make sure it aligns with your goals and is how you want to feel and look. Don’t be a crowd follower like I used to be, listen to your body and fill it with what it needs/desires (physically, emotionally, mentally).
Always listen to your body.
Allow your style of training to be what you want it to be.
Train for how you want to feel and look.
Be open to change and try new ways of exercising if something doesn’t feel right.
Meg DeSalvo Fit