Getting ready to hit the gym in January? Here's your starter pack of all the information you need to walk into the gym with confidence and build a habit that will last all year long.
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Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.
One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.
Good health is a truly priceless thing, but maintaining a decent level of fitness - especially in big cities - can cost a pretty penny. Gym memberships in particular can hit your wallet hard. And personal training sessions? Forget about it: Those can run over $100 an hour, easy, and that's often on top of a gym's monthly membership fee. That's fine, though - because you don't have to pay a dime if you play your cards right.
By now your regular workouts are as second nature as breathing or wearing pants before you leave the house, but now something -- an extended family holiday or an injury perhaps -- has ripped away your routine from you. Not working out for a day already makes you antsy. Not working out for a week or more? Oh, no, panic!
Some days I just don't want to work out for an hour at the gym. And you know what? Sometimes workouts don't even need to be that long. Whenever I want to be in and out of the gym but still build strength and endurance, my go-to is this challenging, make-you-gasp-for-air workout called a barbell complex.
When you don't feel like exercising you can come up with all kinds of excuses. We get it: Exercise is the worst. There are so many things you could be doing instead. You don't have time. And so on, and so on. But exercising regularly has too many benefits for us to stand idly by while you pretend these are good reasons for not working out.
Too often people make the trek to the gym but only to go through the motions of a workout, without really working out. This is fine if you aren't really trying to improve, but you should understand that the best workout program in the world doesn't do squat if your workout lacks purpose and intensity.
We've written about the benefits of adding kettlebells to your workouts and how the kettlebell swing exercise boosts your leg strength. Now the caveat: the kettlebell swing is hard to get right, with people making little mistakes that put them at risk of injury. Learn to avoid a world of hurt by knowing what not to do.
US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg once tried Jazzercise and has said she's a devotee of daily Canadian Air Force bodyweight workouts. But twice a week she reportedly does a 90-minute gym session that raises the bar (get it?) for fit people everywhere.
Video: If you love to build things yourself and have been looking to beef up your home gym, I have an awesome project for you: A DIY gym bench that's fun and inexpensive to make.
Suspension trainers are like a gym that you can take anywhere. TRX, the current popular darling, is used in homes and boot camps for bodyweight workouts, but the monkii bars 2 gives it a run for its money in both aesthetics and features. Both add a ton more variety to your workouts and let you work out anywhere, but let's see how they stack up in the categories that count.
You want to work out, but when the gym is so packed that every machine and bench are taken you need all the self-control to not say, "Screw it!" and kick something on your way out. Don't worry: You might not get the workout you planned for, but with a little ingenuity, you can still get a good one.