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Your Personal Preferences Hurt Your Fitness Success!

While most individuals know exercise is important, many people still don't engage in physical activity on a regular basis.

No question about it, sensible exercise is good for you. Everyone who wants to be able to meet the physical demands of an active lifestyle needs to exercise. And yet, while most individuals know exercise is important, many people still don't engage in physical activity on a regular basis.

Benefits Of Exercising

The ever-increasing body of evidence supporting the link between exercise and optimal health and well ness will serve to motivate sedentary individuals to experience nearly 100 health-related benefits of exercise. At the onset sedentary individuals will notice these first three immediate effects from exercise:

  • Increased energy level
  • More peace of mind
  • Overall good feeling about oneself.

While we know it's in our best interests to exercise regularly, we find it too easy not to exercise. Apparently, our ability to stay motivated and involved with our exercise program is compromised by our lack of understanding of the innumerable benefits of exercise. The more we know about the positive consequences of exercise, the more likely it is that we will stick with our program of preference. But like anything in life it is a simple matter of attitude.

Approximately 60% of adults are physically inactive or exercise only on occasion. So if you're part of this sedentary life group you are not alone. At one time or another, nearly everyone has tried some form of exercise. They started to feel good; they got stronger; they lost weight; they received compliments on how great they looked; and then for whatever reason, they stopped exercising.

It is our human frailties at work that we make excuses for ourselves not to exercise, not to go to the gym, not to do good to our minds or bodies, not to put fourth near 100% effort or not to make exercise as part of our lifestyle. A geographical location, an exercise environment, a present lifestyle or whatever the reason we conjure up for ourselves keeps us from staying fit. Your preference is either men or women only, machines only, free weights only, a hard-core environment only, a social environment only, etc.


Preferences are invariably setbacks in life. You get the picture. We all fall short of our goals at one time or another because our mind says so. Our limitations we set for ourselves, our closures we surround ourselves in, and our physical comparison with others all determine one thing in this Fitness Revolution: Whether or not we measure up. And quite frankly, that's a shame.

Arnold said to me, "If you can't be a first rate bodybuilder where you are at, then forget it."

When I was in my late teens I believed I had to move to California to train at the famous "Gold's Gym" where the psychological training aspect of positive thinking is contagious to building big muscles fast! Arnold Schwarzenegger changed my attitude about training when he responded to my somewhat boyish question in the early 80s regarding place and training environment. He said, "If you can't be a first rate bodybuilder where you are at, then forget it." Arnold's response devastated me. I hated him and I felt stupid for even posing the question.

Arnold's Words Made A Difference

But as the years rolled on, Arnold's answer made more sense. In my mind my excuse for not even trying to become a first-rate bodybuilder was that my geographical location and training environment was a disadvantage. It was unacceptable to me because it did not match up to the famous Gold's Gym -- the Mecca of Bodybuilding.

I decided to take Arnold Schwarzenegger's answer to my question and use it to my advantage the best I could. Every gym I visited or was a member of, I challenged my mind to train seriously. This became my quest; I could be a first-rate bodybuilder. This quest took me from training in my hometown Gresham, Oregon to gyms across the country: in Michigan, Montana, California, and with Bill Pearl (Mr. Universe, author of Keys to the Inner Universe, Bodybuilding Hall of Fame) at his ranch and home gym in Phoenix, Oregon. This same mind-set was carried overseas: Osaka and Chiba, Japan to the West Bank, Palestine and Israel. Finally, this mind-set brought me back home - this time to Spokane, Washington.

If your exercise equipment is limited, you have to work with what you have. Basic compound exercises build muscle and/or lose fat because they utilize so much energy! There are many exercises you can do with an Olympic bar, a few plates, and a bench.

Regardless what the gyms looked like, how the environment was and types of equipment - all these things that we look for in a gym - they were used to my advantage and put to good use, no matter how limited, how old fashioned or how different they were.

Editor's Note

Recent research (see the current JAMA) has revealed that resistance training is the single best thing one can do for the heart! In fact, the recent Harvard School of Public Health study determined that men who engaged in weight training for 30 minutes or more weekly had a 23 percent lower risk of heart disease than men who did not pump iron. Researches are guessing that these benefits result from reductions in blood pressure and body fat achieved through weight training.