By Tyler Quinn
(Photo Credit: Lee Hersh, Fit Foodie Finds)
No Excuses – Training Through the Holidays
Each year, as the holidays draw closer, I hear sob story after sob story about how impossible it is to make it into the gym. While I feel your pain, don’t seek your sympathy from me. If EVER there was a time to keep yourself in gear it would be during the season of gluttonous overconsumption, fiscal frivolity, and cookies… lots and lots of cookies. Look, the weather changes, you’ve got family in town, food increases in quantity and perhaps decreases in quality and it’s so, so easy to get caught sliding down the slippery slope of “getting back into the gym after the New Year”.
It doesn’t have to be this way. You can go against the grain on this common trend, if you so choose. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I’m one-hundred-percent guaranteeing it will be worth it. Here’s how:
When the sting of MN winter arrives full tilt, it’s all about mitigating the number of trips to and from your car. Be sure to hit the gym on the way to work or on the way home. If you go home after your work-day, don’t kid yourself by thinking your going to grab a snack, change clothes and head back out into the frozen tundra. No, my guess is that if you make it to your living room, you’re in for the night. Schedule your day right and cut out that one extra trip to the car.
When family comes to town, invite them in to the gym for a workout at your side. Show off your brand new kipping pull-ups or just take pride in giving the gift of fitness by including your family members in your favorite part of the day. Did you know we have an AStrong going on during our Saturday intro? How about popping Aunt Jenny and Uncle Joe into the intro while you bang out a five sets of push press? Furthermore, bringing your family members with you will save you from the guilt you would have felt as you traipsed off to the gym leaving the rest of the house one short during that kitchen-table-game of Spades.
When it comes to food, I take a more pragmatic position. Nobody wants to be the one counting out almonds in their pocket as their family members serve up that third plateful of mashed potatoes and gravy. Nor should anybody deprive themselves of at least one or two of Grandma Doris’ famous peanut-butter cookies, especially when they’re so fresh, still warm from the oven. No, don’t crush yourself by cutting everything out. Instead, make sure you get things in. Eat something green with every meal (including breakfast) from two days before the holiday to two days after. Drink a glass of water an hour from the moment you wake up to the moment you go to bed. At a minimum you know you’ll be getting a few good things on top of all the not-so-good.
Finally, don’t allow yourself the convenient excuse of getting back in shape after the holiday. Why would you do this? Why allow yourself to slip backward after all the work you put in when just a little bit of effort is enough to get you through the holidays without losing too much ground. Remember that sometimes, participation points is all you’re going to get and frankly, all you need. Coming in for a “bad” workout is much, much better than not working out at all.
This holiday season, we’re helping to incentivize your effort and consistency by offering you a $25 retail credit when you check in fifteen times in the month of December. How easy is that? You show up fifteen times, you get the discount. Let the holiday hustle begin!
* To protect their real identities, fake names were given to Aunt Jenny, Uncle Joe and Grandma Doris. The delicious peanut-butter cookies, however, are very, very real.
Coach Tyler Quinn is a coach and founder of Alchemy and Union Fitness. In his spare time he enjoys reading, hockey, jiu jitsu, and gun-slinging.