Throughout my life I have been very disciplined and diligent when it comes to my fitness and daily exercise routine. For years I have been exercising rigorously and consistently in order to be at my optimum physical condition. But ever since my break up last year, combined with my decision to call it quits on relationships, I’ve had to rethink my posture when it comes to this topic.
- I don’t need to look pretty for anyone anymore
I have to say, this is one of those things that depending on where you are in life, it can sound as either the most horrible scenario, or as a most liberating one. If you are still out there looking for that “first love”, your “true love”, or better yet “the one”, not having anyone to look at you can be a painful thing to bear. If on the other hand, you’ve been down that road, and have seen everything that direction has to offer, not having that pressure to look your best all the time is an indescribable relief.
Not having any judgment on you on this subject means “the driver”, or better said, the external driver that pushed you to work out, is no longer there. So the question is, who are you doing it for now?
- There’s a whale of difference between “fit” and “bikini fit”
I now focus on workouts that give me health benefits, versus the so called “glam” workouts that have as an objective that you look hot and attractive. I do more light cardiovascular workouts like cycling, light jogging, and slow swimming. This will keep my cardiovascular system in shape, but it doesn’t have a six pack as a target. I must admit that I did look much better back when I had a partner at home -especially naked- but I also remember the huge effort it was to keep my body looking that way for years and years. It’s not like I got lazier through the years, but pressures at work, from the relationship, and the fact that you get older will eventually make the same work just the wee bit harder.
When in a relationship, I am happy to do the work because all that effort lands somewhere. Your partner feels more attracted to you, it enhances your sexual life, and it gives you an overall feeling of “being physically worthy” to your partner. If you take that away, then the only thing that is left in my humble opinion, is health. So yes, I keep on working out regularly, but in accordance to my health needs and not my looks.
- I have adopted more unorthodox exercise routines and schedules
I would have to say there is a stark contrast between my exercise routine pre and post breakup. Before I would have a very tight schedule, very clear routines, and it became part of my day, the same way as work, sleep, or eating.
“BEFORE BREAK UP” EXERCISE ROUTINE:
10 kilometer jog on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays 18:00 – 19:00 (same route every time)
Work out routine on Tuesdays and Thursdays:
- 3 biceps free weights sets
- 3 triceps free weights sets
- 1 upper chest bench press set
- 1 central chest bench press set
- 1 lower chest bench press set
- 3 push up sets (I know there is some redundancy here, but I just like push ups 🙂 )
- 2 shoulder lift press sets
But after the break up things changed. You see, when the objective of your exercise routine is a “glam body”, then you know 2 things:
a) It needs to be very frequent and consistent
b) It needs to be intense
And thus the need for a very controlled and disciplined routine is required. But once the objective is only for health reasons, in my case that meant I could adjust things a bit not only when it came to the schedule, but also what sort of exercises I would do and where.
Before I would run the same path every time for exactly the same distance. Today I go for “fun runs” 🙂 I go off into paths I’ve never been in before, I run in places where there are no paths at all, or do barefoot jogs in the sand. The when…no idea…whenever I feel like it just as long as I jog 2 – 3 times a week. As for the duration, I sometimes jog for 30 minutes and go back, and others I go for 60, 70 minutes before throwing in the towel.
In the past I would have this very exclusive sounding gym membership where I would go and lift shiny pieces of chromated metal while I sported the coolest gym shorts (there are no cool gym shorts for men…that’s just a lie) and the way younger looking tight shirts to show off my muscles (now that I look back….it was a bit sad actually). Nowadays my workouts are completely unplanned and can happen at any point during the day.
“AFTER BREAK UP” EXERCISE ROUTINE:
- 10 minute wait for the pasta to cook – 2 push up sets
- 15 minute football game halftime – 3 pull up sets
- Coming in with groceries – Take them all the way up and down the flight steps 3 times
- Mom called and has gone into full rant mode – 2 x 100 sit ups
- Mom still ranting – 3 x 50 jumping jacks
I’ve noticed that even though my objective is no longer looking fab, I still look pretty damn good with this new approach.
From the break up to today, I’ve gained a grand total of 2 kilograms (~ 4 pounds). That equals to a 0.25% increase in weight. When I compare that to an 80% decrease in effort, it seems to me I found a routine that will work for me for many years to come.
Healthy body, healthy mind 🙂
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