My BMI is off the wall and sitting down for much of the day in a therapy room does not help, so I joined the local gym. I’ve been exercising now for 3 weeks and I’m noticing improvements. Whilst there I have been observing others and interested in their attitudes and emotions towards commitment to exercise.
Odell Lewis, the fitness trainer and I had a chat last week, well I asked him for an interview:
How can being in the gym or working with a fitness trainer help?
It will help you to achieve goals, lose weight, feel healthier, boost confidence and wellbeing.
What do you notice about people’s attitudes and emotions towards exercise?
Depends on their personality and why they are there. Fear plays a big part in whether people even make it through the door, especially older people who are not used to exercise. They can’t be bothered and tell themselves they won’t like it. For those that do join anxiety seems to play a big part, made worse if you have had a hard day at work and travelled through rush hour before you arrive. The best time to exercise is during the quieter times of day if possible. Then you have the different types of gym goers.
Who and what are the different types of Gym goers?
Odell classified them into 5 categories:
Reluctant Type – usually join up because their wife or husband has sent them. They have been nagged into joining and conflict seems to be a big part of their life. They are usually overweight and unfit. They don’t really want to be there and start off very demotivated and negative. They moan a lot and make a fuss. Once they are set a training schedule they become more upbeat. They go from being “weighed down” and stressed to feeling more motivated. Their home life then seems to improve, the nagging stops and their overall mood changes with this behavioural change.
Enthusiastic Type – this is your ideal gym candidate. They have goals, are committed and nothing is going to stop them. This type is very driven by targets and persevere hard to achieve them.
Body Dysmorphic Type – here we have the girls (or boys) who think they are fat when they are in fact skinny. Training is a must with them and their goals are to be leaner than lean with more muscular definition. The problem with this type is the food intake. Odell suggests an app like My Fitness Pal to log food intake as well as exercise to make sure they are having enough nutrients in the different food groups.
Gym Bunny – loves it, the exercise, the goals, the adrenaline, the endorphins. This type can’t get enough, cannot live without it. Exercise is like a religion and without it they become agitated, restless, guilty or just plain moody. The gym is their fix.
Defeatist Type – their first words are “I can’t do this”. This type needs motivation, structure, support, ideas and achievable goals. Rather than reps of 1 – 10, they are started on reps of 1-3.
At this point I am wondering which type I am. I think I definitely started as a reluctant and defeatist type. I didn’t really want to be there but I was the person in conflict with myself. After a few weeks I am becoming more enthusiastic and I am beginning to think I could be a gym bunny one day. I must admit I do feel amazing at the end of a workout. The endorphins are alive and kicking and I sprint out feeling very positive.
So which type are you? What are the emotions holding you back?
To learn more about your own feelings, your moods and emotions check out The Mood Cards
Odell is a fitness motivator and personal trainer working at Fit West Essex
No Ego just Determination to Succeed
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