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Frank Needham
06-03-2009, 06:27 PM
I know someone that is totally raw, never done any exercise, never participated in sports.....nada. This person is a 30 year old female whose genetics should easily allow her to become fit and able fairly easily. Problem is, there is very little motivation to do so....and, the diet could use help too.

I would like to be of real help but I don't want to force the issue and kill any chance of influencing the outcome. How would you approach this situation if you wanted to get this person on the right track and interested in being fit? What kind of program would you offer? How would you make it so appealing that doing it couldn't be resisted? A group setting, individualized approach?

Júlíus G. Magnússon
06-03-2009, 06:44 PM
Why do you want her to get fit?

Joe Hart
06-03-2009, 07:14 PM
I wouldn't look at it as "getting fit" more as being involved in something that she might like. Find something that she would like that would require some movement strenuous or otherwise and let it segue into fitness later. Say adventure racing but start out with hiking or orienteering. Just a thought

Gavin Harrison
06-03-2009, 09:04 PM
Forcing your will on other people wont work. Best bet is to find out if there's any sport or activity she's interested in, and see if she wants help getting there, I guess.

Alex Bond
06-04-2009, 12:48 AM
As others have said, make it fun.

Frank Needham
06-04-2009, 12:08 PM
Why do you want her to get fit?

that seems a very odd question on a fitness forum?

Frank Needham
06-04-2009, 12:16 PM
hmmm, making the journey of getting fit could be viewed as having fun. I know that I'm having fun doing it, otherwise I'd just bury my beak in a bag of twinkies:D .

I also made note that forcing things was not my objective but rather to "be of help".

Daniel Mays
06-06-2009, 12:34 PM
Dancing. I believe every lady in the world except for my mother absolutely loves to dance. Tell her that dancing will get her abs in better shape and that doing squats will allow her to "get low" and be able to have better, quicker dance moves and allow her to dance longer.

I think this should be the end all be all of "I want so and so girl/girlfriend/spouse to start working out" threads. Learn how to dance, or find someone to dance with her and break it down at your house or the clubs 2-3 nights a week for at least 30 minutes. If you go to the clubs moderate alcohol consumption so you don't mitigate gains (I know it takes some cajones to dance sober but it's not impossible...).

Danny

Frank Needham
06-06-2009, 06:17 PM
That's an interesting idea. She probably would like that but those days are a thing of the past for me. I'll introduce that as one of the activity ideas with her and we'll see where it goes.

Steven Low
06-06-2009, 06:37 PM
lol, don't be a pussy. Dance! and then film it and put it on youtube

Derek Simonds
06-07-2009, 04:56 AM
Dancing is incredible exercise. I did a little dancing a couple of weeks ago and I was sore for a couple of days afterwards. And Steven I am sure there is video somewhere....

My wife has a couple of friends that come train with her that she introduces to exercise through Yoga for Regular Guys and some dance videos she has. That gets them moving then next thing you know she has them sled dragging and doing intervals.

I was talking with a young lady in a similar position last week and I told her as long as she looked at it as "diet" and "cardio / exercise" she would fail. As has been said whatever it is that she engages in has to be fun and part of her lifestyle.

Best of luck.

Frank Needham
06-07-2009, 05:53 AM
lol, don't be a pussy. Dance! and then film it and put it on youtube

LMAO! Then there would be something to laugh about, seeing me bumbling round on the dance floor...I would mind that so much but really it is more of a matter of how many hours do you have in a day? Mine are spoken for right now.

Frank Needham
06-07-2009, 06:07 AM
Derek your wife sounds like exactly what is called for in this situation. Too bad I/we haven't found someone like that here. That is another angle I'll have to investigate.

As usual, you guys are very helpful and with me playing Mr. Mom for two weeks this is appreciated even more as I'm really preoccupied.

Emily Mattes
06-07-2009, 11:44 AM
This is going to sound stereotyped, but from the observation of myself and others I've talked to many women really take to kettlebells. Don't ask me why. Perhaps get her playing with some light ones?

The dancing is also a good idea.

Garrett Smith
06-07-2009, 12:16 PM
My wife LOVES Zumba and Jazzercise, both very dance-y classes. Heck, we'll probably sell the spin bike we have that's collecting dust to pay for her 2-3x/week classes. The smile she gets from doing these is priceless. FWIW, just thought I'd tag on...

Frank Needham
06-07-2009, 12:40 PM
More good suggestions to consider. As previous posters suggested these are good ways to get someone moving and sweating. Where some folks wouldn't consider the idea of lifting something heavy on the other hand they can be induced into things involving BW. Not all of us are alike eh?

So far we've the following ideas : bootcamp, dancing, KB and trickery :)

Chris Salvato
06-07-2009, 10:34 PM
Really the key is to make people WANT to do it. People don't like to do things they don't want to do. Everyone loves some kind of movement. If you watch them or listen to them for long enough you will identify something that they really want to get better at.

For example, my brother is quite overweight but really likes to play his sunday morning softball league. He plays catcher. It was just using the right diction and rhetoric to get him to start doing explosive ATG air squats and start running sprints in the park. He has been going for 2 months now. Even started timing his runs with a stopwatch.

Once you identify what people WANT to do its really a matter of getting them to add it to their routine. Usually I throw out a small tidbit of how the first 3 weeks are the hardest to add it to the routine ... then after that its natural.

Also, on a physiological note, keep in mind stress levels of the individual. People with high anxiety or stressed out lives are drained at the end of the day. If work is a constant battle exercise can certainly help since it is an "outlet for frustration"... but when we are just starting it seems like a chore and it is REALLY hard for a stressed out, exhausted individual (with catecholamines and glucocorticoids pounding at their brain) to really get motivated to do something as bothersome as exercising. This really drives the point home that it needs to be fun and not "bothersome".

As a small aside...a small part of my blog was actually dedicated to this topic..

Let’s be realistic - human beings typically don’t do things they don’t enjoy. Diet and Training are no exception.

This is not to say that you need to love every minute at the gym. When I am going in for my last set of a heavy squat I sometimes can’t help but stare at the ground and mutter, “I really don’t want to do this.” The same goes for the sets of One-Armed Chinup negatives. The negative feelings, however, are far outweighed by the positive, though. All in all, when I walk out of the gym I thoroughly enjoyed myself - despite the fact that I may have had a bad day or didn’t perform as well as I wanted.

Similarly, when it comes to diet, very few of us are happy to watch everyone else eat the birthday cake or huge bowl of ice cream. Forcing yourself to sit on the sidelines of social eating is going to set you up for a poorly balanced diet. This is because many people fall back into the trap of consistently eating poorly after a “day off” from eating well.

This gives rise to two troubling questions: How can I enjoy what I hate? How can I consistently stay away from what I love?

To address the first question, we need to find goals that you would absolutely love to achieve. Maybe you really want to run that mile track around the park. Maybe you play in a weekend softball league and would like to get around the bases faster. Maybe you just saw a video of someone training in parkour and that really lit your fire. Everyone’s life involves movements - find the movements you really enjoy performing and identify workouts and short term goals to achieve them. Going to the gym for years to “look good” will have one of the following results:
(a) You stop working out after a short time.
(b) You become a very boring and jaded person.

To address the second question the answer is simple: don’t. Never in your life should you avoid the things you love. Dieting and training doesn’t need to be boring. If you seriously don’t like tuna and brussell sprouts then you don’t need to eat them despite how they are branded as “healthy.” Instead, identify those foods that are really enjoyable to you AND considered healthy. Make a menu of these healthy foods and then you know exactly what you can eat and what you can avoid. Even then, once you have established a relatively “healthy” way of eating you may want to incorporate a “cheat day” into your routine. The key to healthy living and dieting is consistency. If you have one day a month or week where you eat a terrible meal thats not a travesty. If you have terrible meals every day then its a problem. The best way to stay consistent in eating healthy is to schedule a cheat day 1 day a week (or similar) and stick to it no matter what. This helps keep sanity and you get to really eat the things you love.

Frank Needham
06-08-2009, 09:26 AM
Really the key is to make people WANT to do it. People don't like to do things they don't want to do. Everyone loves some kind of movement. If you watch them or listen to them for long enough you will identify something that they really want to get better at.

Bingo! This is exactly what I'm keying on while conceptualizing applications that may work, which is why I posted on this board since everyone is so helpful.