This is the beginning of a new series of blog posts we will be doing that profiles your journey toward fitness! We'll interview random members to get the low down on what brought them to the gym and how they stay motivated. Our hope is that it will speak to those of you out there who might be considering making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle and motivate you to take that initial step that is always the hardest!
MSSF: How did you both come to join Mt Si Sports + Fitness?
KEVIN: The gym at work is amazingly crowded. Who wants to wait in lines to do a lift? Jesse originally got me to come to this gym and we started coming together when we realized we weren't getting good results from working out solo.
JESSE: I was looking for a gym that was a bit different. I always thought it was cool when people were working out in big industrial looking buildings or outside where it's not a perfect 68 air conditioned degrees all the time. Mt Si Sports + Fitness was really the first gym that kind of captured all that for me at once.
It's also laid out well. You've got the cardio people over there, the machine using crowd, the class takers, and the free weight guys. You have to keep us all separate, like Beta fish, or we fight. Despite my requests to shrink all of those sections except the free weights by 98%, they're still there. I'm finding ways to deal with that. :)
Additionally, the extra motivation of competing (and ultimately completely crushing in every conceivable way) Kevin in a competition was a big factor in finding a local gym.
MSSF: How are you doing in your challenge against each other?
KEVIN: Well, Jesse won the first round; but only because he cheated by not cheating. We were within about .5% of each other most of the time until the last week or two when I stalled out. Our next challenge will be improving our run times.
JESSE: The first of many challenges just recently ended. That was a sort of a "Biggest Loser" style weight loss challenge by % of body weight. We both attacked it the same way, by going on a very low carb diet. Kevin had a really unique take on his diet at times, where he also attacked cheese burgers and french fries with his face.
KEVIN: First off, that cheeseburger was about to kill a school bus full of kids. What would you do? I did society a service by attacking it with my face. Second, have you ever had a bad burger at 5 guys? No, you haven't.
JESSE: Ultimately, I was able to edge him out. According to Kevin, it was by "about 0.5%" in body weight. That's pretty good math, if things like "accuracy" and "the truth" aren't a big deal to you. If those things DO matter, it was closer to a 2% different in total body weight lost. For myself that ended up being around 22 lbs total loss over 8 weeks.
While I could certainly lose the weight, a big goal of both of ours was to gain muscle mass and just improve our athletic abilities overall. That's prompted a few additional challenges.
We're starting up a running challenge currently, which is designed to help Kevin improve his PT scores for the Army, and I'm trying to convince him to start a body fat % competition, via hydrostatic testing, to more accurately help achieve both our goals of increased lean mass and decreased body fat.
MSSF: If you were asked to motivate someone thinking about joining the gym to get in shape, how would you do it?
KEVIN: Definitely get a partner to workout with who supports your goals (and you support theirs), it'll improve your commitment by about a thousand percent. Jesse and I had different workout plans for awhile so it was hard to support each other; we had the same goals, but not the same plan. Once we got on the same plan we immediately saw physical and motivational improvements.
Set specific goals and develop a plan that supports them. Wanting to "lose weight" is different from wanting to lose 20lbs in 2 months by cutting carbs and working out 4 days a week. We both set body weight goals and have a diet/exercise plan to support them.
Accept that you will have to make life changes. I can demolish a pint of ice cream sitting in front of a TV, but committing to losing weight and adding lean muscle mass means giving that up. It doesn't mean giving up TV or Ice cream completely, it's about realizing your priorities need to change. I want to lose the extra weight and become more fit so I have to reduce the habits that encourage a sedentary and unhealthy lifestyle.
Make fitness a habit. Park farther away from the store; always take the stairs; go for walks every day. Set your training plan, then plan everything else around it. Aside from a plague or a crippling injury let anything stop you from hitting the gym.
JESSE: Kevin's suggestions were all definitely good ones. Get a partner with similar goals and motivate each other to stick with it. Chip away at lifestyle changes and when you fall off the wagon, jump right back on. One bad meal or bad choice doesn't define you. Despite Kevin getting into a face fight with some junk food, he still lost over 12 lbs. He didn't quit. That means more than any cheat meal that happened along the way. Showing up is 99% of it. The rest will take care of itself.
For me, what really started the conversation with Kevin that ultimately lead us to here was watching a quick video by Joe Rogan, called "Be The Hero of Your Own Movie". It just really spoke to me about what would the best version of myself be doing right now. What would he choose to do tomorrow, and a week from now? You have the power to be that person, every decision of every day. So do that.
I also get motivation through seeing other people who've been successful, big or small. I get motivation each week Kevin and I hit the gym and set a new PR, and I get motivated every time I see someone new join the gym. They are where we all started, and I want to see them show up and work towards whatever version of success they're after. That person is the hero of their movie.