Mondays in particular are when most gyms are running at near max capacity. If it’s not international ‘chest day’, it’s the day to rescue a weekend of ‘fun’ with a MASSIVE rebound session. Pass me the beer, wine, pizza and fries……..load me up! It’s ok, I’ll work it all off on Monday. We’ll have a killer gym ‘sesh’.
A hamster wheel is born.
You go round and round, trying to negate a weekend’s worth of damage in as short a timespan as possible. You’re now obligated or even contracted (in your conscience) to ignore the laws of sensible training volume (1 hour maximum) and start doing 3 hour marathons that could only earn you possible brownie points on Facebook and Instagram.
While your stories of ‘beastmode’ may provide potential content on social media, they’re not getting you a prestigious key to freedom from the hamster wheel you’re on. Depending on how wild your weekends get, you may not even be breaking even. You could actually be worsening your body composition with this ‘approach’.
Simply because precious little of that 3 hours is actually spent in a state of promoting positive adaptation. If we make allocations for the texting (10 mins at least), overall socialising (30 mins at least), junk volume/working without full mental awareness (45 mins to an hour), this brings us back to the traditional time-frame of an hour or a little more.
Adaptation plays a pivotal role.
Theoretically you could do fairly low intensity cardio (aerobics) for up to 3 hours, it wouldn’t be fun, but it could be done. BUT, this is incredibly short lived as the body adapts to slow cardio remarkably well. I’ve discussed this previously and have personal experience to facilitate my thinking.
(Related: ‘Toning’ – a viable goal or mythical term?)
So eventually, your 3 hours will have to be 4 hours and so on. Before you know it, the gym closes long before you can get everything you ‘need’ done. And most gyms just don’t have enough classes on the timetable for you to jump into.
Doing it right –
You may get away with this for a while; calling on a Monday marathon to save the carnage you self inflict at the weekend, but the hands of time are merciless and catch us all. Our metabolism is always individual, but universally age slows everybody’s metabolism. It really isn’t a question of if, but when – for 99% of people. This is where the diminishing returns factor weighs in. You just can’t do the volume of activity required to compensate for the metabolism drop off that’s hinting at you to face the inevitable: your eating habits.
There are cases where people can literally NEVER gain appreciable fat regardless. But these are the skinniest of the skinniest, toothpick people.
Even then, nobody can predict the future, yet anyway. We just don’t know how age will affect us specifically. Our model above could end up with a nice beer gut and an extra chin in 20-40 years time. I have an uncle who was that guy; can’t gain weight, eats anything he wants and in any quantity, yet the scale never moves. Take it forward to the present and he now has an impressive lard pad covering his abdominals and his chin can now hide his neck. In his mid fifties, the green eyed diet monster has caught him.
It catches us all. I had to accept responsibility for my lifestyle very young compared to some. We all have limited reserves of abuse tolerance. Poor dietary habits show up physically, which translates mentally and the mental impact taxes you emotionally. The whole thing works full circle.
This is no excuse to just accept defeat. Maturation (a better word than ‘age’), can be offset by learning to like higher satiation foods, vowing to sit no longer than 3 minutes a a time and walking to the shops instead of driving your car to the store at the end of your street every time you need something.
It also took me far too long to finally hand over my investment money into the less is more concept. With mounting practical experience though, less really is more.
Weekends are just another day, they’re not a free-for-all. I understand life should be fun, but if you learn to detach food, drink and fun a little more, you’ll maybe………just maybe be able to lift your sentence and get off the hamster wheel.
Gyms aren’t social clubs. I LOVE interacting with everyone as much as possible, but there are other places on this beautiful planet we call home in which to socialise.
The gym is ultimately a place of physical and spiritual evolution. The social side is just a bonus.