Lets face it, us women have a harder time training, (and an even harder time getting ourselves physically to the gym) than most men. Guys throw on a ragged t-shirt and shorts and off they go, simple as that. Women on the other hand take a bit more time. We check the hair, gloss the lips, match the sports bra to the stretch pants and make sure the socks are ankle length, no puffy old-schoolers here. (This is not all women I realize since my sister is nowhere near this category. She’s all sorts of mismatched and crazy hair and doesn’t even think twice about it, God bless her!) But there are quite a few of us out there who feel the need to look good when we’re about to sweat ourselves up.
Pointer #1: Simplify. If it’s taking you 30 minutes to get ready to go the gym, think about simplifying the process. Forget perfecting your hair or putting on a full face of make up or even matching your clothes perfectly. To simplify, wear a hat, put on some chapstick and if you really need some make-up, dab on a little mascara. All that should take you under 5 minutes and you’re out the door before you can let a bad hair day keep you inside. Remember: You’re going to the gym, not a gala! If you’re there to workout then you don’t even want to see how you look leaving the gym with make up oozing down your face and hair all over the place.
My husband can wake up and decide to do 40 push-ups, 20 pull-ups and whatever else he needs to in order get a sweat going without ever having to plan for it, think about it or stress about it. Most men don’t spend nearly as much time thinking about fitness the way women do. We analyze and over-analyze and talk about it at lunch and again during a coffee break. What are we going to do today, tomorrow and next week? (Now I’m all about planning into your schedule workout times, but it’s the thinking and obsessing part that keeps most women at bay.)
Pointer #2: Stop thinking, start doing. Thinking and analyzing about the best methods, the best classes, the best approach is just a whole lotta wheels spinning with no results. Excuses pop up easily here and next thing you know you’re sipping on a peppermint mocha chatting with your girlfriends. (Need I mention the guilt stream that follows from that point on. Now not only are you dealing with 350 extra calories—would have been more but you said ‘no whip’—but now you’re dealing with the guilt which makes you feel even more bummed out!) Nowadays I don’t even let myself think about what I’m getting myself into before hitting the gym. I just go through the motions and next thing I know I’m spinning my tail off and sweating up a storm. Don’t think, just do!
About how many men would you say that you see on the cardio machines (treadmill, elliptical, recumbent bicycle) at any one given time? Not too many I’m betting. And if you do, they’re hardly spending 60 minutes running at a steady pace while reading a magazine, right? I’m not trying to pick on women here, but it’s just that almost every time I go to the gym, what do I see but at least one super slow walker reading an article about some chic named Kendra who has a baby or something like that, or “How to Get the Most out of Your Workout” coming from Cosmo magazine.
Pointer #3: Make it count! Did you know that the less time you spend at the gym could actually be more beneficial for you? Ha, how about that?! Don’t waste your time, interval your time. Vary your workouts, move around and try different modes. Take 15 minutes and walk/jog or run/sprint your way through by pushing hard for say 1 minute (jog or sprint), and recovering for 3 minutes (walk or run). You are burning up a storm of calories. Then jump off and pick up some free weights and blast out some squats, reverse lunges and planks for a full body workout. I guarantee you’re burning more calories in that 30 minutes that you would have were you walking and reading about Katie Holmes and her messy marriage for an hour!
So there you have it, my three pointers on how to train more like a guy. Basically, it’s all about keeping it short and simple. (Ironically I dated a lot of short and simple men in my day ;))