I Do!

By Lynne Bourque, Strength and Conditioning Coach at Woodshed

I’ve heard it said that the best fitness program is the one you stick with. While I’m pretty bullish on the strength and conditioning style we offer at the Woodshed, I completely agree with that sentiment.

From Aerobics to Zumba and every weighted effort in between, each workout requires your body to adjust and adapt to the stimulus provided. Every foray into the gym space represents your effort at approaching Six Million Dollar Man status: better, faster, stronger. All exercise that’s safe for you to do is exercise that’s smart for you to do.

But what about when the scent of patchouli on your yoga mat loses its charm? Or when the seat of the spin bike breaks your . . . heart? Or worse, when you begin to feel positively vampiric when struck by your own reflection in the wall of mirrors under the fluorescent lights of the studio? What do you do when the shine of new exercise gets scuffed?

You move along or you double down because you love it.

As a woman of a certain age (okay, 56), I’ve known my share of exercise programs over the years: Jane Fonda’s no pain no gain, Kim Alexis’ late night Slide!, Couch to 5K, yoga (but not hot yoga as I’m not insane), nautilus machines, step aerobics, kick-boxing, and a touch of Uechi-Ryu karate (I did not enjoy hitting people as much as I thought I might) are just some of the ones I can remember. But in 2010, I met my first kettlebell, and shortly thereafter, my first barbell. And I haven’t looked back.

Strength and conditioning (insofar as it accompanies strength training) resonate with my personality more than all the others combined. I went from sitting around pondering my middle-aged paunch to doing pull-ups (no small feat!). And while I’ve taken or been forced into a break or two in the last 11 years, I am always eager to get back to the squat, push on with the press, and stack my bones and muscles against a force no less than gravity in the deadlift.

Sure, burpees suck, but we can all appreciate a beautiful one or a never-degrading string of them. Box jumps mess with our body’s sense of space, but they’re awesome, split-second displays of power. Kettlebells rock as grip-smoking carries and dynamic pendulum bobs. In short, I love it all and I’ve doubled down.

If you asked me several years ago, do you think you’ll stick with this crazy, varied, challenging, and exhausting type of fitness program, I would have said, I do.

And that commitment has made all the difference.

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