Fuck the gym.
The gym is for the hardcore. It’s for the obsessive. It’s for people who make a body chiseled out of Roman granite priority nemero uno in life. The only reason the rest of us even have gym memberships is because New Years resolutions always seem like they are going to work at first. They aren’t. They don’t. And that gym membership that was destined to change your life does little more than change your net worth once a month.
As I said: fuck the gym. While you’re at it, fuck the cross-fitters, the marathon runners and the body builders too. That’s not for you.
At least, not yet.
I should make this clear: exercise is fundamentally important to you physical and mental health. In fact, it may be the most critical improvement you can make to really change your overall happiness. But it has to be obtainable. It has to be accessible. It has to be a small hump you can step over effortlessly every day until it becomes habitual. It must become ingrained into your life before you ever consider joining a gym. This is where most people fail.
7-10 minutes a day. That’s where you start. 8-minute abs was all the rage in the 90s because everyone had the time for it. The price of admission wasn’t an hour, or 30 minutes, or even 15. It was single digits. It was easy. Not to mention the world rejoicing in the fact that it wasn’t Jazzersize.
This is how you have to start if you want to build a successful exercise practice. 0-60 is for Italian sports cars, and unless you’ve ever told someone your body is like a Maserati, that probably isn’t you. You are a ’87 Honda Civic, and that engine needs a major overhaul before it hits the freeway.
7-10 minutes a day.
You don’t have to change your schedule, wake up earlier, go to bed later, or omit anything from your life other than maybe a third of an episode of The Big Bang Theory. If you can’t sacrifice that, you might actually be a lost cause. But the truth is, you can. Anyone can. Not everyone can muster up a trip to the gym three times a week, but you can count on 7-10 minutes a day to sweat a little bit.
Go for a walk. Play with your kids. Do some squats while you’re waiting for the water to boil for your morning French press. Find the cracks in your day and fill them with activity. Try some of these to easy exercises to get the ideas flowing.
The gym is worthwhile for those who are prepared for it. But to those of us that aren’t, it will quickly shame you, embarrass you, and crush any shred of confidence you had that you could get in shape. Do the work first. Get ready. And go in with the resolve and the habits to ensure your success.
But – for now – fuck it.