It’s second nature to feel that whatever YOU are doing is the best or is right. Runners tend to think a long, satisfying run is best. Weight lifters crave the burn in their muscles and the accomplishment of adding weight to the barbell. Zumba lovers can’t wait for the latest routine to be released so they can master it. Yogis are searching for the perfect combination of breath and movement.
I’ve tried a lot of different workouts and every one has its pros and cons. There is no perfect workout – instead there is just a perfect workout for you. And that perfect workout is also not timeless – it changes by the day, month, or year.
Although it is natural to believe your current favorite workout is best, I’m very open about the fact that I appreciate and accept ALL types of fitness activities, not just the ones I participate in. It is one of my biggest pet peeves when I hear someone saying that someone else’s workout routine isn’t effective, considered good, or worse, they think it’s pointless or dumb. NO workout is pointless. If the only way for someone to get out of the door every day and get their heart pumping is to attend a Zumba class, then go get your Zumba on! Walking, elliptical, CrossFit, P90X, running, triathlon, Yoga, ballet, cycling, mountain biking, hiking, pilates, barre classes, boot camps, WHATEVER floats your boat, GO DO IT! If it makes you happy, it’s right.
The inspiration for this blog post is actually because of a few things that Tony Horton says in some of the P90X3 workouts. He mentions several times that his workout is superior to the elliptical machine. The elliptical is very different than P90X and there are a several reasons why someone would use it instead of an at home fitness program. I don’t personally use the elliptical anymore but when I was in college it was my jam! Did it get me in the best shape of my life – no, but did it make me healthier? Yes. I definitely agree that if your goal is to increase muscle definition or burn more calories, P90X3 is probably the way to go. But if your goal is to go to the gym and be social with friends, get your heart rate into Zone 2 for a while, or whatever reason there is, and you chose the elliptical, so be it!
My blood has absolutely boiled reading comments on social media from Cross Fitters challenging running as a sport (disclaimer – I know not all Cross Fitters are this way). I’ve also heard runners lament CrossFit as being too intense, focusing too heavily on appearance and competition which can lead to injury. I’ve listened to Tony Horton bash the Elliptical. I’ve heard men at the gym laugh at women who do Zumba and even my dad commented recently that a relative of ours has “only” been doing Pilates, as if this wasn’t really a workout. No one workout is right for everyone. Runners get their high from moving across land faster and faster and don’t want bulky muscles weighing them down. Cross Fitters want to be able to squat twice their body weight and likely have no desire to run a marathon. Those women doing Zumba are having fun with their friends while burning calories and don’t need a PR to prove anything to anyone.
We’re all different and we all do what works best for us. I will admit I have judged others for their choice in workout at times in my life, but I’ve been making a conscious effort to ignore these thoughts and not make judgments. We’re all doing our best. If you’re getting your heart rate up, you’re increasing lifespan, reducing stress, increasing your brain power, decreasing your susceptibility to disease and depression and making yourself happier. To me, that’s all that matters.
All sweat is created equal!
Have you ever been hated on for the sport or fitness activity you love? How did you handle it?