Make fitness resolution fun if you want it to last

With the dawning of a new year, many folks will have New Year’s resolutions that involves shedding pounds and whipping themselves into shape.

But starting and sticking to a new routine isn’t always a literal jog in the park. Some experts say no matter your age, you have to make it fun if you want your new fitness regimen to last.

KICKING IT WITH KETTLEBELLS

While in a long-distance relationship and working flexible hours, Delaine Ross found herself burning time by burning calories. This meant hitting the gym two hours a day, six days a week.

Then she discovered the kettlebell, a cannonball shaped cast iron weight with a handle on top. She found herself doing a type of kettlebell training that dates back to a kind popularized by the Russian special forces in the 1600s. This form of weightlifting builds up strength and gets you lean without creating big, bulky muscle mass. Instead of isolating muscles and getting bulging results, Ross says kettlebell exercises teach the muscles you already have to contract harder by working together as one unit.

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She found that working with kettlebells could reduce her workout time to 45 minutes per day, three days a week. And the results, she said, were far better.

“Why would I go run for an hour and lift weights for an hour when I could do it all at the same time?” she said.

After falling in love with kettlebells, Ross became a certified trainer in 2008 and eventually opened her own specialty facility, Condition Kettlebell Gym in Atlanta.

“I integrated these workouts into our gym because we found that not only do you get strong and lean, but you get your strength, your cardio and your mobility all at one time,” Ross said.

Although athletes can add a scaled down kettlebell routine to their regimen as cross training, Ross said kettlebell training can be all inclusive. As a former fitness competitor, it’s the only type of training she’s done for the past 5 years.

The fact that a kettlebell program isn’t time-consuming and is something she finds enjoyable have allowed Ross to stick to her guns.

“A fitness resolution can work as long as you enjoy whatever method you choose for your resolution and still have time to live your life,” Ross explained.

Newbies who join Condition Kettlebell Gym are required to take intro classes and workshops. These cover the five basic kettlebell exercises. The classes include a variety of combinations and variations of those exercises. But as long as you can do those five core exercises, you can jump into a class. The introductory class costs $50 and includes one week of free classes.

Those who decide to sign up for classes can purchase a three-month membership for $99 per month or a one month membership for $149. Discounts are available to those who pay in advance for three- and six-month memberships.

Condition Kettlebell Gym, 659 Auburn Ave., Unit 157. 404-380-1111, www.gymcondition.com.

INSPIRATION PLUS PERSPIRATION

If inspiration is a way to keep a New Year’s resolution, then Kyle Maynard’s story may be the perfect fuel for the fire.

The 24-year-old congenital amputee was born without forearms and lower legs. But that didn’t stop him from playing high school football and wrestling in high school and college. Maynard is also known to step in the mixed martial arts cage and battle it out against average size competitors.

When he’s not traveling on the public speaking circuit, the best-selling author can be found at No Excuses CrossFit, the Suwanee gym he co-owns and opened two years ago. Maynard’s gym operates under the CrossFit banner, a brand of training popular with everyone from elite police forces and Olympic athletes to housewives.

This inclusive core strength and conditioning program utilizes exercises including rowing, Olympic-style weightlifting, pull-ups and kettlebells. But don’t be intimidated. All fitness levels can participate. Instructors don’t change the program, but rather tailor the load and intensity based on the individual. While some participants may start off using a barbell with weights, others cut their teeth simply lifting a PVC pipe.

“We have grandparents who train right next to Army Rangers,” Maynard said.

One recent example of the wide range of clientele at Maynard’s gym involves the wife of one of his former wrestling coaches.

“She basically started out and could barely do a push-up on her knees,” he said. “And now she’s doing inverted handstand push-ups up against the wall. It’s incredible just seeing her in action.”

But it’s dedication that garners results. And sticking to a program is something Maynard is passionate about.

“People get excited about the New Year’s resolution thing and they quit, because they don’t make it a part of their lives,” he said. “It’s about setting rituals and having fun.”

Maynard also suggests recording your progress along the way by writing down the type and amount of workouts you perform.

“Just knowing where you’ve come from is a great way to stay motivated,” Maynard said. “I think it’s really important for people to stay committed, because then you have goals, you’re breaking new plateaus, and you’re able to look back and see what you’ve accomplished.”

Monthly rates at No Excuses CrossFit range from $110 to $225.

No Excuses CrossFit, 3580 Lawrenceville-Suwanee Road, Suwanee. 770-783-0753, www.noexcusescrossfit.com.

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