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Fitness, Mindset, Personal, Uncategorized

September 23, 2018

Why We Exercise – From weights to running, what’s at the root?

Annie Miller share's her exercise experience from weights to running

From running to weights, to any type of exercise, why do we really do it?

I never put it together. My motivation behind the type of exercise I choose to take part in.

I always say “because it makes me feel strong, capable, and in-tune with my body.” Which is all true. But those feelings come from somewhere specific. Another, specific type of experience.

When Nate and I didn’t have access to weights, the obvious option was bodyweight exercise. Which I have proclaimed to the world many times, “I hate bodyweight exercise.”

This was a bit of a lie. I didn’t know I was lying until a recent come to Jesus exercise experience.

We had been running in Brazil, a lot, and doing bodyweight workouts…and I wasn’t hating it.  It hit me one day as I was doing some table top L-Sit holds and hanging leg lifts after a run. “Shit, this is so hard. I love it.” Ugh I love a good challenge.

You see, I chose to do exercises that were hard.

Running is NOT easy for me. You can see my heart rate below on a 30 minute run. I shouldn’t even say “run.” We have been jogging. My heart rate has been through the roof, and I have been dying. That’s what’s really going on here.

I am not good at it anymore. There is room for improvement. It’s hard. It sucks. It’s challenging and I love that. Same goes for the TYPE of bodyweight I have been doing. Pistol squats? Not easy. Table top L sits in a tabata with hanging leg raises? The farthest thing from easy.

Bodyweight squats on the other hand? The easiest exercise I could do besides breathing…

That is where my original “hatred” for bodyweight workouts came from.

Thinking about normal bodyweight exercises bores me. BECAUSE THEY DON’T CHALLENGE ME. But that’s not because they’re “bodyweight.” It’s because my legs need a bigger challenge than most bodyweight exercises. So I lumped it all together and decided I hated anything bodyweight. My bad!

So, I realized it was not bodyweight that hate. It’s not being challenged by my exercise. I need to be stimulated, to focus on my body and what it is doing – to feel challenged, so I can feel accomplished.

You see the table top position at the beginning of this post? It’s an isometric bodyweight exercise. About as boring as it gets. But I am concentrating so hard on externally rotating my humerus and retracting and depressing my scapulae while keeping my knees at 90 and feet out in front of me. NOT EASY. NOT BORING.

So yes, lifting weights is my natural choice of exercise. It does indeed make me feel strong, capable and in-tune with my body. BECAUSE IT CHALLENGES ME PHYSICALLY AND MENTALLY. And that my friend, is what I need from exercise. No matter the type.

Why do you exercise? What do you get from it? Tell me below in the comments!

Looking for a progressive strength training program with a healthy side of education every month? Click here to learn about the only program that will inspire you to learn while you train without asking you to figure it all out for yourself. Learn more about Built By Annie.

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I'm an adventurous introvert from Vancouver, Washington who lives on sleep + "me time." I'm a lover of lifting weights, dinosaurs, real talk and traveling with my husband. I am here to help you move better, lift more, bust the myths of the fitness industry, and inspire you to love the process.

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