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I Love Magazine Workout Guides…I Hate that I Don’t Use Them

September 3, 2010

You have all seen them. They are in most magazines now, not just the health periodicals. It doesn’t matter what type of exercise you are looking for-strength, circuit training or cardio-they are there. If you are looking for weighted ideas or you are want to perfect your form they are there. They have the summer ones to get your bikini ready, or winter wonderland ones to get you in ski-bunny form and prepped for snowboard season…and of course the spring ones to get you back in top form from all the yummy holiday goodness. 

I love magazine workouts and workout cards. I love that I can flip through most magazines and come across another exercise idea. I do workout videos on a regular basis, but man they get boring and just plain tiresome when you do them all the time. Constantly doing the same exercises and being able to anticipate upcoming moves and say the script with the instructor does not constitute a good workout. You get a little, or a lot really, complacent with the workout. The workout cards or articles give you a new way to do moves or even a different routine for them. You can use them to add on to or do them before you start your video, or if you are planning a run they are good for when you get back and want to use your heightened heart-rate to your advantage, the cards are a great tool. 

I love that I can do these exercises without anyone watching. You know when you go to an exercise class at the gym you are unsure of yourself, or are afraid you will look foolish, or that you won’t be able to do the move correctly or in time with everyone else. Workout cards are like little practices. It helps also when you have tried a video that kicked your butt the first time (for me it was Yoga Meltdown, my arms hurt so bad!) or were even to timid to do or finish, the cards are great rehearsals. You just pull them out and can do them one at a time. They are also a great instrument for people who don’t work out and want to start or have injuries. They can be as low impact as your body wants and you can work up to your full potential by doing them regularly. 

I am working up to this


I love that cards let go at your own pace. Everyone’s pace is different. I always feel like I am flying through the routine in step class, but when I look up I notice everyone is done and breaking and I am still kicking and stepping. Or in strength class when everyone else is lunging to their knees, I am lucky to push-up from half way to the floor. If you are beginning to workout you can just choose one type of exercise at a time, like just doing squats, and practice until you are comfortable with them. Start slow and don’t go deep and then work your way up to seated squats. Same with arm exercises, start with a light weight and then do them until it feels like you can move up to heavier weights. When you are comfortable you just add more exercises to your little routines you have put together. When you tear out a bunch of the workouts from different magazines you can do all types of the same base exercise. 

I hate that I rarely use them. I am like everyone else; I tear them out of magazines and put them with the others in their special place with the other exercise equipment, but those happen to not get used. Call it stubbornness, laziness, lack of will power, but I just never get around to it. Commercials during television programs are reserved for bathroom breaks, getting something to drink, chatting or just plain zoning out. Also, the only time I remember to do them is when I am gung-ho going for a workout video that I am determined to get through. The cards are my last resort-meaning I have probably fallen asleep as I think about picking one up and giving it a shot. If I do remember them, I will go through my stack looking for the one in particular I feel like doing-usually it will be the ab workouts that you lay down and do-then I just lay there and end up watching TV on the floor. Kind of pointless. 

Yoga with Kettleball


I hate that they use too much equipment. Who wants to go out and purchase more exercise stuff? I mean we buy the hand weights to go with the videos, but other equipment too? Bodybars are not cheap and they come in so many weights, which one do you choose? Kettleballs; yeah, you can start with the five-pound one but how long will that weight last you? I saw one in a magazine that the base is a certain weight and then you hook on attachment weights-it was $100, no thanks. A step and risers for cardio routine, that is costly also. The only cheap thing to buy is the band; you can get a set of resistance bands for about $11 at Also, we buy gym memberships so we can go to the gym and have encouragement to help us get through the strenuous workouts. And they are strenuous when you start adding bodybars and kettleballs-those suckers really work your inner thighs! I am the type that unless I have a teacher showing me and doing it with me-whether it be at the gym or on a video-I won’t give it my all or even do it. 

Step and Risers


I hate when they do weird things with the extras. One magazines set of cards had you putting the band around a very tall “sturdy” object and doing pull downs. Who in the world has either a bed frame with tall canopy style poles or cut outs in their walls with enough useable space to wrap around it and pull down? Now most of the exercises are reasonable-seated rows, frog pushes or curtsy lunges with sword draws-but when they add the weird stuff it doesn’t make me want to try it, let alone rip it out of the magazine and give it a shot. I am easily intimidated by exercises that I haven’t tried before, so adding new equipment let alone different or unusual ways of using the equipment, I get scared and won’t try it. Or trash-talk it and say that I hate it. Really it is me; I should just get over it and do it…

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