…nd the classes themselves were enough to keep me going, but it’s called a “challenge” for a reason: it’s not sustainable long term. A challenge like this (if you’re a fitness fanatic and can afford the hefty £200 a month) is fun, …
Here’s the piece, for what it’s worth:
As a one time fattie (33 years and counting slim) and a serious bodybuilder, I have gone through some 46 years of ups and downs, fads and genuinely stupid shit that nearly took me out. What I’ve learned, now at 67 (just last week) and still a very serious fitness practitioner is that no alcohol is the best alcohol (YEAH I know, don’t bean me with the vodka bottle, but research bears me out) and that moderation in all things will soothe and develop you far more than any extremes. Period. You’re right, the issue is sustainability. My training regimen increases when I have to train for a very hard epic adventure. And I back off once I’m home- shit, I’m usually injured anyway- and then I get back into a maintenance groove. I bore easily so after all these years I have to constantly shift around, different sports, different exercise, and vary my food. That also changes every decade or so.
The fads you identify will be passe in a few years, just like the aerobics and Nautilus crazes of the Eighties. It’s no one thing, nor will work for all of us. If it looks painful or not fun, you will stop. YOU WILL STOP. Period full stop.
The point is to find something joyful (for me it’s horse riding, cycling, running, running stairs, swimming, kayaking and a pile of other stuff) and a weight program that keeps your strength and bone density solid.
This should be fun, not exhausting. Joyful, not invasive. And yes, do a challenge every once in a while. I do, but mine are in the form of climbing some bitch-badass mountain, going on a three-week wilderness hiking/horse adventure. Those are fun. AND they put my fitness to functional work. And no, I’m not rich. I don’t drink, don’t go to Starbucks and save my pennies for stuff I really love which happens to be very athletic. That doesn’t make this right for everyone. But it does argue that when you and I can find things we love to do which are also physically challenging, we will do them for the love it, and that will keep us healthy for life.