Earlier this year, Jason Gay with the Wall Street Journal wrote an article titled The 27 Rules of Conquering the Gym where he offers up some well-known fitness advice followed by the kind of down-to-earth advice which is usually more helpful.
Give yourself a goal. Maybe you want to lose 10 pounds. Maybe you want to quarterback the New York Jets into the playoffs. But be warned: Losing 10 pounds is hard.
Rule 19: If a gym class is going to be effective, it's hard. If you're relaxed and enjoying yourself, you're at brunch.
Contrary to what most weight loss advertisements might tell you, losing weight is not easy. In a country where two out of three adults are overweight, this shouldn't be new information. In a country which has three times more obese Americans now than just 15 years prior, we should already know this. Yet thousands of us still fall for expensive weight loss ideas and potions every day. Usually when someone is looking for an 'easy' way to lose weight, they don't want to change their behaviors, which is exactly what needs to change.
Rule 3: Develop a gym routine. Try to go at least three times a week. Do a mix of strength training and cardiovascular conditioning. After the third week, stop carrying around that satchel of fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies.
Rule 14: You can take 10 Minute Abs, 20 Minute Abs, and 30 Minute Abs. There is also Stop Eating Pizza and Eating Sheet Cake Abs—but that's super tough!
For weight loss, simply going to the gym is almost never enough. Weight loss is a result of more calories “burned” than consumed, whether it's cookies or crackers. I have been a regular gym member for over 15 years, and I can't begin to count how many relatively faithful gym-goers I have seen who look no different than when they first started. In this case, if the exercise is on track, the healthy diet is not.
Rule 12: Nope, that's not a "recovery energy bar with antioxidant dark chocolate." That's a chocolate bar.
Weight-loss gimmicks even exist IN the gym, believe it or not.
Rule 25: Fact: Thinking about going to the gym burns between 0 and 0 calories.
Rule 26: A successful gym membership is like a marriage: If it's good, you show up committed and ready for hard work. If it's not good, you show up in sweatpants and watch a lot of bad TV.
Rule 27: There is no secret. Exercise and lay off the fries. The end.