I’m writing this article on my 33rd birthday (apparently grown-ups have to work on their birthdays.) Sometimes I still feel like I’m 23, but then when I put more thought into it I can’t believe how much I’ve changed in 10 years. When I think back to that young 20-something, I can’t help but cringe at some of the things I used to do and think. What have I learned over the last 10 years that I wish I would have learned sooner? Keep reading.
1. Weight Isn’t Everything
Lifting a lot of weight may make you feel good – both physically and mentally. But, form is WAY more important! Using proper form and controlling the weight matters so much more than simply moving heavy weight anyway you can! Take some weight off the bar and squat a few inches lower. Drop a couple pounds so that you don’t have to rock your body weight when you curl – instead lower those dumbbells nice and slow and controlled.
2. Non-trendy exercises matter!
Lots of people talk about how much they bench or how many squats they did. But, who talks about training their abductor, adductor, rotator cuff, etc.? There are so many smaller (less glamorous) muscles and exercises that we should focus on! We need to focus on the bigger picture. Train all your muscles to prevent imbalances and prevent injury. Sure it may not be as much fun, or feel as good, but that certainly doesn’t mean that it’s unimportant! I’m serious. Everyday can’t be chest day.
3. Supplements help, but they aren’t everything!
Yes, I am a proponent of supplements – everyone knows that! But, they don’t make or break you. The name itself says supplement. It is meant to supplement proper diet and proper nutrition. I used to purchase the cheapest things I could find when I first started and didn’t know any better. But you get what you pay for. That is why I am such a huge advocate of NutraBio and everything they stand for! Full label disclosure, no proprietary blends, and they care about you and your results. So the two things I wish I would’ve known are that supplements aren’t everything, and the quality really, really matters!
4. Your body REALLY does change – in both good and bad ways!
First, the bad. Everyone always told me – “your metabolism will slow down”, “you’ll get tired faster and ache more”, “you won’t recover as quickly”, and many more words of wisdom. And I’m finding they were right! These things do happen! We aren’t invincible (even if it feels that way). So we need to cherish our bodies, take care of ourselves, and realize time will impact us all! Take care of your joints, get enough rest, and again always use proper form. It’ll make a world of difference on how you feel 10 years from now. Now for the good news. After 10 years of consistency, my 33 year old self would CRUSH my 23 year old self. Seriously, time and effort pays off. So keep going.
There you have it. Be kind to yourself and don’t abuse your body. And even if you are a grown-up don’t forget to treat yourself on your birthday and maybe even play hooky (take a vacation day) from work.