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Working Out A Regimen

Taking a common sense route to getting fit

New year. New resolutions. Invariably, that usually involves losing weight and doing something to get yourself into a better state of health, particularly with the upcoming swimsuit season looming. Setting up a workout regimen can be an overwhelming proposition with the psychological and emotional aspect of it at times being far more daunting than the actual act of hitting the gym. But it needn’t be that intimidating if you let common sense be your guide.

1. Realize you don’t know what you’re doing. Get a trainer, research on the Internet. Or God forbid, read a book about exercise. If you knew what you were doing, you’d be in shape and not reading this list.

2. Understand that there’s a lot of bad advice out there. Take no opinion at face value … including mine.

3. More is not always better. Know your limits. There is a difference between being sore and being in pain. Sore is a byproduct of exercise. Pain is your body’s way of saying “You’re injured, go sit down.”

4. Train smarter, not harder. I’m 46, and running hurts my knees, so I now ride a bike for cardio. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu stresses your joints, so I limit weight training.

5. If you’re not enjoying the kind of workout you’re doing, stop wasting your time. Go find something better.

6. Change your routine every few weeks. Your body learns to adapt to exercise. Set a goal. Reach it. Set a new goal. Try something new, challenge yourself. If it’s too easy, it’s not worth doing. I just ran my first triathlon this summer. I forced myself out of my comfort zone.

7. Exercise is important, but so is rest. Give your body time to recover.

8. Diet is key. Eat crap, feel like crap.

9. Being in shape is not a race. There is no finish line, It’s a lifelong journey.

10. You will have good days, you’ll have bad days. You’ll have days when you’re on top of the world and days you feel like your wasting your time. THIS IS NORMAL, IT HAPPENS TO EVERYONE. Deal with it.

Bonus: Ice cream tastes really, really good. Accept that, have a little every now and then, it’s okay.

Dave Patton is an avid practitioner of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu under Matt Serra, and still competes at 46 years old. He has, in the past, trained in Muay Thai, Judo and and currently teaches at Ray Longo and Chris Weidman’s Power MMA.