Why do you work out?

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    Jun 30, 2007 11:12 PM GMT
    As a personal trainer I am given various reasons why my clients seek out my services. I thought it would be interesting to learn why those on this sight work out. And to make things more interesting, lets leave out the usual "I want big muscles because that's hot."
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    Jun 30, 2007 11:37 PM GMT
    Getting fat woke up all sorts of underlying body image issues, and after dieting the fat off, it was no longer enough to just be skinny. I wanted to be sexy, although at this point, the only one I'm doing it for is myself.
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    Jul 01, 2007 1:44 AM GMT
    Same here Paradox. I lost a lot of weight and was very happy, but still wasnt satisfied. So now I am toning up.

    For me. :-)

    But if others happen to like it, then that's cool too ;-)
  • Lincsbear

    Posts: 2588

    Jul 01, 2007 1:46 AM GMT
    I initially starting exercising in August,2006,for a job application in the local police force.They quite stringent standards of aerobic and strengh fitness I needed to pass.Even if I was successful,there would be further training and testing in the police.As I was far from at their standard,I set to running,and also weight training.I quickly made progess,but in doing the exercise,I found myself enjoying it so much I decided to carry on whatever happened.I particularly appreciated the mood lift/stabilization running gave me.Anyway,the job never came,but I`ve carried on with the exercise,especially the running.It`s kept me sane and healthy all this time.Another benefit that became evident fairly soon was weight loss(I`ve lost a stone,and dropped from a thirty eight inch waist to a thirty four),although I always ate plenty but healthy.I`m now at my near ideal weight of about thirteen stone and a half.Now I run/weight train because I enjoy the experience so much,it makes me feel better(far superior to alcohol/drugs),my body`s somuch stronger/fitter/toned,and I`ve discovered a talent I didn`t know I had.According to other guys,I`m a pretty good runner for my age(I`m fourty seven)!I only wish I`d started years ago!
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    Jul 01, 2007 3:49 AM GMT
    I used to work out for pure vanity. Then health complication made it a necessity. The vanity is still there, of course, but it's not the main reason anymore.
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    Jul 01, 2007 4:23 AM GMT
    I do it mainly for health reasons- it treats my depression, which I don't get anymore, and it helps get rid of chronic headaches that I have...

    It also makes me feel better about myself...I feel better about myself when I work hard...

    Plus it's nice to look like you take care of yourself ;)
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Jul 01, 2007 4:27 AM GMT
    I started working out a few summers ago because I wanted better posture. I figured that standing or sitting improperly at the moment isn't too bad, but might lead to semi-crippling myself when I'm older if I didn't correct it now, and therefore a stronger back and core would be helpful. While I was there, I decided I might as well use the weights to fight Skinny White Boy Syndrome.

    These days, it's a combination. I sleep better when I have some degree of physical exhaustion, rather than just being mentally tired. There have been functional gains, both in sports I play and in my ability to do things like move my furniture. The cardio I do means that under daily life while I might get tired, I virtually never get winded. I feel more confident now that individual ribs can't be picked out from several feet away. It's a lot easier to find clothes that fit now that I'm closer to the normal range of weight for my height. And, yes, I fully admit that there's vanity in there too. Looks will never be my strong suit, and I'm OK with that, but that doesn't mean I don't want to look good enough to hold a guy's attention for long enough for my personality to have a chance.
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    Jul 01, 2007 5:33 AM GMT
    I was first a competive distance runner. I trained as a runner, rigorously, with speed workouts, diet all interchanged.

    I did that for the joy of running (when things are going well, you feel like you can run forever...you feel like there is a symphony playing as you run). I also ran to stay fit, to beat the guys that used to kick sand in my face when I was in elementary school and high school, and for the joy of doing something well.

    But, then I realized I was just a skinny geeky runner...a look not much "desired" by other gay men. So though I still run lots, I through in strength/weight training in 2000, and knocked down the running a bit. (So this is in the area of vanity, I guess.)

    But something happened along the way. I've actually combined purposes and issues. Clearly, I am vain and want to stave off the effects of aging to a great extent. I don't want to be that overweight "troll" ogling guys who are fit and expecting some return interest. I want return interest, because I am also fit.

    But I also feel better, more balanced, sleep better because of the combination of running and weight training.

    It's all good.
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    Jul 01, 2007 6:36 AM GMT
    Well, to attracted guys , of course.....just being honest..
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    Jul 01, 2007 7:29 AM GMT
    I've always carried a little extra weight; at least, ever since I spent a few months with my obese relatives when I was 4 and they fed me way too much. But at least in middle and high school I had soccer and tennis to keep me moderately fit. I still carried weight, but I was in decent shape.

    Then came college, and the freshman 15 hit me like a ton of bricks. At my worst it ended up being more like the freshman 45. I started looking at pictures one day and was just disgusted. That was 2 years ago.

    Since then I started working out again and trying to eat better. While I'm not back to my high school fitness level, I did manage to lose about 20 pounds of fat. I still carry weight, but now I'm trying to lose that too. My goal is to become fit for life. I don't ever want my weight or my fitness to hold me back from doing something that I want to do.

    My freshman year of college I went hiking in the roughest wilderness in the state (which is saying something) for 8 days in the dead of winter. I could do it, because I was still moderately fit. I want to be able to do that again whenever I want in my life, as well as anything else that might come along. I want to be able to hike all the time, join a soccer league, run a marathon at some point, snowboard for days on end, and any other manner of physical activity that I enjoy.

    I'm also entering the Peace Corps in May and I don't want anything to hold me back from that. I want to be good and fit so that there's not even the most remote chance that my fitness level will have an effect on my entrance and my service.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Jul 01, 2007 7:41 AM GMT
    I work out because I feel so much better when I do!!!!!!!
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    Jul 01, 2007 8:15 AM GMT
    other than the obvious... it relieves a lot of stress and keeps me sane.
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    Jul 01, 2007 12:40 PM GMT
    This is a great topic and the responses have been so much more refreshing than when I am a body buidling website. LOL
    I started because I always felt out of shape and fat when I growing up. And I always felt like my ass was like a girls ass (which at the time I didn't realize was a bubble butt that guys would kill for).
    I wanted to be able to wear a hot pair of jeans. Later in life I wanted to look good in a tight T-shirt and I didn't care what size my butt was.
    but, my real inspiration came in my early 20's from watching Marky Mark...he is still hot!!
    I bought his workout video...and I didn't give a shit about his fly girls...I just wanted to see him and look like him!!
    I finally started hitting the gym hard, eventually started taking group ex classes, and then became and instructor, personal trainer and spent more time at the gym. These days I am still focused, and still teach!!!
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    Jul 01, 2007 2:12 PM GMT
    I work out partly for the social aspect of seeing friends at the gym. And since shoulder pads went out with the 80s, I need to actually earn them.
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    Jul 01, 2007 2:31 PM GMT
    My main reason is health. I was 27 and I was around 240lbs. I come from family where all are big so I figured I was normal. Then I had my cholesterol checked. I scared the shit out of the nurse. I had a cholesterol count of 380. She siad I should be dead. So I started to work out and realized I was not normal. Its been almost 3 years now and I can not see myself the way I was 3 years ago. Plus I know that all members of my family, the males, have died around the age of 50/55. Nobody has made it to their 60's. I remember seeing my grandfather in the hospital after his 3rd heart attack, with so many tubes coming in and out of his body. I also remember the doctors bringing him back from two flat lines and asking us if he flat lined again if we wanted them to bring him back. I do not want to be in that position, granted there is so much I can do, we dont know how we would go, but hell if there is anything I can do to stop that, I am doing it.
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    Jul 01, 2007 2:46 PM GMT
    To remain free of discomfort. I don't look good in an IV.
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    Jul 01, 2007 3:28 PM GMT
    Working out makes me a more effective neurotic.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11648

    Jul 01, 2007 4:09 PM GMT
    I'm with Obscene...
    It's a relatively healthy outlet for my OCD
    ...did I lock that door?
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    Jul 01, 2007 4:53 PM GMT
    Let's see. I was a an overweight child. After an illness when I was 6 my mom overcompensated in trying to get me "healthy" again but I was not able to be active (doctor's orders) and the combo of Mommy's love and inactivity lead to chubby me. Since then I have always seemed to carry an extra ten to twenty pounds.

    I've started working out - and quit more times than I can count. Once I discovered I was HIV+ I realized that I need to shape up in many ways including physically.

    Now I am training for a marathon, doing mostly upper body weight training, light yoga, and meditation (which to me is part of my physical and mental health program).

    I am also HIV treatment naive and want to get in shape before a drug might start changing my fat distribution.

    I feel better now, on the edge of 40 and with a nasty virus doing it's best to destroy my immune system.

    Go figure!
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    Jul 01, 2007 6:05 PM GMT
    I workout to get hot guys, of course! No, kidding.

    I was fat for the better part of my life. In high school, I discovered this Eric Neis fitness tape (from MTV's The Grind) and did a little bit here and there. In high school I started lifting weights but nothing that serious. Afterwards, I got hitched and completely blew up, which funnily enough, seemed not to matter in the least bit to my thin bf (that's love!). Took a trip to NYC in 2001 and was like, "Wow, all this walking is killing me...I won't ever come back to this city like this"; eversince, I've been dedicated to getting my body together.

    I workout now to feel and look better; it relieves stress and is a healthy outlet for my mascochism; and because it keeps me balanced.
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    Jul 01, 2007 6:34 PM GMT
    I found that by working out it has helped me tremendously in the other activities I love so much. I surf a lot throughout the year even when the waves are 15-20 feet. The ocean has a lot of power and can crush you easily. If you're not in shape, you can drown in those conditions.

    When I started surfing, I couldn't last long as my arms and entire body said "okay time to shut down!". I've found that by working out and training hard, I am now able to not only withstand the fierce pounding of the ocean but able to enjoy myself and not get worn out like I used to. I also can be competitive so I love the fact that I can keep up & even exceed the 18 year olds that seem to have endless supply of energy!
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    Jul 01, 2007 7:49 PM GMT
    Because at 80 yrs of age.. I want to be jogging the beach; not sitting in a wheelchair drooling and eating green jello.

    -Den
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    Jul 01, 2007 8:03 PM GMT
    Great response, Den. I've noticed with clients that those who are younger are obsessed with physical appearance whereas those in the older age bracket want to maintain function and quality of life. In my opinion, the latter offers the greatest rewards.
    For me, my journey into fitness began at the opposite end of the spectrum from many of the responses here. I was always super thin and developed body image issues as a result. I went to the gym on a regular basis to gain muscle (and subconsciously, respect). I thought that's what would make me happy. I would weigh myself constantly and if I hadn't gained weight, my self esteem hit the floor and my workouts suffered. Working out was a love-hate thing. Then, many years later, I decided to stop weighing myself. I tried to focus on the challenge aspect of fitness and everything changed. My strength, endurance and functional capacity sky rocketed. I felt better and that translated into improved confidence. I now love to work out and don't base my self esteem on how well I fill out a t-shirt or what the scale tells me. I also know that I have a better chance of living a full life until the time comes when I move on to wherever it is I'm going to go. Just like the poem says, "Don't go softly into that dark night."
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    Jul 02, 2007 12:01 AM GMT
    Stress management
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    Jul 02, 2007 12:49 AM GMT
    Health would be the primary reason. My family has cases of diabetes on both sides, so I'm a very good candidate to develop diabetes. So far, so good, knock on wood, I don't have it, but there is always a possibility. That's what keeps me focused.

    Secondary reason, and I'll be bluntly honest, I want to look good naked. Some may see this as a superficial thing, but it's just something that I want to have. Nothing wrong with looking good.

    Tertiary reason, I want to look good for others. This stems from a personal philosophy of mine regarding sex. Sex is not all about one person, it's about both people (or more, if that's what you're into). In order for it to be the most enjoyable, both people have to be pleased and entertained, and a part of that is a physical attraction.