If you have a good workout routine, as well as the physical benefits of exercise, one of the other qualities which is sometimes overlooked but is arguably more important is the character building benefits you can obtain.
The following is the true story of someone whom I shall call John to protect his identity. I hope that by reading this, it will show you the benefits of a properly constructed workout routine. It demonstrates how exercise can give anybody regardless of there current physical condition, motivation, focus, ambition and the ability to succeed in any area of there life.
John was a good school friend of my nephew and generally a good lad. The problem was his schooling. He had no interest or motivation in being at school and liked to spend all his spare time fixing and playing on computers.
As a result of his inactivity and because of the generous genetics provided by his parents, John at 15 years old was what can only be described as on the big side – and not in a good way.
Did this bother him? Did he feel self conscious or awkward? No not in the least. He was popular at school and although his large size was sometimes the topic of harmless jokes he had a total disregard for what other kids thought about him. All he lived for was to get home as quick as possible and get on his beloved computer.
Now one day in school a female friend of his told John that she had been on a diet and had lost 7lbs in weight.
Was he impressed? she asked!
Well him being a teenage boy and her being very attractive he said the only thing any young boy in his situation could have said and replied, yes I thought you’ve been looking slimmer lately, you have done very well!
However, like most teenage boys do he then put his foot in it and replied, but a do think it is very easy for anybody to loose weight if they put there mind to it.
There was plenty of laughter and Mickey taking by friends who all agreed, John was the least likely person in the world to be able to lose weight.
John thought about the prospect for awhile. If I eat healthily and follow a workout routine I can do it he concluded.
Then he announced. I bet all of you here 5 pounds each that I can lose a stone in weight in one month from today.
The gang went off to the school gym excitedly and noted his weight and then the bet was set.
The following day John started his diet and kept to it. The only problem he found was he missed the crisps he loved to munch on when using the computer. However, being the intelligent fellow that he was, he got his mum to make some roasted crisps with plenty of herbs and very little oil.
The other thing that john began which his classmates did not know about was his workout routine which was to walk to the local lake every night, a total distance of 4 miles. Now because John had not in exercised for a number of years just the 4 miles of walking every night had a dramatic effect on his weight loss.
After the one month trail was over the classmates gathered around for the weighing in ceremony. The bet had now be come become quit a talking point amongst the group.
To every ones astonishment except John’s, he had not only lost the stone of weight agreed in the bet but another 5lbs besides. The rest of the week was spent with his friends asking him what secrets he had used to accomplish his feat.
It wasn’t hard he said – It was just mind over matter and a proper workout routine.
Do you think you could lose more weight, one of his friends asked?
Absolutely he replied any amount you want!
The result of this debate was John would take up the challenge of losing 3 more stones by Christmas day. It was now September which gave him just over 3 months to achieve his goal.
John carried on with his normal diet and walking the 4 miles a day which had become his workout routine. The problem was that after weighing himself 3 weeks into his program he was amazed to find out he had lost only 2 pounds.
His weight loss had slowed right down and possibly stopped altogether, yet he had continued with the same diet and workout routine he had followed before.
He spent the next week disillusioned and thinking of possible solutions. To Him the idea that after his initial success and statement of how easy it was to lose weight, he would have to concede defeat to his friends was more than he could bare.
However, as happens many times in life fate stepped in and John managed to borrow an old copy of a book called – The mighty atom, the life and times of Joseph L Greenstein – by Ed Speilman.
The mighty atom was only 5ft 5 and weighed about a 140 pounds yet he was one of the best strongmen of his day and when I say strong, I mean really strong and he had achieved this through his amazing workout routine.
The Mighty Atom was someone who could punch nails through wood using his bare hands, bend iron bars even when holding one end between his teeth, someone who could bite through nails and break chains rapped around his body just through expanding his chest and all because of a workout routine. This got John very excited.
He read the book and the next night read it again, in fact he read it so many times it became almost his bible. It filled him with inspiration and now his belief and motivation were back in abundance. I will follow a workout routine and be like my hero he thought.
Realizing that the mighty atom became one of the strongest men in history and yet was so small led John to the conclusion that his natural tendency to be over weight could no longer be an excuse to hold him back either.
He knew that weight training would not be the best training method for an overweight person to lose weight and he felt too big and found it to uncomfortable to start running. So he began a workout routine of bodyweight exercises.
At 5ft 8 and 15st of what shall be described as, not muscle, John was anything but graceful. 10 out of 10 for artistic impression he wasn’t getting.
His first attempt at a press up went very well until he got half way down and collapsed into something similar to a free fall parachute decent banging his nose on landing.
He struggled desperately to do 4 or 5 sit ups and as for trying to do a pull up forget it. Despite every muscle in his body contracting to their maximum the only thing that moved was the bar which bent an inch under the strain of his weight.
However, as was shown with his commitment to his computers, John was a determined and adaptable character. So he spent his time doing press ups with his knees on the floor, squats were he would just slightly bend his legs and pull-ups with his feet resting on a chair to take some of the weight.
He had what was for him the perfect workout routine and week by week he carried on, all the time getting fitter and stronger.
After 6 weeks he was doing the exercises in perfect form and was continually cutting back on the rest time between each set.
Fast forward to Christmas day and yes you guessed it. He lost the 3 stone agreed.
He eagerly sat down for the Christmas meal which his mother had so lovingly prepared but half way through it he began to feel sick and felt like vomiting. This was not because his mother couldn’t cook although she isn’t getting 3 Michelin stars any time soon.
No, it was because after nearly 4 months of healthy eating and a proper workout routine his stomach had shrunk and could no longer take large qualities of food.
John was so encouraged with his success that he began to spend less and less time on his computer and more time exercising and reading all the information he could find about workout routines.
When he left school John did not enroll on a computer course at college as would have been predicted previously. Instead he began a science of physical education program and learnt all about nutrition and workout routines.
On completion of this, he enrolled in the famous parachute regiment of the British Army.
My Nephew lost contact with john several years ago, but we did hear rumors that he was following a workout plan to try and gain entry in to a Special Forces selection program.
I have absolutely no idea if he made it or not but with the
John achieved through his diet and workout routine he certainly could have.
If John’s story has inspired you check out www.muscle-fitness-tips.net for great advive on all types of training.
Improve your performance by knowing about exercise intensity
See our guide to fat burning to compliment your Workout Routine