After years of hard work, dedication, and sacrifice you finally have the body you’ve always dreamed of having. It’s ok, you can say it – we all know it! You are a God/Goddess walking alongside mere mortals.
Well... so what? I’ve got some pretty shocking news for you. The universe is nearly 14 billion years old and in the grand scheme of things, your time here will be over in the blink of an eye.
Believe it or not, after you’re gone the world is going to keep on spinning. So, you had better make the most of it while you’re here!
You have to log some serious hours in the iron paradise if you want to see meaningful results.
All that time can take its toll on you physically and mentally.
So make sure you stop every now and again to appreciate the good things in life before your best years are behind you.
So grab your protein shake, gear up, and get ready for some good times with these suggestions for having fun with your fitness outside of the gym!
#1 Enjoy Your Rest
On the days, when you can feel the DOMS in every part of your body, it’s probably not wise to head to the gym and start working up to a personal best. Instead, take a day to indulge in a little rest and recuperation!
This doesn’t mean sitting around all day, vegetating in front of your laptop while you binge on the latest Netflix release. Sorry if I got your hopes up for a second. Nowadays, resting doesn’t have to mean being idle and feeling all your gains slowly fade from your body. Have you ever tried active recovery?
Related: Complete Guide To Increasing Workout Recovery
The purpose of active recovery is to get nutrient-rich blood circulating to your muscles, which is achieved by performing exercise at a lower intensity. Don’t let the word ‘intensity’ fool you, because it opens you up to a world of fun possibilities! Rock climbing, swimming, and even yoga are all great ways to get your blood flowing without breaking too much of a sweat.
From what I understand, I seem to have developed my own definition for the word ‘socialize’. For most people, it means sitting around in the same room as other human beings while staring at your mobile phone. On the other hand, I like to acknowledge other people and actively engage with them in conversation.
If my definition sounds like something you can handle then buckle up – the next part is going to require some serious bravery. I’m about to suggest you ask a few gym buddies to hang out and talk shop. ‘What! Talk to other people at the gym? Are you mad?!’
By all accounts, yes – but hear me out. The people that you see day in and day out at the gym obviously share a common interest, so there are endless topics you’ll be able to talk about! Which protein powder tastes the best or your favorite workout split routine – the possibilities are endless. If you find yourself stuck for ideas, check out #4!
Everyone’s eyes wander in the gym from time to time – its human nature. Maybe you’ve been quietly admiring someone’s squat depth and working hard to beat their 1RM. Maybe you’ve been in a competition with every other member since you joined and they just didn’t know it.
The truth is, whenever you step into the gym you are competing. You’re competing against other people and you’re competing against yourself. I want you to take it one step further. What’s the point in picking up progressively heavier things and dropping your body fat percentage if you don’t do something with it?
As an added bonus, preparing for a competition, whether it’s powerlifting, bodybuilding, or even CrossFit, will give you a reason to train hard.
If that’s not enough to convince you then perhaps you should heed these words of wisdom from the godfather of gains, Arnold Schwarzenegger, who said "I have always believed that if you're training for nothing, you're wasting your effort!"
#4 Expand Your Horizons
Once you get beyond going to the gym and eating clean, fitness stops being just a part of your life and instead it becomes your lifestyle. Over the years, fitness has become a cultural movement in itself and as a result there are decades of information and athletic achievement waiting for you to discover!
If you hadn’t guessed from me using the word ‘culture’, I’m talking about picking up books and watching documentaries. Don’t worry though, no one is going to be assigning any homework or expecting a written report.
Related: 10 Awesome Bodybuilding Books You Should Read
It’s about more than information – it’s also about motivation. From reading an autobiography you might uncover something interesting to try out in the gym, but you’ll also get behind-the-scenes access to the thoughts and fears of an athlete moments before they get up on to the stage or step out onto the field. If that doesn’t get you pumped up I don’t know what will!
If you’re looking for somewhere to start, you can’t go wrong with the classic bodybuilding docudrama Pumping Iron or, more recently, the Rich Froning CrossFit documentary.
#5 Go To Events
I’ve already talked about competing, however there’s nothing to stop you going along as a spectator. There’s still a lot to gain from experiencing an event from the outside looking in. Especially if it’s something you’ve got your eyes on over the long term!
But wait, there’s more! Events aren’t just limited to competitions. If you’re a fan of someone in particular, be they an author or an athlete, more often than not they’ll tour and speak at seminars. Then you’ve got huge fitness expos which are held all over the world and provide great insights into the future of the fitness industry, as well as charity races and endurance challenges.
What’s not to love? Events are always a great day out that you can enjoy with old friends whilst making some new ones along the way!
#6 Become Qualified
This one comes from personal experience. After more than 10 years simply enjoying exercise, I decided to sign up for a course and a little over 5 weeks later I was a qualified personal trainer.
Not only has it helped my own training, it’s also given me a whole new direction in life. Maybe it’s something you’ve considered in the past but never really thought it was worthwhile. Being a qualified fitness professional opens up you to so many new possibilities and oddly enough, even more qualifications!
You could become a strength and conditioning coach or a qualified nutritionist, both really useful if you spend a lot of time in the gym. You could go a little further left field and take a course in something like CrossFit. Or how about becoming a referee for your favorite sport?
#7 Get Outside Your Comfort Zone
This one’s a little tongue in cheek but could arguably end up being the most fun! A lot of my suggestions have been about trying something new. For example, you could try a new sport (or get back into an old one). Why not be a little brave and have a go at some art modelling? The way I see it, what’s the point in having the body if you’re not going to show it off?
You could also become a more standard fitness model if that’s what floats your boat! How about being an extra in an advert or a TV show? All viable options!
The point is to just do something. Like I said at the start, if you’re putting in all this hard work you might as well make the most of it! Being fit opens you up to a world of possibilities outside of the gym, you need to make sure you get out there and enjoy them.
I’d be interested to know what you guys and girls do for fun outside of the gym – legal fun – so don’t hesitate to leave a comment below!