My kids and I Legos. We can spend hours together building a set, sometimes over several days. Our largest set, the Star Wars “Death Star, we built a little at a time over several months. That process of completing a complex set of Legos is like accomplishing one’s fitness goals.
If you have never built with Legos before, the back story may take a quick explanation. Each set comes with instructions, carefully and meticulously drawn up by Lego experts. Each step in the instruction book includes a picture and list of the exact pieces you will need for that step and an illustration of how they fit together. Each step builds on the last step. With each step you get the next list of pieces and you see how they connect to the existing structure.
This precision in building with Legos is not unlike the precision one should take in designing their fitness program. The structure you are building is your fitness goal. Each step is the equivalent of the exercise program for the day. Each life of the step is the equivalent of the particular exercise to perform.
An exercise in defining goals, following through
A key factor in the process of fitness and building with Legos is defining your goal at the beginning.
When you buy a Lego set, you are purchasing a jumble of pieces because they help you complete the finished product you see pictured on the box. When you get the box home and open it, a bunch of loose pieces fall out. When you walk into a gym there are literally dozens of exercise machines and combinations of exercises you can do. The issue is to combine them into a program that you can execute quickly and efficiently to accomplish the goal in the front of your own box.
Much of the time you can’t see how these loose Lego bricks will turn into the picture on the box. That’s why you need that end picture to keep you focused. As you put the pieces together, or go through your exercise sessions, you have to make sure not to lose site of that end goal. Some days are hard. You may not see the end goal within the current state of the structure, but as you add more pieces or rather string together your sessions, your end goal will start to take shape.
If you think you will need help creating the right set of instructions, or program design, consider hiring a personal trainer. If personal training is not your desire, then maybe your program design will consist of Pilates or yoga. One concept is clear when it comes to fitness and building with Legos, you can’t just keep doing the same exercises/adding the same type of bricks every session. Eventually, you get a very monolithic structure that bends and topples over. In other words, a stagnant unchanging fitness program, is not as good for muscle growth.
Find fun in the hard work of fitness, building Legos
Lastly, both a well built Lego structure and healthy lifestyle will lead to hours of fun and enjoyment each day for years to come. Once you build a Lego set, now you get to have fun playing with it. It is the same when you have reached a goal weight and are enjoying your new lifestyle and energy.
But don’t get too comfortable. There will always be maintenance needed. Pieces get loose, pieces fall off. Sometimes you might accidentally break it. This is not much different from the maintenance phase of your training. You need to keep going to the gym if you want to maintain your current level of health.
Remember that some days will be better than others. Expect that once in while you may have an interruption in your routine. Realize that the only way to get back to your goal weight is to break out the instructions again. Call up your personal trainer and get some sessions scheduled. Like Legos, if you wait too long, the pieces get lost and it is harder to find them to properly rebuild the set.
As a child you would never have thought about how your love of Legos could parallel your fitness program. But, as a parent watching your kids build that spaceship or car to completion, as compared with giving 100% in the gym, it may seem like a weird aligning of methods that actually makes sense. Both take work, focus, and commitment before you can enjoy all of the benefits.