Lighten Up To Lighten Up

Dear Friends,

Fitness is serious business. Or at least that's what is often portrayed.

Go hard or go home.
No pain no gain.
Train insane or remain the same.

Maybe you've heard a couple of those before.

I'll be the first to admit that I love a good, hard workout that challenges and pushes me.

But what you have to understand about my approach and my mentality toward training is often very different than most.

One of my guiding philosophies is asking myself "How can we have the most fun?" And I truly believe that if we're not having fun, we're not doing something right.

I'm not saying it's wrong. But if there's no fun, you can do better.

Even in the most serious of moments, fun is a choice.

I apply this same mentality to my training. I like pushing myself because it's fun to learn about what my body can do.

I'm not punishing myself for eating an entire box of Cinnamon Toast Crunch (because damn it I'm a grown ass man and can eat the CT Crunch if I want to).

I'm exploring. I'm experimenting. I'm playing.

Movement and play fit together in perfect unison.

And play and fun are both skills and mindsets. It's up to us to choose to have fun.

This is where I see a lot of people struggle, especially in the gym and it breaks my damn heart.

Some people go into their workouts trying to punish their bodies for betraying them.

Betraying you!?  Your body loves you and is literally doing everything it can to keep you alive. And that's how you repay it?

What I think we should try is simply lightening up a bit.

What if the next time you entered the gym, saw the workout for the day (either created by you or your coach), and made the decision that you were going to have as much fun as possible?

How do you think that would change things for you?

This isn't to say you can't work hard. Because you should. A little hard work is good for us. But instead of trying to beat yourself down, get curious.

Ask how hard can I really go? How well am I moving my body? How does it feel using this weight instead of that? What is going on inside my body when I'm fighting for that last rep, and my body is saying no no no!?

If we tried that once in a while, I think we'd be pleasantly surprised at how this changes our view of working out, training, and the gym in general.

I think that when we start lightening up in our approach, it'll become much easier to lighten up in our weight. If our body recomposition goals became an opportunity to learn, explore, and play as we try new things, don't you think it would become much easier to stick with it?

Look, I'm not one to shy away from showing up and doing the work. It's my mantra, after all.

But work and play do not have to be mutually exclusive. Find ways to associate hard work and fun. Find ways to have as much fun as possible. A good place to start, find the person in the room who's having the most fun and get to know that person.

You might learn a thing or two.

With love,


Evan Cook1 Comment