Exercising for the sake of it.

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  • Exercising for the sake of it.
  • JonEdwards

    I’m one of those people who’s always been lucky enough to be fairly fit just by day to day life. However as I’m getting older I’m finding that’s less effective, especially to keep in “peak” condition, rather than just bumbing along. (if I miss a week’s riding, I feel like I’ve lost all my top end power, if I don’t climb at least weekly I drop grades etc.), and this really pees me off, and I end up hating myself for being fat/lazy/slow/stupid.

    But I absolutely cannot get my head round just doing exercise for the hell of it. Being bike fit is a side result of enjoying riding bikes, not the end in itself. I climb because I love the head games and the movement, nothing to do with the strength it brings. So if I either don’t want to (crap weather) or can’t (silly season at work) ride, I just get slow/fat/lazy. I have a turbo trainer, but it just sits there. I just can’t visualise grinding away indoors in the cellar. Just, why???

    I’ve thought about taking up running, but again, no motivation to do so. I don’t actually enjoy running, and I can’t just go and “go for a run” because I haven’t run anywhere for 20+ years and I know if I do it for more than 20 minutes, I’ll be crippled for the next day or 2, which will put me off doing it ever again.

    I know there’s a large element of HTFU in this, but I can’t get my head round a reason *to* HTFU. I don’t have any targets, I don’t race (nor do I want to). I’m doing the Transprovence Tour in June, but I’m pretty convinced that doing 1400m+ climbing a day for a week won’t cause me any undue issues (have done it before with no probs). I “assume” I’ll get away with it, because I always have, but surely I can do better than “get away with it” (until it’s raining next time I want to go out on the road bike, when I’ll sack it off)?

    SO what makes you exercise, just for the exertion?

    Premier Icon weeksy

    The fact that I don’t eat very well, therefore if I didn’t train i’d be 25stone !!


    my continued good health.


    As the saying goes the chair will kill you

    And all my adult life I have had a phenomenal appetite I have to burn it off somehow


    You have answered your own question quite a few times in you opening post.


    I’ve always in the past, just exercised because it was a side effect of something I enjoyed, be it mountain biking or martial arts. Never cared how fit I was so long as I could do what I enjoyed.

    I’ve now decided to have a go at triathlon and have a race booked in the summer. There’s a training program geared up to that event. So far, that’s doing a good job of keeping me motivated to go running, swimming and cycling. That, plus knowing if I don’t put the effort in now, there’s a good chance I’ll not finish the course.

    I sounds pretty similar to you Jon.

    It tends to keep depression at bay aswell, especially over winter.

    For example, this week:

    Monday’s ride after work I really enjoyed
    Tuesdays was alrite
    Last night I really didnt want to go cycling, had to try hard to force myself out, and my legs were sore. Once I was out I was ok though.
    Tonight will probably be much the same as last night, plus it’s raining so it’s gonna be a struggle.
    Tomorrow I finish early so will at least get a bit of daylight in my ride.
    Saturday, I’ll be knackered.
    Sunday I’ll probably want to stay in bed allday, then end up going out at about 8 at night in the rain like last Sunday.

    Premier Icon miketually

    I ride my bike to work; forces me to do 15 minutes twice a day.

    What about distance- or time-based challenges?

    Last September, I tried to do an hour a day on my bike, which ‘forced’ me into doing slightly longer commutes and getting out on weekends when I wouldn’t usually have bothered. I rode much further/more than usual.

    This month, I’ve set myself the challenge of running 1km for every mince pie I eat. I’d barely ran at all previously, and always failed to make it a habit when I tried, but I’ve run 30km so far and have gone from run-walk to a 25:28 non-stop 5km. I’ve also eaten 36 mince pies 🙂

    Strava helps with stuff like this, especially when starting out as you keep getting new PBs or increasing distances or pace.

    Premier Icon brassneck

    but I’ve run 30km so far and have gone from run-walk to a 25:28 non-stop 5km. I’ve also eaten 36 mince pies

    Win – Win – love it!


    Try something that you pay for up front, have to be there at a certain time and other people expect/depend on you being there.

    It will “encourage” you to go and you’ll usually feel better for it afterwards.

    They always said about winter training in the dojo, “the hardest thing you’ll do all night is put your dogi on”

    Premier Icon miketually

    Win – Win – love it!


    Dodgy lower back has got me started doing yoga daily. Wish I’d started years ago.

    I´m in the same boat. I´ve always been OK fitness and doing my job has meant I cycle plenty. Over last winter though I didn´t go out “just for the sake of it” and if it wasn´t a cool ride or a new trail then I didn´t bother. Result? I put on 12kg from October to March (it´s good food and wine here!) and felt terrible on the bike at the start of my season. That feeling terrible has been a huge motivation for me this winter so far, I won´t put myself through that again, and I´m making a point of exercising, “just for the sake of it”. Funny thing is I´m actually really enjoying it now I´m making myself do it, the worst bit if the first 10 meters from the door.


    I need to exercise or I will feel rubbish, but over and above that I have tinnitus and hyperacusis which appears to be caused by narrow eustachian tubes. Exercise, and particularly cycling, helps keep them ventilated, and I can therefore hear my hifi normally.

    Premier Icon BigJohn

    A lot of people exercise to lose weight. I lost weight in order to exercise.

    The reason being that Mrs BigJohn & I can’t stand schlepping round museums and gaerden centres, we prefer active pursuits. You get a lot of old fat people, you get a lot of active fat people but you don’t see fat active old people. So, time for BigJohn to stop being so big.

    One of my biggest motivations to exercise is not getting dropped by my regular riding mates. I can’t stand holding people up or that awful feeling when you’re getting dropped, and you’re at max exertion and can’t do a damn thing about it. It makes me go out on cold nights in the rain and dark, knowing that they probably aren’t and the next time we ride together I might be 1% fitter than them.


    I exercise for the sake of it for several reasons.

    * When I’m doing exercise I also seem to eat healthier.

    * Exercise improves my mood.

    * It provides me with stress relief.

    * I’m genuinely scared that I will get fat and die if I don’t.

    * Improves my ability to enjoy mountain biking.

    Premier Icon imnotverygood

    I hate to break the news to you, but this just means you are getting older. In your 20’s you can get away with a lot. As time goes by you have to keep exercising or you lose fitness pretty rapidly.


    I like feeling fit – being able to see my ribs, run up a flight of stairs without getting out of breath, being able to run a marathon, and of course the rivalry with my mates on my Sunday ride…

    All this justifies getting up an hour early every day during the week to go to the gym.

    Premier Icon curiousyellow

    So I can be less fatter than the missus in the scales game.

    I am losing at the moment. Last night she grabbed my handles and went “I haven’t seen you boys in a while”.

    She will pay for this. Mark my words.


    The gym helps my mental and physical well being. I like getting stronger, pushing more weight gives me satisfaction. Destroying myself with a finisher at the end leaves me with a contented glow. It makes me happier and keeps me in shape. I’ve never been one for competition though.

    Premier Icon DezB

    But I absolutely cannot get my head round just doing exercise for the hell of it

    Me too!!
    “Going to the gym” – argh! How people motivate themselves to “go to the gym” I’ll never know! Especially those folk you see jogging indoors on the treadmill on beautiful sunny days!

    One thing I did find worthwhile was boxercise, as you learn new skills as you go (depending on the instructors, of course). Plus it can be useful 😉

    Premier Icon theotherjonv

    I’ve always been of the exercise for fun mentality, the fitness is a side benefit. But then a nasty incident involving some 38″ waist trousers this time last year made me rethink my lifestyle. So I lost weight (5:2 fwiw) and a result got faster and enjoyed riding even more. Then two people close to me got diagnosed with cancer so I decided I’d up the ante and aim for a 12 hr solo at the gorrick in late Aug as a fund raiser. So then I had a purpose and a training regime too, some of which involved me going out for long rides when I didnt feel like it or had ‘better’ things to do. But the satisfaction of following it through and actually being fit enough to not just survive but enjoy the solo was far more satisfying than the odd TV program or beer I missed out on by training properly.

    It’s gone a bit downhill since then, back to maybe 1-2 rides a week and maybe a run or two, and of the nearly 3 stone lost prior to nthe event maybe 6lbs is back on, but i’ll keep it in check and then next year have another event to train for – sdw in a day, perhaps.

    So there’s my tip – I can’t do exercise for the sake of it, but beyond fun which is enough in itself if you want it to be – a challenge is great for motivation.


    when you hit that zone where every fibre of your being is coursing with endorphins, testosterone and adrenaline and the pain melts into the background and all you have left is tunnel vision and harmonious power, it’s like free drugs but without all the paranoid gibbering bullshit and seedy mates and chemical depression and criminality..

    or something (just got in from a ride.. sorry 😳 )

    Premier Icon scaredypants

    curious – is there nothing of hers you could’ve grabbed and say “I haven’t seen you girls in a while” ?


    curious – is there nothing of hers you could’ve grabbed and say “I haven’t seen you girls in a while” ?

    Does she have sisters?

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    (have done it before with no probs). I “assume” I’ll get away with it, because I always have

    you’re not getting any younger though…

    When I rode the LEL earlier this year, I knew I’d have to train for it. Since having kids, my weekly exercise has plummeted, mainly cos I want to spend time with them, no more 12-hour rides/walks on a weekend. So I knew I’d have to train for the LEL if I wanted to complete it comfortably, whcih I did, but I got to hate HAVING to go for yet another 18 hour ride in the months before.

    So in order to keep my base fitness at a comfortable level, I do try to get out 2 or 3 times a week, even if for an hour on the turbo (which fits in with baby-sitting duties). Means I can enjoy the riding more.

    That said, I’ve not been in a gymn for about 10 years now. Hateful places.


    As a big lad, who after being really fit as a lad (pro-rugby and PE degree) let myself slip and was 17 1/2 stone for a decade, i really got back into training and getting fit last year to do a big 250 mile ride.

    What kept me going on a stationary bike in winter or doing some light weights was the following:

    – Feeling so much better and stronger on the bike when i was out on a group ride and keeping up with those guys that had beasted me for years.
    – Comments from mates and family as to how much better I looked
    – How much better i actually felt.
    – They gym or turbo trainer allows you to actually get good data where you can see your improvement- i could see my heart rate and i could see a clock, so it became easier as i got fitter to say ride at 90% for 20 minutes, then 30 minutes, then 40 minutes, you get instant gratification of knowing you are improwing.
    – Also because you are on a stationary bike in a warm gym or garage, i felt i could push that bit harder knowing that if i blew up, i could just slow down or stop, i wouldn’t be 10 miles from anywhere.
    – I also found out that after 15-20 minutes on turbo-trainer i “zoned” out, where I could sustain a cadence or exertion for a long period and actually slightly “enjoy” the pain/ effort that I was undertaking that i couldn’t sustain out on the bike normally.
    – If you do some weights then it is nice see some results in what you can lift, how strong you feel and being a bit vain on your physique.

    So whilst it is not as enjoyable as actually riding your bike, turbo trainer or gym work can become enjoyable i feel, especially when the gym work leads to you feeling so much better and being able to push harder on the bike.


    All the above, but frankly, when it comes to the crunch I find a (at the time) jolly good reason not to…

    Or life just gets in the way – next week I’m working on site. 7 grinding 14 hour (minimum) days on my feet in an unheated marquee. Physically demanding, but not in the cardio sense, crap food and too much of it, and I’m sleeping on the office floor for most of it. No proper exercise, and at the end of it I’m going to be a physical and mental wreck, and any vestiges of “fitness” will have vanished. But it’s what I’m paid to do. And then it’s Christmas with all the traditional laziness/gluttony that goes with it, although I’ll get out on Boxing Day to avoid a family get together.

    End result? New Year, I’ll be in a horrific state, but I bet I still find reasons to avoid doing stuff just for the hell of it. If the weathers great/cold, sharp, frosty, I’ll probably be gagging to get out. If it’s just grey and dank, I’ll be “meh”.

    Premier Icon ir_bandito

    life just gets in the way

    it does.

    my normal working day is a 5 minute commute (via the first school), 7 1/2 hours on the office, often with a swim at lunchtime, then 5 minutes home. Leaves plenty of time and energy for riding or running in the evening once the kids are in bed.

    But I spent the last 2 weeks at a customer’s office, which added 3+ hours driving into the day. Not only did I not have much time with the kids, but I was too drained to do anything. Not a good time.


    That said, I’ve not been in a gymn for about 10 years now. Hateful places.

    This absolutely depends on the gym. The one I use is primarily a boxing gym with a good weights area. I generally have the weights area to myself. There is only one small mirror which deters the ponces. With punch bags, battle ropes, tractor tyres, sledgehammers, loads of free weights, kettlebells I can do whatever I want with no waiting around and nobody pays me any attention. It’s really rather good and I have noticed major benefits on the bike.


    to keep at the top of my game, and to keep my tiger like prowess up to the mark
    oh, and also to keep my adonis like figure in shape too………. 😆


    Do you have mudguards on your roadbike? They make a big difference to how enjoyable a wet ride can be.

    Oh and as far as the Turbo Trainer is concerned I generally tell my wife that I’m going for a Sufferfest session, and the look of disappointment from her if I decide not to bother is worse than anything a turbo can do for you.

    Premier Icon molgrips

    But I absolutely cannot get my head round just doing exercise for the hell of it.

    There are loads of benefits. Not being a physical wreck when you’re 60 is one, and being able to climb your own stairs when you’re 80.


    My T-shirt slogan could be :-

    Commuting saved my life*

    *and stopped me turning in to a big lazy Bar Steward



    I used to commute daily between 10 and 30 miles, 5 days a week. Now my commute is 2 flights of stairs.

    I’m going to be a physical wreck by the time I’m 60 anyway. Wrists and elbows are going already and my knees probably won’t be too far behind. (much like my old man). Heart and lungs will probably be bomber though, so all that means is I’ll be incapable of looking after myself for several decades, rather than dropping dead, painlessly of a heartattack.

    I have guards on my road bike. Partly it’s a poor circulation issue – to dress “right” for the conditions, leaves me shivering for the first 15 mins, then I’m suddenly sweating, but it might take 45 mins to get the feeling back in my hands and feet, whatever I’m wearing. Once I’m fully warmed up, I’m good for a few hours, then the heat just seems to bleed away an it’s just that horrible “cold bones” feeling. The other big thing, is that for some reason I detest getting rain blown in my face.

    …and then I get to the point of not wanting to go out, because going out will only depress me about how slow I am because I’ve not gone out enough… AAAAAAGGGGHHH!! (vanishes up own fundament with a loud POP!)

    Get yourself out. The first ride after not riding for a week or more is always the worst. The next one and you feel like you’ve never been away.


    Exercise for the sheer love of it, is the best.

    Run, swim, jump on the turbo for an hour… it’s all good and beats stupid telly every time.

    Hardest thing is getting out the door, but as soon as I start I’m glad I have.

    With the added bonus of eating what I like… which at this time of year it means I can stuff my face full of mince pies.

    Oh and I’ll generally sleep better as well

    Swimming tonight… different number of sets, over different distances, using faster and faster stoke rates… an hour and 3km will fly past…. then home for Costco sponge mince pies… heaven

    “Going to the gym” – argh! How people motivate themselves to “go to the gym” I’ll never know!

    I go to the gym because 1) I like doing weights, 2) they have weights at gyms, 3) I have nowhere at home to do weights.

    I do a few sessions on the rower, because I find it difficult to get time to do much exercise at home. Work lunchtimes provide an easy opportunity to get some fitness in, although I find it difficult to drag up motivation to sit on a machine for 40 minutes though – much rather be out on the bike, and in summer I’d just go out for a road ride of a lunchtime.

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