The most important part of exercise: starting with knowing what emotion you want

July 2, 2014 by Joshua
in Fitness, Tips

Longtime readers will remember that before burpees I got a rowing machine — see my posts “Best solo workout I know” and “First time sprints” — and enjoyed it, putting in about half a million meters in the first year of using it.

Concept2 Rower

I finally it back out of storage and started using it after renovations. I enjoy using it as much as ever.

Actually, I’m enjoying it more for an unexpected and counterintuitive reason.

The batteries for its readout died. Instead of replacing them I decided to row without having my stats. I like it more without the real-time stats. I figure with over half a million meters on it I’m keeping my cadence and speed consistent enough without the constant read-out. Rowing is not as simple as burpees but challenging and fun anyway. It feels more free without the readout, and feeling free feels good, which motivates me to use it more.

Without the time to read out, I’m keeping my workouts simple. I started with 100 strokes at 50%, then 8 sets of 8 strokes at 90% followed by 8 strokes at 10%, then 100 strokes at 75%. It’s a short workout, but it makes me sweat.

For habits to succeed, start by planning what emotion you want to get out of it

Most importantly, I’m finding new joy and emotional reward in something. I keep finding over and over, start with emotions if you want to motivate yourself … or anyone else. If you push without knowing what emotions you’re shooting for, you’ll be lucky to find emotions that keep you coming back and your willpower will eventually give out. If you focus on what emotions you want, everything else will take care of itself.

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